Premier League 2020 Summer Transfer Window Ratings

Southampton

IN: Kyle Walker-Peters (Spurs) £12m, Ibrahima Diallo (Brest) £12m, Muhammed Salisu (real Vallodolid) £10.8m, Theo Walcott (Everton) Loan. Spend: £34.8m.

OUT:
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Spurs) £14.94m, Harrison Reed (Fulham) £6m, Christoph Klarer (Fortuna Dusseldorf) £360k, Maya Yoshida (Sampdoria) Free, Guido Carillo (Elche) Free, Sofiane Boufel (SCO Angers) Free, Mohamed Elyonoussi (Celtic) Loan, Mario Lemina (Fulham) Loan, Wesley Hoedt (Lazio) Loan. Received: £21.3m.

A fairly quiet transfer window for Southampton where the bigger story before deadline day was the departure of captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. The Danish midfielder had made no secret of wanting to play for a higher profile club and did not play after the restart. He may have got that with Spurs but it is win-win for both parties as Ralph Hassenhuttl will not have wanted someone in his squad who did not want to be there. Southampton were able to make Kyle Walker-Peters loan deal permanent. He had done fairly well in his loan spell in the second half of last season and it might work out for the full-back getting consistent first-team football.

Muhammed Sails from Real Vallodolid could become a shrewd addition but not much is known about him but he was hailed as an ‘important’ signing by Ralph Hassenhuttl. The left-sided centre-back had his breakthrough in Spain last season He provides much-needed competition to Jannik Vestergaard and Jan Bednarak, especially after long-time servant Maya Yoshida, departed at the end of his contract. Once settled, he could have a bright future in the Premier League. French U21 international Ibrahima Diallo was the eventual replacement to Hojbjerg but again he was praised as an important signing by Hassenhuttl. Under his guidance, I feel both players could be a success on the south coast.

French U21 International Ibrahima Diallo replaced Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg at Southampton. [Image from The Premier League].

Deadline day saw the headline move of bringing Theo Walcott ‘home’ albeit on loan after he left the club in 2006. He wasn’t big in Ancelotti’s plans and it is one of those fairy tale signings. Walcott does have a point to prove and it could work out well for them. Also interesting was that Southampton were able to move on outcast Guido Carillo who has only played 7 games in 2 years since joining for £17m in January 2018 and Sofiane Boufel (another record signing). They didn’t receive a transfer fee but crucially got the deadwood off the books. I think Hassenhuttl and Southampton fans will be silently content with their transfer window.

Rating: 6.5

Crystal Palace

IN: Ezerechi Eze (QPR) £20m, Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea) Loan, Nathan Ferguson (West Brom) Free, Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool) Free, Jake Giddings (West Ham) Free. Spend: £20m.

OUT: Stephen Henderson (Released), Ryan Innis (Released), Jason Lokilo (Doncaster Rovers) Loan, Daniel Tupper (Havant & Waterlooville) Free, Klan Flannagan (Released). Received: £0.

A fairly quiet window but by no means a disaster from Crystal Palace. After a lot of speculation surrounding him last summer about a potential move to Arsenal, there was none of that surrounding their talisman; Wilfreid Zaha. Keeping hold of the winger is key to the way Palace like to play; on the counter-attack.

Crystal Palace spent £20m on exciting attacking midfielder Ezerechi Eze. [Image from Crystal Palace].

In fitting with that style, they brought in another exciting attacking midfielder in the shape of Ezerechi Eze from QPR. For £20m, they got one of the most influential players in the Championship last season scoring 14 in all competitions for QPR. Goals were an issue for Palace last season. They scored 31 goals last season; the least of any team to stay up and never scored more than twice in a single game. To address that, they brought in Michy Batshuayi on loan for a second spell. The Belgian scored 5 in 11 appearances in his last spell at Selhurst Park and hopefully, for Roy Hodgson, he will add a more clinical edge to his side. Although, the fact they sold on Alexander Sorlorth to RB Leipzig instead of giving him another chance despite scoring 33 times on loan at Trabznspor indicates it was not enough to get into Hodgson’s plans.

Hodgson did not lose any of his first-team players and added to his core group so it can be considered a decent window for the eagles.

