Every single season I say that the transfer window this time has been absolutely crazy and yet again the transfer window has been absolutely crazy. The Premier League once again broke all spending records as the transfer window went to whole new levels of silliness for 2017. Continue reading “The 2017 Premier League Transfer Window Review”
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. Continue reading “The 2016 Premier League Summer Transfer Window Review”
Another year another crazy summer transfer window. There were tears, failed transfers and Jim White in a dashing yellow tie, it had it all. Due to a bank holiday on Monday the Premier League closed eighteen hours after their continent counterparts, and that had a major effect on the last day excitement. Continue reading “The Premier League 2015 Summer Transfer Window Review”
The January transfer window is generally the little brother that nobody likes of transfer windows and this year it turned out to be exactly that again. I’ll do a team by team guide for the window that no one really likes, so instead of writing a fancy intro I’m just going to get down to the shit.
Most deals are undisclosed so I’m taking figures from a number of sources, none of which are probably that reliable but it’s that or undis everywhere. I would usually ask if each team has improved as a club but so few have actually done anything meaningful, so I will only do it where it makes sense.
Ins: Gabriel Paulista (£11.2m), Krystian Bielik (£2.5m)
Outs: Lukas Podolski (loan), Yaya Sanogo (loan), Joel Campbell (loan), Benik Afobe (undis)
Actually a fairly good transfer window again for Arsenal in my opinion (that’s like two in a row [new record]). They needed a new centre back and Paulista fills that role for a reasonable price, granted I haven’t knowingly seen him play, but even if he’s shit they didn’t risk much money on him. As far as going out they have had some house cleaning by getting rid of guys who weren’t in first team consideration, this could create depth issues later on in the season but in reality Campbell and Sanogo have shown nothing to say that they are good enough and Podolski is lazy and always inconsistent, so it isn’t really a loss.
Ins: Carles Gil (£3.5m), Scott Sinclair (loan)
Outs: Darreb Bent (loan), others (loan)
It must be frustrating to be a Villa fan because they are a big club but they seem to be unwilling to spend any money at all, and once again despite staring relegation in the face they have scrimped again. They have brought in two attacking players, something which was vitally needed due to their pitiful attacking production but they needed more. Most of the Villa team is substandard and they need a real raid out, granted I don’t think that should be done in January but they do need to start at some point. I don’t think Villa will be relegated but I feel like every season under Lambert I think ‘this is a poor season but it’s a young team and they’ll benefit from the experience’ I wouldn’t say I feel that this year, no longer are they a young team and yet they are still struggling mightily. The question which must be asked is this down to a lack of investment or is it down to Paul Lambert? It’s hard to know but it’s now or never for Lambert, he’s on an incredibly shoogly peg and investment or not he has to start producing or he should be looking for a new employer.
Have Villa improved? Yes but not nearly enough.
Ins: Michael Keane (undis)
Outs: Cisak (loan)
Sometimes you look at a team and you go ‘wow they are desperate to stay in the league’ in contrast I look at Burnley after this window and think ‘wow that’s a big risk.’ I didn’t think Burnley would stay up anyway but this further confirms it. I do like the signing of Keane permanently because it is good long term business but to bring no one else in is so risky. Even the most adamant Burnley fan would accept that they really don’t belong in the Premier League and it was a shock they got there last season but the club seem to be of that opinion as well. This window screams we don’t belong here and are making sure we don’t financially cripple ourselves for the future, and although I admire that long term thinking it does lack any ambition and that is sort of sad.
Ins: Juan Cuadrado (£27m)
Outs: Andre Schurlle (£24m), Ryan Bertrand (£10m), Mark Schwarzer (free), Mo Salah (loan), Marko Marin (loan), Tomas Kalas (loan)
Oh Chelsea…you came and you made another belter…and you did it again…oh Chelsea! Every other club in the world take a fucking note, this is how you do a transfer window. I mean are you fucking kidding me? I like Schurlle but he failed at Chelsea, yet they sold him for more than they bought him for. Bertrand failed at Chelsea, yet they sold him for good money. Then on top of all that they picked up Cuadrado for a reasonable £27m, they are the masters of the transfer market. Gone are the days of paying £50m for Fernando Torres, they complain about financial fair play but in reality it has turned Chelsea into incredibly shrewd transfer market dealer. As I have already said I liked Schurlle and personally feel he never got a proper shot at Chelsea and don’t see Cuadrado as being that much (if at all) of an improvement over him. Yes he will bring you more pace but the transition into the team is unlikely to be instant, so I think it may have been a mistake on the short term.
Have Chelsea improved? Not really, I see Cuadrado and Schurlle as a like for like swap and then they lost some squad players on top of that. They aren’t any worse but I don’t see them as better.
Ins: Wilfried Zaha (£6m), Jordon Mutch (£5.75m), Lee Chung-Yong (undis), Shola Ameobi (free), Papa Souare (undis), Yaya Sanogo (loan)
Outs: Barry Bannan (loan), Stuart O’Keefe (undis), lots of others of little meaning
Got to give Palace some credit, they haven’t stayed quiet and have went out and splashed some cash. The thing is that Zaha was already at the club, Mutch couldn’t get in the QPR team and the rest of the players are of varying levels of average. Probably Palace’s best signing was Alan Pardew which was a bit of a coup from Newcastle. I don’t think they really needed to do much because as things stand I don’t really see them going down and there is a good feeling at the club.
Palace have improved but not by very much and they overpaid for players who weren’t really needed.
Ins: Aaron Lennon (loan)
Outs: Samuel Eto’o (free), others
“Eto’o is a dreadful signing, he showed he was shit last season and also that he was a headache not worth having, don’t know what Everton were thinking” That’s a direct quote from my summer transfer window review and hey ho there ya go, don’t know what Everton were thinking, I really don’t. Signing Lennon is an odd one because I don’t think he is really needed and hasn’t been able to get a sniff of the Spurs squad recently so why would he be good enough for Everton? The mind boggles.
