West Bromwich Albion
IN: Grady Diangana (West Ham) £12.15m, Matheus Pereira (Sporting Lisbon) £8.19m, Cedric Kipre (Wigan) £990k, David Button (Brighton) £990k, Callum Robinson (Sheffield United) Undisclosed, Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St Petersburg) Free, Filip Krovonovic (Benfica) Loan, Conor Gallagher (Chelsea) Loan. Spend: £22.32m.
OUT: Jonothan Leko (Birmingham City) £990k, Oliver Burke (Sheffield United) Undisclosed, Nathan Ferguson (Crystal Palace) Free, Chris Brunt (Bristol City) Free, Kane Wilson (Forest Green Rovers) Free, Fin Azaz (Cheltenham Town) Loan, Josh Griffiths (Cheltenham Town) Loan, Rayhaan Tulloch (Doncaster Rovers) Loan, Nick-Clayton Phillips (Solihull Moors) Loan. Received: £990k.
West Brom were once a big yo-yo club being promoted and then relegated for much of the 2000s. Judging by their transfer business, they may well be heading in that direction again. Their business has not been particularly eye-catching in terms of bringing quality in nor the amounts spent. They’re perhaps being sensible with spending, not spending too much and facing financial difficulty if they go back down. That said, the money they did spend was mostly on players that had been on loan last season (Grady Dianagana, Matheus Pereira). In effect, Slaven Bilic has mostly consolidated what they already had.
It was key for their chances of staying up to keep someone like Pereira. The attacking midfielder was integral to West Brom last season contributing towards 28 goals. They needed to secure him permanently and they did. Hey also brought attacking midfielder Filip Krovnovic on loan again and given the impact Grady Diangana’d departure had at West Ham, that was a very good signing for West Brom. They have a youngster on their hands who could develop into a quality player in future.
They added to the defence in bringing in veteran defender Branislav Ivanovic. The two-time Premier League winner is hoped will be able to help shore up a leaky defence that conceded 45 times in the Championship last season and 13 times already this season. Cedric Kipre showed some promise in the Championship last season with Wigan so could be a good player for the Baggies. Have they added enough Premier League quality? I don’t think so. I don’t think they have added enough quality and mostly they’ve stood still. If they do go down as I think they will though, they will be in a position feel where they have a squad not quite good enough for the Premier League but too good for the Championship.
IN: Donny Van de Beek (Ajax) £39m, Amad Diallo (Atalanta) £37.2m, Alex Telles (Porto) £15.4m, Facundo Pellestri (Penarol) £7.65m, Edison Cavani (PSG) Loan, Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua) Loan. Spend: £99.25m.
OUT: Chris Smalling (AS Roma) £18m, Alexis Sanchez (Inter Milan) Free, Angel Gomes (Lille), Cameron Borthwick Jackson (Oldham) Free, Loan, Tahith Chong (Werder Bremen) Loan, Andreas Peirera (Lazio) Loan, Joel Pereira (Huddersfield) Loan. Received: £18m.
What is there to say about Man United? Not good enough. You had a player (Luke Shaw) comment that they thought there would be more players coming in. That was before their 6-1 humbling by Spurs but at that point, Donny Van de Beek had been their only summer arrival.
So much of the summer window for them focused around the pursuit of Jadon Sancho. If you state your intention to have a certain player as your number one target then you have to get that number one target. Man United did not. They made several high profile enquiries, Borussia Dortmund told them a deadline and price, they did not meet it and then bid less than that as the window came to an end. Red-faced, they then moved on to other targets. They enquired about Watford’s Ismaila Sarr on loan but did not go for it and instead settled on two wingers: Amad Diallo from Atalanta who for such a heft fee has only really broken into the Atalanta team this year and cannot join Man United until January and Facundo Pellestri from Penarol.
I don’t think many people in English football will know much about Pellestri but the Uruguayan has had a decent run of form in 2020 breaking into the Penarol team. It has bee a big year for him and I personally will be surprised if he goes straight into the first team in Manchester. Edison Cavani. He will bring a wealth of experience up front and could be a good mentor or father figure to the likes of Rashofrd, Martial and Mason Greenwood. It is a risk on the pitch. Cavani is a quality player, there is no doubt of that but he is 33, will he be able to cut it in the Premier League especially after not playing a game since March.
That brings up the whole recruitment process at Man United. They brought in some options in areas I wasn’t convinced they needed it. Did they need Cavani? There were four additions on deadline day and you can’t help but wonder how much of this was panic buying but the recruitment as a whole does not seem joined up.
