In September 2017, it was agreed that the Premier League summer transfer window would close at an earlier deadline, before the commencement of each new season.
Clubs previously had the opportunity to acquire new transfers up until the start of September but the more premature end-date hasn’t reduced the flurry of activity that takes place at this stage of the footballing calendar.
The introduction of the new period began in the summer of 2018, with 125 signings across the 20 clubs in the Premier League. £1.24billion was spent and, although this number is gargantuan, was £230m down upon the record high of £1.47billion in 2017.
Transfer activity reaches its apex on Deadline Day, with social media ablaze with a smorgasbord of rumours, last-gasp possibilities, shocks, and stunners that try and prove it to be an event with enough excitement to match the proceeding season.
Chelsea have spent more than any other Premier League side on Summer Deadline Day signings in the past decade (£129M). However, this year the five-time EPL champions have been subjected to a two-window transfer ban by FIFA, with the confirmed signing of last year’s loanee Mateo Kovačić from Real Madrid their only possible acquisition. Chelsea are followed by Tottenham Hotspur (£115M) and Arsenal (£85M).
The average cost of a permanent deadline day signing in the Premier League is £7.8 million, stays at the club for approximately three seasons and makes 18 appearances per season they’re there. Just 18% of permanent deadline day signings have made 10 or fewer league appearances for the club that bought them. But 14% of permanent deadline day signings have made 100 appearances or more for the club that bought them. The average resell figure for each is £4.5 million, providing the club with a £900K loss when they’re eventually resold. Plus 31% of permanent deadline day signings eventually end up on loan.
Three of the five most expensive deadline day signings - in both summer and winter - of the past decade before 2019 have involved Liverpool. The Reds may never have won the Premier League but they’re certainly not frightened to get involved in the market. They’re also responsible for the biggest profit made on a summer Deadline Day signing, when they purchased Virgil van Dijk from Southampton. The Dutchman had been purchased by Saints on September 1, 2015 for £13million, meaning than they recorded a £64.7m profit.
The three most expensive summer Deadline Deals to sign for a Premier League club, before 2019, are:
£42.4m Mesut Özil (Real Madrid to Arsenal): 2013
Following the departure of Carl Jenkinson, Mesut Özil is now the longest-serving player at Arsenal and was the most expensive summer deadline buy.
The former Germany international - a World Cup winner with Die Mannschaft in 2014 - moved from Real Madrid to London as a result of Gareth Bale travelling the other way, a record-breaking Spurs sale. Özil has won three FA Cup titles during his time with the Gunners.
£36m Anthony Martial (AS Monaco to Manchester United): 2015
A curveball of the highest order, exciting young French forward Antony Martial was recruited to Louis van Gaal’s Army, probably even much more confuddled than the overjoyed yet gobsmacked Manchester United fanbase. A memorable solo goal against hated rivals Liverpool subsequently announced the then most-expensive teenager ever’s arrival.
£35m Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal to Liverpool): 2017
Oxlade-Chamberlain was in the mix up until the 11th hour in August 2017, moving up north to Anfield from the Emirates, having approached the last year of his contract with Arsenal. It climaxed a memorable summer for Liverpool, having brought in Dominic Solanke from Chelsea, Andrew Robertson for a ridiculously cheap fee and Mohamed Salah. Oxlade-Chamberlain’s sophomore season was unfortunately blighted by injury which omitted him from the Reds’ Champions League success.