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The Newcastle Special: The 7 Most Impactful EPL Signings Of The 2022 January Window

Premier League clubs spent $385 million during the winter transfer window in 2022 — a figure that almost surpassed the combined totals from January 2020 and 2021. 

Not all that money was well spent, but let's look at the seven players signed by Premier League clubs in January who have made the biggest impacts during the second half of the season.

Seven Most Impactful EPL Signings Of The January Window

Wout Weghorst (Burnley)

It's easy to look at Weghorst and point out that he has scored twice in 1,223 minutes in a Burnley shirt. He'll be the first to admit his finishing has been subpar, especially considering that his predecessor Chris Wood posted four consecutive 10-goal seasons in the Premier League. But then you watch the Dutchman for 15 or 20 minutes and realize he was exactly what Burnley needed. 

Weghorst ran his butt off for the full 90 minutes in his debut against Watford, and that trend has continued as the striker has started every match for the Clarets. This work rate is evidenced by his 26 pressures per game — the most of any striker in Europe's "Big 5" leagues. But Weghorst is more than a willful runner. While his varied movement opens up space for the rest of the attack, he also has the foot skills to control difficult balls and the vision to play dangerous passes. He does both with a creative flair rarely seen in a 6-6 striker. 

The Dutchman is an upgrade to Chris Wood, a technically limited player whose main involvement in the buildup was usually flicked headers or simple layoffs. In 15 matches with Burnley, Weghorst already has three assists — equal to Woods' total from his last 74 matches. This contribution could be the difference between relegation and survival for Burnley this year.

Luis Díaz (Liverpool)

From the second Díaz stepped on the pitch at Anfield, it was clear that he was (pardon the cliché) cut from a different club. He has the self-assured flair and superb dribbling ability you'd expect from a pacey winger, but unlike other undersized wide players, he also excels at attacking downhill and he has the wiry toughness necessary to survive in the English top flight.

At just 25 years old and only a little over a dozen starts into his Liverpool career, the Colombian has already shown he is a more-than-adequate successor for Sadio Mané or Mohamed Salah — and a bargain too at $49.50 million. Logo Luis Díaz Scouting Report Table
Statistic Per 90 Percentile
Non-Penalty Goals 0.38
npxG 0.35
Shots Total 3.12
xA 0.25
npxG+xA 0.60
Shot-Creating Actions 3.69
Pass Completion % 84.3%
Progressive Passes 3.44
Progressive Carries 8.03
Dribbles Completed 2.42
Touches (Att Pen) 7.39
Progressive Passes Rec 9.24
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 4/28/2022.

Christian Eriksen (Brentford)

After his horrific cardiac arrest incident over the summer, it seemed like the Danish superstar might never suit up again. Serie A rules forbid Eriksen from playing in Italy due to the defibrillator implanted in his chest, and he was released by Inter Milan. The Dane trained at the facilities of his former youth club, Odense Boldklub, as he waited for a job offer.

On Jan. 31, Eriksen signed with Brentford on a six-month contract — a contract that has transformed the team. Before Eriksen's first start, the Bees had won just once in 11 EPL matches. Since his February debut, the attacking midfielder has played the full 90 in all six of his Premier League starts — five of which were Brentford wins. He earned WhoScored? Man of the Match honors twice and his two key passes per 90 minutes are tied for fifth in the league. Not bad for a free transfer.

Dejan Kulusevski (Tottenham)

Following a frustrating first half of the campaign in Serie A, Kulusevski has been revitalized during his loan spell in England. In just 13 matches for Spurs, the Swedish winger has as many goal contributions as he did over his last 51 matches for Juventus. He announced himself with a masterful one-goal, one-assist performance against reigning league champion Manchester City, ending a 16-match unbeaten run.

Kulusevski has three goals and six assists total for Spurs, the most of any winter EPL signing, and his output has lifted Tottenham as high as fourth in the league.

Kieran Trippier (Newcastle)

Trippier only played four EPL matches for the Magpies before suffering a fractured foot, thus ending his season, but I would argue that Newcastle fans will feel that his $16.5 million transfer fee is a fair price for his contributions during that short span.

With Trippier in the lineup in the Premier League, Newcastle won three times and earned a draw. This was a side that had only won once in 19 fixtures to begin the campaign. The England international contributed two goals — both from well-taken free kicks — during this short stretch, and it was enough to lift the club out of the relegation zone, where it has stayed ever since. The club is firmly mid-table now, but one has to wonder if Eddie Howe's side would have experienced the same positive run of form without its multi-talented fullback.

Philippe Coutinho (Aston Villa)

Four years after leaving for Barcelona, the Brazilian announced his return to the Premier League with a late equalizer against Manchester United and followed it up two matches later with a goal and a pair of assists against Leeds United. The talented attacker had been freed.

His goal contributions have slowed down a bit as of late (none in his last five matches), but his impact at Villa cannot be underestimated.

Dan Burn (Newcastle)

Consider this: In the 23 EPL matches Newcastle played before signing Dan Burn, the club earned 18 points, gave up 45 goals (2.04/match) and had a minus-22 goal differential. In the 11 matches since Burn made his debut, the Magpies have earned 25 points, given up 10 goals (0.90/match) and have a goal differential of plus-7. Only Liverpool has picked up more points during this period.

Is it all due to Burn? Probably not. But of Newcastle's five winter signings, four have become regulars (sorry Kieran Trippier), and none of them have a higher WhoScored? rating than former Brighton defender Dan Burn.

Dan Burn Newcastle

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