Donny Van de Beek is a quality player and was a key part of the Ajax squad that reached the Champions League semi-final in 2018/19 alongside the likes of Frankie De Jong. The thing is, do Man United really need him? Where does he fit in alongside the likes of Paul Pogba (who surprisingly stayed and no noise this window) and Bruno Fernandes? He has barely featured so far. I think Alex Telles will be an exciting addition for Man United but in defence, I think they needed a centre-back to help partner Harry Maguire. Instead, they sold Chris Smalling (who had fallen out of favour) and are still looking to offload the likes of Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones. Had they sold all three perhaps they may have done.
However, the problem does lie in recruitment at Man United. It does not seem joined up and has not been for a long while. There has been criticism of Ed Woodward with David Moyes struggling for bodies, Jose Mourinho had his issues and nothing has changed this summer. Being left scrambling around for singings on deadline day having not got their targets is not a good look no matter which club it is.
West Ham United
IN: Tomas Soucek (Slavia Prague) £14.58m, Vladimir Coufal (Slavia Prague) £5.4m, Ossama Ashley (AFC Wimbledon) Free. Spend: £19.98m.
OUT: Grady Diangana (West Brom) £12.15m, Abian Ajetic (Celtic) £4.95m, Saed Haksabanovic (Norkkoping) £2.34m, Roberto (Real Valladolid) free, Carlos Sanchez (Released), Jack Wilshere (Released), Dan Kemp (Blackpool) Loan, Jeremy Ngakia (Watford) Loan, Xander Silva (Aris Thessaloniki) Loan. Received: £19.44m.
Not a very good window at all. That would be the blanket description of West Ham’s activity in the transfer window with only two first-team additions. Tomas Soucek put in some impressive performances, particularly after the return to football in June so making his move to East London permanent was a no brainer. Their other arrival also came from Slavia Prague so David Moyes is hoping that Vladmimr Coufal will adapt to the Premier League just as well as Soucek did. It is definitely a different kind of window compared to the past couple of seasons when West ham spent big, but could it come back to hurt them?
West Ham needed some movement in a couple of areas and they finished the transfer window with 21 first-team players. If they pick up injuries as inevitably happens during the course of a season they could be in trouble. They have Three Centre-backs, three central-midfielders, three wingers and two centre-forwards. Michail Antonio has been in scintillating since lockdown and Sebastian hallier is still a quality player despite a difficult first year in England but if either There is clearly not a lot of depth and that was not successfully addressed.
A lot of attention went to into bringing in a centre-back. They were successful in their pursuit of Wesley Fofana and rather embarrassingly on deadline day had a loan move agreed for Chelsea defender Fikoyo Tomori before the England international decided not to sign. Ouch. In terms of departures, they managed to keep hold of Declan Rice despite a load of speculation saying Chelsea were willing to spend north of £50m to get him. However, they did allow Grady Diangana leave; a move that even saw Mr West Ham himself, Mark Noble criticise the move.
IN: Dale Stephens (Brighton) £990K, Will Norris (Wolves) Free. Spend: £990K.
OUT: Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle) Free, Joe Hart (Spurs) Free, Aaron Lennon (Kayserispor) Free, Adam Legzdns (Released), Ben Gibson (Norwich City) loan. Received: £0.
The Clarets finished a record 10th in the Premier League with a record points haul last season. Much of that was due to their strong form after project restart and that was despite several players including Jeff Hendrick and Aaron Lennon leaving when their contracts expired at the end of June.
Other than contracts coming to an end, Burnley did not sell any players. Persistent rumours were surrounding the future of centre-back James Tarkowski but the England international did not depart. That is good for Sean Dyche but on the whole, recruitment has been minimal or next to nought. Joe Hart and Adam Legzdins were replaced by Will Norris and Dale Stephens has been the only incoming recruit of note. Undoubtedly, they are losers in the summer window.
There is a sense of frustration from manager Sean Dyche. He knows he needed players in and he didn’t get it. Depth in the Burnley squad is an issue. They have only 22 first-team players. Three of those are goalkeepers. So, not exactly two players for each position which will be a worry if injuries do kick in again. Dyche worked wonders for Burnley last season and deserves all the credit for that but he needed backing this summer. If Burnley do not have the resources that is fair enough but Dyche’s frustration is understandable. After their poor start to the season and lack of activity, I am worried for Burnley.