January Transfer Window – Which clubs were most active?

The January transfer window has closed for the 2022/23 season and it was another relatively quiet one for many LaLiga clubs. The total spend was roughly €32m, a figure that was once again completely dwarfed by the Premier League with English clubs spending more than €800m in January.

Part of the reason for the low figure in Spain was the lack of activity at Real Madrid and Barcelona. Neither club added to their squad with Barça narrowly failing to complete a late deal for LA Galaxy full-back Julian Araujo. Overall though, it’s perhaps more surprising that Real Madrid didn’t add to their squad given some defensive issues this season, not to mention the lack of cover for striker Karim Benzema.

Barcelona certainly feel worthy of their status as title favourites now and are best priced at 1/3 with betting sites to win LaLiga 2022/23. Real Sociedad are the only other side close enough to potentially have a say in the title race, but the Basque club also failed to make a January addition despite their considerable injury problems.

There was plenty of business done further down the league though and some bottom half teams appear to have made some smart additions that should aid their push for survival. The busiest clubs were Cadiz, Espanyol, Real Valladolid and Sevilla.

A better window at Sevilla

Arrivals Position Deal
Loïc Badé Defender Loan
Bryan Gil Winger Loan
Pape Gueye Midfielder Loan
Lucas Ocampos Winger Returns from Loan

After the horror-show that was their summer, Sevilla needed to have a strong January transfer window and it feels like they have done. Lucas Ocampos returns from an unsuccessful stint at Ajax while Bryan Gil is also back at the club, 18 months after he departed to join Tottenham for €25m. Both should add a bit of much needed attacking spark.

While none of their new signings arrive on permanent deals, it’s very much a quick fix that Sevilla needed to help them move away from the relegation battle. Loïc Badé has already helped them do that with the 22 year old centre-back going straight into a team that has just won back-to-back league games for the first time this season.

While they are still only 2 points above the relegation zone, it feels like Sevilla should now be in a strong enough position that they can afford to look upwards rather than down with a squad that should have too much quality to be involved in the scrap at the bottom.

Cadiz target strikers

Arrivals Position Deal
Chris Ramos Forward €1.5m
Youba Diarra Midfielder €1.1m
Gonzalo Escalante Midfielder Loan
Roger Marti Forward Loan
Jorge Mere Defender Loan
Sergi Guardiola Forward Loan

With the exception of rock bottom Elche, Cadiz are largely perceived to be the weakest team in LaLiga but they’ve done pretty well to recover from a poor start to hit 19 points at the midway point in the season. Their January business also gives them a fighting chance of staying up.

Following the surprise departure of Lucas Perez to third tier Deportivo La Coruña, Cadiz have tried to add to their firepower with the addition of three forwards. Both Sergi Guardiola and Roger Marti come with a proven record of scoring goals at this level and should prove an upgrade on their current options while Cadiz-born Chris Ramos moves up a league following three years in the second tier at Lugo. 

Their midfield has also been significantly strengthened with Gonzalo Escalante joining from Lazio while Youba Diarra arrives from RB Salzburg. 

Espanyol – LaLiga’s biggest January spenders

Arrivals Position Deal
César Montes Defender €8m
José Gragera Midfielder €2.8m
Fernando Pacheco Goalkeeper €2.2m
Denis Suárez Midfielder Loan
Ronaël Pierre-Gabriel Defender Loan

Perhaps surprisingly, Espanyol were the Spanish club to spend the most money in the winter window with their total spend accounting for around 40% of the league’s total. They moved early for César Montes who agreed a deal at the end of December and the Mexican centre-back immediately slotted into the Espanyol defence, helping them claim a couple of important wins in January.

The goalkeeper position has also been a problem for Espanyol this season with summer signings Benjamin Lecomte and Alvaro Fernandez both guilty of some major errors. The solution came on deadline day as the Catalan club moved for Fernando Pacheco, a goalkeeper with an abundance of LaLiga experience who surprisingly struggled for game-time following his summer move to Almeria.

There was also a loan move for Denis Suarez, another player who has been completely frozen out this season following on from a very public fallout with his own president at Celta Vigo. There may be little prospect of a longer stay though with reports suggesting Suarez has already agreed to join Villarreal this summer.

Five new faces at Real Valladolid as Weissman departs

Arrivals Position Deal
Selim Amallah Midfielder €1m
Darwin Machís Winger Free
Cyle Larin Forward Loan
Martin Hongla Midfielder Loan
Jovane Cabral Winger Loan

A run of five straight league defeats without a goal seemed to convince Real Valladolid that changes were needed in January. They have let 3 forwards leave including Shon Weissman who scored 20 goals to help El Pucela claim promotion last season but has only managed to net once in the top flight this term.

They’ll be hoping Canadian international Cyle Larin can now be the man to deliver goals with the striker joining on loan from Club Brugge. The capture of former Granada winger Darwin Machís also looks like a really smart piece of business with the Venezuelan returning to Spain after a brief spell in Mexico.

They’ve also added a man who was involved in a World Cup Semi-Final at the end of last year with Morocco’s Selim Amallah arriving on a permanent deal from Standard Liege.

Other notable January moves

There was some activity at Atletico Madrid this month with Joao Feliz, Felipe and Matheus Cunha all departing for the Premier League while Spurs right-back Matt Doherty was a surprise deadline day mover in the other direction. Atleti’s main January addition though was Memphis Depay with the Dutchman arriving from Barcelona on a permanent deal for just €3m.

Real Betis cashed in on left-back Álex Moreno who joined Aston Villa for €13.5m and replaced him with the addition of another young Brazilian in the shape of Abner, a €7m signing from Athletico-PR. They also bolstered their forward options with Ayoze Pérez coming on loan from Leicester as Loren Moron headed off to Las Palmas.

Villarreal let both goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli and winger Arnaut Danjuma leave but didn’t get the big cash influx they were hoping for as Nicolas Jackson’s move to Bournemouth collapsed.

Celta Vigo have added to their attacking options with Swiss international Haris Seferovic coming in on loan from Benfica. Mallorca were also active in the loan market with Dennis Hadzikadunic, Manu Morlanes and Ludwig Augustinsson coming in on short-term deals while Getafe added midfielder Gonzalo Villar from Roma until the end of the season on a deal that may become permanent in the summer.

Almeria’s loan capture of Colombian forward Luis Suarez was another of the standout signings although the Saudi-owned club were restricted from doing more business by salary limitations. Fellow new boys Girona did manage to pull off a permanent transfer with highly rated Ukrainian winger Viktor Tsygankov joining for €5m from Dynamo Kyiv.

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