Another year another summer transfer window where Premier League clubs went absolutely crazy in the transfer market. More than half of the teams in the Premier League broke their transfer fee record for a single player, and the window itself went over £1 billion for the first time ever, totally crazy.
I am concerned about the current state of spending in football, every year it seems to get remarkably bigger, to the extent that you think it has to finally subside at some point, yet next year it’s up again. The amount that Sky are paying for the rights to the Premier League is ridiculous, it gets much bigger with every bidding year and I can’t see how it can be maintained. I’m not saying that Sky will fold anytime soon, however they are killing their other services to prop up their football package, they no longer have Champions League and BT do as good if not better a job at a fraction of the cost.
I do worry for Sky because their TV service is so reliant upon the Premier League that the next time it comes around to bidding again, they will have to bid over the odds because it is really all they’ve got. If the cost goes up at its current rate, then it won’t be sustainable and the bottom could fall out of the Premier League and football altogether. I know a lot of people are of the opinion that this couldn’t happen to English football or Sky, however the exact same thing happened in Scotland, France and Italy. Hopefully it won’t come to this but the current TV rights spending does not seem sustainable to me.
Onto the actual football teams. I will go through every team and break down their ins and outs for the window and reveal whether they have improved or not during this summer.
Ins: Granit Xhaka (£38m), Shkodran Mustafi (£35m), Lucas Perez (£17m), Takuma Asano (£3m) & Rob Holding (£2m)
Outs: Wellington Silva (£2.5m), Isaac Hayden (£2.5m), Jack Wilshere (loan), Callum Chambers (loan), Takuma Asano (loan), Thomas Rosicky (free), Mathieu Flamini (free), Mikel Arteta (retire), Joel Campbell (loan), Serge Gnabry (£5m)
Another season where Arsenal have had an unusual transfer window. Mustafi is a great signing, a much needed centre back who should be able to slot in straight away. The combination of Mustafi and Koscielny should be very effective; the only issue is whether the two players are a touch too similar.
Xhaka seems like a bit of a luxury signing to me, I don’t think he’s a starter this season (will likely play behind Cazorla) but is likely one for the future at 23 years old. Xhaka seems like an Arsenal type player, good on the ball but hopeless in the tackle, he seems too reckless to me. The big question for Arsenal fans is why sign Xhaka when you have Wilshere already? Which became even juicier when Wilshere was sent out on loan. The honest truth is that Wilshere is one of those players who has built up a really big reputation by doing very little; if he weren’t English he really wouldn’t be so highly rated. Another average English player who has a big ego and a big backing from the media, however the fact that Xhaka was signed (who is younger than Wilshere) and that the best team Wilshere could find as a starter was Bournemouth kind of tells you how good he actually is. I’m amazed Wenger had the balls to send Wilshere out on loan and it is the correct decision, he’s never fit needs game time and needs to increase his value, it really wouldn’t shock me if he is sold next summer.
Perez is another classic Arsenal signing. Their first choice rejected them for another club, their second choice didn’t want to go, they were too stingy to get their third choice and they ended up with a guy who isn’t actually better than Giroud. He adds depth which is a big need at striker for Arsenal; however I don’t see opposing defenders shitting themselves over this signing. Rob Holding also came in and I can’t see him doing anything this year another than adding depth, it’s a low risk signing, if he doesn’t make it nobody will be that bothered.
Arsenal didn’t really lose anyone this summer, old guys who weren’t good enough left and some young prospects who not too long ago were the next big things were sent out on loan or sold, which leads me to Chambers who two years ago was the best centre back in the world (sarcasm) yet is now considered to be nowhere near good enough for Arsenal, I doubt he’ll make it, he’s too rash to be a top centre back and his positioning leaves a lot to be desired, another over rated English prospect who is shot to the moon but only makes it to the clouds.
Have Arsenal improved their squad? Yes I think they have, the signing of Mustafi has been needed for a number of years, Xhaka adds good young back up in the middle and Perez should be an ok back up for Giroud if not spectacular. Arsenal were also able to clear out a lot of deadweight which should free up space for more signings in the future. The issue for Arsenal for me is that that their improvements aren’t enough to challenge for the league in my opinion. They will make top four again but in my opinion that really isn’t good enough. Their chance was last season and maybe if they had spent the money they have this season last year we would be talking about the Premier League champions.
