Round-ups of the January transfer window are never in short supply, so to add some whimsy after a relatively dull deadline day we thought we’d find some metaphors for it all.
Looking at some of the more interesting movers of the window we asked – if this was them buying a meal deal, what did they just buy?
What they did: Burnley brought Ashley Westwood and Robbie Brady to Turf Moor in January, but Joey Barton’s return to the Clarets is the big news. It’s already proved handy for them too, with the midfielder scoring from a free kick on his first game back. We will see if his sometimes fiery temperament gets him into trouble later in the season though.
Their meal deal: In Joey Barton, Burnley have skipped on the sandwich and gone for the spiciest Peperami they can find. Not everyone can handle them that hot anyway and you’re certain they aren’t good for you but you can’t resist buying one all the same.
What they did: Made money. Apart from a loan recall for Nathan Ake, all the action has been outward, with Oscar, John Obi Mikel and Patrick Bamford leaving they managed to bag about £65 million, as well as sending out plenty on loan.
Fortunately for the Blues they managed to keep hold of top-scorer Diego Costa despite rumours of interest from China.
Their meal deal: Chelsea considered buying some food, but instead decided to take back the cheese and pickle sandwich they gave to the little kid from Bournemouth instead, deciding they wanted it after all – who needs to spend money?
What they did: Brought in two relatively attacking players who can each play at left back: Patrick van Aanholt from Sunderland and Jeffrey Schlupp from Leicester, costing reportedly £14 million and £12 million respectively. They also picked up Serbian international midfielder Luka Milivojevic from Olympiakos, as well as Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho on loan, both as the transfer deadline loomed.
Meanwhile they’ve hardly sent anyone away either, apart from some youngsters temporarily.
Their meal deal: It looked like Palace had simply bought two quite fancy packs of crisps of the same flavour, but they grabbed for some French bread and a piece of cake just before they reached the checkout. Will their last-minute purchases be enough to keep hunger and relegation from the door?
What they did: The Toffees have been busy bringing in French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin and English winger Ademola Lookman for a combined fee of over £30 million.
If Schneiderlin can show the class he showed at Southampton before he moved to Manchester United he could be a key player this season, and 19-year-old Lookman’s exciting talent and speed makes that two important signings for Everton’s future under Koeman.
The blue half of Merseyside also cleared out Tom Cleverley, Oumar Niasse and Gerard Deulofeu on loan, while Darron Gibson and Bryan Oviedo left on a permanent basis to join ex-manager David Moyes at Sunderland.
Their meal deal: Gathering some pennies together from clearing out the attic certainly wasn’t enough to fund it all, but the Blues broke the bank anyway for a croissant from down the street and a fancy new milkshake from the local cafe – and they won’t regret it one bit.
What they did: Despite languishing in the relegation zone, the Tigers have decided to ship out some of their top players in the form of Scotland international Robert Snodgrass and former Spurs man Jake Livermore.
A combined fee of about £20 million for the midfielders won’t keep them from going down, but maybe – just maybe – new signings can.
They’ve brought in midfielders Markus Henriksen and Alfred N’Diaye, winger Lazar Markovic of Liverpool, striker Oumar Niasse of Everton and Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia all on loan. Meanwhile former Brazil under-20 midfielder Evandro has joined for an undisclosed fee from Porto.
Their meal deal: They’ve traded in their Sainsbury’s liver pate and Scottish shortbread for a hodgepodge selection of world foods from the market to cure their hunger. If it works out fair play to them for trying – but it might not be enough.
What they did: One of their stars in Van Aanholt has left. In true David Moyes form though they’ve tried to fill the gap left by the Dutch international by signing some of his old guard.
The Black Cats brought in Everton’s Darron Gibson and Bryan Oviedo – who is likely to fill the left back position – while veteran defender Joleon Lescott, who Moyes once signed for Everton, has joined on a short-term deal.
Their meal deal: With little funds available Sunderland have raided the reduced section. They’ve picked up some sandwiches but nothing more exciting than a tuna mayonnaise – and one you think might be slightly past its sell-by date.
What they did: It’s more like what Dimitri Payet did really. The French wizard’s return to old club Marseille after refusing to play for the club that came to love him delivered the Irons £25 million, and they did spend it.
The Hammers were linked with a plethora of players this window, including Sunderland’s Jermain Defoe and even Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas in one report on deadline day. In the end though they brought in Southampton and European Championship-winning Portugal defender Jose Fonte (£8 million) and Scottish winger Snodgrass (£10 million) from Hull.
Their meal deal: After being told their favourite French provider would no longer help feed them, the Irons decided to move on and buy some award-winning Portuguese rye bread and some good old-fashioned ham – but some highly-rated and proven ham at that.
Not everyone was in the mood for lunch however. Arsenal for example merely fancied picking something up for later in the day, buying non-league Cohen Bramall, while for Manchester United, selling Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay demonstrated that they didn’t feel the need to stop off for a big meal at the service station halfway to the end of the journey.
Manchester City meanwhile picked up an order they made months ago – they’ll be hoping Gabriel Jesus keeps them full until May.
Some of these teams saved good money of course, but whether they’ll be feeling particularly hungry by the time summer rolls around, only time will tell.