MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United took a gamble in making French forward Anthony Martial the most expensive teenager in football history as Premier League spending in the summer transfer window reached record levels on Tuesday.
England's top clubs were either inactive or being frustrated on the final day of trading until United announced the signing of the 19-year-old Martial, whose move from Monaco is reportedly costing at least 36 million pounds ($55.5 million).
The deal took total spending by Premier League clubs in this transfer window to about 860 million ($1.3 billion), beating the record of 835 million pounds set last summer, according to football finance experts Deloitte.
United moved late — for the third straight summer — to bolster its attacking options that have been depleted by offloading Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and Javier Hernandez. That left Wayne Rooney as the only senior striker in United's squad — and that doesn't change with the arrival of Martial.
Often compared to France great Thierry Henry because of his pace, power, links with Monaco and liking for cutting in from the left wing, Martial has played only 52 senior games — starting 29 of them — and was only called up France for the first time last month. Many outside France will know little about him.
"I know there is pressure," Martial said, "but I'm ready for it."
United manager Louis van Gaal urged caution with Martial, saying: "He has all the attributes to become a top football player; however we need to give him time to adjust to his new environment and the rhythm of the Premier League."
It adds another layer to the huge overhaul of the United's squad since Alex Ferguson left as manager in the summer of 2013, beginning with David Moyes and continuing with Van Gaal.
With Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool keeping quiet on deadline day, Chelsea was the only top team to enter the market. Its transfers generated little excitement, however.
Adding reinforcements to one of the leakiest defenses in the Premier League this season, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho brought in Senegal international Papy Djilobodji from Nantes and Michael Hector from second-tier Reading. Hector signed a five-year deal and will spend the rest of this season at Reading.
Chelsea has spent all summer attempting to sign John Stones from Everton but to no avail. That was one of the themes of the summer window in England, with middle-rank clubs often able to resist the overtures of the major powers.
West Bromwich Albion reportedly rebuffed another bid from Tottenham for striker Saido Berahino, while in-demand Southampton forward Sadio Mane also stayed, despite reported interest from United.
Arsenal has bought just one player, goalkeeper Petr Cech, despite many calls for manager Arsene Wenger to add a striker to the squad to ease the burden on Olivier Giroud.
Manchester City appeared to be satisfied with a summer of heavy recruitment that was capped by the signing of Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne for a club-record 54.5 million pounds ($83 million) on Sunday.
West Ham was the biggest mover on Tuesday, bringing in four players including midfielders Alex Song and Victor Moses on loan and Croatia striker Nikica Jelavic from Hull.
Southampton spent a reported 11.5 million ($17.6 million) on center back Virgil van Dijk from Scottish side Celtic and Everton signed Argentine defender Ramiro Funes Mori from River Plate for 9.5 million pounds ($14.5 million) on a five-year deal.
Promoted Bournemouth signed striker Glenn Murray from Crystal Palace and former England defender Joleon Lescott left West Brom for Aston Villa.
Watford signed Colombia forward Victor Ibarbo on a season-long loan from Roma.