Ins: Dame N’Doye (£3m)
Outs: Tom Ince (loan)
Hull spent a lot of money in the summer and although I thought they signed some good players they seem to have struggled mightily. This window they have only signed N’Doye who could be a good signing but has generally had fitness problems. In comparison last year they went out and signed Jelavic and Long and that was a big part in them staying up, it was a statement of intent. I’m not sure what this says but the players they have will have to start showing up because the Hull squad is too good to be fiddling about in the relegation zone. On a side note Tom Ince once again showing that it doesn’t matter how shit you are sometimes, if you have a famous last name people will continue to give you undeserved chances.
Ins: Andrej Kramaric (£9.5m), Mark Schwarzer (free), Robert Huth (loan)
When you spend that sort of money on a player at this level he has to come in and contribute straight away otherwise you are opening yourself up to deserved criticisms. I haven’t seen Kramaric play (prior to the Man Utd game) and couldn’t truly comment on whether or not it is a good signing but Leicester have put all their money on 10 black and maybe they would have been better spreading it across the table. Huth’s a good signing because he will come in and give the backline experience and a bit of bite which is much needed when you’re sitting bottom of the table.
Have Leicester improved? Yes they have, they have signed two players who are likely going to be first teamers but I feel that they really needed more if they want to stay up.
Outs: Oussama Assaidi (£4.7m), Suso (£1m)
Quite remarkable that Liverpool were able to find someone to pay almost £5m for Assaidi…could be the deal of the window really… I do find it odd that Liverpool who are clearly desperate for a striker after their pitiful summer transfer window didn’t try and go out and get someone who could actually play as a back up to the injury prone Sturridge, but alas they obviously think their squad is good enough to go the rest of the season and get into the top 4, which of course it is not.
Ins: Wilfried Bony (£28m)
Outs: Matija Nastasic (loan), Scott Sinclair (loan)
May the lord punish thee for thee has been fiddling the fucking financial fair play books! Have you seen the latest accounts? City (as well as their fuck buddies PSG) are apparently the two most commercially successful clubs in the world… A fucking ten year old could tell you that clearly isn’t the case, because in their memory both teams were obsolete. This is the test; this is UEFA’s big moment. It’s sink or swim time for financial fair play and if City don’t level their transfers then they should have the book thrown at them. UEFA need to set an example and City keep giving them reasons to set it, here’s hoping they have the nuts to follow through. As far as the actual signing goes, it is a bit of an odd one because is Bony that different from Negredo who they unceremoniously dumped in the summer? I don’t think so. Bony isn’t that different to Dzeko (granted he is probably better) and it will be interesting to see if he can take the step up which is by no means a guarantee. It’s a lot of money for Bony but if he plays a big part in them winning the league it all of a sudden will look like a good buy. A note on Nastasic (not one on Sinclair cause he’s shit), it is odd to see another potentially good centre back have his City career cut short and sent to Germany, has shades of Boateng.
Ins: Victor Valdes (free),
Outs: Wilfreid Zaha (£6m), Michael Keane (£3m), Darren Fletcher (free), Jesse Lingard (loan), others
An odd window for Utd because everyone agrees that they need a central midfielder and a centre back but instead of going out and getting someone just for the sake of it they have instead decided to wait till the summer. If Utd finish top four (they will) then it is clever if they miss out (they won’t) everyone will begin to sharpen their knives (which are already pretty sharp from the David Moyes days). I don’t think Valdes was needed but there certainly isn’t any harm in having him at the club. As far as outgoings go I am incredibly sad to see Fletcher leave because he was my favourite player and a real Utd man whose career was cut short by a bad illness when he was beginning to enter his prime. Sadly I do think this season he has looked off the pace and it was probably the right thing for his career to move on but I do hope he will be back at the club as a coach because he is the embodiment of hard work getting you somewhere in your career and would set a great example for the younger players. Also sad to see Keane go but not so sad to see Zaha go, another example of a naturally gifted player wasting his career because he can’t apply himself and has attitude issues. He goes down as Fergie’s last singing and you have to wonder if they ever bothered talking to him before signing him because if they had they would’ve realised that he was a numpty and not worth the money they were offering. Palace have done good business but as far as Utd are concerned it’s good riddance.
Outs: Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (£5.2m), Hatem Ben Arfa (free), Davide Santon (loan), others
Newcastle just clearing out the deadwood and offloading a number of players on loan to Rangers (a Mike Ashley power move if you’re wondering), really nothing to report of major interest. The biggest loss was probably Pardew who nobody seemed to like anyway so they were glad to be paid to get rid of a manager that they wanted to sack but didn’t want to pay his compensation. Ben Arfa went to the same school of thought as Zaha, all the talent in the world ruined by having a bad attitude and a poor work ethic, something which every man who dreamt of being a professional footballer will never understand.
Queens Park Rangers
Ins: Mauro Zarate (loan), Ryan Manning (free)
Outs: Jordon Mutch (£5.75m)
QPR fans, it’s time to panic. Not only have you added nothing you have also just lost your manager which is never a good thing. I totally understand why they didn’t spend money because how often can they splash the cash on mediocre players who are grossly overpaid and never want to leave the club because…well…they are grossly overpaid. Relegation looms I fear for QPR because they need something and they haven’t got it in this window and quite frankly they aren’t good at all. Compliments should go to QPR for selling Mutch for £6m after he couldn’t get into the team, which is very good business.
Ins: Ryan Bertrand (£10m), Eljero Elia (loan), Filip Djuricic (loan)
Outs: Jack Cork (£3m), Jos Hooiveld (loan), Artur Boruc (loan)
Southampton have this odd tendency of making very good purchases in the transfer market, almost all of their signings in the summer were hits which is why they are so far up the table and the January transfer window has further consolidated there summer work. Signing Bertrand who has actually been a surprise hit for me is clever long term business and will allow him to play in the game against Chelsea, Elia I think is a risk because he has attitude issues but if he continues to perform to the level which he has so far then it will look like a steal and Djuricic is a bit on enigma, another could be a good signing if he is put in the right position but I think it is telling that Mainz passed on him. It is a bit of a taste before you buy sort of thing in this window for Southampton and it also gives them a bit of extra depth without really losing that much.