Ins: Jordon Ibe (£15m), Lewis Cook (£6m), Lys Mousset (£5.5m), Brad Smith (£3m), Marc Wilson (£2m), Jack Wilshere (loan), Nathan Ake (loan), Marius Adamonis (loan) & Emerson Hyndman (free)
Outs: Matt Ritchie (£10m), Tommy Elphick (£3m), Lee Tomlin (£3m), Tokelo Rantie (£1.5m), others of varying shitness
I really don’t understand Bournemouth’s transfer policy, they have in my opinion one of the worst squads in the league and it is a squad which totally lacks in Premier League quality players, yet have went out and bought a whole lot of nothing. Wilshere and Ake are good loans for them, Ake impressed last season in a limited role at Watford and if Wilshere can stay fit he is too good for this level; however their marquee signing has barely played in the last two years.
The biggest issue I have with Bournemouth is that they wasted £15m on Ibe who is an at best average player, and then went ahead and sold Ritchie for £10m, one of their most talented players. I applaud Bournemouth for going young; however they are taking a massive risk with their transfers.
Have Bournemouth improved? I’m not so sure, it feels like they’ve stayed the same. If Wilshere can stay fit then they will have improved, but he hasn’t been able to show that for a number of seasons and his lifestyle doesn’t help. Howe is a quality manager and could work wonders with this team like he did last season, however it feels like the league overall has improved and I think they will struggle badly.
Ins: Jeff Hendrick (£10m), Steven Defour (£7m), Johann Berg Gudmundsson (£2.5m), Nick Pope (£1m), Patrick Bamford (loan), Jon Flanagan (loan)
Outs: Joey Barton (free), many others
Hendrick is a solid player but they have vastly overpaid for him, I’m a bit surprised Defour couldn’t do any better and Gudmundsson is your classic had a good Euros so let’s give him a punt player. The two loan signings I find a touch odd too, Bamford was nowhere near good enough to play for Norwich or Palace last season, yet here he is at Burnley and Flanagan is a carthorse who has been injured for two years. Letting Barton go also seems incredibly odd, especially when he was their best player last season, to let him go because you didn’t want to give him two years on his contract…I’m all for financial security, however this is ridiculous.
Have Burnley improved their squad? They have but they really needed more if they were to guarantee Premier League survival. I don’t see this Burnley squad as being better than their squad from two seasons ago and I expect their fate to be very similar.
Ins: Michy Batshuayi (£33m), David Luiz (£33m), N’Golo Kante (£30m), Marcos Alonso (£20m), Eduardo (£4m)
Outs: Mo Salah (£13m), Papy Djilobodji (£8m), Juan Cuadrado (loan), Stipe Perica (£4m), Marko Marin (£2.5m), Bertrand Traore (loan), Mario Pasalic (loan), Loic Remy (loan), Baba Rahman (loan), Kenedy (loan), another 14(!) loan players
I find Chelsea’s transfer window very peculiar. Chelsea are a team who are desperately lacking in depth, yet despite that they send out twenty players on loan and sell guys without ever really giving them a chance.
David Luiz is such an odd signing, they sold him to PSG in a transfer where everyone lauded Chelsea for their savviness, yet have turned around and resigned him for a massive fee…Luiz can’t defend… The worst thing is that Chelsea know from first-hand experience that he can’t defend and still spent a stupid amount of money on him. Maybe Luiz will come and prove us all wrong but this is the epitome of a panic buy to me.
Kante seems like a good scheme fit for Conte’s style; however I do think that he is one of the more over rated players in the league. People love him because he runs about and tackles a lot, however his passing ability leaves a lot to be desired and for a bigger team like Chelsea I can see him struggling when they come to play against teams who aren’t too keen to have the ball. To spend £30m on a player who has only had one good season at this level is questionable, but when you’re desperate you are desperate.
Batshuayi and Alonso will have been bought as back-ups (unless Conte intends to move Azpi to right back and use Ivanovic as a centre back) and that’s fair enough, the squad was desperately lacking depth. The problem is that they have spent over £50m on two back-ups, at positions where there isn’t that much of a chance of rotation, that is first team starters sort of money.
Have Chelsea improved their squad? Yes they’ve added depth up front and Luiz and Kante will start, the problem is that they still have tons of gaps all over the pitch. Conte will have to hope that his team doesn’t pick up too many injuries because if it does then he will be in deep trouble. If you were wondering how poor Chelsea’s transfer window was last season, only Pedro is in this seasons squad, reinvestment after winning the league is vital, you must always continue to improve, Chelsea forgot that last season.