Rating: 6.5

Fulham

IN: Anthony Knockaert (Brighton) £10,53m, Harrison reed (Southampton) £6m, Kenny Tete (PSG) £3m, Antonee Robinson (Wigan) £2m, Tosin Adarabioyo (Manchester City) £1.49m, Alphonso Areola (PSG) Loan, Mario Lemina (Southampton) Loan, Ola Aina (Torino) Loan, Ademola Lookman (RB Leipzig) Loan, Joachim Anderson (Lyon) Loan, Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea) Loan. Spend: £23.02m.

OUT:
Cody Dremah (Leeds) £400k, Luca de la Torre (Heracles) Free, Nicholas Santos Clase (Racing Santander) Free, Magnus Norman (Carlisle) Free, Alfie Mawson (Bristol City) Loan, Steven Sessegnon (Bristol City) Loan, Marcus Bettinelli (Middlesbrough) Loan. Received: £400k.

The transfer window was always going to be difficult for the club that got promoted via the play-offs with a so much shorter turnaround time than the other clubs before the season started. That was the situation faced by Fulham and it made the summer transfer window more narrow. When almost half of all clubs coming up via the play-offs don’t stay up it made their job all the harder.

When they came up two seasons ago, they spent over £100m in an attempt to stay up but failed spectacularly as the club had no stability in terms of management and the players just did not gel. The recruitment in terms of money has been more sensible and with Scott Parker being rewarded with a three-year contract before the start of the season, instability with the manager’s job should not be an issue.

The transfer business that they did do; I think it’s a mixed bag. Tying Anthony Knockaert and Harrison Reed down on permanent deals after their loan spells last season is a no-brainer and offers some continuity coming into this season. They definitely needed an upgrade in the goalkeeper department. It is harsh on Marek Rodak and Marcus Betinelli who went out on loan as they got them up but after seeing Rodak performance on the opening day against Arsenal, I don’t think either are good enough if Fulham are to stay up. Alphonso Areola is a big improvement and even though he’s come in on loan, he wouldn’t have gone to Fulham if he isn’t going to get game time. I’m excited to see how Kenny Tete will fare in English football but why they brought in two right-backs I don’t know and the same for defensive midfielders.

Just how much impact could Ruben Loftus-Cheek make at Fulham? [Image from The Sun].

As well as Reed, Mario Lemina came in so it is good that Parker has some options. Connecting defence and attack is something Parker needed to address to which explains why they went for Ruben Loftus-Cheek. After missing most of last season with an injury, it is a risk for Fulham but if he can stay fit and play it could be a real coup for the Cottagers.

Then, there is the defence. The defence was a big cause of concern when Fulham when they were last up in the Premier League and appears to be the case this season as well. It is such a concern that co-owner Tony Khan tweeted they will be investing there before deadline day. They did do that bringing in Danish international Joachim Anderson from Lyon on loan and Tosin Adarabario. He hasn’t had a chance in the top flight being loaned out several times by Man City so I will be interested to see him get his top-flight chance. On that basis, the window did not entirely go to plan for Fulham and then there is also the question of Jean Michel Seri. What do they do with him? He didn’t play in the Championship and has only played in the Carabao Cup this season. Is he in Parkers plans?

Fulham have spent smarter this time, they haven’t gone for broke splashing out big fees but even with Ruben Loftus Cheek, I don’t think they’ve brought enough in to keep them up.

Rating: 6

Brighton & Hove Albion

IN: Adam Lallana (Liverpool) Free, Joel Veltman (Ajax) £900k, Andi Zeqiri (Laussane-Sport) £3.6m, Michal Karownik (Legia Warsaw) £4.95m, Jakob Moder (Lech Poznan) £9.9m. Spend: £22.185m.

OUT:
Anthony Knockaert (Fulham) £10.53m, Aaron Mooy (Shanghai SIPG) £4.05m, David Button (West Brom) £990K, Martin Montoya (Real Betis) Free, Shane Duffy (Celtic) Loan, Glenn Murray (Watford) Loan, Michal Karownik (Legia Warsaw) Loan, Jakob Moder (Lech Poznan) Loan. Received: £16.605m.

In his second summer in charge of Brighton, Graham Potter is still working towards bringing about his own philosophy to the Seagulls. You can see that in how they have operated in the transfer window. The old guard has been moved on, Glenn Murray; their talismanic striker in their first two seasons in the Premier League barely featured last season and has been moved out on loan while Shane Duffy, Lewis Dunk’s once key partner at centre-back has gone to Celtic and Anthony Knockaert made his loan move to Fulham permanent. In their place have been a much younger, more versatile and passing style of player.

