The January transfer windowis one of the most important periods in the season because it gives teams the opportunity to strengthen their sides in order to finish their season strongly. While the last January transfer window was full of big money moves, the 2012 January transfer window was a low-key affair from start to finish. With the big clubs generally hesitant to test the market, there were no real mega-money deals that caught the imagination.

Nevertheless, that doesn't mean there wasn't any noteworthy action. Across Europe and beyond, several of the transfers that happened have since proved to be excellent for the clubs that took the risk to strengthen crucial areas of their squads.

In England, Tottenham signed veterans Louis Saha and Ryan Nelsen , and both have performed admirably since joining. Everton also bolstered their squad by signing Darren Gibson , James McFadden and Landon Donovan and are reaping the benefits. Aston Villa, Manchester United and Arsenal welcomed back Robbie Keane , Paul Scholes and Thierry Henry respectively, all three legends making an immediate impact. Over in Italy, Amauri signed for the Viola , with Alberto Gilardino moving across to Genoa. Juventus signed Marco Boriello , allowing Vincenzo Iaquinta to join struggling Cesena.

Nicolas Anelka made his much anticipated move
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