Our Premier League club-by-club verdict – who had the best and worst window?
With yet another record-breaking transfer window by the Premier League done and dusted, Telegraph Sport assesses and rates each of the 20 club's dealings.
A strange window. Arsenal will be delighted to have strengthened in three key areas of the squad – signing defender Jakub Kiwior, midfielder Jorginho and versatile forward Leandro Trossard – but, alongside that, it is worth noting that they were unable to complete deals for three of their top targets.
Priority number one at the start of the window was Mykhailo Mudryk, who has instead joined Chelsea. Arsenal also wanted Joao Felix, who also ended up at Chelsea. And, towards the end of the window, they failed in their push to sign Moises Caicedo from Brighton.
Arsenal planned for a spectacular window, then, but ultimately settled for a sensible one. That is not necessarily a bad thing, though, as there is no doubt that Mikel Arteta’s squad is stronger now than it was at the start of the month. Sam Dean
Aston Villa, £31.2m
Unai Emery has reinvigorated Aston Villa, raising hopes of a late European charge, yet there was no late drama in the transfer window (which was no bad thing).
Though Emery signed left-back Alex Moreno and exciting young prospect Jhon Durán, the decision was made to work with the current squad and focus on signing priority targets in the summer.
Emery wanted a winger and another forward but with valuations high, and players reluctant to leave mid-season, it promises to be another busy summer for Villa. John Percy
In serious trouble following eight defeats in their last 10 Premier League games, Bournemouth needed significant improvement and waited until deadline day for the biggest moves.
Ukraine centre-back Illia Zabarnyi and Ivory Coast midfielder Hamed Traorè arrived for a combined fee that could rise to £44 million after Dango Ouattara, Antoine Semenyo, Matias Vina and Darren Randolph had already been signed earlier in the window. There is a particular hope that Zabarnyi could be critical to addressing what has been the worst defensive record in the Premier League.
“He has played at the highest level for club and country and has established himself as one of the most sought-after young defenders in the world,” said chief executive Niall Blake, who praised new owner Bill Foley for delivering on his promise of significant January investment. Jeremy Wilson
Brentford, no spend
It was never going to be a particularly busy month for Brentford, who are currently defying expectations (once again) in the Premier League. Thomas Frank’s team ain’t broke, so they certainly did not need much fixing.
They have made one signing, however, and it could end up being one of the most important deals in the club’s history. Kevin Schade is a highly rated young winger who has arrived on an initial loan but is expected to join permanently at the end of the season.
The final fee will be more than £20 million, meaning that Schade will become the most expensive player in Brentford’s history. A talent for the future, mainly, but the German could still have a major impact in the second half of this season. SD
Owner Tony Bloom is among the most sophisticated football data experts in the world and, after also gaining the ‘Lizard’ nickname for his ice-cool poker style, has overseen consistent brilliance in the transfer marker.
Recent on-field success ensured that this was a window during which the club’s players were much sought after but Brighton again only traded on their terms, allowing Leandro Trossard – who had six months on his contract – to join Arsenal for a deal worth £27 million, but flatly rejecting bids that reached £70 million for Moises Caicedo.
They had paid just £4 million for Caicedo two years ago. Amid all the fuss over Caicedo, Brighton quietly added the 19-year-old Swedish midfielder Yasin Ayari on Sunday for around £5 million. JW
Over to you, then, Graham Potter. Good luck finding a place for all of these new players, and indeed keeping the old players even remotely happy. The great Chelsea transfer experiment will certainly be fun to watch, even if the outcome is impossible to predict.
Of all the new signings, Mykhailo Mudryk is arguably the most exciting — even more so than £105m midfielder Enzo Fernandez. Informed people within the game, from clubs across Europe, believe Mudryk has the potential to be one of the absolute best forwards in the world.
As for the rest… well, we will have to wait and see. They are all obvious talents but the environment is often as important as the individual in football. How many of these players can thrive at once? SD
Crystal Palace, £10m
Compared to most other Premier League teams, Palace have been notably cautious in the market over the past 12 months. So much so that, despite Patrick Vieira making it clear he wanted reinforcements in January, it looked for a while like none would be arriving.
