Transfer window grades: Tracking every big signing from Europe's top clubs

Laurens: Gedson Fernandes won't make Spurs a top 4 team (1:16)

Julien Laurens and Gab Marcotti criticise Tottenham's pending move for midfielder Gedson Fernandes. (1:16)

The European transfer window is open, and you can find the dates for when the window for your favourite league opens/shuts here. Here we are grading the most notable signings from the top teams during January -- and you can see the summer window's grades here.

The most recent grades and write-ups are at the top; each day is in order of highest price.

If you don't see a grade for a deal that has been completed, check back later. All fees are reported unless confirmed with *.

Jan. 31

loan, then €30m ($33m)

Juventus grade: B
Dortmund grade: A-

It's fair to say that Can's free transfer to Juventus after leaving Liverpool hasn't gone to plan. The 26-year-old has been in Turin for only 18 months but hasn't played much this season and was furious at being left out of Juve's Champions League squad. The Old Lady made a big profit on the midfielder, so they get a decent grade, while Dortmund have arguably strengthened their ranks with a quality player and therefore edge it overall.

Why it didn't work out for Can at Juve is anyone's guess, but he'll be much happier back in his homeland and the versatile Germany international should thrive again.


Shanghai Shenhua grade: D-
Man United grade: D

The Nigeria striker may have scored 39 goals in 99 matches for Watford between 2014-17, but he's very much a panic buy for United at this late stage after a deal for Bournemouth's Josh King couldn't be completed. The 30-year-old has been playing in China for the past three years, was far from first-choice for United in this window and the club have presumably signed him on loan without conducting a proper medical given the coronavirus situation developing in China.

He's an experienced striker who will plug a gap, meaning United come out of the deal better than Shenhua, who have bafflingly let their star man depart on loan. But it's not a deal that fans of either club will be very happy about.


Southampton grade: C
Arsenal grade: C

Soares isn't the quality of signing that Arsenal fans want to see, but the 28-year-old has plenty of experience and should be able to plug a few gaps in the defence. Arsenal have struggled with injuries to full-backs Kieran Tierney, Calum Chambers, Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac this season, and have been playing winger Bukayo Saka at left-back in recent games, but Soares should be a more natural fit on either side of defence and is well used to the pace of the Premier League.

Southampton let Soares join Inter Milan on loan last January, but the club didn't take up their option in the summer. He's clearly not got a long-term future at St Mary's so will be hoping to impress.

Jan. 30

(€80m, £65m, $85m)

Sporting grade: B
Man United grade: A

A look at his stats in Portugal over the last two years shows that Man United have got themselves a creative star in midfield. Fernandes netted 31 times in 52 games last season and already has 15 in 28 this campaign -- a striker would be happy with those numbers, but he's scoring from midfield, which is even more impressive.

United badly need some spark in midfield and the 26-year-old should bring plenty. He's able to play in a central position or the No. 10 role, while he will match Paul Pogba in terms of passing range. With his late runs into the box, he'll bring a goal threat too, and although he doesn't follow the 'young and British' mantra of the club's transfer policy, sometimes you have to pay for quality.

Sporting need the money, though they will be unhappy that his release clause of €100m hasn't been paid in full after he signed a new contract this summer amid interest from Tottenham. The club will struggle to replace him, but his fee will go a long way towards finding the next gem.

£27m (€30m; $32m)

Genk grade: B+
Sheffield United grade: A+

It's a massive coup for Sheffield United to land Berge, one of the most highly rated young midfielders in Europe. The 21-year-old was being tracked by Liverpool and Man United, but has clearly decided that he needs to play as much as possible while he's young and not take the plunge on a big move just yet.

The Blades have pulled off a masterstroke and spent a club-record fee to land the Norway international, so Genk have done well out of the deal too. Could they have waited for a bigger offer? Perhaps, but they can spend the money on rebuilding their squad and will be happy that Berge is going to a club where he's almost guaranteed regular games.

