QPR were the Barclay’s Premier League’s biggest spenders on transfer deadline day with almost £9million invested on strikers Bobby Zamora and Djibril Cisse.
Most of the day’s money went on forwards, with Everton bringing in Rangers’ Nikica Jelavic, Fulham signing Stuttgart’s Pavel Pogrebnyak and Chelsea taking teenager Patrick Bamford from Nottingham Forest.
There was also some traditionally late business for Tottenham who completed a surprise short-term move for Everton’s injury-troubled striker Louis Saha, allowed Roman Pavlyuchenko to join Lokomotiv Moscow and gave loans to defenders Vedran Corluka (Bayer Leverkusen) and Sebastian Bassong (Wolves) with midfielder Steven Pienaar returning to Goodison Park until the end of the season.
But there was no late escape for Manchester City’s wantaway forward Carlos Tevez as interest from the continent failed to manifest itself into anything stronger, leaving the Argentina international in limbo again.
Overall, spending was down massively compared to 12 months ago as clubs tightened their belts with one eye on UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations.
QPR manager Mark Hughes made the most of the budget given to him by owner Tony Fernandes, whose takeover of the club in August came too late to broker any major deals, by forking out two of the highest fees in the final few hours of the January window.
With only the Barclays Premier League’s bottom side Wigan having scored fewer (19) in the first 22 matches, the Loftus Road boss identified goals as an area for improvement.
The 30-year-old Cisse, formerly of Liverpool and Sunderland, returned to England after signing a two-and-a-half-year contract to leave Lazio in a deal Press Association Sport understands is worth around £4.1million.
Zamora, who Hughes managed during his short spell at Craven Cottage last year, cost the west London club an initial £4.5million after the 31-year-old signed a two-and-a-half-year contract – although that figure will rise based on performances
“QPR are certainly a club that are looking to go forward,” Zamora told qpr.co.uk.
“That’s something that I’m looking forward to being a part of. I got on really well with the manager at Fulham [and] he’s looking to take the club forward.
“I think this was the right time for me to have a fresh challenge.”
Cisse is relishing the prospect of playing in the Premier League again.
“I have unfinished business here in England. The English league is the best in the world. It is the league that suits me the most,” he said.
“For the type of player I am I need space, I like fast football in a good atmosphere and all these things are in England.”
Zamora’s replacement at Craven Cottage was Stuttgart’s Pogrebnyak, who arrived on a six-month deal, but Spurs boss Harry Redknapp’s move for Saha, 34 in August, came as something of surprise considering his chequered fitness record.
The Frenchman, who had just six months remaining on his current deal, has managed 20 appearances this season, scoring just twice.
Redknapp was also awaiting confirmation of a deal to take Ryan Nelsen, who has played just once since April 9, from Blackburn.
Everton finalised a four-and-a-half-year deal for Jelavic and the 26-year-old hopes to be able to continue his good goalscoring form now he is in England.
“It is a big thing for me and it is a new step in my career, a step forward,” said the Croatia international, who scored 36 times in just 55 appearances for Rangers and 40 goals in 93 games for Rapid Vienna.
Another former Liverpool player also returned to England as Sotirios Kyrgiakos, who only left Anfield in the summer, became Sunderland’s second signing of the day.
The 32-year-old centre-half joined on loan from Wolfsburg to follow Manchester City left-back Wayne Bridge to the Stadium of Light after the England international agreed a temporary spell in the north-east.
“I’m hoping that with Wayne’s experience and ability he can be a big help to the team until the end of the season,” said manager Martin O’Neill.
“Sotirios offers a real physical presence, coupled with a wealth of experience, which will be an undoubted benefit to us in the next few months.”
Chelsea completed a five-and-a-half year contract for 20-year-old Belgian midfielder Kevin de Bruyne – before loaning him back to Genk until the end of the season – and also signed Bamford later in the day.
Blackburn brought in former Halmstad winger Marcus Olsson, the twin brother of Rovers’ Swedish wideman Martin, and QPR defender Bradley Orr while Arsenal signed 19-year-old Borussia Dortmund midfielder Thomas Eisfeld and allowed Japanese midfielder Ryo Miyaichi, 19, to go on loan to Bolton.
Manchester City signed Roma’s 32-year-old Chilean midfielder David Pizarro on loan but lost Switzerland Under-17 captain Frederic Veseli, 19, to near neighbours United, who themselves allowed teenage midfielder Ravel Morrison to leave for West Ham on a three-and-a-half-year contract.
West Brom signed defender Liam Ridgewell from Birmingham, Norwich brought in Peterborough defender Ryan Bennett but Stoke allowed Danny Higginbotham to join npower Championship side Nottingham Forest on loan.
Only the Potters and Liverpool failed to sign anyone in January.