As Jim White and Bryan Swanson are locked away until another transfer window in January, we can finally now sit back and look at who has triumphed in this Summer’s transfer window. Since the window officially closed on Monday, deadline day didn’t provide as much drama as some previous, but there were some tactical acquisitions from numerous clubs, as I also look at those who benefited the most since it’s opening in July.
Big spenders Spurs were the at the centre of a lot of transfer activity this Summer. The major talking point being the goings on surrounding Gareth Bale; losing their playmaker would usually be a seen as a disaster, but with their latest arrivals all coming from overseas, it’s looking like this new influx is making them look a more exciting prospect, at least on paper anyway. Joining from Valencia for a reported £26m, Roberto Soldado, even at this very early stage, looks like the real deal in terms of attacking play. Scoring the winning goals in the opening two games of the season and creating 4 scoring chances in the first of those will have given the fans hope that there is an attacking goal threat left in the side after Bale’s departure. Erik Lamela was the most Tottenham spent on a single player this window at £30m- a hot prospect that was a rumoured target for several of the top sides in the league. Lamela also looks like an exciting addition to Tottenham’s side going forward, scoring 25 goals and creating 15 assists in his 66 appearances for Roma. Young Danish midfielder Christan Eriksen from Ajax was yet another acquisition that Spurs beat off the competition to land, and at tender 21 years of age, his first big move is straight into the rough and tumble of the Premier League. With his early accolades of Danish Footballer Of The Year in 2011, there are big hopes for this potential future star.
However, Tottenham didn’t manage to claim all of the most sought-after players this Summer. Brazilian maestro Willian was reported to have had a medical at Spurs amidst speculation that he was considering offers from a number of clubs in England’s top flight. In the end, it was Mourihno’s new Chelsea who scooped the midfielder from Anzhi for a hefty £30m fee. In my opinion, however, it was the £18m transfer of Andre Schurrle, who already has an impressive 88% passing accuracy for this new season, who was the star buy. After excelling at Leverkusen, the £18m price tag was what Chelsea had to cough up for this young German, although I feel that he will be a key player for Chelsea in the coming seasons.
Everton have been praised this Summer for the way they have spent their transfer budget. After two months filled with speculation about the futures of Baines and Fellaini, and their supposed certain moves to Manchester United, it was only one that went through. With the reported £27.5m they recieved for Fellaini, Roberto Martinez didn’t have long make his purchases. However, the deadline day deals of James McCarthy, Gareth Barry (loan) and Romelu Lukaku (loan) meant that, like Tottenham, losing your best players may not be the disaster that it’s made out to be.
Arsene Wenger was throughout the transfer window questioned for his lack of spending; the promises of Suarez, Higuain and even Wayne Rooney were rumours that never materialised, and ended up leaving the Arsenal fans more frustrated then ever. Reviving Flamini from Milan on a free meant that it wouldn’t take much time for him to settle back in to the team, however, this didn’t cover up the fact that Arsenal needed a much sought after “marquee signing”, and what a marquee signing they did acquire. The deadline day signing of Mezut Ozil may have left Wenger in a sorry state for spending a whopping £42m, but it was exactly what Arsenal needed to breed a new face into their midfield. Having an 84.5% pass success rate before even leaving La Liga for the Premier League this season, is an indication of how influential Ozil could potentially be for The Gunners this season and beyond.
It could be said that Liverpool’s most important signing of the Summer was Luis Suarez- holding firm and making sure that this was going to be the year that player power did not dominate. Attempting a staggering 255 of his trademark dribbles last season is just one statistical example of how Liverpool would struggle in terms of creativity without their star striker. A £9m transfer from Sunderland in Simon Mignolet is looking like the standout signing for Liverpool so far this season, not letting in one goal in this Premier League campaign so far, and playing large parts in the saving the 1-0 leads that Liverpool have had in the first three games. However, for me, the ones to look out for are the two acquisitions of Kolo Toure and Victor Moses.
The invaluble experience of Toure means that slotting into another Premier League team will not be a huge problem, and that has shown be the way in these early stages of the season. Moses is also a clever addition; he would more than likely been an unused substitute at Chelsea, especially with Mourinho’s new midfielders coming in. Therefore, since Stewart Downing’s departure, a winger is exactly what Liverpool need, and an exciting prospect for the season going forward.
Manchester United haven’t been overly active in this Summer’s window- and that in itself is being generous. Similar to Arsenal, a late marquee signing in Marouane Fellaini for a reported £27.5 saved David Moyes from a lot of moans and groans in regards to not spending. However, in a similar stance to Liverpool, United managed to keep hold of Wayne Rooney, after months of speculation that he wasn’t content at Old Trafford. Some United fans could say that his recent bang on the head may help him to realise that Manchester United isn’t exactly a bad place to be playing his football!
Whereas some of the Premier League clubs have been searching high and low for them, Manchester City are well known for their “marquee signings”. Acquisitions of Fernandinho, Jesus Navas, and Alvaro Negredo, who have a combined career total of 229 goals, are yet more signs of “The Noisy Neighbours” attempts to remain within a shout of the winning the Premier League once more.
Best of the rest
Outside of the obvious big spenders, the standout club to have conducted impressive business this Summer, for me, have been Crystal Palace. Taking on some former and current Premier League players in Kevin Phillips, Jerome Thomas and Marouane Chamakh means that what could have been new surroundings for some, are now in the company of players who have experienced this league before. A first goal for Dwight Gayle in a home win against Sunderland, also takes off some of the pressure for being Holloway’s most expensive purchase (£6m).
On paper, I think that Spurs have conducted the most impressive dealings over the Summer. Although with a significantly less transfer budget, it seems that Everton have also made some clever signings. Over the coming weeks and months of the new season, we will get to see whether it is the recognised names or the crafty purchases who come out on top.