€27m ($30m)

AC Milan grade: C-
Hertha Berlin grade: A-

Just a year or two ago, Piatek was being linked with a €100m move to Chelsea or Man United after his scoring exploits at Genoa. Now the goals have dried up a bit and his €35m move to Milan hasn't worked out -- so much so that the Italian club signed 36-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic to replace him.

Piatek has been tipped as 'the new Robert Lewandowski' for some time. Now he'll get a chance to test himself against the real thing in the Bundesliga, and if he can recreate his form from the early part of his career, then Hertha have got themselves a bargain.

€23m ($25m)

Dortmund grade: C
Villarreal grade: B+

The Spain striker scored goals for fun at Valencia, so when he joined Barcelona in 2017 big things were expected. However, it didn't work out and a loan spell to Dortmund was quickly made permanent in February 2019 for €23m, when he signed a five-year deal. So what has changed since then, I hear you ask? Well, Dortmund landed Erling Haaland from FC Salzburg and the teenager is virtually undroppable now he's scoring for his new club.

Dortmund are so convinced that Haaland is the future that they are willing to let Alcacer depart for what they signed him for. As a result, Villarreal have got themselves something of a bargain and the 26-year-old will be keen to prove he can still shine at the top level.


Tottenham grade: E
Newcastle grade: B+

Rose clearly needs to play games if he has any hopes of making the England squad for Euro 2020 and Newcastle is a decent place for him to land. As a result, the Magpies get a good grade for persuading the 29-year-old to sign.

Spurs, however, have lost their minds. With Kyle Walker-Peters also moved out on loan in this month, the club have just two fit full-backs: 20-year-old Japhet Tanganga and Serge Aurier. Ben Davies is injured, while Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Juan Foyth are all central players really. Ryan Sessegnon could slot in at left-back if required once he's fully fit, but it's a massive gamble to play half a season without some cover.


Man United grade: C
Estudiantes grade: A+

Rojo hasn't been getting much of a chance at United in recent years and almost joined Everton last summer. For United, that probably would have been a better loan move to sanction than to send him back to Argentina, but the 30-year-old is a real coup for Estudiantes.

The fact that he began his career at the club and made 43 appearances for the first-team between 2008 and 2011 before heading to Spartak Moscow was a big part of this move, but the Argentina international should get some playing time ahead of the Copa America this summer. And Estudiantes get a quality addition to their defence.


Barcelona grade: C+
Roma grade: B-

Perez does not feature in new coach Quique Setien's plans, so the club have done well to offload him for a potential €11m. However, the 21-year-old could have been used as a backup for the rest of the season, given the injury to Luis Suarez, but he wasn't told about Barca's plans for him and that leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Roma know that his value won't decrease in the coming years and will give him a chance to shine on loan, which could pay off. Ultimately if they want to sign him in the summer they won't have spent a load of cash on Perez, so it won't bite them too hard if he fails in Italy.

Jan. 29

€35m (£29.2m; $38m)

PSV grade: B
Tottenham grade: A

Bergwijn was linked with Manchester United in the summer but nothing ever materialised and Tottenham moved to add to their attacking options by wrapping up a good deal. The 22-year-old Netherlands international had been at PSV since 2011, when he joined their youth set-up from Ajax, and has plenty of room to grow. His pace, dribbling and goal threat should add an extra dimension for Jose Mourinho's side.

The forward will certainly give Spurs some extra quality and PSV will miss him. However, €35m will go a long way to finding a replacement in the Dutch league so they probably made the right choice to sell now.


Flamengo grade: D
Arsenal grade: C

Mari's list of clubs is interesting in that Mallorca, Gimnastic, Girona, NAC Breda, Deportivo La Coruna and Flamengo don't scream "perfect Premier League player." But Manchester City are also on there, having snapped him up in 2016 and sent him on loan, so Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta knows what he can do even if his spell at the Etihad Stadium saw him fail to make a single appearance.