Ins: Christian Benteke (£25m), Andros Townsend (£13m), James Tomkins (£10m), Loic Remy (loan), Steve Mandanda (free)
Outs: Yannick Bolasie (£25m), Dwight Gale (£10m), Alex McCarthy (£4m), Mile Jedinak (£4m), others
A really strong window for Palace, they did some really good business with their recruitment but also made a pretty penny on their sales. Benteke is a good player, he may not have fit in at Liverpool but that shouldn’t tarnish his record at Villa. For a team at Palace’s level Benteke should be an absolute beast out there, he will complement their wide players perfectly. Townsend is a bit pricey but is a known commodity and you know he will deliver for a team at this level. The Townsend transfer is made all the better by the fact that Palace managed to squeeze £10m out of Newcastle for Gale. Tomkins will be a solid addition to the backline, Remy has shown previously what he can do at a lower mid table club and Mandanda will be an upgrade on their current goalkeeping options. Palace’s only real loss is Bolasie, who despite being a good player is wildly inconsistent and wasn’t that great last season, £25m is good business for them.
Have Palace improved their squad? Yes they may have lost Bolasie but they have added four good starters who will be able to contribute straight away. It has been a very strong window for Palace and I have no doubt that they won’t be threatening relegation.
Ins: Yannick Bolasie (£25m), Ashley Williams (£12m), Idrissa Gueye (£7m), Dominic Calvert-Lewen (£1.5m), Maarten Stekelenburg (£1m), Enner Valencia (loan)
Outs: John Stone (£47m), Steven Pienaar (free), Tim Howard (free), Leon Osman (free), others
Everton finally were taken over by cash rich owners, owners who could finally make Everton compete against the big dogs financially…except they sold £47m worth of players and bought £47m worth of players… I actually think that Everton have done fairly well in this transfer window, it is just a bit ironic that after all of the hoopla and big talk, they did exactly what they do every season, sell their biggest commodity and break even on transfers.
Bolasie is a good player and deserves the step up, however he is inconsistent and wasn’t that great last season. If he rises to the step up then Everton have a player, if he gives more of what he gave last year then they have just wasted £25m. Williams is a great replacement for Stones, he’s currently a better player and comes at a fraction of the cost. I would question the signing to a degree because Everton should really be looking to go younger, but he is a good stop gap. I don’t understand the Gueye signing; he showed nothing at Villa, Stekelenburg has been poor for a number of seasons now and if Valencia isn’t good enough for West Ham, then why would he be good enough for Everton? Two good signings and a few really odd ones.
The only player Everton really lost was Stones and I’m not sure it is really a loss for them. Stones was pretty terrible last season; he let the hype go to his head and played like a total dick. He thinks he is amazing, yet has yet to really show that. If he wasn’t English I doubt the price would be anywhere near £47m, it would be closer to £20m. Everton have done City here a bit and they really can’t come out of this as losers. If he flops then Everton have a steal, if he is good Everton have a steal and if he’s immense then Everton got a fair price. Stones will fit Guardiola’s style perfectly, he would also probably have flourished under Koeman, but if he thinks he’s bigger than he is then there is no point in keeping him.
Have Everton improved their squad? Yes they sold Stones for a tidy sum, replaced him with Williams and added flair with Bolasie. The best signing Everton made this summer was Koeman; he’s a quality young manager who will improve on what Everton have seen the last couple of seasons.
Ins: Ryan Mason (£8m), David Marshall (£3.5m), Will Keane (£1m), Dieumerci Mbokani (loan), James Weir (undis), Markus Henriksen (loan)
Outs: Mo Diame (£5m), Sone Aluko (free)
Poor Hull, terrible owners who took forever to sell the club and by the time they had finally done it, it was a bit too late. Hull’s signings were all pretty desperate but they’ve done their best with the hand they have been dealt. Mason is a pretty vanilla central midfielder, he doesn’t really do anything of note, Marshall is a great pick up for £3.5m and is a big improvement on what they have, Keane and Weir I’m not sure are good enough for this level currently, Mbokani did well at Norwich last season, should be a good backup and I don’t know Henriksen.
Have Hull improved their squad? They have but it is very marginal, which is a shame because if they want to stay in the Premier League then they needed more than a marginal improvement. Sadly mismanagement at the top of the club will likely see Hull relegated this season, a shame for the players and staff.
