As the clock struck 11:00pm GMT, it saw the end of an another summer of jaw dropping deals and surprises although this summer had more than most, as it saw Paul Pogba’s previous world record fee of £89m from 2016 being smashed not only once, but twice by Neymar and Ousmane Dembele as Europe went crazy with clubs like PSG, Barcelona and even AC Milan splashing seemingly endless amounts of cash like a Beverly Hills spoiled brat going crazy with daddy’s money. Despite the big spending from the likes of the PSG and AC Milan on the continental stage, the English clubs surely couldn’t resist flexing their huge TV money shaped muscles in the transfer market and resist they did not. The Premier League teams spent a record £1.47 billion on transfers to either ensure survival, solidify as a Premier League team, push for Europe or even challenge for the league title and it’s fair to say many of the teams had very contrasting windows in relation to that.
Arsenal – C
- Saed Kolasinac – Schalke – Free
- Alexandre Lacazette – Lyon – £52m
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Liverpool – £35m
- Wojciech Szczesny – Juventus – £10m
- Gabirel Paulista – Valencia – £10m
- Keiran Gibbs – West Brom – £7m
- Lucas Perez – Deportivo – Season long loan
- Joel Campbell – Real Betis – Season long loan
- Carl Jenkinson – Birmingham City – Season long loan
- Emiliano Martinez – Getafe – Season long loan
- Yaya Sanogo – Toulouse – Free transfer
Arsenal. Arsenal. Arsenal. It’s always one step forward and two steps back with Arsenal isn’t it? They started the summer on a flyer, acquiring the services of Schalke and Bosnian international Saed Kolasinac on a free transfer, a man who made the 16/17 Bundesliga team of the season and followed that up with a clean swoop at French forward Alexandre Lacazette, after this proposed move to Atletico Madrid collapsed due to the upholding of their registration ban. After talking with Lyon, a fee in excess of £50m was accepted and the man who was on Arsenal’s radar for well over decade had finally joined the club being dubbed as the new Ian Wright and ended Arsenal’s pursuit to replace Robin van Persie, five years after selling him to Manchester United.
However much like their typical season, their transfer window started with a bang and quickly fizzled out to a series of comedic actions with Arsenal struggling to acquire more players and had to deal with the constant rumours of both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil leaving on the cheap or risk losing them on a free next year, with interest extremely rife for the former, with potential suitors being the likes of Chelsea, Bayern Munich as well as the two Manchester Clubs. There was also the only Thomas Lemar debacle which seemed dead in the water by July, but then spectacularly resurrected on deadline day with a £92m bid being accepted by Monaco by Arsenal pulling out due to a lack of time. That also brings me to the Alexis fiasco as Arsene Wenger spent the entire summer sternly reiterating that Sanchez would not be sold and then strangely accepting a £60m bid from Manchester City, but again that collapsed due to the Lemar deal not materializing and now are left with an extremely unhappy Alexis Sanchez in their team and potential legal action being taken against them from City due to an apparent contract agreement having being signed. Deadline also bought the sale of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to rivals Liverpool for £35m, days after getting mauled by them 4-0. I also personally found it strange that Wenger decided to sell Szczesny as I feel Petr Cech isn’t cut out at the top-level anymore and I thought Szczesny could come back and be the first choice, and the fact they let him go so cheaply with the current inflation is an extremely strange turn of events.
Overall although I seem to have grilled Arsenal for their transfer dealings, I actually think they didn’t do as people do try to make it out to be. They improved upon two problem positions of past in left back and centre forward and the fact that they have kept hold of Alexis Sanchez is the best business as I feel the £60m they would have got for would still be under value and the fact they have him to potentially propel them back into the Champions League along with Ozil and Lacazette is a decent turn of events.
Bournemouth – D
- Asmir Begovic – Chelsea – £10m
- Jermain Defoe – Sunderland – Free
- Nathan Ake – Chelsea – £20m
- Adam Federici – Nottingham Forest – Season long loan
- Max Gradel – Toulouse – Season long loan
- Lewis Grabban – Sunderland – Season long loan
Bournemouth I feel have had an underwhelming if not disappointing transfer window in my opinion as although they haven’t lost any of their star players from last season such as Callum Wilson, Harry Arter or Ryan Fraser, I don’t feel that they’ve done enough investment to improve the overall quality of the squad. Although he was only a loan signing last summer, I am surprised that Bournemouth did not try to get Jack Wilshere back at the south coast and I feel he performed well for the Cherries last year so that was disappointing on that front and in terms of the players they’ve bought, I feel more could and should have been added. The first acquisition that Eddie Howe made was to buy former Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic from Chelsea for £10m, who was looking for first team football after being deemed a back up to Courtois in both of his seasons with the blues and with him being an experienced Premier League player who’s still one of the best in the league, this was a good move. The next move that they made was to get Jermain Defoe on a free from Sunderland following his 15 goal exploits last season, despite getting relegated from the Premier League. This is an okay move for Defoe as he gets to remain in the top flight however for Bournemouth I just feel that Defoe is due to diminish further as he is approaching 35 so its unclear into how much he can really impact them on the pitch, however he can benefit the likes of Afobe and Wilson with his years of experience. One loan player Howe did bring back was Nathan Ake from Chelsea on a permanent deal for £20m after his loan was cut short last season due to a recall from Chelsea. He done well for the south coast club in the first half of last season so bringing him back gives him first team opportunities which would have ben a struggle at Chelsea and also gives Bournemouth more bodies in the back and someone who knows the club and that is able to play multiple positions.
