1 Wayne Rooney, 2004
To: Manchester United
They say deadline day signings are often panic buys made under pressure to please fans.
This was not the case with Wayne Rooney as Sir Alex Ferguson shelled out a record British transfer fee for the 18-year-old.
Safe to say it paid off with Rooney becoming the all-time top goal scorer at the club before moving back home to his boyhood club Everton.
2 Claude Makelele, 2003
From: Real Madrid
So good they named a role after him. Claude Makelele was stolen away from sunny Spain for around £16m and became the most important cog in Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea machine.
Now it seems that every team is trying to play with a defensive midfielder in the mould of Makélélé… but you can’t beat the original.
3 Luis Suarez, 2011
Signed as a replacement for fan-favourite Fernando Torres, Suarez proved to be even better.
He almost single-handedly brought the Premier League trophy to Liverpool and convinced everyone that Brendan Rodgers was a genius.
Suarez even balanced out the transfer blunder of signing Andy Carroll before he was sold for a high profit to Barcelona where he has since won everything available.
4 Ashley Cole, 2006
Fee: £5m + William Gallas
The most controversial transfer on the list as boyhood Arsenal fan Cole swapped red for blue in a transfer that led fans to dub him “Cashley”.
It didn’t really matter to Cole in the grand scheme of things as he went on to have incredible success with Chelsea and became arguably the best full-back the Premier League has ever seen.
5 Dele Alli, 2015
From: MK Dons
To: Tottenham Hotspur
This transfer may be very recent compared to others on the list, but when you see Dele Alli in action for Spurs now, you appreciate how much of a steal he was.
Signed for £5m, Dele Alli is now one of the best players in the Premier League at the tender age of 21.
He’s been in the team of the year twice and he’s won young player of the year twice. It will only get better for the young man signed on the January transfer deadline day.
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