Leandro Trossard is flying at Arsenal - but who is the most impactful January signing in Premier League history?
Leandro Trossard’s remarkable start to life at Arsenal has seen him voted the club’s Player of the Month for March. The Belgium international came in from Brighton in January and has made a huge impact for the Gunners, helping them maintain their surprise Premier League title charge.
Trossard has made 13 top flight appearances for Arsenal since joining, with just seven of those being starts. But in that time he has scored once and set up seven goals for Mikel Arteta’s pacesetters, who are looking to be crowned champions for the first time since 2004.
It’s been an incredible start to life in north London for Trossard, and it got us thinking at GOAL about which January signings over the years have made the biggest immediate impact for their clubs in the Premier League.
We've taken a look - did we miss anyone out?
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#15 Paolo Di Canio (West Ham)
Di Canio made himself a legend at West Ham following his move from Sheffield Wednesday in January 1999.
He arrived with his reputation disgraced having shoved referee Paul Alcock to the floor after being sent off in a game against Arsenal. The Italian never played again for Wednesday after that, but Harry Redknapp took him to West Ham after he had served his suspension and he made a massive impact.
He scored five goals in 13 games for the Hammers during the closing months of the 1999-2000 season, and then netted 18 in the following campaign.
There can’t be many players who have made such a big impact at West Ham as quickly as Di Canio did.
#14 Andrey Arshavin (Arsenal)
Technically, Arshavin wasn’t actually a January signing. Arsenal fans had to wait until early February for confirmation that his move from Zenit St Petersburg had gone through.
But the diminutive Russian playmaker was certainly worth the wait.
Arshavin may not have gone on to hit the heights many were hoping for in north London, but his impact over those first few months was huge.
Arsene Wenger’s side were five points adrift of the top four when Arshavin signed, but they lost just one game following his signing and comfortably went on to secure a fourth-placed finish and Champions League qualification.
He scored six goals in 15 games between his debut and the end of the season, including all four goals as Arsenal drew 4-4 with Liverpool at Anfield.
#13 Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle)
When Newcastle signed Guimaraes from Lyon in January 2022, it was a signal of intent to the rest of Europe.
Fresh from being taken over by The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, this was a sign that the new owners at St James’ Park meant business.
Newcastle were in relegation trouble at the time, but Guimaraes’ arrival sparked a dramatic upturn in form.
He scored six goals in 17 appearances and helped steer the Magpies away from any relegation trouble, setting them up for the season they are now enjoying towards the top of the table.
#12 Christian Eriksen (Brentford)
Eriksen joining Brentford in January 2022 was one of the great footballing stories.
Just half a year earlier, the playmaker had to be resuscitated on the pitch after suffering a cardiac arrest while paying for Denmark at Euro 2020.
Most thought that was Eriksen’s career over, but after being fitted with an implanted cardioverter-defibrillator (a type of pacemaker), he was determined to come back.
After cancelling his contract with Inter, he made the move to Brentford in January and went on to provide four assists and score one goal in 12 games for the west London club, proving he could still perform at the very highest level.
His performances were enough to then earn him a summer move to Manchester United. One of the great January signings, both in terms of the impact he had on the pitch for Brentford and the story behind it.
#11 Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)
Another excellent January addition for Arsenal, Odegaard arrived from Real Madrid on loan in January 2021 and made an immediate impact in north London.
Mikel Arteta was desperate to make the move permanent, and he managed it that summer for what now looks like a bargain £30m ($37m) price tag.
Odegaard was named Arsenal captain the following year and has been one of the main driving forces behind the club’s remarkable rise back to the top of the Premier League.
What a signing.
#10 Jermain Defoe (Portsmouth)
Defoe made his fair share of January moves, but the one he made to Portsmouth from Tottenham in 2008 had a huge impact.
The striker had an incredible run at Fratton Park, scoring eight goals in 12 appearances during the remainder of the 2008-09 campaign.
He then scored another nine during the first half of the following season, before earning a move back to Spurs just a year after leaving White Hart Lane.
Portsmouth bought Defoe for £9m ($11m) and sold him back to the same club for £15m ($18.5m) just 12 months later. Not a bad piece of business.
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#9 Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United)
One of the Premier League’s greatest ever defenders.