In terms of outs like I mentioned did not suffer a great deal of outs and the only out of real note for the first team was Max Gradel, who’s had a turbulent time at the club, so the deal suits all parties. Due to their lack of quality in comings as opposed to their out goings is the reason that I would give Bournemouth a D for the transfer window.
Brighton – D
- Jose Izquierdo – Club Brugge – £13.5m
- Pascal Gross – (Ingolstadt – Undisclosed
- Mathew Ryan – Valencia – Undisclosed
- Markus Suttner – Ingolstadt – Undisclosed
- Izzy Brown – Chelsea – Season long loan
- Davy Propper – PSV – Undisclosed
- Ezequiel Schelotto – Sporting Lisbon – undisclosed
- Tim Krul – Newcastle – Season long loan
- David Stockdale – Birmingham City – Free
- Oliver Norwood – Fulham – Season long loan
- Rohan Ince – Bury – Season long loan
Despite Brighton coming up from the Championship and spending a fair amount on transfers, I feel that a lot of is a risk and a major gamble in their bid to survive in this extremely cut-throat league. This is because they didn’t have a great deal of Premier League experience and they didn’t really add any to apart from the loan deal to bring in Tim Krul from Newcastle and that is vital to being a success in this league, as it’s one of if not the most physically and mentally challenging competition to compete in so you need players who have been through to really help the squad as for many of these players, the league is an unknown frontier. They did bring in some high potential players however, such as Dutch international Davy Propper from PSV who can bring a lot creativity from the centre of the park and I expect him to be a vital part of whatever the Seagulls achieve this season.
In terms of outs, they suffered the loss of goalkeeper David Stockdale who opted to stay in the Championship, after rejecting a new contract at the club and sought pastures new in Birmingham. This is a major loss as he was an integral part of their promotion but have got two keepers in the form of Matthew Ryan and Tim Krul through the door who are quality keepers.
Due to the lack of Premier League and top level experience that they managed to acquire, I can’t give Brighton higher than a D because they have played a risky game in the market, opting for potential and the unknown entity game opposed to getting seasoned Premier League experience.
Burnley – C
- Chris Wood – Leeds – £15m
- Nakhi Wells – Huddersfield – £5m
- Jon Walters – Stoke City – £3m
- Jack Cork – Swansea – £10m
- Phil Barnsley – Stoke – Undisclosed
- Charlie Taylor – Leeds – Tribunal
- Andre Gray – Watford – £11.5m
- Michael Keane – Everton – £25m
- George Boyd – Sheffield Wednesday – Free
- Paul Robinson – Retired
Burnley had the task of solidifying their squad after comfortably surviving their first year back in the Premier League and did some good business in terms of getting players in, despite losing two key men to divisional rivals in the form of Michael Keane and Andre Gray. Burnley have bought in a lot of seasoned Premier League experience professionals to the team and took some good gambles in the process. Burnley bought Republic of Ireland forward Jon Walters in a £3m move which I think will help their front lone especially along with Chris Wood from Leeds and Nakhi Wells from Huddersfield to help fill the void of Andre Gray whom they lost to Watford. In addition to this they also bought Jack Cork from Swansea. He’s not a spectacular player but is someone who can keeps things ticking over and can help the likes of Steven Defour who they managed to keep flourish even further. Phil Barnsley and Charlie Taylor were also bought in as defensive additions and Taylor is some youth exuberance in the team whereas like Walters, Barnsley can bring years of Premier League experience and help Burnley on and off the pitch.
Sean Dyche’s team lost two men over the summer in Michael Keane and Andre Gray, the former being the much more significant loss in my opinion. They sold Michael Keane to Everton for around £25m when interest was high in the player, with the likes of former employers Manchester United involved. He’s now an England international and was part of the reason that Burnley were much above their expectations and it is interesting to see they will fare without him. Andre Gray is someone who I don’t feel has adapted well to the Premier League level despite his 10 goals in all competitions last year and I feel Burnley were right to cash in on him, getting just over £11m from his sale. They spent big money on Leeds forward Chris Wood and he has started well with a goal against Spurs and I feel he is the more well-rounded player.
Overall I think Burnley have done a decent job in the window, adding Premier League experience and some young talents despite letting go of two key players and have done well in terms of their replacements it seems.