Ins: Philipp Wollscheid (loan)
Outs: Ryan Shotton (undis), Maurice Edu (undis), Robert Huth (loan)
Not really much to report here, Huth out and Wollscheid in is good business and it isn’t like Stoke need to spend to avoid relegation, they are already in midtable mediocrity and at this stage of the season that isn’t really a bad thing.
Ins: Jermaine Defoe (trade)
Outs: Jozy Altidore (trade), others
I don’t really rate Defoe, he has made a career out of being a below average and inconsistent performer, however he is a much better player than Altidore who is absolute shit, so in that regard it is actually a very good move. I doubt Sunderland will threat relegation so in that regard it doesn’t really matter and they have also got rid of a striker who makes Emile Heskey look graceful.
Ins: Kyle Naughton (£5m), Jack Cork (£3m), Matt Grimes (£1.75m), Nelson Oliveira (loan)
Outs: Wilfried Bony (£28m), others
Swansea (much like Stoke) are one of those clubs who are kicking about the middle of the table and aren’t really going to challenge for anything but aren’t going to be relegated. On top of that they have sold one of their best players and brought in cheap players as replacements. If they get top 10 then it will be a good season and they will have lots of Bony money to splash out in the summer, although a striker is much needed and should be a main priority.
Ins: Dele Alli (£5m)
Outs: Kyle Naughton (£5m), Aaron Lennon (loan), Benoit Assou-Ekotto (free), Dele Alli (loan), Milos Veljkovic (loan)
A window where Spurs got rid of a lot of dead weight (particularly Assou-Ekotto) and signed one for the future…not much else to say but that.
West Bromwich Albion
Ins: Callum McManaman (£4.75m), Darren Fletcher (free)
Outs: Luke Daniels (undis)
West Brom aren’t going to be relegated with Pulis in charge and they are one of the few teams who have actually made some significant moves in this window. I don’t know if it was fair that Irvine was sacked because West Brom’s biggest summer signing (Ideye) would have been sold already if they were able to get Carlton Cole in, which says that their transfer dealings aren’t the best. It’s hard to win a hand when you’ve been dealt shit. Fletcher is a good signing and will add experience to the team. McManaman is an odd one because he seemed like a future star when Wigan won the FA Cup and were relegated but has never really pushed on from there, maybe he just needs his chance and at around £5m it is probably worth the risk because he has shown he can do it in the past.
West Ham United
Ins: Doneil Henry (undis)
Outs: Mauro Zarate (loan), Ricardo Vaz Te (free)
Another team who did very little business in this window (feel like I’ve said that soooooo often). This window will probably be remembered more by West Ham for the players they didn’t sign and it is probably confirmation that although they’ve had a good season they won’t be challenging for those European slots.
Wow…I didn’t think there was much going on in this window and then I wrote this review and realised that fuck all happened in this window. No wonder Jim White was struggling last night, there really was nothing to report at all. There really isn’t much worth saying, the big teams didn’t really bother and even more oddly the smaller teams didn’t really bother. What can you say? It was really poor and boring.
Top 5 Signings
- Gabriel Paulista (Arsenal)
- Juan Cuadrado (Chelsea)
- Darren Fletcher (West Brom)
- Wilfried Bony (Man City)
- Philipp Wollscheid (Stoke)
Worst 5 Signings
- Jordon Mutch (Palace)
- Shola Ameobi (Palace)
- Kyle Naughton (Swansea)
Yeah there were so few signings that it was meant to be a worst 5 but there were so few it was such a struggle that it’s now a worst 3. Even the top 5 was a stretch.
Top 5 Transfer Window Teams
- West Brom
Worst 5 Transfer Window Teams
God that was painful…well here’s an updated table which hopefully will come out as I formatted it when I initially wrote it (almost certainly won’t be), the numbers will dictate the difference between where I thought they would finish after the first window and where I think they will finish now.
2nd—Man Utd 0
3rd—Man City 0
8th—West Ham +4
13th—West Brom +4
That was a long and boring write which I didn’t enjoy writing at all and I’m sure will be a nasty read. The quite honest fact is that so little happened it is hard to write about and to be honest I wish I hadn’t bothered.
Oh well what did you think of the boring January transfer window? Was it boring or was it really boring? Well leave a comment and let the world know! Good job on staying awake and making it this far so why don’t you take a few more seconds to join the Facebook and Twitter pages because you clearly like punishing yourself and why the fuck not.
The transfer window slammed shut at 11 p.m. and by slammed shut I mean slammed not so shut because loads of teams got extensions… Once again despite knowing that all transfers were meant to be in by 11 p.m. and having a good two months in which to sign players teams managed to miss the deadline so as I start to write this not all transfers have been confirmed but I guess we’ll see how it goes.
We all know that the smartest teams get all their business done before the season starts and certainly don’t piss about on the final day of the window, however clearly not every team follows this mantra. Who knows maybe I’m the one which is wrong…nah probably not.
As always Sky Sports News excelled in their coverage with a special appearance from Harry Redknapp, the ever present Jim White showing everyone how to present and this year the debut of ‘fuck her right in the pussy’ and a big purple dildo (it was Liverpool…).
The review is pretty simple; I will look at each team’s signings and departure, how it will affect their league position, as well as whether or not they have done good business. So let’s get started!
Outs: Thomas Vermaelen (£15m), Bacary Sagna (free), Lord Bendtner (free […….really….:/]), others of varying insignificance
Arsenal lost Sagna from the first team and replaced him with Debuchy which in my opinion (and that of Didier Deschamps) that is an upgrade at right back. They also lost Vermaelen to Barca but I don’t really see it as a loss because he wasn’t first team and they have brought in Calum Chambers as a younger less injury prone replacement (although I am concerned that he seems a bit lungy). David Ospina is a great pick up for only £3m because he is a solid keeper who will push Szceszny and would in theory make him less secure which should make him a better player.