Ins: Islam Slimani (£26m), Ahmed Musa (£17m), Nampalys Mendy (£13m), Bartosz Kapustka (£5m), Ron Robert Zieler (£3m), Luis Hernandez (free)
Outs: N’Golo Kante (£30m), Andrej Kramaric (£8.5m), Ritchie De Laet (£2m), Gokhan Inler (undis), others
The big blow for Leicester this summer was the loss of Kante, one of their three most important players. It is unlikely that they will be able to find someone who fits their scheme as perfectly as Kante did, they will be hoping Mendy fills that hole but I doubt he will. Slimani scored a lot of goals in Portugal but it is a big gamble for Leicester because at 28 he has very little sell on value and their record with club record signings hasn’t been the best. Hernandez is a backup, Kapustka is one for the future and Zieler is a great back up signing (surprised he couldn’t do better). Musa adds a lot of pace but I don’t think he has very much to give beyond that, seems overpriced at £17m.
Have Leicester improved their squad? Yes on paper the squad has improved, so has the first eleven, however I think they will regress horribly this year. Kante was so important to the system they play that his loss will be massive, they are lucky that they were able to hold onto Vardy and Mahrez, as otherwise they would be totally fucked. I do find some of the signings odd as I’m not sure that they are great system fits or where they will fit into the first eleven (specifically Slimani). I think that Leicester’s squad isn’t big enough or of a high enough quality to play and succeed in the Champions League and do well in the league, they will struggle this year under the weight of newfound expectations.
Ins: Sadio Mane (£35m), Georginio Wijnaldum (£25m), Loris Karius (£5m), Ragnar Klavan (£4m), Joel Matip (free), Alexander Manninger (free)
Outs: Christian Benteke (£27m), Jordon Ibe (£15m), Joe Allen (£13m), Martin Skrtel (£5m), Luis Alberto (£4m), Brad Smith (£3m), Kolo Toure (free), Mario Balotelli (free), Lazar Markovic (loan), others
If there is one position which Liverpool didn’t need to improve it was attacking midfield, yet Liverpool went out and spent £60m on two attacking midfielders… On their day both Mane and Wijnaldum can be unstoppable and both are good players, however they are the definition of inconsistent and have vastly overpaid for both. This summer window is pretty typical of Liverpool, make two big name signings where neither really was needed whilst leaving gaping holes throughout the rest of the team.
Karius is a good pick up for £5m, Klavan is a stop gap fix and Matip on a free is some fantastic business. The problem is that Liverpool lack a passer in the centre of midfield, they don’t have a left back who isn’t shit, their striking options are limited and you could spit through their centre back depth.
If you’re looking for some positives then don’t worry I do have some, Liverpool have been selling their players at a very efficient rate!!! It isn’t really what you want, however Liverpool have been doing some really good business when they sell their players who they no longer want. £27m for Benteke, £15 for Ibe and £13m for Allen (who they were trying to sell for £7m pre-Euros) are spectacular pieces of business.
Have Liverpool improved their squad? Yes and no, they have signed good players but in positions they didn’t really need them and then sold players where they are sorely lacking depth, something which either means that Klopp doesn’t think it is a problem or more worryingly for Liverpool fans, the board are penny pinching. I don’t see Liverpool making top four, I’d be surprised if they even challenged for it, the question will be whether or not Klopp gets another season? Historically it is in Klopp’s third season where his teams really kick on and do special things, I’m not sure Liverpool have that patience.
Ins: John Stones (£47m), Leroy Sane (£42.5m), Gabriel Jesus (£27m), Ilkay Gundogan (£23m), Claudio Bravo (£15m), Nolito (£15m), Marlos Moreno (£5m), Geronimo Rulli (£4m)
Outs: Edin Dzeko (£9m), Geronimo Rulli (£6m), Wilfried Bony (loan), Martin Demichellis (free), Joe Hart (loan), Eliaquim Mangala (loan), Samir Nasri (loan), Gabriel Jesus (loan), so many others
A really interesting window for City, and one which isn’t at all in line with their usual tendencies. I said in my Premier League season preview that I felt that Guardiola was probably the signing of the season because it is a statement of intent by City and it makes them a bigger club than they were. I don’t believe many outside of Greater Manchester would ever say they dreamed of playing for City, they probably never even thought about it, however there is not doubts that players will have dreamed of playing under Guardiola. The signing of Guardiola has given City a new dimension, no longer the club who you only go to if you want a quick buck, they also offer you the chance to play under one of the great managers of the modern era.
