In the Premier League – where one of 20 teams can win the title – any extra edge may mean the difference between finishing in first or second place. That’s why these clubs spent in excess of $1.8 billion during the most recent transfer window, a period when clubs are allowed to sell and register new players. It’s also a time for fans to celebrate or bemoan their club’s ambition, or lack thereof, in acquiring that special playmaker who will help them win the league.
We took a look to see which clubs sent the most players on to new clubs, who spent the most in total, and which players commanded the highest price tag. Read on to learn where all the players went in the Premier League during the 2017 summer transfer window.
More Arrivals and Departures Than Heathrow Airport
No club saw more arrivals or departures than London-based club Chelsea. The largest void to fill for the Blues was none other than defender John Terry, known to supporters as “Captain, Leader, Legend,” who saw an opportunity to continue playing regularly at championship-side Aston Villa. Chelsea looked to Serie A and A.S. Roma for a replacement in German international Antonio Rüdiger.
Manchester City also made several moves in the summer of 2017, their second season helmed by famed manager Pep Guardiola. The club invested heavily in defense, acquiring Benjamin Mendy from French-side Monaco, Danilo from La Liga winners Real Madrid, and Kyle Walker from the Premier League runners-up in 2016, Tottenham Hotspur. City also went into the market for a new goalkeeper, Ederson, who joined from Benfica.
A surprise mover in the market was Everton, who put the funds from the sale of their Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United into acquiring several other players. They rescued goalkeeper Jordan Pickford from Sunderland’s trip down to the championship, brought in Gylfi Sigurdsson from Swansea, and shored up their defense by adding in Michael Keane from Burnley.
Balancing the Books
Manchester United spent the most – while recording the least amount of profit from player sales – across the entire Premier League. They spent close to $200 million while only generating less than $10 million from outgoing player sales. United added several players to tighten up the defense, paying large fees for the talents of both Nemanja Matic from Chelsea and Victor Lindelof from Benfica.
Arsenal, frequently thought of as a top club in England, actually spent less than they took in from player sales in the summer transfer window. An example of their shrewd tactics saw the Gunners secure the talents of defender Sead Kolasinac from German-side FC Schalke 04 on a free transfer while selling Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool for almost $45 million.
AFC Bournemouth, known as the Cherries, spent over $40 million as they look to continue their tenure in the Premier League. This large outlay was used to sign two squad players from the 2016 Premier League Champions, Chelsea: defender Nathan Aké and goalkeeper Asmir Begović.
Manchester United didn’t spend the most overall, but they did spend the most on average per player. Spending close to $200 million on new signings, the average cost per player was over $22 million. Compare this to Chelsea, spending just under $240 million but acquiring over 30 players during this window. At an average of less than $8 million per player, the Blues may feel they achieved a better value than their Northern neighbors.
However, most fans won’t be celebrating the average fee per player at the end of the season – they’ll only point to it if they fail to qualify for a top-four spot and Champions League football.
Out of the five most expensive players based on transfer fees during the 2017 window, three were center forwards or strikers. Manchester United paid about $100 million to Everton to sign Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian striker, formerly an Everton player, looked to be the missing piece for José Mourinho’s United, especially with their Swedish starlet Zlatan Ibrahimović out injured.
Chelsea also prioritized the signing of a striker, opting to secure the talents of Spanish international Álvaro Morata. Morata is frequently featured as a substitute for Real Madrid and has now earned the opportunity to be the No. 1 option for a top club. The Champions needed a man of his talents after a falling out with their previous talisman, Diego Costa.
Manchester City bucked the trend with the third and fifth most expensive players, as they too featured in defense and not attack. Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker joined an already potent City, whom both just needed to find a way to stop leaking goals. These gentlemen are expensive plugs, but if they win the 2017-2018 title, fans will commend the investment.
Window Shut, Now Play On
No more transfer action can happen until January 2018, when the winter transfer window opens. Until then, whether your club spent a little or a lot, the roster is set for the long campaign ahead of each side. If their aim is just staying up and avoiding relegation, or winning the league at all costs, be sure to look the part of a true supporter – get the latest officially licensed merchandise and apparel for every Premier League team at Fanatics.