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Five topics of discussion from the Premier League transfer window



Premier League clubs broke their previous record for spending in a single transfer window, spending more than £2 billion ($2.5 billion) on fresh players before the deadline on Friday.

Chelsea set a new British transfer record when they signed Moises Caicedo.

England’s top-flight clubs were once again able to outspend their European competitors financially.

They did not, however, have everything their own way, as the Saudi Pro League developed as a competition for top players due to the rich earnings on offer in the Gulf nation.

Here are five topics of discussion from the Premier League transfer window:

  • Saudi give and take – The flood of cash from Saudi Arabia contributed to the Premier League teams’ record outlay, as Manchester City, Liverpool, and Fulham were forced into the market to replace players such as Riyad Mahrez, Jordan Henderson, and Aleksandar Mitrovic.

The English teams, for the most part, were grateful sellers, recouping top cash for ageing legends.

However, Ruben Neves’ transfer from Wolves to Al-Hilal at the age of 26 was a foreshadowing of what the future may hold, particularly for the influx of talent that the Premier League has been accustomed to plundering from other European divisions.

Another departure from the norm was the fact that two of England’s best talents chose to make substantial moves to the continent over domestic choices.

Real Madrid defeated Borussia Dortmund in the race to recruit Jude Bellingham, while Harry Kane left Tottenham to join Bayern Munich.

  • Chelsea’s billion-pound risk – The Blues beat Liverpool to Caicedo for a fee that might increase to £115 million, breaking the British transfer record for the second time in seven months.

The Ecuador international signed an eight-year contract with Chelsea, one of a number of long-term deals handed out by the club’s American owners.

Over £1 billion has been spent on new players by a group led by LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly and private equity firm Clearlake Capital in just over a year since they took over Chelsea.

“Incredible. “I think he’ll become a fall guy for this strategy at some point soon,” former Manchester United captain turned commentator Gary Neville said of Boehly’s bet.

The great majority of the money has gone to athletes who are still in their prime years. This window’s oldest recruit is 25 years old.

However, that gamble on long-term success has yet to bear fruit.

Last season, Chelsea finished 12th in the Premier League, their lowest place since 1994.

And three games into Mauricio Pochettino’s rule, they had only one win, against promoted Luton Town.

  • Arteta backed to deliver title – After mounting a surprise title fight against Manchester City last season, Arsenal moved quickly to sign Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, and Jurrien Timber for more than £200 million by mid-July.

Unfortunately, Timber’s season appears to be finished as he suffered cruciate ligament damage on his home debut.

Havertz is also yet to score since joining from Chelsea for £65 million.

But the pressure is on Mikel Arteta to beat off his old boss, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, to capture Arsenal’s first league title in 20 years.

  • Liverpool’s rebuilt midfield – The departures of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho to Saudi Arabia hastened the Reds’ much-needed midfield rebuild.

After a disastrous season in which Liverpool failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in seven years, Liverpool let James Milner, Naby Keita, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to go for free.

Despite being outgunned by Chelsea in the pursuit of Caicedo and Romeo Lavia, Jurgen Klopp has a quartet of new faces in midfield to pick from.

Alexis MacAllister and Dominik Szoboszlai have made promising beginnings at Anfield, while Japan captain Wataru Endo has emerged as the more experienced and cost-effective option after Caicedo turned down the opportunity to join Klopp’s side.

Liverpool’s business was finished with the capture of Ryan Gravenberch on the final day of the deadline.

“We have to pretty much reinvent the team,” Klopp stated on Friday. “The midfield is already in place and will be completely new.”

  • Brighton master the market – After securing European football for the first time in the club’s history, Caicedo, Alexis MacAllister, and Robert Sanchez left, forcing Brighton to rebuild once more.

However, the Seagulls’ reputation as perhaps the best-run club in the country was confirmed when they paid £175 million for three players who cost them a total of £11 million to acquire.

Caicedo’s cost alone was more than the club spent on the construction of their new stadium and training facility.

Brighton have spent their windfall on eight new signings, but it was the deadline-day transaction to bring Ansu Fati from Barcelona that drew the most attention.

The winger, who was once a budding sensation in the Spanish game, has struggled owing to injuries.

However, if there is a club capable of restoring his form, it is likely to be Brighton.


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