Another season another Premier League season preview, yet this time around it’s a little bit special as it’s a Premier League season preview/transfer window review!
The Premier League in their infinite wisdom decided that they would set the trend and shut the window prior to the start of the season thinking that others would follow…nobody followed leading to a weird situation where the assumption is this is the end of the window but doomsday may strike and a big name could be on his way out (duh duh duh- dramatic music).
It was interesting that the spending of clubs seemed to drastically decrease this summer window. Is this phenomenon due to teams becoming more frugal with their cash or is it the more likely case that teams are less likely to panic buy because they haven’t had a terrible start to the season and think they’re going to get relegated? I’m pretty sure it’s the latter.
Premier League Champions
Ins: Riyad Mahrez (£61m), Philippe Sandler (£2.25m), Daniel Arzani (£800k)
Outs: Angus Gunn (£10m), Joe Hart (£3.5m), Olarenwaju Kayode (£2.7m), Yaya Toure (free)
Guardiola’s third season at the club and the first season that the club haven’t spent outlandish money (this does ignore that Laporte joined in January for £59m). I don’t really understand the Mahrez signing, it feels like a signing for the sake of a signing. I like Mahrez and think he’s a good player but to splash £60m on what is essentially a squad player seems like a waste to me. I look at City’s squad and I still see much bigger holes at both full back positions, at holding midfield and even at centre back than I do at any of the attacking positions.
City won the Premier League last season in quite the fashion with a record 100 points. I did feel that teams were often rolling over for them, accepting that they weren’t going to win the match before it had even started, instead going in with the aim of not getting beat by too much. As champions I don’t this will happen so often because teams will be looking for the scalp and as City have shown in their previous two seasons as defending champions, it’s hard to replicate success. I’d expect City to drop at least 10 points from last season’s performance.
City have the best attacking talent in the league. If you pick their starting four attackers it’s the best in the league, if you then look at the ones that are left on the bench they are better than most other teams attacking four in the league. City still have question marks over their defensive abilities, however they kill counter attacks so effectively that it allows for their frailties to be masked. This may be exposed against better sides, however against the teams outside the top six they won’t suffer it consistently enough.
If I was a City fan then I’d be excited for the season ahead, I’d be salivating over the attacking talent contained at the club and be high on the idea of retaining the league and doing stuff in Europe. I’d also be ignoring the fact that the centre of midfield is frail and that the defence still leaves a lot to be desired. I have no doubts that City can be got at, the question is more are teams brave enough to have a go instead of rolling over and offering their own soft bellies.
Ins: Fred (£53m), Diogo Dalot (£19m), Lee Grant (£1.5m)
Outs: Daley Blind (£14m), Sam Johnstone (£7m), Axel Tuanzebe (loan), Tim Fosu-Mensah (loan), Joel Pereira (loan)
I wrote an analysis of the Man Utd squad prior to the season starting which can be found by following this link.
Utd go into this season in a bit of an odd situation. For the second year in a row Utd improved under Jose Mourinho, yet nobody is talking about them winning the league. Utd were the clear second best team in the league last season and that was after an apparently poor season. You’d think going into the summer the board would back the manager and spend to improve the blatant holes in the team.
It was clear Utd needed a central midfielder (two if Fellaini left), a centre back, a right back, a left back and a right winger, instead Utd ended up with two central midfielders (Fellaini staying as well) and a young right back with limited first team experience… You can see why Mourinho is so frustrated going into the season. This transfer window can only be described as a bit of a disaster. Instead of pushing on and forcing City to worry about the team Utd have built, they improved the team but only slightly. Left back and the right wing are still two massive holes and centre back is still missing a leader. It’s not to say that Utd don’t have decent centre backs, however they don’t have a commanding leader back there. The thinking for years has been that Jones will develop into that, and honestly he still could, however that would require him to stay fit for an entire season and he certainly hasn’t shown that.
If you look at Utd’s squad and first eleven it’s still good enough to challenge for and win the league. Utd have improved their first eleven and squad with the additions of Dalot, Fred and Pereira, they haven’t lost anyone of importance and you’d expect more from them this season from what was seen last year. If you’re Utd (or anyone who isn’t City for that matter) realistically City won’t score 100 points again. In reality they will likely drop around 10 or so points, the question for Utd will be can they improve their points tally by around ten. I’m not sure this team can score above 90 in the league, they’re a mid to high eighties team, which might not be enough.
