As another transfer window came to an end, the rest of the football world stood in awe as Premier League clubs showcased their superior financial muscle by pushing spending past £1bn for the first time in its history. And, in the process other records tumbled one after the other.
It all started with Manchester United’s scoop of star midfielder Paul Pogba for £93 million from Juventus that set a new record for the most expensive football transfer and dwarfed the £83 million Real Madrid had paid for Gareth Bale. The rest of the big clubs – Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal – also spend big. But it wasn’t just the usual suspects this time around. 14 out of the 20 PL clubs also shattered their own transfer records.
But all this wouldn’t have been possible without some classic deadline day drama.
As has been the tradition on transfer deadline over the years, clubs looking for a last minute addition to their squads didn’t hesitate to break the bank again even as the clock was fast running down. On the deadline day itself, PL clubs spent in excess of 100 million.
Chelsea, who have made a habit of making big transfers on deadline day were in the thick of things again. Antonio Conte’s team spent 36 million to bring Brazilian centre-back David Luiz back to the club after having sold him to French side PSG for 50 million just two seasons back. Luiz was a hit with Chelsea fans and his sudden departure from the club left some glum faces.
Chelsea’s city rival Tottenham were not far behind in the action on the deadline day. Mauricio Pochettino signed former Newcastle man Moussa Sissoko right under the nose of Everton to add more steel to his side. Spurs paid a reported 30 million pounds ($39.4 million) for the 27-year-old Sissoko and while doing so shattered the clubs own transfer record.
And finally, it was last year’s surprise champions, Leicester City that did the last piece of big business before the widows shut till January. The clubs spent a record 29.5 million to bring 28-year-old Algerian centre forward Islam Slimani for Sporting Lisbon. Slimani had been their primary target of the transfer window but the Portuguese club turned down Leicester City a couple of times before finally agreeing to part ways with their Algerian striker.