Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid, £42.3m)
Mathieu Flamini (AC Milan, Free)
Yaya Sanogo (Auxerre, Free)
Emiliano Viviano (Palermo, Loan)
Out: Gervinho (Roma, £8m)
Vito Mannone (Sunderland, £2m)
Marouane Chamakh (C Palace, Free)
Andre Santos (Flamengo, Undis.)
Andrei Arshavin (Zenit, Free)
Denilson (Sao Paolo, Free)
Sebastien Squillaci (Bastia, Free)
Joel Campbell (Olympiacos, Loan)
Johan Djourou (Hamburg, Loan)
Francis Coquelin (Freiburg, Loan)
The signing of Ozil means that Arsenal’s transfer activity was not the butt of jokes until January, and will keep the fans happy(ish) as long as the Gunners are competing both domestically and in Europe by the time January comes around. Ozil is a world-class number 10, and will no doubt provide countless assists for the likes of Giroud and Walcott, whilst chipping in goals himself. Aside from Ozil it is no secret that Arsenal were in for a number of strikers and it does look an area of the squad where numbers are thin on the ground, and any injury to Giroud would be a catastrophe. Aside from Ozil the additions of Viviano and Sanogo add next to nothing to the squad apart from numbers, and neither will be expected to feature prominently unless there are injuries. The fat that Wenger did not bring any players in to bulk up the squad suggests he is happy with the overall shape of the squad he has, and with the best record in the PL this calendar year, he may still prove to be right. Wenger used the window to clear out a lot of “deadwood” in the squad and that will ease the wage bill somewhat, but that is no consolation to the fans who were linked with so many high profile players, especially strikers, who really could’ve improved Arsenal’s chances of ending their trophy drought.
Mezut Ozil- Not really much of a contest such was the lack of activity done by Arsenal in the window, but arguably the best single signing of the window was done on deadline day by Arsenal. When you look at some of the stats on Ozil for both national team and club,you can understand the fee of over 42.3m paid by Arsenal;
10/11 12 goals and 31 assists
11/12 13 goals and 26 assists
12/13 16 goals and 35 assists
These are the sort of returns Arsenal fans will be hoping for, and the sheer skillfulness of Ozil will surely see a good return on both the goal front and assists yet again this season. Whilst Ozil was just one of the many superstars at Real Madrid, he is now automatically Arsenal’s best player, and with more game time, these figures surely will improve. If all 4 can stay fit then Ozil,Giroud,Walcott and Carzola has a very strong look to it, and Arsenal fans will hope that it can be the front 4 that scores the goals to finally win them a trophy this season.
Libor Kozak (Lazio, £7m)
Jores Okore (Nordsjaelland, £4m)
Leandro Bacuna (FC Groningen, £3m)
Aleksander Tonev (Lech Poznan, £2.5m)
Antonio Luna (Sevilla, £2m)
Nicklas Helenius (Aalborg, £2m)
Jed Steer (Norwich, Free)
Out: Barry Bannan (C Palace, £1m)
Brett Holman (Free, Al Nasr)
Jean Makoun (Free, Rennes)
Derrick Williams (Free, Bristol City)
Richard Dunne (Free, QPR)
Stephen Ireland (Stoke,Loan)
Darren Bent (Fulham, Loan)
Samir Carruthers (MK Dons, Loan)
Paul Lambert has been widely praised for his faith in his young players, and his transfer policy this summer has been no different, with the average age of his 7 signings being just 22. Lambert has strengthened all areas of the team, signing three attackers (Helenius, Tonev and Kozak), one utilityman midfielder (Bacuna), 2 defenders (Okore and Luna) and a back up goalkeeper (Jed Steer) whih gives Villa a strength in depth they have lacked for a few years.The signings of Luna and Okore will help Villa improve their terrible defensive record of 69 goals conceded last season, whilst the 3 attacking players give Villa a strong looking front-line possessing the highest scoring player in the Premier League this calendar year (Benteke), last season’s top Europa League striker (Kozak), the Danish SuperLiga player of the year (Helenius), a resurgent Gabrial Agbonlahor and the dangerous Andreas Weimann. Lambert also took the oppurtunity to get rid of the players he did not fancy in his team such as Ireland,Bent,Holman and Bannan, and that will be a large saving on the wage bill, especially with Bent and Ireland thought to be the club’s top earners. Many people have Villa down for a top ten finish given their impressive end of season form which has been improved on in their first 3 games this season, and given their signings that may be acheivable even if Lambert sees his team as more of a long-term project.
Antonio Luna- Paul Lambert identified the left-back slot as one that needed improvement, and any Villa fan could’ve told you that after the flaws of Joe Bennett were badly exposed all year, and he did not look ready to step up into the Premier League, but there was no real alternative. Luna spent last year on loan at Real Mallorca, who ended up getting relegated from La Liga, and the pressure on the Mallorca defence, will have prepared Luna for life in the Premier League. An attacking left-back, who can also defend, is something Villa have needed for a few years now, and Luna looks as though he is more than capable at both jobs, which he showcased with his cool finish in the opening day win at Arsenal.
Transfer Rating- B
Gary Medel (Sevilla,£9.5m )
Steven Caulker (Tottenham,£8m)
Andreas Cornelius (FC Copenhagen,£7.5m)
Peter Odemwingie (WBA,£2.5m)
Kevin Theophile-Catherine (Rennes, £2.1m)
John Brayford (Derby County, £1.5m)
Simon Moore (Brentford, £150,000)
Out: Elliot Parish (Bristol City, Free)
Stephen McPhail (Released)
Heidur Helguson (Retired)
After being promoted to the Premier League fo the first time, the money spent by Cardiff this window suggests that they are planning on establishing themselves in the Premier League. Malkay Mackay has identified his defence as the main area or strengthening, with Steven Caulker an eye-catching capture from Tottenham, after playing well enough to earn an England call-up last season, as well as Theophile-Catherine improving the overall quality of a back-line that lacks top-flight experience. Just in front of the defence is where Gary Medel will look to sit and break down attacks, which so far he has done well, and will be kept busy no doubt. After signing Andreas Cornelius Malkay Mackay claimed that he would not be signing another striker in the window, such was his confidence in the young striker, but after only using him once a substitute so far, he may have felt the move for Odemwingie was called for, and despite his questionable attitude at times he does have 30 Premier League goals to his name and will be some good experience to a young front-line this season.
Key Signing Gary Medel- When Cardiff managed to pull off the signing of Gary Medel it seemed quite a coup for the club, and showed Cardff’s real ambition in the transfer market, and he could be the difference between relegation or another season in the Premier League. A regular for Sevilla for the past few seasons, he is a level above what Cardiff had, but his disciplinary record is atrocious. He has earned the name “El Pitbull” and the amount of yellow cards he has received in the past few seasons, justifies the nickname; In the 38 games for club and country in 11/12 he received 18 yellows and 2 reds, whilst last season in 32 games he received 8 yellows and 3 reds. So far this season Medel hasn’t been booked and Cardiff will need the Chilean to play as many games as possible if they are to maintain their Premier League status.
Transfer Rating: B
Willian (Anzhi Makhachkala, £30m),
André Schürrle (Bayer Leverkusen, £18m)
Marco van Ginkel (Vitesse Arnhem, £9m)
Christian Atsu (Porto, £3.5m)
Cristian Cuevas (O’Higgins, £3m)
Isaiah Brown (WBA, £209,000)
Mark Schwarzer (Fulham, Free)
Stipe Perica (NK Zadar, Undisclosed)
Samuel Eto’o (Anzhi Makhachkala, Free)
Jack Powell (West Ham, Free).
