Transfer deadline day: Premier League spending falls as caution prevails

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To 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:

What were the deadline-day signings?

Liverpool turned to the Championship and the Bundesliga to bolster their injury-hit defence as Ben Davies made a surprise move from Preston in a deal worth £2m while Turkey’s Ozan Kabak arrived on loan from Schalke.

Brighton’s capture of highly rated Ecuador midfielder Moises Caicedo and Everton’s signing of King were the only other permanent moves. Caicedo joined the Seagulls from Independiente del Valle for £4m while King’s switch from Bournemouth was for a nominal fee.

The other deals were all loans. In addition to Liverpool adding Kabak and the Saints completing a late deal for Minamino, Newcastle brought in Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock for the remainder of the season while his Gunners team-mate Ainsley Maitland-Niles moved to West Brom, who also brought in midfielder Okay Yokuslu on a loan deal from Spanish side Celta Vigo.

Fulham bolstered their attacking options with the loan signing of former Sunderland striker Josh Maja from Bordeaux.

The two biggest deals completed in the whole window were Manchester United’s purchase of Amad Diallo – with the Red Devils paying Atalanta an initial £19m for the winger, with a further £18.2m in add-ons – and West Ham’s £20m signing of Said Benrahma from Brentford.

Both those deals had been agreed last summer.

Aston Villa’s signing of midfielder Morgan Sanson from Marseille for a reported £14m was the only other major deal done in January.

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