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The Team Of January 2022 Transfer Window

The January transfer window has slammed shut, bringing an end to a jam-packed month of transfers. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the best transfers in the winter window in each position: the team of the January 2022 transfer window.

The January transfer window has slammed shut, bringing an end to a jam-packed month of transfers. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the best transfers in the winter window in each position: the team of the January 2022 transfer window.

GK: Sergio Rico

As far as goalkeepers go, the January window has not been too active, with the majority of the deals being backup goalkeepers who left to fill in for a starter who had suffered short-term to medium-term injuries, such as Paul Bernardoni or Iñaki Peña, who joined Saint-Ètienne and Galatasaray on loan to fill in for the injured Etienne Green and Fernando Muslera.

Sergio Rico has left for his third loan spell since 2018, joining Mallorca for the remainder of the 2021/22 season. Deprived of opportunities behind Keylor Navas and Gianluigi Donnarumma at Paris Saint-Germain, this could be a good opportunity for the 28-year-old to reinvigorate himself in his home country, as he faces considerably less daunting competition in 36-year-old captain Manolo Reina. However, he’ll need to perform better if Mallorca is to avoid the fate of Rico’s Fulham in 2018/19 and avoid a looming relegation battle.

RB: Vanderson

In contrast to the goalkeeper spot, the right-back position is drastically more stacked with the competition. After leading Atlético Madrid to their first league title in seven years, Kieran Trippier has ended his spell in the Spanish capital and returned to his home country, joining Newcastle United. Nathan Patterson has left Rangers and joined Everton for a fee rising to ​​£16 million, and he’ll be looking to emerge as the club’s long-term replacement for Seamus Coleman, who turned 33 in October.

Neither academy product Jonjoe Kenny or Djibril Sidibé had been able to convince in the position in previous seasons, with Sidibé returning to Monaco following his 2019/20 loan spell and becoming a regular option in defense. Sidibé, however, is 29 and has been regularly sidelined with muscular injuries this season, prompting Monaco to invest €11 million to sign Vanderson from Grêmio following the Brazilian club’s relegation. At 20 years old, Vanderson has already scored in his three Ligue 1 appearances so far in a 3-2 defeat to Montpellier, and he’ll be looking to emerge as an attack-minded solution in the right-back position under new manager Philippe Clement.

CB: Eray Comert

On October 24, 2019, Marcel Koller’s Basel defeated José Bordalás’ Getafe 1-0 in a UEFA Europa League group stage match. Two weeks later, Basel won 2-1 in Switzerland, with Basel topping Group C with 13 points and Getafe finishing second with 12. Basel’s starting center-back partnership in both games was between Eray Cömert and Omar Alderete.

Alderete went on to play for Hertha before joining Bordalás’ Valencia on loan in July 2021, whilst Cömert followed Alderete’s path six months later, joining Valencia for a fee of €800,000 on a contract through 2026. Cömert (23) joined Basel’s academy in 2009 and made his professional debut on February 10, 2016, in a 3-2 away win against Zürich. He would embark on two loan spells the following year with Swiss sides Lugano and Sion, before breaking into the Basel first team in 2018/19. Cömert is a quick center back who excels in timing his interceptions to perfection and is capable of building possession out of the first third, and he’ll be looking to beat out competition from Gabriel Paulista, Hugo Guillamón, Mouctar Diakhaby, and Alderete and stake out a starting spot at Mestalla.

CB: Dan Burn

As expected, Newcastle’s new owners have made a splash in the January window by bringing in Chris Wood from Burnley, Bruno Guimarães from Lyon, Matt Targett on loan from Aston Villa, and Trippier from Atlético Madrid. If there is any area where Newcastle fans might feel a bit aggrieved when it comes to their recruitment in central defense. After failed attempts to bring in Sven Botman from Lille and Diego Carlos from Sevilla, the Magpies turned to Brighton’s 6’7” defender Dan Burn, signing him on a contract through June 2024 and paying an initial fee of £13 million.