Out: Jeffrey Bruma (PSV Eindhoven, £2.5m)
Ross Turnbull (Doncaster, Free)
Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid, Loan)
Marko Marin (Seville, Loan)
Oriol Romeu (Valencia, Loan)
Cristian Cuevas (Vitesse Arnhem, Loan)
Gaël Kakuta (Vitesse Arnhem, Loan)
Florent Malouda (Trabzonspor, Free)
Lucas Piazon (Vitesse Arnhem, Loan)
Christian Atsu (Vitesse Arnhem, Loan)
Victor Moses (Liverpool, Loan)
Romelu Lukaku (Everton, Loan)
A summer of change at Stamford Bridge with Jose Mourinho coming back, and despite what seemed fairly low-key transfer activity Chelsea still managed to spend over £60m. The signing of André Schürrle and Marco Van Ginkel were conluded fairly early, as Chelsea looked to break some kind of “atttacking midfielders in squad” record, so the the £30m deal to bring another attacking midfielder in the shape of Willian to the squad seemed bizarre, and whether the Brazilian,only capped twice by his country, can justify that price tag remains to be seen. Willian is obviously a talented player with good first touch, passing and technical abilities, but pretty similar to other attacking midfielders that Chelsea already have. Schürrle is a good addition from Bayern Leverkeusen and was used as a “false number nine” against Manchester United, which didn’t work too well, and would have probably been better placed as an actually striker. Schürrle is a pacy, direct player who will be a good addition for Chelsea and at only 22, the £18 million looks cheap for a German international compared to some price tags this window. Chelsea were obviously interested in Wayne Rooney, who would’ve been a good additoin to the squad, but whether Rooney an play up front as a striker these days is questionable, and it was surprising not to see them make approaches for any other strikers apat from Eto’o
Key Signing: Samuel Eto’o “I’d rather sell peanuts in my village of birth, rather than playing in a club as pathetic as Chelsea”- Samuel Eto’o in 2005.
Eto’o joins Chelsea after the Anzhi project decided to make large cut backs, and Anzhi’s loss is very well Chelsea’s gain, and Jose Mourinho must have huge faith in the player, with whom he worked with at Inter Milan, as he let Lukaku join Everton on loan. Eto’o has always been a goal scorer with a brilliant scoring record
2000-2004 Mallorca 120 games 48 goals
2004-2009 Barcelona 145 108
2009-2011 Internazionale 67 33
2011-2013 Anzhi Makhachkala 53 25
1997- Cameroon 115 55
Eto’o enjoyed his best spell whilst at Barcelona, and having players such as Xavi, Iniesta and Messi providing countless chances, he was always going to score goals but his finishing is something that has made him a world-class player. Chelsea have been looking for a stiker who can finish the chances the likes of Hazard,Oscar and Mata can provide and they may have finally found that player in Eto’o who at only 32 can still have a good couple of seasons for Mourinho.
Transfer Rating: C
Dwight Gayle (Peterborough, £6m)
Adrian Mariappa (Reading, £3m)
Jack Hunt (Huddersfield, £2m)
Jimmy Kébé (Reading, £2m)
Jose Campana (Sevilla, £1.75m)
Barry Bannan (Aston Villa, £1m)
Stephen Dobbie (Brighton, £850,000)
Neil Alexander (Rangers, Free)
Elliot Grandin (Blackpool, Free)
Jake Nicholson (Tottenham, Free)
Jerome Thomas (West Brom, Free)
Kevin Phillips (Blackpool, Free)
Marouane Chamakh (Arsenal, Free)
Florian Marange (Bordeaux, Free)
Jason Puncheon (Southampton, Loan)
Cameron Jerome (Stoke, Loan)
Out: Alex Marrow (Blackburn, Undisclosed)
Jermaine Easter (Millwall, Free)
Andre Moritz (Bolton, Free)
Stephen Dobbie (Huddersfield, Loan)
Peter Ramage, Barnsley, Loan).
Crystal Palace seem to have gone with the philosophy of “quantity over quality” and Ian Holloway bringing in 16 players for around £16.5 million, shows the kind of budget that he has to work within, mainly dealing in free transfers to bulk up his squad. Dwight Gayle became the club’s record signing when signing for an initial £6m early on, which seemed like a large sum for a player with no top flight experience, and only one season in the Championship with Peterborough, and looks to have been a large chunk of Holloway’s budget. Palace havve made so many transfers that it is hard to know quite how they will be used, and Holloay will quickly need to establish his best XI if Palace are to have any chance of staying up. Holloway has mainly looked to bring in players who have played in the Premier League before with all but Gayle,Campana,Alexander,Marange and Nicholson making appearances at some point. It really looks like a scatter gun approach from Holloway with such a large amount of players being brought in, and it looks like the attacking approach he adopted with Blackpool will be used this time as well. Although Palace were promoted last season they conceded the same amount of goals as 20th placed Millwall and that probably should have been Holloway’s priority but bringing in just two defenders, it obviously isn’t.
Key Signing: Marouane Chamakh It is hard to choose a key signing when 16 players come in, but Ian Holloway will need Marouane Chamakh to be at his best if Palace are going to survive more than one season in the Premier League. Chamakh has a hard time at Arsenal but he was never going to fit in with Wenger’s type of football and his aerial strength should be much more utilised at Palace. Whilst he is good with his feet Chamakh will be expected to hold the ball up for Palace,and will be a big outlet for them, and he has the strength to hold the ball up well, as his goal at Stoke proved. Whilst he is no world-beater Chamakh is the best striker at Palace and with a good season he may be able to rescue his repuation which was so badly damaged during his spell at Arsenal
Transfer Rating: C
James McCarthy (Wigan, £13m)
Arouna Koné (Wigan, £6m)
Joel Robles (Atletico Madrid, £2m)
Antolín Alcaraz (Wigan, Free)
Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona, Loan)
Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea, Loan)
Gareth Barry (Manchester City, Loan)
Out: Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United, £27.5m)
Victor Anichebe (WBA, £6m)
Jake Bidwell (Brentford, Undisclosed)
Jan Mucha (Krylia Sovetov Samara, Free)
Thomas Hitzlsperger (Retired)
Phil Neville (Retired)
Roberto Martinez has had a frustrating first few games in charge of Everton with three draws against teams they should be beating, and accusations of possession football with no final product, but he will be happy with his transfers dealings, especially on deadline day. Before deadline day the signings of Wigan trio Kone,Alcaraz,Robles and loanee Deulofeu were steady at best, and the signings that Everton fans may have become accustomed to, such is their usual budget. Kone was Wigan’s top scorer last season, and a repeat of last season’s 11 goals would be welcomed, but so far he has been confined to substitue appearances. Alcaraz will do well to displace one of the league’s best defences, whilst Deulofeu is an exciting player, who will most likely be used coming off the bench, but is a hugely talented player, as he showcased at the Under 21 European Championships in the summer. Everton fans will have been hoping to keep Fellaini and Baines, but with a £27.5 million deal being done for the former, it is a great piece of business that has allowed Everton to bring in players such as McCarthy, Barry and, most importantly, Lukaku. The amount paid for McCarthy looks to be way too much, but with the funds for Fellaini needing to find his replacement, Everton have bought a young player who will able to sit in front of the back four and distribute the ball well, similar to Gareth Barry. Barry was never going to last too much longer at Man City but should still do a good job for Everton, and retaining possession, which is exactly what Martinez likes to do, as well as providing key passes through to the front four. Lukaku is a brilliant signing by Martinez and will address the problem of scoring that Matinez has had in two of his three league games so far and is studied more closely below.
Key Signing: Romeleu Lukaku There can be no doubt that this is Everton’s best piece of transfer activity, and one that caught many people off guard, as many believe him to be Chelsea’s best striker already despite being only 20 years old. Lukaku had a brilliant first full season whilst on loan at West Brom last season scoring 17 goals despite starting just 20 times in the league (further 15 substitue appearances) , and it is obvious that they were desperate to take him back for another season. Lukaku will bring strength and power to a mis-firing Everton front line, and will no doubt be the lead striker for them this season, and with arguably better supply coming from the likes of Barkley, Mirallas and Pienaar than he did at West Brom he could get close to the 17 goals of last season, such is the strength of his finishing with his deadly left foot.
Transfer Rating: B
Maarten Stekelenburg (Roma, £4.76m)
Sasha Riether (Cologne, £1.27m)
Scott Parker (Tottenham Hotspur, £2m)
Fernando Amorebieta (Athletic Bilbao, Free)
Derek Boateng (Dnipro, Free)
Ange-Freddy Plumain (Lens, Free)
Elsad Zverotic (Young Boys, Free)
Darren Bent (Aston Villa, Loan)
Adel Taarabt (QPR, Loan)
Out: Mark Schwarzer (Chelsea, Free)
Alex Smith (Swindon, Free)
Marcelo Trotta (Brentford, Loan).
