Premier League Transfer Window: Grading Each Club’s Business
The transfer window has slammed shut, and clubs will deal with what they have until January. Which clubs have done the best business, and whose deals were wide of the mark? Let’s review each Premier League club’s dealings this summer.
Premier League Transfer Window: The Winners and Losers
Arsenal – A+
Unai Emery will be a very happy man; Nicolas Pepe was electric in Ligue 1 last season. Dani Ceballos will be tasked with replacing the creativity of Aaron Ramsey. Kieran Tierney and David Luiz arrived to strengthen the defence- Arsenal’s Achilles heel for many years. These signings could help the Gunners mount an assault on the top four this season.
Aston Villa – B+
‘Doing a Fulham’ or a needed transformation? For the second successive season, a promoted club has spent in excess of £100 million, bringing in 12 new signings to build a side able to compete in the Premier League. Dean Smith has signed players he knows from Brentford in Jota and Ezri Konsa. While Tom Heaton could be a brilliant bit of business at £8 million. They will rely on Wesley Moraes to replace Tammy Abraham‘s goals. It remains to be seen whether or not so many players can gel and bring the results Aston Villa need in their Premier League return.
Bournemouth – B
Bournemouth have gone about their business under the radar. Lloyd Kelly looks a good signing for the future, while Harry Wilson will be hungry to make a mark on the Premier League. Phillip Billing joins from Huddersfield Town and could make for a very good anchor in their midfield. Their outgoings are more impressive though; £20 million for Tyrone Mings, who spent last season out on loan, and £9 million for Lys Mousset represent very good business for the Cherries.
Brighton and Hove Albion: B-
Brighton’s signings are, mostly, unproven at this level. Neal Maupay has impressed in the second division, but it remains to be seen if he can make a mark on the Premier League. Adam Webster is another player who is a step above the Championship that joins the Seagulls. Aaron Mooy could be a key signing to provide creativity from midfield.
There are scant few key signings to talk of at Turf Moor. Jay Rodriguez returns from West Brom, and he has proven he can provide goals at this level. Danny Drinkwater arrives on loan to revitalise his career. Though, their other two signings, Bailey Peacock-Farrel and Erik Pieters, will likely fit in as back-up players. Burnley have replaced some outgoing players, but have not done enough to improve the squad this summer.
Chelsea likely would have had more deals to shout about if they hadn’t seen an embargo imposed upon them. Mateo Kovacic was allowed to make his loan permanent, while Christian Pulisic will need to replace Eden Hazard. However, Chelsea will have to rely on their loan starlets under new boss Frank Lampard in the new season, under such restrictions.
Crystal Palace: B-
There has been much noise about outgoings at Crystal Palace; Wilfried Zaha did not hide his desire to leave the club, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka moved to Manchester United after an impressive debut season. Their incomings, though, don’t demonstrate much ambition; Gary Cahill will strengthen their defence, while James McCarthy brings composure to their midfield. Keeping Wilfried Zaha will make them winners, though.
Everton have made some brilliant signings this summer. The young Moise Kean, though raw now, could be brilliant in the future. The Toffees signed André Gomes permanently, while Jean-Philippe Gbamin was highly thought of in the Bundesliga. Idrissa Gueye will be a big miss in their midfield, but Fabian Delph could make an adequate replacement. Alex Iwobi adds more firepower if he can find a little more consistency.
The story of the transfer window for Leicester was losing Harry Maguire to Manchester United for £80 million. They may rue not bringing in an adequate replacement for the centre-back. Although, bringing in Youri Tielemans permanently was a coup, and Ayoze Perez has gone from strength to strength at Newcastle. Dennis Praet arrives, but now they seem overstocked with creative midfielders, with James Maddison and Ayoze Perez already there.
Liverpool have done little to improve upon last season’s second-place finish. 16-year-old Harvey Elliot arrives from Fulham, after becoming the Premier League’s youngest player. Young defender Sepp van den Berg also comes in, while they brought in Adrián to replace Simon Mignolet. However, with no replacement for Daniel Sturridge, injuries to their front-line could leave them thin in attack.
Manchester City: B+
Manchester City have freshened their squad ahead of a second successive title defence. Rodri will have steeliness and class to the midfield, while Joao Cancelo looks like the perfect full-back for Pep Guardiola. Angelino returns to provide competition for Benjamin Mendy and Oleksandr Zinchenko. Leroy Sané stays, but an injury will keep him out for significant time.
Many expected an overhaul of players at Old Trafford this summer, though only three new players arrived; the lightning-fast Daniel James arrives, after impressing at Swansea. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is young and hungry and could be brilliant at right-back, while Harry Maguire should sure up their defence. The loss of Romelu Lukaku, though, could harm their top-four chances.
Newcastle United: C+
Newcastle have had many significant losses this summer; they have lost Ayoze Pérez and Salomón Rondón, who contributed 55% of their goals last season. However, losing Rafa Benítez is their most significant departure. They broke their club record for Joelinton, and Andy Carroll returned home. Allan Saint-Maximin should provide flair from the wings, but his end product leaves much to be desired. They have new signings at full-back, a long-term problem-position, but all of their recruits remain unproven risks in the league.
Norwich City: C-
Norwich have, for the most part, put faith in the squad that brought them to the Premier League. Ralf Fahrmann on loan from Schalke looks a good keeper, while Sam Byram is still trying to prove himself at this level. However, it remains to be seen if Josip Drmic can provide adequate competition for Teemu Pukki. With little Premier League nous, Norwich could struggle this year.
Sheffield United: C+
Sheffield United’s tactic for this transfer window can be likened to that of Cardiff last year. They have signed some of the Championship’s finest; Oliver McBurnie joins for a club-record fee, a physical striker who could do well at this level. Perhaps, though, the Blades are planning for a season in the Championship. Can Ravel Morrison finally fulfil his huge potential at Bramall Lane?
Signings were scarce at Southampton this transfer window; Che Adams arrives from Birmingham and has the pace and physicality to cause problems in the Premier League. Moussa Djenepo is an exciting winger, while Danny Ings can provide goals if he remains fit.
Tottenham Hotspur: B
Finally, Tottenham made their first signings since January last year. Tanguy Ndombele looks a brilliant signing at midfield, while Ryan Sessegnon will add pace and direct play on the wing. Giovani Lo Celso will take on the creative burden, and could be a good replacement should Christian Eriksen leave. However, Fernando Llorente and Vincent Janssen‘s departure leaves them thin up front.
This has been Watford’s least active transfer window in recent years. Craig Dawson is proven at this level, and Danny Welbeck is a good signing on a free transfer. Ismaila Sarr arrives on a club-record deal, after impressing with Rennes. Keeping Gerard Deulofeu and Abdoulaye Doucoure will be crucial to their success this season.
West Ham: B+
West Ham’s business will leave encouragement that they can mount a top seven challenge. They lost Marko Arnautovic but brought in club-record signing Sebastien Haller, who comes off the back of two successful seasons with Frankfurt. Pablo Fornals will add creative class to their midfield. Apart from that, they have trimmed their squad somewhat.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: B+
Wolves have added to their pack to push for European football again. Leander Dendoncker and Raul Jimenez have both arrived on permanent deals. Patrick Cutrone is a young striker with bags of potential, while much is expected of Jesus Vallejo on loan from Real Madrid. Crucially, they have added new faces ahead of their Europa League campaign.