Manchester United don't always do much business in January but every once in a while, they've been able to bring in some absolute gems.
The disparity in the amount of activity between the summer transfer window and the January one has to do with a lot of factors. Teams do not want to lose their players halfway into the season and don't usually budge unless of course they are tabled an offer they can't refuse.
Sometimes bringing in reinforcements halfway through the season can help turn around the fortunes of a side and we are not alien to that sort of transformations. The Red Devils have had contrasting fortunes when it comes to their activity in recent January transfer windows.
On that note, let's take a look at five of the best January signings in Manchester United history.
5 best January signings in Manchester United history
#5 Juan Mata
Juan Mata was the only ray of hope in an otherwise desolate 2013-14 season for Manchester United and the Old Trafford faithful absolutely adore him for that reason.
The post Sir Alex Ferguson gloom and dullness was going to take a bit of getting used to but David Moyes' first and only season in charge was only a wee bit short of disastrous. Moyes' biggest signing of the summer was Marouane Fellaini and that was after he reportedly rejected Thiago Alcantara.
An insipid Manchester United midfield received a major boost with the arrival of the Spaniard from Chelsea. Mata immediately showed signs of quality and though he couldn't redeem Moyes' season or save him from the sack, the Spaniard kept toiling away and has gone on to contribute immensely from there on.
Mata has won the FA Cup, EFL Cup, the Europa League and the Community Shield with Manchester United and for his sheer longevity and the service he has provided from across various positions in midfield, he makes the list ahead of a certain Louis Saha who was an exceptional January signing as well.
#4 Patrice Evra
Patrice Evra is one of Manchester United's best ambassadors even if not in an official capacity. Football fans should be well acquainted with Evra's love for the game and Manchester United unless they've been living under a rock.
The Frenchman is also one of the finest left-backs to have graced the Premier League. Evra was a stalwart for Sir Alex Ferguson's side and was also one of the strongest characters on the team.
Evra was signed from AS Monaco in January, 2006 as a backup for Heinze. He struggled to fit in at first although he went onto replace Heinze and nail down a starting spot the following season. That is the only reason why Evra is not placed higher up on the list as his achievements for the club are quite extraordinary.
Evra was a critical part of the team that won the UEFA Champions League title in Moscow in 2008. In addition to that, he has also won five Premier League titles, three Football League Cups and one FIFA World Cup. Evra continues to be a fan-favourite at Old Trafford.