Chelsea – B-
- Alvaro Morata – Real Madrid – £58m
- Tiemoue Bakayoko – Monaco – £40m
- Danny Drinkwater – Leicester – £35m
- Antonio Rudiger – Roma – £34m
- Davide Zappacosta – Torino – £23m
- Willy Caballero – Manchester City – Free
- Nermanja Matic – Manchester United – £40m
- Nathan Ake – Bournemouth – £20m
- Juan Cuadrado – Juventus – £18m
- Asmir Begovic – Bournemouth – £10m
- John Terry – Aston Villa – Free
- Nathaniel Chalobah – Watford – Undisclosed
- Loic Remy – Las Palmas – Undisclosed
- Ruben Loftus-Cheek – Crystal Palace – Season long Loan
Chelsea endured a very frustrating summer, getting rejected more times than an a scrawny little nerdy kid in pool party and resorted to two deadline day panic buys, one of which Chelsea were not linked to until deadline itself. Despite all of this commotion, I do believe Chelsea have invested relatively well and this is mostly down to the purchase of Spanish striker Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid. Conte’s second choice striker choice after unbelievably missing out on Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United, it seemed the two clubs switched each of their first choice and the two ended up at the opposite clubs they were linked to. Morata is a superb player who got 20 goals last year as back up to Karim Benzema and in fact ended the season as Madrid’s second top scorer behind of course, Cristiano Ronaldo. Already with bags of experience and winners medals from his time from both Juventus and Real Madrid it looks a great buy for the blues. In midfield they also bought Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater after Matic and Chalobah were let go and I must say, I am not overly impressed with either of them. The jury is still out however on Bakoyoko after his Monaco exploits. Rudiger from Roma was also bought in as a replacement for captain John Terry left and looks to be a good signing so far.
The outs that Chelsea made were strange to say the least, with the sale of Serbian midfielder to Manchester United at the forefront of this. A mainstay in two Premier League winning teams, the decision to let him go to former manager Jose Mourinho at title rivals Man United could prove to be the signing that swings the title challenge into their favour. The summer also saw the end of John Terry, the one club man was let go to Aston Villa and they have an almighty task in replacing his decades of experience in the dressing room. They also quite predictably loaned out well over 20 players, the most notable being Kurt Zouma and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. This leaves them with a very thin squad although did keep Diego Costa, which could work wonders with Morata if the club can get him on side.
Crystal Palace – D
- Mamadou Sakho – Liverpool – £26m
- Jairo Riedewald – Ajax – £7.9m
- Ruben Loftus-Cheek – Chelsea – Season long loan
- Timothy Fosu-Mensah – Manchester United – Season long loan
- Steve Mandanda – Marseille – Undisclosed
- Fraizer Campbell – Hull City – Free
- Mathieu Flamini – Released
- Joe Ledley – Released
Crystal Palace I believe have had a very poor transfer window as can be reflected after the first three games of the season, however it was somewhat saved on deadline day by the purchase of last season’s loanee Mamadou Sakho from Liverpool for a reported fee of £26m. They also bought Ajax defender Jairo Riedewald as well as loaning in Premier League duo Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Timothy Fosu-Mensah and both have impressed so far, especially the latter despite the poor results. Under De Boer they want to play expansive football however I believe they needed to purchase another forward to ease the burden on Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha. Another reason that I say they have had a poor window is because apart from Sakho, there is no real Premier League experience that has been brought in, as Loftus-Cheek has had minimal Premier League football and Fosu-Mensah is no means an experienced player, despite playing a few Premier League games,
In terms of departures, they let French international Steve Mandanda go back to France after a failed move to England as well as letting go of Campbell, Flamini and Ledley after their contracts expired and especially with the latter two, have lost a lot of experience from Palace’s relatively young team.
Overall Crystal Palace have had a poor window in my opinion but the purchase of Sakho and the loans of exciting young talents Loftus-Cheek and Fosu-Mensah bring something new to the table and could prove to be shrewd pieces of business.
Everton – B-
- Wayne Rooney – Manchester United – Undisclosed
- Gylfi Sigurdsson – Swansea – £45m
- Jordan Pickford – Sunderland – £30m
- Davy Klaassen – Ajax – £23.6m
- Sandro Ramirez – Malaga – £5.2m
- Michael Keane – Burnley – £25m
- Cuco Martina – Southampton – free
- Nikola Vlasic – Hajduk Split – undisclosed
- Romelu Lukaku – £75m
- Gerard Deulofeu – Barcelona – £10.5m
- Gareth Barry – West Brom – £1m
- Arouna Kone – Sivasspor – Free
- Aiden McGeady – Sunderland – Free
Everton came into this window with an endless pit of money from their new investors and did not disappoint fans with amount of their spending, splashing well over £100m on renforcements to try to push into the coveted top six and progress into a big European club. They splashed big cash on Gylfi Sigurdsson who was arguably the best player outside the top six as well as prizing Michael Keane from Burnley to shore up their aging back line and got Jordan Pickford from Sunderland who impressed last season, despite their relegation. They also spent big money on European talents such as former Barcelona player Sandro and Ajax’s Davy Klaassen who impressed last year for the Dutch side, captaining them to the Europa League final. The biggest coup however was the return of the prodigal son, Wayne Rooney. Returning after 13 years and a serial winner, he’s exactly the top-level experience that Everton need and I still believe with less expectations, Rooney will thrive and seems to already be doing so. Despite all these purchases however, I still feel they lack a lethal and clinical forward after of course losing Romelu Lukaku.