A ball-playing centre-back with decent pace and good positional sense, he should get a chance to shine in Arsenal's porous defence, but it's a gamble into which the Gunners are being forced, based on not wanting to spend any money. He could plug some gaps, but equally might not adjust to the English league well at all. David Luiz should be able to help at least.

Flamengo get a low grade for letting one of their best defenders leave on loan.

Jan. 28

€32m (£27.2m; $35m)

Real Betis grade: B
Tottenham grade: B

Having struggled with a hip injury that limited his impact at the start of his season-long loan spell, the Argentine has started to show why he's so highly rated. At 23, the midfielder has a lot of room to grow and he'll certainly be keen to prove himself now his loan spell has been made permanent. With Christian Eriksen off to Inter Milan, Lo Celso will get a chance to showcase his creativity and will help fill the void left by the Dane.

Betis picked him up for around €25m from PSG, then he spent one good season at the club before they moved him out on loan and now for a small profit, so they come out of the deal OK also.

€20m (£16.9m; $22m)

Tottenham grade: C
Inter Milan grade: B+

Eriksen was worth over €100m just a year ago and Tottenham failed to sell him, while this season they have certainly struggled in part due to the uncertainty over one of their best players. Could they have persuaded Eriksen to stay? It's hard to say, but it seems the midfielder's mind was pretty well made up that he wanted to leave, so it's hard to blame the club.

Inter have been one of the most active teams in the transfer window and Eriksen could be among their best buys. However, the way Inter play under Antonio Conte isn't perfectly set up for Eriksen though the Dane will likely be asked to fulfill a similar role to Stefano Sensi, pushing up between the lines in support of Inter's strikers, and could find some success in Serie A.

€20m (£16.9m; $22m)

Inter Milan grade: E
Flamengo grade: A+

'Gabigol' was a major part of Flamengo winning the 2019 Copa Libertadores and Brazilian Serie A last season (while on loan) and the move couldn't be better from their point of view. The Brazilian scored 43 goals in 58 appearances and really improves the team, while they were able to fend off interest from Premier League clubs to land him.

The striker's move to Inter in the summer of 2016 from Santos was a disaster given they spent €29.5m on him and he's basically been on loan ever since. Even though there was talk of him getting another chance in Italy for the rest of the season, it's no surprise that they failed to make a profit and opted to just cut ties completely. But it's not a good look for them.

Jan. 23


Chelsea grade: C
Inter Milan grade: B+

It's hard to know what to make of Moses' spell at Chelsea. Incredibly, the Nigerian has been at the club since 2012, has had five different loan spells, but has won the Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League.

Clearly, at 29 and with a contract that expires this summer, his fifth loan is going to be his last. Inter have an option to buy -- presumably more like a first option for when he becomes a free agent in the summer -- and if Antonio Conte can turn Moses into the marauding wing-back who found brief success with the Blues before being sent back out on loan, they will have got a good deal.

Chelsea won't have him back; Moses won't want to go back. So it's best for all parties that he moves on. The real losers here are Fenerbahce, who now have to find another player, given his season-long loan spell was cut short so he could join Inter.

Jan. 22


Real Madrid grade: C
Bayern Munich grade: B

With Niklas Sule, Lucas Hernandez and Javi Martinez all out injured, Bayern needed some reinforcements and the versatile Odriozola should give them some extra depth this season.

While the 24-year-old hasn't made much of an impression on the Real Madrid first-team, he might find his chances to shine improve in Germany and he's certainly got the talent to make it work out.

Real spent €30m on the Spain international in July 2018 but he's never seemed settled and they have other options. It's just another example of an expensive flop at the Bernabeu.

Jan. 21

(€8.5m, $9.4m)

Sevilla grade: B-
LA Galaxy grade: A

Finally, LA Galaxy have a replacement for the legendary Zlatan Ibrahimovic. And it's a good one too. Chicharito won't strut around like Zlatan, but he will score goals. Lots of them.

