Fernandes, Coutinho, Aubameyang: Who are the Premier League's most impactful January buys?

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Bruno Fernandes has transformed Manchester United over the 12 months.

There's good reason to think that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wouldn't be in the technical area at Old Trafford right now if it wasn't for the midfielder's arrival from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020.

Besides, only Liverpool's Mohamed Salah managed to score more goals than Fernandes in the Premier League in 2020, which is nothing short of astonishing given the Portuguese's position.

January signings

And it's certainly no coincidence that United have only actually lost three times in the Premier League since his arrival, sparking claims of a potential title challenge in 2020/21.

As a result, Fernandes is rightfully being considered as one of the greatest January signings in the history of England's top-flight with the window having been inaugurated in 2003.

And while we all have our own opinions on who the finest purchase really is - lest we forget that the likes of Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra were winter buys - stats have now settled the debate.

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Most impactful mid-season buys

Well, at least they have in one respect with a study from BettingOdds.com assessing who the most impactful mid-season signings of the last 20 years of Premier League football have really been.

Their first half-season and its impact on the team is how the players are being judged, so don't panic about the absence of Virgil van Dijk and Luis Suarez who came into their own a little later.

But without further ado, you can check out the most impactful January signings in Premier League history down below, which we suspect will go down pretty well with the Old Trafford faithful.

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=19. Robbie Fowler to Liverpool (05/06) - 37 Points

(0 League Position Increase, 10 Wins, 2 Losses, 2 Draws, 5 Goals, 1 Assist)

=19. David Luiz to Chelsea (10/11) - 37 Points

(+3 League Position Increase, 4 Clean Sheets, 8 Wins, 2 Losses, 2 Draws, 2 Goals, 0 Assists)

=17. Ryan Nelsen to Blackburn Rovers (04/05) - 38 Points

(+1 League Position Increase, 9 Clean Sheets, 5 Wins, 5 Losses, 5 Draws, 0 Goals, 0 Assists)

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=17. Louis Saha to Manchester United (03/04) - 38 Points

(-1 League Position Decrease, 6 Wins, 3 Losses, 3 Draws, 7 Goals, 3 Assists)

=14. Philippe Coutinho to Liverpool (12/13) - 39 Points

(0 League Position Increase, 7 Wins, 2 Losses, 4 Draws, 3 Goals, 7 Assists)

=14. Nicolas Anelka to Chelsea (07/08) - 39 Points

(+1 League Position Increase, 11 Wins, 0 Losses, 3 Draws, 1 Goal, 5 Assists)

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=14. Gylfi Sigurdsson to Swansea (11/12) - 39 Points

(-1 League Position Decrease, 7 Wins, 8 Losses, 3 Draws, 7 Goals, 5 Assists)

=12. Robert Huth to Leicester City (14/15) - 40 Points

(+6 League Position Increase, 6 Clean Sheets, 7 Wins, 4 Losses, 3 Draws, 1 Goal, 0 Assists)

=12. Juan Mata to Manchester United (13/14) - 40 Points

(0 League Position Increase, 7 Wins, 5 Losses, 3 Draws, 6 Goals, 5 Assists)

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11. Martin Skrtel to Liverpool (07/08) - 42 Points

(0 League Position Increase, 7 Clean Sheets, 9 Wins, 1 Loss, 4 Draws, 0 Goals, 0 Assists)

=9. Nacho Monreal to Arsenal (12/13) - 44 Points

(+2 League Position Increase, 7 Clean Sheets, 8 Wins, 1 Loss, 1 Draw, 1 Goal, 1 Assist)

=9. Andy Cole to Blackburn Rovers (01/02) - 44 Points

(+6 League Position Increase, 6 Wins, 6 Losses, 3 Draws, 9 Goals, 1 Assist)

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8. Nikica Jelavic to Everton (11/12) - 45 Points 

(+4 League Position Increase, 5 Wins, 2 Losses, 6 Draws, 9 Goals, 0 Assists)

7. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Arsenal (17/18) - 46 Points

(0 League Position Increase, 7 Wins, 6 Losses, 0 Draws, 10 Goals, 4 Assists)

6. Gabriel Jesus to Manchester City (16/17) - 48 Points

(+2 League Position Increase, 7 Wins, 0 Losses, 3 Draws, 7 Goals, 4 Assists) 

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5. Darren Bent to Aston Villa (10/11) - 49 Points

(+5 League Position Increase, 7 Wins, 4 Losses, 5 Draws, 9 Goals, 1 Assist)

4. Andrey Arshavin to Arsenal (08/09) - 55 Points

(+2 League Position Increase, 8 Wins, 0 Losses, 4 Draws, 6 Goals, 8 Assists)

=2. Papiss Demba Cissé to Newcastle United (11/12) - 57 Points 

(+2 League Position Increase, 8 Wins, 4 Losses, 2 Draws, 13 Goals, 2 Assists)

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=2. Daniel Sturridge to Liverpool (12/13) - 57 Points

(+1 League Position Increase, 6 Wins, 2 Losses, 6 Draws, 10 Goals, 5 Assists)

1. Bruno Fernandes to Manchester United (19/20) - 63 Points

(+2 League Position Increase, 9 Wins, 0 Losses, 5 Draws, 8 Goals, 7 Assists)

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Fernandes takes top spot

So, there you have it, any doubt surrounding Fernandes' impact at United can be dispelled by the simple fact he changed the Red Devils more than any other mid-season purchase before him.

It's also interesting to see the amount of signings from the early 2010s that make a cameo with Cisse, Sturridge, Bent and Jelavic reminding us of a very nostalgic Premier League era.

And while, yes, attacking and midfield players certainly seem to have an advantage in the study, fair play to Monreal and Skrtel for breaking the mould with their impacts at Arsenal and Liverpool.

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But in the iconic words of Nigel Pearson, you're an ostrich if you don't think Fernandes has changed the game at United, regardless of how much penalties are to thank for it.

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