As the transfer window closed at 11pm on Monday 1 September, there were the usual last minute deals as teams scrambled to get a last signing, hoping they will make an instant impact this season. There was still time for some surprises, and the headline came from Manchester United who managed to acquire Radmael Falcao on a year's loan deal from Monaco. This deal brought their spending to £149 million- a #Premier League record, to go with the £59.7 million British record signing of Angel Di Maria a few days previously. On the same night, United also confirmed the signing of Daley Blind from Ajax for £13.8 million. Following a disappointing season last year coupled with an underwhelming start to this campaign, it seems Louis Van Gaal has sent out a clear signal of his ambitions for this year. There were also significant moves out of Old Trafford on deadline day, most notably England's Danny Welbeck to Arsenal for £16 million and Tom Cleverley on loan to Villa. With the arrivals into the club, both players felt squeezed out and their opportunities limited. A move away from United could help rejuvenate their careers, as well as being good news for England. Other last minute transfer highlights included Negredo on loan to Valencia, Kranjcar rejoining Harry Redknapp at QPR along with Tottenham's Sandro, and Micah Richards heading out of Manchester City to Fiorentina. The biggest beneficiary of the last minute haggling was Hull City, who brought in four players: Mohammed Diame, Gaston Ramirez, Hatem Ben Arfa and Gaston Ramirez for a club record £10 million pounds. The incoming players pleased Tigers captain Tom Huddlestone, who remarked on Twitter how there would now be greater competition for places. Monday's business brought a frenetic end to the transfer window, one which proved to be a record breaker for the Premier League.
In total, £835 million was spent on players - an increase of £75 million on 2013/14 and records seemed to be tumbling everywhere. Alongside Di Maria and Manchester United's total spending, five other clubs (including Hull City) made their record signings. The phenomenal spending dwarfed every other European league, with the next highest spenders being Spain with £425 million. If you consider transfer sales out of Premier League clubs, the biggest being Luis Suarez's move from Liverpool to Barcelona for £75 million which helped fuel Liverpool's £117 million spend, Manchester United were still the top buyers with a net spend of £122m. Wenger was unusually spendthrift and brought Arsenal into second place with a net outlay of £46m, followed by Liverpool (£36m), Everton (£33m), Manchester City (£32m) and West Ham (£31m). Despite Southampton dramatically selling over £90m of talent, they still managed to buy in nine players and ended with a healthy £31m profit. Tottenham was the only other club in the black from transfers with a profit of £6m.
How were all of these transfers made possible? The simple answer is from the signing last year of a new television deal for the Premier League. Clubs are now benefitting from the Premier League entering a combined three year deal between Sky and BT Sport worth over £3bn. More money than ever is available for the clubs to spend. With an array of exciting talent such as Fabregas, Costa, Di Maria, Sanchez and Falcao now coming into the Premiership, it is hoped that their arrival will increase the playing capabilities of the current players.
However, it could be argued that an increased supply of money also inflates the price of home-grown players. Clubs, not wanting to let go of their assets, hold out for the best price leaving buying clubs seeking players elsewhere from foreign clubs and thus preventing the opportunities for English players to play in the Premier League. £ 530m of the £835m went to foreign clubs, but that still left £305m spent on English players. With the money showing no signs of stopping, the litmus test will be whether there will be a tangible impact upon the performance of the England team. After such a dismal showing at this year's World Cup, perhaps regularly playing with or against some of the world's best players will improve the skills of current squad members. Clearly, England needs to deepen the strength of its squad and only then will we see if this record investment will be a good thing for the Premier League. #Football