So good so far, but things are about to get better if you’re an Arsenal fan as I haven’t yet mentioned your big two signings. Alexis Sanchez is a great signing, he got lost in the shuffle at Barcelona (which isn’t hard to do) but all you need to do is look at his play at the World Cup and you realise that this guy can be a star. He can play up front and out wide and will give Arsenal the pace and hustle which they have been lacking for a number of seasons. What I really like about Sanchez is how direct he is, he runs with the ball at defenders and it is incredibly difficult to defend against. £35m isn’t a bad price at all, especially when you consider what other players have been going for. The other half of the big signings is Danny Welbeck from Man Utd for £16m which is an incredible bargain for a 23 year old England international (that alone usually means minimum £30m transfer fee). Welbeck is limited; yes he is fast, gives it all and has good defensive ability, but the problem is that he has no composure (in pass or in front of goal), he doesn’t have a footballing brain and he thinks he’s better than he is (always demanding to play up front, rather than just being happy to play). I think it is a really good signing and will give Arsenal a player to fill the Giroud shaped hole which has been left till December but don’t expect tons of goals and do expect plenty of frustrations.
Have Arsenal improved as a team? The answer is a resounding yes; they have added good attacking talent in Welbeck and Sanchez and good defensive talent in Chambers and Debuchy. If I was an Arsenal fan I would be annoyed that it looked like Falcao was coming and you ended up with Welbeck…bit of a duff hand, but that’s sort of how it goes sometimes. I would also be concerned about the situation at centre back because their still seems like there is a distinct lack of depth.
Ins: Carlos Sanchez (£4.7m), Aly Cissokho (£2m), Philippe Senderos (free), Joe Cole (free), Kieran Richardson (free), Tom Leggett (free), Isaac Nehemie (free), EDIT Tom Cleverley (loan)
Outs: Marc Albrighton (Free), Nathan Delfouneso (free), a lot of bit players on loan
This seems to happen every year with Villa, they sign a bunch of players for not much money and I don’t know who most of them are which makes it hard for me to judge how well they’ve done. Cissokho’s probably a nice pick up for cheap, Senderos is a big lump but didn’t cost anything, Joe Cole is done so I don’t understand that signing and Richardson is a good signing for free but plays the same position as Cissokho. EDIT* They also ended up adding Tom Cleverley on loan which will probably turn out to be a decent piece of business. They haven’t really lost anything, just a few failed youth products.
Have Villa improved their squad? Yes they have but not by very much, the biggest improvement they have made is by reintroducing the players who were on big wages who were frozen out for the last couple of years.
Ins: Lukas Jutkiewicz (£2.5m), Michael Kightly (undis), Stephen Ward (undis), Marvin Sordell (free), Matt Gilks (free), Matt Taylor (free), Steven Reid (free), George Boyd (£3m)
Outs: Nobody of importance
If ever a transfer window screamed relegation, it was this one. Sorry Burnley fans but this is atrocious. Your squad already isn’t good enough and you haven’t added anything to improve it. George Boyd who couldn’t get into the Hull team last year was your biggest signing? He’s got something but you need more than that.
Have Burnley improved their squad? Probably but not by enough.
Outs: David Luiz (£50m [I know, fucking idiots]), Romelu Lukaku (£28m), Demba Ba (£8m), Ashley Cole (free), Samuel Eto’o (free), Frank Lampard (free), Fernando Torres (loan), so many players on loan
I hate to say this but stand up and take a bow everyone at Chelsea! You are the champions of the transfer window! Not only did they do the best business buying players, but they also did the best business selling players. You look at the players which Chelsea have lost and you sit in disbelief because they made great money. David Luiz for £50m…? What were PSG thinking? He isn’t even worth half of that, the guy can’t defend! I mean fucking hell… They managed to dump Lukaku, you know the guy they didn’t actually want for £28m and did the same with Ba for £8m, and it is incredible business. They also lost a bunch of oldies that had long gone past their best, overall excellent.
So how do you follow up selling the players you don’t want for large sums of money? Well you sign a proven Premier League central midfielder, one of the best left backs in the world, a young Didier Drogba, an old Didier Drogba and a guy that may have a hole in his heart but is still a bargain; generally pretty damn good. The incredible thing about this for me is that they didn’t over pay for any of the players they signed. I don’t know if I need to break it down anymore, this is what I’d describe as a slam dunk (like Bubblegum Tate does). The only thing I don’t understand is the Drogba signing; yes it was free and it makes the fans happy but he is well past his best and I don’t think he can really contribute in a useful manner, I’d be shocked if he scored more than 5 goals.
Have Chelsea improved their squad? Well unless you haven’t been paying attention the answer is clearly yes. They sold unwanted squad players for big money whilst adding three players who instantly improve the first team, plus the return of Courtois, pretty perfect overall.
Ins: Martin Kelly (£1.5m), Fraizer Campbell (£800k), Brede Hangeland (free), Wilfried Zaha (loan), Zeki Fryers (£3m), James McArthur (£7m), Kevin Doyle (loan)
Outs: A lot of nothing
The only reason Palace stayed up last season was Tony Pulis, he is no longer there and is easily the biggest loss of the summer. Warnock has come in to the job which nobody seemed to want and has made a few signings which will help the team like Zaha and McArthur (paid too much) but I don’t think it’s enough and Hangeland was a nice signing too. Palace are going to really struggle this year and they’re going to need more help in January I think.
Have Palace improved as a squad? Yes they have, their first team is definitely better but I think they needed more and clearly Tony Pulis agreed.
