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Season 2017/18 Transfer Window: Winners, Losers, Wildcard & more

The 2017/18 transfer window has finally come to a close in the Premier League. A record £1.4 Billion has been spent by Premier League clubs. That is a 23% increase from the previous transfer window and the money spent this summer has broken all previous records. But spending does not necessarily guarantee success. Winning in the transfer window in one thing and winning the Premier League trophy is another. We take a look at the winners and the losers of the transfer window. We also take a look at the clubs that could have done better and the wildcard this season.

 

WINNERS

Everton

Everton FC have crossed the £100 million mark this season with their transfer business and also broke the club transfer record by signing Gylfi Sigurdsson from Swansea City for £45 million. Everton have been the most active club in the transfer window with some great signings coming to the club in the form of Wayne Rooney (free), Michael Keane (£25.65 million), Jordan Pickford (£25.65 million), Davy Klaassens (£24.3 million), Henry Onyekuru (£7.2 million), Sandro Ramirez (£5.4 million), Cuco Martina (free) and Nikola Vlasic (£9.72 million). The squad depth has improved at the club. Barring the one loss to champions Chelsea, Everton have done fairly well in the tough opening fixtures. Ronald Koeman would now focus on improving his striker position and rope in an additional centre forward in the future.

Manchester United

Manchester United have been one of the first teams to complete their transfer dealings of the summer. Jose Mourinho identified exactly what was needed to become title challengers and had the shopping list ready for Ed Woodward before last season ended. United roped in Romelu Lukaku for an initial fee of £75 million, Nemanja Matic for £40 million and Victor Lindelof for £40 million to Old Trafford swiftly. While the other clubs were involved in last minute panic purchase, Manchester United were satisfied and composed with what was achieved in the transfer window. Manchester United won the transfer window after adding speed and power up front in the form of Lukaku and a rock in the middle in the form of Matic. Both were signed from a direct rival in the league. Nemanja Matic is a typical Jose Mourinho player and could turn out to be the trump card for Mourinho to guide them to the Premier League title this season. The positive influence these two players are having on the side is apparent with Manchester United taking all 9 points in the opening 3 games. Manchester United also re-signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The imposing Swede may not feature in all of United’s games but what he offers off the field will be invaluable for the dressing room.

Huddersfield

For a club that has just been promoted from Championship to top flight this season, Huddersfield have done an exceedingly good job. They have remained unbeaten in the opening 3 games. Their transfer business in the window was far from average with some good additions made to strengthen their squad. The additions included 22 year old striker Steve Mounie (£11.7 million), Aaron Mooy from Manchester City (£8.19 million), Tom Ince (£8.19 million), Laurent Depoitre (£3.6 million), Scott Malone (£3.51 million), Zanka (£2.43 million), Abdelhamid Sabiri (£1.35 million), Elias Kachunga (£1.17 million). Huddersfield have kept 3 clean sheets with goalkeeper Jonas Lössl arriving from Mainz on a loan deal. Lössl has been the standout performer for the club in the three games played. David Wagner has built a formidable side at Huddersfield who currently sit third on the Premier League table after 3 game weeks. Wagner has addressed the areas of concern during the transfer window and their position on the league table is not mere luck or a co-incidence but an acknowledgement of the football they are playing at the moment.

 

LOSERS

Arsenal

Arsenal have had a nightmare of a transfer window and an even worse start to the season with a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Liverpool. Arsene Wenger managed to sign only 2 players this season: Sead Kolasinac for free and Alexandre Lacazette for £47.7 million. Arsenal are languishing at 16th position on the Premier League table after 3 games, and are 3 points above relegation zone. A familiar sight is being seen at Arsenal with massive protests being staged against Arsene Wenger, social media campaigns and banners being displayed with #WENGEROUT messages. Alexis Sanchez is not happy at the club either and was seen smirking on the bench after being substituted against Liverpool. Arsenal were unable to find a replacement for Sanchez and refused to let him join Manchester City. Lemar was linked with Arsenal but the did not materialise for the Gunners. To add to the woes, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, joined a direct rival. He joined Liverpool, the team that beat Arsenal 4-0 comfortably in the last game week.

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace have had a horrendous start to the campaign, losing all 3 opening matches. The Eagles are on the 19th position. The club have signed Jairo Riedewald (£8.1 million) and brought in inexperienced Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Timothy Fosu-Mensah. After the 3 back to back loss, manager Frank De Boer signed Mamadou Sakho (£25.38 million). He has addressed the central midfield and centre back positions but has yet to strengthen attack as Zaha is out with injury.

Burnley

Although Burnley are in the top half of the table after 3 games, they have not addressed the exit of Michael Keane. Keane was one of the best Burnley players last season who joined Everton this summer. Centre forward Chris Wood (£14.76 million) and defensive midfielder Jack Cork (£8.19 million) have been their only recognisable signings. Burnley has conceded 4 goals so far this season. Replacing Keane with a solid defender could be a point to consider for the club.

