5 January Transfers That Could Surprise Us

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Amad Diallo

After initially agreeing a deal to sign the young Ivorian teenager in the summer, Manchester United confirmed the arrival of Amad Diallo from Atalanta early in January. The 18-year-old joins the Old Trafford outfit having been regarded by some as the net big thing coming out of Italy.

On one hand, very few are expecting United’s new number 19 to come in and be a first team regular this season. On the other hand, there are signs that a debut is on the horizon for Diallo, who impressed in his first United outing, scoring twice for the Under 23s development side against Liverpool U23s in 6-2 win as well scoring and grabbing three assists in his second U23s game against Blackburn.

Now, with top form on show in the development side along with his impressive performances when training with the first team squad, a senior debut may not be far away at all. Diallo can easily feature for the Red Devils’ first team, filling in on either flank. United’s lack of an out-and-out right-winger which has forced Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford to play on the right side, a spot which isn’t the best position to get the most out of either Englishman.

The poor form of Rashford on that side and the desire to see Greenwood down the middle and with Anthony Martial in torrid form, Diallo has both now got a chance to show the world what he's all about and, already sees himself in a hot streak of form.

Takumi Minamino

Liverpool’s capture of Takumi Minamino was seen by many as a shrewd bargain from RB Salzburg last January, costing less than £8m. The Japanese attacker hasn’t been able to make much of an impact at Anfield so far though, with Jurgen Klopp willing to let the 26-year-old join Southampton on loan until the end of the season.

The move to the Saints gives Minamino a chance to show his talent as part of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s exciting team. He’s made 21 appearances for Liverpool this season, starting only seven, in which he’s scored four times and assisted twice.

At St Mary’s, Minamino will be given the opportunity to impact games from the start, so may surprise a few if he grabs the chance and shows everyone the ability he has, which got him the move to Merseyside from Austria. With Hasenhuttl getting the most out of him, Minamino could be a great addition that would be dangerous against any Premier League side.

Getting out of the Liverpool side in the form they're in is going to prove beneficial for him, and with a brilliant goal already on his debut against Newcastle United, Southampton might just have found a man that bulks up their charge towards the Europa League.

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Robert Snodgrass

Sam Allardyce has looked to the experience of Robert Snodgrass in an attempt to steer West Bromwhich Albion to safety, with the winger making the move from West Ham on a permanent basis.

The 33-year-old has shown what a talented and gifted player he can be during his career, seeing him be a key man for the likes of Norwich and Hull City as well as the Hammers in recent times.

The former Scotland international has racked up 167 Premier League appearances so far, with 26 goals and 25 assists to his name. Competition for places at the London Stadium has paved the way for West Ham to let Snodgrass go, with the former Leeds United man making just six appearances for David Moyes’ side this season, in which he’s scored twice and assisted once. Snodgrass has already made four appearances for the Baggies since his arrival, in a mixture of positions.

If Allardyce can get him back in form again, he can be a surprise spark that could ignite a fight for survival.

Joe Willock

A loan move that has potentially gone unnoticed by some is Newcastle’s loan signing of promising midfielder Joe Willock, who has already scored on his debut for the club. The young midfielder has been in and around Arsenal’s first team squad in recent years, with the move to the North East allowing the 21-year-old to gain valuable first team experience in the Premier League.

After some glittering performances in an Arsenal shirt in the Premier League and Europa League, Willock may be a signing to keep an eye on, gaining the senior minutes that can help him build upon his already exciting ability.

Willock has started just 10 games in all competitions this season thus far for the Gunners, in which he’s scored three times and contributed with three assists. Now, with one goal already, the England youth international is showing his ability once again in abundance and we should all keep an eye on this one moving forward.

With the form of Arsenal's midfield far from great, Mikel Arteta might live to regret this one


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Jesse Lingard

It’s been an unfortunate past few seasons for Jesse Lingard at Manchester United. The English midfielder became a forgotten man at Old Trafford, seeing him struggle for first team action and failing to take any chances in the first team, even going on that barren run where he was unable to score or assist a goal in the Premier League for almost a full year.

His loan move to West Ham gives him a fresh chance to show everyone what he is capable of, and it's already proving itself as Lingard bagged twice on his debut against Aston Villa. It could be the start of a miraculous campaign for Lingard, where he can prove the doubters wrong after so many criticised him in the past.

It would surprise many to see Lingard hitting top form in the top division, and show the kind of form he showed in spells at United, which also got him a regular spot in the England setup. You only have to replay his standout goals against Watford and Middlesbrough in 2017, along with important goals at Wembley against Leicester and Crystal Palace in the Community Shield and FA Cup final respectively, to see just how good he can be. The loan spell under David Moyes’ West Ham can reinvigorate Jesse Lingard, silencing the doubters to see him get his career back on track and at 28, his best years could still be yet to come.

By Jordan Edmonds

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