On deadline day, the Premier League clubs broke the record for the most money spent in a single transfer window in the UK, spending £2.8 billion in the 2022–23 season.
With Chelsea’s 121 million euro (£107 million) acquisition of Benfica’s Argentine midfielder Enzo Fernandez, top-flight clubs spent a record-breaking £815 million on players in January.
Prior to the market closing for English teams at 23:00 GMT on Tuesday, more than £275 million was spent just on deadline day.
The expenditure on the deadline day was 83% higher than the previous January record of £150 million, which was achieved in 2018.
The ultimate figure is double the previous record of £1.4bn in 2017, even though an all-time high season spending throughout the summer and winter windows was secured after a record of £1.9bn was achieved in September.
Prior to Tuesday’s deadline, Premier League teams’ previous winter spending record of £430 million had already been broken. According to financial services company Deloitte, the final sum in 2023 would be 90% more than that and almost quadruple the previous January window’s spending of £295 million.
What happened on transfer deadline day
The spending by English top-flight clubs accounted for 79% of the total across Europe’s ‘big five’ football leagues, as January spending fell by 35% from 2022 to €255m (£225m), increasing the Premier League’s financial domination in Europe to the biggest proportion ever reported.
In fact, Chelsea made more purchases in January than all of the teams in the Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A, and Ligue 1.
Spending increased to £25 million among English Football League clubs, up from £20 million in the previous winter window.
Lead partner Tim Bridge of Deloitte’s Sports Business Group stated: “We have never seen anything like the record spending by Premier League clubs this year.
“In this transfer window, Premier League clubs spent nearly four times as much as clubs in the other “big five” leagues of Europe, allowing them to keep their key players while luring elite talent from abroad.
To maintain a competitive edge, there is a definite need to invest in squad size and quality, but there will always be a delicate balance to strike between putting on-field success first and keeping the team financially viable.
What agreements were made on the deadline?
Harry Souttar, Marcel Sabitzer, Jorginho, Pedro Porro, and
In order to sign the 22-year-old World Cup winner, Chelsea had to wait until the very last minute. The Blues broke the British transfer record, which had been held by Manchester City since 2021 when they paid £100 million for Jack Grealish.
While defenders Matt Doherty (permanent) and Djed Spence (loan) were permitted to go, Tottenham announced the signing of full-back Pedro Porro from Sporting Lisbon on loan through the end of the season with an obligation to buy for 45 million euros (£40 million).
While fourth-placed Manchester United completed the loan signing of Austrian midfielder Marcel Sabitzer from Bayern Munich, Premier League leaders Arsenal strengthened with the £12 million transfer of Italy midfielder Jorginho from Chelsea.
With a late flurry of activity, Southampton closed the transfer window. They signed Nigerian striker Paul Onuachu and completed a club-record £22 million deal for Ghanaian winger Kamaldeen Sulemana.
All of the January transfer window agreements for the Premier League and EFL
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Illia Zabarnyi, a center back from Ukraine, was acquired by Bournemouth for a reported £24 million, and Hamed Traore, a midfielder from Ivory Coast, was brought in on a temporary loan before making a £20 million summer transfer.
Nottingham Forest, a fellow promoted team, was also active. They signed Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey and Brazilian defender Felipe from Atletico Madrid for unknown sums, and goalkeeper Keylor Navas from Paris St. Germain arrived on loan.
In a transaction worth up to £20 million with add-ons, Leicester City acquired defender Harry Souttar from Stoke City, and Crystal Palace acquired Naouirou Ahamada, a France youth international, from Stuttgart for 11 million euros (£9.7 million).
Joao Cancelo, a full defender for Manchester City, unexpectedly left the Premier League to join Bayern Munich on loan for the remainder of the year with the option to sign a permanent deal for 70 million euros (£61.5 million) in the summer.
Who made the biggest transfers during the January transfer period?
Cody Gakpo and Mykhailo Mudryk
An appropriate way to cap off another amazing window was Chelsea’s acquisition of Fernandez. Mykhailo Mudryk, a 22-year-old Ukrainian forward, was acquired by the Blues for £89 million from Shakhtar Donetsk earlier in January as part of yet another extraordinary spending binge.
Along with acquiring Jorginho on the final day of the transfer window, Arsenal also acquired Jakub Kiwior from Serie A team Spezia for 20 million euros (£17.6 million) and Belgium attacker Leandro Trossard from Brighton for the same amount.
In a separate agreement, Liverpool and PSV Eindhoven reached a price range of 40–50 million euros (£35.4–44.3 million) for the 23-year-old Dutch forward Cody Gakpo.
In addition, Newcastle United’s acquisition of 21-year-old Anthony Gordon from Everton may ultimately cost £45 million.
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Name the previous 25 most expensive January buys in the Premier League in this quiz.
There was significant spending among the league’s current bottom-half teams as well. Leeds United paid a club record 40 million euros (£36 million) to recruit French attacker Georginio Rutter, 20, from Hoffenheim.
Dango Ouattara, a Burkina Faso winger who cost Bournemouth roughly £20 million to sign from Lorient, and Victor Kristiansen, a defender for Leicester, cost £17 million each.
Jhon Duran, a teenage Colombian striker, was acquired by Aston Villa from Chicago Fire for £18 million when Danny Ings was sold to West Ham for £15 million.
Big-movers Premier League spending leaders Chelsea
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Since Chelsea was sold for £4.25 billion to a group of investors led by American businessman Todd Boehly in May of last year, the club has seen two exceptional transfer windows.
Even before an absurd sum was finally agreed upon with Benfica for Fernandez late on deadline day, it appeared that way.
It is the most audacious declaration of ambition in Chelsea’s young new era under Boehly, which has seen more than £550 million spent on new arrivals.
They spent more than £300 million on eight new players in January alone, including permanent agreements for Mudryk, Malo Gusto, Benoit Badiashile, Noni Madueke, Andrey Santos, and David Datro Fofana.
Joao Felix, a brilliant 23-year-old attacker from Portugal who had previously played for Atletico Madrid, transferred to Stamford Bridge on loan for 11 million euros (£9.7 million).
That occurred after a summer in which they broke the Premier League spending record with £270 million, the second-highest summer spending by a club worldwide in 2019 (after Real Madrid’s £292 million).
Chelsea was responsible for 37% of all January spending by Premier League clubs.
The January deals that never were, Enzo Fernandez has surpassed Jack Grealish as the most expensive acquisition in British football.
Despite the enormous sums of money invested, not everyone was satisfied.
The deadline-day transfer of Moroccan forward Hakim Ziyech from Chelsea to PSG appeared to fall through while the player waited in Paris because the necessary paperwork was not submitted in time.
Despite Moises Caicedo’s open message on Instagram stating his intention to quit the team, Brighton turned down Arsenal’s £60 million offer for the midfielder. That came after Chelsea beat the Gunners to the signing of Mudryk.
Has Arsenal performed well enough to win the Premier League in January?
Tuesday’s transfer rumors: James Maddison of Leicester is the target of a move by Manchester City.
Conor Gallagher, an English midfielder, chose to remain at Stamford Bridge despite interest from Everton, a struggling Premier League team.
In spite of appointing Sean Dyche, the former manager of Burnley, as the club’s new manager on Monday, the 19th-placed Toffees did nothing on deadline day.
Who do you believe, though, was the best high-profile acquisition of the 2022–23 January transfer window? Please comment below.
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