Although this summer was about mass spending, they did see the inevitable departure of last season’s top scorer Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United for £75m and this left a massive 25 goal shaped hole at Goodison and I feel they haven’t filled that as well as they could have done. They also sold Spanish misfit Deulofeu back to Barcelona in a deal which suits all parties as well as letting Gareth Barry to West Brom who was surplus to requirements after Everton’s spending exploits.
Overall I would say the Toffees had a good summer window with all the quality players that they bought with a good mix of Premier League experience and foreign quality however the failure to adequately replace Lukaku could prove costly come May.
Huddersfield – E
- Steve Mounie – Montpellier – Undisclosed
- Laurent Depoitre – Porto – Undisclosed
- Mathias Jorgensen – Copenhagen- Undisclosed
- Jonas Lossl – Mainz- Season long loan
- Aaron Mooy – Manchester City – £8m
- Tom Ince – Derby – £10m
- Kasey Palmer – Chelsea – Season long loan
- Danny Williams – Reading – Free
- Scott Malone – Fulham – Undisclosed
- Elias Kachunga – Ingolstadt – £1.1m
- Florent Hadergjonaj – Ingolstadt – Season long loan
- Rob Green – Leeds – Free
- Nahki Wells – Burnley – £5m
- Flo Bojaj – Released
- Jordy Hiwula – Fleetwood – Season long loan
- Mark Hudson – Retired
- Sean Scannell – Burton Season long loan
Huddersfield are in a similar position to Brighton in terms of not bringing in much in the form of Premier League experience apart from Rob Green, who’s Premier League experience mostly consists of four separate relegations from the division. I feel that although they did bring in some players who have the potential to do well such as Ince, Mooy, Mouie and Palmer, the lack of Premier League experience brought into the squad will ultimately cost them.
Personally I don’t think they’ve done well in the window in terms of solid signings hence why I have given them the lowest grade of the entire list.
Leicester – B
- Harry Maguire – Hull City – £17m
- Eldin Jakupovic – Hull City – Undisclosed
- Kelechi Iheanacho – Manchester City – £25m
- Vicente Iborra – Sevilla – £12.5m
- Aleksandar Dragovic – Bayer Leverkusen – Season long loan
- Danny Drinkwater – Chelsea – £35m
- Ron-Robert Zieler – Stuttgart – Undisclosed
- Bartosz Kapustka – Freiburg – Season long loan
- Tom Lawrence – Derby – £7m
- Nampalys Mendy – Nice – Season long loan
This season brings Leicester City back to reality after the whirlwind of the past two seasons, spectacularly winning the Premier League in 2016 and then being the English team going furthest in the Champions League, getting to the quarter-final where they lost 2-1 on aggregate to Atletico Madrid. I believe Leicester City have done very well in the transfer window this summer, with the only bad note being the departure of key man Danny Drinkwater on the final day of the window. they bought in Hull City pair Japupovic and Maguire, the former being a very decent back up keeper and Maguire a young English centre back who is shaping up to be bargain of the summer after his recent performances for the Foxes. They also managed to get Manchester City wonder kid who was surprisingly let go and gives Leicester a new strike partner with Jamie Vardy who also has years to develop into a top class forward. They also acquired some European Pedigree in the form of Iborra, a very good midfielder from Sevilla, the team they knocked out in the round of 16 in the Champions League last year. On deadline day they got Dragovic in on loan, a good defensive option who is also relatively quick compared to the likes of Huth, Morgan and even Maguire.
Like I alluded to earlier, the late departure of Danny Drinkwater to Chelsea will leave a bittersweet taste to Leicester as they saw a key man leave but did get £35m for the Englishman, which is a massive profit on what they bought him from Manchester United. They also managed to keep hold of Riyad Mahrez and although he wanted to leave, he still performed for Leicester and conducted himself well and I expect him to do so until at least January when he can possibly move.
Overall Leicester can be extremely happy with the business they made despite losing Danny Drinkwater.
Liverpool – C
- Alex Oxlade-Chaberlain – Arsenal – £35m
- Mohamed Salah – Roma – £34m
- Andrew Robinson – Hull City – £10m
- Dominic Solanke – Chelsea – Tribunal
- Naby Keita – RB Lipzig – £48m (Coming 1st of July 2018)
- Mamadou Sakho – Crystal Palace – £26m
- Lucas Leiva – Lazio – £5m
- Andre Windom – Derby – £4.5m
- Kevin Stewart – Hull City – £8m
- Divock Origi – Wolfsburg – Season long loan
- Shey Ojo – Fulham – Season long loan
Liverpool have had a very mixed transfer window I feel, as they made some very astute signings such as pacey pair Salah and Oxlade-Chamberlain but also missed out on key targets such as Virgil Van Dijk and Thomas Lemar. Despite this they did acquire the services of Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah who the club have been interested in since 2014 and has hit the ground running back in the Premier League. They also brought in Dominic Solanke, a Chelsea youth product who looks on course to become a star in the years to come as well as Hull City’s left back Andrew Robinson, a problem position at Anfield for a number of years now, although getting a defender from a relegated team is always a risk. In the final few days they also bought summer long target Naby Keita from RB Lipzig, a box to box central midfielder to come in next year. I’ve not been overly impressed with what I have seen from him but has the look to become a really overly player. The last bit of business they done was the biggest of the summer, buying Alex Oxlade Chamberlain from Arsenal for £35m, under the noses of Chelsea who were heavily linked with a move for the Englishman.
