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Premier League Transfer Window Assessment
Image from: coach-craig.com

Premier League Transfer Window Review


I am not sure what to make of that transfer window overall, it just seemed to have gone insane, with teams having no real plan or forethought involved by the end of it. Players that could easily have been bought for much less were being touted for huge sums and ridiculous amounts of money was spent on players that really do not warrant it. Sometimes it just feels like the football world is going mad all around you.



Huddersfield Town

Ins:
Steve Mounie from Montpellier
Aaron Mooy from Manchester City
Tom Ince from Derby County
Laurent Depoitre from FC Porto
Scott Malone from Fulham
Zanka from FC Copenhagen
Abdelhamid Sabiri from 1.FC Nuremberg
Elias Kachunga from FC Ingolstadt
Robert Green from Leeds United
Danny Williams from Reading
Jonas Lossl from 1.FSV Mainz 05 (loan)
Florent Hadergjonaj from FC Ingolstadt (loan)
Kasey Palmer from Chelsea (loan)

Outs
Nahki Wells to Burnley
Kyle Dempsey to Fleetwood Town
Joe Murphy to Bury
Tareiq Holmes-Dennis to Portsmouth (loan)
Harry Bunn to Bury
Jordi Hiwula to Fleetwood Town (loan)
Jack Payne to Oxford United (loan)
Sean Scannell to Burton Albion (loan)
Flo Bojaj released
Mark Hudson retired
Jason Davidson released

The Terriers had the hardest job of all the promoted sides as they are a few weeks behind the rest in their preparation, however they look to have done excellent business and quickly. They were efficient in their recruitment, getting as much done prior to the season kicked off as possible and avoided getting dragged into the transfer deadline day nonsense. Most important of all, they have built upon what they had, with no important players heading out from the squad.

They have been able to reap the benefits of being frugal in the past by going on a minor spending spree in an attempt to survive. While they have had to take gambles on players that might or might not have the quality required, they have not mortgaged their future to do so. Even if they do go down at the end of the season, they should be in a stronger position to bounce back in quick order.

Mark - B- sensible recruiting and general improvements to the team but they look to lack the goals needed to guarantee survival.



Brighton & Hove Albion

Ins
Jose Izquierdo from Club Brugge
Davy Propper from PSV Eindhoven
Matthew Ryan from Valencia
Markus Suttner from FC Ingolstadt
Ezequiel Schelotto from Sporting CP
Pascal Gross from FC Ingolstadt
Ales Mateju from Viktoria Plzen
Soufyan Ahannach from Almere City
Steven Alzate from Leyton Orient
Tim Krul from Newcastle United (loan)
Isaiah Brown from Chelsea (loan)
Mathias Normann from FK Bodo/Glimt

Outs
Vegard Forren to Molde FK
Elvis Manu to Genclerbirligi
Chris O'Grady to Chesterfield
David Stockdale to Birmingham City
Tyler Hornby-Forbes to Accrington Stanley (loan)
Rohan Ince to Bury (loan)
Oliver Norwood to Fulham (loan)
Mathias Normann to Molde FK (loan)
Rob Hunt to Oldham Athletic
Kazenga Lualua to QPR (loan)
Richie Towell to Rotherham United (loan)
Christian Walton to Wigan Athletic (loan)
Casper Ankergren retired

Even if you forget the manager, Chris Hughton's, previous experiences in the top flight, where he went from playing exciting football in the Championship to ten men behind the ball and defending for dear life football in the Premier League, it is difficult to see Brighton having done enough to stay up. In particular, in my opinion, they will regret the replacement of Stockdale in goal with Ryan. Ryan, while good on the ball, is a dodgy keeper who has already cost the team goals. Krul has not looked the same player since he has suffered a couple of serious injuries, so his loan will probably be of little help.

More than anyone else, Brighton look to have dropped the ball in terms of goalscoring, with a heavy burden placed on the shoulders of the Chelsea loanee Isaiah Brown. If Hughton continues to go with a defensive mindset, it will be difficult for the wide players and the midfield to get forward enough to provide the goals to save them.

