After a record breaking window comes to a halt, it is time to take stock of how all the clubs have done. With 12 clubs smashing their own transfer records this window, it is clear that wise spending is paramount for a club to simply maintain its challenge in the Premier League. We pick 3 winners and 3 losers from this summer of mayhem – these are purely our opinions so we will like to hear from you too!
Winner #1 – Manchester United (Nett spend = £140m)
The Red Devils did their business early and secured their targets way before the deadline day frenzy. Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic are two proven Premier League veterans and have already been playing regularly in their team’s start to the season. Danish international defender Victor Lindelof also arrived at a hefty price-tag of £32m, though he is more likely to be a squad player than a regular first team.
Elsewhere, they have done very well to offload their top-wage earner in Wayne Rooney, who seems to be enjoying his time back at Everton as well. This United team definitely looks more balanced than last year and is well-equipped to challenge on numerous fronts this season.
Winner #2 – Liverpool (Nett spend = £38m)
The Reds’ nett spend of £38m looks healthy in a window of astronomical fees but in retrospect, the Reds have done very well in the market. Mohamed Salah has already settled at the club and looks like a shrewd buy, despite not succeeding at Chelsea a couple of seasons back. Andrew Robertson and Dominic Solanke have arrived cheaply abut looks set to improve the team’s squad with Champions League back in the fray. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain arrived at the club late but he could possibly be a bargain given his experience at this level.
It was also with some relief for all parties when the club finally agreed on a transfer fee for want-away Mohamed Sahko, who in all honesty would never have played for the club again. Liverpool actually made £8m from the player, who did not get along with manager Jurgen Klopp. The Reds’ biggest coup in the window is actually in its resilience on Philippe Coutinho. They were firm about not selling from day one and never once bulged, whatever Barcelona dangled in front of them. It is a show of strength and intent that should earn some respect from the fans, though Coutinho’s state of mind and level of commitment the next time he puts on a Reds shirt will be in question.
Winner #3 – West Bromwich Albion (Nett spend =£40m)
It is now exciting times at the Hawthorns. The Baggies have added seven names to their squad and more importantly, have invested in young players who may form their backbone for years to come. No arrival is more exciting 20-year-old Oliver Burke. Burke played a variety of positions upfront for RB Leipzig last term as the surprise German package finished second to Bayern Munich. He is also a full Scottish international. Burke is explosive and exciting and will present an upgrade to the current team. Jay Rodriguez, Kieran Gibbs and Gareth Barry have also arrived, bringing with them incredible amount of experience at this level.
The only significant departure is that of Darren Fletcher, whom will be well-replaced by Barry. WBA looks solid this season and perhaps will mount a challenge to break into the Premier League’s illustrious top seven.
Loser #1 – Arsenal (Nett spend = £-13m)
Arsenal is only one of four Premier League to have made money from this window and the fans aren’t happy. There is no Champions League at the Emirates this season so attracting top talent is always going to be an uphill task but some of the decisions have been outright bizarre. Their most bankable asset is Alexis Sanchez who clearly wants out but the club have failed to sell him amid the drama on the final day. Given that this is a World Cup year, the Chilean is likely to play out this season and leave for a free next summer, likely to rivals Manchester City no less. Letting Lucas Perez leave on a loan back to the club they bought him from also highlights an admission of a horrible transfer decision last summer.
Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac are solid players but overall, Arsenal looks to have a much more lightweight squad than this time last year.
Loser #2 – Newcastle United (Nett spend = £24m)
The Magpies did spend money this window but the fact that they were outspent by both Brighton and Huddersfield will not bode well with the fans. Rafa Benitez has already expressed his outright dismay with the Board and things do not look good at St James Park.
Jacob Murphy headlines the club’s arrival this summer but the winger has no experience at this level. Others like Christian Atsu, Joselu and Javier Manquillo have at best been average in their previous outings in the Premier League. Quite simply put, the club needed a marque signing this summer and they landed no one. They did manage to reduce their wage bill via a series of sales and loans, but fans will point out that Mike Ashley and the board are withholding their huge amount of Premier League TV revenue.
Loser #3 – Southampton ( Nett spend = £24m)
The Saints were another team that had been low-key this transfer window. They did smash their own transfer record when they bought Mario Lemina for £15m, but some will challenge if the Juventus reserve player is actually worth his price-tag. They have also brought in Jan Bednarek and Wesley Hoedt to shore up their defence, but no other attacking players have been signed.
The club has managed to hold on Dutch defender Sergio Van Djik and like Liverpool, do deserve some respect for the resolute manner which they have gone about doing things. However, like Coutinho, Van Djik’s commitment to the cause is challenged, especially now that he has been training with the U23s.
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