In terms of Liverpool outs, the biggest story is that they managed to keep hold of Phillipe Coutinho from going to Barcelona after rejecting multiple bids from the Catalan club most in excess of £114m. The player had his heart set on Barcelona especially after handing in a formal transfer request so keeping him against his will at the club could prove very detrimental but on the other hand keeping a player as important as him is great for the club. They also sold Lucas Leiva to Lazio for £5m which I found somewhat strange as although he isn’t what he used to be, he was their only defensive midfielder and now are left with player who can assume the role but have no specialists in the position. They sold Klopp’s public enemy number one Mamadou Sakho to Crystal Palace which I found very strange.
Overall I would say Liverpool had a decent enough window, but I don’t feel they’ve done enough to really improve the squad as they missed out on key targets such as Van Dijk and Lemar and the fact that they didn’t get Van Dijk and still sold Sakho leaving them with four centre backs for four competitions, makes me question Klopp and his squad management even more.
Manchester City – A-
- Benjamin Mendy – Monaco – £52m
- Kyle Walker – Tottenham – £45m
- Bernardo Silva – Monaco – £43m
- Ederson – Benfica – £34m
- Danilo – Real Madrid – £26.5m
- Kelechi Iheanacho – Leicester City – £25m
- Wilfried Bony -Swansea – £12m
- Enus Unal – Villareal – £12m
- Nolito – Sevilla – £7.9m
- Aaron Mooy – Huddersfield – £8m
- Fernando – Galatasaray – £4.75m
- Aleksandar Kolarov – Roma – £4.5m
- Bacary Sagna – Released
- Pablo Zabaleta – West Ham – Free
- Jesus Navas – Sevilla – Free
- Gael Clichy – Istanbul Basaksehir – Free
- Willy Caballero – Chelsea – Free
- Samir Nasri – Free – Antalyaspor
- Joe Hart – West Ham – Season long loan
- Patrick Roberts – Celtic – Season long loan
After an underwhelming debut season by Pep Guardiola which yielded a trophyless season and a failed title challenge finished 3rd, Manchester City went all guns blazing in the transfer window, after a mass exodus which saw over 15 players left, Pep was sculpting his squad together and seemed to have done a fine job of it. The first thing that jumps at you is the fact that they’ve bought three full backs, spending a total of 123.5m on them. Now yes this is a lot of money but that’s because of today’s market and this is money which has been well over due to be spent in this area. Since 2008 Manchester City have spent a ‘mere’ £45m on full backs, averaging a spend of £5m per year, two of which were Maicon and Wayne Bridge. Pep has bought well in this department, bringing in arguably the best right back in the league in Kyle Walker from rivals Spurs as well as Monaco starlet Mendy who impressed in winning Ligue 1 and getting to the CL semi finals, knocking out his current employers in the process. They also signed Danilo from Real Madrid, someone who isn’t especially great but can play on both flanks as well as in defensive midfield. They also bought Benfica goalkeeper Ederson, to replace to woeful Bravo. He has started well for City but has shown signs of weakness. The star of the window is of course the purchase of Bernardo Silva, a silky dribbling and agile attacking midfielder who has unbelievable potential and is something I believe will thrive under Pep.
Like I mentioned earlier, Manchester City cut relations with a lot of players who were great for the club once upon a time but are now surplus to requirements such as Sagna, Zabaleta, Cabellero and Navas who were all released by the club. The same also goes for Samir Nasri, surprising I feel as he performed quite well for Sevilla last season. One that is no so surprising is Joe Hart who has shipped out on loan again, this time to West Ham. Having conceded 10 goals in 3 games for the Hammers, it seems Pep was right to show the England number one the door.
Overall I think Manchester City had a great window, investing in areas which needed strengthening as well as offloading a lot of deadwood out the club and off the wage bill. The only sour note is that they did not get another centre back which I feel they need and of course the failure to capture Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal on the final day of the window is damning, however I still feel they have had a good window despite those setbacks.
Manchester United – A-
- Victor Lindelof – Benfica – £31m
- Romelu Lukaku – Everton – £75m
- Nemanja Matic – Chelsea – £40m
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Resigned after being released – Free
- Wayne Rooney – Everton – Undisclosed
- Adnan Januzaj – Real Sociedad – £9m
- Sam Johnstone – Aston Villa – Undisclosed
- Josh Harrop – Preston North End – Undisclosed
- Cameron Borthwick-Jackson – Leeds – Season long loan
- Timothy Fosu-Mensah – Crystal Palace – Season long loan
- Andreas Pereira – Valencia – Season long loan
Jose Mourinho had a roller coaster of a first season at the Old Trafford helm, finishing a very disappointing 6th place in the Premier League however did win the Community Shield, EFL Cup and Europa League, the latter allowing them to enter the Champions League once again, and the trophy that I believe saved his job at Manchester United. The first course of action that Jose did was being in Victor Lindelof from Benfica from £31m, a player who was linked in the previous winter window but a move never materialised. It’s a good buy for United, getting a young CB who can complement Eric Bailly with his ball playing abilities. He hasn’t featured for them in the League but did play in the UFEA Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid. United’s problem last year was putting the ball in the back of the net and have tried to improve this by getting Romelu Lukaku, the 2nd top scorer in the Premier League last year. He was taken under the nose of Chelsea with United coming out of the blue to swoop in for the Belgium international and he has started very well, scoring four goals in four competitive games and will spear head the team. Their biggest coup was arguably Matic from Chelsea, a combative midfielder who was part of two title-winning teams at Chelsea who was deemed surplus at Chelsea and sold to Manchester United for £40m in a shock deal. He will allow Pogba to be free in midfield and this has shown by Matic getting a Man of the Match award on his Premier League debut. They also resigned Zlatan Ibrahimovic, despite the Swede being injured and still recovering from his ACL injury.
