o say transfer deadline day was quiet would be an understatement – and is illustrated by the fact late attention centred around whether Bournemouth’s Joshua King would opt for Everton or Fulham and whether Southampton would seal a loan for Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino.
In the end, the Norway striker chose Everton while Saints landed the Japan forward as both deals were confirmed in the early hours of Tuesday morning, with Southampton submitting a deal sheet for Minamino that allows clubs two hours beyond the 23:00 GMT deadline to complete a transfer.
They certainly won’t go down as two of the most exciting ‘after hours’ signings but were pretty much as intriguing as it got for hard-core followers of the window, with caution rather than drama dominating the last day of trading.
Just three permanent deals were completed by Premier League clubs and instead loan moves were preferred – with six temporary switches made.
Overall transfer fees paid for players in the winter window was its lowest since the £60m spent in 2012. According to financial services firm Deloitte, £70m was spent this time – way down on the £230m paid out last year.
Reigning champions Liverpool gave us most of the interest, bringing in two centre-backs within a couple of hours in order to ease their defensive problems.
Even then, though, one cost a couple of million and the other was on loan.
Some of Deloitte’s other key findings from the window include:
- There were only 24 Premier League transfers during the window, compared to the average of 46 across the previous three years’ January windows.
- The ‘big six’ Premier League clubs (Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester Utd, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea) made just three permanent transfers and three loan fee transfers, accounting for 35% of the total spend.
- The current bottom four clubs in the table only spent £6m on seven new players. The clubs in the same position last season completed a total of eight signings for a value of £40m.
- The volume of transfers in January 2021 across the other four ‘big five’ European leagues was just over half their previous three-year average for January.