Even with market inflation taking a firm grip on the football industry, there are still bargains to be found around Europe, and they usually occur in the January transfer window.
With that being said, here is a look back on the top five Premier League January transfer window purchases:
Patrice Evra: AS Monaco to Manchester United
For a measly £7 million, Manchester United picked up a very raw Patrice Evra in a deal that benefitted the club for the next decade.
He might have struggled in the first six months of joining, but the former France international went on to achieve great success with the Red Devils, including five Premier League titles and one Champions League.
Evra was a stalwart under Sir Alex Ferguson and a trusted lieutenant on the pitch. With the right attitude, he was a leader in the dressing room and understood exactly what it mean to represent Manchester United – something the new generation could learn about.
He is remembered fondly before joining Juventus in 2014 and will always be thought of when looking back at the dynasty Ferguson created.
Luis Suarez: Ajax to Liverpool
A transfer sum of £22.5 million sounded quite a lot back in 2011, but for a striker of that magnitude and pedigree, who guarantees goals, is hard to come by nowadays.
Of course, he was not the finished product when arriving at Anfield in the winter, but conjuring up four goals and five assists in his first 13 appearances in the Premier League is some way to introduce yourself.
Suarez went on to become a major part under Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool and came agonisingly close to winning the club’s first-ever Premier League title.
Eventually, after his 82 goals and 47 assists in 133 appearances for the Reds, he was sold to Barcelona for a £50 million profit.
All in all, a mesmeric signing.
Nemanja Vidic: Spartak Moscow to Manchester United
Another shrewd signing occurred in the winter months for Manchester United in January 2006, when a 25-year-old Nemanja Vidic rocked up at the training ground ready for battle.
Again, for a paltry sum of £7 million, the Red Devils signed one of the Premier League’s best-ever central defenders, that would go on to partner Rio Ferdinand for the next eight years.
Vidic was as robust as they come in defence and intimidated most of those who came up against him. Ridiculously strong in one-on-one challenges, the Serbian feared nothing and was the perfect combative partner that Ferdinand, and the club, needed.
There has not been too many signings in the same winter transfer window that have been quite as successful as Evra and Vidic.
Mikel Arteta: Real Sociedad to Everton
Many remember Mikel Arteta’s time at Arsenal vividly, especially now how he has also taken up the reins as their manager, but David Moyes was the manager who found Arteta in Spain and brought him over.
After an initial six-month loan, Everton released the £2 million funds that took the Spaniard to Merseyside. Arteta settled in straight away and helped the Blues to a fourth-place finish which granted them a spot in the Champions League qualifying rounds.
Arteta went on to represent the Blues for six-and-a-half-years, eventually moving for five times the price initially paid to Arsenal. There he went on to have another successful period with his time in the Premier League being thought upon highly.
Wilfried Zaha: Manchester United to Crystal Palace
While it might not have worked out for Wilfried Zaha when initially moving from Crystal Palace to Manchester United, the reverse transfer could not have been a better career move for the London-born forward.
After completing his return to South London for £4 million, Zaha has gone on and fulfilled his potential by becoming a tricky winger that contributes heavily in front of goal.
The Ivory Coast international wanted out last summer and is still pushing for a move, which Palace have accepted will take place sooner rather than later. However, they are waiting for his £80 million valuation to be met by potential suitors.
Not only will it be an impeccable return of investment for the Eagles, Zaha has done more than his fair share in keeping them up in the Premier League season after season.