Premier League spending in the January transfer window fell for the first time since 2012, with clubs paying a total of sh24 billion (£180 million/$235 million) for new players, according to football finance experts at Deloitte.
Nearly a third of the total expenditure was accounted for by Chelsea’s outlay of around £55 million for Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund, according to the figures.
Last year’s winter transfer window saw top-flight clubs spend £430 million, with big-money moves including defender Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool for £75 million.
However, most of the major transactions this January saw players leaving Premier League sides, with Brahim Diaz moving from Manchester City to Real Madrid, Mousa Dembele moving to Guangzhou R&F from Tottenham and Schalke buying Manchester City’s Rabbi Matondo.
Tim Bridge, director in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: “As we approach a decisive phase of the season, Premier League clubs’ January transfer spending has been relatively muted in comparison to what we have seen in previous years.”
January spending was at £225 million in 2011 but fell to £60 million in the following year.
It doubled the following year, and remained steady at £130 million in 2014 and 2015, before jumping significantly.
The £180 million transfer bill means total gross spending by Premier League clubs in the 2018/19 season is an estimated £1.4 billion, the second-highest season ever following record spend of £1.9 billion in 2017/18.
Other findings from Deloitte included the so-called “Big Six” clubs accounting for 43 percent of the January expenditure, lower than last year, when this figure stood at 62 percent.
Newcastle United’s signing of Paraguay midfielder Miguel Almiron was the biggest deal to go through on deadline day on Thursday, for a reported £20 million.
Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi, who spent the first half of the season on loan at Valencia, returned to England on a temporary deal with Crystal Palace.