Chris Baird (Released)
Simon Davies (Released)
Mahamadou Diarra (Released)
Mladen Petric (Released)
Csaba Somogyi (Released)
A busy transfer window for Martin Jol in which he has tried to re-shape a Fulham squd which was looking very old, and needed freshening up, which is exactly what Jol has looked to do. The early transfer window signings of Stekelenburg,Riether,Amorebieta ad Boateng were hardly exciting for Fulham fans,and although they have since bought in the likes of Parker,Bent and Taarabt, Jol will be hoping for an upturn in form which currently sees them on 3 points but only after a fortuitous win at Sunderland where they only had 1 shot on target. Jol was right to target the lack of attacking options by signing Bent and Taarabt and they will have to support Berbatov, who was by far Fulham’s top scorer last season and was who Fulham depended on for goals. Bent has had a tough time since being replaced by Benteke at Villa and will be out to prove himself but as quite a selfish player it is hard to see him working well with Berbatov, but given the chances he is still a good finisher. Adel Taarabt is something of an enigma, as he clearly think he is world class, so he must have been somewhat disappointed that he has ended up at Fulham, but it is about time he showcased his talents more regularly; a return of 5 goals isn’t bad, but Taarabt needs to uild upon that and let his football do the talking. The additions of Amorebieta and Boateng on frees is good business which will add quality to the squad which looks woefully short of quality past the starting XI.
Key Signing: Scott Parker Parker joins his 5th London club, and he can still do a job for Fulham at the age of 32 in keeping the ball and putting in tough tackles all over the pitch, and will add some energy and bite into what previously looked a very average Fulham midfield. Jol liked to emply a 5 man midfield and Parker has slotted in already and despite playing one game less than his team mates has already made the most passes in the team, he can be accused of playing sideways but keeping the ball is something Fulham have struggled to do so Parker’s addition is welcomed. Parker hasn’t played for England since March and it is hard to see a way back for him, but he should have a good season for Fulham, and try to guide them away from a relegation battle.
Transfer Rating: C
Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham, £5m)
Curtis Davies (Birmingham, £2.25m)
Ahmed Elmohamady (Sunderland, £2m)
Allan McGregor (Besiktas, £1.8m)
Yannick Sagbo (Evian, £1.5m)
George Boyd (Peterborough, Free)
Maynor Figueroa (Wigan, Free)
Steve Harper (Newcastle United, Free)
Danny Graham (Sunderland, Loan)
Jake Livermore (Tottenham, Loan)
Gedo (Al Ahly, Loan)
Out: Corry Evans (Blackburn, £750,000),
Andy Dawson (Scunthorpe, Free
Jack Hobbs (Nottingham Forest, Loan)
Tom Cairney (Blackburn, Loan
Cameron Stewart (Charlton, Loan)
Paul McKenna (Released)
Seyi Olofinjana (Released)
Jay Simpson (Released)
Steve Bruce used his transfer ability to buy wisely for Hull this season and picked up some good additions in the window. With somewhat more controlled philosophy to that at Crystal Palace and on a cheaper budget than Cardiff, Hull have picked up some very decent players capable of keeping them in the Premier League. Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore were the most high profile signings coming in together from Tottenham and the pair played a combined 47 games for Tottenham last season are more than capable of sitting in front of the back four and spraying passes all over the pitch, and are two very good signings from Hull, and takes advantage of the number of signings that Tottenham made in the window. Allan McGregor finally gets his chance in the Premier League after a long spell at Rangers and then playing in Turkey and has already shown that he is Premier League quality with his Man of the Match performance in Hull’s 1-0 win over Norwich. The likes of Elmohamady,Davies, Harper and Figueroa all have Premier League experience and signed permanently for a combined fee of around £4.25 million, showing Bruce’s astuteness in the transfer market. The signing of Danny Graham was an interesting one, as Sunderland paid £5 million for him in only January, and is a good player for Hull to have up front, and if he can recapture the form that saw him score 12 PL goals in 11/12 he will be a big factor in Hull’s campaign.
Key Signing: Tom Huddlestone Signing Huddlestone from Tottenham looks to be a good piece of business for Hull, especially as they snapped up a player who played 29 times for Tottenham last seaosn and also played once for England, for only £5 million, and enough has been made of the expense of English players. Huddlestone played a lot of games towards the end of last season when Tottenham were pushing for the last Champions League place and even started the last five games of the season after he had come on against Man City for the last 30 minutes, during which Tottenham scored 3 times. The fact that he started games towards the end of last season shows that Villas Boas thought Huddlestone is a good player, but with all of Tottenham’s new signings he was never going to play, but hiss signing can be a key factor in Hull staying out of trouble, and a great piece of business by Hull.
Transfer Rating: B
Mamadou Sakho (Paris St-Germain, £18m)
Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo, £9m)
Simon Mignolet (Sunderland, £9m)
Luis Alberto (Seville, £6.8m)
Tiago Ilori (Sporting Lisbon, £7m)
Kolo Touré (Manchester City, Free)
Aly Cissokho (Valencia, Loan)
Victor Moses (Chelsea, loan)
Out: Andy Carroll (West Ham, £15.5m)
Stewart Downing (West Ham, £6m)
Jonjo Shelvey (Swansea £6m)
Jay Spearing (Bolton, £2m
Peter Gulasci (Red Bull Salzburg, Free)
Danny Wilson (Hearts, Free)
Conor Coady (Sheffield United, Loan
Pepe Reina (Napoli, Loan)
Jack Robinson (Blackpool, Loan)
Suso (Almeria, Loan)
Oussame Assaidi (Stoke, Loan)
Fabio Borini (Sunderland, Loan)
A busy summer at Anfield which saw a total spend of around 50m, as Bredan Rodgers looks to reshape a squad which still has remnants of the mess that Kenny Dagleish created. Rather than spending vast sums on English players, Rodgers has mainly looked abroad for talented young players, at just a fraction of the cost of the likes of Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing, both of who were shipped out at just a fraction of what was paid for them. Rodgers has looked to strengthen all areas of the squad bringing in a goalkeeper, three defenders, three midfielders and an attacker, so it is clear that the aim of the window was to strengthen all areas of the team. Simon Mignolet comes in after a few good seasons for Sunderland, and after being more error-prone than usual in the past few season he is a younger and seemingly more reliable replacement for Pepe Reina, and has proved this in his first three games. Liverpool needed depth in the Centre back position after the retirement of Jamie Carragher, who was played more than expected last season, and Rodgers brought in Kolo Toure, Tiago Illori and most expensively Mamadou Sakho. The defensive spending looks to be good business, with Toure on a free, Illori relatively cheap for a young defender who looks to be going places and although expensive, Sakho looks to be worth the money and is only 23. Rodgers seems to like Aspas as he has started the first three games of the season, and he will be hoping for a repeat of his 12 goals in La Liga last season, but only once before has Aspas got into double figures, and most of his career so far has been spent in the Segunda division, so whether he can make much of a difference to the Liverpool attack, especially when Suare returns is doubtful. Cissokho and Alberto can add width to the Liverpool attack, as will Victor Moses who was surplus to requirements at Chelsea due to being an attacking midfielder, of which Chelsea have plenty. Moses’ direct running may be something that Liverpool need against the more defensive away teams, as despite a good home record last season they sometimes struggle to break teams down. The main transfer activity with Liverpool obviously involved Suarez, and the fact that he is staying can only be good news for Liverpool fans. With 23 goals in 33 games last season, as well as his ability to break defences down with his dribbling is something that Liverpool simply had to keep and it really is a signal of their intent this season that they kept him.