Whilst he may not be as exciting of a choice as Carlos or Botman, Burn nevertheless provides a direct upgrade in a defense that has conceded the second-most goals in the Premier League (43) and needs a veteran leader who can plug some holes in a leaky backline.

Burn grew up supporting Newcastle and idolized Alan Shearer, spending various years at the club’s academy before being released at the age of 11. 18 years later, Burn returns to his boyhood club with the mission of cementing a starting spot under Eddie Howe and rescuing Newcastle from a looming relegation fight.

LB: Robin Gosens

Another position that has been teeming with action is the left-back position, with Lucas Digne, Reinildo Mandava, Fali Candé, Abdu Conté, Matt Targett, Vitaliy Mykolenko, and Hassane Kamara all moving clubs. While he may not be a traditional left-back, Robin Gosens is undoubtedly a major coup for Simone Inzaghi’s Inter, who sit four points clear atop the Serie A table with a game in hand on both Napoli and Milan.

Since joining Atalanta in 2017, Gosens has become a vital component of Gian Piero Gasperini’s side at the left wing-back position, contributing 10 goals and 8 assists in 2019/20 and 12 goals and 8 assists in 2020/21. Gosens has been sidelined since September with a hamstring injury, and with his contract set to expire in June 2023, Atalanta found themselves willing to sell the 27-year-old German international for €25 million. Ivan Perišić has done well to fill an unnatural position and become a valuable performer at left wing-back, but the 33-year-old is out of contract in the summer and could be phased out by the arrival of Gosens as well as the emergence of Federico Dimarco.

CM: Bruno Guimaraes

Before Bruno Guimarães had even stepped onto a pitch in Europe, he was already grabbing the attention of Champions League sides such as Benfica, Lyon, Chelsea, and Atlético Madrid. His impressive performances at Athletico Paranaense earned the Brazilian a €20 million move to Lyon, with Bruno staking out a starting spot in midfield and earning a maiden-call up to the Seleção. At 24 years old, Bruno is one of the most promising midfielders in Europe, and he represents Newcastle’s first major coup under Saudi ownership.

A deep-lying playmaker who is capable of threading passes into attackers or breaking the lines with his ball-carrying ability, Bruno will be asked to step into a more defensive role in midfield alongside the likes of Jonjoe Shelvey and Joe Willock in midfield. The €50.1 million price tag makes him their club-record signing, surpassing his compatriot Joelinton, and it is undeniable that Bruno will have a major role to play if Newcastle is to avoid the drop.

CM: Sergio Oliveira

Unlike Bruno, Sérgio Oliveira is a late-bloomer. The 29-year-old spent over a decade in Porto’s academy before joining Paços de Ferreira on a permanent deal in 2013, and whilst he returned to his boyhood club two years later, he would have to embark on loan spells with Greek side PAOK and French side Nantes before gaining a real opportunity as a starter under Sérgio Conceição. Oliveira emerged as a box-to-box engine in the double pivot last season alongside Matheus Uribe, but Vitinha’s return from his loan at Wolves has seen him struggle for minutes.

It’s why, alongside Tecatito Corona and Luís Diaz, Oliveira left Porto in January, joining Roma on loan until the end of the season. He has made an instant impact, grabbing the winning goal on his debut in a 1-0 win against Cagliari and scoring in Roma’s 4-2 win over Empoli. If he can continue to build on his stellar start, it will only be a matter of time before José Mourinho’s side trigger their option to make the deal permanent for €13.5 million.

RM: Tajon Buchanan

For a country that hasn’t made a single FIFA World Cup since 1986, Canada is enjoying a rebirth in the form of manager John Herdman. The Canucks won 2-0 in El Salvador on Wednesday to make it seven wins and four draws in their 11 World Cup qualifiers – four of those wins coming without Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies. It is a matter of when, rather than if, Canada seal their qualification to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

One unheralded leader in Canada’s superb form is Tajon Buchanan, who grabbed an assist in their recent 2-0 win against Honduras. Buchanan has been utilized in a variety of positions for Canada from fullback to wingback to the winger, and after leading New England Revolution to a Supporters’ Shield triumph (given to the MLS team with the best regular-season record), he earned a move to Belgian side Club Brugge for a fee of $7 million.

