English Premier League 2015-16

Spending power: Everton and Stoke top Premier League big spenders with last-minute transfer splurge

The heaviest spending as European football’s transfer window closed on Monday was not by traditional powerhouses like Chelsea and Manchester City but mid-table clubs Stoke City and Everton collectively paying around £21.8 million (HK$244.6 million)on two players

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 February, 2016, 9:27am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 February, 2016, 9:27am

The heaviest spending as European football’s transfer window closed on Monday was not by traditional powerhouses like Chelsea and Manchester City but mid-table clubs Stoke City and Everton collectively paying around £21.8 million (HK$244.6 million)on two players.

Stoke made the biggest outlay of the window with the £18.3 million signing of defensive midfielder Giannelli Imbula shortly after Everton spent £13.5 million on forward Oumar Niasse.

Their spending sprees on largely unknown players reasserted the financial supremacy of the Premier League – a competition Pep Guardiola will be joining next season.

The announcement that Guardiola would be joining Manchester City was the most eye-catching moment on transfer deadline day, which is usually about clubs frantically making final additions to squads for the rest of the season rather than changes in the dugout.

New television deals kicking in next season – expected to generate around £9.01 billion over three years for the English Premier League – are providing more spending power across the league. Now even less illustrious English teams can offer more lucrative transfer fees than Europe’s long-standing powerhouses.

Bournemouth, Everton, Newcastle and Stoke all spent more than £10 million on players in the winter transfer window – the biggest deal coming as the 11pm (GMT) transfer cut-off approached.

Stoke broke their transfer record to land the 23-year-old Imbula from Porto who has played for the France under-21s but never the senior side.

“He has great power, good ability on the ball and a great range of passing and there’s no doubt he will add to the quality that we already have at the club,” Stoke manager Mark Hughes said.

The 25-year-old Niasse was signed by 12th-placed Everton from Lokomotiv Moscow after being voted the Russian Premier League’s top player in 2015.

The European heavyweights only conducted limited business on Monday.

German leaders Bayern Munich signed former Germany defender Serdar Tasci from Spartak Moscow until the end of the season after losing several players through injury. Barcelona sent right back Martin Montoya to Real Betis on loan for the rest of the season.

The top 10 signings of the 2015-16 winter transfer window

Giannelli Imbula

- Porto (POR) to Stoke City; £18.3 million

Upwardly mobile Stoke set a new club transfer record for the second window running, having previously broken new ground in August when Xherdan Shaqiri joined from Inter Milan in a £12 million deal. Holding midfielder Imbula, 23, arrived from Porto after failing to settle following a close-season move from Marseille. Stoke manager Mark Hughes said: “We’ve signed a very, very good young player, who’s still got a lot of potential.”

Oumar Niasse

- Lokomotiv Moscow (RUS) to Everton; £13.5 million

Niasse, a 25-year-old Senegal international, arrived at Goodison Park on a four-and-a-half-year contract to provide competition for Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku. He was the Russian Premier League’s Player of the Year in 2015 and scored 13 goals in 23 appearances for Lokomotiv this season.

Jonjo Shelvey

- Swansea City to Newcastle United; £12 million

After falling out of favour at the Liberty Stadium, 23-year-old former Liverpool midfielder Shelvey swapped one relegation fight for another by pitching up at St James’ Park. The England midfielder made an immediate impact, playing a role in both goals as Newcastle beat West Ham United 2-1 on his debut.

Andros Townsend

- Tottenham Hotspur to Newcastle United; £12 million

Another England international seeking to force his way into national coach Roy Hodgson’s plans for Euro 2016. Townsend’s final few months at White Hart Lane proved forgettable, with manager Mauricio Pochettino freezing him out after a row with a fitness coach, but Newcastle gave the 24-year-old winger a chance to get his career back on track in the north-east.

Benik Afobe

- Wolverhampton Wanderers to Bournemouth; £10 million

A prolific goal-scorer in England’s lower leagues, Afobe scored 32 goals last season for first Milton Keynes Dons and then Wolves. The former Arsenal youth-team player was signed to bolster a Bournemouth attacking department that has lost both Callum Wilson and Max Gradel to long-term knee injuries

Wahbi Khazri

- Bordeaux (FRA) to Sunderland; £9 million

Tunisia playmaker Khazri was one of five new players to join struggling Sunderland, who are bidding to haul themselves out of the relegation zone. “Wahbi is a quick, dynamic attacking player,” said Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce. “He has many attributes, not least his delivery from wide areas and set-pieces and of course his ability to score goals.”

Steven Naismith

- Everton to Norwich City; £8.5 million

Scotland international Naismith scored a hat-trick for Everton in a 3-1 victory over Chelsea in September, but elected to leave Goodison Park after making only 13 appearances this season. He found the net in his first game in a yellow shirt, drilling home a low shot in a madcap 5-4 home defeat by Liverpool.

Alberto Paloschi

- Chievo (ITA) to Swansea City; £8 million

Another team seeking an attacking spark in the hope of avoiding relegation, Swansea boosted their options up front by signing 26-year-old Italian striker Paloschi. The move reunited Paloschi with newly appointed Swansea head coach Francesco Guidolin, for whom he played at Parma between 2008 and 2010.

Mohamed Elneny

- Basel (SUI) to Arsenal; £5 million

Arsenal failed to sign a single outfield player during the close-season transfer window, but injuries to key midfielders promoted manager Arsene Wenger to sanction a move for Egyptian international Elneny. The industrious 23-year-old player had been with Basel since 2013, helping the club to three successive Swiss Super League titles in that time.

A lexandre Pato

- Corinthians (BRA) to Chelsea; loan

Once the great hope of Brazilian football, Pato returned to Europe after kickstarting an injury-plagued career in his homeland. The 26-year-old former AC Milan striker, signed to ease the burden on Diego Costa, described the move as “a dream”.

Associated Press, Agence France-Presse