In terms of actual player signings City have done pretty well too. It is interesting to see them go so young with their signings, which I can only assume is directly from Guardiola. They have vastly overpaid for Stones (by about £22m) and Sane (by about £17.5m), however if you want top talent you do need to pay ridiculous fees. Stones should fit into Guardiola’s system very well, he currently isn’t anywhere near the value which they paid for him and I think he’ll probably never fully reach that sort of potential. Yes Stones can pass the ball well for a centre back, but he’s not the best in the air, is careless on the ball and has poor positioning, but passing!!! I haven’t seen much of Sane, but a quick winger can never really go wrong. I do question the amount they’ve paid for him because £42m is the kind of money you pay for a guaranteed starter, not a kid who will get a game here and there. Gabriel Jesus I know nothing about, however with the clubs who wanted him (Barcelona and the likes) he must have something which makes him such a commodity.
I really like City’s other signings; Bravo fills there need for a goalkeeper who can play on the ball, Gundogan for £23m is an absolute steal as long as he can stay fit (perfect fit for Guardiola) and Nolito may be 29 but he will be able to fill a spot until the younger players are ready to fill that spot. Guardiola was also able to clear out a lot of the trash which has filled City’s squad for a number of years, even if it was only on loan.
Have City improved their squad? Yes they’ve improved their squad quite considerably. They’ve signed about four starters and they are all players who will contribute straight away. My only criticisms of City this transfer window is that they have blatantly overpaid for some young talent and that they have ignored or not fully fixed their weaknesses at full back, centre back and central midfield.
Ins: Paul Pogba (£89m), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£35m), Eric Bailly (£32m), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (free)
Outs: Paddy McNair (£5m), Will Keane (£1m), Nick Powell (free), Victor Valdes (free), Guillermo Varela (loan), Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (loan), James Wilson (loan), Andreas Pereira (loan), Adnan Januzaj (loan), Donald Love (undis), James Weir (undis)
I am not sure what was in the water this summer in Manchester but other clubs should start bottling it, because Utd also had a very good summer transfer window. Utd broke the world transfer record when they splashed £89m on Pogba, a player who they lost for £800k a few years prior. Utd have overpaid for Pogba by around £29m, however the signings of Pogba is about more than the fee paid (something which doesn’t really matter to Utd), the signing is a statement of intent. Much like City signing Guardiola, Utd needed the signing of Pogba, to remind people that they are still a behemoth of a club. £89m is a grotesque amount of money to be spending of a player, and it is even worse when you consider that Pogba is not an attacking goal threat, however Utd were missing marketable names and Pogba is one of the most marketable names on the planet, and he just happens to be a heck of a footballer too. There is no doubt that if we were ranking who the best player to move to a Premier League club this season was, then it would be Pogba, it might not be the best value but he fills a massive hole in Utd’s midfield and adds a lot of strength, power and swagger, which was sorely missing the last few years.
I have never been a Zlatan fan, I think that he is one of the most over rated players I the world, who has managed to create a brand for himself despite never having played successfully in a top league. Despite all that, Utd are desperate for a top end striker, marketable stars and confident players who can work under Mourinho, Zlatan really was a bit of a no brainer. Utd really don’t have anything to lose, they take a risk on Zlatan for two years and if he doesn’t work out then they show him the door, he hasn’t cost any money, it really is a win win situation for the club.
Mkhitaryan and Bailly are more your traditional Utd signings of the last few seasons, splash £30m or so on the best player in the Bundesliga and one of the best young talents on football, and hope once they get over that they stick and work out in the team. These are classic Ed Woodward signings, he likes to throw his money around and his basic bid seems to be £30m, it sometimes means clubs take Utd to the cleaners but it also means sometimes Utd get the player they were wanting without too much hassle. Both Bailly and Mkhitaryan look like really good signings (overpaid for Mkhi based on the fact he only had a year left on his contract) and both should contribute to the first eleven more or less straight away.
Have Utd improved their squad? Yes they have improved it drastically by adding four first team starters. It is interesting that three of the four signings are what you would classify as typical Mourinho players, as in tall, strong and athletic, players who can bully teams. In one summer, Mourinho has transformed a Utd team which was lacking characters into one which contains two of the biggest characters in world football, quite a turn around.
