As the transfer window slammed shut on September 1st, we took a look at the transfers conducted by the top 5 clubs in the Premier league. Here’s the verdict on the winners and losers.
Ins: Petr Cech (Chelsea, undisclosed)
Outs: Ryo Miyaichi (St Pauli, undisclosed), Semi Ajayi (Cardiff, undisclosed), Abou Diaby (Marseille, free), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Ipswich, loan), Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill (Swindon, free), Lukas Podolski (Galatasaray, (A?1.8 million), Yaya Sanogo (Ajax, loan), Carl Jenkinson (West Ham, loan), Wojciech Szczesny (Roma, loan), Chuba Akpom (Hull, loan), George Dobson (West Ham, undisclosed), Isaac Hayden (Hull, loan), Serge Gnabry (West Brom, loan), Gedion Zelalem (Rangers, loan), Jon Toral (Birmingham, loan), Josh Vickers (Swansea, free), Daniel Crowley (Barnsley, loan), Renny Smith (Burnley, free), Emiliano Martinez (Wolves, loan), Wellington Silva (Bolton, loan)
Arsenal easily had the worst transfer window of the top 5 sides, failing to sign a single outfield player. While the acquisition of Petr Cech was hailed by many, question marks over the Czech international’s pedigree are already being raised after costly errors in the first four games. To be fair to Ospina, Cech is not really as massive an upgrade over the Colombian as many consider him to be.
Gap: Defensive Midfield, Forward
The club needed to strengthen the defensive midfield as well as their forward department and failed to do so.
Ins: Nathan (Atletico Paranaense, undisclosed), Radamel Falcao (Monaco, loan), Asmir Begovic (Stoke, undisclosed), Danilo Pantic (Partizan Belgrade, undisclosed), Pedro (Barcelona, A?21m), Kenedy (Fluminense, undisclosed), Baba Rahman (Augsburg, undisclosed), Papy Djilobodji (Nantes, undisclosed), Michael Hector (Reading, undisclosed)
Outs: Christian Atsu (Bournemouth, loan), Didier Drogba (Montreal Impact, free), Gael Kakuta (Sevilla, undisclosed), Petr Cech (Arsenal, undisclosed), Marco van Ginkel (Stoke, loan), Patrick Bamford (Crystal Palace, loan), Josh McEachran (Brentford, undisclosed), Danilo Pantic (Vitesse Arnhem, loan), Tomas Kalas (Middlesbrough, loan), Oriol Romeu (Southampton, undisclosed), Mario Pasalic (Monaco, loan), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid, undisclosed), Izzy Brown, Lewis Baker, Dominic Solanke (all Vitesse Arnhem, loan), Jordan Houghton (Gillingham, loan), Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa, loan), Juan Cuadrado (Juventus, loan), Marko Marin (Trabzonspor, loan), Mohamed Salah (Roma, loan), Nathan Ake (Watford, loan), Alex Davey (Peterborough, loan), Lucas Piazon (Reading, loan), Jeremie Boga (Rennes, loan), Victor Moses (West Ham, loan), Islam Feruz (Hibernian, loan), Michael Hector (Reading, loan), Nathaniel Chalobah (Napoli, loan)
The failure to sign a center-back of top quality may come to haunt Jose Mourinho as Chelsea FC defence seemed to be in disarray in each of their opening four games. The pursuit of John Stones bore no fruit as the club eventually signed Nantes defender Papy Djilbodji.
However, pound for pound, Chelsea have pulled off the best signing of the window in the form of Pedro Rodriguez. The winger adds pace, goals and work rate to the Chelsea forward line.
The acquisition of Pedro alongside future prospects Kenedy and Baba Rahman means that Chelsea have more than made up for the failure to sign a center-back who can improve the starting XI. If Djilbodji can improve the XI, they will move to an A rating from us. We do have our doubts, though.
Ins: Roberto Firmino (Hoffenheim, A?22m plus add-ons), James Milner (Manchester City, free), Danny Ings (Burnley, tribunal), Adam Bogdan (Bolton, free), Joe Gomez (Charlton, undisclosed), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton, A?12m), Christian Benteke (Aston Villa, A?32.5m), Taiwo Awoniyi (Imperial Academy, undisclosed)
Outs: Steven Gerrard (LA Galaxy, free), Danny Ward (Aberdeen, loan), Sebastian Coates (Sunderland, undisclosed), Javier Manquillo (Atletico Madrid, early termination of loan), Glen Johnson (Stoke, free), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City, A?49m), Andre Wisdom (Norwich, loan), Rickie Lambert (West Brom, undisclosed), Lazar Markovic (Fenerbahce, loan), Lloyd Jones (Blackpool, loan), Jordan Williams, Kevin Stewart (both Swindon, loan), Sheyi Ojo (Wolves, loan), Lawrence Vigouroux (Swindon, loan), Brad Jones (Bradford, free), Harry Wilson (Crewe, loan), Joe McGuire (Leyton Orient, loan), Mario Balotelli (AC Milan, loan), Ryan McLaughlin (Aberdeen, loan), Fabio Borini (Sunderland, undisclosed), Sergi Canos (Brentford, loan), Taiwo Awoniyi (FSV Frankfurt, loan), Tiago Ilori (Aston Villa, loan)
For a second season in a row, Liverpool FC overhauled their squad in the transfer market as manager Brendan Rodgers was backed wholeheartedly by the management after reports stated that he was not given the players he needed the season before.