Mark - D- they took a little more of a gamble than Huddersfield with their spending, but still they look to have missed out on what they truly needed, some goalscorers and a Premier League level keeper, after allowing one to leave. It is difficult to see any hope of them surviving.



Newcastle United

Ins
Jacob Murphy from Norwich City
Florian Lejeune from SD Eibar
Christian Atsu from Chelsea
Joselu from Stoke City
Javier Manquillo from Atletico Madrid
Mikel Merino from Borussia Dortmund

Outs
Florian Thauvin to Olympique Marseille
Grant Hanley to Norwich City
Daryl Murphy to Nottingham Forest
Siem de Jong to Ajax
Vurnon Anita to Leeds United
Haris Vuckic to FC Twente
Yoan Gouffran to Goztepe
Sammy Ameobi to Bolton Wanderers
Emmanuel Riviere to FC Metz
Achraf Lazaar to Benevento (loan)
Ivan Toney to Wigan Athletic (loan)
Kevin Mbabu to Young Boys
Matz Sels to Anderlecht (loan)
Tim Krul to Brighton & Hove Albion (loan)
Lubomir Satka to Dunajska Streda
Adam Armstrong to Bolton Wanderers (loan)

It has been a difficult transfer window for Rafa Benitez, with him at loggerheads with the owner of the club, Mike Ashley, over spending. Despite making a profit on transfers last season, and the arrival of Premier League football reducing the pressure on the wage bill, Benitez was restricted massively in his spending. However, he did manage to get a few of the higher paid players off the wage bill in de Jong, Gouffran and Thauvin, which should free up some budget for January. If Ashley can be persuaded that it would be better spent keeping the club in the Premier League rather than padding out his wallet.

At least overally you can see an improvement, as those that have gone are no loss, and there has been a couple of signings that should be very good, notably Lejeune, who had a lot of interest in his services. There was some signings that are probably nothing more than just 'he will have to do', ie Manquillo, but it was not a bad window. Despite that, it is difficult to see there being enough quality there to avoid the Toon being involved in a relegation scrap this season.

Mark - C- have offloaded some of the unwanted players but have struggled to recruit the players they need, though they could have picked up a hidden gem in Lejeune.



Watford

Ins
Andre Gray from Burnley
Richarlison from Fluminese
Tom Cleverley from Everton
Will Hughes from Derby County
Nathaniel Chalobah from Chelsea
Marvin Zeegelaar from Sporting CP
Andre Carrillo from Benfica
Daniel Bachmann from Stoke City
Kiko Femenia from Alaves
Dimitri Foulquier from Granada
Molla Wague from Udinese (loan)
Orestis Karnezis from Udinese (loan)

Outs
Stephen Berghuis to Feyenoord
Sven Kums to Anderlecht
Uche Agbo to Standard Liege
Giedrius Arlauskis to CFR Cluj
Rene Gilmartin to Colchester United
Mathias Renegie to Hacken
Costel Pantilimon to Deportivo La Coruna (loan)
Obbi Oulare to Royal Antwerp (loan)
Dimitri Foulquier to Racing Strasbourg (loan)
Juan Carlos Parades to CS Emelec
Valon Behrami to Udinese
Nordin Amrabat to CD Leganes (loan)
Mario Suarez to Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng

By far the most important transfer of the summer for Watford was the arrival of the new manager, Marco Silva. So far he has already revitalised a team that looked completely out of sorts, disinterested even. Much like anyone who had to watch the dross they were serving up at the end of the season really! They now look a much more entertaining outfit already.

Signings wise, they have recruited cleverly, as well as getting Cleverley. Richarlison looks a real find and Chalobah was a very good buy at a very good price. With Hughes and Carrillo still to show what they can do in the Premier League the only real worry about their recruitment is the loans to and from their other clubs. It has become difficult to tell who is actually registered to which club with all the swapping around.

Mark - B+ the signings, at face value, look to have taken the club forward a level and should see them avoid being dragged into any kind of relegation battle. Really they will be looking to challenge in the midtable for a top half finish.