The Mexico international is a born goal scorer, and LAFC's Carlos Vela has shown that MLS likes those. But the 31-year-old isn't just going to impact things on the pitch, he's a genuine superstar and will be a box office arrival -- albeit one who won't gather quite as much attention as his predecessor.

Sevilla wasted his talents but will be OK without him, as they have been for most of the season (he made nine appearances, scoring one goal). Chicharito will relish the chance to try his luck in MLS.

Jan. 20

(€30m, $33.2m)

Flamengo grade: B-
Real Madrid grade: B

Teen sensation Reinier had been on the radar of Barcelona and Manchester City before Real pounced, so they did well to persuade him to head to the Bernabeu. No doubt the signings of fellow young Brazilians Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo helped, given both have had plenty of chances to showcase their skills this season.

The 18-year-old playmaker is expected to play for Real Madrid's B-team, Castilla, for the rest of 2019-20, so he's one for the future. But the signs are that he'll be a fine player.

Flamengo made €45m when selling Vinicius Jr. to Real in 2018, so €30m seems a bit on the cheap side. But the presence of a release clause put paid to any hope of making more and they will still get plenty of cash to spend on a replacement.

Jan. 17

(€1.5m, £1m, $2m)

Man United grade: D
Inter Milan grade: C

We're just not sure what the benefit is of letting your captain leave in January, even if he is 34 years old with six months left on his contract.

Young now joins former United teammates Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez at the San Siro (which is becoming quite the United misfit collection), but United could well miss his experience and impact on the dressing room for the rest of the season.

Inter's offer of an 18-month contract is odd, but they've hardly splashed out a lot of money for him, so they get the better end of the deal here.

Jan. 15


Benfica grade: B-
Tottenham grade: B

Is Jose Mourinho really the right coach to help a young player adapt to life in the Premier League? We'll find out, but Tottenham aren't taking too big a gamble on this one as the loan deal is for 18 months, by which time they can assess whether they want to pay the £55m (€65m) clause to sign Fernandes permanently.

In the meantime, they get a young and hungry midfielder who has plenty to prove, though Spurs fans will be wondering why Mourinho is bringing in a new midfielder when full-back and striker seem more obvious places to strengthen.

Benfica will be happy if Fernandes performs and they get around €65m in their account in summer 2021, but they'll probably also be fine if he returns to the club with his reputation and experience enhanced. Worst-case scenario, he flops like Renato Sanches and they are back where they started again.

Jan. 13


Milan grade: C
Aston Villa grade: B+

It has been a slow burn since the start of the window, but finally things are starting to look up. Milan let the 37-year-old Reina depart and Villa moved quickly in the midst of an injury to goalkeeper Tom Heaton that rules him out for the season.

Reina has been playing as back-up to Milan No. 1 Gianluigi Donnarumma and will relish the chance to use all his experience at clubs like Barcelona, Villarreal, Bayern Munich and Napoli to help them out. With Orjan Nyland letting in six goals against Man City at the weekend and Croatia international Lovre Kalinic deemed a flop, Reina might actually get some game time.

Donnarumma is going nowhere (for now), so Milan won't miss Reina. They have Antonio Donnarumma (Gio's brother) and now another backup in Asmir Begovic.


Bournemouth grade: C
Milan grade: C+

Understandably, the Bosnia and Herzegovina international wants out of Bournemouth after being dropped and sent on a six-month loan to Qarabag at the start of the season, but Milan seems an odd choice.

Begovic should want to play regularly at 32, but he won't usurp young Gianluigi Donnarumma at Milan unless there's an injury issue, so his chances will be limited.

Milan will be pleased they have an experienced backup, but Begovic's career has been on a downward trajectory since he joined Chelsea from Stoke in 2015. Still, his Bournemouth contract ends in the summer, so perhaps it will be a chance to start again.