Ins: Romelu Lukaku (£28m), Gareth Barry (free), Samuel Eto’o (free), Muhamed Besic (£4m), Christian Atsu (loan)
Outs: not much
Everton’s transfers have been weird, they basically signed players they had on loan last season and in doing so blew their entire budget on Lukaku. I like Lukaku but the guy is not worth £28m, Chelsea were desperate to get rid of him because they didn’t think he was good enough and they managed to squeeze £28m out of Everton, Chelsea are laughing all the way to the bank. Eto’o is a dreadful signing, he showed he was shit last season and also that he was a headache not worth having, don’t know what Everton were thinking.
Probably the best bit of business Everton had was not signing Tom Cleverley because trust me when I say he is absolute shit and is a greedy little fucker. I have two points on this firstly it tells you the kind of person Cleverley is when he would rather rot in the reserves at Utd than go play at Aston Villa (asking for £80k/pw is pathetic) and secondly I am disappointed with Everton who reportedly after having a bid of £7.5m accepted lowered it to £5m because others fell out of the race, that is a dick move and deservedly was rejected by Utd after the way they treated them over the Fellaini saga. Pathetic on both sides.
Have Everton improved their squad? Not really; they had Barry and Lukaku last year and the rest of the players they brought in are either unproven or shit Eto’o. Generally a poor transfer window.
Hull……(fill in the blank)
Ins: Robert Snodgrass (£8m), Jake Livermore (£6m), Michael Dawson (£6m), Mohamed Diame (£3.5m), Harry Maguire (£2.5m), Andrew Robertson (£2.85m), Tom Ince (free), Gaston Ramirez (loan), Hatem Ben Arfa (loan), Abel Hernandez (£10m)
Outs: Shane Long (£12m), Matty Fryatt (free), George Boyd (£3m), others
Wow I love what Hull have done here, yes they have spent shit loads of money but in doing so they have improved their squad thoroughly. Snodgrass is a good signing (although he received a serious injury sadly), Dawson is a nice pick up, Diame has power and drive in midfield, Maguire is a bright prospect and one for the future, Robertson is another bright prospect and can contribute straight away, Ince has attitude issues but also has ability and Ben Arfa and Ramirez are great flair players who are on loan so they are work the risk. The only player I can criticise them for is Hernandez who they over paid for quite seriously but this is largely in part due to the sale of Shane Long for an incredible £12m which led everyone to ask what were Southampton thinking?
Have Hull improved their squad? Yes they have by quite a margin, the only thing that would concern me is that they have signed a lot of players and it could take some time for them to glue together, but they should be safe.
Ins: Leonardo Ulloa (£7m), Danny Simpson (undis), Esteban Cambiasso (free), Matthew Upson (free), Marc Albrighton (free), Tom Lawrence (£1m), Nick Powell (loan), many more
Outs: nobody good
If I was a Leicester fan I would be concerned; Ulloa looks like a good pick up and they’ve signed a number of free agents who are likely to contribute to the team but I don’t think it’s enough. Cambiasso sounds like a bit of a coup but you have to wonder why he ended up at a Leicester and it makes me think that he is done and nobody wanted to touch him.
Have Leicester improved their squad? Yes but not by very much, they needed vast improvements because they are inevitably going to be stuck in a relegation battle and although they’ve made a good start against tough opposition there is only so far adrenaline can take you and it will eventually run out.
Ins: Adam Lallana (£23m), Lazar Markovic (£20m), Mario Balotelli (£16m), Alberto Moreno (£12m), Emre Can (£10m), Rickie Lambert (£4m), Dejan Lovren (£20m), Divock Origi (£10m), Javier Manquillo (loan)
Outs: Luis Suarez (£75m), Pepe Reina (£2m), Martin Kelly (£1.5m), Daniel Agger (£3m), Divock Origi (loan), Iago ‘the corner’ Aspas (loan), many others of vary insignificance
The major deal which happened at Liverpool this season was Luis Suarez being sold to Barcelona for a tasty £75m (although reports in Spain are more around the £60m mark). Suarez was easily Liverpool’s best player last season and very much carried the team to a position which they didn’t really belong in. The problem is that despite making lots of money from the sale of Mr. Bitey it is always incredibly hard to then replace him. In trying to do so Liverpool have splashed the cash on no less than nine players, each of varying quality. Along with Suarez leaving Daniel Agger also left for an oddly low £3m, I don’t know why someone like Barcelona weren’t interested in him for this price.
So onto the many many signings which were made; let’s start with the biggest controversy, the signing of Mario Balotelli. I’m not sure what Rodgers was thinking here, Balotelli isn’t the kind of character you need in a young dressing room. There is a reason why he was moved on from Inter, City and AC; there is a reason he doesn’t last more than two years at any club, he is a constant problem. If you look at him taking his personality out of the picture then it is a great signing; you are getting a 24 year old, Italian international, who has all the abilities in the world and all for only £16m. The problem is that he too often looks uninterested, he falls out with players constantly and he won’t be happy playing second fiddle. It could be a really good signing but in reality it will probably be a very bad signing. Beyond Balotelli I think that Moreno is a good pick up and fills a problem area for a decent price, Rickie Lambert is an odd signing because he isn’t good enough to play for Liverpool but at £4m it’s not really a risk and Origi looked good at the World Cup and for £10m is a good price but all a bit pointless when they then loan him back out. Lallana isn’t a bad player but at £23m he is way overpriced and I have concerns over whether he can make the step up due to the fact that despite being a guaranteed starter prior to the World Cup he managed to not cope and got dropped from the first team, bit of a Stewart Downing… Lovren was good at Southampton but again was overpriced at £20m, is he good enough for Liverpool? I’m not sure yet but he is as good as what they already have, although that isn’t really saying very much. I don’t really know much about Markovic but I do know that he is highly regarded and Football Manager says he will be a good player which is something! Can for £10m isn’t much of a risk but if he was really good then Bayern wouldn’t have let him go to Leverkusen in the first place, and if he isn’t good enough for Bayern and was average at Leverkusen I don’t see how this is a great signing. The Manquillo loan deal is also an odd one as he couldn’t get in the Atletico team last year but has been signed to play as a backup for Liverpool when surely Flanagan could fill the same role.
