•  Deadline Day is typically manic, with teams worldwide eager to do business to improve their squads.
  •  Some Premier League legends, including Ashley Cole, Luis Suarez, and Wayne Rooney, were signed on Deadline Day.
  •  The other successful Deadline Day signings include Arsenal’s capture of Mesut Ozil and Dele Alli’s move to Tottenham.


It’s that time of the year once again, ladies and gentlemen! It is when every Premier League team will get one last chance to bolster their squads with all the planning of a husband buying their wife flowers from the petrol station on Valentine’s Day. That’s right, it’s Deadline Day!


It’s the final day to get deals across the line, but it’s like a game of football. A sheer rush of excitement thanks to your side finally plugging a gap or the gut-wrenching feeling when your favorite player ups and leaves for new pastures – it’s got it all. It’s football’s heritage, as Jose Mourinho would say.


While many teams will prefer to get their business done early to incorporate the new players into the squad, for others, good things come to those who wait. Need any proof? Don’t worry about it; GIVEMESPORT is here to give you a rundown of the 15 best Deadline-day signings in the history of the Premier League.


Ranking factors


When coming up with our list, we ensured we considered many different facets of what constitutes a successful transfer. However, given the nature of the list, some names could be considered controversial. This tip doesn’t scratch the surface of superb deadline-day deals. With the use of statistics and other findings through research, GIVEMESPORT considered the following aspects:


  • Fee
  • Stats
  • Longevity
  • Difference they made
  • Expectations
  • Success – respective of the club and their expectations
  • How they are viewed overall by those in the football world


The above criteria were considered with an apparent importance placed on how much a club shelled out. However, their prices were caveated, assuming the market and prices constantly fluctuate. Success, both collectively and on an individual basis that they’ve enjoyed since the move was taken on board, while the impact they made on the team, whether that be trophies or an increase in leadership and togetherness, was also looked at, while longevity and the initial expectations laid before them were considered, too. Have you taken everything (especially the ranking factors) on board? If so, what are you waiting for?


The 15 best Deadline Day transfers in Premier League history
Rank Player Transfer Date of transfer
1. Wayne Rooney Everton to Man Utd August 2004
2. Luis Suarez Ajax to Liverpool January 2011
3. Claude Makelele Real Madrid to Chelsea August 2003
4. Ashley Cole Arsenal to Chelsea August 2006
5. Hugo Lloris Lyon to Tottenham August 2012
6. John Stones Barnsley to Everton January 2013
7. Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano Corinthians to West Ham August 2006
8. Mikel Arteta Everton to Arsenal August 2011
9. Mesut Ozil Real Madrid to Arsenal August 2013
10. Dimitar Berbatov Tottenham to Man Utd September 2008
11. Robbie Keane Leeds to Tottenham August 2002
12. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Borussia Dortmund to Arsenal January 2018
13. Dele Alli MK Dons to Tottenham February 2015
14. Lucas Moura PSG to Tottenham January 2018
15. Rafael van der Vaart Real Madrid to Tottenham August 2010

15Rafael van der Vaart – August 2010


Real Madrid to Tottenham Hotspur


Rafael van der Vaart

The term’ the streets won’t forget’ gets thrown around a lot these days, but forget the Michus, Adel Taarabt, and the Hatem Ben Arfa’s of the world; the streets of north London weren’t ready for Rafael van der Vaart’s arrival at White Hart Lane.


Arriving for around the £8 million mark in August 2010 thanks to the Dutchman’s move to Bayern Munich collapsing the day before, Van der Vaart’s two-year stint at Spurs will go down as one of the most beloved in Tottenham Hotspur history, who returned to Hamburg in 2012 in another Deadline Day move. He may have only played 76 times for the capital club, but he had a certain aura about him – an unforgettable one at that.


Rafael van der Vaart – Real Madrid and Tottenham Stats
Club Real Madrid Tottenham
Cost £12.83m £8.98m
Appearances 73 76
Cost per appearance £175,753 £118,158
Goals 12 27
Assists 13 18
Statistics per Transfermarkt

14Lucas Moura – January 2018


PSG to Tottenham Hotspur




Mr. ’82 rated Lucas Moura on FIFA himself. When Neymar and Kylian Mbappe joined PSG in the summer of 2017, the writing was on the wall for the Brazilian winger that he might not be getting game time in the French capital.