Jan. 3

(€20m, $25m)

Dortmund grade: C
Benfica grade: C+

One day we'll find out the real reason PSG boss Thomas Tuchel didn't land Weigl and the player instead went to Benfica. One day.

Tuchel spent most of the summer talking about how he wanted a No. 4 style midfielder (in the shape of Weigl) with a move in the region of €40-75m looking close and even Man City linked at one point. But it never happened and Dortmund must be ruing the fact they didn't offload the 24-year-old for a lot more cash.

Benfica have landed themselves a bargain if they can get him firing, but the transfer perhaps shows how far the German's star has fallen in the past 12 months.

Jan. 2

(€35m, $39m), and loan to Parma

Atalanta grade: C
Juventus grade: B+

Juventus don't usually make big moves in January but they clearly felt the need to tie up Kulusevski -- one of the most exciting teenagers in Serie A -- before other clubs got interested.

A big, imposing winger with good dribbling ability and a strong engine that runs all day long, the 19-year-old should settle well at the club in time and will get to stay on loan at Parma this season, where he has already impressed.

Atalanta will bank a good amount of cash with which to rebuild their squad and won't miss him too much, given he's not been there since the summer.


Milan grade: B

The lion continues to roar. After leaving LA Galaxy on a free, Ibrahimovic had plenty of options but chose a place he calls "my second home." Now 38, the Swede spent two seasons at Milan and won a league title in 2011 before leaving for Paris Saint-Germain a year later, and he rejoins with the club needing some serious improvement if they are to get back to being title contenders again.

Milan are taking a gamble on an ageing star with a huge ego, but no player has more than four goals so far this season so he'll surely improve that. Ibrahimovic is worth much more than just his time on the pitch of course, and Milan will hope his signing reinvigorates young Krzysztof Piatek into becoming the superstar he is capable of.

Jan. 1

£17.1m (€20m, $23.5m)

FC Salzburg grade: C
Dortmund grade: A

Arguably the most exciting teenage striker in Europe, Haaland's move to Dortmund caught everyone off guard as the German club sneaked in to snap him up for a meagre fee.

It has been reported that Haaland had a €20m release clause in his contract and Dortmund were the first to take advantage as Man United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Juventus, Manchester City and Chelsea could only watch as he sealed a transfer to the Bundesliga a few days before the window opened. Sources told ESPN that United were close to a deal but the club refused to agree to adding a buyout clause and slice of future fee in his contract.

Salzburg will be frustrated that their key man (who netted 28 goals in just 22 games this season) has moved on, but there was nothing they could do. If only they had hindsight, they would have made the release clause a lot higher, as €80m was being talked about for the 19-year-old.

£7.25m (€8.4m, $9.3m)

FC Salzburg grade: C
Liverpool grade: B

Technically Salzburg got what they wanted for the Japan international, but his release clause seems awfully low. Sources told ESPN how Liverpool beat rivals Manchester United to the forward's signature following their Champions League victory against Salzburg, and the club did very well to move so quickly to tie up a deal.

A real team player, Minamino has time to develop, and as long he doesn't crave immediate first-team action, he should be fine. His signing will also boost Liverpool's fan base in Asia, where he will become a superstar after the move.


DC United grade: B
Derby grade: A-

If Rooney works out half as well as Frank Lampard's time at Derby, the club will be very happy. The 34-year-old former Manchester United striker signed an initial 18-month deal at the Championship side and will also take on a coaching role under Phillip Cocu in order to gain experience for his own journey into becoming a manager.

England's most prolific scorer probably won't be banging in the goals as regularly as he has in the past, but Rooney's experience should help the club in their bid to gain promotion to the Premier League.

D.C. United were powerless to stop Rooney leaving, but the MLS club's standing was changed completely by his arrival in June 2018. How they build on the momentum of having him will shape their future.