WILDCARD

Tottenham

Tottenham had a fairly quiet summer until the last week. They signed Serge Aurier (£22.5 million) from PSG to replace Kyle Walker and signed Fernando Llorente (£13.59 million) from Swansea to back up Harry Kane. At centre back, they added Davinson Sánchez (£36 million) and Juan Foyth (£8.1 million) to the ranks. While these are great additions to strengthen Tottenham squad, concerns remain on Tottenham’s performance. Tottenham have made Wembley their home until their new stadium is built and the change of home and atmosphere may not go in Tottenham’s favour. Spurs have a poor track record at Wembley which they would want to change. The arrival of Serge Aurier is another point of concern. While Aurier is younger than Walker and provides pace, skill at the back and attack force on the wings similar to him, his disciplinary record is questionable. He has been arrested by the police in the past, abused his ex-manager at PSG (Laurent Blanc) and his team mates at PSG. He was denied entry into the UK for the champions league match last season against Arsenal due to his disciplinary track record. If Serge Aurier manages to control outbursts and focus solely on football, Tottenham will not miss Walker. In Aurier, Tottenham have a fine footballer who only needs to learn how to channel his aggression.

Watford

Watford have made a good start to the season with 5 points off 3 games and they are currently sitting on 7th in the table, above Southampton and Tottenham. Watford have not a game in the opening 3 game weeks. The big additions at the club include Andre Gray (£18.36 million), Richarlison (£11.16 million), Tom Cleverley (£8.37 million), Will Hughes (£8.19 million), Nathaniel Chalobah (£5.67 million) and Marvin Zeegelaar (£2.7 million). These are good additions which is apparent with the performance on the pitch. But the best signing for Watford has been their manager Marco Silva. Silva did a decent job at Hull City last season, even though they were relegated. This was noted by Watford who roped in Silva for the managerial position. This season, his team has drawn 3-3 against a strong Liverpool side and won 2-0 against Bournemouth. But early success at the starting of the campaign does not guarantee a lasting form. As the season progresses, it would be interesting to see how Watford perform under their new manager.

CLUBS THAT COULD HAVE DONE BETTER

Manchester City

One of the biggest reasons for Manchester City’s failure last season was the absence of Vincent Kompany in key games due to injury. In games that Kompany played, Manchester City have been unstoppable and saw clean sheets on a regular basis as opposed to when he was out injured last season. In his absence, Manchester City found it difficult to cope, leaking goals at the back. Pep Guardiola has done exceedingly well in the transfer window. He has roped in Kyle Walker (£45.9 million) from a direct rival, as well as signed Benjamin Mendy (£51.75 million), Bernardo Silva (£45 million), Ederson (£36 million), Danilo (£27 million), Douglas Luiz (£10.8 million) and Olarenwaju Kayode (£3.42 million). Guardiola has addressed the right and left wing back positions as well as the right back and central midfield positions by bringing in youth, pace and energy. But he failed to bring in a good centre back to replace Vincent Kompany. Kompany is injury prone and for a team that relies on the leadership and skill of Kompany, a suitable replacement is necessary.

Chelsea

Contrary to popular belief that Chelsea were the losers, Chelsea had a mixed transfer window this summer. The Blues missed out on Romelu Lukaku, Alex Sandro, Ross Barkley, Fernando Llorente, Virgil Van Dijk and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. But on the other hand, Chelsea were successfully able to sign Alvaro Morata (£55.8 million), Tiemoué Bakayoko (£36 million), Danny Drinkwater (£34.2 million), Antonio Rüdiger (£31.5 million) and Davide Zappacosta (£25.2 million). Some of the signings may not have been Antonio Conte’s first choice signings, but they are a good mix of addition to the team. Diego Costa has also been registered to the 25 man squad for the 2016/17 season after his move to Atletico Madrid did not go through. Chelsea lost out on Fernando Llorente on the transfer day deadline after the Spaniard moved to north London club Tottenham. But his fellow Spaniard Alvaro Morata has done a splendid job by scoring 2 goals and assisting 2 goals in 3 games this season. Even after losing out on a few names, Chelsea’s performance on the pitch has been impeccable. After a nightmare start to the campaign, the Blues got back on track by beating Tottenham at Wembley and Everton at Stamford Bridge. Losing out on a few players doesn’t seem like an issue for Conte, judging by the performance in the first 3 games. Chelsea are currently on 6th in the table and will only improve from here.

Liverpool

Liverpool have had a good beginning to the season so far sitting 2nd on the league table after 3 game weeks. They have signed Mohamed Salah (£37.8 million), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (£34.2 million), Andrew Robertson (£8.1 million) and Dominic Solanke (free transfer). Baby Keita also signed for Liverpool and will make the switch to Anfield next season. To top this off, Liverpool have managed to keep hold of Coutinho and see off interest from Barcelona. Mohamed Salah has had an immediate impact at Anfield with 2 goals and 1 assist while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was purchased from a direct rival. The transfers at Anfield have been great but some questions remain. The role (and position) of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is still unclear with Anfiled filled with great talent. Jurgen Klopp plays a very intense game heavily based on attack and quick runs. This could burn out the players. The new signing need to adapt to the EPL and the new style to avoid their performance tapering off after January. Also, with the 2018 African Nations Championship next year, some of the players will be out on international duty which will leave Liverpool short on players. While these are definitely great addition to the squad, there are some uncertainties which will be cleared as the season progresses. Knowing that some players would be out and some need time to adjust to Klopp’s style, Liverpool could have done better in the window.

 

With a record 2017/18 transfer window spending this summer and new talents joining each of the 20 clubs, Premier League will offer a visual feast for the fans around the world. It would be an exciting to see which club would finally come out on top and lift the Premier League 2017/18 trophy.

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