As the clock struck 11 pm and the transfer window closed, many fans displayed mixed emotions as the total bill came to £1.4 billion in the Premier League. While some clubs kept their want-away players, others splashed the cash to secure that top signing. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest transfers of the window.
Arsenal – Same Old Window
Arsenal secured their man target by singing Alexandre Lacazette early on in the window, strengthening their strikeforce and allowing an alternative option to fellow Frenchman, Olivier Giroud. A record-breaking signing and one that could make the difference but alongside Kolasinac, did Arsene need to dig in his pocket a little deeper? Following the departure of versatile midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, it was one striker, in particular, making all the headlines.
Alexis Sanchez, arguably Arsenal’s best player, was subject to a bid from Manchester City on deadline day and with a £50 million price tag being touted, many thought it would make sense to sell now than risk losing him for free the following window. During the final few hours of the window, it was made clear Arsenal would only let him leave if they could secure an adequate replacement in the form of Thomas Lemar.
The transfer record was almost broken again as a £92 million bid was accepted by Monaco only for the deal to break down. In the end, Manchester City didn’t get their talisman and Arsenal hold on for at least until January. An optimist would say the starting eleven has vastly improved from last season. Lacazette already looks prolific and Kolsinac appears to be born ready for the physicality of England but in central defence and centre midfield, they do look light on numbers. Having endured a painful start to the season, will this squad be able to compete for top four? Having missed out last season, Wenger must now surely believe the pressure on his career won’t get any bigger than this.
Tottenham – that’s more like it
Staying in London, it’s actually Arsenal’s North London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur who could say have done wonders in the window. With a starting eleven that pushed Chelsea all the way last season, all that was needed now was strength in depth, and they got exactly what they needed at the back with signings of Ajax’s Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth at the back, both under 23 and long-term acquisitions. It didn’t end there as PSG’s Serge Aurier was the perfect replacement for the Kyle Walker-shaped hole at right-back and Fernando Llorente completed his move from Swansea, providing Spurs with a very good strike force.
What’s remarkable is how Mauricio Pocchetino managed to maintain his squad during the window and managed to hold out on Danny Rose too after Walker headed for the exit. With a great campaign last season, surely now the emphasis is on Tottenham to go one better and challenge for the title this year. Not only do they have a solid squad, the players on the bench are now worthy of slotting into the starting eleven with ease. The only question remains may not be the players but the location as they have struggled to win any games at Wembley.
Manchester City – enough to win?
A transfer window just wouldn’t be complete without the likes of Manchester City puffing their chests and showing everyone what they’re made of. Pep Guardiola, having spent one full season with the Citizens last year has now gained the experience to take City to the next level. Helping them will be new signings Kyle Walker, Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy, Ederson and Danilo. There may not have been a star striker in that lineup, as they narrowly missed out on Alexis, but there definitely is more than enough talent in their squad now to effectively compete on all fronts.
A lot of stick was given to Claudio Bravo as he struggled to keep up with the demands of Premier League football and in Ederson, Pep has signed a talented goalkeeper who has many years ahead of him. With Vicent Kompany coming back too, Manchester City will have a solid defence to play upon and the likes of Walker and Mendy are excellent at running down the flanks to aid the already impressive attackers. It’ll be a defining season here for Guardiola, whether or not he finds success with City will have a major impact on his career. Will he be able to provide the trophy they’ve all yearned for, the Champions League?
Man United – raring for the title
Arch-rivals Manchester United endured a somewhat sub-standard Premier League campaign but ended it on a high with a Europa League trophy and more importantly, Champions League qualification. With that in mind, it became a no-brainer for top players to join the Red Devils, especially as the second season is one where Jose Mourinho has never failed to win the league. The squad was heavily strengthened with the signing of Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, a terrific striker with a knack for scoring goals in the Premier League. He will no doubt be helped by the revitalised Paul Pogba and midfield partner, Nemanja Matic who joins from Chelsea.
The Serbian played a pivotal role in Chelsea’s title win last season and is a welcome addition to a side who were longing for a replacement for the ageing Michael Carrick. As Victor Lindelof adds to the competition at the back, and Ibrahimovic returns to the attack, this is a squad more than capable of outperforming last season’s sixth-placed finish.
Chelsea – a window gone awry
Onto Chelsea and one of the most eventful windows of the season for them, for all the wrong reasons. Despite winning the league last year, Antonio Conte missed out on many signings that just didn’t go their way. In the striker department, Diego Costa was allowed to leave meaning a big-name replacement was surely coming. Lukaku was a major disappointment for Chelsea fans as they lost out to United but emotions were soon forgotten as Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata joined the Blues. The Spanish striker was joined alongside Antonio Rudiger, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Willy Caballero and deadline day signings, Danny Drinkwater and Davide Zappacosta.
Great signings nonetheless and will help Chelsea with their topsy-turvy start to the season. However missing out on Oxlade-Chamberlain, Fernando Llorente may have been a blow but to lose Ross Barkley after he had a medical at the club will pose some serious questions at Stamford Bridge. Why were players rejecting the club? Answers could be revealed soon as the pressure mounts on Conte’s head. Without European football last season, Chelsea flourished. How will they cope now they are back in the Champions League? Can they deliver?
Liverpool – a title challenge?
Speaking of the Ox, it was Arsenal’s former player who chose Merseyside as his ideal destination, having personally rejected moving to Chelsea. Many claimed it was Klopp’s promise of first-team football in his favoured central midfield position which swayed his decision but the question remains – will he play? A versatile player like that would do well in any squad and Liverpool fans will be hoping he can make the difference in the league.
Joining the Englishman was Chelsea’s Solanke and Mohamed Salah from Roma. The latter was a big success in Italy after failing to make the standard in the Premier League a couple of seasons ago. However, after improving his game, he looks the finished article and a man who will make the world of difference for Klopp. With the ongoing saga of Virgil van Dyke and Philippe Coutinho, will the Reds miss them anyway? Or will they find success with the additions to this talented squad?
As the price rises on transfer fees, this summer has seen some crazy price tags but made for an even more exciting climax. The Premier League has seen some real stars enter, and surprisingly move from rival to rival. Whoever comes out on top in the transfer window must surely believe they have what it takes to win the league. One thing’s for sure. This will be the most exciting Premier League campaign yet.