In terms of outs, the biggest deal was the departure of all time top scorer and captain Wayne Rooney who left to back to boyhood club Everton and whatever you may think of Wayne Rooney and how much he’s fallen from his dizzy heights of 2011 and previous, there is no denying losing someone with the experience and winning mentality is a determinant to the team, especially when he is also your captain. Another big departure was the sale of misfit Adnan Januzaj to Spain, who just hasn’t been managed to reach the lofty exceptions that were bestowed upon him after Moyes brought him into the team. Jose Mourinho also loaned out two youth prospects, two deals which I found slightly surprising as I feel Fosu-Mensah could have been a good deputy for Valencia at RB and Pereira a good option in midfield.
Overall I would say Manchester United have had a very good window addressing the lack of goal problem and defensive midfielder by bringing in Lukaku and Matic and Ibrahimovic is great as he would be one of the best strikers to bring off the bench and will help the likes of Romelu Lukaku settle into such a big club which Zlatan having done it at least fivefold, as well as the likes of Martial and Rashford for another year. However, I feel the failure to bring in another winger into the team is bad news, as their own natural wingers are Ashley Young and Jesse Lingard.
Newcastle – F
- Christian Atsu – Chelsea – £6.2m
- Florian Lejeune – Eibar – £8.7m
- Jacob Murphy – Norwich – £12m
- Javier Manquillo – Atletico Madrid – £4.25m
- Joselu – Stoke City – £5m
- Mikel Merino – Borussia Dortmund – Season long loan
- Florian Thauvin – Marseille – £9.8m
- Vernon Anita – Leeds – Free
- Sammy Ameobi – Bolton – Free
- Yoan Gouffran – Goztepe – Free
- Daryl Murphy – Nottingham Forest – £2m
- Tim Krul – Brighton – Season Long Loan
- Matz Sels – Anderlecht – Season long loan
Newcastle have had a torrid time in the summer. Whether that’s up to lack of support from Mike Ashley or Rafa being unable to convince players to join the Toon, they haven’t nearly enough strengthened the team which is very average and really didn’t impress last season in the Championship and really fluked their way to the Championship title from having a couple of Premier League quality players in Gayle and Ritchie to carry them through back into the Premier League. They bought back loanee Atsu on a permanent basis from Chelsea and got Stoke misfit Joselu but apart from that their window has been filled with players who are very average or who are a gamble in this season, which they tried before and resulted them in getting relegated. Despite this, getting Mikel Merino on loan is a real coup as he looks like quite the player.
In terms of outs, Newcastle spent their times trying to sell on terrible ghosts of Newcastle pasts with the likes of Cabella, Anita and Goufran. They also loaned out Tim Krul, which is strange and he is proven at this level.
Overall Newcastle have had a right mess of this window and it is very difficult to see them succeed to any degree this season.
Southampton – D
- Mario Lemina – Juventus – £20m
- Wesley Hoedt – Lazio – £17m
- Jan Bednarek – Lech Poznan – £5.7m
- Jay Rodriguez – West Brom – £15m
- Cuco Martina – Everton – Free
- Martin Caceres – Verona – Free
- Paulo Gazzaniga – Tottenham – Undisclosed
- Jordy Clasie – Club Brugge – Season long loan
Southampton I feel have actually bought relatively well with the lies of Mario Lemina but the entire Virgil Van Dijk fiasco has marred the entire mood at the South Coast club and made the window drag and spoil the summer for many a Southampton fan as well as Liverpool. Ignoring Van Dijk, the Saints have bought well with Mario Lemina, a box to box midfielder from Italian giants Juventus, being the main mouth piece. He is someone who can provide their midfield with extra dynamism and athleticism. The purchase of Wesley Hoedt is also a promising acquisition, a young Dutch centre back would look to become in the mould of a great defender.
The main talking point is the transfer debacle surrounding Van Dijk, and the lack of transfer at the end of it. Keeping hold of a player who so obviously does not want to stay simply to spite a team who have robbed you of players before is a very dangerous and stupid game to play, as they are probably going to be able to commend less of a free come January and face one of your best if not best player not playing due to strike.