At 22 years of age, Buchanan is a flashy winger who combines skill with the end product, and he’ll be looking to add firepower to a Club Brugge side that has won three of the past four league titles in Belgium. Like Jonathan David before him, he will be looking to use the Jupiler Pro League as a perfect trampoline for bigger sides in Europe, but before that, he’ll need to lock down a starting spot under new manager Alfred Schreuder. Buchanan has already grabbed an assist in a 2-2 draw against Standard Liège, and with Noa Lang linked with a summer departure, he could be set for a bigger role in Belgium next season.

LM: Luis Diaz

From Jackson Martínez to Radamel Falcao, from Fredy Guarín to James Rodríguez, we’ve seen various Colombian players establish themselves before earning big moves abroad, and that pattern has continued with the emergence of Luís Diaz. After arriving in the summer of 2019, Diaz gradually bided his time on the fringes of Porto’s line-up before becoming a constant fixture in the left-wing position this season. He has scored 16 goals and 6 assists in 28 appearances, leading Porto to the top of the table and earning interest from various top European sides.

Ultimately, it was Liverpool who won the race, paying a reported €45 million-plus €15 million in bonuses to sign him on a contract through 2027. At 25 years of age, Diaz is entering his prime after breaking onto the scene with a stellar display in last summer’s Copa América, and he represents a younger option than Liverpool’s longtime front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mané, all of whom will be 30 years old at the end of this season and all of whom will be out of contract in 2023.

CF: Dusan Vlahovic

Perhaps no position has seen more comings and goings than the center forward position. Julián Álvarez joined Manchester City on a contract through 2027, whilst Sardar Azmoun, Ricardo Pepi, and Jonas Wind have made long-awaited moves to the top 5 European leagues. Anthony Martial and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have left the Premier League in a bid to reinvigorate their careers at La Liga sides Sevilla and Barcelona, whilst Wout Weghorst has replaced Chris Wood as Burnley’s behemoth center forward in Sean Dyche’s attack.

The most expensive deal of the winter window came with Dušan Vlahović’s €70 million moves to Juventus, and for good reason too. Vlahović has emerged into one of the finest young strikers in Europe, scoring 38 goals over the past two seasons for Fiorentina, and with his contract set to expire in 2023, it seemed a mere matter of time before the Serbian striker left Fiorentina. Whilst a summer transfer saga loomed on the horizon, Juventus beat the rush and signed Vlahović on a contract through 2026. Vlahović will be looking to add firepower to a Juventus attack that has struggled to recover from Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to Manchester United, having scored just 23 goals in 34 games, the worst tally in Serie A’s top nine teams.

CF: Arthur Cabral

The departure of Vlahović means that Fiorentina’s top scorer is now left-back Cristiano Biraghi with 4 goals – 2 of those goals being free kicks in a 6-0 win against relegation strugglers Genoa – paling in comparison to Vlahović’s 17 goals in the league. To fill their gaping hole in attack and qualify for European competition next season, Vincenzo Italiano’s side has brought in attacking midfielder Jonathan Ikoné from Fiorentina as well as Polish striker Krzysztof Piątek on loan from Hertha Berlin.

However, the long-term replacement for Vlahović could very well be Arthur Cabral. The Brazilian striker has been with Basel since September 2019 after joining from Palmeiras and has emerged as a lethal threat in attack with 18 goals and 6 assists in 2019/20 and 20 goals and 3 assists in 2020/21. He has already bettered those aforementioned tallies with an astonishing 27 goals and 8 assists in 31 appearances, with the 23-year-old Brazilian forward earning a €16 million move to Fiorentina. He’ll be looking to follow up his performances in Switzerland by cementing a starting spot under Vincenzo Italiano, showcasing his skills in Serie A, and earning a spot on Tite’s roster for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

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