Eventually, Palace made their move by strengthening with the addition of two central midfielders. Naouirou Ahamada, a 20-year-old France youth international, has joined from Stuttgart for around £10 million, while Albert Sambi Lokonga has moved from Arsenal on loan.
Lokonga is a player of obvious talent but has visibly lacked confidence this season. At the very least, he provides squad depth. And if he plays to his full potential, he could help Palace to reach another next level over the next few months. SD
Everton, no spend
Everton’s failure to make a signing on deadline day given their position and the £40 million sale of Anthony Gordon is further evidence of the rank mismanagement across the upper echelons of the club.
Sean Dyche tried to add more firepower, and he may yet add free agent Andre Ayew post-deadline, but financial constraints and point blank refusals of targets means his squad is already weaker than the squad Frank Lampard left.
If there is one glimmer of light amid that understandable gloom, it is worth remembering that deadline day signings often promise more than they deliver. A year ago there was hope because Everton signed Dele Alli and Donny van de Beek in the final hours. What did they really contribute to the survival cause?
And who can remember Anwar El Ghazi’s Everton career? He was another pointless last minute addition in January 2022.
That is no excuse for the incompetence that has put Everton in dire straits in 2023, but is a timely reminder that bringing in anyone on deadline day simply to defuse anger can be counterproductive. One can only hope if Ayew arrives he is more than an appeasement measure.
The cock-up was not in the last 24 hours or even over the last month. The journey to where Everton are right now began the day Moshiri bought his shares seven years ago. Chris Bascombe
After a slow month, Fulham came alive in the transfer market on deadline day. First they completed their move for Torino midfielder Saša Lukić, signed for around £9 million, and then they finally succeeded in their long-running pursuit of Arsenal full-back Cédric Soares.
These players will provide more options and greater depth to Marco Silva, who has done such an impressive job so far this season. While the new signings might not immediately elevate the starting line-up, they certainly boost the squad. SD
Jesse Marsch could not have asked for a better window, particularly as he managed to keep Jack Harrison from the clutches of Leicester City, who showed serious interest in the winger and were intent on a deal right until the deadline.
Marsch has been backed in the market, with the club record broken for Georginio Rutter in a £36 million deal from Hoffenheim to add firepower to his attack. And Weston McKennie’s arrival from Juventus has been regarded as one of the deals of January. He impressed against England at the World Cup while playing for the USA and adds to the American flavour at Elland Road. He and Tyler Adams look a good combination. Mike McGrath
Leicester City, £35m
Leicester City underlined their support for manager Brendan Rodgers with a £35 million cash spend in the January window.
Rodgers brought in three signings in Victor Kristiansen, Harry Souttar and Tete as Leicester completed their first permanent deals in January since 2018.
The three deals mark a return to Leicester's previous strategy of signing young and hungry players with the potential to develop and improve. JP
Remember Cody Gakpo? His signing on January 1 and the plaudits which followed such smart business – a World Cup star secured for £35 million – seems a generation ago given the angst which has grown since. Jürgen Klopp indicated then his business was done and he was not joking, despite so much ill-informed social media speculation.
On a purely practical level there was limited space in his squad unless he could shift a few out (easier said than done when players are settled on huge contracts). For this season’s redefined ambitions, Liverpool certainly needed more right now, especially in midfield, but the strategy is focused on refreshing in the summer.
Klopp was simply not prepared to use resources that would reduce his summer budget. That piles huge pressure on the club to convince prime targets to join before next season. One would expect Liverpool to be among the most active in the next window. CB
Manchester City, £8m
Although City signed Maximo Perrone from Velez Sarsfield for £8 million – the midfielder is due to train with the first team for the remainder of the season after the South American Under-20 Championships have concluded this month – there was never an intention to do any substantial business in the window.
