Every year we are greeted with the groans that the January transfer window is a waste of time, teams spend too much money as they panic mid season and end up regretting the decision to spend big on a player that ultimately failed to deliver.
When discussing the panic buy nature of the January transfer window the name Andy Carroll springs immediately to mind, the man who signed for Liverpool for £35 million scored just 11 goals in 58 games and is widely regarded as the worst piece of transfer business ever done by Liverpool.
In saying that, for every Andy Carroll there is a Luis Suarez. Signed in the same window back in 2011 for £23 million he certainly was not a mistake.
The Uruguayan scored 82 goals in 133 games and very nearly led Liverpool to Premier League glory back in 2014 before, prior to his big money move to Barcelona that summer for £80 million, a near £60 million profit for Liverpool.
2011’s January transfer window turned out to be quite the mixed bag, of course Torres left for Chelsea that window allowing Liverpool to do their business, his £50 million spent was up there with the Andy Carroll transfer in the regrettable decision regard.
Another man who moved in that window was Edin Dzeko, the Bosnian left Wolfsburg for Man City in a £27 million move, Dzeko started slow but was ultimately a key part in City’s title win in 2012. Was it not for his headed equaliser against City there never would have been that Aguero moment.
Basically the window can be hit and miss, just like the summer window.
For all the big money signings we occasionally witness a very shrewd piece of business, no more so than Southampton’s recent acquisition of Charlie Austin from QPR.
The 26-year-old joined The Saints for just £4 million and made an immediate impact heading the winner at Old Trafford in the 11 minutes the substitute graced the field.
The now former QPR man had been linked with moves to Premier League sides ever since QPR were relegated to the Championship last summer, including Liverpool and title chasing Tottenham.
Ronald Koeman was the man who finally snapped up the big striker who was always destined to be playing Premier League football after his fantastic goalscoring season last year.
Austin scored 18 Premier League goals in his first ever season in the top flight, an amazing achievement when you consider he was part of a team that was ultimately relegated.
The man who started his career in non league football, much like revelation Jamie Vardy, continued his scoring form in the Championship this campaign scoring 10 in 12 appearances for QPR.
Southampton have been lacking in the goals department this season, strikers Pelle and Long have six and five goals respectively. Ronald Koeman obviously saw the need to strengthen and who better to buy than a proven Premier League goalscorer.
Unlike the current striking options at the club Austin offers more consistent goal scoring and for just £4 million his winner against Man United has almost justified the fee already.
For any team that believes there is no value in the January transfer market need only look at this deal, for such a little fee Southampton have undoubtedly strengthened their squad. Perhaps they are an example for all other clubs in how to conduct their January dealings.