Have Liverpool improved their squad? The answer is yes but if the question is have Liverpool improved their first team, then the answer would be no and they are going to struggle mightily to make top 4 this season.
Ins: Eliaquim Mangala (£32m), Fernando (£12m), Willy Caballero (£6m), Bruno Zuculini (£3m), Bacary Sagna (free), Frank Lampard (loan)
Outs: Javi Garcia (£13m), Costel Pantilimon (free), Joleon Lescott (free), Gareth Barry (free), Jack Rodwell (£7m), Micah Richards (loan), Alvaro Negredo (loan)
I found City’s transfer dealings very unusual, for the first time in a number of years they didn’t really improve their team too much and it seems that we have financial fair play to thank for that. Only one of City’s signings were grossly expensive and the rest were done on the cheap, as well as a number of bit players leaving to bring in extra money. Garcia, Lescott, Barry, Rodwell and Richards are no loss at all as they have barely played recently and aren’t good enough either. The only player who left which I can question is Negredo. I understand letting Negredo go out on loan if they were to bring in Falcao (for instance) but to let him go and leave yourself with only three strikers when two of those three are incredibly injury prone is at least questionable and to be honest damn right stupid. Yes Negredo wanted to leave but sometimes you need to hold onto an unhappy player for the good of the club and I think this is a big blunder.
As far as the players who came in I like the signing of Caballero who I was surprised is willing to sit as a back up to Hart but will give stiff competition. Sagna on a free is a good signing for City but an odd career move by Sagna who will now sit behind Zabaleta instead of playing first team at Arsenal. The Lampard loan deal was stupid, not much needed to be added to that. The signing of Fernando is relatively low risk and give them extra depth in midfield and will add some grit, although essentially he wasn’t needed. The big signing was Mangala who I don’t know much about but have heard negative comparisons made towards him with Sakho at Liverpool. Yes City needed a centre back but they could have got a better player for cheaper, but it isn’t really fair of me to comment because I haven’t really seen him play.
Have City improved their squad? Not really, it is sort of the same. They lost a lot of deadwood but the departure of Negredo is concerning and the players who came in are mainly squad players.
Outs: Shinji Kagawa (£6.3m), Alex Buttner (£5.6m), Patrice Evra (£2.5m), Bebe (£2.4m), Rio Ferdinand (free), Nemanja Vidic (free), Nani (loan), Ryan Giggs (retired), Wilfried Zaha (loan), Tom Lawrence (£1m), Danny Welbeck (£16m), Nick Powell (loan), Michael Keane (loan), Javier Hernandez (loan), many others, EDIT Tom Cleverley (loan)
Last season I was bemoaning the lack of movement in the transfer window from Utd as they scraped themselves into a disastrous Fellaini signing and made an arse of a Coentrao loan deal, it was annoying as a fan to see the club stumble its way through the transfer window in an incredibly naïve manner. This season they managed to still stumble through the transfer window but at least this time they actually signed players. A few criticisms which I’d like to lodge at the board for this summer; why were they so intent on signing Shaw and Herrera even if Van Gaal wasn’t that fussed? Why did a year after not wanting to pay an extra £4m for Herrera did they now think it was a good idea? Why did it take a loss against Swansea, for them to sign a player afterwards? Why has Rojo still not properly signed? Why did you wait so long to sell players who weren’t wanted, which ended up with them being sold well below value? Why were the two major issues in the team not addressed again? And finally why did the club for the second season running waste so much time chasing targets who were not available? Again Utd’s board stumbled through the transfer window, making rookie mistakes constantly but at least players were signed and to be fair they signed good players.
As far as the guys who went, many of them were surplus to requirements (Rio, Giggs, Buttner, Bebe, Nani) and Hernandez going made sense because he wasn’t happy or needed, but there were players who were let go of in a poor manner. Vidic would have been the perfect middle centre back in a 3-5-2 and Utd let him go for free, which is inexcusable. How could Kagawa only be sold for £6.3m? Utd bought him for £15m and he had at least two years left on his contract and somehow gave Dortmund one of the bargains of the window, which is inexcusable. I don’t have a problem with Welbeck going (kept bitching about being played first team as a striker despite not being good enough or consistent enough), what I do have a problem with is that he is a 23 year old England international and Utd sold him for a cut price of £16m despite the fact Utd could probably have got about £22-25m based on the market, which is inexcusable. This is the problem with leaving these players in the squad for so long when you don’t want them, Utd got to the end of the window with too big a squad so had to have a fire sale and ended up selling players on the cheap because teams knew Utd were desperate. Also the whole Tom Cleverley saga was ridiculous and somehow the greedy fucking prick has ended up costing the club a chunk of money, which is fucking annoying.
On paper the signings of Di Maria, Falcao, Rojo, Blind, Herrera and Shaw is quite a haul and is very exciting for the league and the club. The problem for me is that Utd spent a whopping £150m which is quite an incredible outlay on transfers. Falcao was a good piece of business (about £6m loan fee with an option to buy) and will allow the club to assess his knee injury before committing to buying him (also essential after selling Welbeck and Hernandez) and Blind was a very savvy piece of business as at £14m he is a bit of a steal. The problem is that they overpaid for the other four players. Shaw is a classic case of overpaying for English players, look at the price of Luis and Moreno and then look at Shaw’s price, it doesn’t take a Hubert Farnsworth to realise that they overpaid (he is a good player though). Herrera probably cost more than he is worth as well but clearly he wasn’t going to come unless the buyout fee was paid so it is the most forgivable. Rojo on the face of things only cost £16m which is actually pretty good but don’t forget to add on the Nani deal which adds about another £8m onto the fee (£4.5m salary being paid by Utd and £3.5m loan fee) to make it £24m and means that Utd overpaid by about £8m, all a bit messy. Finally Utd broke the British transfer record with the signing of Di Maria who is an excellent signing for the club and will add quality, pace and drive to the midfield, but it is hard to ignore the price tag of £59.7m which I’d say is about £14.7m over his actual value. Yes sometimes you have to pay over the odds to get the best players but Real Madrid have taken Utd’s desperation for a spark to the cleaners here. They are all really good signings but generally they were all very pricey and Utd need to find that happy medium soon or teams will start taking advantage of their apparently blank chequebook.
