Ex-Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho moved to Barcelona for nearly $200 million, making him the most expensive midfielder ever.
By Eric M.
It has already been two months since the closing of the winter 2018 transfer window, but some of the deals done during that 31 day period were groundbreaking in the soccer world. Let me remind you of the best out of these deals. These are the Top 5 Biggest Trade Deals in the 2018 January Transfer Window.
(Note: This countdown does not include trades from last summer, so it will only contain trades made between January 1, 2018 at 12:00am – February 1, 2018 at 12:00am. Also, these trades are NOT in order of price for the player, but in how important this trade will be in the future IN MY OPINION. All prices are rounded to the nearest million.)
5.) Aymeric Laporte: Athletic Bilbao → Manchester City ≈ $79m
For the first trade of the countdown, French defender Aymeric Laporte was transferred from Athletic Bilbao to Manchester City. This trade barely beat the previous record fee for Manchester City set by Kevin De Bruyne when he moved to the club from Wolfsburg.
On Manchester City’s official website, Laporte commented, “I am very happy to be here. [Manchester] City are a club with a lot of ambition and they are one of the best teams in Europe”. With such a large fee and such an incredible future ahead of the 23 year old, this trade is a big deal.
4.) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: Borussia Dortmund → Arsenal ≈ $77m
At #4, Arsenal had to acquire a new striker after transferring Olivier Giroud to Chelsea as part of the 3-way deal for strikers between Chelsea, Arsenal, and Borussia Dortmund. The latter’s legendary Gabonese captain and African Player of the Year 2015 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the perfect candidate for them.
Being super quick, this player is a great addition to the squad, and will be able to attack alongside recent French signing Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon during the Summer 2017 transfer window. “I’m really happy to be here in this great team,” Aubameyang said on joining Arsenal.
3.) Virgil Van Dijk: Southampton → Liverpool ≈ $105m
This trade set a new world record in the soccer community. Virgil Van Dijk became the most expensive defender in soccer history, beating the previous record holder, Manchester City defender Kyle Walker, by almost $30 million.
The expensive Dutch national team player feels the need to work harder on this more prestigious and star-studded team. “Every day here is tough,” he described the club. “We work very hard, run a lot, and there is a big difference [from Southampton]. I need to step up my game.”
2.) Philippe Coutinho: Liverpool → FC Barcelona ≈ $198m
In second place, the second most expensive trade deal in soccer history occurred. Brazilian left-winger Philippe Coutinho moved from Liverpool to Barcelona. This trade was desperately needed for FCB after selling Neymar Jr. to Paris Saint-Germain for about $310 million, leaving them without an adequate left-midfielder/winger.
On moving to one of the best clubs in the world, the 25 year old stated, “I am very happy. It is a dream come true and I hope to meet all expectations on the field.”
Diego Costa: Chelsea → Atletico Madrid ≈ $79m
Cenk Tosun: Beşiktaş → Everton ≈ $37m
Lucas Moura: Paris Saint-Germain → Tottenham Hotspur ≈ $35m
Theo Walcott: Arsenal → Everton ≈ $28m
Olivier Giroud: Arsenal → Chelsea ≈ $25m
Michy Batshuayi: Chelsea → Borussia Dortmund – Loan
1.) Alexis Sanchez/Henrikh Mkhitaryan: Arsenal ↔ Manchester United – Player swap
In the final trade deal in this countdown, this player swap had been building up for a while before it occurred. Incredibly talented Alexis Sanchez, who is a hero at his home country Chile, seemed unhappy at Arsenal for the past 6 months. Finally, on January 22, Sanchez was traded to Manchester United for another talented player, Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
“I am thrilled to be joining the biggest club in the world. I have spent three and a half wonderful years at Arsenal and I bring with me very positive memories of that great club and its fans,” Sanchez remarked on the official Manchester United website.
“I’m very happy that we could finish this deal and I’m very happy to be here. It’s a dream come true because I’ve always dreamed of playing for Arsenal. Now that I’m here, I’ll do my best for this club to create history,” Mkhitaryan commented on the official Arsenal website.
This trade is mindblowing because these players could have incredibly good futures at these new clubs. Also, both of these players are so skillful that it’s a surprise that there would be a swap deal, a rare form of trading, for such incredible talent. Because of that, I believe that this trade was the biggest trade deal in the January Transfer Window.