Transfer window: Lessons to be learnt from a summer of spending

By Matt DavisBBC Sport
football transfers
More than £500m has been spent by Premier League clubs during the transfer window

Two months of excitement and desperation for football fans is almost over as the transfer window nears its conclusion.

A British youngster cost almost £50m, Manchester United were linked with everyone, their goalkeeper had his head turned by Real Madrid, transfer requests were handed in, U-turns were performed and the most expensive footballer in British history jumped ship to Paris.

But what did we learn? Here are 15 lessons from the summer transfer window.

1. Outside interest can help players secure new deals with their current clubs

When contract talks between Real Madrid and Sergio Ramos were stalling in June, Manchester United bid £28.6m for the Spain defender. Fast forward to August and the World Cup winner agrees a new five-year contract with the La Liga side.

Sergio Ramos
"My heart and head have always been with Real Madrid," said Sergio Ramos after renewing his contract

2. Even though a player models the new kit, it doesn't mean he is staying

Fabian Delph
Aston Villa captain Fabian Delph on 11 July - "I'm not leaving"

Because six days later he might just pose with another one...

Fabian Delph
17 July - Delph signs for Manchester City

3. Don't let a transfer saga drag on

David De Gea to Real Madrid has been the longest-running saga of the summer. The Spain goalkeeper spent the beginning of the season stuck in the stands alongside the exiled Victor Valdes and number two Anders Lindegaard, over concerns Madrid's overtures had distracted him.

David de Gea
David De Gea, centre, is yet to play for United this season

4. Don't annoy Louis van Gaal

Or you will end up like Victor Valdes, who was put up for sale by the Dutchman, who claimed the goalkeeper refused to play for the reserves.

Victor Valdes
Valdes posted this cryptic tweet that seemed to hit back at Van Gaal's accusations

5. Players posting a picture on a plane means nothing

Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema posted this mysterious picture on Instagram, with the caption: "Leave the past to the past."

Karim Benzema sent the rumour mill into overdrive with this picture he posted on Instagram. The logical conclusion drawn was that the Real Madrid striker was on his way to London to sign for Arsenal.

Or maybe not...

Karim Benzema tweet

6. If they're English... bump up their value

This was the transfer window where Raheem Sterling became the most expensive English player ever, as Manchester City spent £49m on the 20-year-old forward, before he had even played 100 league games.

Raheem Sterling
Sterling rejected a new £100,000-a-week contract at Liverpool before joining City
Alan Shearer
Former England striker Alan Shearer had this to say about the Sterling signing

7. Players will happily join a rival cub

After 11 seasons at Stamford Bridge, Petr Cech left Chelsea to move to London rivals Arsenal and then helped his new team beat his former side in the Community Shield.

Petr Cech
Petr Cech tweeted that he had signed for Arsenal

8. Every player in the world will be linked to Manchester United... but they won't get them all

United's summer spending may have included German World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger, but it was the players they didn't sign that created the biggest headlines. During the summer they have been linked with Tottenham's Harry Kane, Real Madrid's Gareth Bale and Nathaniel Clyne, who signed for Liverpool from Southampton, amongst many others.

Players linked with Manchester United
United's supposed targets this transfer window

9. The world's best want to do it on a wet, windy night at the Britannia Stadium

Champions League winner Xherdan Shaqiri joined Mark Hughes's revolution at Stoke for a club record £12m. The Switzerland winger joined former Barcelona players Bojan Krkic, Moha El Ouriachi, Marc Muniesa and Ibrahim Afellay at the Britannia.

Xherdan Shaqiri
Xherdan Shaqiri scored a hat-trick for Switzerland in the 2014 World Cup

10. If a player goes missing, he is not coming back

After Angel Di Maria failed to join United on their pre-season tour of America in July, Louis van Gaal said he didn't know where the midfielder was. It turned out the Argentine had flown to Qatar to have a medical before his move to Paris Saint-Germain.

Angel Di Maria
Di Maria left United just a year after they paid Real Madrid a British record £59.7m for him

11. Players will swap Paris for Palace

This was the transfer window where Crystal Palace flexed their financial muscle and proved they could compete for the world's best. Their marquee signing was France midfielder Yohan Cabaye, who left PSG to join Palace for a club-record fee of £10m.

Yohan Cabaye
Cabaye played under Alan Pardew at Newcastle

12. Chelsea know how to clinch a deal

Pedro to Manchester United looked a dead cert, until Chelsea swooped in and signed the Barcelona forward for £21m. The signing came just four days after the Premier League champions were beaten 3-0 by Manchester City.

The Spanish international compounded United fans' misery by scoring on his Chelsea debut

13. Rodgers will keep on spending

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers took his spending to £289m in three years at Anfield with seven summer signings including Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke for £32.5m and Brazil midfielder Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim for £29m.

Christian Benteke
Benteke is Liverpool's second most expensive signing of all-time

14. Even the Championship will splash the cash

Burnley, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, signed Brentford striker Andre Gray for an undisclosed club-record fee, believed to be £9m, in their attempt to gain promotion at the first time of asking.

Andre Gray
Gray turned down a move to Bristol City before joining Burnley

15. If all else fails, hand in a transfer request

From John Stones to Saido Berahino, if you really want to leave, then hand in a transfer request to try to force the issue. Of course it doesn't mean your club will listen to it.

John Stones and Saido Berahino
Stones has been the subject of three bids from Chelsea while Tottenham are after Berahino

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