Liverpool finished sixth in the Premier League season despite spending in excess of 120m GBP following the big money sale of Luis Suarez to FC Barcelona.
A major reason for the failure was the disastrous transfer window performance that saw the Reds sign players, especially attackers, who had little impact on their season.
This season, things look much better with all the new signings already playing a key role in the opening few games. Clyne has looked very solid, Joe Gomez looks like a real talent with his solid displays and any fear of Benteke not fitting in the style of play at Anfield has already been dismissed courtesy of the forwards displays.
Liverpool FCa s capture of the Hoffenheim man was lauded as a coup for the club and Milner’s signature on a free transfer is as much value for money as any signing across Europe.
Gap: Defensive midfield.
For a change, Liverpool FC have had a good transfer window. With time, the transfers could bode very well for them. It rests upon how Firmino and Benteke turn out at Anfield, as the duo are likely to have bigger impact than any other signings.
However, failure to sign a top defensive midfielder may cost them dearly, especially given Lucas’ injury record, given that Emre Can is still very young.
Ins: Enes Unal (Bursaspor, undisclosed), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool, A?49m), Fabian Delph (Aston Villa, undisclosed), Patrick Roberts (Fulham, undisclosed), Nicolas Otamendi (Valencia, undisclosed), David Faupala (Lens), Aleix Garcia (Villarreal, undisclosed), Kevin de Bruyne (Wolfsburg, undisclosed)
Outs: Matija Nastastic (Schalke, undisclosed), Alvaro Negredo (Valencia, undisclosed), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic, A?1.5m), Scott Sinclair (Aston Villa, undisclosed), James Milner (Liverpool, free), Micah Richards (Aston Villa, free), Stevan Jovetic (Inter Milan, undisclosed), Edin Dzeko (Roma, loan), Karim Rekik (Marseille, undisclosed), Frank Lampard (New York City FC, free), John Guidetti (Celta Vigo, free), Enes Unal (Genk, loan), Jordy Hiwula (Huddersfield, undisclosed), Marcos Lopes (Monaco, undisclosed), Jason Denayer (Galatasaray, loan), Devante Cole (Bradford, free)
City have gone on a spending spree in order to make up for a poor 2014/15 season when their title challenge was easily brushed aside by Chelsea FC.
The club have focused on adding quality to their ranks by recruiting Bundesliga’s Player of the Year Kevin de Bruyne, Valencia defender Nicholas Otamendi, and Liverpool FC winger Raheem Sterling.
A lack of English players meant City also decided to sign talented attacker Patrick Roberts from Fulham and England international Fabian Delph from Villa.
City have not only spent on talented players, but also ensured that they cover all areas of their squad. They now have two top players in every position in their squad. It has been a fantastic transfer window for them, indeed.
Ins: Memphis Depay (PSV Eindhoven, A?25m), Matteo Darmian (Torino, undisclosed), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich, undisclosed), Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton, undisclosed), Sergio Romero (Sampdoria, undisclosed), Anthony Martial (Monaco, undisclosed), Regan Poole (Newport, undisclosed)
Outs: Tom Cleverley (Everton, free), Nani (Fenerbahce, undisclosed), Will Keane (Preston, loan), Tom Thorpe (Rotherham, free), Robin van Persie (Fenerbahce, undisclosed), Reece James (Wigan, undisclosed), Ben Amos (Bolton, free), Ben Pearson, Joe Rothwell (both Barnsley, loan), Rafael (Lyon, undisclosed), Angel Di Maria (Paris St Germain, undisclosed), Jonny Evans (West Brom, undisclosed), Saidy Janko (Celtic, undisclosed), Tyler Blackett (Celtic, loan), Adnan Januzaj (Borussia Dortmund, loan), Javier Hernandez (Bayer Leverkusen, A?7.3m), Anders Lindegaard (West Brom, undisclosed)
United dropped a bombshell on a day before deadline day when they snapped up French teenager Anthony Martial for a 50m Euro fee that could rise to 80m Euro. Martial had played only 8 full games for Monaco before he signed for United. The gamble by the 20 times English Champions showed their desperation considering that they had a faltering Rooney as their only option up front.
The club did sign German star Bastian Schweinsteiger, Eredivisie Top Scorer Memphis Depay, Italian Serie A’s best right-back Matteo Darmian, and defensive midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin. All these players can have a big impact on the club in the years to come.
Gap: Center-back, Forward
Despite Martial’s signing, one can surmise that the 19 year old player who scored 11 goals in 42 games with Monaco will not improve the United forward line right away. And if Wayne Rooney was to get injured or fail to recover form his current form, United could be in trouble. The club also wanted to sign a center-back in the summer and are having to deploy defensive midfielder/wing-back Daley Blind as a central defender.
However the failure to adequately fulfill those positions does not take away the fact that all the other signings by United are very good ones.