It’s a big season for Utd, it’s a make or break year for Mourinho and beyond that it’s a make or break year for a lot of the players. How long can guys like Shaw, Jones, Martial, Rashford, Bailly and Lindelof live off of the promising youngster and next season tags? It’s another season and what feels like another season of transition in what is the long post-Fergie road. It will be interesting to see what people’s opinions of the rumoured transfers Mourinho wanted by the end of the season, I doubt they would have made the team worse.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team not sign or sell anyone in a summer transfer window, it’s an incredibly odd situation. It isn’t like Spurs can’t improve their first eleven and they could certainly improve their squad. It’s not easy to sign guys like Zaha, however there are blatant transfers they could make to improve the team overall. Also a bit odd that they didn’t offload anyone despite the fact that a number of players (Dembele, Alderweireld and Rose) have all made noises about wanting to be let go.
Spurs have got one of the best first elevens in the league, what they don’t have is a particularly good squad. It’s the same problems I had with Spurs last season, if they are able to keep all their players match fit and fresh for the entire season then they are title contenders, in reality this won’t happen. Add a weak squad to the fact that they’ll be bouncing all around London for their home games make it even more unlikely that this season is the season that Spurs break their league hoodoo. They need is a cup run, what they will likely get is another season of next season is the one.
Spurs need to be careful, the board has been disgraceful in not signing anyone in the summer, using the famous Arsenal line of “new stadium mean no money!” It’s nonsense and if they aren’t careful after years of trying to replace Arsenal in the top four they will end up replacing Arsenal as the most mediocre and mundane team in the league.
Ins: Alisson (£56m), Naby Keita (£54m), Fabinho (£41m), Xherdan Shaqiri (£13m)
Outs: Danny Ward (£12.5m), Ragnar Klavan (£1m), Marko Grujic (loan), Jon Flanagan (free), Danny Ings (loan), Emre Can (free)
The big spenders of the summer transfer window have nowhere to hide this season. In Klopp’s fourth season he has to do something, show that the team is taking more than a moderate step forward and produce more than losing finals. Liverpool had a really good window; they overspent massively on Alisson but teams knew they were desperate and Roma took advantage of this. I can’t pretend that I have watched that much of Alisson in his career, however what I have seen of him I can’t say that I see the world’s most expensive goalkeeper. It looks like he struggles with the command of his area and his decision making doesn’t seem the best. I do feel it’s unfair of me to level some of these criticisms at him but when you spend that sort of money on a player, in particular a goalkeeper, you expect a dead cert. It’s a lot of pressure on him but he can’t be any worse than what’s already there.
Keita was bought last summer in the type of transfer which I never understand. He looks like a decent player and will fit well in Liverpool’s workmanlike central midfield. He’s got more quality than Henderson, Milner and Wijnaldum on the ball so is instantly an upgrade on them, he’s physically developed and should be able to adjust to Klopp’s style well. Fabinho was rumoured to be going all over the place last season yet stayed at Monaco, it makes me wonder why. My assumption is that top teams didn’t really rate him because for the fee that Liverpool paid you’d think that more would have been interested. He’s a direct replacement for Can after Liverpool got caught with their pants down whilst sitting on a cactus. The Shaqiri signing makes sense in the way that he gives much needed depth, however he doesn’t fit the system at all, clearly has major attitude problems and couldn’t give two shits last season at Stoke. Not the sort of player I’d want at my club. Shout out to Liverpool for somehow getting £12.5m for Danny Ward, can only assume they had incriminating evidence on Jamie Vardy.
It should be an interesting season for Liverpool, they made the Champions League final last season but ultimately came up short. It’s Klopp’s fourth season and I’m not sure at this club he can really get away with anything other than a little bit of success. The weird thing about Klopp’s attitude for me is that the FA Cup or League Cup seem the most obvious avenues for success, yet he doesn’t really give either a glance. I think Liverpool can get away with pushing City close this season, however if they don’t and don’t do anything else then I do wonder how long Klopp’s extended honeymoon will last.