Key Signing- Mamadou Sakho
Sakho was Liverpool’s most expensive signing of the window and adds some real class and leadership to the Liverpool defence. Despite being only 23 Sakho made over 150 appearances for PSG, captained them at the age of 17,captained the under 21s, and played 14 times for France, so Liverpool are not getting an inexperienced centre-back here, more an established centre back who is likely to be starting. Sakho is exactly what Liverpool needed after the retirement of Jamie Carragher, and Sakho oming into a defence which hasn’t conceded in the league so far this season shows how focused Rodgers was on improving the defence more than anything else.
Transfer Rating – B
Fernandinho (Shakhtar Donetsk, £30m)
Stevan Jovetic (Fiorentina, £22m)
Jésus Navas (Seville, £17m rising to £22.9m)
Alvaro Negredo (Seville, £16.4m rising to £20.6m)
Martin Demichelis (Atletico Madrid, £3.5m)
Out:Carlos Tévez (Juventus £12m)
Maicon (Roma, £3m)
Denis Suarez (Barcelona, £1.3m)
Jeremy Helan (Sheffield Wednesday, £350,000)
Wayne Bridge (Reading, Free)
Roque Santa Cruz (Malaga, Free)
Kolo Touré (Liverpool, Free)
Reece Wabara (Doncaster, Loan)
Scott Sinclair (West Brom, Loan)
Abdul Razak (Anzji Makhachkala, Loan)
Gareth Barry (Everton, Loan).
Machester City’s first signing of the window was Manuel Pelligrini when Roberto Macini finally saw the exit door after a trophy-less season, a disastrous time in Europe once again, and a title challenge that was long over before the final day to see no repeat of the famous “Aguerrrrooooooooo”. City’s business was conducted very early in the window, with only Martin Demihcelis coming in after July 19th, and that was only due to injuries. This early business makes City’s transfers looked far more planned than dealings at Man Utd and Arsenal, and the targets were obviously thought about even before Pelligrini came in, but City spent heavily once again as they look to regain their Premier League title. Fernandihno was the headline signing with a hefty £30m fee, and that was a lot of money on a 28 year old only capped 5 times by Brazil, but his box to box style, along with his ball retention should work well alongside Yaya Toure, even if his price tag was a bit hefty, but then again, Man City are always going to be overcharged with their known wealth. Steven Jovetic is arguably a better signing than Fernandihno, being only 23, costing £22m and being hugely talented he is a player that should fit in well with the Man City system. So often last season Man City would dominate games but lack the final finish, but with a goood finisher like Jovetic that should become less of a problem. Able to play upfront or in a attacking midfield role, Jovetic adds yet more depth to a Man City front line, which is arguably the best in the league. Alvaro Negredo has made the biggest impact of any signing so far with 2 goals in his three subsitute appearances (and one wrongly disallowed for offside), and must be in with a chance of starting soon. Negredo is likely to be the back-up option for Dzeko with Pelligrini favouring a 4-2-3-1 formation with a hold-up forward/targetman, which probably also explains why Carlos Tevez was allowed to leave the club, but this is a player with a great scoring record in both La liga and for the national team and having already showed his eye for goal will be really challenging for a starting spot. Martin Demichelis came in late in the window aftre cantre back injuries, but is now also injured himself, and once Nastatic and Kompany come back its unlikely he will play too much but at £4 million he is a good signing for cover, and a player Pelligrini knows well. The summer also meant the end of contracts for players who many will have forgot still played for Man City with the likes of Wayne Bridge and Roque Santa Cruz finally released.
Key Signing: Jesus Navas One signing not mentioned above was Jesus Navas who will add some serious pace to the Man City attacking line. Playing on the right side of the 3 man attacking midfield Man City finally have a real pace outlet now, which they have been lacking in the past few seasons. Too often Man City tried to walk the ball into the net under a cautious Mancini but with Pelligrini known for his more “gung-ho” attitude Navas should be allowed to run at his opposition, and should be getting a number of assists. Last season’s figures for Navas don’t read too well with only 6 assists and 0 goals, but if he can reproduce assists figures such as 13,13,14 in the previous 3 full seasons he will be a real aquisistion to Man City.
Marouane Fellaini (Everton, £27.5m)
Guillermo Varela (Penarol, £2.4m)
Out: John Cofie (Barnsley, Free)
Reece Brown (Watford, Free
Angelo Henriquez (Real Zaragoza, Loan)
Nick Powell (Wigan, Loan)
Bebe (Paco Ferreira, Loan)
Paul Scholes (Retired)
A transfer that United will probably want to forget, and despite being linked with a number of world stars they ended up with Fellaini, a player they could’ve had for £4m cheaper a few weeks before, and quite obviously not their first choice. Lots of people have been quick to blame David Moyes for the transfer activity but surely if Manchester United had been fully behind him transfer such as Fabregas would have happened? It’s unusual for United’s business to have been so public, and the “fake representatives” story in trying to sign Herrera really summed up United’s summer. Onto the actual business (or lack of it) and aside from Fellaini, only a 20-year old Uruguayan was bought in, who has only played once for his club team, hardly an enthralling signing. Much was made of United’s pursuit of Fabregas and it looks to be the one area where they could have done with a real world class centre midfielder. Michael Carrick still divides opinion, as does Tom Cleverley and someone like Fabregas would have been the class act in the midfield, and as good as Fellaini is it’s hard to disagree that he is nowhere near the class of Fabregas. It was surprising to see no other reinforcements at all, for a team who is expected to challenge on all fronts this season, and despite chasing both Leighton Baines and Fabio Coentrao, Patrice Evra is still a strong left-back but surely will not have been happy at the manager looking at numerous other players.
Key signing:Marouane Fellaini There isn’t much choice is there really? After being linked with a whole host of centre midfielders and publicly chasing Fabregas and Herrera, the signing of Fellaini surely left United fans feeling left a bit short-changed, despite the fact that Fellaini is a very talented player. Last season at Everton was by his best in terms of goals with 11, and that is the sort of return United fans will hope to be seeing this season, with a burden taken off the likes of Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie, as United look to get their midfield contributing more goals. It would be good to see Fellaini play an advanced role for United as he did for Everton last season, but that would see Wayne Rooney moved out wide, so it will be interesting to see where Moyes plays his most expensive signing ever.
Transfer Rating- D
Olivier Kemen (Metz, £350,000)
Loïc Rémy (QPR, Loan).
Out: James Perch (Wigan, £750,000)
Danny Simpson (QPR, Free)
Steve Harper (Hull City, Free)
Mehdi Abeid (Panathinaikos, Loan)
Shane Ferguson (Birmingham, Loan)
A shambolic summer window for Newcastle, from the signing of Joe Kinnear right down to the club statement from Alan Pardew about the (lack of) summer activity. The fact that a 16-year old was the only permanent signing of the window for a team who finished 16th last season must be a huge concern for Newcastle fans. Newcastle have tried to defend their lack of business by claiming that the majority of their business was done in January, but that was to help a slide down the table and to make up for the fact that they only signed three players last summer: Curtis Good: played one game for Bradford City on loan last season, Gael Bigirimana: Started just 3 games last season and Vurnon Anita, who was the only player to make a significant contribution of the trio. As this is a summer transfer review, there is no point discussing January in too much detail, but the 5 players bought in are of a good standard but they will unable to steer Newcastle too far away from the relegation zone, and it was obvious that reinforcements were needed in the window. One area where fans will have been hoping for reinforcements is in attack, and the addition of Loic Remy is not enough when you consider Newcastle’s recent goal scoring record; Since the beginning of March Newcastle have only scored 8 in their 14 league matches, when you break that down further and see that 2 of those were against relegated QPR, and two 1-0 wins over Fulham at home you can see what a hard time Newcastle have had in front of goal. On paper Newcastle have a decent team, and they will be hoping that now the transfer window is closed arguably their most creative player, Yohanne Cabaye, will be starting games again, and that their only decent signing in Loic Remy will be ready to start scoring goals.
Key Signing: Loic Remy A bit of a no-brainer in regards to the key signing, but Remy could be the player that Newcastle really need, as Papiss Cisse seems to be struggling n front of goal. Remy showed he has the class for the Premier League when he scored 6 goals in his 13 starts for QPR last season, and was the club’s top scorer despite only being there half a season. Qpr paid £8 million for Remy and Newcastle will have had to pay a decent loan fee to get him to St James’ for the season but he is a player with an eye for goal and fans will be hoping his pace and finishing can get Newcastle back up the league.
