The January Transfer Window has officially closed and as usual the deadline day rush hour did not disappoint.
WDSportz Transfer roundup reveals some moves that might have skipped your attention from major clubs across Europe’s top leagues.
There was a late flurry of activities in the English Premier League with Liverpool making some surprise late moves to strengthen their injury plagued backline.
Let’s take a look at them…
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal to West Brom) – Loan
England international Ainsley Maitland-Niles has joined West Brom on loan from Arsenal until the end of the season.
Southampton, Leicester and Newcastle all registered an interest in the utility man, but Sam Allardyce’s Premier League strugglers have seen off that competition to bring him in on deadline day, boosting their squad ahead of a frantic battle for survival.
Maitland-Niles, who has played 121 times for Arsenal and became the second youngest player in the club’s history after Jack Wilshere when he turned out against Galatasaray in the Champions League aged 17 years and 102 days, is now poised for a relegation fight under Sam Allardyce at second-bottom West Brom.
Joe Willock (Arsenal to Newcastle) – Loan
The 21-year-old Arsenal midfielder made a similar switch to Newcastle United.
The youngster bolsters a Newcastle squad who occupy 15th position, eighth points clear of the drop zone after a morale-boosting 2-0 win at Everton.
Shrokdan Mustafi (Arsenal to Schalke 04) – Free Transfer
The Emirates was definitely a beehive on the deadline day.
Schalke have confirmed the signing of defender Shkodran Mustafi on a free transfer, with Arsenal agreeing to rip up what was left of his contract.
Mustafi follows fellow Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac to the German side who are languishing at the bottom of the Bundesliga as a result of ongoing financial difficulties.
The move follows Liverpool completing a deal for Schalke defender Ozan Kabak, who has undergone a medical in Germany ahead of a late move to the Reds before the transfer window shuts.
28-year-old Mustafi signed for Arsenal for £35m from Valencia in 2015, having won the World Cup with Germany a year earlier, but ultimately never managed to convince fans he was good enough for the Gunners.
Takumi Minamino (Liverpool to Southampton) – Loan
Liverpool’s need for defensive reinforcements was always likely to dominate the headlines on transfer deadline day, most of us didn’t see a loan exit for Takumi on the cards.
Southampton have signed Liverpool forward Takumi Minamino on loan for the remainder of the 2020-21 Premier League season.
Liverpool sanctioned a deadline-day temporary move for Japanese star Minamino on Monday after Southampton allowed Shane Long to join promotion-chasing Championship side Bournemouth on loan.
Southampton are 11th in the Premier League, 11 points behind third-placed Liverpool – who are four points adrift of leaders Manchester City.
Ben Davies (Preston North End to Liverpool) – Transfer
Premier League champions Liverpool have signed centre-back Ben Davies from Preston North End for a deal reportedly worth £1.6million.
The 25-year-old has signed a long-term contract with Jurgen Klopp’s side and could make his debut against Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday.
Davies’ arrival at Anfield gives Klopp’s some much-needed cover in the centre of defence.
With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez long-term absentees and Fabinho and Joel Matip struggling with injuries, Jordan Henderson and the inexperienced Nat Phillips were the centre-back pairing for Sunday’s 3-1 win over West Ham.
Josh King (Bournemouth to Everton) – Free Transfer
Everton have completed the signing of Bournemouth striker Josh King on a six-month deal for a nominal fee.
The 29-year-old is out of contract at the Vitality Stadium this summer, and was first linked with a move away from the south coast as long ago as last summer.
West Ham were the main interested party then, and although David Moyes retained an interest in signing the Norwegian, he opted against bringing King to the London Stadium in favour of bringing Jesse Lingard to the club on loan from Manchester United in January. It’s also thought that high wage demands may have scuppered any chance of moving to the east end.
Earlier in the day, Cenk Tosun was allowed to depart Merseyside and head back home to Besiktas, leaving Everton in dire need of another striking option to lighten the goalscoring burden on Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Even though King has failed to find the back of the net for Bournemouth in this season’s Championship, he does have previous Premier League pedigree after netting 48 times in the top flight.
Gedson Fernandes (Benfica to Galasataray) – Loan
Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes has been recalled from his ill-fated spell at Tottenham, joining Turkish side Galatasaray on loan until the end of the season instead.
The 22-year-old joined the north London club as one of Jose Mourinho’s first signings in January 2020, penning a loan deal that was supposed to keep him in the Premier League until the end of the 2020/21 campaign with an option to buy for a whopping €50m.
Jean-Clair Todibo (Barcelona to Nice) – Loan
Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo has joined Nice on an initial loan deal until the end of the season.
The Ligue 1 club have the option to buy the 21-year-old for €8.5million when the loan concludes, in an agreement that could be worth an additional €7m to Barca in variables.
The switch to Nice has been made possible by Benfica agreeing to terminate Todibo’s loan without the player making a single appearance in the Portuguese top flight.
Daniele Rugani (Juventus to Cagliari) – Loan
Juventus defender Daniele Rugani has joined Cagliari on loan for the remainder of the 2020-21 season.
Rugani spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Ligue 1 outfit Rennes but he made just two appearances.
Other news on Transfer roundup
In Serie A, Parma landed Bayern Munich’s teenage forward Joshua Zirkzee in a loan deal that contains the option to sign the 19-year-old permanently.
Atalanta are firmly in contention for a top-four finish in Serie A and bolstered their ranks for that push with the capture of Ukraine midfielder Viktor Kovalenko from Shakhtar Donetsk.
Roma can afford to have hopes of a title challenge and brought in teenage full-back Bryan Reynolds from MLS outfit Dallas on an initial loan deal, with an obligation to buy, to help them.
Frozen out at Juventus, midfielder Sami Khedira is back in the Bundesliga following a switch to Hertha Berlin, but one of European football’s most exciting talents is heading to Italy after Udinese signed Jayden Braaf on loan from Manchester City with an option to buy.
Elsewhere, Everton defender Jonjoe Kenny joined Celtic on loan for the rest of the season, Brighton and Hove Albion signed highly rated midfielder Moises Caicedo from Independiente del Valle, West Brom loaned Okay Yokuslu from Celta Vigo and defender Teden Mengi moved from Manchester United to Wayne Rooney’s Derby County on a temporary basis.