Burnley

Ins
Chris Wood from Leeds United
Jack Cork from Swansea City
Nahki Wells from Huddersfield Town
Jonathon Walters from Stoke City
Phil Bardsley from Stoke City
Charlie Taylor from Leeds United
Adam Legzdins from Birmingham City

Outs
Michael Keane to Everton
Andre Gray to Watford
George Green to Viking FK Stavanger II
Tom Anderson to Port Vale (loan)
George Boyd to Sheffield Wednesday
Michael Kightly to Southend United
Rowen Hennings to Fortuna Dusseldorf
Chris Long to Northampton Town (loan)
Luke Hendrie to Bradford City (loan)
Tendayi Darikwa to Nottingham Forest
Paul Robinson retired
Joey Barton banned

Once again Sean Dyche has his work cut out from rebuilding a team which has sold key assets. This time could well be different as Dyche saw the sale of Keane, who was not viewed as the key in their central defence anyway, with a replacement already at the club ready to step in. The sale of the other key asset, Gray, just meant that he had funds to play with in the transfer market to replace him.

This season was not Dyche's usual transfer strategy of cheap lower league gambles. This time he took some gambles but spent some significant, in terms of Burnley's usual spending patterns at least, money on a forward in Wood and bringing in a midfielder to protect the back four in Cork. It will be interesting to see if two of the other gambles will pay off. Bardsley will need to improve his discipline and Walters might not have much left in the tank after his years of running his heart out for Stoke.

One thing that has not changed in the recruitment policy is the choice to go for application over ability, heart and desire over technique. With little money to play with, comparatively, Dyche has looked to get an advantage with players who will outwork the opposition, rather than outplay them.

Mark - D they look to have taken a step backwards with their recruitment this season, losing a first choice centre back without bringing in a replacement. While I know they have a replacement already within the squad, that still leaves them down one centre half in their squad. The additions are not inspiring either.



Swansea City

Ins
Sam Clucas from Hull City
Wilfried Bony from Manchester City
Roque Mesa from UD Las Palmas
Renato Sanchez from Bayern Munich (loan)
Erwin Mulder from Heerenveen
Tammy Abraham from Chelsea (loan)

Outs
Gylfi Sigurdsson to Everton
Fernando Llorente to Tottenham Hotspur
Jack Cork to Burnley
Bafetimbi Gomis to Galatasaray
Modou Barrow to Reading
Liam Shepherd to Peterborough United
Marvin Emnes to Akhisarspor
Mark Birighitti to NAC Breda
Franck Tabanou to Guingamp
Stephen Kingsley to Hull City
Oliver McBurnie to Barnsley (loan)
Borja Baston to Malaga (loan)
Matt Grimes to Northampton Town (loan)
Jefferson Montero to Getafe (loan)
Jordi Amat to Real Betis (loan)
Gerhard Tremmel retired

I worry about Swansea, not for this season, but for the long term. They have sold a number of key players and not really replaced them, except with loans. It seems a very short-sighted view has been taken by the recruitment team for this season. While Sanchez and Abraham may make the difference this season, nearly £8m for the loan of Sanchez is a lot to pay for just one season, especially as it just leaves the club in a similar search for a midfielder next season. It does not make long term sense for the club, in my opinion.

As for the rest of the transfers, Clucas, much as I really like him as a player, he is not really your typical Swansea-type player and does not seem suited to the style of play the club is supposedly aiming to return to. The signing of Bony is also a worry, he looked a spent force last season, with his confidence clearly shot. Clement will have his work cut out rebuilding his career, if he is to provide any useful input to the team.

The outs are worrying as well, losing Sigurdsson, Llorente and Cork leaves a lot of gaps in the team. No matter how well Sanchez does, there is little chance he will be with the team next season, so all they have managed to do is put off fixing the problem until next season. That is if Sanchez can adjust quickly enough to be the solution for this year.

