Another year, another summer transfer window has passed but which club was the most active? Who spent the most money? Which transfers caused the biggest stirs? What players will make a name for themselves this season?
There’s so many unanswered questions which we will have to wait to see the answers for but here’s everything else you need to know about this summer’s activities across the Premier League…
Big name transfers
Manchester United have stolen most of the headlines in regards to big name transfers. Jose Mourinho’s return to the Premier League has already been exciting and controversial as the former Chelsea boss smashed the Premier League transfer fee record with an £89m signing of Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba.
Pogba is hugely talented though and his transfer has certainly excited Reds’ fans. The Frenchman is joined by one of Europe’s most arrogant and talented strikers, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Swedish legend has already banged in the goals for United in the early stages of the Premier League campaign.
David Luiz’ return to Chelsea for £34m on the final day was perhaps the biggest surprise of the lot and he was a much needed addition to Antonio Conte’s squad. Joe Hart completed a loan switch to Torino after being snubbed by new boss Pep Guardiola and Liverpool were finally able to offload Mario Balotelli who joins Nice on a free.
Splashing the cash
Aside from Pogba and Ibrahimovic, United also splashed the cash on Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan and spent the most money in this years transfer market.
Manchester City also spent some money, bringing in Leroy Sane for £37m from Schalke, Ilkay Gundogan for £20m and Gabriel Jesus from Palmeiras for £27m. Guardiola also patched up his defence, bringing in John Stones for a whopping £47.5m – the club’s most expensive signing of 2016.
Jurgen Klopp largely resisted spending but couldn’t hide away from the big figures he paid for Sadio Mane and Georgino Wijnaldum and Conte produced the cash on the final day to bring back David Luiz for £34m.
Crystal Palace were involved in some big money transfers too. Everton were prepared to pay £25m for Yannick Bolasie which meant Alan Pardew was able to lure Anfield reject Christian Benteke to Palace for £27m plus add-ons.
West Ham United surprised everyone by producing a £20m figure for Andre Ayew who made the switch from Swansea but one of the biggest switches of the window was made in the final hours by Tottenham when they were prepared to pay £30m for Newcastle United’s Moussa Sissoko.
All-in-all, it was a game of monopoly which the Manchester clubs seemed to dominate but as the Premier League’s spending surpassed the £300 billion mark, it became clear the football market inflation has become uncontrollable.
Everyone was excited to see who Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola would bring to Manchester and neither manager disappointed. The two giants went head-to-head and topped the spending charts with some huge signings.
Guardiola finished his spending spree with a £15.4m capture of Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo as fans waved goodbye to Joe Hart who has completed a loan switch with Torino. However, Mourinho sealed the contest with the record-signing of midfielder Paul Pogba but it’s hard to see how the other clubs will compete with the two rivals from Manchester this season.
It was less flashy in Merseyside, with the majority of Klopp’s business revolving around outgoings. The German made some astute acquisitions from the Bundesliga as well as the marquee signings of Mane and Wijnaldum. Liverpool’s business was impressive and Klopp managed to keep the club’s net spend down to a negative figure.
Across the pond, Ronald Koeman did his best to strengthen the Blues squad and successfully kept hold of star striker Romelu Lukaku. He was unable to prevent centre-back, Stones from completing his big-money move to Manchester City but has replaced him with the shrewd signing of Ashley Williams from Swansea for £12m. All-in-all, it’s been fairly astute business from both Merseyside managers though it’ll be Liverpool fans who will be the most anxious after Klopp seemed adamant on not bringing in a new left-back.
Premier League new boys Middlesbrough have been the busiest club in the top flight during the 2016 transfer window. The promoted club made 12 new signings in total and have a dangerous looking squad ahead of the Premier League campaign. The added more depth in the final hours of the transfer window too, bringing in Arsenal centre-back and youngster Calum Chambers.
Boro’s rivals Sunderland have been busy too but new manager David Moyes has opted for familiarity this summer. The former Everton and Manchester United boss has rinsed his old clubs for some of his favoured players and even brought Blues’ veteran Steven Pienaar to the northern club. Donald Love and Paddy McNair made the switch from United for a combined fee of £5.5m and teammate Adnan Januzaj joins Sunderland on loan. Moyes did look elsewhere too though and splashed a bit of cash on Didier Ndong from Lorient for £13.6m and Papy Djilobodji from Chelsea for £8m.
It’s been busy down in London too and Antonio Conte wasn’t afraid to spend big. Chelsea made three signings over £30m as Ngolo Kante, David Luiz and Michy Batshuayi all joined the Blues. They also brought in Marcos Alonso from Fiorentina for £23m at the end of the transfer window whilst letting Loic Remy leave for Crystal Palace.
Tottenham produced one of the surprise signings of the summer, bringing in Moussa Sissoko for a whopping £30m on the final day of the transfer window and also spent some money on Southampton’s Victor Wanyama. They let some big figures go too, allowing Chadli to leave for West Brom for £13m and Ryan Mason for the same figure to Hull City. Chelsea seem to have made better progress though and Spurs might have a big point to prove this season if they’re to mount another title chase.
Joe Hart’s loan switch to Torino captured the headlines in the final week as Pep Guardiola’s disregard for the England number 1 didn’t go unnoticed. Hart wasn’t the only one to be ruthlessly cut from the City ranks as Eliaquim Mangala and Samir Nasri followed suit with loan spells to Valencia and Sevilla respectively.
Hal Robson-Kanu who produced a magical Cryuff-turn-goal for Wales in the European Championships returned home from the tournament as a semi-finalist with no club after he was released by Reading last season. West Bromwich Albion gave him a home in the final hours of the transfer window though.
Klopp was busy at Liverpool, chopping down his squad and allowing a number of academy players to leave on loan. The German boss was also happy to let Mamadou Sakho leave too after the Frenchman seemed to have upset his manager during the summer. However, the centre-back remains but whether or not he’ll feature for Liverpool this season is yet to be seen.
Juan Mata may have felt his time was up at Manchester United when Jose Mourinho was named as the new boss but so far, the Spaniard hasn’t been given the chop. Antonio Conte is rumoured to have said to Cesc Fabregas his time is up though but after no movement was made in during the window, the former Arsenal man could be safe.
The window was full of surprises as usual and David Luis’ return to Chelsea and Tottenham’s £30m capture of Moussa Sissoko tops the list. There were some shrewd signings from West Ham who secured the signature of former Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa and Crystal Palace who have added both Loic Remy and Christian Benteke to the attack.
However, it will be Manchester United fans who will be feeling the most optimistic this summer and with their rivals, Manchester City also strengthening, it could be an exciting season ahead in the city.