So how close are Liverpool to winning a big competition? Not very is the answer but they are much closer than before. I don’t think Klopp’s style lends itself to success over a league season, I also don’t think Liverpool have anywhere near a good enough squad to last a title challenge. As Liverpool have shown over the last few years they can definitely sustain a cup run, however cup runs aren’t worth much if they don’t end in trophies.
Liverpool had one of the best summers of any of the teams in the Premier League, they spent big in areas of the pitch which they needed improvement, however it’s now or never for Klopp and the gang as after outspending their rivals this summer there really can’t be any excuses for anything but success.
Ins: Kepa (£72m), Jorginho (£51m), Robert Green (free), Mateo Kovacic (loan)
Outs: Thibaut Courtois (£31m), Kurt Zouma (loan), Tiemoue Bakayoko (loan), Michy Batshuayi (loan), others
Chelsea had an odd summer, signing Jorginho a year late to replace Matic and then picking Kovacic up on loan are two good signings which will help their weak central midfield, however the loss of Courtois for only £31m and then replacing him with a player for more than double the price is poor business. Courtois is a top keeper even if he never replicated his Atletico form, having said that you are losing the third best keeper in the league and replacing him with someone who is a bit of an unknown quantity. Even in a straight swap this is a bad deal, to pay £40m more and break the goalkeeper transfer record makes it a pretty bad deal. It’s a shame for Chelsea because they were put in a tough spot and I do applaud them for getting their man despite the fee, but it feels like they could have got a better deal overall.
Chelsea start the season with another new manager, this time Maurizio Sarri. It will be interesting to see how he does and how long Chelsea are willing to give him to put together a team. Sarri did a fantastic job at Napoli and Chelsea will be hoping he replicates that in a much more difficult league. Sadly for Chelsea they have a huge squad and it’s primarily filled with dead weight. There are good players in there, however for every Hazard there’s a Drinkwater and Barkley. There are too many average players in this team for them to put in a genuine title challenge. Chelsea are also way too reliant of Hazard and he does enjoy going in the huff.
For most teams they would look at this squad and say that this is a transition year with a new manager and the aim should be top four, for Chelsea you never know.
Ins: Lucas Torreira (£27m), Bernd Leno (£22.5m), Sokratis (£14m), Matteo Guendouzi (£7m), Stephan Lichsteiner (free)
Outs: Lucas Perez (£4m), Chupa Akpom (£900k), Santi Cazorla (free), Jack Wilshere (free), Calum Chambers (loan), Joel Campbell, David Ospina (loan), Per Mertesacker (retired)
The biggest thing about Arsenal this summer is that they finally got rid of Arsene Wenger. It was probably eight years too late, better late than never I guess. Emery has a lot of work to do to fix what has been a team which is far off of where it really should be. Wenger for years allowed mediocrity to gather amongst his squad and it will take a couple of seasons to weed that out. Emery started to do that by letting Jack Wilshere go, the definition of an average over rated Arsene Wenger player. It’s amazing to think that Arsenal have allowed an always injured but never that good player walk when usually what would happen is a new five year deal with an increase in wage.
Arsenal have also done the unthinkable by signing an actual holding midfielder! Torreira has come in to fill a role which has been empty since Patrick Vieira left. Guendouzi has also come in to give further depth in the middle, buses and stuff. The signings of Sokratis and Lichsteiner don’t seem headlines on the face of it, however what they bring is much needed experience and leadership at the back and in the dressing room. Leno has been brought in to replace Cech who has looked on his last legs for the last couple of seasons now. What also shouldn’t be ignored is that Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan were brought in in January which makes the transfers seem more impressive. Probably the biggest mistake Arsenal have made in the last two windows is gifting Ozil a new expensive contract because his play most certainly didn’t deserve it.
I’ve put Arsenal in the champions bracket, however despite thinking that this season will be a vast improvement on the last few years I don’t think they’ll win the league. What they will do is challenge for the top four and even that is an improvement.
These six teams will finish in the top six of the league. It’s weird that the supposedly “most competitive” league in the world has a clear top six which are well in front of the rest. City should win the league and Utd and Liverpool will be their closest competitors. As always Spurs are a wildcard and to a lesser extent so are Chelsea. I still think the two Manchester teams are the best in the league and have the two best squads in the league. There are many variables though; injuries, manager meltdowns one of the teams gets caught doping…you just never know.
