Best ever January deadline day signings – How does Kalvin Phillips loan move to West Ham compare?

We have chosen the three best ever January deadline day signings from the Premier League (PL) to mark the closure of the 2024 January transfer window, with Kalvin Phillips' loan move from Manchester City to West Ham United arguably the most high-profile.

Due to Financial Fair Play (FFP) restrictions, where Everton have already been charged and deducted points for this season, most PL clubs were reluctant to spend a significant amount of money in January, but that did not stop them in the past, as we reflect on the best ever January deadline day signings…

West Ham United's Jarrod Bowen
West Ham midfielder Jarrod Bowen makes our list – Photo by Icon sport

Best January deadline day signings

1. Luis Suarez – Ajax to Liverpool for £22.7m (2011)

The best ever January deadline day signing in the PL has to be when Liverpool took Suarez from Ajax in a reported £22.7m deal in 2011. This was in response to them losing star striker Fernando Torres to Chelsea for £50m, while Andy Carroll also joined from Newcastle United for £35m.

Suarez scored 82 goals and made 46 assists in 133 appearances for the Reds, winning the Carabao Cup in 2012. He also won the PL Golden Boot in 2013/14, and was named the league's Player of the Year in 2014. Suarez's time at Anfield was ultimately short-lived though, as he would then make a big-money move to Barcelona just a few years later.

2. Moises Caicedo – Independiente to Brighton for £4.5m (2021)

Few had heard of Caicedo when he made the move to Brighton and Hove Albion from his native Ecuador in 2021, but he took the PL by storm, and soon bigger clubs were taking notice. Indeed, Chelsea signed him last summer for a British-record £115m, meaning Brighton made a staggering £110.5m profit on him in the space of just two-and-a-half years!

He was hugely instrumental in helping the Seagulls qualify for European football for the first time in their history last season by finishing in sixth place in the PL.

Caicedo Brighton
Photo by Icon Sport

3. Jarrod Bowen – Hull to West Ham for £22m (2020)

Bowen had done well for Hull City in the Championship, and was destined for a PL move. West Ham were the ones to pick him up for a reported £22m in 2020, and every day that has passed by since has made that look more and more of a bargain.

Indeed, Bowen has scored 54 goals and made 36 assists in 185 appearances for the Hammers at the time of writing, and has developed into their main man. Last season, it was his goal in the final that secured the UEFA Europa Conference League title for West Ham, and his performances also earned him his first senior England caps.

How does Phillips move to West Ham compare?

At the moment, Phillips has to do a lot at West Ham to even compare to the impact the three signings above made on their clubs. However, his arrival brings plenty of promise as a player who has been capped 31 times by England. His performances at Leeds United, where he helped them get promoted to and maintain themselves in the PL, persuaded recent treble-winners Manchester City to spend £45m on him in 2022.

Kalvin Phillips
Phillips was named England's Player of the Year in 2021 – Photo by Icon sport

Unfortunately, despite the silverware he has won, the move ultimately has not worked out for Phillips, who found himself well down the pecking order. Nonetheless, he should get more games at West Ham, and a loan deal provides a low-risk option that could benefit both the club and the player, as Phillips aims to keep his England starting place at Euro 2024.

How have betting odds changed after this move?

Ultimately, betting odds suggest Phillips to West Ham is a positive move for the club. They are currently 16/1 fifth-favourites to win the UEFA Europa League, only behind PL leaders Liverpool, Bundesliga high-flyers Bayer Leverkusen, European giants AC Milan and fellow PL challengers Brighton. The Hammers are still 40/1 outsiders to finish in the PL top four, but that could narrow if Phillips settles in quickly.

As for City, they are still 4/6 favourites to win the PL, 9/4 favourites to win the UEFA Champions League and 3/1 favourites to win the FA Cup. The Phillips move should not impact them hugely as he was hardly playing for them, and the odds reflect that.


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Adam Clancy

Adam is a lead writer on Football Whispers. He is a big Arsenal fan, and also follows his local club Wealdstone, made famous by The Wealdstone Raider, of whom he has interviewed. Adam also follows darts, boxing, cricket and tennis, among many other sports.