Mark - C- no matter how Sanchez and Abraham perform, they are only loans and they have lost important players. A big burden is on Clement to make something of this team.



Crystal Palace

Ins
Mamadou Sakho from Liverpool
Jairo Riedewald from Ajax
Timothy Fosu-Mensah from Manchester United (loan)
Ruben Loftus-Cheek from Chelsea (loan)

Outs
Steve Mandanda to Olympique Marseille
Fraizer Campbell to Hull City
Luke Croll to Exeter City
Kwesi Appiah to AFC Wimbledon
Zeki Fryers to Barnsley
Ryan Inniss to Colchester United (loan)
Hiram Boateng to Exeter City
Keshi Anderson to Swindon Town (loan)
Jonathan Williams to Sunderland (loan)
Jonathan Benteke released
Mathieu Flamini released
Joe Ledley released

While Palace have not really lost much from the team, with Mandanda being hampered by injury a clearly past-it Wayne Henderson has been playing anyway, they have not really strengthened enough to push on. With the change in management, they have gone from looking to play a direct game to a slower, more methodical build up, without bringing in the players to do so. With new manager Frank de Boer wanting to play a back three, their recruitment consisted of bringing in a bunch of centre backs to allow him to do so and then Loftus-Cheek as well.

Mark - F a transfer window that smacks of a team in transition, without a clear plan or proper scouting network. It feels like the manager has not assessed the squad and figured out what he really needs to do to change things.



Stoke City

Ins
Kevin Wimmer from Tottenham Hotspur
Bruno Martins Indi from Porto
Darren Fletcher from West Bromwich Albion
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting from Schalke 04
Josh Tymon from Hull City
Kurt Zouma from Chelsea (loan)
Jese from Paris Saint Germain (loan)

Outs
Marko Arnautovic to West Ham United
Joselu to Newcastle United
Jonathan Walters to Burnley
Glenn Whelan to Aston Villa
Phil Bardsley to Stoke City
Daniel Bachmann to Watford
George Waring to Tranmere Rovers
Ryan Sweeney to Bristol Rovers (loan)
Philipp Wollscheid to FC Metz
Bojan Krkic to Alaves (loan)
Marc Muniesa to Girona (loan)
Gianelli Imbula to Toulouse (loan)
Shay Given released

This will be a big season for Mark Hughes, who has finally had a proper clearout of the leftovers from the Tony Pulis-era. With the moving on of some of the underperformers Hughes has brought in as well, particularly the woefully inconsistent and temperamental Arnautovic, Hughes will no excuses if he fails this season.

Mark - C- cleared out a lot of the underperformers, ageing players and those who could not be trusted to avoid cards but their recruitment was uninspiring to say the least, other than the loans.



Leicester City

Ins
Kelechi Iheanacho from Manchester City
Adrien Silva from Sporting CP
Vicente Iborra from Sevilla
Harry Maguire from Hull City
Sam Hughes from Chester FC
Aleksandar Dragovic from Bayer Leverkusen (loan)

Outs
Danny Drinkwater to Chelsea
Tom Lawrence to Derby County
Ron-Robert Zieler to VfB Stuttgart
Bartosz Kapustka to SC Freiburg (loan)
Nampalys Mendy to OGC Nice (loan)
Michael Cain released
Marcin Wasilewski released

The recruitment for the Foxes seemed a bit haphazard to me, putting aside the 14 seconds mess with Silva, there just seems little genuine thought involved. What role does Iheanacho play in the team? There does not seem to be a place for him. What does Maguire bring to a Leicester team that does not play out from the back? The signings do not seem to be very well planned at all. Have they moved the club forward? I can not see any evidence to suggest they have.

Mark - D- losing Drinkwater was a blow, allowing Mendy to go out on loan was bizarre and their incomings do not look to suit the way they play. Strange window that looks to have taken the club another step backwards.



