Transfer Talk: Five January signings who have hit the ground running

Cian Cheesbrough
LiveScore
Luis Diaz has been a revelation since joining Liverpool from Porto
Luis Diaz has been a revelation since joining Liverpool from Porto

Players who move in January notoriously find it hard to settle at their new clubs — but a host of this season's winter arrivals are breaking the mould.

A busier than usual window saw managers splash out on improving their sides' fortunes and plenty are already being vindicated for that.

Read on as we pick out the best January arrivals based on their performances so far.

Luis Diaz

A long-term Liverpool target, the Reds decided to push forward their plans to sign Porto winger Luis Diaz to avoid missing out on him altogether as Tottenham tried to pursue a deal.

And from his first game it was easy to see why.

The Colombian has been a seamless addition to Jurgen Klopp’s title-chasing side, possessing breathtaking skill and confidence which has added an extra edge to an already rich set of attackers.

With a couple of goals under his belt in his first 12 games, it is frightening to think of the levels he could still reach given how well he has started.

Pundit Gary Neville said of the £37.5million signing: "This lad Diaz, honestly, I saw him for the first time at the Carabao Cup final.

"I couldn’t believe what I was watching for a player who’s just entered into English football. He’s absolutely sensational."

Dejan Kulusevski

There seemed to be an air of panic about Spurs' transfer business when Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur came in from Juventus on transfer deadline day after they missed out on a number of targets.

But both are looking like smart additions to Antonio Conte’s ranks, in particular Kulusevski, whose early exploits have him looking like a worthy partner to influential pair Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son.

The Swedish international has managed two goals and four assists in his opening nine Premier League games, already bettering his tally from the first half of the season in Serie A.

Speaking about his fresh start in North London, Kulusevski said: "At Tottenham, there’s a breath of fresh air, I have a better rapport with the coach, I was trained better and my physique has improved."

Creating 20 chances since joining, both Kane and Son’s blistering form since their new winger arrived is testament to how well the 21-year-old has done.

Dejan Kulusevski is proving himself to be a worthy partner to Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son
Dejan Kulusevski is proving himself to be a worthy partner to Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son

Dan Burn

The £13m capture of defender Dan Burn from Brighton was one of the less-heralded of the five moves mega-rich Newcastle made in January.

But the Blyth-born Magpies fan has become one of the unlikely heroes of their remarkable surge away from the relegation zone since.

The 6ft 7in centre-back has embodied the fighting spirit that had for too long been missing under previous regimes at St James’ Park but now exists with Eddie Howe in charge.

After a man-of-the-match performance on his debut in a 1-0 win over Aston Villa, the 29-year-old went unbeaten in his first five games on Tyneside and is now one of the first names on the team sheet.

Since making the switch back home, Burn ranks highest of any player in the Premier League for regular clearances (5.71) and headed clearances (4.41) made per 90 minutes.

Philippe Coutinho

Aston Villa’s stunning loan capture of Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho was hailed as one of the coups of the window and the Brazilian has not disappointed on his return to England.

Finally "feeling loved again" under former Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard, the 29-year-old is reminding everyone of his immense quality.

Coutinho netted minutes into his Villa debut against Manchester United and has since managed a further three goals and three assists.

But sealing a permanent deal in the summer is already looking like a difficult task.

Reportedly attracting the attention of the likes of Premier League rivals Arsenal and Tottenham, Gerrard will be desperate to convince the South American magician that Villa Park is a worthy new home.

Philippe Coutinho is reminding everyone of his quality following his return to England with Aston Villa
Philippe Coutinho is reminding everyone of his quality following his return to England with Aston Villa

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Offloading Coutinho’s wages, in part, allowed Barca to boost their squad with the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, which is turning out to be a dream move for all parties involved.

Since the ex-Arsenal captain ended his nightmare in North London, he has a superb tally of nine goals in 11 games for the Catalan giants.

Cutting ties with the Gabonese international seems to have worked out well for the Gunners too, who have won six of their seven matches since his departure.

Managing to sign the 32-year-old on a free transfer, delighted Barca boss Xavi said: "Auba has been a gift from heaven.

"He is a positive player, he has come into the dressing room very well, he adapts well to the team, he creates scoring chances, he scores, he presses, he is a privilege to train."

After two goals in a stunning 4-0 El Clasico victory last weekend, Aubameyang‘s role in Barca’s resurgence is already making him a hero at the Camp Nou.

Tags

Premier LeagueLaLigaLiverpoolAston VillaTottenham HotspurArsenalNewcastle UnitedBarcelonaLuis DiazPhilippe CoutinhoPierre-Emerick AubameyangDejan KulusevskiDaniel BurnJuventusSerie A
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