Britain’s transfer record was broken on deadline day as an unprecedented January transfer window ended with Premier League clubs spending £2.8billion in the 2022 season -23.
More than £275m was spent on deadline day alone before the window closed for English clubs at 23:00 GMT on Tuesday.
Daily spending was up 83% from the previous January record of £150m, set in 2018.
And, while unprecedented peak season spending on summer and winter windows was warranted after a record £1.9billion was set in Septemberthe final total is double the previous record of £1.4bn in 2017.
Record winter 2018 spending of £430million by Premier League clubs had also already been shattered before Tuesday’s deadline day, with the eventual total in 2023 a 90 per cent increase on that – and almost triple the previous January window (£295m), according to financial services firm Deloitte.
The Premier League’s financial dominance in Europe has reached the highest proportion ever reported, as spending by top-flight English clubs accounted for 79% of the total in Europe’s ‘big five’ football leagues, where spending in January fell by 35% from 2022 to €255m (£225m).
Indeed, Chelsea spent more in January than the combined total of all clubs in the Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A and Ligue 1.
Among English Football League clubs, spending reached £25m, up from £20m in the previous winter window.
Tim Bridge, senior partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said: “Record spending by Premier League clubs this season exceeds anything we’ve seen before.
“Premier League clubs have spent nearly four to one of those in Europe’s other ‘big five’ leagues in this transfer window, allowing them to retain key players, while attracting top talent from abroad.
“However, while there is clearly a need to invest in the size and quality of the squad to maintain a competitive advantage, there will always be a fine balance to be struck between prioritizing success on the pitch and maintaining the financial viability.”
Which transactions were concluded on the day of the deadline?
from Chelsea Fernandez’s late capture was the headline on deadline day as the Blues broke the British transfer record – previously the £100m Manchester City paid for Jack Grealish in 2021 – to clinch the Cup winner of the world of 22 years.
Somewhere else, Tottenham announced the signing of the back Pedro Porro of Sporting Lisbon on loan until the end of the season, with an obligation to buy for 45m euros (£40m) – while the defenders Matt Doherty (permanent) and Djed Spence (loan) were cleared to leave.
Premier League leaders Arsenal strengthened with the acquisition of £12 million of Italian midfielder Jorginho of Chelsea, when he was fourth Manchester United has completed the loan signing of Austrian midfielder Marcel Sabitzer from Bayern Munich.
Southampton ended the window with a flurry of late activity, securing a record £22million deal for the Ghanaian winger Kamaldeen Sulemana as well as the signing of Nigerian striker Paul Onuachu.
Bournemouth Ukrainian central defender signed Illia Zabarnyi for a fee of £24m and Ivory Coast midfielder Hamed Traore on an initial loan deal ahead of a £20m summer move.
Promoted side Nottingham Forest were also busy closing deals for the Brazilian defender from Atletico Madrid Felipe and Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey for an undisclosed fee, while Paris St-Germain goalkeeper Keylor Navas arrived on loan.
Leicester city defender signed Harry Soutar from Stoke City in a deal worth up to £20m with add-ons, and crystal palace signed the French youth international Naouirou Ahamada from Stuttgart for €11m (£9.7m).
A surprise high-profile Premier League departure saw Manchester City back Joao Cancelo joining Bayern Munich on loan for the rest of the season, with a €70m (£61.5m) option to join permanently in the summer.
What were the biggest transfers of the January window?
Chelsea’s deal for Fernandez was the fitting end to another stunning window. Amid another remarkable spending spree, the Blues have agreed an £89m deal with Shakhtar Donetsk for the 22-year-old Ukrainian striker Mykhailo Mudryk earlier in January.
On top of their Jorginho signing deadline, Arsenal signed the Belgian striker Leandro Trossard from Brighton for £21m plus add-ons, plus Jakub Kiwior to Serie A side Spezia for €20m (£17.6m).
Somewhere else, liverpool agreed a deal worth €40-50m (£35.4-44.3m) to sign the Dutch striker Cody Gakpo23, from Dutch club PSV Eindhoven.
And Newcastle United 21 year signing Anthony Gordon from Everton could possibly be worth £45m.
There was also a lot of money spent among teams in the current bottom half of the league, with Leeds United signing of the French striker Georginio Rutter20, from Hoffenheim for a club record €40m (£36m).
Bournemouth also signed the Burkina Faso winger Dango Ouattara of Lorient for around £20m and Leicester paid £17million for the defender Victor Kristiansen
Following the £15 million sale of Danny Ing to West Ham, AstonVilla signed the teenage Colombian striker John Duran from Chicago Fire for £18 million.
Chelsea big players dominate Premier League spending
It’s been an extraordinary couple of transfer windows for Chelsea since the £4.25bn sale of the club to a consortium led by US investor Todd Boehly last May.
And it was like that even before an exorbitant fee was finally agreed with Benfica for Fernandez late in the deadline.
It is the latest bold statement of intent in the early days of Chelsea’s new era under Boehly, which has seen more than £550million spent on new signings.
Their spending in January alone exceeded £300m for eight new players, with Mudryk, Malo Gusto (£30.7m), Benoit Badiashile (£35m), Noni Madueke (30.7 million), Andrey Santos (£18m) and David Datro Fofana (£8-10m), all also added to the standing offers.
Meanwhile, talented 23-year-old Portuguese striker Joao Felix has moved to Stamford Bridge on loan from Atletico Madrid at a cost of €11m (£9.7m).
It came after a summer which saw them spend a record £270m in the Premier League – the second highest summer spend by any club in the world after Real Madrid (£292m) in 2019.
In total, Chelsea accounted for 37% of the total amount spent by Premier League clubs in January.
The January deals that never were
Despite all the money spent, not everyone got what they wanted.
Moroccan striker by Hakim Ziyech proposed deadline for moving from chelsea to PSG appeared to collapse as the player waited in Paris because the documentation to complete the transfer was not submitted in time.
Arsenal had a £60m bid rejected by Brighton in their quest for midfield Moises Caicedo, although the midfielder confirmed his desire to leave the club in an open letter on his Instagram. It came after the Gunners were beaten to the signing of Mudryk by Chelsea.
English midfielder Conor Gallagher decided to stay at Stamford Bridge despite interest from Premier League wrestlers Everton.
Indeed, despite the appointment of former Burnley boss Sean Dyche as the club’s new manager on Monday, the 19th-placed Toffees made no business on deadline day.
But, after all the excitement, who do you think was the best big-money signing of the 2022-January 23 transfer window? Have your say below.