West Ham United

Ins
Marko Arnautovic from Stoke City
Chicharito from Bayer Leverkusen
Sead Haksabanovic from Halmstad
Joe Hart from Manchester City (loan)
Pablo Zabaleta from Manchester City

Outs
Havard Nordtveit to TSG Hoffenheim
Ashley Fletcher to Middlesbrough
Darren Randolph to Middlesbrough
Sofiane Feghouli to Galatasaray
Stephen Hendrie to Southend United
Raphael Spiegel to Boavista
Reece Burke to Bolton Wanderers (loan)
Robert Snodgrass to Aston Villa (loan)
Josh Cullen to Bolton Wanderers (loan)
Reece Oxford to Borussia Moenchengladbach (loan)
Enner Valencia to Tigres
Sam Westley released
Alvaro Arbeloa retired

A bizarre mess of a transfer window once more at West Ham, as the owners struggled to get deals over the line for the players the manager wanted, even getting themselve embroiled in a Twitter war with Sporting CP owner (the so-called Portugese Donald Trump) over their failed signing of William Carvalho. Then following that up with a public spat with their own manager Slaven Bilic is just embarrassing. The club clearly needs somebody involved at the top end who understands the game and has taken a look at the targets before they sign them, so they stop making silly signings like an over the hill Zabaleta or a shellshocked Hart. At least Chicharito is, on the face of it, an excellent signing, but it was a big surprise that the forward to make way for him was Fletcher.

Mark - D it is difficult to see any thought behind the signings and the team does not look to have improved.



West Bromwich Albion

Ins
Oliver Burke from RB Leipzig
Jay Rodriguez from Southampton
Kieran Gibbs from Arsenal
Yuning Zhang from Vitesse Arnhem
Gareth Barry from Everton
Ahmed Hegazy from Al Ahly (loan)
Grzegorz Krychowiak from Paris Saint-Germain (loan)

Outs
Craig Gardner to Birmingham City
Yuning Zhang to Werder Bremen (loan)
Jack Rose to Southampton
Sebastien Pocognoli to Standard Liege
Callum McManaman to Sunderland
Darren Fletcher to Stoke City
Rekeem Harper to Blackburn Rovers (loan)
Kane Wilson to Exeter City (loan)
Jonathan Leko to Bristol City (loan)

Holding on to Jonny Evans was a big bonus in the window, the only real loss they suffered was club captain Fletcher, though he is a big loss. It is the incomings that are strange, though the addition of Krychowiak on loan should be a big boon to the team once he is up to speed. The decision to pick up an over the hill Barry, who plays the same role as Krychowiak, Gibbs, who has shown little sign of being physical enough for Pulis, and, in particular, Burke, who has real problems with understanding tactical instructions, make little real sense.

It really feels like the team's problems were not addressed, though a left back did arrive, which was one glaring need, there is still no goal threat in the squad. Rodriguez is a forward who scores great goals, but he is not a great goalscorer and will do little to solve the Baggies' issues.

Mark - D- nothing in their recruitment suggests the club has moved forward at all. The same old problem of no one to score the goals and no quality to create chances from open play.



Bournemouth

Ins
Nathan Ake from Chelsea
Asmir Begovic from Chelsea
Connor Mahoney from Blackburn Rovers
Jermain Defoe from Sunderland

Outs
Ryan Allsop to Blackpool (loan)
Marc Wilson to Sunderland
Harry Cornick to Luton Town
Adam Federici to Nottingham Forest (loan)
Lewis Grabban to Sunderland (loan)
Baily Cargill to Fleetwood Town (loan)
Max Gradel to Toulouse (loan)

On the face of it the Cherries have done some excellent business and genuinely strengthened their team ahead of the new season. Though most people also thought that last season and it was only when Eddie Howe reverted back to the players he had before that results picked up. If Howe can get the best out of the new players, and marry them to the ones he already has, then this could be a good season for Bournemouth and a large step forward.

Mark - A the recruitment has been just about as good as can be expected for Bournemouth. A top class keeper, a defender and a goalscorer, the 3 main priorities of the team.



