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Transfer Recap: Premier League record, Chelsea spending spree & more – 5 things that stood out from the summer window

Transfers recap - 5 things that stood out from the summer window

The Premier League summer transfer window closed three days ago, but not without plenty of surprises and talking points to chew on.

With the dust now settled, read on as we recap five key highlights that made this window one for the history books.

Premier League record spend

Premier League clubs undeniably took centre stage in the transfer market, setting a new spending benchmark in the division’s history. 

The collective investment by the 20 clubs in new players during the window reached an astonishing £2.36 billion, surpassing last summer’s record by over £400 million, which stood at £1.92bn.

Deadline day, notoriously popular for its excitement, lived up to expectations once more as Premier League clubs splurged £255m on Friday – more than double the £120m spent on the final day of last summer’s window.

The 2023/24 season already ranks as the second-highest in terms of transfer spending in Premier League history, just behind last season’s £2.73bn. 

However, this figure could be eclipsed in January with several clubs lining up another big-money transfer window.

Premier League transfers constituted 48% of the total spending across Europe’s top five leagues, and also raked in a record-breaking £550m in transfer fees, more than doubling the previous record of £210m set in the summer of 2022.

Also See: 11 best Premier League signings this summer.

Chelsea spending spree

A record-setting Premier League transfer window wouldn’t be complete without Chelsea making the headlines as the Todd Boehly-led consortium continued their extravagant spree this summer.

The Blues splashed out a staggering £398m on new players – the highest of any side in the division and £192m more than defending champions Manchester City, coming a distant second at £206m.

Despite Chelsea’s mind-boggling expenditure under new ownership, which now totals over £1bn across the last three transfer windows, the Blues still look a tad short in their quest to build a youthful and competitive side.

While Chelsea’s outlay has made the headlines more often than not this summer, they have also been ruthless in offloading deadweight from their squad and generating funds through player departures.

With over 17 players sold or released this summer, the West Londoners received around £226m in transfer fees – surpassing every other Premier League and European side, maintaining their net spending at around £171m.

When including loan fees, reports suggest that Chelsea generated around £295 million, marking the third-highest sum ever garnered by a club in a single transfer window in Premier League and European history.

Moises Caicedo & Romeo Lavia saga

Chelsea and Liverpool took centre stage in a captivating yet dramatic summer transfer showdown, with the Blues ultimately emerging victorious.

Both clubs embarked on a quest to revamp their midfield, with Chelsea prioritising a move for Moises Caicedo while Liverpool set their sights on Romeo Lavia.

However, a transfer tug-of-war ensued when Liverpool attempted to outbid Chelsea for Caicedo with a £111m offer – more than double what they needed to seal a deal for Lavia, who was initially poised for a move to Anfield.

Despite reaching an agreement with Brighton & Hove Albion, Caicedo turned down Jurgen Klopp’s side in favour of a move to West London in a British record £115m deal.

The Reds subsequently returned for Lavia tailed tucked between legs but ended up suffering a second rejection as the Belgian prodigy opted for a switch to Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool’s reputation as shrewd operators in the transfer market took a massive hit following the saga, but they did manage to secure an eye-catching deadline-day deal for Ryan Gravenberch.

Liverpool, Salah and a DM 

Liverpool went into the transfer window needing to sort out their midfield problems, but a defensive midfielder was not at the top of their wishlist until Fabinho secured a move to Saudi Arabia.

Following his exit, the priority for Liverpool shifted to acquiring a defensive midfielder. However, their attempts to address this issue with moves for Caicedo and Lavia ended in disappointment.

Liverpool ultimately turned to Japanese midfielder Wataru Endo to fill the void in a move that raised several eyebrows.

While Jurgen Klopp tried to downplay the mediocrity and desperation that surrounded the transfer, whether the 30-year-old proves to be a value-for-money addition in the long run remains to be seen.

In addition to their midfield concerns, Liverpool could also lose Mohamed Salah to the Saudi Pro League, with Al Ittihad determined to land his signature by whatever means necessary.

Liverpool have emphatically stated that their headline performer is not for sale, rejecting a tempting £150m bid from the Jeddah-based club. 

Reports suggest Al Ittihad are willing to go as high as £200m, and with the Saudi market open until September 20, it remains uncertain whether Liverpool can retain their Egyptian goal-scorer.

Also See: 11 best transfer signings from around Europe.

Forest signed SEVEN on deadline day

Nottingham Forest’s manager, Steve Cooper, did well to integrate an unprecedented number of new arrivals into a squad that narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League last season.

Although the start of the summer transfer window was sluggish for Forest, they eventually sparked into life on deadline day, signing seven new players.

Brennan Johnson’s move to Tottenham Hotspur set off a chain of arrivals, with Forest securing permanent deals for Callum Hudson-Odoi and Nicolas Dominguez, while Arsenal’s full-back Nuno Tavares joined on loan.

The club also welcomed Greek goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos from Benfica. But the headline arrival at City Ground was undoubtedly Ibrahim Sangare, who joined the Reds in a club-record £30m deal.

Sangare’s arrival represents a significant achievement for Forest, as the 25-year-old passed up an opportunity to compete in the Champions League with PSV Eindhoven this season.

Former Liverpool striker Divock Origi joined on loan from AC Milan, while Norwich City defender Andrew Omobamidele became the final addition on a hectic deadline day for the Tricky Trees.

These signings arrived in addition to the six previous acquisitions – Anthony Elanga, Matt Turner, Ola Aina, Andrey Santos, Gonzalo Montiel, and Murillo – rounding out yet another extensive squad overhaul.

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