Premier League: Best ever January signings - part ii


GiveMeFootball continues its run through the best signings in the January transfer window, with the next ten teams in the Barclays Premier (alphabetical) under the microscope.

If you missed part i, click here:

So, do you agree with our next set of choices...

Newcastle United

Kevin Nolan (£4 million, Bolton Wanderers)

The tough-tackling midfielder arrived at St. James' Park in 2009 with a weight of expectation to keep the Toon in the top flight - a challenge which was failed.

However, his influence in an automatic return as Npower Championship winners can't be under-estimated, with Nolan sticking with the club through the tough times. He captained Newcastle to stability in the Barclays Premier League the following year before a shock exit to West Ham.

Norwich City

Dean Ashton (£3 million, Crewe)

At the time a club-record transfer fee, Ashton's one-year spell with the Canaries after signing in 2005 was a fairytale during the 28-year-old's injury hit career.

After making the step-up to the Premier League, the one-cap England international scored a handful of winners in the top flight, although failed to keep the Carrow Road outfit in the top flight.

But, after signing a new deal and committing to the club in the Championship, Nigel Worthington accepted a bid in the region of £7 million for the player in January 2006, but injury forced his retirement in 2009.


Fitz Hall (Undisclosed, Wigan Athletic)

Another club to have done minimal business of note in the month of January in the past, Hall gets the nod for his consistency when called upon for the Hoops after his switch from Wigan in 2008.

After a solid season-and-a-half for the side, he was out-of-favour and loaned out to Newcastle, who he helped gain promotion to the top flight. Neil Warnock's appointment led to an instant return to Loftus Road, where he went on to become club captain and help the side to their own promotion.

With nine Premier League appearances so far this season, he's certainly proved himself at the highest level.

Stoke City

Matthew Etherington (£2 million, West Ham United)

The Peterborough United starlet went to Spurs and then West Ham United, but after six years at Upton Park made the move to Stoke City for a reported £2 million.

His spell with the Hammers was impressive, but life at the Britannia Stadium has been even better, leading to calls for England recognition and helping the side into Europe via the FA Cup.

An ever-present for Tony Pulis since making the move to the Potteries, the player has also turned his life around personally following the move - he had suffered from a gambling addiction.


Phil Bardsley (£2 million, Manchester United)

The former Manchester United reserve team captain made only 16 appearances for the club in all competitions during five professional years at Old Trafford, and after five different loan spells joined Sunderland in 2008.

After an early impact, he fell down the pecking order at the Stadium of Light in the '09-'10 season, but came back the following season in fine form, penning a long-term deal with the club.

A firm favourite with the fans, he won the supporters' player of the year last season and has made 122 total appearances for the club.

Swansea City

Roberto Martinez (Free, Walsall)

Few could have imagined the impact the Spaniard would have in Wales after his free transfer arrival in 2003. He became club captain, helped the Swans avoid relegation that season and then played a crucial part in the club's promotion two years later.

After featuring less the following season, he left on a free transfer, but returned as manager in 2007 and helped the club to the second tier as League One champions. He left in the summer of '09, but paved the foundations for the club's current position and success.

Tottenham Hotspur

Michael Dawson (Undisclosed, Nottingham Forest)

The England international centre back moved to White Hart Lane in 2005 after impressing for Nottingham Forest following his graduation from the club's youth team.

Once at Spurs, Dawson quickly became an integral part of the defence, and with Ledley King's injury track-record a regular feature under various managers. And, despite his own injury problems, Harry Redknapp handed the 28-year-old the captain's armband.

West Bromwich Albion

Youssouf Mulumbu (Loan, Paris Saint-Germain)

The Congolese international arrived at the Hawthorns on deadline day in 2009 with little known about him but a decent reputation from Ligue 1.

Injuries hampered his first spell in the Premier League, but Tony Mowbray had seen enough to sign the player for £175,000 in the summer. He went on to shine in the Championship under Roberto Di Matteo, and was one of the Baggies' shining lights in the top flight last season.

Wigan Athletic

Charles N'Zogbia (£6 million, Newcastle)

The French international winger spent two years with the Latics, building on his reputation from his time with the Toon and shining in the top flight.

During his two-and-a-half seasons at the club, the 25-year-old made 90 appearances in all competitions and was a stand-out performer under Steve Bruce and Roberto Martinez. He was sold to Aston Villa in the summer for a small profit at £9.5 million.


Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (£1.5 million, Plymouth Argyle)

The Manchester United academy graduate moved to Plymouth in 2006, and after impressing with the Pilgrims moved to Molineux in 2008 when the club met his buy-out clause.

His impact was instant, scoring 25 goals in 39 league games as they secured promotion to the top flight. Whilst his impact has been less felt in the Premier League, he remains a potent striker and regularly features off the bench for Mick McCarthy.

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