World Football

The 5 Biggest Premier League January Transfer Windows of All Time

Ryan BaileyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2014

The 5 Biggest Premier League January Transfer Windows of All Time

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Thus far in the 2014 January transfer window, things have been eerily quiet.

    Most of the world's biggest players seem willing to stay put, the tabloid press appears much less scurrilous in its rumour distribution and no earth-shattering Premier League deals have been struck. 

    Of course, there may be plenty of activity on deadline day, but this window looks to be a relatively uneventful one.

    With that in mind, what better time to look back at the five biggest Premier League winter windows since FIFA enforced the system in 2003?

    The windows have been ranked according to the cumulative amount spent by Premier League teams, as per statistics from the Guardian

2006: £70 Million Spent

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    Mark Thompson/Getty Images

    Unlike recent years, when a flurry of expensive activity has occurred in the dying minutes of deadline day, transfer activity was spread very evenly throughout the month in 2006. 

    On January 5, Manchester United handed Spartak Moscow £7 million for a young Serbian named Nemanja Vidic. Five days later, they strengthened the defence once more by bringing in Patrice Evra from Monaco for a fee of £5.5 million.

    This was also the window when the Red Devils were supposed to bring in John Obi Mikel from Oslo, but things didn't go quite as planned.

    Elsewhere, Daniel Agger joined Liverpool from Brondby for £5.8 million, Theo Walcott moved from the south coast to Arsenal for a fee that ended up around the £9 million mark and Emmanuel Adebayor came to the Emirates on a free transfer.

    Surprisingly, the biggest spend on deadline day was Robert Earnshaw's modest £3.5 million move from West Brom to Norwich. Meanwhile, the biggest transfer of the whole window was Dean Ashton's £7.5 million move away from Carrow Road to West Ham—excluding Walcott's fee, which grew later on. 

2013: £117 Million Spent

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    As the deadline passed in January 2013, Premier League clubs had spent a total of £117 million—nearly double the £60 million outlay of the year before. 

    Early in the window, Daniel Sturridge moved from Chelsea to Liverpool for £12 million, while Demba Ba came to Stamford Bridge for a sum thought to be around £7 million. Meanwhile, Loic Remy was one of five new players at QPR, bought from Marseille for £8 million.

    This was also the window in which Newcastle amassed their French Legion—Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran, Massadio Haïdara and Moussa Sissoko all arrived for undisclosed fees.

    Elsewhere in Europe, Mario Balotelli joined AC Milan and David Beckham became a Paris Saint-Germain marketing tool.

    The biggest disclosed fee in the Premiership was Christopher Samba's £12.5 million deadline day move to QPR from Anzhi Makhachkala. He was put on £100,000 a week, his 10 Premier League performances were nothing short of dreadful and he was sent back to Russia when he couldn't help the Hoops stay up. 

    The most memorable moment of deadline day—and probably any other window—was Peter Odemwingie turning up at Loftus Road to strike a deal that never happened. 

2009: £170 Million Spent

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    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    When the winter window of 2009 slammed shut on February 2 (January 31 was a Saturday), £170 million had been spent by Premier League clubs. 

    The major last-minute deals were Robbie Keane's £12 million move from Liverpool to Tottenham and Arsenal's club-record £15 million outlay on Zenit Saint Petersburg striker Andrei Arshavin (a deal which was actually completed the day after the deadline because of difficulties arising from a snow storm in the UK).

    Elsewhere, the punishing pair of Craig Bellamy and Nigel de Jong moved to Manchester City.

    Tottenham were the biggest spenders of all, though, shelling out a combined £41 million for Wilson Palacios, Jermain Defoe and the aforementioned Irish hitman Keane.

2008: £175 Million Spent

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    Phil Cole/Getty Images

    The 2009 winter window marked a £5 million decrease on the previous year's tally, when a global-economic-crisis-defying £175 million was spent. 

    There weren't a great amount of headlines made on deadline day—Jermain Defoe's loan to Portsmouth from Spurs might have been the biggest news—but there was plenty of action throughout the month. 

    Martin Skrtel joined Liverpool from Zenit, Branislav Ivanovic also came over from Russia to bolster Chelsea's defence, while Lassana Diarra switched from Arsenal to Portsmouth for around £5.5 million—or roughly a quarter of the amount Pompey would get for selling him to Real Madrid in the following window.

    The biggest transfer was Nicolas Anelka's £15 million switch to Stamford Bridge from Bolton—his fifth Premier League club—while Alan Hutton cost Spurs a not-insignificant £9 million.

2011: £225 Million Spent

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    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    After a paltry £30 million was spent in winter 2010, records were smashed into oblivion in 2011 when an unprecedented £225 million was exchanged for new talent.

    More than half of this ludicrous amount was spent on a thoroughly entertaining deadline day.

    Chelsea broke the British transfer record by giving £50 million to Liverpool for their unstoppable Spaniard Fernando Torres, while Roman Abramovich further flexed his billionaire biceps with the £21.3 million acquisition of David Luiz from Benfica. 

    Liverpool, meanwhile, immediately reinvested their Torres kitty in Andy Carroll (£35 million) and a young man who had shown promise at Ajax named Luis Suarez (£23 million).

    With hindsight, Liverpool and Chelsea may both lament their free-spending on Carroll and Torres respectively, as neither lived up to their eye-watering price tags.

    Carroll was a shadow of the man he had been on Tyneside, while El Nino took 903 minutes to score his first goal. 

    Elsewhere in the window, Manchester City paid Wolfsburg £27 million for Edin Dzeko, while Darren Bent moved from Sunderland to Aston Villa for £18 million.

     

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