Tottenham managed to swoop in with a £25 million bid halfway through the 2017/2018 season to help with their pursuit of Champions League football and their first piece of silverware since 2008 – and while he might have left the club with no trophies to his name, if it weren’t for Moura, the north Londoners wouldn’t have made the 2019 Champions League final. He was that important.


Lucas Moura – PSG to Tottenham Stats
Club PSG Tottenham
Cost £34.21m £24.29m
Appearances 229 221
Cost per appearance £149,389 £109,910
Goals 46 39
Assists 48 27
Statistics per Transfermarkt

13Dele Alli – February 2015


MK Dons to Tottenham Hotspur


Dele Alli


It’s a hat-trick for Tottenham! What a performance! Seriously though, the level of outstanding business that Spurs have done on Deadline Day is awe-inspiring, with this deal being forgotten about due to Dele Alli immediately being loaned back to MK Dons upon his signing.


Dele eventually broke through into Tottenham’s first team in the 2015/2016 season and looked unstoppable with Mauricio Pochettino in the dugout, and while his career has suffered a downturn in recent years, getting one of the most exciting young players in England – for around £5 million mark – is always going to be a good piece of business.


Dele Alli – MK Dons and Tottenham Stats
Club MK Dons Tottenham
Cost Academy graduate £5.67m
Appearances 88 269
Cost per appearance N/A £21,078
Goals 24 67
Assists 15 61
Statistics per Transfermarkt

12Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – January 2018


Borussia Dortmund to Arsenal


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang


I stayed north of the capital but traveled to the red half of the area for the most expensive deadline-day transfer (at the time of writing). Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was one of the most in-demand strikers during his time at Borussia Dortmund, so when Arsenal forked over £50 million, Premier League defenses watched on in horror.


Doing the number 14 shirt justice during his four years at the Emirates Stadium, Aubameyang may have left Arsenal in a cloud of controversy, but he did leave with an FA Cup, a Community Shield, and a Premier League Golden Boot, having kept up with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in 2019.


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Dortmund to Arsenal Stats
Club Dortmund Arsenal
Cost £11.12m £54.53m
Appearances 213 163
Cost per appearance £52,207 £334,540
Goals 141 92
Assists 36 21
Statistics per Transfermarkt

11Robbie Keane – August 2002


Leeds United to Tottenham Hotspur




Hello again, Tottenham; good to see you again! The turn of the millennium was a busy time for Robbie Keane. He broke through at Wolves, got Coventry City to break the record for a British teenager, spent six months at Inter Milan, helped Leeds United get to a Champions League semi-final before joining Spurs for less money than what Leeds paid Inter for him.


Signing on Deadline Day in August 2002, then-manager Glenn Hoddle said Spurs could become Keane’s spiritual home for many years. Judging by the fact that the Irishman played over 300 games and scored 91 goals in his two stints with the club, perhaps Hoddle knew what he was talking about.


Robbie Keane – Leeds and Tottenham Stats
Club Leeds Tottenham
Cost £15.4m £8.98m
Appearances 56 306
Cost per appearance £275,000 £29,346
Goals 18 122
Assists 2 32
Statistics per Transfermarkt

10Dimitar Berbatov – September 2008


Tottenham Hotspur to Manchester United


Manchester United's Dimitar Berbatov


Finally, someone is leaving Tottenham rather than joining them. 2008’s summer Deadline Day was eventful: Manchester City got taken over by their current owners and signed Robinho just because they could. Marouane Fellaini’s afro arrived in the Premier League in a move that was very close to getting on this list, and then there’s this.


Dimitar Berbatov was almost sure to go to Manchester United, only for Spurs to accept a bid from Manchester City, only for Berbatov to turn around and say, ‘I don’t want to play for you.’ Classic. Spurs got just over £30 million from the Red Devils for the Bulgarian striker, which they used to fund the signing of Roman Pavlyuchenko, a move that was not even close to getting on this list.


