As two of the most free-spending managers in football history, José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, paved way for the arrival of more high-profile managerial switch-a-rounds, it’s perhaps no surprise to see Premier League clubs shatter the records of expenditure once more with a £1.165 billion bill, surpassing the £870 million mark set just last season.
In its trail, the relentless cash burning has left a bunch of euphoric agents, players and, for the most part, many satisfied fans with the acquisitions made by their favourite clubs. Some teams went about their business better than others, however.
12th – Liverpool
Key Incomings: Sadio Mané (£34m), Georginio Wijnaldum (£23.4m), Loris Karius (£5.25m), Joel Matip (Free), Ragner Klavan (£4.25m), Alex Manninger (Free)
Key Outgoings: Christian Benteke (£26.5m), Joe Allen (£13m), Jordon Ibe (£15.3m), Martin Škrtel (£5m), Mario Balotelli (Free), Lazar Marković (Loan), Brad Smith (£3m), Luis Alberto (£4.25m), Kolo Toure (Free), Andre Wisdom (Loan), Ádám Bogdán (Loan), Jordan Rossiter (Free), Jerome Sinclair (Free), José Enrique (Released).
Sadio Mané was signed from Southampton for an elevated fee in expectation that he could be a difference maker in Liverpool’s new fluid attack, with the Senegal international doing just that in his debut versus Arsenal last month.
The signing of Georginio Wijnaldum might also be a little too expensive, but if Jürgen Klopp can mould him into a consistent system, he too will be very useful for the Reds. Weaknesses elsewhere have been addressed with the arrivals of Mainz goalkeeper Loris Karius and FC Schalke centre back Joel Matip, both for nominal fees.
Liverpool also managed to shift much of their deadwood and excess, but the failure to land an alternative to Alberto Moreno at left back could well inflict some damage throughout the season.
11th – Tottenham Hotspur
Key Incomings: Vincent Janssen (£18.8m), Moussa Sissoko (£29.75m), Victor Wanyama (£12.25m), Pau López (Loan), Georges-Kévin N’Koudou (£9.3m).
Key Outgoings: Nacer Chadli (£13m), Ryan Mason (£13m), Nabil Bentaleb (Loan), Federico Fazio (Loan), Clinton N’Jié (Loan), DeAndre Yedlin (£5m), Alex Pritchard (£8 million).
Despite spending £70 million in this transfer window, it’s difficult to see just how much this Tottenham squad has improved from last season. Dutch striker Vincent Janssen is one Spurs fans will hope helps share the burden of scoring goals with Harry Kane after a 27-goal season in the Netherlands, but whether he will or not is another matter. The Premier League isn’t short of expensive Eredivisie flops and Janssen has only had one season of top flight football prior to his move to White Hart Lane.
Victor Wanyama adds depth to Mauricio Pochettino’s midfield for a relatively small price in comparison to the norm transfer fee between Premier League clubs these days, whereas there’s also a healthy-looking profit made in replacing West Brom’s latest recruit, Nacer Chadli, with Georges-Kévin N’Koudou from Olympique Marseille.
Shelling out close to £30 million on Moussa Sissoko, however, does look like a questionable signing when looking at the options Pochettino already has at his disposal, but in the meantime, some nice fees were recuperated with the sales of Ryan Mason, Alex Pritchard and more.
10th – Chelsea
Key Incomings: N’Golo Kanté (£30m), Michy Batshuayi (£33m), David Luiz (£32m), Marcos Alonso (£19.5m), Eduardo (£4.25m).
Key Outgoings: Mohamed Salah (£12.75m), Juan Cuadrado (Loan), Loïc Rémy (Loan), Baba Rahman (Loan), Bertrand Traore (Loan), Patrick Bamford (Loan), Kenedy (Loan), Nathan Aké (Loan), Charly Musonda (Loan), Jeremie Boga (Loan), Lewis Baker (Loan), Christian Atsu (Loan), Tammy Abraham (Loan).
N’Golo Kanté’s big-money move from Premier League champions Leicester City is already proving to be fruitful for the Blues, adding some much-needed balance to their midfield, whereas Michy Batshuayi’s impact in attack hasn’t been far behind.
On the other hand, Antonio Conte’s side did struggle to capture a left back and centre back as effectively as they would have liked. Rumours of a move for Wolfsburg’s Ricardo Rodriguez and Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli came to nothing, with it looking increasingly likely that the club were forced to settle for the likes of Marcos Alonso and Chelsea old boy David Luiz on deadline day, all for packed out price tags.
9th – West Ham United
Key Incomings: Sofiane Feghouli (Free), André Ayew (£20m), Simone Zaza (Loan), Jonathan Calleri (Loan), Gökhan Töre (Loan), Håvard Nordtveit (Free), Arthur Masuaku (£6m), Álvaro Arbeloa (Free), Edimilson Fernandes (£5.4m), Ashley Fletcher (Free).
Key Outgoings: James Tomkins (£10m), Enner Valencia (Loan), Reece Burke (Loan).
After a solid debut season for Slaven Bilić in the West Ham United hot seat, the east London club have given themselves all the conditions to improve upon their 7th placed finishing position with the transfers made ahead of the new campaign.
Valencia’s Sofiane Feghouli joins as a real coup for the side West Ham promise to become, arriving satisfyingly on a free transfer. Håvard Nordtveit and Álvaro Arbeloa also join the Hammers for free, who, alongside the loan signing of Gökhan Töre and £6 million move for Olympiakos’ Arthur Masuaku, back up Bilić’s squad nicely.
The injured André Ayew stands as the most expensive acquisition for West Ham, with his price tag arguably over-exaggerated, but he’s another who can contribute extensively after a good showing at Swansea City in 2015/16.
The options up top were the big worry throughout the transfer window, and meanwhile Jonathan Calleri’s had a hard time in his first set of games in front of goal, his potential has all the time to shine through this season. In the event that things don’t work out for the Argentine often associated with clubs like Barcelona, the Hammers also have Italy international Simone Zaza to turn to, joining on loan from Juventus.