The summer transfer window has now closed shut in Europe. While Premier League clubs can still make deals with teams in the lower domestic leagues, the big deals involving the big teams and the big players are essentially finished.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier League clubs still spent over a billion pounds worth of transfers during the window as major business was still being done up until the deadline.
Both Merseyside clubs have seemingly made out well with their moves, while the results for other big clubs were mixed.
Read on below as SBOTOP lists down the Premier League’s big winners and losers of the summer transfer window.
Through four games, it’s clear just how big an impact Everton’s new signings have made on the team. James Rodriguez has been every bit the Galactico Everton expected to get when Carlo Ancelotti successfully lured him to Goodison Park from Real Madrid. The Colombian has already produced three goals and two assists through his first four games.
Meanwhile, the additions of Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure have helped solidify what was a flimsy Everton midfield.
Granted, signing those three players are clearly win-now moves as all three are now in their late 20s. But Ancelotti is slowly but surely starting to deliver those wins as Everton suddenly look like a potential top-four contender this season.
Loser: Manchester United
Yes, Manchester United finally got manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer some new players in veteran striker Edinson Cavani on a free transfer, as well as left-back Alex Telles, on deadline day. They join midfielder Donny van de Beek, their other major summer signing, who could prove to be a fine addition to the squad.
However, the Cavani signing looked more like a panic move after they wasted most of the summer haggling over Jadon Sancho, whom they ultimately didn’t get.
And after they tried to lowball Dortmund for Sancho, they suddenly spent nearly €40m on two 18-year-old wingers in Amad Traore and Facundo Pellistri, who just happen to play the same position as Sancho.
United’s current problems won’t be solved just by signing new players. But it’s nevertheless concerning that they remain so incompetently run in terms of transfers.
Liverpool may have missed out on long-term target Timo Werner, but they still came out of the transfer window with exactly what they needed.
They sealed the deal on Thiago Alcantara, who figures to provide another dimension to their midfield. They also added Diogo Jota from Wolves, who is the perfect signing in that he is good enough to fill in for any of the starting front three right now and young enough that he should be part of Liverpool’s future.
Liverpool just continue to make smart moves in the transfer market, and their two new additions have significantly boosted their Premier League 2020 odds to defend their title.
Loser: Wolverhampton Wanderers
Meanwhile, Wolves effectively replaced Jota with 18-year-old Fabio Silva, who infamously had just one goal in 12 senior appearances for Porto yet still cost a staggering €40m.
They also just swapped Matt Doherty with Nelson Semedo at right-back and didn’t add any depth to an already thin squad.
Wolves are betting heavily on the young Portuguese trio of Silva, Pedro Neto, and Daniel Podence to break out this season. If not, they face the possibility of being out of contention for a European place this year.
Winner: Aston Villa
Villa were widely panned for their over-the-top spending during last summer’s transfer window, which didn’t prevent them from being in a relegation scrap. But they have done much better work this time around.
They upgraded at goalkeeper by getting Emi Martinez from Arsenal. Meanwhile, Ollie Watkins and Ross Barkley (signed on loan from Chelsea) both showed their worth in their stunning 7-2 victory over champions Liverpool.
It’s unlikely Villa will keep up their impressive record for much longer, but with their shrewd summer acquisitions, avoiding another relegation battle is now a distinct possibility.
Loser: Mesut Ozil/Arsenal
It’s hard to feel sorry for a man who gets paid so much money essentially to do nothing, but spare a thought for Mesut Ozil. While James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale are finally free to play football again after leaving Real Madrid, the 31-year-old Arsenal man remains trapped in limbo in London. Even fellow Gunners pariah Matteo Guendouzi has made it out after going on loan to Hertha Berlin.
Arsenal have been missing a creative midfielder like Ozil for some time now. That’s why they should be considered as a bit of a transfer window loser after they missed out on their top target, Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar, who would’ve provided that playmaking ability.
Instead, they ended up paying €50m for Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey on deadline day, with Lucas Torreira going the other way on loan. That seems like a steep price to pay for a 27-year-old who was never a regular starter during his time in Spain.
Winner: Tottenham Hotspur
Daniel Levy brought out the chequebook for Jose Mourinho to go shopping this summer, and they’ve done some sound business with it.
Spurs added two new full-backs in Doherty and Sergio Reguilon, which should strengthen arguably their big weakness last season. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has added some solidity in midfield, while Gareth Bale is the wild card who is at worst added depth in the attacking positions and at best a James Rodriguez-esque world-class game-changer if he’s fit.
With his squad finally taking shape, Mourinho now has the tools he needs to take Spurs back to Champions League contention.
Sean Dyche was already complaining about his squad depth (or lack thereof) last season, and Burnley’s board have responded by adding 31-year-old midfielder Dale Stephens from Brighton. That’s it.
Dyche has done wonders keeping Burnley up for the past few seasons despite the apparent limitations to his squad. But the Clarets’ Premier League 2020 results this season have been poor with three losses out of three, and with essentially no investment in the squad, Dyche will have his work cut out for him again.
To Be Determined: Chelsea and Manchester City
Chelsea and Manchester City were the biggest spenders in all of Europe this summer as they threw around huge sums of money once again.
Chelsea bought two of the most exciting young players in the world in Werner and Kai Havertz, as well as Hakim Ziyech, despite already having quite a good set of attackers last season. They also added a new keeper in Edouard Mendy, left-back Ben Chilwell, and veteran centre-back Thiago Silva.
Meanwhile, City spent over £100m on two centre-backs, Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias, as they continue to find a solution to their defensive woes. They also added Ferran Torres to replace Leroy Sane.
Most, if not all of those moves look good on paper, but judging either club as a winner or loser right away is complicated by the two managers.
Frank Lampard, who is still relatively untested as a top-flight manager, has yet to find his ideal starting XI early on and it remains to be seen if he’s truly capable of leading such a talented side. And his City counterpart Guardiola has had a spotty record when it comes to getting big-money defenders to succeed (see: Stones, John).
So while Chelsea and City have thrown huge sums of money in their squads this summer, it’ll ultimately come down to their respective managers as to whether those signings will prove successful or not.
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