Dimitar Berbatov – Tottenham and Man Utd Stats
Club Tottenham Man Utd
Cost £13.43m £32.5m
Appearances 102 149
Cost per appearance £131,667 £218,121
Goals 46 56
Assists 29 27
Statistics per Transfermarkt

9Mesut Ozil – August 2013


Real Madrid to Arsenal


Mesut Ozil


Arsenal fans had been desperate for a big-name signing for years but were constantly told that the club was still paying off the loan they used to help build the Emirates Stadium. Then, in 2013, the owners found over £40 million down the side of the couch and bought one of the best playmakers in the world: Mesut Ozil.


It was an accurate statement signing that upset Cristiano Ronaldo, who didn’t want Real Madrid to sell the German, and for good reason. Arsenal fans could argue that Ozil never reached the heights he did in Spain, but he was simply unplayable when he was in top form.


Mesut Ozil – Real Madrid and Arsenal Stats
Club Real Madrid Arsenal
Cost £15.4m £40.2m
Appearances 159 254
Cost per appearance £96,855 £158,268
Goals 27 44
Assists 81 79
Statistics per Transfermarkt

8Mikel Arteta – August 2011


Everton to Arsenal


Arsenal's Mikel Arteta in action vs Everton


A man who could qualify for this list for two Deadline Day moves as Mikel Arteta’s initial loan move to Everton from Real Sociedad led to the Spaniard joining The Toffees permanently in 2005. However, the signing of current Arsenal manager, Arteta, by the Emirates Stadium-based outfit in 2011 pips that move to the post.


Following Arsenal’s 8-2 defeat at the hands of Manchester United in August 2011, The Gunners brought the Spaniard in for stability in the midfield. His five years at the club led to the Spaniard becoming a huge fan favorite, so much so that when he was announced as the new Arsenal manager in 2019, he was welcomed back with open arms.


Mikel Arteta – Everton and Arsenal Stats
Club Everton Arsenal
Cost £2.39m £10.26m
Appearances 209 150
Cost per appearance £11,435 £68,400
Goals 35 16
Assists 36 11
Statistics per Transfermarkt

7Carlos Tevez & Javier Mascherano – August 2006


Corinthians to West Ham United


Mascherano Tevez


Ah yes, when West Ham fans worldwide looked at the news and said, ‘Excuse me?’ Two of the most exciting young players in South America at that time – Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano – made the jump to the Premier League, but not to the typical English heavyweights in Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool or Chelsea, but to the Hammers instead.


Arguably one of the most controversial moves in Premier League history due to the move being illegal, neither man was at Upton Park for long, as Mascherano made the move to Liverpool in January 2007, while Tevez stayed long enough to relegate Sheffield United before moving to Manchester United.


Tevez and Mascherano – Corinthians and West Ham Stats
Player Tevez Mascherano
Club Corinthians West Ham Corinthians West Ham
Cost £12.84m £12.5m £10.11m £12.5m
Appearances 50 29 22 7
Cost per appearance £256,800 £431,034 £459,545 £1,785,714
Goals 29 7 0 0
Assists 0 4 0 0
Statistics per Transfermarkt

6John Stones – January 2013


Barnsley to Everton


Everton's John Stones vs Stevenage

It’s the cheapest move on the list and could increase in the next few years if John Stones remains one of the best defenders in the Premier League. Having already attracted interest from Chelsea and Manchester City, Everton stepped in and took a chance on the Barnsley defender in 2013, and what a gamble it ended up being.


In his three-and-a-half years at Goodison Park, stones eventually became an immovable object in the heart of the Everton defense, leading to Manchester City making Stones the second-most expensive defender of all time in 2016. What a brilliant move for the Toffees.


John Stones – Barnsley and Everton Stats
Club Barnsley Everton
Cost Academy graduate £2.99m
Appearances 28 242
Cost per appearance N/A £12,355
Goals 1 15
Assists 0 5
Statistics per Transfermarkt

5Hugo Lloris – August 2012


Lyon to Tottenham Hotspur




One last trip to the white half of north London for the best piece of Deadline Day business they have ever done. Back in 2012, Hugo Lloris had already established himself as the best goalkeeper in France, and with the club bringing in Clint Dempsey on the same day, it seemed like the dawn of a new era at White Hart Lane.