Possible European Place
Ins: Richarlison (£35m), Yerry Mina (£27m), Lucas Digne (£18m), Kurt Zouma (loan), Andre Gomes (loan), Bernard (free)
Outs: Davy Klaasen (£12m), Ramiro Funes-Mori (£8m), Kevin Mirallas (loan), Joel Robles (free), Wayne Rooney (free), Ashley Williams (loan), Cuco Martina (loan), Luke Garbutt (loan), Nikola Vlasic (loan)
A lot of movement for Everton again this summer. Last season it seemed like they had brought a lot of players in and they had done pretty well, then it turned out that having eight attacking midfielders wasn’t the best idea. The fact that Rooney (who was always a terrible signing) and Klaasen have already left only a year later says everything.
Richarlison is a big risk, he was lightning in the first half of last season, however was non existent in the second half. For that sort of money you really need to be a hit at a club like Everton. Mina is better than their current centre backs so is certainly an upgrade, Zouma adds needed depth. Digne for £18m seems like an overstretch. Gomes is an interesting pick up as he clearly isn’t good enough for Barca and looks lacking in confidence, but the drop down to Everton could be really good for him, a good low risk loan. Bernard is a weird one as well because as a free player you’d think he’d have been able to do better than Everton, but the fact that nobody better were in for him makes me wonder about the quality of the transfer. He’s been about for a while and never got his move until now, but a free player with tons of European experience and a Brazil international can’t be too bad.
Everton are once again the other top six team that isn’t actually in the top six. Everton are so far in front of the rest of the teams in the league but aren’t anywhere near the top six. Silva is a good pick up as manager and despite having a bad year last season they still managed to finish 8th. I don’t know what Everton are hoping for this season, I imagine building a comfortable 7th with a challenge to the top six. The problem is where do they go after this?
Ins: James Maddison (£22.5m), Ricardo Pereira (£20m), Caglar Soyuncu (£19m), Filip Benkovic (£13m), Rachid Ghezzal (£12.5m), Danny Ward (£12.5m), Jonny Evans (£3.5m)
Outs: Riyad Mahrez (£61m), Ahmed Musa (£15m), Islam Slimani (loan), Robert Huth (free), Leonardo Ulloa (free)
Leicester had another busy summer of spending and finally lost the services of Riyad Mahrez. It is a wonder that Coutinho can go for over £100m and Mahrez only goes for £60m when Mahrez has done a lot more in his Premier League career. Maddison was expensive but the hope would be that he can replace Mahrez, Pereira should fill the right back hole, Soyuncu and Benkovic bring much needed youth to the centre of their defence, Ghezzal adds himself to the long list of wingers hoping to make it at Leicester, Evans was a no brainer at £3.5m and then there was the ridiculously big fee they paid for an average back up keeper.
Leicester’s history in the transfer market in recent years has been the epitome of hit and miss but when you bring in so many players every season a few will hit. Leicester have become a mainstay of the league, they are too good to go down but won’t really challenge for the top six, they’ll look to push Everton for 7th. It will be interesting to see if Leicester can go the season without sacking their manager, it’s probably the most interesting thing about their season.
Ins: Felipe Anderson (£34m), Issa Diop (£22.5m), Andiry Yarmolenko (£18m), Lukasz Fabianski (£7m), Carlos Sanchez (£4m), Lucas Perez (£4m), Fabian Balbuena (£3.5m), Ryan Fredericks (free), Jack Wilshere (free)
Outs: Cheikhou Kouyate (£9.5m), Reece Burke (£1.5m), Edimilson Fernandes (loan), Sam Byram (loan), Patrice Evra (retired), James Collins (shit)
West Ham going big this summer by signing every player they could and bringing in Manuel Pellegrini to continue the used to manage in Manchester connection. Felipe Anderson was highly touted a few years ago, I couldn’t honestly say why that cooled off, but it’s a classic West Ham signing. As is Yarmolenko, a cast off from a bigger club who West Ham bring in and hope to rejuvenate their career. Diop is a highly touted young defender, bit of a punt for £22m which for West Ham is a lot of money but if he works out then nobody will be talking about £22m. Fabianski will help with the keeper situation, he’s not the best but he’s better than what they have. Sanchez, Balbuena and Fredericks are all low risk high reward signings. I don’t understand the Wilshere one, especially the money they are having to pay him to play there, he’s an average player who can’t stay fit. Perez is also an odd one, but for £4m it isn’t a big risk.
