As with anything that has to be completed by a deadline, procrastination inevitably gives way to panic the later you leave it.

And the transfer deadline day is a classic example. Fans panic, journalists panic, agents panic, and chairmen certainly panic. Huge sums of money are splurged - often wasted - on the latest big money signing.

The 2011 January window was the by far the most frenzied - Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll conspiring to ensure almost £85m went straight down the drain in the space of a couple of hours.

Deadline days since have been a little more sedate, but still the likes of Sky Sports News do their best to drum up interest in even the most mundane of transfers.

And with the January window about to close for another season at 11pm tonight, GMF counts down five of the biggest January deadline day deals in the Premier League since 2003...

Mario Balotelli - £17m | Manchester City to AC Milan | 2013

After one high-profile mishap too far, Balotelli has returned to Serie 'A'. The mercurial striker staged a hugely entertaining two years at the Etihad Stadium, but Roberto Mancini's patience was tested once too often, and he shipped him back to the San Siro.

This time Balotelli will be in the red and black of AC Milan. And judging by his reported transfer fee, his value has diminished from the £24m Manchester City paid for his services, but the potential remains. Potential yet to be fulfilled.

Luis Suarez - £23m | Ajax to Liverpool | 2011

Another hugely controversial figure in the Premier League, Suarez signed for the club hours before the Andy Carroll deal was announced.

Of the two transfers, Suarez was the masterstroke - a genuine world-class player for a club sorely lacking in the quality required to mount a top four challenge.

David Luiz - £26m | Benfica to Chelsea | 2011

The Brazilian defender was a little under the radar when Chelsea splashed out the big money to bring him to Stamford Bridge.

The jury's still out - some even think his best position could be defensive midfield, not centre-back - after a number of big-game mistakes cost Chelsea points.

Still just 25 years old, the former-Benfica player remains a hugely talented player. If he can cut out the mistakes, he can become the £26m player Chelsea always thought he could be.

Andy Carroll - £36m | Newcastle to Liverpool | 2011

This deal sums up the transfer window. Andy Carroll was a promising, but raw, target man when Liverpool paid a reported £36m to bring him to Anfield from Newcastle. That is the transfer record for a British player.

Nothing in Carroll's play ever suggested he was worth £35m, and the deal was ridiculed at the time as a gross overvaluation. That analysis has since been proved correct.

Shipped out on loan to West Ham, Carroll's struggled with injury, but when he's managed to get pitch, he hasn't really looked like scoring.

His supporters argue that his game is based on bringing others into play, creating chances from flick-ons and knock-downs. Unfortunately, a £35m investment in a striker that doesn't score is not money will spent, no matter how good his link-up play is.

Fernando Torres - £50m | Liverpool to Chelsea | 2011

The British transfer record was smashed for a second time on deadline day in January 2011 as the window truly went crazy.

Liverpool had snapped up Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez, paving the way for Torres to join Chelsea in a £50m deal.

Once the best striker in the Premier League, the Spaniard had already begun his steady, depressing decline into mediocrity when Roman Abramovich stumped up the cash to bring him to Stamford Bridge.

Now booed by his own fans, on a personal level Torres has endured a fairly miserable few years at Chelsea. The price tag piled on the pressure, and Torres hasn't really delivered yet.

Transfer fees taken from transfermarkt.co.uk

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