Transfer flurry in EPL for every team apart from Tottenham
LONDON — Fulham signaled its determination to stay in the Premier League by becoming the first promoted team to spend over 100 million pounds ($128 million) in the summer transfer window.
In an abbreviated trading period when English top-flight clubs collectively spent more than 1.2 billion pounds, there was one anomaly by the close of business on Thursday. For the first time since the summer transfer window was introduced 15 years ago, one team spent nothing: Tottenham.
The only addition to the north London club in the new season is a new stadium and even that won’t be ready for the first month — at least.
“It’s not about adding because it’s fashionable to sign players,” Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said Thursday.
Pochettino decided keeping players was the priority after a third successive top-three finish. Harry Kane committed his future to Tottenham before heading to the World Cup and finishing as the top-scorer as England reached the semifinals.
Tottenham did provide the most players to the World Cup semifinalists. But strong performances in Russia weren’t a necessity when it came to Premier League clubs deciding whether to spend the fruits of soccer’s biggest television contracts.
Kepa Arrizabalaga never made it on the pitch for Spain in Russia but Chelsea broke the transfer record for a goalkeeper by meeting an 80 million euro ($93 million) buyout clause from Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday as a replacement for Thibaut Courtois.
Real Madrid was already pursuing the Belgium goalkeeper before striking the 35 million euro fee with Chelsea. The west London club did snap up a player from Madrid on loan for the season: Midfielder Mateo Kovacic, who helped Croatia reach the World Cup final where it lost to France.
Last season’s top-two teams spent nothing on Thursday. Champion Manchester City had already signed winger Riyad Mahrez for a club-record 60 million pounds from Leicester. Manchester United signed midfielder Fred, defender Diogo Dalot and goalkeeper Lee Grant last month, but manager Jose Mourinho was left frustrated in his efforts to further strengthen.
Preparing for its first Premier League campaign in four years, Fulham added five players on Thursday, including signing midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa from Marseille, goalkeeper Sergio Rico from Sevilla and forward Luciano Vietto on loan from Atletico Madrid. American owner Shahid Khan has funded the recruitment of 12 players for the west London club.
Everton completed the treble-signing of Brazil winger Bernard from Shakhtar Donetsk, along with Barcelona duo Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes. The 23-year-old Mina, a Colombia defender, cost 31 million euros ($36 million), while 25-year-old Portugal midfielder Gomes moved to Goodison Park on a season-long loan. Everton has already broken its transfer record in the offseason by paying Watford 40 million pounds for Richarlison, a forward who didn’t even make Brazil’s World Cup squad.
Brighton engaged in a flurry of deadline-day activity, including signing Martin Montoya from Valencia. The former Barcelona and Inter Milan right back has committed to a four-year contract with Brighton, with the move subject to international clearance.
Crystal Palace will be hoping history doesn’t repeat itself after signing Ghana striker Jordan Ayew on a season-long loan from Swansea. The 26-year-old Ayew has been relegated from the Premier League twice in the last three seasons — with Aston Villa in 2015-16 and Swansea last season. Ayew, who has 11 goals in 49 appearances for Ghana, scored 11 times for Swansea last season as he impressed in a struggling side.
Leicester has signed three central defenders in the transfer window, with Jonny Evans, Filip Benkovic and Caglar Soyuncu giving Claude Puel a number of options in the position. Preventing England World Cup star defender Harry Maguire joining Manchester United was a triumph for Leicester. It also secured another England international, striker Jamie Vardy, to a new contract through 2022 on Thursday.
Newcastle signed Argentine defender Federico Fernandez from Swansea, reuniting with manager Rafa Benitez after playing for him at Napoli.
The promoted team signed Leander Dendoncker from Anderlecht on an initial season-long loan. The central midfielder has made six appearances for Belgium, including in the group-stage win over England at the World Cup.
Back in the Premier League after a four-year absence, Cardiff signed midfielder Victor Camarasa on a season-long loan from Real Betis before the opening weekend.
Lucas Perez joined West Ham after the striker struggled to make an impact at Arsenal.
Liverpool striker Danny Ings secured a return to hometown club Southampton, initially on loan ahead of an 18 million pound permanent transfer next year.
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