IN: Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen) £71m, Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) £50m, Timo Werner (RB Leipzig), Hakim Ziyech (Ajax) £33.3m, Edouard Mendy (Rennes) £22m, Thiago Silva (PSG) Free, Xavier Mbuyamba (Barcelona) Free, Malaang Saar (Nice) Free. Spend: £219.18m.
OUT: Pedro (AS Roma) Free, Willian (Arsenal) Free, Nathan (Athletico NG) £2.7m, Mchy Batshuayi (Crystal Palace) Loan, Conor Gallagher (West Brom) Lewis Baker (Trabzonspor) Loan, Davie Zappacosta (Genoa) Loan, Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Fulham) Loan, Ethan Ampadou (Sheffield United) Loan, Tiemoune Bakayoko (Napoli) Loan. Received: £2.7m.
Chelsea were the biggest spenders in the transfer window; accounting for around 16.5% of the total Premier League spend. Having not been able to strengthen last season due to the transfer embargo and having qualified for the Champions League, Chelsea were never going to have a struggle attracting players to London.
Have they addressed everything they needed to? I’m not sure. They spent a lot of attacking players with Kai Havertz commanding the highest fee paid by a Premier League club in this window. We are yet to see Hakim Ziyech play but Havertz has shown his talents already while the one I was looking forward too most; Timo Werner has had a slow start and is yet to find the net. I remain confident that once he gets his first competitive goal, he will kick on from there. They are definitely upgrades on what they had but Havertz and Ziyech are effectively replacing the departing experience of Willian and Pedro. Could they have avoided Willian leaving for another premier league rival though? Perhaps but it will be interesting to see how Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham, in particular, respond to the new competition for their spots in the team.
Frank Lampard though needed singings at the back. Ben Chilwell is an excellent addition and at centre-back, they brought in veteran defender Thiago Silva as well as promising youngsters Malaang Saar and Xavier Mbuyamba. Sarr has gone back out on loan along with the usual legion of Chelsea players shipped out temporarily while Mbuyamba may not play too much this season. There is no doubt from his record that Silva is a great player but at 36, there is certainly questions to be asked about whether he has the attributes to play in the Premier League at this part of his career. He certainly found out that he won’t have anywhere near as much time on the ball as he was used to in Lique 1 against West Brom.
This was a defence that despite finishing in the top 4, conceded 54 times. Criticism also came at the feet of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero played some of the final games of the season. The final addition was to provide competition for Arrizabalaga who started this season with a couple more mistakes; the most glaring one being against Liverpool. The competition comes in the form of Edouard Mendy from Rennes. Of course, the last goalkeeper they signed from Rennes had a legendry stint in West London; Petr Cech. Cech is thought to have had a big impact in making that deal possible and it seems he may well supplant the Spaniard.
The jury will still be out on the defensive additions made by Chelsea including Mendy but it cannot be denied that they made a huge leap in the transfer market. They improved their attacking options and should be able to grind results out of games last season they could not. It creates a lot of tough questions for Lampard in fitting everyone in but it is a nice problem to have and will be the next biggest challenge of his managerial career.
IN: Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid) £45m, Gabriel (Lille) £27m, Pablo Mori (Flamengo) £7.2m, Cedric Soares (Southampton) Free, Dani Cabellos (Real Madrid) Loan, Willian (Chelsea) Free. Spend: £81m
OUT: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa) £15.66m, Sam Greenwood (Leeds) £1.53m, Henrik Mikhataryan (AS Roma) Free, Mathew Dennis (Norwich) Free, Matteo Guendouzi (Hertha Berlin) Loan, Lucas Torreira (Atletico Madrid) Loan, Dinos Mavropanos (Stuttgart) Loan, Jordi Osei-Tutu (Cardiff City) Loan, Ben Sheaf (Coventry City) Loan. Received: £17.19m.
This summer was the first chance for Mikel Arteta to mould Arsenal further into his image and perhaps the best business of their summer was not an arrival. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang signing a contract extension was integral! He scored 22 goals last season and without those goals then who knows where Arsenal would have finished. They wouldn’t have won the FA Cup that’s for sure.
Mikel Arteta eventually got his stamp on the squad but had to wait until deadline day for it all to come together. The signing of Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid is a real statement of intent from Arsenal as was his shipping out Matteo Guendouzi who fell down the pecking order after they lost at Brighton and Lucas Torreira who just did not look like he fitted into Arteta’s plans; they both left on loan. Willian arriving on a free from Chelsea could be the bargain of the window as he gels with the attacking talent Arsenal already have.
