Aston Villa v Manchester United: Match in pictures
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Premier League sides made a whole host of signings in the January window, with Newcastle, Liverpool and Everton the league’s biggest spenders. But none of those sides won the transfer of the window, at least according to Express Sport readers, with Aston Villa hailed for their mid-season business and in particular their signing of Philippe Coutinho.
Coutinho moved to Barcelona from Liverpool in January 2018 for a gigantic fee, although his spell at the club did not work out as well as he would have wanted it to.
He made just 106 appearances in four years at the Nou Camp and was loaned out to Bayern Munich in the 2019-20 season.
The Brazilian only played 600 minutes for Barca this season before Aston Villa swooped in for his services and in just four appearances at Villa Park, he already has two goals and two assists.
And in a post-transfer window poll, his move to Villa has been voted as the best signing of the winter by Express Sport readers.
The diminutive playmaker topped the charts with a huge 28 per cent of votes, raking in almost one-third of the entire total.
He pipped Liverpool signing Luis Diaz to be named the Premier League’s best January signing, with the £45m Colombian bringing in 20 per cent of the votes for his switch from Porto.
And taking the bronze medal is Kieran Trippier, whose £12m move from Atletico Madrid to Newcastle took in 11.9 per cent of the votes.
Elsewhere, Donny van de Beek and Dele Alli’s moves to Everton brought in a total of 9.5 per cent of the votes.
Manchester United failed to sign anyone in the winter window, although they did let Anthony Martial, Van de Beek and Amad depart the club on loan.
But their abhorrent form of late meant the club were crying out for some reinforcements ahead of their Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid and with a battle for a top-four finish on their hands.
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And their inability to bring anyone in means that Express Sport readers voted them as having by far the worst window of any other side in the Premier League with a whopping 49.2 per cent share of the voting.
Arsenal garnered a large percentage of the rest of the votes, with 31.4 per cent of readers suggesting they had the worst window.
And making up the rest of the majority were West Ham, Norwich and Burnley, with 5.9 per cent, 5.6 per cent and 4.4 per cent of the votes respectively.
Meanwhile, Villa’s capture of Coutinho and Lucas Digne resulted in readers narrowly selecting them as the ‘winners’ of the market.
Steven Gerrard’s men earned 35.2 per cent of the vote, pipping Newcastle to the title after their 30.9 per cent result.
The Magpies had been touted to sign world-class stars after their huge financial influx, although some fans were left disappointed with the signing of Chris Wood and a lack of quality defensive reinforcements.
They did however bring in the likes of Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes and have now won three straight matches as they look to avoid the drop.
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