Unveiled! How Nigerian Ighalo loomed large, dominated #DeadlineDay transfer… and clubs made final rushes




Ighalo

West Ham’s late capture of Hull City forward Jarrod Bowen for an initial £18m was the only big-money move of the lowest-spending January transfer deadline day since 2010.

clubs spent £230m in the month, the second highest total ever.

But only £25m of that was spent on deadline day.

Odion Ighalo’s move from Shanghai Shenhua to dominated headlines, but was a loan deal – like five of the 11 top-flight signings.

The £1.6bn spent this season, including the summer window, is the second highest behind 2017-18’s £1.9bn, according to figures from Deloitte.

The deadline closed for English clubs at 23:00 GMT on Friday, with Scotland’s one hour later.

The previous time deadline day spending went under £30m was in 2010, when only £10m was spent. The highest spend was £180m in 2018.

The second biggest transfer on deadline day in terms of fee was Brighton signing 19-year-old Chelsea defender Tariq Lamptey for a reported £4.5m. Arsenal signed Southampton right-back Cedric Soares on loan.

Aston Villa brought in Swansea City striker Borja Baston on a free transfer.

Leicester brought in Wolves defender Ryan Bennett on loan, their only January transfer.

Sheffield United signed Dutch forward Richairo Zivkovic and Greece defender Panagiotis Retsos on loan.

Norwich signed Coventry defender Sam McCallum for a reported £3m, while Wolves spent £1m on Rochdale defender Luke Matheson – with both players rejoining their old clubs on loan.

recruited Southend United goalkeeper Nathan Bishop for an undisclosed fee, with the 20-year-old going into their development squad.

Chelsea were one of three Premier League clubs to not sign anybody in January, despite winning an appeal to reduce their transfer ban. Reigning champions Manchester City and relegation battlers Bournemouth were the others.

Tim Bridge, director in the sports business group at Deloitte, said: “Two seasons ago Premier League clubs spent a record £430m in the January transfer window. However, over the last two January windows spending patterns have returned to normal. Clubs are focused on long-term financial stability and are therefore less willing to spend in excess of pre-defined transfer budgets in pursuit of short-term success.

“This is further evidenced by the prominence of more agile transfer strategies, such as utilising loan transfers often with an option to buy, as well as focusing attention towards the promotion of young talent from club academies in recent years.”

It was also deadline day in the Football League, with Championship club Brentford paying a combined fee of at least £3m for Oxford United duo Shandon Baptiste and Tariqe Fosu.

Hull City paid £1.5m for 19-year-old Motherwell forward James Scott.

Scottish title chasers Rangers signed Genk midfielder Ianis Hagi and Hibernian striker Florian Kamberi – both on loan.

The transfer deadline also took place in Europe’s top leagues. Barcelona bought Braga forward Francisco Trincao for £26m and Palmeiras midfielder Matheus Fernandes Siqueira for £5.9m – although neither player joins them until the summer.

All of Europe’s top five leagues spent more this January than last year. Serie A clubs spent £180m, Bundesliga sides paid £165m, La Liga teams purchased players for £110m and Ligue 1 sides spent £100m.

What were the biggest signings of the window?

Two of the three biggest Premier League signings happened on the penultimate day of the window.

signed Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes for a fee which starts at £47m and could rise to £67.7m. Sheffield United broke their club record to sign Genk midfielder Sander Berge for £22m.

Spurs have made the loan signing of Real Betis midfielder Giovani Lo Celso permanent for a fee of £27.2m and added forward Steven Bergwijn for £27m from PSV Eindhoven, after selling Christian Eriksen to Inter Milan for £16.9m.

Wolves spent a reported £16.9m on Portuguese winger Daniel Podence from Olympiakos. Along with Bowen, those were the only six £10m+ Premier League signings in January.

Elsewhere, Real Madrid spent £26m on Flamengo youngster Reinier Jesus and Borussia Dortmund bought Red Bull Salzburg wonderkid Erling Braut Haaland for £17m.

Did Brexit affect deadline day?

The left the European Union at 23:00 GMT, the exact same time as the transfer deadline.

Brexit is not thought to have affected this year’s transfer window – but it could change England’s transfer system in the future.

Sports lawyer Daniel Geey, author of ‘Done Deal’, told BBC Sport: “One of the most signification elements is about what the work permit restrictions are going to be. At present, this applies to non-European footballers coming into the UK and will presumably apply to non-UK workers after Brexit.

“The current criteria for non-EU players coming into the Premier League is to do with the country they play for and their Fifa world ranking, along with how many times they played for their senior international team over two years. There is an exceptions panel. The higher the fee and wages, the more likely you can demonstrate they are an exceptional talent and should be allowed a work permit.”

It is not clear what the immigration system will be in the future. But Geey says clubs could be allowed a certain amount of foreign players each.

“So it wouldn’t matter whether a player is from Bolivia or Belgium,” he said. “That’s one of the contentious elements that is being discussed at present.”

When did the deadline close?

In the Premier League and English Football League, the deadline was at 23:00 GMT on Friday – although clubs were allowed to complete deals later as long as they completed a deal sheet in time – and in Scotland it was midnight.

Spain, Germany, Italy, France and the Netherlands also had 31 January deadlines. Portuguese clubs can still buy players until 2 February, while Russian, Chinese and US clubs are among those who can still bring in new players.

Is there any chance of more signings this season?

Clubs can sign free agents after the deadline – at any stage of the season – as long as they left their previous club before the transfer deadline.

No loan signings can be made by EFL or Premier League clubs after the deadline, except in extreme circumstances – such as a club’s senior goalkeepers all being unavailable.

Can new signings play this weekend?

It is unlikely any deadline signings will play this weekend. They would only be eligible if they signed before 12:00 GMT on Friday.

Only McCallum, who rejoined Coventry on loan, and Soares were done in that time – and the new Arsenal full-back has a knock so is unlikely to face Burnley on Sunday.

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