After conceding 48 goals last season they also needed to make changes at the back. Gabriel came in from Lille and he made an impressive start scoring on his debut against Fulham despite only arriving a matter of days earlier. There is concern slightly if Bernd Leno were to get injured. Emiliano Martinez deputised well but was sold on with Arsenal seeking money and the player more first-team football. They brought in Icelandic International Runar Alex Runarsson for under £2m and he should be a capable understudy if called upon?
Have they done enough? They’ve made a step forward but have they done enough to break the top four? I don’t know. Partey is a big statement of intent from Arsenal but they had to trudge their feet along all the way through the summer. They chased him all summer, knew what his release fee was and only got it done in the closing minutes of the window. At least they got it done. It is a big fee definitely, especially when they are laying off non-playing staff.
IN: Diogo Jota (Wolves) £45m, Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich) £25m, Kostas Tsimikas (Olympiacos) £11.75m. Spend: £81.75m.
OUT: Rhian Brewster (Sheffield Utd) £23.5m, Dejan Lovren (Zenit St Petersburg) £10,9m, Ki-Jana Hoever (Wolves) £8.82m, Ovie Ejaria (Reading) £3.51m, Adam Lallana (Brighton) Free, Niall Brookwell (Liverpool) Free, Pedro Chirivella (Nantes) Free, Nathaniel Clyne (Crystal Palace) Free, Andy Lonergan (Released), Loris Karuis (FC Union Berlin) Loan, Mogan Boyes (Fleetwood Town) Loan, Tony Gallacher (Toronto) Loan, Kamil Grabara (Aarhus FC) Loan. Received: £46.73m
Just how do you improve on last season? That was the question facing Jurgen Klopp in this window. It is a difficult one to answer really because sometimes if it is not broken there is no need to change anything. That was what happened last summer as there were no first-team singings and Liverpool romped home to a first title in 30 years having mentally grown from the disappointment of twelve months prior. However, with you now being the one everyone wants to beat (Just ask Aston Villa fans how that feels) and having signed no first-team player in over a year, perhaps it was time to freshen things up.
Thiago Alcantara was a surprise move. I did not see where he fits into the current Liverpool team when he signed but in terms of ability, he is top drawer. Just look at the way Bayern broke down PSG in the Champions League final, he was central to that triumph and he will bring added quality to Liverpool. Then, there was Diogo Jota. He has had a fantastic time at Wolves but at present, he is not better than Salah or Mane. £45m is a lot of money for someone who is not going to be a week in week out starter.
However, the signing of Jota improves the quality of Liverpool’s attacking options. It was speculated but Divok Origi has not left. Instead, it was 20 years old Rhian Brewster who departed for Sheffield United. It is a big opportunity for the youngster, he will get more regular top-flight football than he otherwise would have gt at Anfield plus it is believed that Liverpool do have a buyback option over the next three years. If he develops as expected, they could sign him back rather easily. In effect, it could be a three-year loan.
Out of the other departures, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana; all players bought from Southampton left but their contributions to last season were minimal, Clyne was hampered by injuries and did not feature at all. The emergence if Nico Williams perhaps sealed it for the powers that be at Anfield while Lovren and Lallana did not contribute greatly to last seasons success. They did however strengthen at left-back. Andy Robertson was the only fit left-back last season so getting cover was a no-brainer. They wanted Jamal Lewis but settled on greek International Konstantinos Tsimikas from Olympiajos after Norwich demanded £20m. They believe he has what it takes to be than a back up to Robertson so for under £12m, that could yet prove to be a shrewd addition.
IN: Wesley Fofana (St Etienne) £33m, Timothy Castagne (Atlanta United) £25.1m, Cengiz Under (AS Roma) Loan. Spend: £54.5m.
OUT: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea) £50m, Fousseni Diabate (Trabzonspor) £1.42m, Rachid Ghezzal (Besiktas) Loan, Adrien Silva (Sampdoria) Loan, George Thomas (QPR) Free, Andy King (Released), Connor Barret (Burnley) Free, George Hirst (Rotherham) Loan, Darnell Johnson (Wigan) Loan. Received: £51.42m
After their slump in form following the return to action after lockdown cost them Champions League football, I am slightly surprised Leicester did not bring in one or two more faces than they actually did; perhaps an attacking to compete against Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho or a central midfielder.