Ins: Martin De Roon (£13m), Viktor Fischer (£4m), Antonio Barragan (£2m), Fabio (£2m), Brad Guzan (free), Victor Valdes (free), Gaston Ramirez (free), Bernado Espinosa (free), Adama Traore (undis), Alvaro Negredo (loan), Calum Chambers (loan)
Outs: Adam Reach (£5m), Mustapha Carayol (free), Rhys Williams (free), others
If a Boro fan were to dream their perfect summer transfer window, I don’t think they could have even reached these heights. Fischer for £4m seems like an absolute steal, I’m amazed he couldn’t have went somewhere better for that sort of money, Valdes on a free is good business, Ramirez back on a free was so important for the team, Guzan is a solid back up, De Roon is a bit pricey but will improve their midfield, Chambers will add depth to their backline and Negredo (proven Premier League goal scorer) is a spectacular pick up for a team at Boro’s level and with consistent play could really be a big difference for their season.
Did Boro improve their squad? They definitely did, they have added a number of players who will add to their first team, made some good back up signings and have added players who you wouldn’t have thought Boro would have been able to sign, sort of reminds me of the days when they were signing Juninho and Ravanelli.
Ins: Sofiane Boufal (£16m), Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (£13m), Nathan Redmond (£11.5m), Alex McCarthy (£4m), Jeremy Pied (free)
Outs: Sadio Mane (£35m), Graziano Pelle (£13m), Victor Wanyama (£12m), Juanmi (£4m), Gaston Ramirez (free)
Every year it is the same for Southampton; they have a great season against all expectations and then lose all their best players in the summer. Mane for £35m is a great piece of business, however he is potentially a very special player when he is on his game, Wanyama will be a huge miss in their midfield and to lose him for such little money is a shame, Pelle may not be the best player in the world and I get why both the player and the club were pleased to see him go for the money but it is another loss from their attacking talents and the loss of Koeman is possibly the biggest blow of all.
To be fair to Southampton, I don’t think that it is necessarily the players or the manager who is keeping them consistently at the top half of the table, rather that the way the club is run which is keeping them up there. Southampton’s scouting seems to be one of the best in the league and they consistently reinvest their money wisely, I don’t see this season being any different. Hojbjerg is an interesting pick up, he’s only 20 and has lots of potential, Redmond has bundles of experience and is only 22, if he is able to improve his end product then he will be a player, I don’t really know Boufal but I have read many good things and at 22 he follows the trend of the other two big signings.
Have Southampton improved their squad? I would have to say no because Wanyama and Mane are very good players, however Southampton have added three young players who will help fill those gaps and will have great sell on values down the line, something I’m sure Southampton fans will getting giddy at the knees over.
Ins: Joe Allen (£13m), Ramadan Sobhi (£4m), Wilfried Bony (loan), Bruno Martins Indi (loan), Lee Grant (loan), Ryan Sweeney (£250k)
Outs: Marc Wilson (£2m), Philipp Wollscheid (loan), Steve Sidwell (free), Joselu (loan), Peter Odemwingie (free)
Stoke were the team who spent the least amount of money in this year’s transfer window, but what they did spend they have put to good use. Allen wasn’t good enough for Liverpool, but Stoke is about his level, Bony on loan is a great pick up because much like Allen he may not be good enough for City but at Stoke he should be a difference maker and Martins Indi is one of those odd loan signings, where they send out Wollscheid and then bring in Martins Indi who is a similar level of player.
Have Stoke improved this window? They have but they only signed one player permanently who is likely to make an impact. Bony is a great signing but his fitness will be questionable after barely playing for over a year and Martins Indi is a bit of an unknown quantity.
Ins: Didier Ndong (£13m), Papy Djilobodji (£8m), Paddy McNair (£5m), Donald Love (£1m), Steven Pienaar (free), Javier Manquillo (loan), Adnan Januzaj (loan), Jason Denayer (loan)
Outs: Younes Kaboul (£3.5m), Emanuele Giaccherini (£1m), Liam Bridcutt (£1m), Santiago Vergini (£800k), Jordi Gomez (free), Danny Graham (free), Steven Fletcher (free), Adam Matthews (loan), Jeremain Lens (loan), Will Buckley (loan), others
I’m not too sure about Sunderland, their signings in my opinion are pretty poor and their squad really needed improvements. The loss of Big Sam just before the season started was a pretty big blow for the team and although David Moyes is a great replacement, there is only so much he can do when he all of a sudden wants a different type of player. I don’t quite understand why so little was spent at Sunderland this summer, do they not realise that this team has been on the cusp of relegation for the past number of seasons?
