VALUE FOR MONEY
The January transfer window saw the usual mix of big-name movers, excessive fees and outright panic buys.
However, some shrewd bits of business were done at both ends of the Premier League table.
Here's the top 10 EPL January signings this season.
1 JUAN MATA (Chelsea to Manchester United, £37.1 million ($77.5m))
It shows how far Man United have sunk that Chelsea were prepared to sell their Player of the Season in back-to-back campaigns.
Despite mixed results for United since the Spaniard's arrival, his quality is obvious. Mata controls balls in his stride, and volleys inch-perfect 60-metre cross-field passes to teammates. A class act.
2 NEMANJA MATIC (Benfica to Chelsea, £22m)
With Frank Lampard on the wane, Matic is set to become an integral part of the Chelsea midfield for many years to come, and his engine-room partnership with David Luiz was vital in the 1-0 win at Manchester City last week that has blown the title race wide open.
3 WILFRIED ZAHA (Man United to Cardiff, loan)
Zaha made an instant impact for the Bluebirds, creating a goal in the come-from-behind win over Norwich that gave their hopes of avoiding the drop a real lift.
The England international was the standout player in the Championship last season as he inspired Crystal Palace to promotion via the play-offs, and it remains a mystery why he was never given an opportunity by David Moyes in what must rank as the worst Manchester United team in years.
4 TOM INCE (Blackpool to Crystal Palace, loan)
Judging by his debut performance in the 3-1 win against West Brom, the son of former England captain Paul has every chance of becoming an EPL star.
The lightning-quick winger scored one and set up another for fellow new boy Joe Ledley in a vital victory for Palace.
5 KOSTAS MITROGLOU (Olympiakos to Fulham, £12m)
Fulham fans have already christened the arrival of the Greeek international with a song, which goes something like this: "We call you Kostas, we do. We call you Kostas, we do. We call you Kostas, we do. Cos we can't say Mitroglou."
6 KENWYNE JONES (Stoke to Cardiff, swop deal)
John Terry has described Kenwyne Jones as the toughest opponent he has ever faced, such is the quality of the imposing Trinidadian striker.
The big striker is now 29 and, if he is to belatedly achieve something in the game, then it's now or never. Made a promising start by scoring on his debut against Norwich.
7 ANTONIO NOCERINO (AC Milan to West Ham, loan)
The midfielder, capped 15 times by the Azzurri, was an AC Milan regular until deemed surplus to requirements by new boss Clarence Seedorf.
However, Milan's loss can be West Ham's gain. The 28-year-old is in his prime and his ability to propel the Hammers towards the sanctuary of mid-table is unquestioned.
8 JONAS GUTIERREZ (Newcastle to Norwich, £3m)
Despite being a fans' favourite at Newcastle, the Argentina international was told by Magpies boss Alan Pardew last December that he had no future at the club.
Former Newcastle manager Chris Hughton was quick to secure his services for a Norwich team who are in serious danger of dropping out of the EPL.
9 LACINA TRAORE (Monaco to Everton, loan)
The giant Ivorian striker has timed his move to Everton to perfection with Romelu Lukaku sidelined with an ankle injury.
The 23-year-old has scored plenty of goals for the likes of Kuban Krasnodar and Anzhi Makhachkala during a seven-year odyssey around Eastern Europe.
10 SHANE LONG (West Brom to Hull City, undisclosed)
The fact that Shane Long didn't want to leave West Brom makes it all the more staggering that the Baggies allowed their fans' favourite to leave for one of their relegation rivals.
Surely Long is a better option up top than Matej Vydra, who so far has looked devoid of pace, power, athleticism or goalscoring instinct since his loan move from Udinese.
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