The January transfer window of 2022 was Steven Gerrard's first as Aston Villa manager, and it's fair to say that he is one of the reasons as to why it was so successful.
The question many fans have asked is will Villa have been able to attract Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona, Lucas Digne from Everton, or even Calum Chambers from Arsenal under Dean Smith? Probably not.
Gerrard's "pull" in the transfer market has attracted some top players this January, but just how good was the window as a whole? Players In
As for incomings, it has to be one of the best windows in the club's history.
Philippe Coutinho - The first signing of the Steven Gerrard era was the Brazilian magician Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona. Coutinho signed for Barcelona for around £170m back in 2018, however things didn't really kick on in Spain, and this January he reunited with former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard. We understand that there is an option to buy within the deal, therefore if Coutinho sets the world alight, Villa can make him there's permanently. As of right now, Coutinho has played twice for Aston Villa and has already opened his account after scoring against Manchester United on his debut. He's had a lot of time to get his sharpness and fitness up, and now, with a few winnable games coming up, you'd expect the boy to shine...
Lucas Digne - A few days after the signing of Coutinho, Villa added to their list of January additions with the signing of French left back Lucas Digne from Everton. Rumours have it that he cost around £30m. Like Coutinho, so far he's played twice, and he has done well in both games, and even assisted Buendia's goal against his former side Everton. Overall, this will prove to be a great signing as Digne offers much more than Targett. A better crosser, more advanced, quicker in transition. A very good addition.
Robin Olsen - A player brought in solely for depth in that goalkeeper position. Robin Olsen joined on loan from Roma this January. Unless Emi Martinez picks up an injury or suspension, it's unlikely that Olsen will play for us, however it's a good addition as it means depth and competition for the Argentinian monster himself, Emi Martinez.
Calum Chambers - Just like the Danny Ings signing in the summer, a deal that went under the radar. No journalists knew about this, it just came out of absolutely nowhere. Calum Chambers joined Aston Villa on a free transfer from Arsenal. The Englishman offers much needed depth in the centre back, right back and holding midfielder roles. On a free transfer as well, you cannot complain.
As for outgoings this January, nothing major has occurred. There were slight worries over Douglas Luiz, Ollie Watkins & John McGinn, however, in the end there were just a few loan spells.
Jed Steer departed on loan to Luton Town in the Championship on deadline day. You'd expect it is in search of game time.
Matt Targett departed on loan to Newcastle United on deadline day too. Again, you'd expect he wants the move for game time as he won't be starting regularly with Digne at the club.
Axel Tuanzebe was recalled by Manchester United and then loaned out to Napoli in Serie A.
Kaine Kesler was recalled from Swindon Town before being loaned back out to MK Dons.
Anwar El Ghazi departed on loan to Everton for the remainder of the season.
It is yet to be confirmed, however it is likely that Trezeguet will be moving on loan to Basaksehir as the club president confirmed that a loan deal has been agreed.
Keinan Davis went on loan to Nottingham Forest, and has so far bagged two in four.
Cameron Archer left for Preston North End on loan and scored on his debut against West Brom.
So, a bit of a rollercoaster window. Villa are left with a thin squad after all the players who have departed on loan, and they also didn't strengthen in the holding midfielder position which according to some fans, was what they should have prioritised. However, despite this, the player's they've got in are all great additions and the squad is good enough to see them through to a top half finish this season.