Have Utd improved their squad? Yes they have and in doing so they have added a number of first team players which will bring in major excitement and give the squad a much needed jolt. What will concern Utd fans is the lack of signing a dominating centre back and a commanding central midfielder which were both desperately needed.
Ins: Remy Cabella (£12m), Emmanuel Riviere (£6m), Siem De Jong (£6m), Daryl Janmaat (£5m), Jamaal Lascelles (£3.5m), Karl Darlow (£3.5m), Ayoze Perez (£1.5m), Jack Colback (free), Facundo Ferreyra (loan)
Outs: Mathieu Debuchy (£10m), Dan Gosling (free), Shola ‘two a season’ Ameobi (free), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (loan), Hatem Ben Arfa (loan), others
After numerous transfer windows of inaction Newcastle finally paid money for a footballer! I don’t watch French football so it is hard to comment on many of the signings but at least Newcastle have went out and spent money on players. Colback is a good pick up, Janmaat is a cheap alternative to Debuchy and Cabella and Riviere have looked decent so far this season. Overall I’d say that Newcastle have had a fairly good window after years of stagnation.
Have Newcastle improved their squad? Although they lost one of their best players in Debuchy they have still improved their squad overall and should be well on way to a top 10 finish.
Queens Park Rangers
Ins: Steven Caulker (£8m), Rio Ferdinand (free), Leroy Fer (£7m), Jordan Mutch (£6m), Alex McCarthy (£6m), Jack Robinson (undis), Mauricio Isla (loan), Eduardo Vargas (loan), Sandro (£10m), Nico Kranjcar (loan)
Outs: Loic Remy (£8m), Esteban Granero (undis), Danny Simpson (undis), Yossi Benayoun (undis), Julio Cesar (free), Stephane M’Bia (free), Samba Diakite (loan), others
QPR always seem to have a massive squad of players who have failed at other clubs and it seems that they have managed to add a bunch more to make old ‘Arry happy. I like the Caulker, Fer and Mutch signings because they all played very well in the league last year despite being relegated. McCarthy comes in as an improvement over Rob Green and Rio is a solid experienced centre back. A few good loan signings as well as the signings of Sandro and I think you have a good summer. The only player of note who left QPR was Remy who they were resigned to losing anyway so in many ways it wasn’t really a loss.
Have QPR improved their squad? Yes but their squad is grossly oversized and will be difficult to manage especially with the number of players who are just along for the ride.
Ins: Shane Long (£12m), Sadio Mane (£11.8m), Dusan Tadic (£10.3m), Fraser Forster (£10m), Graziano Pelle (£8m), Florin Gardos (undis), Ryan Bertrand (loan), Toby Alderweireld (loan)
Outs: Luke Shaw (£31.5m), Adam Lallana (£23m), Dejan Lovren (£20m), Calum Chambers (£12m), Rickie Lambert (£4m), Dani Osvaldo (loan), Jos Hooiveld (loan), Gaston Ramirez (loan), many others
Southampton’s squad got absolutely decimated in the summer, not only did they lose all those players but they also lost their manager too. They lost a number of quality players to big clubs and have had to sign a large number of replacements. Yes Southampton have overpaid for many of the players they signed but they brought in so much this summer that it isn’t really surprising. I’m not sure how many of the new players will fit in and be a success but with the money which has been spent and Southampton’s seemingly good scouting system I think they’ll be ok.
Have Southampton improved their squad? No they have regressed which is only natural when you sell six or so big players but if that money is reinvested intelligently it will be worth it in the long run.
Ins: Mame Biram Diouf (free), Dionatan Teixeira (undis), Phil Bardsley (free), Steve Sidwell (free), Bojan Krkic (£3m), Victor Moses (loan), Oussama Assaidi (loan)
Outs: Michael Kightly (undis), Cameron Jerome (undis), Ryan Shotton (loan), others
Stoke barely spent any money in the summer but despite that they did some really good business. Diouf, Bardsley and Sidwell are excellent free agent signings which fit the Stoke system perfectly and shows some shrewd business dealings. Moses and Assaidi on loan gives Stoke pace and directness out wide which is always helpful. The only signing I find a bit odd is the Bojan one because not only does he not seem to fit what Stoke do but surely he could’ve done better. At £3m it isn’t much of a risk and who knows maybe Bojan will become the player he was supposed to be.
Have Stoke improved their squad? Yes they didn’t lose anyone and have added a number of players who can contribute straight away.
Ins: Jack Rodwell (£7m), Patrick Van Aanholt (undis), Billy Jones (free), Costel Pantilimon (free), Santiago Vergini (loan), Will Buckley (£2.5m), Sebastian Coates (loan), Ricky Alvarez (loan)
Outs: Ignacio Scocco (£800k), Jack Colback (free), Craid Gardner (free), Phil Bardsley (free), a lot of shit players were released
I love the Rodwell signing because if he can stay fit I think he could be an absolute star in this Sunderland team. The other signings aren’t that good and they have lost some good players like Bardsley, Colback and Gardner on frees as well as losing Borini after he was on loan, which will be a concern for Sunderland. I do think that they will be clear of relegation because the squad was too good to be down their last season and in my opinion the reason they struggled so much was down to Di Canio’s mismanagement of the club.
Have Sunderland improved their squad? I’m not so sure, it hasn’t really went forward or backwards, it’s just sort of the same I think.
