Skip to main content

Premier League clubs spent £1.24 billion on transfers up to the 22/23 season opener

On Friday, the 5th of August the curtain of the new 2022/2023 Premier League season was raised. In the opening match Arsenal defeated their London neighbours Crystal Palace 2:0, displaying solid football, with new players Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus present in the starting lineup. In this SportingPedia report we focus on the number of new footballers acquired by the Premier League teams pre-season 22/23 and the amounts paid for them. We took under consideration only finalized deals, closed before the opener game and did not analyze loan deals and free transfers. The 20 Premier League clubs have spent a combined of £1.24 Billion on 65 new players thus far, already eclipsing the spending spree of summer 2021, which was estimated at £1.2 billion after the market’s closure on 31st of August 2021.

Key Takeaways

  • With more than 3 weeks remaining the 20 teams have already surpassed the amount spent over the entire 2021 summer transfer window
  • Each completed Premier League incoming transfer so far comes at the average price of 19.15 million
  • Еach side has had an average of 3.25 players coming in before the opening round
  • Defenders are the most sought-after, with 22 players performing in the defensive department being signed; Next are the midfielders – 19, forwards – 17 and goalkeepers – 7
  • 37.4% of the transfer fees have been paid for attacking players, next come the defenders – 35.2%, midfielders – 23.2% and goalkeepers – 4.2%
  • Nottingham Forest has been the most active, paying fees for 9 players so far, while Leicester are at the other end and are still to spend a penny for new transfers
  • Six sides avoided signing forwards, 5 have not signed a defender, 8 stay away from midfielders, 13 teams opted against paying for new goalkeepers
  • 4 teams have signed more than 1 defender; Nottingham the most – 5
  • Darwin Nunez has been the most expensive summer buy thus far, with Liverpool paying Benfica 67.5 millions for his services

From the opening of the summer transfer window on the 10th of June until the kick-off of the first Premier League game of the 22/23 season last Friday, 5th of August, a total of 65 players either changed clubs or joined the Premier League from abroad. Before the Premier League curtain raiser a few clubs had publicly admitted they were not fully finished with their dealings and expected more signings. However, the 1st round of results is already in and given the outcomes some sides might want to reconsider their stance. On average, each of the 20 Premier League sides had paid transfer fees for 3.25 new players, spending £62.23 million per team for reinforcements so far. The new boys from Nottingham Forest have been the most-active, forking out fees for 9 new signings, while Leicester have been avoiding to pay for incoming transfers thus far. 22 players performing in defensive positions joined the Premier League clubs until 19:59 on Friday. The next most sought-after were the midfielders – 19, the forwards – 17 and the goalkeepers – 7.

Sir Alex Ferguson once said:

“Attack wins you games, defence wins you titles.”

By looking at the breakdowns, we are left with the impression that this season coaches are building their teams from the back, starting from the defence, following the Premier League’s best ever manager’s vision for winning in the long term.

The trend of previous transfer windows remains unchanged in terms of pricing, as the forwards are still the most-expensive players when comparing by positions. Up until Friday, 17 attackers have joined their respective new teams, with the average price paid being £27.40 million. Defenders are next with £19.90 million, then midfielders – £15.22 million and the goalies – £7.37 million. The average fee paid for a newly-bought player during the current window is £19.15 million. Three London teams have been the biggest spenders so far – Chelsea, Arsenal and West Ham are currently the only sides to break the £100 million mark in expenditures. Leicester on the other hand are yet to spend a penny, but are expected to dig into their pockets after being left by club legend Kasper Schmeichel.

Chelsea and the rest of The Top 6

Amid the much discussed and prolonged change of ownership at Chelsea the club has taken new direction under the guidance of Todd Boehly. The Londoners have been the biggest spenders of the transfer window until Friday 19:59 p.m., when the new season kicked-off, forking out £167.93 million for 5 new players. The Blues are far from finished with their transfer dealings and a few more footballers are expected in London before the deadline on September 1st.

Manchester City and Liverpool will be happy with their attacking reinforcements, as both Darwin Nunez and Erling Haaland got on the score sheet on their Premier League debuts. The spirits around Old Trafford will be low, as Manchester United endured a disappointing Saturday afternoon, losing 1:2 at home to Brighton.

Of the top 6, City, Tottenham and Arsenal looked like they were most prepared for the new season.

The Others

Upon their return to the Premier League after a 23 year wait, Nottingham Forest significantly strengthened the squad, paying transfer fees for no less than 9 new players. The majority (5 of them) are defenders, while 1 performs mainly in the attacking third. The new additions failed to make an instant impact and the Forest lost 2:0 their visit to Newcastle on Saturday. The other two sides who were promoted to the Premier League – Bournemouth and Fulham have signed 1 and 4 new players respectively.

Leicester is the only side yet to pay a penny for a new player, but they are expected to dig into their pockets soon after being left by club legend Kasper Schmeichel. The Foxes finished 8th last season and on the opening day allowed Brentford to come back from two goals down to eventually earn a 2:2 draw.

Our analyst Sean Foster expects the teams’ to remain active and added:

“Most of the clubs still need new additions and are not finished doing business. As evident from the opening round of games – Manchester United, Leicester and Chelsea desperately need fresh blood in order to compete at the highest level. I’m convinced that when the window closes on 1st of September, the total transfer fees will easily surpass the 1.5 billion valuation, as there will be a few more marquee signings commanding high prices.”