During the summer Premier League clubs spent £1.4 billion on transfers with an unprecedented £210 million spent on deadline day alone.
It was the sixth consecutive summer that the record for total outlay on transfers by top-flight English clubs was broken with over 400 deals completed. Manchester City (£220.5m), Chelsea (£187.5m), Manchester United (£146m) and Everton (£145m) were the biggest spenders whilst five clubs ended the window having made a profit on their transfer dealings.
However, not every penny that was spent by during the summer was invested wisely and here The Boot Room looks at four of the worst Premier League signings of the 2017 pre-season transfer window.
Gylfi Sigurdsson – Everton
Ronald Koeman spent the summer remoulding his Everton team through an excessive transfer policy that saw him throw Farhad Moshiri’s new financial investment in the club seemingly at any half-decent player that was available.
Whilst there was initial excitement among supporters regarding this increase expenditure on new players, it quickly became apparent that the Dutchman’s transfer policy was flawed and left him with an unbalanced squad that would eventually lead to his dismissal.
If any signing characterises the lack of thinking behind Everton’s summer spending, then it is Gylfi Sigurdsson.
The Icelandic international was signed for £45 million from Swansea, an incredibly exuberant price tag for a player who is 28 years of age, with an assumption that he would bring creativity to the Toffee’s midfield.
However, Sigurdsson has failed to replicate his previous form with Swansea at Goodison Park and is yet to show any of the flair or creativity for which he was bought.
Admittedly, the midfielder was shoe-horned into the starting eleven by Koeman, who deployed him as a wide midfielder rather than a central playmaker, but Everton supporters have seen very little return from a player that cost the club £45 million.
Marko Arnautovic – West Ham
When West Ham United broke their transfer record on securing the signing of Stoke City winger Marko Arnautovic there were a number of eyebrows raised both in London and The Potteries.
The Austrian had been a key component of Mark Hughes’ side at the Bet365 Stadium with his creativity and confident swagger cementing him as a favourite among the club’s supporters.
However, as anyone who has followed the fortunes of Stoke in any detail will tell you, for all of Arnautovic’s brilliance he was also inconsistent, petulant and at times appeared disinterested on the pitch.
So the warning signs were already there when Slaven Bilic splashed a possible £25 million on the winger in the summer.
Arnautovic has failed to find his feet at the Olympic Stadium with a mixture of poor performances, his lethargic attitude and petulance only adding to The Hammers’ early season woes that resulted in Bilic losing his job.
The Austrian was sent off in his second appearance for the club after bizarrely and needlessly elbowing an opponent in the face and his career at West Ham has only been heading in one direction since.
He was jeered by his own supporters when he was substituted in the 4-1 defeat against Liverpool and there are reports that David Moyes has been given the green light to sell the winger in January.
Money well spent? We think not!
Renato Sanches – Swansea
Among the biggest surprises of the summer transfer window was the arrival of Portuguese starlet Renato Sanches at Swansea City.
The 20-year-old is considered to be one of the brightest young attacking talents in European football and his move to South Wales on a season-long loan was seen as a remarkably coup for the Premier League club.
Sanches had joined Bayern Munich the previous year for €35 million after rising to stardom in Portugal with Benfica, but a lack of playing time at the German champions combined with the fact that he had previously worked with Swansea manager Paul Clement led to his surprising move to The Swans.
However, Sanches has struggled to adapt to life in English football and has looked considerably off the pace in the six appearances that he has made for Swansea so far.
A number of niggling injuries have also interrupted the winger’s start to the campaign but he has, as of yet, failed to replicate any of the performances that made him one of the most sought-after talents in European football.
Sanches may still come good if given the time to adapt to the pace and intensity of Premier League football, but time is something that struggling Swansea have in short supply at the moment.
Kelechi Iheanacho – Leicester
It will take a significant run of performances for a young player at Manchester City to make an impact in the club’s current star-studded forward line, which includes the likes of Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling. However, that is exactly what Kelechi Iheanacho was able to do at the Etihad Stadium.
The Nigerian striker scored 21 goals in 64 games for City despite being limited predominantly to substitute appearances and there was a feeling of disappointment around the club when he was sold to Leicester City for £25 million in the summer.
Iheanacho departed in search of more regular playing time and an opportunity to demonstrate his goalscoring talents on a more consistent basis – and yet he has failed to do either so far at the King Power Stadium.
The striker has yet to score a goal in the Premier League for The Foxes and has had to be content with a place among the substitutes for much of the season.
He has started just three games across all competitions so far this campaign with his only goal coming in the League Cup against an under-strength Leeds United team.
An injury in pre-season prevented him from hitting the ground running and he has been unable to displace either Jamie Vardy or Shinji Okazaki in the starting eleven under either Craig Shakespeare or the newly appointed Claude Puel.
Leicester have had minimal return on their £25 million summer investment.