Winning the 2018 World Cup as the captain of France, reaching the 2019 Champions League final as the captain of Spurs, and with nearly 450 appearances at the club, it’s safe to say that getting rid of three goalkeepers in the 2012 summer transfer window was a risk that paid off for Tottenham.


Hugo Lloris – Lyon and Tottenham Stats
Club Lyon Tottenham
Cost £7.27m £12.6m
Appearances 202 444
Cost per appearance £35,990 £28,378
Goals conceded 214 508
Clean sheets 67 151
Statistics per Transfermarkt

4Ashley Cole – August 2006


Arsenal to Chelsea


Ashley Cole Jose Mourinho


There have been sagas, but nothing compares to the ‘Cashley Cole’ saga. It was a situation that lasted for over a year, with the defender wanting to leave Arsenal in 2005. However, it ramped up in the lead-up to the 2006/2007 season.


From ‘trembling with anger’ over being offered £55,000 a week to William Gallas threatening to score own goals if he wasn’t allowed to leave Chelsea, Ashley Cole and Gallas went opposite directions on Deadline Day in 2006. However, given that Cole went on to win many more trophies at Chelsea than Gallas did at Arsenal, ‘Cashley’ makes the list.


Ashley Cole – Arsenal and Chelsea Stats
Club Arsenal Chelsea
Cost Academy graduate £6.33m
Appearances 228 337
Cost per appearance N/A £18,783
Goals 9 7
Assists 23 37
Statistics per Transfermarkt

3Claude Makelele – August 2003


Real Madrid to Chelsea


Claude Makelele


You know a signing was successful when the player left your club, and people named an entire position after them. Much like the Ozil above move, Real Madrid fans and players weren’t happy when, during the Galacticos era of the club, a player like Claude Makelele left the club to move to the Premier League.


While some fans might think that the Saudi Pro League is on a spending spree in 2023, Chelsea went on a spending spree before it was cool in 2003. Even though they splashed the cash on future legends like Didier Drogba, Joe Cole, and Petr Cech, the legendary Jose Mourinho Chelsea team of the 2000s wouldn’t have worked as well as it did if it wasn’t for Makelele.


Claude Makelele – Real Madrid and Chelsea Stats
Club Real Madrid Chelsea
Cost £11.97m £17.11m
Appearances 145 217
Cost per appearance £82,552 £78,848
Goals 2 2
Assists 7 6
Statistics per Transfermarkt

2Luis Suárez – January 2011


Ajax to Liverpool


Luis Suarez celebrates


Easily the most excellent January transfer in Premier League history was overshadowed by Andy Carroll. Luis Suarez broke into the public eye during the 2010 World Cup, terrorizing defenses in the Netherlands since 2007. But because he signed for Liverpool on the same day as the Carroll transfer, he was largely forgotten about.


However, the three-and-a-half years in the Premier League for the Uruguayan talisman was not ignored. It was controversial, but he produced one of the single best seasons in league history and all of that came from a Deadline Day signing in 2011. The Uruguayan was practically unstoppable, especially in that season. Come on, you know which one.


Luis Suarez – Ajax to Liverpool Stats
Club Ajax Liverpool
Cost £6.42m £22.69m
Appearances 159 133
Cost per appearance £40,377 £170,602
Goals 111 82
Assists 68 46
Statistics per Transfermarkt

1Wayne Rooney – August 2004


Everton to Manchester United




Ever since Wayne Rooney scored that goal against Arsenal in 2002, Everton fans knew it was only a matter of time before a top team swooped in for the country’s most exciting teenager. Everton did try to keep hold of ‘Wazza,’ but the allure of Manchester United was just too much.


A transfer that only ended up happening on the final day of the 2004 summer transfer window due to Bill Kenwright wanting more money for the teenager, Rooney went on to become Manchester United’s record goalscorer, won every trophy he could win, and was undoubtedly the most excellent Deadline Day transfer in Premier League history.


Wayne Rooney – Everton and Man Utd Stats
Club Everton Man Utd
Cost Academy graduate £31.65m
Appearances 117 559
Cost per appearance N/A £56,619
Goals 28 253
Assists 8 145
Statistics per Transfermarkt