Finance and flurry on deadline day
The flurry of late deals took deadline day above last year’s total of 17 transfers – to 25, the highest amount since 2014 – but the total number of transfers in the window fell for the fifth year in a row. Football finance expert Rob Wilson of Sheffield Hallam University said: “Clubs invested heavily last year when we saw almost £1.5bn being spent. Without a new TV deal that increases the amount of cash available, this window was always due to plateau. That, plus excessive fees being quoted, has probably restricted what some clubs are prepared to pay.”
Top 10 transfers
The fees, in general, have essentially doubled from what would have been expected. The rise in prices is backed up by the transfer fees previously paid for this summer’s top 10 Premier League signings, with none of them costing more than £13m when they were last signed.
“Manchester United, for example,” Wilson explained, “have spent much more modestly and would normally contribute to the overall total. I suspect that is due to clubs increasing their prices as the world’s richest club came knocking and United simply refused to be held to ransom.”
Until the late rush, it had appeared it was going to the the quietest summer deadline day in Premier League history with only eight signings confirmed by Premier League clubs before 17:00 (a much earlier close compared to the usual 23:00).
The highest-profile deal at that stage was midfielder Mateo Kovacic joining Chelsea on loan from Real Madrid – with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois going the other way permanently.
But clubs had another two hours after the deadline to finalise paperwork – during which Everton signed Colombia defender Mina and midfielder Andre Gomes on loan from Barcelona – having signed free agent Bernard earlier in the day.
Fulham announced five players, all after the deadline – Marseille midfielder Andre-Frank Anguissa in a £22.3m deal, Bristol City left-back Joe Bryan for £6m and Sergio Rico, Luciano Vietto and Timothy Fosu-Mensah on loan. That made them the first promoted team ever to spend over £100m in the summer.
And Leicester City confirmed the signing of Freiburg and Turkey defender Caglar Soyuncu, in a deal thought to be worth up to £19m. Earlier on, they had bought defender Filip Benkovic from Dinamo Zagreb for a reported £13m.