Vidic joined Manchester United from Spartak Moscow in January 2006, and immediately started to forge an excellent partnership with Rio Ferdinand.
It wasn’t enough to win United the title that season as they just missed out to Chelsea, but they won it the following year with Vidic absolutely crucial to that success, as well as the Champions League victory in 2008.
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#8 Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)
Coutinho’s impact at Liverpool was huge following his move from Inter in January 2013.
As soon as he arrived at Anfield for £8.5m ($10.5m), the Brazilian added real quality to Brendan Rodgers’ squad.
He scored three goals and contributed seven assists in just 13 appearances through to the end of his first season in the Premier League.
It was a real signal of what was to come from the playmaker, who eventually left Anfield five years later to join Barcelona in a deal worth around £142m ($176.5m).
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#7 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
What an impact Aubameyang had at Arsenal following his move from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018.
The Gabon international was viewed as one of the best strikers in Europe when he arrived and he certainly lived up to that billing.
He scored 10 goals in 14 games between his debut and the end of the 2018-19 season, and then went on to win the Premier League Golden Boot the following campaign.
Aubameyang was a goal machine during his time in north London and almost single handedly fired Arsenal to the FA Cup in 2020.
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#6 Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
While the start of Suarez’s Liverpool career was a bit slow going, he did enough to suggest that he was going to make himself an Anfield hero.
After arriving from Ajax in January 2011, he scored four goals during the remainder of that season, including one on his debut against Stoke.
But it was his overall impact on the team itself that was perhaps more important over those first few months.
Liverpool immediately knew they had landed themselves a star who could make the difference, and that’s exactly what he went on to do on Merseyside.
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#5 Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Some things in life are just worth waiting for.
Liverpool had to bide their time before finally signing Van Dijk in January 2018. But once he arrived, the centre-back was certainly worth it - even if he did cost £75m ($93m).
He scored on his debut, against Everton of all clubs, and helped take Liverpool to a Champion League final in his first season.
Van Dijk has gone on to be a leader at Anfield and has won the Premier League and Champions League amongst countless other honours at Anfield.
He made the team better from the moment he walked through the door, helping the Reds finally get back to the summit of English football.
#4 Jesse Lingard (West Ham)
Things might not have gone well for him since, but Lingard’s short stay on loan at West Ham in 2021 was immense.
He signed in January on loan from Manchester United and made 16 appearances for the Hammers through to the end of the season.
He scored nine goals in that time and added a further five assists.
It was an incredible run of form from Lingard, one that earned West Ham qualification to the Europa League the following season.
#3 Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
It took them a while, but Manchester United finally got their man when they signed Bruno Fernandes from Sporting CP in January 2020.
And the Portugal playmaker certainly proved to be worth the wait as he hit the ground running immediately at Old Trafford.
He scored 12 goals in 22 games through to the end of that first season and added a further eight assists.
Fernandes was named United’s Player of the Season despite only arriving in January. It was an award he would also win the following year after scoring an incredible 28 goals in all competitions from his attacking midfield role.
Fernandes has since gone on to become defacto captain, with Harry Maguire not in favour under Erik ten Hag.
#2 Lasanna Diarra (Portsmouth)
Ask Portsmouth fans to name the best players they have ever seen play for their club, and Diarra’s name will alway come into the mix.
He was only at Fratton Park for one calendar year, signing from Arsenal in January 2008, and leaving to join Real Madrid just 12 months later.
But in that year he made a huge impact on the south coast, playing a starring role as Portsmouth shocked the world by winning the FA Cup
Harry Redknapp signed him for £5m ($6.2m) and sold him for £20m ($25m) just 12 months later. That tells you all you need to know about how good he was.
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#1 Papiss Cisse (Newcastle)
Has anyone had a bigger immediate impact than Cisse did at Newcastle after arriving from Freiburg in January, 2012?
What the Senegal international did over his first few months in English football was incredible, and fired Alan Pardew’s side to an unlikely fifth-placed finish in the Premier League.
Cisse scored on his debut against Aston Villa and ended the 2011-12 campaign with 13 goals in just 14 games for the Magpies.
It was a sensational start to life at St James’ Park, but one he was unable to maintain over the next few years.