I haven’t seen N’dong play but it is the classic give a French team £13m for a player and hope they stick sort of move, I’m not saying he is or isn’t a good player (I don’t honestly know) but when that’s your marquee signing it makes me concerned. I don’t know what possessed them to pay £8m for Djilibodji, genuinely mind boggling. McNair is a good signing as he has potential at this level but he isn’t ready to start for a couple of season in my opinion. Donald Love isn’t good enough at this level and Pienaar is past it. The loan signings are where the quality really is, Denayer has shown potential over the last couple of years, Manquillo will fill the right back slot well and if Januzaj can get his head sorted out then they could have one of the brightest prospects in football on their team.
Have Sunderland improved their squad? Yes they’ve cleared out a lot do the deadwood (although there is still much more) and added some good loan signings. The loss of Kaboul could be tough to absorb but they will be hoping that McNair and Djilibodji can do the job. My biggest issue with Sunderland’s window is that their best signings are all on loan, which is fine for this season but next summer these players won’t be there and Sunderland will be in a much worse position.
Ins: Borja Baston (£15m), Fernando Llorente (£5m), Alfie Mawson (£5m), Leroy Fer (£5m), Mike van der Hoorn (£2m), Mark Birighitti (free)
Outs: Andre Ayew (£20m), Ashley Williams (£12m), Alberto Paloschi (£5m), Eder (£4m), Bafetembi Gomis (loan), others
Swansea usually don’t spend that much money in the transfer window and this summer was no different. They sold Ayew (last season’s best player) and Williams (captain and leader) for good money but I would question if that is the right decision because they have two of their best players, from a team which doesn’t have that many desirable players.
Borja is a big signing and will give them the goals which they have sorely missed since Bony left, Llortente will be a good back up, Fer at £5m is a solid buy and van der Hoorn at £2m is a great pick up for a young talent.
Have Swansea improved their squad? I think the squad has improved but the first eleven has regressed. The issue Swansea will have for me is that they weren’t that far off of being relegated last season, they’ve then sold two big first team players and brought in players who aren’t quite as ready. I don’t think they’ve really made any bad signings but they have taken a risk with their buying and selling.
Ins: Moussa Sissoko (£30m), Vincent Janssen (£19m), Victor Wanyama (£12m), Georges-Kevin N’Koudou (£9m), Pau Lopez (loan)
Outs: Nacer Chadli (£13m), Ryan Mason (£8m), Alex Pritchard (£8m), DeAndre Yedlin (£5m), Federico Fazio (loan), Nabil Bentaleb (loan), Clinton N’Jie (loan)
I usually have a lot of respect for how Spurs conduct themselves in the transfer market, however when you waste £30m on Sissoko I find it hard to be anything but embarrassed for you. It isn’t necessarily that Sissoko is a bad player, he’s a good squad player who fits ok with what Spurs do, the problem is that they paid twice as much as he is worth. Sissoko was totally anonymous for Newcastle last season, he was terrible, he then has a good few games in the Euros and he’s a £30m player? It is the definition of a had a good Euros so let’s throw money at him, it is also the definition of a panic buy.
It’s a shame for Spurs because the signings of Janssen and Wanyama were both good bits of business and were classic thrifty Spurs. Both players add good quality depth up front and to the centre of midfield respectively. N’Koudou is a bit of an unknown, however he will have time to bed in and at only £10m if he flops it won’t be such a big deal. Spurs also did a good job of moving on some of the players who just aren’t good enough for the club and for good prices too.
Have Spurs improved their squad? They have but they blatantly overspent on Sissoko in what was a panic buy, which says to me that they aren’t confident in their squad depth, something which is vital if they are to play in the Champions League and make top four once again.
Ins: Isaac Success (£13m), Roberto Pereyra (£11m), Sven Kums (£8.5m), Daryl Janmaat (£8m), Christian Kabasele (£6m), Stefano Okaka (£5m), Younes Kaboul (£3.5m), Brice Dja Djedje (£3m), Jerome Sinclair (free), Adrian Mariappa (free), Camilo Zuniga (loan), Kenedy (loan)
Outs: Matej Vydra (£8m), Miguel Layun (£5m), Ikechi Anya (£4m), Allan Nyom (£4m), Almen Abdi (£3m), Jose Jurado (£1m), Juanfran (free), Sven Kums (loan), many others
I can never understand Watford, they seem to sign so many players every summer, they must have the biggest squad in the league and they really don’t need to. Pereyra is a good signing and Success will add a bunch of pace to their attack, Janmaat is a good pick up for £8m as is Kaboul for £3.5m. My issue isn’t necessarily with Watford’s signings because if think they’ve made at least four good ones; my issue is rather with the sheer turnover the squad has suffered from.