Stoke – B
- Kevin Wimmer – Tottenham – £18m
- Bruno Martins Indi – Porto – £7m
- Darren Fletcher – West Brom – Free
- Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting – Schalke – Free
- Jese Rodriguez – PSG – Season long loan
- Kurt Zouma – Chelsea – Season long loan
- Marko Arnautovic – West Ham – £25m
- Joselu – Newcastle – £5m
- Jon Walters – Burnley – £3m
- Glenn Whelan – Aston Villa – £1.5m
- Phil Barnsley – Burnley – £1.5m
- Giannelli Imbula – Toulouse – Season long loan
Stoke have had a brilliant all things considered. Mark Hughes has tried year on year to erase the Stoke of old which was a burly rugby style of play to a more elegant and visually appealing style of football which is played along the ground and not route one and he had done well in that respect with the players he has brought in. Bringing in the likes of Choupo-Moting from Shalke who is a versatile quick attacking player is quite the buy, especially coupled with the loan move of Jese, who’s hit the ground running in the Premier League. The other loan move of Kurt Zouma is also proving to be quite a coup from the champions, a quick and strong centre half. They also bought Kevin Wimmer from Spurs, a decent player who didn’t get much game time in North London. The permanent signing of Martins Indi is very good as well, considering how well he did for them last season .
The major loss that Stoke City suffered was Austrian forward Marko Arnautovic who moved to West Ham for £25m after handing in a transfer request. I think they have done quite well to get that much for someone with obvious immense talent, but is inconsistent. Despite losing him, they seem to have reinvested quite well and seem a better squad all round.
This window has been great for Mark Hughes so I’d give them a B for the calibre of player they brought in within key areas they needed to improve upon too.
Swansea City – C
- Wilfried Bony – Manchester City – £12m
- Sam Clucas – Hull City – £16.5m
- Roque Mesa – Las Palmas – £11m
- Tammy Abraham – Chelsea – Season long loan
- Renato Sanches – Bayern Munich – Season long loan
- Gylfi Sigurdsson – Everton – £45m
- Fernando Llorente – Tottenham – £12m
- Jack Cork – Burnley – £10m
- Bafatembi Gomis – Galatasaray – Undisclosed
- Borja Baston – Malaga – Season long loan
- Jordi Amat – Real Betis – Season long loan
Swansea City endured a mixed window, albeit a very good one when you look at the players they brought in. They bought Roque Mesa from Las Palmas in La Liga and he is a very tidy and astute midfielder, who will keep things ticking over, the same going for Hull’s Sam Clucas, a dependable player who will ensure 100% commitment and an ultimate team player. They also bought Wilfried Bony back to the club, a fan favourite who took an ill-fated move to Manchester and has returned to Wales with open arms greeting him. The icing however is the two loan deals they pulled off, first one being Tammy Abraham from Chelsea who scored over 20 goals in the Championship last year and unbelievably signing Renato Sanches from Bayern Munich on a season long loan. Being best pals with Carlo Ancelotti can be good sometimes, eh Paul Clement?
The outs however are a downer for the Swans, losing their two best players and performers last season to two divisional rivals the first being Gylfi Sigurdsson to Everton for £45m and losing Fernando Llorente to Tottenham on the last day of the window to Spurs for £12m.
Swansea have had a very good window with the players they bought in and I was in two minds whether to give them an A but the fact of the matter is that if you lose your two best players in one window, it’s hardly amazing is it?
Tottenham Hotspur – A-
- Davinson Sanchez – Ajax – £42m
- Serge Aurier – PSG – £23m
- Fernando Llorente – Swansea – £12m
- Juan Foyth – Estudiantes – £8m
- Paulo Gazzaniga – Southampton – Undisclosed
- Kyle Walker – £45m
- Federico Fazio – Roma – £2.8m
- Clinton N’Jie – Marseille – Undisclosed
- Nabil Bentaleb – Schalke – Undisclosed
- Kevin Wimmer – Stoke City – £18m
Tottenham had an unbelievable slow transfer window, not making their first signing until the middle of August but they have had a pretty much perfect window and Tottenham will be extremely happy with the business they’ve done. Their first signing Davinson Sanchez was a vital part of the Ajax side which went onto the Europa League final, and actually nullified Rashford in the game. Juan Foyth is a good Argentine youth product with very high potential but the main men are the deadline day men, Serge Aurier and Fernando Llorente. getting Serge Aurier from under the noses of rivals Manchester United and Chelsea was a major coup for them, and the addition of Llorente cannot be understated. He adds great squad depth and is Premier League proven, and a great option off the bench for Spurs in the league and in Europe.
Spurs held on to a vast majority of their amazing squad, although the lure of Manchester City was too much for Kyle Walker, who left London for Manchester in a world record transfer for a defender and although he excelled for Spurs, Aurier is in the similar mould to Walker, with more pedigree and more years on him.
Spurs have had a great window and despite them losing Kyle Walker, I think they’ve done superbly, although could have done with another attacking player to play behind Kane, they’ll certainly be happy with that they’ve done.
