Saturday, 1 February 2014

If the transfer window slammed shut without a deal to match @JuanMata8’s blockbuster move from @ChelseaFC to @ManUtd on Monday, Twitter was still ablaze with speculation, chatter and deals aplenty.

On deadline day itself, there were more than 1.9 million Tweets about transfer rumours and news. The most discussed players of the day were Källström, Konoplyanka, Draxler, Berbatov and Zouma.

But the player who generated the most buzz overall was Juan Mata, with more than 10 million mentions on Twitter over the course of the January window. This surpassed the 8.4m mentions Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) generated during the longer summer window, as well as the 4.3m mentions of @MesutOzil1088 during that same summer period.

Twitter has become the definitive place for football fans, clubs, journalists and players to share the latest updates and news, and keep track of what’s happening on deadline day, using hashtags to monitor the conversation. Today alone they used the hashtags #DeadlineDay and #TransferDeadlineDay more than 250,000 times.

Breaking news
When it came to money spent, the biggest deal of the day came when @ChelseaFC announced their signing of highly-prized centre-back Kurt Zouma for £12m - a deal announced on Twitter:

But that was just one of a catalogue of signings unveiled on the platform:

QPR (@OfficialQPR) used six second video app Vine (@VineApp) to announce the arrival of Aaron Hughes (@AaronHughes18):

Joining the conversation

But it was not all about hard news. Acknowledging the Christmas-Day-like excitement with which fans greet Deadline Day, clubs also took the opportunity to have some fun.

Crystal Palace (@Official_CPFC) gave fans the chance to put themselves in the place of those new transfers, with this clever header image, designed to sit on a Twitter user’s profile:

League One’s @crawleytown joked about three unlikely new signings, bound for West Sussex - @Cristiano (Ronaldo), @GarethBale11 and @TeamMessi (Lionel Messi):

Players such as Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) and @robert_huth got in on the act too, tweeting out amusing transfer anecdotes:

Meanwhile, @SpursOfficial midfielder @andros_townsend joined many fans in paying tribute to Jim White, the presenter perhaps most synonymous with deadline day:

And for broadcasters - including @SkyFootball and @BTSport - Twitter has become a vital way of taking the pulse of the nation in real-time.

Twitter and football

More than half of Premier League first-team players are on Twitter, and the 2013/14 season is the first in which fans have been able to follow all 20 Premier League clubs on Twitter too. The @PremierLeague itself has more than 3.7 million followers and treats fans around the world to live score updates and news, and you can also check out all 72 clubs from the @football_league in this list.

Arsenal (@Arsenal) are the most-followed UK club on Twitter, having recently become the first team to pass 3.4 million followers. But @ChelseaFC remain in hot pursuit of their London rivals with 3.3 million followers. In fact, Chelsea briefly overtook Arsenal in September 2013, before the high-profile signing of @MesutOzil1088 propelled the Gunners back to the top spot.

Since the last deadline day in September 2013, Manchester United (@ManUtd) have overtaken neighbours Manchester City (@MCFC) to become Manchester’s most-followed club. In fact, United have gained more than a million followers during that period, taking their total to more than 1.8 million followers since joining in July 2013.

So with with the transfer window closed and just four months left for clubs to battle it out on the pitch, don’t forget to follow your favourite clubs, players, pundits and reporters on Twitter to share in the drama with fellow fans from across the world.