Kolkata, November 22: January has long been regarded as a difficult time to sign top players as most of the teams or managers avoid to let go of any crucial name in the middle of the season.
But when the need arises to strengthen the team, clubs do not hesitate to splash the cash.
Manchester United too have had tried their hand in January window and so far have made a total of 16 signings in winter. But most of them have had very little success. There have been a few excpetions as we look at three of them.
1) Juan Mata
One of the most high-profile signings of Manchester United, Mata was brought on by David Moyes in January. The Spaniard, who was a key player for Chelsea could not find his feet after Jose Mourinho's arrival. He has improved since and now it is fair to say that Mata has somehow managed to live up to the expectations. He has played 230 games for the Old Trafford side, scoring 45 times and assisting in 37.
2) Nemanja Vidic
The Serbian legend arrived at Old Trafford in January in a low-key signing. He went on to become United captain, and during his time at the club, won almost every possible trophy at club level, becoming one of the finest central defenders to grace the Premier League.
3) Patrice Evra
Evra arrived alongside Vidic in 2006 from AS Monaco to provide competition for Gabriel Heinze at left-back. The French left-back struggled at first, but soon became a regular highlight in the United team. His perseverance and movement to follow the attack perfectly complemented United's style of play, and he went on to become one of the best left-backs.