The English transfer window ends today, and while Premier League clubs can still sell players outside England, they can’t buy. So how did the Premier League top-six fare in the window?
The Premier League top-six are finished with their businesses in this transfer window, with every club bar Tottenham making major reinforcements into the squad. While Manchester City made only one major signing, Unai Emery oversaw a squad overhaul at Arsenal.
TheSportsRush looks in detail at how the Top-6 clubs have performed in the transfer window.
In – Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City), Philippe Sandler (PEC Zwolle), Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City)
Out – Joe Hart (Burnley), Yaya Toure (Free agent), Anguss Gunn (Southampton)
The defending champions completed the only major deal of the summer early in the transfer window. Manchester City signed Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City for a club record fee, which remains to be the only big-money signing for the club.
Manchester City’s core before Pep Guardiola had been Sergio Aguero, Joe Hart, Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany. But under the Spanish manager, the champions have invested a staggering amount in the acquisition of young talents. Even when Aguero and Kompany remain a big part of Manchester City squad, the team’s core is still relatively young as Pep Guardiola’s astute decision-making is complemented impressively by Sheikh Mansour’s purchasing power.
With the arrival of Riyad Mahrez in the squad, Manchester City gain more firepower in an attack which boasts of terrific pace in the likes of Sane and Sterling.
In – Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk), Diogo Dalot (FC Porto), Lee Grant (Stoke City)
Out – Daley Blind (Ajax), Sam Johnstone (West Brom), Michael Carrick (Retired)
The air around the Old Trafford has been fairly negative and fans are overtly critical of the board’s inability to bring reinforcements to the squad. Manchester United’s manager, Jose Mourinho shares the fans’ annoyance, and often subtly attacked the board for the lack of signings.
Manchester United have signed Brazilian midfielder Fred, who looks to be the only player to be drafted straight into the first team squad. Lee Grant is signed as a back-up goalkeeper, while Diogo Dalot is only 17.
United finished the 2017/18 season on second position with a fairly decent 81 points. It may look worse when their neighbours come into equation, but there has been a significant difference between United and the other Premier League clubs as well. The Old Trafford club may have failed to boost their central defence, but still boast of quality in midfield and attack.
Ins – Nil
Outs – Nil
Tottenham have invested £850m on the construction of their new stadium, out of which around £400m is on bank loan. Mauricio Pochettino’s side knew well enough that the club had to sell players to raise fund for new signings. Being a side competing for Champions League spots every season, this is a difficult position to be at for Tottenham.
Throughout the years, Tottenham have made enough business in the transfer market to maintain a strong first team squad. However, the lack of depth in the squad continued to haunt them, and it is unlikely to change this season.
Tottenham, however, can have some respite from the fact that Harry Kane and Son signed a new contract with the club, and so did their manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Ins – Fabinho (Monaco), Naby Keita (RB Leipzig), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City), Allison (Roma)
Outs – Danny Ward (Leicester City), Emre Can (Juventus), Jon Flanagan (Rangers FC), Jordan Williams (Rochdale AFC)
The Merseyside club have had their best transfer window in years. Despite missing out on Nabil Fekir, Liverpool made four quality signings. While a deal for Naby Keita had already been agreed before the transfer season began, Liverpool bought Fabinho to strengthen their defensive midfield.
After a round of rotation for no.1 spot between Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius last season, both of whom suffered with lack of consistency, Liverpool finally made a statement with the signing of Brazilian goalkeeper Allison.
The team, however, struggled with lacklustre performances in defence which costed them crucial points in the previous Premier League campaign. The arrival of Virgil van Dyk has definitely provided solidity to Liverpool’s defence, but Klopp decided to persist with the centre-back pairing of him and Dejan Lovren, who has been rather infamous for his errors.
Liverpool has made the most of the transfer window, though, and they look strong as the new season lines up.
Ins – Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao), Jorginho (Napoli), Mateo Kovacic (on loan from Real Madrid), Robert Green (Huddersfield)
Outs – Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)
The London club faced a disappointing end to the 2017/18 campaign as Chelsea missed out on the Champions League spot. As a result, the club parted ways with Antonio Conte and appointed Maurizio Sarri as the new manager. While Chelsea started the transfer window impressively with the signing of Jorginho, most of their window had been uninspiring until the final week before the deadline.
While their first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois left for Real Madrid, Chelsea acted swiftly in replacing him with another top goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga in a world record transfer for a goalkeeper. Chelsea also signed Kovacic on loan in the Courtois deal.
With Kante and Jorginho already in the midfield, the arrival of Kovacic will strengthen Chelsea further. Their major worry, however, remains to be the forward position. Their Spanish striker, Alvaro Morata didn’t show any positive sign in the last week’s Community Shield, where Chelsea lost 0-2 to Manchester City.
If Chelsea are able to keep Eden Hazard, it would be a huge boost to their title challenge. The lack of a second striker, especially after the void left by Diego Costa, may continue to haunt Maurizio Sarri as he looks into his first season at Stamford Bridge.
Ins – Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Borussia Dortmund), Matteo Guendouzi (Lorient), Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria)
Outs – Jack Wilshere (West Ham United), Santi Cazorla (free agent), Per Mertesacker (retired), Lucas Perez (West Ham United), Calum Chambers (on loan to Fulham)
Arsenal underwent a squad overhaul under their new head-coach Unai Emery. The Gunners brought reinforcements in the area where they lacked quality, especially in the midfield. There could’ve been a possible arrival in the central defence, but their Spanish head coach can look back at the transfer window as a successful one.
Unai Emery, who previously managed Paris Saint Germain, may have persisted with a 4-3-3 at the French club, but at Arsenal, he might adopt a different approach to the game. At PSG, he had three world class attacking talents which made it obvious to use the frontline-three.
Arsenal, however, is not the strongest of Premier League sides. A 4-2-3-1 is a viable option for Emery at Arsenal, as it allows for the utilisation of his most able players in the squad. Hence, we might also see Arsenal winning more games on tactical merit than the Arsenal we saw for so many years under Arsene Wenger.