West Ham have too many players and not enough players who have stood above the pack as something special. Their central midfield isn’t the best but I feel like they look solid in most other areas of the pitch. West Ham tend to underachieve and due to the number of players they have it will be tough to keep everyone happy or not fall into the habit of rotating players willy nilly. They should be more than comfortable this season, however it’s West Ham and drama likes to follow them.
Ins: Cheikhou Kouyate (£9.5m), Max Meyer (free), Vicente Guaita (free), Jordan Ayew (loan)
Outs: Damien Delaney (free), Yohan Cabaye (free), Jaroslaw Jach (loan)
Palace are a good team, they have a good manager, they didn’t lose anyone in the summer, they signed Zaha to a new contract, they somehow got Max Meyer for free, added Ayew as good depth on loan and Kouyate fits perfectly into that team, all reasons why Palace are heading towards having a good year. I think top ten is very much within their grasps and sustained Premier League status plus London can only be good things for the club. It isn’t often a club will spend so little money but still look pretty damn good. Palace are turning into a well run club who with a few years of stability under Hodgson could become a mainstay.
Brighton & Hove Albion
Ins: Alireza Jahanbakhsh (£17m), Yves Bissouma (£15m), Bernardo (£9m), Martin Montoya (£6m), Florin Andone (£5.5m), David Button (£4m), Dan Burn (£3m), Percy Tau (£3m), Leon Balogun (free), Jason Steele (free), Billy Arce
Outs: Sam Baldock (£3.5m), Connor Goldson (£3m), Oliver Norwood (£2m), Jamie Murphy (£1m), Jim Skalak (£1m), Tim Krul (free), others
Brighton seem to have taken a bit of a scatter gun approach to their transfers this summer, the idea being that if you spend lots of £5millions then surely a couple will work out ok. I could sit here an pretend that I know all about Brighton’s new signings, however I would be lying. What I do like about Brighton is that they have a good manager, who plays some nice football and a squad which can flash moments of special play, desire and sturdiness. I think Brighton have more substance than the other two teams they came up with and I think they’ll have a solid and unspectacular season, which if you’re a Brighton fan is exactly what you’d like.
Ins: Adama Traore (£18m), Diogo Jota (£12.5m), Willy Boly (£11m), Benik Afobe (£10m), Joao Moutinho (£5m), Leo Bonatini (£3.5m), Raul Jimenez (loan), Ruben Vinagre (£2m), Rui Patricio (debatable), Leander Dedoncker (loan), Jonny Castro (loan)
Outs: Benik Afobe (£12m), Barry Douglas (£3m), Ben Marshall (£1.5m), others
Wolves are the Championship defending champs and they are looking to make a big splash in the Premier League and they certainly aren’t afraid to use money to back that up. A lot of their signings were already at the club and as is the way with the loan system, you can often spend a lot of money without actually improving your team too much the next season. I’m amazed they signed Moutinho, he’s 31 and doesn’t have legs but I felt he could have done better. Patricio is a great pick up on a…free…? I doubt it will be free in the end but he’s still a great signing, assuming of course the financial repercussions aren’t silly. Traore is a weird signing because there’s no doubt he’s got something, however he’s basically a one trick pony. If he added an end product to his game then he would be immense, but how long can you wait for something to click?
Wolves were already a very good team in the Championship and they’ve spent money to secure the important loan players they had last season and then added to it with experience in Moutinho and dynamism in Traore. They have a good squad and a good manager and I expect them to have a good first season.