Southampton

Ins
Mario Lemina from Juventus
Wesley Hoedt from Lazio
Jan Bednarek from Lech Poznan
Jack Rose from West Bromwich Albion

Outs
Jay Rodriguez to West Bromwich Albion
Cuco Martina to Everton
Lloyd Isgrove to Barnsley
Martin Caceres to Hellas Verona
Harrison Reed to Norwich City (loan)
Paulo Gazziniga to Tottenham Hotspur
Sam Gallagher to Birmingham City (loan)
Jordy Clasie to Club Brugge (loan)

It is not the worst window for Saints, but there is one glaring problem, they have not addressed their main problems, creating and scoring goals. A back up keeper, a couple of young centre backs and a defensive midfielder are not going to move the club forward, though it clearly does allow for the loss of Virgil van Dijk at some point. Other than that, it is difficult to understand the thinking behind this summer's recruitment. The only thing that would make sense is if they have someone ready to come through from their academy, as the current first team players are struggling badly.

Mark - C- while the signings were decent signings, they have failed to address the glaring need for creativity and goalscoring.



Everton

Ins
Gylfi Sigurdsson from Swansea City
Jordan Pickford from Sunderland
Michael Keane from Burnley
Davy Klaassen from Ajax
Nikola Vlasic from Hajduk Split
Henry Onyekuru from KAS Eupen
Sandro Ramirez from Malaga
Cuco Martina from Southampton
Wayne Rooney from Manchester United
Jose Baxter from free agent

Outs
Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United
Gerard Deulofeu to Barcelona
Tom Cleverley to Watford
Gareth Barry to West Bromwich Albion
Aiden McGeady to Sunderland
Conor McAleny to Fleetwood Town
Arouna Kone to Sivasspor
Leandro Rodriguez to Danubio FC
Tyias Browning to Sunderland (loan)
Matthew Pennington to Leeds United (loan)
Conor Grant to Crewe Alexandra (loan)
Brendan Galloway to Sunderland (loan)
Henry Onyekuru to RSC Anderlecht (loan)

The Toffees have invested heavily in pursuit of a top 6 place, but it is difficult to see any of the players brought in having the quality to move the team forward this season. If anything the loss of Lukaku has seen Everton take a major step backwards. The recruitment has also been a bit haphazard with three of the signings all wanting to play in the same position behind the striker. It also feels like sentiment overruled common sense with the return of the well-past-it Rooney, who has been a shadow of his former self for a few seasons now. Having said that, it is difficult to see who they could have brought in to make that step forward.

Mark - C- recruited heavily but let heart rule the head with the return of Rooney. No replacement for Lukaku has left them worse off than last season, despite all the incomings.



Manchester United

Ins
Romelu Lukaku from Everton
Nemanja Matic from Chelsea
Victor Lindelof from Benfica

Outs
Adnan Januzaj to Real Sociedad
Wayne Rooney to Everton
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson to Leeds United (loan)
Andreas Pereira to Valencia (loan)
Sam Johnstone to Aston Villa (loan)
Guillermo Varela to Penarol
Timothy Fosu-Mensah to Crystal Palace (loan)

A huge amount of spending but for very little return, with just three players coming in this summer. They have clearly made a step forward, particularly in the signing of Matic, but there are still areas of the team that need addressing, particularly the full backs. £150m does not buy a lot these days in the Premier League. Removing Rooney from the wage bill is a good move as he was becoming a millstone around the neck of the manager with the constant media focus on him.

Mark - B- bought well but still left with gaps in the team as they only brought in three players. Lost no key players to end the window looking a much stronger team.



Arsenal

Ins
Alexandre Lacazette from Olympique Lyon
Sead Kolasinac from Schalke 04

Outs
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool
Wojciech Szczesny to Juventus
Gabriel Paulista to Valencia
Kieran Gibbs to West Bromwich Albion
Yaya Sanogo to Toulouse
Emiliano Martinez to Getafa (loan)
Joel Campbell to Real Betis (loan)
Carl Jenkinson to Birmingham City (loan)
Lucas Perez to Deportivo La Coruna (loan)

While Arsenal announced that they were pleased with their transfer business, after keeping hold of Alexis Sanchez, I fail to see why. For starters it was clear Sanchez wanted to leave and all that stopped him leaving was the Gunners failure to bring in a replacement. Both incoming players were good signings and needed signings, but they are simply not enough to fill the massive gaping holes in the team, let alone the squad. Arsenal have been on a very slow decline for a long time, due to the lack of team strengthening, this season could turn it into a precipitious drop off a cliff.

