And breathe! A collective sigh of relief all around as the manic January transfer window finally draws to a close on Wednesday.
Unsurprisingly, this window has seen the most amount of money spent in the winter ever and there have been some mega deals completed.
Of course, with the window going right down to the wire, deals can still be completed but the overall narrative has been set with some clubs performing magnificently and others poorly.
With that in mind, we take a look at 10 of the biggest clubs from around Europe and grade their transfer business so far.
Grade = C-
Key ins: Virgil van Dijk (Southampton) £75m
Key outs: Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona) £142m, Daniel Sturridge (West Brom) Loan
As was the case in the summer, Coutinho and Van Dijk dominated the headlines.
On the positive side, Jurgen Klopp finally acquired a commanding centre-back but the failure to replace Coutinho – an early switch for Naby Keita was rejected – has left his side short of midfield ingenuity.
Daniel Sturridge has also left on loan to strengthen his England cause in a World Cup year and arguably the two best players in the wake of Luis Suarez’s departure have left the club.
Klopp’s strongest area has been weakened but their weakest, strengthened.
Grade = A
Key ins: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) swap
Key outs: Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal) swap
Only one appearance into his United career and Alexis Sanchez already looks a stellar signing. Solving two problem positions in one signing, the busy Chilean was brilliant on United’s left against Yeovil but as he’s proved previously, the 29-year-old can be equally effective through the middle.
Mkhitaryan, meanwhile, failed to deliver on his promise in the No10 role and was shipped out in exchange to tie up a deal which ultimately suited all parties.
Grade = B+
Key ins: Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Man United) swap
Key outs: Alexis Sanchez (Man United) swap, Francis Coquelin (Valencia) £12m, Theo Walcott (Everton) £20m
The grade hinges on Aubameyang’s anticipated arrival but the Gabon international is prolific scorer of goals, injects serious pace into the Arsenal attack and has terrorised defenders from multiple positions.
The reunion with Mkhitaryan – the pair were sensational in the Bundesliga with Dortmund – should excite and the new additions might even help their cause to convince Mesut Ozil to stay with the club.
Grade = B
Keys in: Ross Barkley (Everton) £15m,
Key outs: Kenedy (Newcastle) Loan, Baba Rahman (Schalke) Loan
Barkley is a very shrewd investment. His career hasn’t quite taken off in the manner many hoped with managerial changes and injuries disrupting his progress at Everton.
At Chelsea, he’s in the right environment to fulfill his promise.
Elsewhere, Antonio Conte has signed the extremely versatile full-back Emerson Palmieri from Roma. The 23-year-old is a package of energy and skill, providing Chelsea with dynamism out wide. Capturing Olivier Giroud from Arsenal would be a perfect marriage given their cross-heavy style this season.
Grade = B-
Keys in: Manuel Akanji (Basel), £20m
Key outs: Neven Subotic (Saint Etienne)
The Bundesliga has traditionally ignored the January window but Dortmund have been busy.
They will rid themselves of a dressing disruption in Aubameyang and have added Chelsea’s eager Michy Batshuayi as his replacement on loan.
Their best business, however, is in beating Liverpool to the deeply impressive young centre-back Akanji. The 22-year-old is a crisp passer of the ball and his athleticism lends well to the BVB. He needs to improve his aerial prowess but Peter Stoger has a future star in his squad.
Grade = D
Keys in: N/A
Key outs: N/A
Zinedine Zidane has insisted no signings would arrive in January with the ailing Spanish and European champions set to do their big business in the summer.
However, they lost out on their No1 goalkeeper target Kepa Arrizabalaga who has signed a new long-term deal with Athletic Bilbao, while Los Blancos still look dreadfully short of goals in attack.
Lose to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League and a quiet January could increase the noise of discontent.
Grade = A+
Keys in: Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) £142m, Yerry Mina (Palmeiras) £10m
Key outs: Javier Mascherano (Hebei) Free, Arda Turan (Basaksehir) Loan, Rafinha (Inter) Loan, Gerard Deulofeu (Watford) Loan
Ernesto Valverde has been clear about wanting to reduce his squad size from 25 and the Barca boss has used the January window to clear out some deadweight.
They’ve bought a premier playmaker in club-record signing Coutinho, while the giant defender Mina provides solid support after the exit of Mascherano.
As has been the case on the pitch, it’s been a perfect window for the runaway La Liga leaders.
Grade = C+
Keys in: Rafinha (Barcelona) Loan, Lisandro Lopez (Benfica) Loan
Key outs: Joao Mario (West Ham) Loan
FFP restrictions have forced Inter to utilise the loan market, but they’ve manipulated it well to bring in much-needed dynamism.
Rafinha is arguably Barca’s most-talented midfielder under the age of 25 but he’s been injured for the entirety of Valverde’s reign.
The 24-year-old will be desperate to reignite his career in Italy. Defensively, Luciano Spalletti has had his back line decimated by injury and so Lopez has reinforced their centre-back options.
Grade = D
Keys in: N/A
Key outs: N/A
Milan spent big money in the summer with more than £150 milllion worth of talent brought in.
But they started the season dreadfully and haven’t had the ability to solve their issues in the winter. They lack a superstar in attack and backing out of a move for Aubameyang last summer in order to sign Leonardo Bonucci from Juventus appears bad business.
Gennaro Gattuso has steadied the ship, but that’s all they can expect for now.
Grade = B
Keys in: Pietro Pellegri(Genoa) £19m
Key outs: Guido Carrillo (£20m)
Astounding what the going rate is for young prospects, especially when you consider Pellegri is only 16-years old, but Monaco beat some of the biggest clubs in Europe to sign the giant striker.
You only have to look at how teams circled Kylian Mbappe before he broke through at Monaco as justification for their eagerness to sign Pellegri. However, clinging onto Thomas Lemar until at least the summer is perhaps their best piece of January business with Liverpool and Arsenal perpetually linked.
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