The winter deadline has now passed, as clubs from across the continent finalised those all-important deals before the end of the window. Here is our list of the best moves
As transfer windows go, January 2012 wasn't one that will live long in the memory. Many of Europe's giants such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United barely made a mark, while the majority of potential high-profile moves - featuring the likes of Carlos Tevez, Alexandre Pato, Hulk and Leandro Damiao - failed to come to fruition.
For the reason that players arriving on permanent deals tend to be more adaptable and often more important, there is preference given to full transfers over loans. That is not to say that loans, co-ownerships etc, cannot be included, but players must be extra special to justify a space on such a move.
With all of that explained, here is this winter's list. Take a look to see where your favourite signing of January comes in our top 10.
1 - Thiago MOTTA
To: Paris Saint-Germain
Inter stressed only three days before the window slammed shut that Motta would not leave the club this winter, but the Italy international completed his move to Ligue 1 after all on deadline day. One of the Nerazzurri's star performers in a troublesome 2011-12 campaign, Motta will be looking to keep up his good form at his new club and lead PSG to silverware.
2 - Fredy GUARIN
Fee: Loan, with option to buy for €11m
Inter were desperate to land a new midfielder after the departure of Thiago Motta to PSG, and didn't waste any time to get their man. Guarin had also been linked with Juventus, but will now continue his career at the Giuseppe Meazza instead. The Colombian has shown in the past that he has the quality to succeed at the very top, and will be keen to prove just that at Inter.
3 - Papiss CISSE
To: Newcastle United
The former Metz man arrives in Newcastle on the back of two simply outstanding years in the Bundesliga. Having personified consistency in Germany, the 26-year-old will be looking to prove himself as one of the most prolific attackers in Europe as he is expected to form a lethal strike partnership with compatriot Demba Ba.
4 - ALEX
To: Paris Saint-Germain
The powerful centre-back was no longer needed at Chelsea, but had plenty of options as to where to continue his career. Alex eventually decided to snub Premier League interest in favour of a move to the Ligue 1 table-toppers, and the defender is likely to play a key role at the Parisiens for the remainder of the season as they've set their sights on the domestic title.
5- Eduardo VARGAS
From: Universidad de Chile
The Chile international was one of the most sought after players in South America after an impressive Copa Sudamericana-winning season with Universidad, and eventually opted to sign for Napoli. The attacker might need some time to adapt to his new surroundings, but Vargas looks like a superb addition to head coach Walter Mazzarri's talented squad.
6 - Kevin DE BRUYNE
The Belgium star nearly joined Chelsea in the summer, but the move eventually fell through. The Blues were more successful in January as the versatile midfielder signed a contract until 2017 at Stamford Bridge. De Bruyne will remain at Genk until the end of the season, but there's little doubt that the youngster has a bright future ahead of him at the Premier League giants.
7 - Balazs DZSUDZSAK
From: Anzhi Makhachkala
To: Dinamo Moscow
The Hungary international failed to make an impact at Anzhi during his six-month spell at the club due to a shoulder injury, prompting the cash-rich Russians to offload him in January. Dinamo didn't hesitate when the 25-year-old became available and were delighted to meet Anzhi's asking price for the winger as they target Champions League qualification.
8 - David PIZARRO
To: Manchester City
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini had long been complaining about a lack of depth in midfield, and the Italian got his desired reinforcement in the closing hours of the window. Pizarro might have been struggling for first team action at Roma, but there's little doubt about the ability of the Chilean, who previously worked with Mancini at Inter.
9 - Gary CAHILL
From: Bolton Wanderers
The England international opened talks with Chelsea in the opening days of the transfer window, but needed 16 days to reach an agreement with the Blues. Cahill adds some much needed depth to the Chelsea back line, and looks set to earn himself a starting berth alongside club icon John Terry.
10 - JADSON
From: Shakhtar Donetsk
To: Sao Paulo
The Brazil international was desperate to return to his native country after a number of successful seasons at the Ukrainian giants, and was eventually snapped up a for a modest fee in the region of €4 million. Jadson will undoubtedly become a key player at his new club, and Sao Paulo will be hopeful of fighting for top honours again following the midfielder's arrival.