Watford – C
- Andre Gray – Burnley – £18.5m
- Tom Cleverley – Everton – Undisclosed
- Will Hughes – Derby – £8m
- Nathaniel Chalobah – Chelsea – undisclosed
- Richarlison – Fluminense – £13m
- Mario Suarez – Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng FC – Undisclosed
- Steven Berghuis – Feyenoord – £5.8m
- Juan Carlos Parades – Released
- Valon Behrami – Udinese – Undisclosed
Watford have always been a club which loves the transfer window so they can go absolutely bonkers and this year was no different. They signed a number of good players such as Derby County’s Will Hughes, a player who’s been long awaiting a move to the Premier League as is a move that I think will bode well with both player and club. They also bought last season’s loanee Tom Cleverley who done relatively well at the Hornets last term as well as Richarlison, a Brazil native who is a gamble but a gamble who’s paid off so far. The two biggest moves were Nathaniel Chalobah and Andre Gray, the former who I feel will thrive under Marco Silva and wasn’t given a fair chance by Conte to show his qualities, although I’m less sold on Andre Gray. I think he’s a decent player but I don’t think he’s good enough or has enough in his game to cut it at this level apart from the pace he offers.
in terms of outs, Watford kept a steady ship and didn’t sell anyone of note, keeping hold onto key man Troy Deeney, who was subject to transfer speculation once again this summer.
I think Watford have had a decent summer, bringing in some exciting players under exciting manager Marco Silva as well as keeping hold of key men.
West Brom – A
- Jay Rodriguez – Southampton – £15m
- Oliver Burke – RB Leipzig – £15m
- Kieran Gibbs – Arsenal – £7m
- Gareth Barry – Everton – £1m
- Grzegorz Krychowiak – PSG – Season long loan
- Ahmed Hegazi – Al Alhy – Season long loan
- Darren Fletcher – Stoke City – Free
- Sebastien Pocognoli – Standard Liege Free
- Craig Gardener – Birmingham – Undisclosed
West Brom have pulled off an utter masterpiece. Not something you’d ever really say about a team managed by Tony Pulis but the Welshman has conducted something quite special this summer in the Midlands. He bought centre back Ahmed Hegazi on loan who has European experience and has proven to be an astute signing after Mcauley’s injury as well as Jay Rodigurez who’s also started well and if he can stay fit, will score goals for sure for West Brom. They also acquired Kieren Gibbs for £7m, a steal for the prices flying around these days for an England international who still can improve as well as Gareth Barry, the evergreen midfielder is a dependable man in the park who can provide nearly two decades worth of experience. The two show stoppers however are undoubtably Oliver Burke from RB Leipzig and Grzegorz Krychowiak. Burke didn’t get much of a chance in Germany but did play well when selected and Krychowiak needs no introduction. A two-time Europa League winner, he is one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe and for one of the best defensive minded coaches in Europe, it’s a match made in heaven.
In terms of outs, West Brom lost captain Darren Fletcher to Stoke City and lost a fair bit of experience in the team, however with the acquirement of Gareth Barry that makes up for it as well the European experience and pedigree gained from Krychowiak. They also managed to keep hold of their key men amidst of heavy speculation for players such as Jonny Evans, Naser Chadli and Salomon Rondon.
Overall West Brom have had an excellent window and arguably one of the best if not the best window in the league.
West Ham – C
- Javier Hernandez – Bayer Leverkusen – £16m
- Marko Arnautovic – Stoke City – £16m
- Pablo Zabaleta – Manchester City – Free
- Joe Hart – Manchester City – Season long loan
- Darren Randolph – Middlesbrough – £5m
- Reece Oxford – Borussia Monchengladbach – Season long loan
- Alvaro Arbeloa -Retired
- Havard Nordtveit – Hoffenheim – £8m
- Enner Valencia – Tigres – Undisclosed
- Ashley Fletcher – Middlesbrough – £6.5m
- Sofiane Feghouli – Galatasaray – Undisclosed
- Robert Snodgrass – Aston Villa Season long loan
West Ham endured an understandably hard season in their first season at The London stadium, however they were sure not to let that deter them from building a better team and they have bought relatively well, bringing in four Premier League proven and experienced players, the first of which being Argentine right back Pablo Zabaleta on a free from Manchester City. Even though he’s not as quick and agile as he once was, he’s still defensively sound and a force going forward from the wide right and accompanied by his former Manchester City team-mate Joe Hart in team he should do well. Although I have my reservations about Hart, who’s seemed to fall out dramatically over for the past two and half years, although still is a quality Premier League proven keeper who could still turn around his dodgy start. Also joining West Ham over the summer was Marko Arnautovic who is a fine player when he’s up for it, but can be very silly at times, and of course the creme dela creme, Javier Hernandez. He comes off a somewhat disappointing tally of 11 goals from last year but his fox in the box like instincts haven’t left him and could prove to be a pivotal player in dictating West Ham’s successes this season.
in terms of letting players go, I find it strange that Slaven Billic has let so many players go, especially four of whom came to the club in the past 12 months and not really adequately replacing them. leaving West Ham with a terribly thin squad. I also find it strange that they let Reece Oxford and Reece Burke go out on loan, when Billic surely could have made room for them in the squad.
Despite all the out goings, they’ve bought well in the window and I’d give them a solid C.
Overall, the Premier League clubs have spent the most out of anyone in Europe and it’s not hard to see why, the money in this league is simply unrivalled and the lure of playing in this league is second to none. Each and every club had done some good and bad business in my eyes, but the true result of all these grades and moves happens in May.