Transfer Rating: F
Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Sporting Lisbon, £8.5m)
Leroy Fer (FC Twente, £7m)
Gary Hooper (Celtic, £5m)
Martin Olsson (Blackburn, £2.5m)
Nathan Redmond (Birmingham, £2.2m rising to £3.2m)
Javier Garrido (Lazio, £1.275m)
Carlo Nash (Stoke, Free)
Johan Elmander (Galatasaray, Loan)
Out: Grant Holt (Wigan, £2m)
James Vaughan (Huddersfield, £1m)
Leon Barnett (Wigan, £500,000)
Tom Adeyemi (Birmingham, Free)
Lee Camp (WBA, Free)
Simeon Jackson (Eintracht Braunschweig, Free)
Chris Martin (Derby, Free)
Jed Steer (Aston Villa, Free
Marc Tierney (Bolton, Free)
Elliott Ward (Bournemouth, Free)
Declan Rudd (Preston, Loan)
Andrew Surman (Bournemouth, Loan)
Jacob Butterfield (Middlesbrough, Undisclosed).
A very busy transfer window at Norwich, which saw Chris Hughton ship out a number of long serving players such as Holt and Martin and started to resemble a squad which looks ready for a Premier League campaign, and arguably the best squad Norwich have had in a very long time. Hughton spent around £25 million in the window, and the emphasis on attack was clear with three strikers bought in and given that Norwich were the joint-third lowest scorers last season, and looked particularly toothless at times, looks to be a justified decision. Grant Holt was allowed to leave despite being the club’s top scorer for the 4th season in a row, and the signings of Elmander,Hooper and Van Wolswinkel all look to be better players than Holt, and signal Norwich’s intent to be more than relegation candidates each year. Van Wolfswinkel comes in for a club record £8.5 million and was agreed as early as March, but whether his scoring record in Holland and Portugal will be replicated in England will be questioned. Van Wolfswinkel scored 26 in 64 for Utrecht before 28 in 55 for Sporting, but these are in much inferior leagues to te Premier League, with the likes of Afonso Alves and Meteja Kezman coming to mind, and Van Wolfswinkel looks more of a provider than a natural goal scorer. Gary Hooper finally gets his move to the Premier League after scoring at every level from Conference South to Champions League and will surely score goals for Norwich once he gets his chance, even if the step up from SPL to the Premier League is a big one. One final striker who came in is Johan Elmander, who is a striker with a fairly poor goal record, and apart from half a season at Bolton has never really scored too many goals, but is good competition for Van Wolfswinkel as a hold-up striker and is a much better back up option than Norwich have had in recent seasons. Three left sided players joined with Redmond (L/RM), Olsson (D/M L) and Garrido (DL) all likely to play a big part this season, and both Olsson and Garrido have Premier League experience. Leroy Fer came in from Feyenoord, and looks to be a great signing. Fer was set to join Everton in January for around £8.5 million until a knee problem came up in the medical and they wanted to negotiate a fee based on appearances, but Everton’s loss can be Norwich’s gain. Fer has been linked with a number of top clubs and Juventus once enquired about him, and his tough tackling defensive midfielder position is something that Norwich certainly needed, getting over ran a few times last season. A special mention must also go out to Carlo Nash who signed for a Premier League club despite being 39, seemingly being around for ages and not playing Premier League football in around 8 years.
Key Signing:Nathan Redmond Despite being one of the less expensive transfers of the summer for Norwich, Redmond’s signing caught the eye. Hughton worked with Redmond at Birmingham and knows his talents, and it was a surprise to see him leave as cheap as he did, and to Norwich, as he had been linked with a few bigger teams in the past. Redmond has great pace, and that is something that Norwich needed, with their team last season more built on hard work, Redmond gives them a pacy outlet. Redmond’s ability to play on either wing should see him start quite a few games this season, and he could be a big creative outlet providing ammunition for the club’s new strikers, as well as scoring more goals personally, as he did against Southampton.
Transfer Rating: A
Pablo Daniel Osvaldo (Roma, £15m)
Victor Wanyama (Celtic, £12.5m)
Dejan Lovren (Lyon, £8.5m)
Out: Vegard Forren (Molde FK, Undisclosed)
Dean Hammond (Leicester, Undisclosed)
Richard Chaplow (Millwall, Free)
Steve de Ridder (Utrecht, Free
Frazer Richardson (Middlesbrough, Free)
Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace, Loan)
Danny Butterfield (Carlisle, Free)
Emmanuel Mayuka (Sochaux, Loan).
A transfer window in which Southampton really splashed the cash, and chose to go for quality over quantity, and signed three players who earnt rave reviews for their moves. Victor Wanyama signed from Celtic, and after being linked strongly with clubs such as Arsenal, seems like a good piece of business from Southampton. At only 22 Wanyama has the best years of career firmly in front of him, and was a fan’s favourite at Celtic. Wanyama should strike up a good partnership in defensive midfield with Morgan Schniederlin, but with more of a box-to-box midfielder about him, is capable of joining up with attacks and scored in Celtic’s win over Barcelona in last season’s Champions League. Dejan Lovren slots straight in a Centre-back after falling out of favour at Lyon, but is a good addition, and is an improvement on what Saints had. Lovren’s ability to play all along the back line will no doubt come in handy for the Saints, who conceded more goals per game than the league average last season. Despite Ricky Lambert’s 15 goals last season, Lambert and Rodriguez were the only two recognised strikers left at the club and Southampton were always going to bring in another striker but few could’ve anticipated the arrival of Osvaldo who is the feature of the key signing feature below.
Key Signing:Pablo Osvaldo The signing of Osvaldo for a club record £15m seems like a great piece of business of Southampton, and they will be hoping he can show the kind of form that led him to be Roma’s top goal scorer last season. Osvaldo looks set to play just behind Ricky Lambert and if they can can strike up a partnership then it could be a good goal scoring season for Southampton. Osvaldo seems to have matured into a goal scorer in the last few season with 47 goals in the last 4 seasons for Espanyol and Roma, but only 28 goals in the 4 seasons before that as he failed to score too often for Fiorentina and Bologna. Osvaldo looks to have joined Southampton at the peak of his career, and at the age of 27 will be hoping to be going to the World Cup with Italy, and a good season with Southampton should see him on the plain to Brazil with he Azzuri.
Transfer Rating: B
Erik Pieters (PSV Eindhoven, £3m)
Marko Arnautovic (Werder Bremen, £2m)
Alex Grant (Portsmouth, Free)
Marc Muniesa (Barcelona, Free)
Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution, Free*)
Oussame Assaidi (Liverpool, Free)
Stephen Ireland (Aston Villa, Loan)
*Joins on Jan. 1st
Out: Florent Cuvelier (Sheffield United, Undisclosed)
Carlo Nash (Norwich, Free)
Mamady Sidibé (CSKA Sofia, Free)
Matthew Upson (Brighton, Free)
Dean Whitehead (Middlesbrough, Free)
Rory Delap (Burton Albion, Free)
Ryan Shotton (Wigan, Loan)
Cameron Jerome (Crystal Palace, Loan)
Michael Owen (Retired)
The first summer transfer window after the departure of Tony Pulis was always going to be interesting (kind of) for Mark Hughes, and he has hardly set the world alight with the his purchases. When the most expensive purchase is a left-back who has only managed 27 appearances for his club in the last 2 years due to injuries, you’re not going to have had a brilliant transfer window. Pieters is actually a decent player and should make the left back spot his own this season should he stay injury free and will need a good season to get on the plane to Brazil with Holland as his spot hangs in the balance. Marko Arnautovic was bought in to boost a Stoke attack which scored a pitiful 34 goals last season but whether a player who has just 30 goals in 145 club appearances, we will wait and see. Arnautovic has had a number of fall outs in his career already with team mates and Jose Mourinho questioned his attitude during a loan spell at Inter Milan, so despite Mark Hughes claiming he will add “power and pace” to the attack, he may also be a disruption if things do not go his way. Assaidi comes in from Liverpool after only a handful of appearances and will surely be more of an impact player coming off the bench, but has looked like a player who could run at tiring defenders late in games, and may be a good squad addition. Stephen Ireland came in late in the transfer window much to the relief of Aston Villa, and Stoke fans will be hoping Mark Hughes will some how spark Ireland back into his form of five seasons ago. Ireland has been nothing short of dreadful in his time at Villa, and whether he will feature much in a Stoke team which will be built on hard work, when he can be a very lazy player remains to be seen.