Have Watford improved their squad? Yes, however in my opinion you are playing a dangerous game when you bring in so many players and then ship just as many out, the team is unlikely to gel. They did the exact same thing last season and got away with it because they had a good first half of the season and their core was strong, if they are scraping about at the midpoint of the season I think they could really struggle.
Ins: Nacer Chadli (£13m), Matt Philipps (£5.5m), Allan Nyom (£4m), Hal Robson-Kanu (free), Brendan Galloway (loan)
Outs: James Chester (£8m), Christian Gamboa (£1m), Victor Anichebe (free), Anders Lindegaard (free), Stephane Sessegnon (free), Rickie Lambert (undis), Sebastien Pocognoli (loan)
If it weren’t for Tony Pulis I would be predicting West Brom to be relegated, this has been a terrible transfer window for them. I feel sorry for Pulis because he has such a negative reputation that I think it is affecting the clubs he manages ability to sign players because they don’t want to play under him; hence they get the scraps that nobody else wants. All of West Brom’s signings are so so signings, who I don’t feel really improve their team that much; they’re still going to be shitty to watch.
I’ll make a special mention for Robson-Kanu, who has managed to get a move to a Premier League club after being too shit for a low end Championship team, all because he scored one good goal in the Euros. He didn’t even really have that good a Euros, he just scored a good goal and somehow that is good enough to get a three year contract at West Brom, the definition of poor scouting.
Have West Brom improved their squad? They have, they’ve cleared out a lot of poor players (and Chester for some reason) but not really added that much to improve the squad. Without Pulis I would say that they are relegation fodder, with him I’m sure they will stay up, but is that really enough for West Brom? Must be dire to be a fan of that.
West Ham United
Ins: Andre Ayew (£20m), Manuel Lanzini (£10m), Arthur Masuaku (£6m), Edimilson Fernandes (£5.5m), Simone Zaza (loan), Jonathan Calleri (loan), Gokhan Tore (loan), Ashley Fletcher (free), Havard Nordtveit (free), Sofiane Feghouli (free), Alvaro Arbeloa (free)
Outs: James Tomkins (£10m), Joey O’Brien (free), Enner Valencia (loan), others
An interesting window for West Ham, they promised to sign so many different high profile players, yet ended up with not very much. Ayew is a good pick up although they overpaid, Lanzini at £10m is a no brainer, Arbeloa and Feghouli are interesting pickups for free, however that’s where my compliments end. If West Ham are serious about taking the next step into possibly challenging for the top four, then they should be signing players, not signing players on loan. I feel like they have spent a lot of money but don’t really have anything to show for it.
Have West Ham improved their squad? Yes but not in the right ways. They haven’t really lost anyone and added some good players, but their squad seems too big to me and the loan signings I find odd if they are hoping to push on from their good run last season.
One of the most interesting things about this seasons Premier League transfer window is that none of the very top players were poached by the Classico teams, in fact one of the world’s most desired players moved into the league, which hasn’t been the trend the past number of years. With the new TV deal kicking in this season, you can really see the effect it has had with so many teams breaking their transfer fee record. I think I felt that only one team had regressed this season, which can only be good for the league going forward.
Best 5 Signings
- Fischer (Boro)
- Ibrahimovic (Utd)
- Matip (Liverpool)
- Gundogan (City)
- Hojbjerg (Southampton)
Worst 5 Signings
- Ibe (Bournemouth)
- Sissoko (Spurs)
- Robson-Kanu (West Brom)
- Stones (City)
- Mason (Hull)
Top 5 Transfer Window Teams
- Man Utd
- Man City
Worst 5 Transfer Window Teams
- West Brom
Now the window is close, here are my updated league predictions, the predictions which I consider to be my proper predictions for the season…predictions! I will also have how much they have changed since my preview.
1st—Man Utd 0
2nd—Man City 0
8th—West Ham -1
15th—West Brom -2
The chances that I get anywhere near these results being correct are pretty slim, however it is always fun to look back at the end of the season and see how wrong you were at the start of it. I think that one of the Manchester clubs will win the league and that there is very little between them, the race for the Champions League could be very exciting indeed and I feel like the relegation battle is wide open and could include any of nine teams. Hopefully it will be a really good season!
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