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Lowest amount of players going into the Premier League since 2002

15 August 2018
The Premier League made a surprising decision in September 2017, when it was announced that the transfer market for English clubs would close on the ninth of August 2018. In this blog, Remiqz takes a look at the implications that this decision had on transfer activity in the Premier League.

The ninth of August was selected as transfer deadline day because it was one day before the first match of the season. Fifteen of the twenty clubs voted in favour of the rule change, Manchester United being the biggest club to oppose it. While Premier League clubs are prohibited to do any transfer activity, the loan window for the Championship, League One and League Two remains open for the rest of August.

Less activity in the summer transfer window

The results of this rule change are in, and they are very clear. Closing the window earlier has slowed down the Premier League clubs in their buying and selling activity. There have been 103 incoming transfers to the Premier League, which is the lowest number since the 2002 summer window, when 95 new players entered the Premier League.
It’s also the first time since the summer transfer window of 2009 that the amount of total money spent has not gone up. This summer, all Premier League clubs together spent €1.4B, whereas last summer, this was €1.6B. The average cost per player has risen spectacular due to inflation and higher prices on the transfer market, but the overall net spent is down.

marketvalues players premier league

Side effects of early transfer deadline 

Because the transfer market is still open for all other European clubs, English clubs have had weakened their position at the negotiation table last transfer window. It’s been reported by several media outlets that several deals broke down because continental clubs asked more money than usual. This is clearly shown when looking at transfers from Premier League clubs that were shopping late, for instance when Jean-Michaël Seri was bought for €30M by Fulham. Another clear example is Chelsea making Kepa the most expensive goalkeeper of all time after it was clear that Real Madrid would go after Thibaut Courtois.
Besides the top clubs that consequentially compete for the league titles in France, Germany, Spain and Italy, there are not a lot of clubs that can afford players from the Premier League, especially if the Premier League clubs do not want to sell. Ironically enough, this means only big clubs should really worry to lose a star player they cannot replace. Reports are the Juventus is after Paul Pogba and Real Madrid is chasing Eden Hazard or Mohammed Salah.