Key Signing:Marco Arnautovic Nothing stands out too much from Stoke’s summer signings but if anyone can make a real difference it’s Arnautovic. The Austrian is obviously a taleneted player, as not many players go on loan to a Mourinho team, but his attitude is clearly his weak point. At over 6ft 3″ Arnautovic should be pushing Peter Crouch out of the starting line-up and getting on the end of crosses from the likes of Etherington and Walters but if he is made to sit on the bench things could go very sour for him and Stoke.
Transfer Rating: D
Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar, £6.5m)
Emanuele Giaccherini (Juventus, £6.5m)
Charis Mavrias (Panathinaikos, £3m)
Vito Mannone (Arsenal, £1.5m)
David Moberg Karlsson (IFK Gothenburg, £1.5m)
El-Hadji Ba (Le Havre, £380,000)
Andrea Dossena (Napoli, Free)
Duncan Watmore (Altrincham, Undisclosed)
Cabral (Basel, Free)
Modibo Diakité (Lazio, Free)
Valentin Roberge (Maritimo, Free)
Ondrej Celustka (Trabzonspor, Loan)
Ki Sung-Yeung (Swansea City, Loan)
Fabio Borini (Liverpool, Loan)
Out: Simon Mignolet (Liverpool, £9m)
Stephane Sessegnon (WBA, £6m)
Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull, £2m)
James McClean (Wigan, £1m)
Matt Kilgallon (Blackburn, Free)
Danny Graham (Hull City, Loan)
Alfred N’Diaye (Eskisehirspor, Loan)
Titus Bramble (Released)
A summer of huge upheaval at the Stadoum of Light as Paolo Di Canio looked to put his mark on a Sunderland team which were woeful last season and finished 17th and just 3 points clear of the drop zone. It’s hard to know where to start but Jozy Altidore was bought in from AZ Alkmaar as the player who had completely changed since his days at Hull when he scored only 1 goal all season, and if you looked purely at his stats for Alkmaar last season this would look to be the case with 23 goals in his 33 league games, however as most people know there are plenty of goals to be had in the Dutch league, which can make players seem a better prospect than they actually are. Altidore had 3 players ahead of him in the scoring charts despite his record, Wilfried Bony whose 31 goals earnt him a move to Swansea, Alfreo Finnbogsan, a talented Icelander but the presence of Graziano Pelle who could not get into the Parma team and scored 4 in 12 for a Serie B team scoring 27 goals raises some questions about the Dutch league. From the early few games, Altidore still looks a player full of strength but not a natural goal scorer and the £6.5 million looks a lot on him, and perhaps Di Canio realised he was not a reliable signing with the late loan signing of Fabio Borini, who was always going to struggle to get games at Liverpool this season, but is yet to show he is Premier League quality. Giaccherini looks to be the star addition in an embarssingly long list of signing and is the featured key signing. It is difficult to go through every player that Sunderland have signed, and i’m convinced Di Canio would struggle to name the players he has bought in himself, such has been the haphazardness of the signings. Mavrias comes in from Panathinaikos and is obviously a talent having broke into his first team at the age of just 16, but whether Sunderland needed a young winger with only two seasons of Greek football behind him is questionable. Most of Sunderland’s activity was done pretty early and from Di Canio’s early squads Celustka looks to have been given the right back spot and looks decent from first viewing, and looks a steady defensive option with a bit of experience having played for Trabzonspor in the Champions League. Diakite looks like he could add some steel to a weak Sunderland back line at centre-back and despite not playing much for Lazio last season should be starting plenty of games for Sunderland, and looks a decent addition on a free. Other free signings such as Roberge and Dossena also look like they will feature heavily in Di Canio’s plans as he looks to completely reshape his back line. Going out of Sunderland somewhat surprisingly was Stephane Sessegnon, who is a player who can make thins happen, and the decision to let him leave was a strange one.
Key Signing:Emanuele Giaccherini Giaccherini comes in from Juventus, and looks to be the class signing amongt Di Canio’s frees,loans and cheap purchases. Featuring in 17 games for the Serie A champions shows that he is a very capable player and can play in a number of positions, mainly attacking midfield, but also left midfield and even left back, but will surely be used in attack this season. Giaccherini looks the player who can make things happen in the Sunderland attack now, and he is arguably their best player, and had a big season ahead of him if he wants to keep Sunderland in the division and make the Italian squad to Brazil.
Transfer Rating: D
Wilfried Bony (Vitesse Arnhem, £12m)
Jonjo Shelvey (Liverpool, £5m rising to £6m)
Jordi Amat (Espanyol, £2.5m)
Alejandro Pozuelo (Real Betis, £425,000)
Gregor Zabret (NK Domzale, Undisclosed)
José Cañas (Real Betis, Free)
Alex Gogic (Olympiakos, Free)
Jernade Meade (Arsenal, Free)
Jonathan de Guzman (Villareal, Loan)
Alvaro Vazquez (Getafe, Loan)
Out: Kemy Agustien (Brighton, Free)
Mark Gower (Charlton, Free)
Kyle Bartley (Birmingham, Loan)
Alan Tate (Yeovil Town, Loan)
Ki Sung-Yeung (Sunderland, Loan)
Michael Laudrup has again used his knowledge of the Spanish leagues in his transfer activity, and will hoping that he discovers another Michu in his signings. It is a wise move by Laudrup to bulk up his squad as they will be playing Thursdays and Sundays with their involvement in the Europa League, and with tricky games against Valencia and Kuban, the squad will be stretched to the maximum in the next couple of months. Wilfried Bony is obviously the headline signing and is featured in the key signing, but the signing of Jonjo Shelvey also looked to be a good one from Liverpool. Shelvey should fit nicely in Swansea’s style of play, and despite having his critics at Liverpool was used 32 times in all competitions, and he is still only 21, so looks a pretty good buy from Swansea. Jonathan de Guzman comes in on loan again, and after playing 33 games last season will probably play a big part again this season, but alongside Jose Canas, who looks a good free signing from Betis, and will look to keep things simple in the middle of the park, as the front four push on. Of the other signings, Alvaro Vazquez will be used as a back-up striker, and is clearly talented having played for the Spanish Under 21s at this years Euros, and may be bought in permanently depending on how he fares this season. Jordi Amat is another one for the future and the centre back will do well to get ahead of Ashley Williams and Chico in the starting XI but is a good young player to have in reserve ahead of a season which Swansea will most likely play more than 50 games.
Key Signing: Wilfred Bony Swansea smashed their transfer record with the £12 million signing of Bony, and after his goal scoring exploits in Holland they will be looking for a similar first season that Michu had, despite him costing £10 million more. Bony had an incredible goal scoring record in Holland last season and in all competitions managed to score 36 in 37 games in all competitions for Vitesse, and also scored another 4 in his 5 caps for the Ivory Coast. His strength and finishing should make him a valuable asset to Swansea, and whether they play him up front with Michu behind or up front on his own he is sure to score a few goals, and at the age of only 23 the best could still be to come from the Ivorian.