Having dropped out of the Champions League I think everyone expected Arsene to go out and invest in the team in order to push for a return. Instead he has done his usual of filling one gap, creating another gap with outgoings and failing to spot an upcoming gap in need of fixing. While there is little chance of them dropping outside of the top 6, there is even less, if any, chance of them putting in a title challenge.

Mark - E two good signings are not enough to fill the gaps in the team. Wenger is looking like the little boy with his finger in the hole in the dyke not realising that he has sat on the button to open the floodgates.



Liverpool

Ins
Mohamed Salah from AS Roma
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal
Andrew Robertson from Hull City
Dominic Solanke from Chelsea

Outs
Mamadou Sakho to Crystal Palace
Divock Origi to VfL Wolfsburg (loan)
Lucas Leiva to Lazio
Kevin Stewart to Hull City
Andre Wisdom to Derby County
Sheyi Ojo to Fulham (loan)
Connor Randall to Heart of Midlothian (loan)
Alexander Manninger retired

Jurgen Klopp entered the window with a number of targets, he wanted a right back, but youngsters Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez emerged to fill that gap. He also wanted a left back, Robertson arrived, a winger, Salah came in, neither first choice. The problem was that there were two other signings he desperately wanted in Virgil van Dijk and Naby Keita, neither of whom arrived, though Keita will join next summer. That failure, in particular to add a centre back, has left the window feeling like a disaster, even though, in reality, it was a minor step forward.

The outs could present a problem in an injury crisis, especially with the failure to sign van Dijk, as a number of those players can provide centre back cover. Also there are worries about the lack of strength in depth, though the arrival of Oxlade-Chamberlain does go a long way towards mitigating that. However, overall it does look like the team and squad have improved ahead of the season.

Mark - C made improvements but still have not addressed the centre back issue, which could cost them badly.



Manchester City

Ins
Benjamin Mendy from AS Monaco
Kyle Walker from Tottenham Hotspur
Bernardo Silva from AS Monaco
Ederson from Benfica
Danilo from Real Madrid
Douglas Luiz from Vasco da Gama
Olarenwaju Kayode from Austria Vienna

Outs
Kelechi Iheanacho to Leicester City
Enes Unal to Villareal
Wilfried Bony to Swansea City
Aaron Mooy to Huddersfield Town
Nolito to Sevilla
Fernando to Galatasaray
Olivier Ntcham to Celtic
Aleksandar Kolarov to AS Roma
Samir Nasri to Antalyaspor
Joe Hart to West Ham United (loan)
Ruben Sobrino to Alaves
Jason Denayer to Galatasaray (loan)
Willy Caballero to Chelsea
Gael Clichy to Basaksehir
Pablo Zabaleta to West Ham United
Jesus Navas to Sevilla
Pablo Mari to NAC Breda (loan)
Bruno Zuculini to Hellas Verona
Pablo Maffeo to Girona (loan)
Douglas Luiz to Girona (loan)
Angus Gunn to Norwich City (loan)
Olarenwaju Kayode to Girona (loan)
Marlos Moreno to Girona (loan)
Anthony Caceres to Al-Wasl (loan)
Aleix Garcia to Girona (loan)
Patrick Roberts to Celtic (loan)
Nicolas Freire to PEC Zwolle (loan)
Bacary Sagna released

A huge outlay on players which have clearly improved the team, fixing two of the major issues, the fullbacks and goalkeeper, but it is still a team stuck relying on Vicent Kompany. Like Liverpool, Citeh failed to recruit a centre back, a desperately needed centre back. Their ins do look to have addressed a large number of the issues around the club from last season, which is only to be expected when spending in excess of £200m.