Ins: Jean Michael Seri (£27m), Andre Zambo Anguissa (£22m), Aleksandar Mitrovic (£18m), Alfie Mawson (£15m), Joe Bryan (£6m), Fabri (£5.5m), Maxime Le Marchand (£3.5m), Andre Schurlle (loan), Tim Fosu-Mensah (loan), Calum Chambers (loan), Luciano Vietto (loan), Sergio Rico (loan)
Outs: David Button (£4m), Ryan Fredericks (free), others
Fulham along with Wolves decided that playing it safe as a newly promoted side is old hat and instead went crazy buying as many people as they could cause cottages don’t maintain themselves. Lots of people were supposedly in for Seri so I’m not sure how he ended up at Fulham, the Mitrovic signing allows them to continue with him up front (why Newcastle would let him go is weird), Mawson brings them some quality at the back for a reasonable price, Schurlle hasn’t been at it for a couple of years but on loan is still worth the punt and generally speaking they’ve brought in a lot of players who should add to their squad.
If I were a Fulham fan I’d be optimistic going into the season, they’ve signed quality players, improved the squad and the owners seem truly invested in the future of the club. Fulham may have went up through the play-offs but they are situated well for the Premier League. It will be nice to see how Jokanovic gets on after being robbed of the chance to manage in the Premier League with Watford.
Relegation Dog Fight
Ins: Ben Gibson (£15m), Matej Vydra (£11m), Joe Hart (£3.5m)
Outs: Scott Arfield (free), others
Burnley are a club I have a lot of time for, I like how they run the club sensibly and I like Sean Dyche, however after finishing last season in an amazing 7th they decided to go into this season and sign fuck all. Ben Gibson is a decent signing, although you do wonder what took him so long to get another Premier League club. Vydra isn’t good enough for the Premier League and Joe Hart has been signed as their third best keeper. Burnley have signed one starter and two, very much, squad players to add to one of the weakest squads in the league. If their manager wasn’t Sean Dyche I’d have them down with Cardiff in the bottomless pit of despair.
Ins: Yoshinori Muto (£10m), Mikel Merino (£6m), Federico Fernandez (£6m), Fabian Schar (£3.5m), Martin Dubravka (£3.5m), Salomon Rondon (loan), Ki Sung-Yong (free)
Outs: Aleksander Mitrovic (£18m), Mikel Merino (£11m), Chancel Mbemba (£7m), Matz Sels (£3.5m), Adam Armstrong (£2m), Massadio Haidara (free), Dwight Gayle (loan), Jack Colback (loan), Stuart Findlay (free)
Spent £31m and brought in £42m… The highest fee paid was less than £10m… It’s rough for Newcastle. They already have one of the weaker squads in the league and then they go and drop a shocking transfer window. Teams around them are spending more on one player than they are in an entire window. Muto never made it into double figures in the Bundesliga and he’s your headliner. Fernandez was average at Swansea, Ki couldn’t even get in the team and Rondon is an ok front man. Schar is an interesting signing, he was once highly touted and then seemed to never go anywhere and at £3.5m it’s low risk. Dubravka signing is positive but doesn’t actually improve the team. The problem with all of this is that they sold Mitrovic and brought in two players who probably aren’t as good as him.
Benitez is a solid manager, at this level he’s good but there’s only so much someone can do with so little. Newcastle received decent investment when they went down into the Championship, however since coming back up they have once again failed to do anything in the window. There’s only so long you can go without investing in a team and receive moderate success. Finishing 10th last season has made Newcastle look much better than they actually are. They’re in deep trouble and Mike Ashley is completely to blame.
Ins: Jefferson Lerma (£25m), Diego Rico (£11m), David Brooks (£10m)
Outs: Benik Afobe (£10m), Lewis Grabban (£6m), Max Gradel (£2m), Harry Arter (loan), others
It’s interesting when you look at the Bournemouth squad how British it is, so the additions of Lerma and Rico are quite out of the box. Bournemouth’s track record with big money signings is questionable and with only three coming in the chances of success are thinner. I feel that Bournemouth have been getting away with it the last couple of seasons and a continually poor recruitment process can only hurt in the long term. Howe is a good manager, however Bournemouth need their new signings to show up otherwise it could be difficult for them this season.
Ins: Gerard Deulofeu (£12m), Adam Masina (£4.5m), Ken Sema (£2m), Marc Navarro (£2m), Ben Wilmot (£1.5m), Domingos Quina (£1m), Ben Foster, Kwasi Sibo
Outs: Richarlison (£35m), Nordin Amrabat (£7.5m), Mauro Zarate (£2m), others
Watford didn’t spend that much money this summer, with the big signing being Duelofeu who was already at the club. When you consider that it really is a weak window. The loss of Richarlison is a big blow as he was their one special player. They got good money for him considering he only played half a season at a high level but it’s still a loss. Watford always seem to have too many players and this season is no different, there’s a lot of mediocrity in the squad but somehow they seem to manage to throw together a decent run at some point before being shit for 15 games, will likely be more of the same.
