Earnshaw: Clubs were scared to make big signings in January
Robert Earnshaw believes Premier League clubs are treading carefully after a dull January transfer window slammed shut on Thursday.
The biggest deadline day deal saw Chelsea striker Armando Broja head to Fulham for the rest of the season, while Earnshaw's former club Nottingham Forest snapped up Giovanni Reyna on loan from Borussia Dortmund.
Tottenham spent the most on a player last month, with a reported fee in excess of £25million securing the services of Radu Dragusin.
And Earnshaw, 42, was not surprised to see teams splashing far less cash than in previous windows.
The ex-Wales international told LiveScore: "It's one of those where I think the one big factor would be financial fair play. Clubs now are a little bit wary, a little bit tentative.
"I think because they've seen Everton get punished, they're looking at that and thinking, 'Oh, actually, this is real now, we should be looking at our books and we should be looking at our transfers'.
"What's happening is people are looking at tightening up their finances to stay within the rules of financial fair play.
"It's been a false level because the Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo transfers inflated everything. I don't think we'll ever see that again."
Borrowed not bought
Despite less deals being done, some Premier League clubs still spent January wheeling and dealing.
And Earnshaw reckons 22-year-old Broja's temporary switch to Fulham is beneficial for all parties.
He said: "The deal is a good one for Fulham but I think it's good for Chelsea as well.
"They get somebody out and it opens up the space as well because Chelsea have got far too many players.
"He's been there for a few years and we're still talking about potential, so I think it'll be nice for him to go to Fulham."
Having made made more than 100 appearances for Forest, Earnshaw is keen to see how Reyna's switch from the Bundesliga to the English top flight pans out.
He added: "Gio is not very well known here but he is super well known in Germany.
"I've watched him since he was 17 and he was in the same category as Jude Bellingham and Erling Haaland.
"He could potentially be the signing of the January window.
"He likes to play on the left or the right, sometimes as the No10, but he's in that creative mould. He'll fit straight in."
Deadline day experience
Earnshaw made a deadline day switch himself from West Brom to Norwich in 2006.
And while last-minute deals are always exciting for fans and managers, the 59-cap international admits the process can be quite chaotic.
He said: "These are the things that people don't see. I had put in a transfer request because at the time I needed a different challenge.
"Norwich were playing Reading that day and there was not enough time to do the medical and sign everything, so we went directly to Reading.
"I had to go into Reading's boardroom and figure everything out and the deal was eventually signed.
"After the deal was done, I went downstairs to meet my new team-mates in the away dressing room and that was that.
"It's really difficult because people don't realise you have families, you have got to move cities... and sometimes countries."