Transfer Rating B
Erik Lamela (Roma, £30m)
Roberto Soldado (Valencia, £26m)
Paulinho (Corinthians, £17m)
Christian Eriksen (Ajaz, £11.5m)
Étienne Capoue (Toulouse, £9m)
Vlad Chiriches (Steaua Bucharest, £8.5m)
Nacer Chadli (FC Twente, £7m)
Out: Gareth Bale (Real Madrid, £86m)
Steven Caulker (Cardiff, £8m)
Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders, £6m)
Tom Huddlestone (Hull, £5m)
Scott Parker (Fulham, £2m)
Massimo Luongo (Swindon, £400,000)
John Bostock (Royal Antwerp, Free)
Bongani Khumalo (Doncaster, Loan)
Jake Livermore (Hull, Loan)
Adam Smith (Derby, Loan)
Benoît Assou-Ekotto, Tom Carroll (Both QPR, Loan)
David Bentley, William Gallas (Released)
Tottenham have been involved in much media attention in the off season due to the whole Gareth Bale saga, and when it was clear he was going to leave, Tottenham wasted no time in bringing in £106 million worth of talent, and despite such a huge outlay actually were one of only three clubs to end the window in profit. The Gareth Bale saga was always going to be a talking point, but getting £86 million for a player who, despite his obvious talent now, has only had a couple of brilliant seasons seems like a brilliant piece of business. Whilst Bale leaving was a big blow, as he scored 21 league goals last season, Tottenham have finally bought in what everyone knew they have needed for the past couple of seasons – world class strikers. Roberto Soldado comes in, and has already made an impact and is the key player feature, but this is the kind of player that Tottenham fans have been crying out for, and having to play Adebayor up front last season was possibly the reason for them missing out on Champions League football. Another attacker who comes in with a big reputation is Erik Lamela from Roma who had a breakthrough season last year with 15 league goals and if anyone can be see as a direct replacement for Bale it is probably Lamela. Like Bale, Lamela has a real pace and directness to his game, and it will be interesting to see how Villas Boas plays him, but with Lamela in the team there is no doubt that there will be goals, and a danger from counter attacks. The defensive midfield duo of Capoue and Paulinho come in to give protection to the Tottenham defence and look a solid pairing, with Capoue more of a tough tackling midfielder, and whilst Paulinho is still hard in the tackle, he is probably the better technical player and will look to support attacks more often, and both at this stage look like good buys who look set for big Tottenham careers. A continuous high calibre of player kept coming into White Hart Lane this window and Christian Eriksen is an excellent signing from Ajax. Eriksen has often been linked with bigger clubs, and for Tottenham to get him seems a real coup, and he is a good addition to the attacking midfielders Tottenham already have. Despite only being 21, Eriksen played over 160 games for Ajax, and his creativity is something that Tottenham will need in the central attacking midfield role, and he will be really challenging Demebele for the starting spot, and given his talent, will probably be a first team regular in that position before long. Vlad Chiriches joined on the same day as Eriksen and is another younger player who looks to have a big future ahead of him. Chiriches only played one whole season for Steau Bucharest before moving to Tottenham, and will provide good cover for Dawson and Vertoghen, and perhaps even allow Vertoghen to move into left back as Chiriches has captained the Romanian national team and will not want to be sitting on the bench, and looks to have the talent to step into the first team. The final transfer not mentioned is that of Chadli from Twente, and gives Villas Boas yet more option for his attacking midfield trio, who will play behind Soldado. Chadli has started Tottenham’s first three matches and has been ok, but once Lamela and Lennon are fit will probably find himself on the bench, but is a good player to come on with his dribbling and pace.
Key Signing: Roberto Soldado Tottenham finally splashed out some money to bring in a world striker and Roberto Soldado seems to have fit the bill perfectly. Soldado made his name at Valencia with 59 goals in 101 games, but even before that his record for Getafe of 29 goals in 60 is very much in line with career average of 1 goal in every 2 games. Soldado looks to be the perfect fit for Tottenham as he is able to hold up the ball very well and lay it off to his more creative team mates, but then his ability in the box is what makes him a goalscorer with both his aerial ability and his finishing both deadly. Soldado has already showed Tottenham fans his ability with 4 goals in 4 games, and after watching Adebayor labour around the pitch for most of last season, a world class striker is something that Tottenham finally have. Although he played a large part in the Confederations Cup over the summer for Spain, Soldado’s seat on the plane to Brazil is not guranteed, but a decent season for Tottenham should see him there, and he will score some goals this season, with bookmakers already slashing his top goal scorer odds from around 33/1 to 10/1.
Transfer Rating: A
Stephane Sessegnon (Sunderland, £6m)
Victor Anichebe (Everton, £6m
Nicolas Anelka (Shanghai Shenhua, Free)
Lee Camp (Norwich, Free)
Diego Lugano (Paris St-Germain, Free)
Goran Popov (Dynamo Kiev, Loan)
Morgan Amalfitano (Marseille, Loan)
Matej Vydra (Udinese, Loan)
Scott Sinclair (Manchester City, Loan)
Out: Peter Odemwingie (Cardiff, £2.5m)
Marc-Antoine Fortuné (Wigan, Free)
James Hurst (Valur, Free)
Gonzalo Jara Reyes (Nottingham Forest, Free)
Jerome Thomas (Crystal Palace, Free)
A few deadline day signings may have salvaged what was looking like a poor window for West Brom, and may have done enough to keep the fans happy. The early transfer business done was looking pretty uninpiring bar the signing of Nicolas Anelka, so when he left the club indefinitely due to personal reasons, things weren’t looking too clever, especially as they have been in decline since the second half of last season. Matej Vydra comes in on loan from Udinese and it will be interesting to see whether a player who was so prolific in the Championship can make the step up to the Premier League, and early sings suggest he will be limited to substitute appearances. With no goals in their first three games, it was likely that Steve Clarke was going to move for a striker on deadline day, but thinking of a goal scoring forward, not many would have come up with the name of Victor Anichebe, and the fact that they bought him off Everton, which probably financed the move of Lukaku to Everton, must irk West Brom fans. Anichebe certainly gives the baggeis something different, a strong a powerful forward who can lead the line, much like Lukaku at times last season, but for a team short on goals a player with only 18 goals in 131 games (58 starts) does not inspire confidence, and especially not for £6 million, but it is a fresh start for the player. Another £6 million signing came in the form of Sessengnon and he is a player who looks worth the £6 million and is the key player feature. Scott Sinclair joined on loan and if he can play to his ability then he can be a good signing, as he was a good player at Swansea and may be saw the £ signs more than the oppurtunities he’s get at Man City, and that has definitely stagnated his career. Goran Popov was again loaned in, and had a decent second half of the season, and will look to get ahead of Liam Ridgwell in the left-back spot. Steve Clarke knew that the goals of Lukaku needed replacing and the signing of Morgan Amalfitano may tun out to be a good provider of chances, coming in on loan from Marseille. Amalfitano handed in a transfer request at Marseille, and from being a failr regular part of Marseille’s plans, he probably would have been hoping for more than a loan move to West Brom, but he can play either in the middle or out wide and may provider the creativity that West Brom have so far lacked in their opening three games. Diego Lugano came in on a free , and could prove to be a great signing, with Lugano playing at some big clubs in the last few seasons. Whether Lugano can displace Jonas Olsson and Gareth McAuley, will be interesting to see, but either way he is a good free signing for West Brom and they now have three solid centre back options.
Key Signing: Stephane Sessengnon It was surprising that Sunderland let Sessengnon leave the club, as he looked to be the one player with a creative spark in a faltering team,and may be to do with his arrest for drink-driving but even so looks to be the best piece of business done by the Baggies. Sessegnon is exactly the kind of creative play maker that West Brom have been needing, and if he can be consistent enough can be their star player. Capable of playing all across midfield and up front, he has the pace and skill to cause real havoc, and Steve Clarke will be hoping he can can repeat, or improve, on his tally of 7 goals in each of the last two seasons.