The loss of Ben Chilwell was a big blow to the Foxes but £50m for an established England International is good money. What they needed to do with that money was adequately replace him and they did that with the singing of Belgian International Timothy Castagne for around half the fee they received. That is good business. Castagne was a big part of the Atalanta side that reached the Champions League Quarter Final and in his first few games has already had a big impact at the Foxes. The only concern I have is that he is not a direct replacement. While he can play o both sides of defence he is predominantly a right-back; something Leicester already had quality in that area. That said, he is versatility could be invaluable and the £21.5m may well worth it soon enough.
Leicester also sold Harry Maguire last summer for a staggering amount but did not replace him with a centre-back. That was something that needed addressing in 2020 and they eventually got there with the signing of Wesley Fofana. Leicester was one of several Premier League clubs including West Ham were looking at the 19-year-old so it is a big signing for Brendan Rodger’s side and one that he was excited about. Given St Etienne’s record in developing young centre-backs such as Kurt Zouma and Wiliam Saliba, he is tipped to be a big part of French football so being and under Rodger’s, at Leicester, he feels he may be able to realise that potential.
Rodgers was also able to bring in Turkish international Cengiz Under from Roma on loan. Having compatriot Coglar Soyuncu at Leicester could help him adapt to his surroundings. His singing provides Rodgers with a different type of attacking option on the wings and they do have an option to buy in that deal. He could be a good deal for them. The Foxes were able to move on some players who have not really featured in Rodger’s plans such as Rachid Ghezzal and Adrien Silva on loan. Given how they’ve recruited and they only lost ben Chilwell, it was an ok window for the Foxes.
IN: Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) £20m, Jamal Lewis (Norwich City) £14.85m, Rodrigo Vilca (Deportivo Municipal) £225k, Jeff Hendrick (Burnley) Free, Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth) Free, Mark Gillespie (Motherwell) Free, Niall Brookwell (Liverpool) Free. Spend: £35.075m.
OUT: Dan Barlaser (Rotherham) £248k, Jack Colback (Nottingham Forest) Free, Florian Lejuene (Deportivo Alaves) Loan, Yoshinori Muto (SD Eibar) Loan, Jake Turner (Morecombe) Loan, Tom Allan (Accrington Stanley) Loan, Kelland Watts ((Plymouth Argyle) Loan. Received: £248k.
What a year it has been for Newcastle fans (including myself). We had the takeover saga during the lockdown, the tantalising wait of the PIF takeover and potentially the end of Mike Ashley’s 13-year tenure on Tyensdie only for the fans to face a huge media storm over the human rights record of Saudi Arabia and ended with them to pull out in a dispute with the Premier League. It could still go to court, so who knows on that. That left a really disappointed fanbase and another transfer window under Ashley.
The incomings have been alright. Newcastle turned their focus to signing players with Premier League experience which makes a difference from the Newcastle of previous years. The policy of young talent under the age of 23 with a high sell-on value made way this summer for one of premier league experience. That was an impact that Steve Bruce has had on recruitment and in a season where there has not been a full proper pre-season that could be a big positive for Newcastle even though the football has not been pretty at times.
Goals were a major issue for Newcastle last season. They scored only 31 goals last season and Jonjo Shelvey was the club’s top scorer with 6. £40m man Joelinton only scored twice in the league and isn’t an out and out goal scorer so that type of player was needed. Calum Wilson was a decent choice and crucially they were able to fend off interest from Aston Villa for him. Bruce’s insistence on Premier League experience against a club that has not has been exonerated so far with Wilson hitting the ground running, scoring 4 in his first 4 appearances.
Other arrivals include Jamal Lewis is another promising singing. Liverpool were interested in the Northern Ireland full-back and pulled out when Norwich demanded £20m. He was a much-needed singing given Newcastle did not renew the loans of either Jetro Willems or Danny Rose. The fact Newcastle were ale to get him for less and not much more than what Liverpool spent on Tsimikas represents another good deal. Jeff Hendrick for a free from Burnley is a shrewd move. The midfielder will add some steal and workmanlike approach to a team that has does not tend to play possession football. He could be a good addition and then there is the creativity that Ryan Fraser brings.