Ins: Terence Kongolo (£18m), Adama Diakhaby (£9m), Ramadan Sobhi (£6m), Florent Hadergjonaj (£4.5m), Jonas Lossl (£2m), Juninho Bacuna (£2m), Isaac Mbenza (loan), Erik Durm (free), Ben Hamer (free)
Outs: Tom Ince (£10m), Michael Hefele (£300k), Robert Green (free), others
Huddersfield aren’t very good, I don’t really know how they stayed up last season but good for them. They haven’t really improved their team in the summer and I think they more than anyone else who was in the league last season needed that improvement. I think the financial stability of a team is more important than taking a risk to stay in the league, however Huddersfield aren’t Premier League quality and they haven’t made me rethink that with this summer.
Ins: Jannik Vestergaard (£22.5m), Mohamed Elyounoussi (£16m), Angus Gunn (£10m), Stuart Armstrong (£7m), Danny Ings (loan)
Outs: Dusan Tadic (£10m), Florin Gardos (free), Jeremy Pied (free), Guido Carrillo (loan), Jordy Clasie (loan), Sofiane Boufal (loan), Josh Sims (loan)
Carrillo going out on loan 6 months after a £19m move tells you everything about Southampton over the last year, disastrous. Vestergaard was brought in to replace Van Dijk and should be a decent signing and Elyounoussi could be a very interesting signing for them. The signing of Armstrong for £7m is a bit of a steal and although Ings isn’t that great a loan signing for depth is low risk and fills a hole. Spending £10m on Angus Gunn makes minimal sense unless they are intending to start him.
It will be interesting to see where Southampton will do this season, they should be so much better than they showed last season, but they got caught out by the Van Dijk whirlwind and a poor manager who they stuck with too long. Mark Hughes isn’t the answer and I don’t see him being a great success. The question is were Southampton over achieving for years or were they really that good? It’s a bit of both and they need a good run of signings to rectify their previous position. Bound to hit one eventually.
Any of these teams could feasibly be relegated this season, I don’t see a great deal between them. The one team of this bunch which I think will definitely go down is Huddersfield who I think are the second worst team in the league. The other relegation spot I think will go to Newcastle who I really don’t think look good at all. Having said all that I doubt many people had last years three teams going down, so you just never know.
Ins: Josh Murphy (£10m), Bobby Reid (£10m), Alex Smithies (£3.5m), Greg Cunningham (£3.5m), Harry Arter (loan), Victor Camarasa (loan)
Outs: Lee Camp (free), Ben Wilson (free), Matty Kennedy (free), Omar Bogle (loan)
Cardiff are so special that they get their own category!!! By far the worst team in the league who haven’t added anything in the transfer window. Cardiff are so far off of the quality required it’s a shame, they are going to be the beating boys of the league. They’ll be stoic in defence and will give it all but I think a good season for them would be getting more than 20 points. They just aren’t very good.
So there you go, the first ever season preview/transfer window review combo post! It’s been a long one. I actually think there weren’t too many bad signings this summer, most clubs seemed to do fairly well.
Click this link to see how I thought the table would look at the end of the season. If I were to do it again today I would switch Spurs and Arsenal, I think I maybe over reacted to the lack of transfers. The rest I still feel looks ok.
Best 5 Signings
Max Meyer (Palace)
Joao Moutinho (Wolves)
Riyad Mahrez (City)
Lucas Torreira (Arsenal)
Mohamed Elyounoussi (Southampton)
Worst 5 Signings
Danny Ward (Leicester)
Lucas Digne (Everton)
Matej Vydra (Burnley)
Terence Kongolo (Huddersfield)
Angus Gunn (Southampton)
Top 5 Transfer Window Teams
Bottom 5 Transfer Window Teams
And…we were done! That’s the end of the post which I hope you’ve enjoyed. Seeing as you’ve made it this far why not take that extra step and leave a comment about what you think about the transfer window and the 18-19 Premier League season.