However, the shock departure of Joao Cancelo to Bayern Munich on loan after a falling out with Pep Guardiola over limited playing time has potentially left the Premier League champions exposed at full-back. An injury to Kyle Walker or Rico Lewis could put City in trouble. There is considerable work to do in the summer. James Ducker
Manchester United, no spend
Having greatly exceeded their planned budget last summer and with the Glazers tightening spending as they try to sell the club, United were limited to low cost, no obligation loans that left manager Erik ten Hag effectively working with one hand tied behind his back.
On that basis, United appear to have made the best of a difficult situation with the loan signings of Holland striker Wout Weghorst from Burnley and Austria midfielder Marcel Sabitzer from Bayern Munich. Sabitzer, in particular, looks a smart solution to a sudden pressing problem after Christian Eriksen was ruled out for three months with an ankle injury. Ten Hag will hope the purse strings have loosened come the summer. JD
Newcastle United, £40m
Newcastle have not rolled the dice and played it safe in the window. It may well end up costing them Champions League football as the squad looked paper thin in key areas like midfield and defence. Anthony Gordon’s versatility up front is a boost though. Loss of Chris Wood and Jonjo Shelvey makes sense medium term but possibly not short term.
Nottingham Forest, £20.8m
With a typical late flourish, Nottingham Forest secured three signings on deadline day to take the total amount to a remarkable 27 this season.
Evangelos Marinakis, the owner, is determined to give Forest every chance of survival and the capture of Keylor Navas from PSG on loan in particular underlines the ambition to keep progressing.
Steve Cooper has dramatically improved Forest's performances and results on the pitch in recent months and certainly has strength in depth. The only issue is that there could be some tough decisions ahead of naming the 25-man squad. JP
There was a double silver-lining following Tuesday’s Carabao Cup defeat against Newcastle United when deals totalling more than £40 million were completed for Paul Onuachu and Kamaldeen Sulemana.
“It has been an extremely positive month in terms of recruitment,” said manager Nathan Jones, after the club had also added James Bree, Mislav Orsic and Carlos Alcaraz earlier in January.
Sulemana, a 20-year-old winger from Rennes, had also been wanted by relegation rivals Everton but will join Southampton for a club record fee that could rise to around £24 million.
The most important immediate signings, however, are likely to be Onuachu and Carlos Alcaraz. Southampton have been in desperate need of a proven goalscoring striker ever since Danny Ings left 18 months ago and Onuachu, a 6ft 7in Nigeria international, has 16 in 19 league games this season for Genk. JW
Tottenham Hotspur, £40m
Pedro Porro looks to be the quality right wing-back that Spurs have been craving for years, after Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty both failed to deliver what was expected. The 23-year-old should fit seamlessly into Antonio Conte’s system and he seems an instant upgrade on the existing options in that position.
The signing of winger Arnaut Danjuma feels more opportunistic but he is a talented forward who can provide a different option off the bench. Tiring full-backs will not enjoy the sight of Danjuma entering the field in the second half. SD
West Ham United, £12m
West Ham invested heavily in the summer, spending more than £160 million, so this was never going to be a busy month for David Moyes and his recruitment team. Moyes will be pleased, however, to have secured the signature of Danny Ings. In theory, at least, Ings should provide much-needed goal threat.
The loss of Craig Dawson to Wolves has not helped their squad depth but, with Kurt Zouma, Angelo Ogbonna, Nayef Aguerd and Thilo Kehrer on the books, West Ham are not short of defensive options.
West Ham’s problem this season has been performance, not personnel. This window was not going to define their campaign. SD
Julen Lopetegui is the most decorated manager to ever manage Wolves and there was never any doubt that he would be properly backed in January.
Six signings arrived last month, with owners Fosun taking their transfer investment this season towards £200 million, and there is now balance and quality to the squad.
João Gomes may be one for the future, but signings such as Craig Dawson and Mario Lemina emphasised Lopetegui's need for solid Premier League experience. Keep an eye on Pablo Sarabia, the £4.4 million signing from PSG: he could be a very decent recruit under the radar.
The only nagging doubt among some supporters is the lack of another striker alongside Matheus Cunha. JP