The problem they have not yet figured out a solution for is bringing through youngsters into the first team. Similar to Chelsea, they have a huge amount of young players that need first team football and have had to be loaned out. They did make it a bit simpler to keep tabs on those out on loan by taking a leaf out of the Pozzo's book and buy another football team to send them on loan to. In this case Spanish club Girona was added to the Abu Dhabi United Group's portfolio.

Despite this, a few still took the opportunity to move away permanently, notably Iheanacho and Ntcham. Pep Guardiola might also live to regret letting Fernando go, as Man City's only genuine back up to Fernandinho is Yaya Toure.

Mark - B- like Liverpool they fixed some holes in the team, but with what should be (especially considering the amounts spent) higher quality players. Also like Liverpool they have failed to fix the huge gaping hole in central defence.



Tottenham Hotspur

Ins
Davinson Sanchez from Ajax
Serge Aurier from Paris Saint Germain
Fernando Llorente from Swansea City
Juan Foyth from Estudiantes
Paulo Gazzaniga from Southampton

Outs
Kyle Walker to Manchester City
Kevin Wimmer to Stoke City
Nabil Bentaleb to Schalke 04
Clinton N'Jie to Olympique Marseille
Federico Fazio to AS Roma
Vincent Janssen to Fenerbahce (loan)
Cameron Carter-Vickers to Sheffield United (loan)
Josh Onomah to Aston Villa (loan)

Prior to deadline day, this transfer window was looking a bit of a mess for Spurs, losing Walker, Wimmer, etc with no replacements. As usual Daniel Levy pulled a rabbit out of the hat at the end, with a flurry of late signings. It is arguable whether or not the first team has been improved, but the strength in depth is now much better, especially in terms of an option if Harry Kane picks up an injury. Is it enough to move them from 2nd to 1st? Maybe not, but are still moving forward.

Mark - B improved the squad's strength in depth to cope with European football, but the team is still the same one that has fallen at the last hurdle the previous 2 years in a row.



Chelsea

Ins
Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid
Tiemoue Bakayoko from AS Monaco
Danny Drinkwater from Leicester City
Antonio Rudiger from AS Roma
Davide Zappacosta from Torino
Willy Caballero from Manchester City

Outs
Nemanja Matic to Manchester United
Nathan Ake to Bournemouth
Juan Cuadrado to Juventus
Asmir Begovic to Bournemouth
Bertrand Traore to Olympique Lyonnaise
Christian Atsu to Newcastle United
Nathaniel Chalobah to Watford
Todd Kane to FC Groningen (loan)
Loic Remy to UD Las Palmas
Danilo Pantic to Partizan Belgrade (loan)
John Terry to Aston Villa
Mario Pasalic to Spartak Moscow (loan)
Jeremie Boga to Birmingham City (loan)
Michael Hector to Hull City (loan)
Matt Miazga to Vitesse Arnhem (loan)
Kenneth Omeruo to Kasimpasa (loan)
Tammy Abraham to Swansea City (loan)
Nathan to SC Amiens (loan)
Ruben Loftus-Cheek to Crystal Palace (loan)
Tomas Kalas to Fulham (loan)
Lewis Baker to Middlesbrough (loan)
Cristian Cuevas to FC Twente (loan)
Ola Aina to Hull City (loan)
Kurt Zouma to Stoke City (loan)
Jamal Blackman to Sheffield United (loan)

This window could have been an absolute disaster for Chelsea, with Diego Costa desperately trying to leave, a key midfielder in Matic sold and so many of the fringe players leaving either permanently or on loan. With the addition of European football this season, an already thin squad looked stretched to breaking point. The gaps in the squad were filled and Chelsea once more look ready to challenge on all fronts. The only thing they may regret is not having some of the youngsters later in the season to use for rest and rotation.

Mark - B+ they look to have taken a genuine step forward, despite the blow of losing Matic. The only real worry they have now would be a long term injury to Thibaut Courtois.

Written by Tris Burke


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