Despite bringing in a joint league-high of 11 new players, Brighton went about their business relatively quietly. Of those 11, only two were above the age of 21. Adam Lallana coming in from Liverpool will be an invaluable addition. He brings a wealth of experience and so does Joel Veltman, brought in from Ajax for under £1m. Veltman is a versatile defender and will be a valuable asset to Brighton.

Adam Lallana could be a big coup for Brighton. [Image from Brighton & Hove Albion].

With the majority of their singings, it is clear Brighton under Graham Potter are working on a model of developing young players and building for the future. The only surprise is that their biggest transfer outlay came on transfer deadline day, only for the two players (Michal Karownik and Jakob Moder returning to their respective clubs on loan.

Brighton only scored 39 goals last season. Neal Maupay came in last season and did well scoring 10 goals in his first Premier League season. With Murray departing, they are left only with Aaron Connolly and Alireza Jahanbakhsh as back-up. They did bring in Andi Zeqiri for £3.6m but with his lack of top-flight experience in Switzerland, it would be a big gamble to throw him in at the deep end. I don’t think they have enough upfront in the event Maupay struggles with injury or has a dip in form but on the whole, Brighton have done ok in the window.

Rating: 6

Sheffield United

IN: Rhian Brewster (Liverpool) £23.5m, Aaron Ramsdale (Bournemouth) £18.5m, Jayden Bogle (Derby County) £3.47m, Max Lowe (Derby County) £3.47m, Ismaila Coulibaly (Saprsbrg 08) £1.8m, Oliver Burke (West Brom) Undisclosed, Ethan Ampadou (Chelsea) Loan. Spend: £50.74m.

OUT:
Callum Robinson (West Brom) Undisclosed, Leon Clarke (Shrewsbury) Free, Jake Young (Frest Green Rovers) Free, Luke Freeman (Nottingham Forest) Loan, Regan Slater (Hull City) Loan, Marcus Dewhurst (Carlisle) Loan. Received: £0.

After a really strong first season back in the Premier League, this was a crucial window for Sheffield United. The Blades were in the European picture before finishing 9th, still an impressive feat for a team that did not have much top-flight experience. It is a testament to Chris Wilder as a manager and the group of players as a collective they achieved what they did but have they strengthened enough?

Goals were an issue for the Blades last season despite their position. They scored 39 league goals last season; only four scored less. Ollie McBurnie and Lys Mousset scored 6 goals each so it was clear they needed a more prolific forward. They brought in Rhian Brewster from Liverpool after a decent season on loan in the Championship with Swansea. Still, he scored 11 in 25 and he clearly has potential but it is a big gamble for Sheffield United and a big fee for someone with little top-flight experience. It is a big step up for Brewster and a big chance for him to prove himself in the top flight as he was not going to get much game time at Anfield. If it pays off and Brewster excels then they are at the mercy of Liverpool activating their buy-back clause within the next three years.

The other obvious piece of business was bringing Dean Henderson back on loan if possible. Henderson was a big part of their success but Man United opted to retain him meaning Wilder needed to find a replacement. In comes Aaron Ramsdale who despite conceding 67 goals for a relegated Bournemouth side last season is a more than capable replacement. Ramsdale was actually ahead of Henderson in their England U21 days. He is a big signing for the Blades.

Aaron Ramsdale returns to Sheffield United to replace Dean Henderson. [Image from The Premier League].

Defensively, Sheffield United also brought in reinforcements in both full-back positions with Jayden Bogyle and Max Lowe coming from Derby County. When he signed the pair, Wilder said, ‘The Championship has been a great recruitment area for us and I wanted to bring some players I who will provide competition for places’. That is what he now has, completion for the likes of Enda Stevens and George Baldock. He has options and he can be happy with that and if they have the same work ethic as the rest of the group it should be good enough for the Blades. The other defensive signing is Ethan Ampadou who spent last season out on loan at RB Leipzig. It did not quite go well for the promising Welsh defender so this is a big chance for him but with the deadline day move for Terence Kongolo falling through, they may not have enough at the back.

Wilder hasn’t brought in much top-flight experience to add to the group that largely consisted of Championship level players when he brought them up. They did well last season and made a few surprises. I think they have the togetherness in the group to be safe but survival will not be as clear-cut as last season. After all, teams do tend to be figured out in their second season.

Rating: 6

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