Like Wilson, he also joined from Bournemouth. The Scottish winger was sought after by clubs like Arsenal last summer so Newcastle being able to get him for free is another good deal. The only issue with Fraser is his attitude. Fraser refused to play for Bournemouth after lockdown while they battled relegation, trying to keep himself fit for a big move. If Newcastle were to find themselves in a similar situation, would Fraser do it again? It’s not really a good attitude to have in the dressing room.
Newcastle were eventually able to move on some players they were hoping to move on this summer. Jack Colback eventually left at the end of his contract. Yoshinori Muto left on loan but disappointingly they were unable to move on the likes of Henri Saivet, Achraf lazaar and Rolando Aarons; the trio have only made five league appearances for the club between them since 2017. That is a huge disappointment for the club. I don’t quite understand why Newcastle let Florian Lejeune leave for Alaves on loan especially when at the time Federico Fernandez was the only fit centre-back. That move did not make sense to me but it seems Steve Bruce was happy with is options; provided he can keep them fit.
Given everything that has happened at Newcastle this year, it was a decent window and a much better one than expected when the takeover fell through.
IN: Nelson Semedo (Barcelona) £36.8m, Fabio Silva (FC Porto) £36m, Ki-Jana Hoever (Liverpool) £8.82m, Fernando Marcel (Lyon) £1.8m, Matija Sarkic (Aston Villa) free, Vitinho (FC Porto) Loan, Ryan Ait Nouri (SCO Angers) Loan. Spend: £83.42m
OUT: Diogo Jota (Liverpool) £45m, Helder Costa (Leeds) £16m, Matt Doherty (Spurs) £15.12m, Will Norris (Burnley) free, Jordan Graham (Gillingham) Free, Morgan Gibbs-White (Swansea) Loan, Ruben Vinagre (Olympiakos) Loan, Matija Sarkic (Shrewsbury) Loan, Ryan Giles (Coventry City) Loan, Leo Bonatini (Grasshopper) Loan, Renat Dhadoshov (Grasshopper) Loan, Conor Roan (Grasshopper) Loan, Ming-Yang Yang (Grasshopper) Loan. Received: £76.12m
Surprise surprise, Jorge Mendes has his impact shown at Wolves as they brought in three further Portuguese players to add to their Portuguese contingent to nine even though a few of the previous acquisitions departed.
Diogo Jota will be a big miss after leaving for Liverpool but that is a very good price for Wolves to sell at plus they also got full-back Ki-Jana Hoever in exchange. Hoever has potential and hopefully, he could get more game time at Wolves. That may have hit a bit of a snag with Wolves bringing in big-name full-back Nelson Semedo from Barcelona. If you’d have told Wolves fans they’d be signing a player of that calibre from Barcelona a few years ago they’d have taken your hand off. He can play both sides of defence so is a versatile and high-quality addition to the squad addition.
Semedo is arguably at a higher quality than the player he replaced: matt Doherty who went to Spurs. At around £15m, the price is a bit surprising. Doherty has been one of Wolves best players in the past couple of seasons since they came up, providing a goal threat from defence, a good crossing delivery of the ball and a high work ethic. I would have expected Doherty to command around £20m at least.
Upfront, they brought in Fabio Silva. The fee is high! At least £36m for an 18-year-old who has only scored 3 in 24 games is a bit high. Am I being harsh on the forward? Perhaps. He could develop into a high-quality player as expected but at that age, it is a big price tag and pressure to boot to have on your shoulders. I would imagine he would cover as a back-up to the talismanic Raul Jiminez who scored 23 goals last season. If he can step up and deliver when called upon to relieve Jiminez it could be a worthwhile deal.
He is also joined from Porto by midfielder Vitinho who could be an interesting addition to the squad alongside the likes of Ruben Neves and Joao Moitinho who has been indispensable to Wolves. The midfielder scored 9 from 29 appearances from midfield last season and there is also has an option to buy if he fits in well; a model of transfers that have worked well for Wolves in the past.
I am slightly surprised by the goings-on at left-back. They loaned out Ruben Vinagre but loaned in French left-back Ryan Ait-Nou. I don’t quite see the logic in that. They also could have done with bringing in a centre-back as you sometimes had Romain Saiss and Leander Dendoncker covering in the middle of defence often last season. However, it was an ok window for Wolves. They added some wider depth despite losing a key member of their squads in Doherty and Jota but it is the latter I fear they may not have replaced so well.