As the transfer window SLAMS shut, or…kind of just closes, there have been the yearly winners and losers of football’s favourite ‘throw money at anything that moves’ game.
Some have gone mad, spending millions upon millions, trying to squeeze out every last penny of value. Others haven’t done much at all, if anything. Oh…you think I’m kidding?
One team literally did nothing.
Here are our winners and losers for Thursday’s financial festivity of fun, with tonight signalling the start of the 2018/19 Premier League.
The biggest winner of transfer deadline day may well be Chelsea. Getting rid of problematic goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, the Stamford Bridge club have rid themselves of a petulant brat — sounds harsh but it’s true — who has disrespected the club for the last season.
Recouping £35m for a player in the last year of his contract is never bad business, and that has been used to find a younger replacement. Kepa Arrizabalaga is in from Athletic Bilbao, and while they likely overpaid for him, the 23-year-old has room to grow and become a long term hero in SW6.
Also bringing in Mateo Kovacic on a loan deal from Real Madrid, the Blues had added some real midfield steel. The combative player also has a great ability in variation of pass, and was a stand out in Croatia’s fantastic World Cup campaign.
The current plan to keep hold of Willian and Eden Hazard looks good also, and while the other European leagues have longer to conduct their business, Chelsea now have no need to sell.
Making big moves late were Fulham, who added more special players to their already growing set of stars. Whenever a club comes up from the Championship it is vital to invest if they want to stay around. Fulham have done that in spades.
Signing Marseille midfielder Andre-Frank Aguissa for the bulky fee of £30m, the Cottagers have found a physical midfielder to team up with captain Tom Cairney and new signing Jean Michael Seri. Fulham aren’t messing around, and will look to challenge for the top half.
Loan deals have skyrocketed the club into a great positon. Timothy Fosu-Mensah from Manchester United adds fresh youthfulness in the back line, and Atletico Madrid forward Luciano Vietto also comes in to add some much needed firepower.
Not to forget the signing of talented Sevilla keeper Sergio Rico, and then £6m full back Joe Bryan from Bristol City right at the deadline. Basically, Fulham went out and bought the whole cow. An amazing day for manager Slavisa Jokanovic.
Another big player was Everton. Having already signed Richarlison and Lucas Digne, the Toffees had attacked two problem areas. However, to really put his stamp on the club Marco Silva has made the double signing of Barcelona boys Andre Gomes and Yerry Mina.
Both come in with international pedigree, and add strength in depth to a squad of talents. Gomes is on a loan with option to buy, and Mina for a reported figure of €30m plus potential add ons if contract clauses are met.
Another great signing is the free transfer of Brazilian Bernard. Leaving Shakhtar Donetsk after contract expiry, the wiry winger was rumoured to be garnering interest from AC Milan. It seems Everton have beaten them to the punch, and brought in another skilful playmaker.
A deal for Kurt Zouma was then completed and announced on Friday, after special permission was given. A very tidy window for the Goodison Park club.
4. West Ham
An absolutely monster transfer window has been finished with the icing on top of the cake for West Ham. David Gold and David Sullivan have done absolutely everything to make their new manager happy, and can now be confident in making a charge for European places.
Signing Lucas Perez from Arsenal for a mere £5m looks like an utter steal. Never given a fair crack of the whip with the Gunners, the Spanish forward was lethal with Deportivo and is a proven goal scorer.
Add to that the late boost of Carlos Sanchez from Fiorentina and the Hammers have had a great day. The Colombian international comes in as Manuel Pellegrini’s tenth capture of the summer, and replaces the outgoing Cheikhou Kouyate.
Now to the losers.
Tottenham fans stayed patient. They waited…and waited…and waited. Then suddenly it was August 9th and absolutely nothing had happened at their club. Spurs have become the first Premier League club not make one signing in the summer window since its introduction in 2003.
Names like Anthony Martial, Christian Pulisic, and even Jack Grealish from Aston Villa were mentioned, but to no avail. With Son Heung-min at the Asian Games this month, Tottenham will have to rely on either Erik Lamela or Lucas to do the business for them in wide roles.
To put everything in perspective, if Harry Kane gets injured then their striker is Fernando Llorente. I would write more, but I kind of can’t. I mean…they signed nobody.
6. Manchester United
Manchester United fans wanted Toby Alderweireld, Diego Godin or Harry Maguire. Man Utd fans wanted…Kurt Zouma? I mean they’d probably take him over nothing. Which is what they got.
No additions yesterday leaves Jose Mourinho’s side in a perilous place. Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City have all strengthened massively, and Man Utd’s headline signing of the window was Fred. Not that Fred’s a bad player, it’s just if you can’t get in front of Paulinho to play for Brazil, are you really that good?
Now the Red Devils will have to work within their means. Still having a great squad, they could mount a charge for the Premier League title, although I doubt you’d find many who would favour them over their city rivals.
Depth could be an issue, and with the club challenging on four fronts, Mourinho will have to work some third season magic. It’s been something the polarising Portuguese manager has had real trouble with previously, and his board haven’t exactly given him many tools to change it this time around.
It’s not been a great window for Rafa Benitez, as in fighting with Newcastle’s board has derailed many a potential deal. Not given adequate funding from owner Mike Ashley, the relationship between the two looks to be turning sour.
A move for Liverpool centre back Ragnar Klavan was denied by the hierarchy, angering their man in charge. Benitez will now be given Swansea’s Federico Fernandez, a transfer he never pushed for and will have to try and shoehorn into the squad.
Worst of all a work permit for Barcelona fullback Marlon Santos was rejected, leaving the club looking for a monster season from United States international DeAndre Yedlin. Fans are seething and protests to remove Ashley will likely begin before Saturday’s match against Spurs. It’s fair to say that all is not well on Tyneside.