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  • By Yann Tear

Chelsea obliterate all-comers in maddest transfer window trolley dash of all time

If you judge these things by money alone, then Chelsea are the undisputed ‘winners’ of this year’s January transfer window.

The Blues’ £107m deal for Benfica's Argentinian World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez took the total expenditure by top-flight clubs in January to a record-breaking £815m.

And the west Londoners are responsible for a huge chunk of that. Some 37 per cent of it, in fact.

The 22-year-old midfielder’s arrival – smashing the previous British transfer record of £100m by Man City for Jack Grealish – was just part of American owner Todd Boehly’s astonishing spending spree which makes the Roman Abramovich era seem cautious and frugal by comparison.

The Blues agreed a £89m deal with Shakhtar Donetsk for 22-year-old Ukraine forward Mykhailo Mudryk earlier in January and he made a fine early impression on his debut at Liverpool.

Their spending in January exceeded £300m on eight new players, with Mudryk, Malo Gusto (£30.7m), Benoit Badiashile (£35m), Noni Madueke (£30.7m), Andrey Santos (£18m) and David Datro Fofana (£8m-£10m) all also added on permanent deals.

Meanwhile, 23-year-old Portugal forward Joao Felix moved to Stamford Bridge on loan from Atletico Madrid at a cost of nearly £10m.

That came after a summer that saw them spend a Premier League record £270m - the second-highest summer spend by any club in the world after Real Madrid (£292m) in 2019.

The cost of elevating yourself up from mid-table has never been so costly.

Chelsea seem to have circumvented financial fair play rules by agreeing long-term deals and payment plans. Expect governing bodies to eventually set up new rules to end what looks like smart exploitation of a loophole.

Tuesday’s deadline day ended a month of frenetic activity throughout the capital.

Tottenham announced the signing of full-back Pedro Porro from Sporting Lisbon on loan until the end of the season, with an obligation to buy for 45m euros (£40m) - while defenders Matt Doherty (Atletico Madrid) and Djed Spence (loan to Rennes) were allowed to leave. Bryan Gil has gone to Sevilla on loan.

Premier League leaders Arsenal strengthened with the £12m acquisition of Jorginho from Chelsea, having already signed Belgium striker Leandro Trossard from Brighton for £21m plus add-ons, along with defender Jakub Kiwior from Serie A side Spezia for £17.6m. West Ham secured Danny Ings’ services for £15m from Aston Villa.

Crystal Palace signed France youth international Naouirou Ahamada, a 20-year-old midfielder from Stuttgart for 11m euros (£9.7m) and secured the services of Arsenal’s Albert Sambi Lokonga on loan.

Fulham acquired Cedric Soares from Arsenal for the rest of the campaign and Sasa Lukic from Torino. The 26-year-old Serbian midfielder has signed a four a half year deal. Nathaniel Chalobah (West Brom) and Josh Onomah (Preston) have departed.

Late paperwork issues scuppered a deal that would have taken Chelsea’s Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech to PSG, while Conor Gallagher turned down a loan move to Everton to stay at Stamford Bridge.

A roundup of some of the other deadline deals: Harrison Asby (West Ham to Newcastle for £3m); Jude Soonsup-Bell (Chelsea to Spurs); Kasy McAteer (Leicester City to Wimbledon on loan); Adam Hayton (Spurs to Barnsley); Sam Lavelle (Charlton to Burton); Diallang Jaiyesimi (Charlton to Wimbledon); Emmanuel Longelo (West Ham to Birmingham); George Thomas (QPR to Cambridge); Aaron Pierre (Sutton to Wimbledon); Harvey White (Tottenham to Derby on loan); Charlie Kirk (Charlton to Burton on loan); Wesley Hoedt (Anderlecht to Watford); Tyla Dickinson (Wycombe to Wimbledon); Michael Hector (Unattached to Charlton); Ducan Watmore (Middlesbrough to Millwall); Gavin Kilkenny (Bournemouth to Charlton on loan): Marquinhos (Arsenal to Norwich on loan).


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