This summer transfer window saw a new spending record broken, with Premier league sides spending a combined £835 million in the hope of strengthening their squad to achieve whatever their ambitions might be this season.
Manchester United and Liverpool both spent over £100 million each, while Southampton were stripped of their core, losing key players such as Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Rickie Lambert and Luke Shaw amongst others, but making £92 million profit off the sales.
It has been a busy period for managers, and the Premier league has lots of new faces on display this year, but let’s look at players who were linked with a move to England’s biggest league, but opted to move elsewhere or stay put;
Manchester United were linked with the German World Cup winner for much of last season and speculation continued right through the summer, until he signed for European champions Real Madrid from Bayern Munich.
The 24-year-old would have offered so much to the Premier league, with his ability to pick out a pass anywhere on the pitch and his venomous long shots making him the complete central midfielder package.
United fans will undoubtedly be hurt by the clubs failure to lure Kroos to Old Trafford, with a young, world class centre midfielder exactly what the club need right now.
Real Madrid fans, however, will feel that £24 million is a great piece of business and will almost certainly fit right in to life at the Bernabeu and prove to be a success.
Another World Cup winner and another Manchester United target, Thomas Muller was reportedly frustrated at not being a regular starter for current club Bayern Munich and a deal could have been on the cards.
Muller would have offered any Premier league club many useful assets, such as;
Versatility – Muller can play upfront as the lone striker, in behind the striker or out wide on either flank and is effective in all four positions.
Goals – The German international is a goalscorer through and through. Having won the 2010 World Cup golden boot for most goals (5) and managed to bag another 5 goals in the 2014 World Cup, Muller certainly scores big goals in big games.
Work rate – A big part of the 24 year old’s game that can sometimes go unnoticed is his contribution to the team, not only with his goals, but his desire and willingness to track back and help his midfield, or close down and press the opposition in the final third.
As good a signing as Muller would be for any Premier league team, he remains a Bayern Munich player, for now, at least.
Reportedly a target for Chelsea, the former Liverpool midfielder ended up moving to the Allianz Arena to play for Bayern Munich in an £8 million transfer from Real Madrid.
The 2005 Champions league winner with Liverpool would be a great fit into a Chelsea side, who like to play entertaining and attractive football.
His variety of passing is the Spaniards main attribute, but he also provides cover to the defence by dictating proceedings from deep. Whether it is long or short passing, Alonso rarely gives the ball away, a contributing factor into Mourinho’s reported interest.
£8 million for a two time Champions League winner with major honours at international level also on his C.V seems like a real bargain and Chelsea fans, and maybe even Mourinho, despite signing Fabregas, will be kicking themselves at failing to capitalise on such good value for money.
Borussia Dortmund fan favourite Marco Reus was rumoured to be the subject of a £44.5 million bid from Liverpool who were looking to fill the void left by the departed Luis Suarez.
The German wide man was attracting the attention of plenty of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Spanish champions Atletico Madrid and English champions Manchester City.
However, the 25 year old has spoke on more than one occasion about his love for his current club and his desire to stay and did exactly that.
To say Reus would have replaced Luis Suarez at Anfield may be a bit optimistic but he has undoubted talent and is a brilliant goalscorer and can also turn provider, reflected by his 23 goals and 18 assists in all competitions last season.
Not quite Suarez standard, but Reus would have certainly made a massive contribution to Liverpool’s hopeful title challenge and Champions League success this season.
Rumoured to be unhappy at not being played in his favoured position at Paris Saint Germain, the Uruguayan attracted interest from some of the Premier League’s biggest outfits such as, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.
Despite being deployed as a winger instead of the main striker for a lot of the season, Cavani managed an impressive 25 goals in 44 matches for the French side last season.
The former Napoli striker would have been a big hit with any of the four teams vying for his service, but Liverpool signed Mario Balotelli from AC Milan, Chelsea signed Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid, Manchester United brought in Radamel Falcao on loan from Monaco and Arsenal signed Manchester United’s Danny Welbeck.
So, for now, Cavani will remain second best to Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the striker role at PSG and another season out wide looks likely.
To sum up, despite sides missing out on the five above world class players, the summer transfer window saw plenty of Europe’s top talents come to England to play in the Premier League, with the British transfer record being broken by Manchester United’s £59.7 million signing of Angel Di Maria, add that to Chelsea’s signing of former Arsenal man Cesc Fabregas and the best league in the world certainly has some of the best players in the world.