February 26th 2018

Sports / In-Depth

A battle of giants awaits as English Clubs gross a billion pounds in transfer window

With any of the top eight teams capable of lifting the title and an influx of top managers into the Premier League, the season was already shaping up to be an exciting one. But the huge amounts spent by the clubs, which eclipsed the billion pounds mark, foretell an intriguing contest ahead.

By Govan Okweroamondigovan@gmail.comThursday, 01 Sep 2016 15:25 EAT

The English football transfer window came to a close yesterday August 31, and as usual it was the busiest day of the period with many teams making signings and pushing the total amount spent in the transfers to over one billion pounds.

The busiest of the big teams was Manchester City with their new manager, Pep Guardiola, perhaps seeking to put his imprint on the team he inherited from Manuel Pellegrini. The club sent Samir Nasri, Elaquim Mangala and Joe Hart on loan to Seville, Valencia and Torino respectively and sold striker Wilfred Bony to Stoke City. The day concluded a busy transfer window for the sky blues which also included signings of Claudio Bravo from Barcelona, Leroy Sane from Shalke and John Stones from Everton.

The biggest shock of the period is certainly Jack Wilshere’s move from Arsenal to Bournemouth on a loan deal, with the Arsenal midfielder seeking to resuscitate an injury-plagued career which has seen him fall down the pecking order in the star-studded Arsenal midfield. 

Wishere's situation was made worse by the arrival of Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach, with the Switzerland international going straight into the starting eleven. Arsenal manager Wenger also allowed Serge Gnabry to leave for Werder Bremen after the Germany under 21 player failed to secure a place in the team after several years in North London. This was after the signing of Lucas Perez and Shkodan Mustafi just a day before.

Arsenal's neighbors and fierce rivals Totenham were also active on the day, signing Frenchman Moussa Sissoko in a deal understood to be in the region of 30 million pounds from Newcastle. Despite his team being relegated, the former Magpies player surely earned this move with spectacular performances over the course of last season, topping it up with a fine performance in Euro 2016. 

The deadline day also saw David Luiz move back to Chelsea from Paris St-Germain on a 30 million pounds deal. This is after he had moved in the opposite direction on a 50 million pounds deal which remains the highest  price ever paid for a defender.

Algerian international Islam Simani signed for champions Leicester from Sporting Lisbon. They however let Gokhan Inler go to Besiktas on a free transfer while Liverpool flop, Mario Balotelli, moved to Nice also on a free transfer seeking to revive his flagging career.

Having done their deals early in the transfer window Manchester United who brought  Zlatan Ibrahimović, Erick Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba (the latter for a record-breaking 93 million pounds) had a quiet day, as did Liverpool, who had earlier bought Sadio Mane from Southampton.

With any of the top eight teams capable of lifting the title and an influx of top managers into the Premier League, the season is already shaping up to be an exciting one.

The writer is a trained journalist and lover of football currently working for a management company in Nairobi

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