Ins: Federico Fernandez (£8m), Jefferson Montero (£4m), Marvin Emnes (£1.5m), Gylfi Sigurdsson (swap), Bafetimbi Gomis (free), Lukasz Fabianski (free), Tom Carroll (loan), many others of youth persuasion
Outs: Ben Davies (£10m), Michel Vorm (£5m), Alejandro Pozuelo (undis), Chico Flores (free), Pablo Hernandez (free), Jose Canas (free), Michu (loan), a variety of others
I think that Swansea have once again had a successful transfer window, bringing in new faces which will affect the first team squad and also getting rid of some deadweight players who never worked out. Fernandez will slot in nicely next to Williams, Montero looked great in the World Cup and fits in to the tricky wingers Swansea plays, Sigurdsson is an immense pick up after he got swamped out by Spurs and their many signings and Gomis is a Bony clone and is a perfect understudy. Keeping Bony though is arguably their best piece of business as he can take them to the next level and makes the team better. As far as the outs go I am surprised that they sold Vorm and I think they could have got more money for Davies but beyond that the rest aren’t a loss.
Have Swansea improved their squad? I think they have by recouping Sigurdsson, adding a solid centre back, a proper back up striker and some dynamism, whilst only losing some underperformers.
Ins: Federico Fazio (£8m), Ben Davies (£10m), Michel Vorm (£5m), Benjamin Stambouli (£4.7m), Eric Dier (£4m), Deandre Yedlin (undis)
Outs: Jake Livermore (£6m), Michael Dawson (£6m), Gylfi Sigurdsson (swap), Iago Falque (£4m), Tom Carroll (loan), Zeki Fryers (£3m), Lewis Holtby (loan), Sandro (£10m), many others
Spurs had a relatively quiet window, or a quiet window for Spurs anyway. In possibly the biggest shock of the window Spurs biggest spend on a player was a measly £10m and none of their signings involved an attacking player. All Spurs’ signings fall into the same categories of solid, low risk and cheap, so in many ways it is probably the window Spurs required. Along with some solid signings Spurs thinned out their squad by getting rid of players who clearly aren’t considered good enough to be at the club although I’m surprised Sandro was deemed surplus to requirements.
Did Spurs have a good transfer window? Yes but not by much, the biggest thing for Spurs this year will be to see how last year’s signings progress in their sophomore year.
West Bromwich Albion
Ins: Brown Ideye (£10m), Sebastien Pocognoli (undis), Sebastian Blanco (undis), Jason Davidson (undis), Christian Gamboa (undis), Georgios Samaras (free), Craig Gardner (free), Joleon Lescott (free), Chris Baird (free), Andrew Wisdom (loan), Silvestre Varela (loan)
Outs: Liam Ridgewell (free), Billy Jones (free), Steven Reid (free), Diego Lugano (free), Zoltan Gera (free), George Thorne (undis)
West Brom did well in the free agent market by picking up Lescott, Gardner and Samaras who will all be able to make an instant impact. West Brom have sort of put all their eggs in one basket with the Ideye signing, it’s a lot of money at this level and if he doesn’t succeed it could cost them their place in the league. I’d still be concerned with their striking situation but at least they didn’t really lose anyone.
Did West Brom improve their squad? Yes but they needed to do more in regards to addressing their lack of goals from last season.
West Ham United
Ins: Enner Valencia (£12m), Cheikhou Kouyate (£7m), Mauro Zarate (undis), Diafra Sakho (undis), Aaron Cresswell (undis), Diego Poyet (undis), Carl Jenkinson (loan), Alex Song (loan), Morgan Amalifatano (£1m)
Outs: Mohamed Diame (£3.5m), Joe Cole (free), Matt Taylor (free), Jack Collison (free), Jordan Spence, Alou Diarra (free), bundles of others
Enner Valencia for £12m? I hope he proves me wrong but it seems like a classic have a good World Cup get a transfer for over the odds money move. Yes Valencia will help West Ham put their striker struggles to one side but it is a lot of money for one player who is largely unproven. I’m shocked that West Ham got Alex Song but it makes me think that better clubs either didn’t want to pay his wages or didn’t want to deal with his attitude problems (clearly Barca wanted to do either). Amalifatano is a good buy at £1m and showed what he could do when at Stoke last season and the other big signing was Kouyate who I haven’t really seen play so can’t really comment but £7m for West Ham is the kind of money which you would outlay for a dead cert, so he will have high expectations. I was surprised to see West Ham let go of Diame because he seemed like one of their best players last year and even more odd was letting him go to a team who are on a similar footing to the Hammers.
Have West Ham improved their squad? Yes but not by that much; they have put all their chips on Valencia and Kouyate and if either or both flop it could mean trouble.
A lot of talent came into the league this season from abroad but in typical fashion most of the big name signings were cast offs from Barca and Real (although not all I grant) rather than being poached from elsewhere. I wrote this last season and I’m just copying it in again because it is still totally relevant. I am pointing this out more because it shows a trend that Premier League players aren’t that desirable (even the English clubs weren’t really buying from each other). It also shows that English players/Premier League players are massively over-priced, and then the FA wonder why youth players aren’t being developed, that’s why, because they are too expensive (well that and too many old dumplin’s that are well past their best [I’m looking at you Fulham (QPR this season)]). It shows a worrying trend for the Premier League (and England), who are now lacking quality players (after losing Bale [or Suarez this year]) and not really developing home grown talent.
Top 5 transfer window teams
3. Man Utd
Worst 5 transfer window teams
4. West Ham
5. Man City
So now that the transfer window is closed here is my updated league predictions and what I consider to be my actual league predictions for the season and how they compare to my pre-season predictions.
2nd—Man Utd +2
3rd—Man City -1
12th—West Ham 0
17th—West Brom -2
I think the chances of me getting every position right is almost 0 (like -1 or so) and to even get half of the positions correct would be a good achievement, however you can see which teams I think are going to struggle this year and which will be up at the top end as well. I think relegation is fairly open as always and I think the title is Chelsea’s to lose but it will be interesting to see how it all develops.
So leave a comment about what you thought of the transfer window and what you think of the upcoming Premier League season. You can say anything you fancy really and I almost certainly will reply, even if you’re just calling me a cock. You can find more of my wonderful (…) work by checking out the Facebook and Twitter feeds, where I am eternally grateful for any support you can give.