Transfer Rating: B
Andy Carroll (Liverpool, £15.5m)
Stewart Downing (Liverpool, £6m)
Danny Whitehead (Stockport, Undisclosed)
Adrián (Real Betis, Free)
Razvan Rat (Shakhtar Donetsk, Free)
Mladen Petric (Fulham, Free)
Out: Robert Hall (Bolton, Compensation)
Gary O’Neil (QPR, Free)
Before writing this the general theme that the business that West Ham had done, but didn’t really bring in too many players, and if Andy Carroll picked up a serious injury they would be in trouble, and it appears he has. Carroll is the best piece of business done by West Ham, and is the key player feature. Stewart Downing also came in from Liverpool but at £6 million was significantly cheaper than when he joined Liverpool. Despite often being criticised Downing can be a hard working winger capable of creating chances. In Downing’s last season at Villa he scored 7 goals and had 9 assists, and this was the type of form which saw him regularly in England squads, but his time at Liverpool never really worked out, and it was clear that Brendan Rodgers was never his biggest fan. Apart from those two signings there was not too much to get excited about for West Ham fans. Razvan Rat looked to be a good signing from Shakhtar Donetsk, after holding down the left-back role for around 10 years for his club and country, and will add cover at left-back but he hasn’t made the pitch so far, and at 32 it would be a surprise if he stayed more than a year. West Ham obviously tried to bring in another striker in the window with a move for Demba Ba muted, but nothing materialised, and even the name of Carlton Cole was mentioned, which would have been a very definite backwards step, before Mladen Petric was signed up after the window because he was a free agent. Petric is a goalscorer, and will fit into the tactics employed by Allardyce, as he is a big attacker who is good in the air, and could be seen as “A poor man’s Andy Carroll”. Petric was used mainly of the bench for Fulham last season such was the brilliant form of Berbatov, and although not a brilliant return, he did manage 5 goals in his 23 games (9 starts). Petric is only likely to be a short-term measure but with West Ham short on options, and facing the prospect of having only Modibo Maiga (17 PL apperances, 2 goals) and Ricardo Vaz Te (83 apps, 6 goals) the Croatian international is a welcome addition. It is surprising that Allardyce did not look to add more strength in depth, and West Ham look pretty weak all over their team after the first XI.
Key Signing: Andy Carroll Carroll coming in for £15 million was a big statement from West Ham, and after he was so impressive on loan for them it made perfect sense. However Carroll’s weakness is how injury prone he is, and that really has come back to bite West Ham at the worst possible time. Carroll has a a decent goal return in his Premier League appearances, and despite being a very cliched saying, he really does add more to the team than goals, holding the ball up for his attacking midfielders, and a particularly good relationship with Kevin Nolan is something West Ham will be hoping can continue when he returns to fitness. Carroll has a big season ahead of him, and he is crucial enough to West Ham to suggest that without him West Ham could be in for a long season. With England struggling the strikers department he will e hoping that he can make the squad to Brazil, and given his good displays for England so far he could eve be starting games in Brazil if he gets back to full fitness.
Transfer Rating: C
Tottenham Hotspur fans react to Danny Welbeck dive
Tottenham Hotspur fans were not pleased with Danny Welbeck’s dive v AC Milan.
Arsenal successfully knocked AC Milan out of the Europa League last night with a 3-1 win at the Emirates Stadium. The hero of the night was England forward Danny Welbeck. The striker scored two goals as Arsenal completed a deserved 5-1 aggregate victory over the Rossoneri.
But Milan had taken an early lead through Hakan Calhanoglu’s bamboozling long-range strike. Arsenal, at that stage, were looking on the ropes. Welbeck though won and then dispatched a penalty to level the scoring. The word ‘won’ being the optimum word.
Welbeck dived for the penalty, there is no doubt about that. Ricardo Rodriguez barely breathed on the Arsenal man, who tumbled to the ground hopefully. When the penalty was given, he looked in disbelief.
For Tottenham Hotspur fans it was a moment they did not appreciate.
Spurs have seen Dele Alli victimised throughout the season, and some would say rightly so, for his diving. There is no doubt that the England midfielder has dived this season and not many Tottenham fans would suggest not.
But the anger here lies with what Tottenham fans believe is hypocrisy. There is also a certain level or irony given a thinly veiled dig by Arsene Wenger against Spurs’ players this season.
After the highly controversial 2-2 draw at Anfield, where Harry Kane was accused of diving v Liverpool, Wenger had this to say, as reported by the BBC:
“I remember there were tremendous cases here when foreign players did it.
“But English players have learned very quickly and might be the masters now.”
“Sometimes players play a little bit with the rules. How far can you go? That is down to the referees.”
With Arsenal their next Premier League opponents, Arsene Wenger’s barb was not hard to see.
When that statement came out Tottenham fans quickly pointed out occasions when Arsenal’s English stars had been caught diving. Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott were prominent examples. Now, in Welbeck, Tottenham have seen another.
Arsenal fans will be happy that their team have booked a place in the next round of the Europa League. On balance it was more than a fair result as over two legs Arsenal outplayed the Italian giants.
But the Welbeck moment certainly put an asterix on the game for Spurs fans.
Here is some of the best reaction from Twitter…
Özil against Watford was falling down when a gust of wind went past him. It was appalling. Welbeck yesterday was one of the worst dives
— Joe B ??????? (@JblincoTHFC) March 16, 2018
Only just seen the Welbeck dive, he must be embarrassed even appealing for that.
— Joshhh (@JJonesTHFC) March 16, 2018
— Harry Hotspur (@HarryHotspurWHL) March 15, 2018
If you had any doubt about how this country treats Dele Alli (one of its brightest prospects in years) look at the difference in how the media and in particular fans, are talking about the #Welbeck dive. ? #COYS #THFC
— Gary Ford (@Spursfordie) March 15, 2018
Imagine if this was @dele_official who did this and the media onslaught! Danny Welbeck you diving cheat! Hope the likes of @talkSPORT @GaryLineker @alanshearer to name a few subject Danny to the same treatment they have subjected Dele too this season! https://t.co/MXFMAkOGcN
— H (@LittleMissTHFC) March 15, 2018
— Lucas (@MoughtTHFC) March 15, 2018
Welbeck is a cheat end of. Ruined a good game.
— THFC (@RaoullyT69) March 15, 2018
Look how everyone destroys Dele over diving. No one will comment on Welbeck’s dive. Shocking! #THFC
— Harry Hotspur (@HarryHotspurWHL) March 15, 2018
— Steve Williams (@spurssteve69) March 15, 2018
Welbeck dives. Dele will be in trouble in the morning. #THFC
— Stephen Vincent (@StevieV14) March 15, 2018
If Dele Alli did what Welbeck just did?
— Billy Adams (@ThfcAdams) March 15, 2018
Victory in Milan, but is this another false dawn for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger?
Arsenal were triumphant in Milan despite their recent miserable form.
Arsenal ended their losing run of four matches with an excellent performance away to AC Milan in the Europa League. This competition has the potential to save the Gunners season and the commitment from every player suggested that they want to go all the way.
They were coming up against a team full of confidence under Gennaro Gattuso. Milan hadn’t lost a match since the end of December. The Serie A club hadn’t conceded a goal in six and had won five of those inside ninety minutes.
These sides came into this fixture in remarkably different form, but football is played on grass and not on paper.
Despite Milan having more attempts, it was Arsenal who created the better chances. They had a couple of half-chances early on before the opening goal.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has had a hot and cold start to life in a Gunners’ shirt, but he was one of the best players on the pitch in Italy. His goal was emphatically taken as he drove the ball past Gianluigi Donnarumma.
It is important to capitalise when you are on top, especially away from home in European competitions and Arsenal did just that. As the first-half progressed, they continued to create the better opportunities. Both Danny Welbeck and Mkhitaryan had good chances to double the visitors’ lead, but they were squandered.
In stoppage-time of half-time, Arsenal scored a second to give them a commanding lead in the tie. It was a great move from the team and Mesut Ozil found Aaron Ramsey who coolly rounded Donnarumma before putting the ball into the net.
The first-half performance from Arsenal was one of the best that supporters have seen this season. They were better all over the pitch and showed the work rate that they had lacked in previous weeks. Milan pushed in the second half, but they couldn’t penetrate the Gunners’ defence.
Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi were both excellent. Arsene Wenger will be hoping that both are returning to their best after some uncharacteristic errors in previous matches. The centre-back pairing made eight ball recoveries and were always in the right position on Thursday.
Patrick Cutrone is a teenager with a big future, but the young striker had no luck out of the Arsenal defence and that will encourage the manager.
Another player to emerge with credit is Danny Welbeck. The ineligibility of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the injury of Alexandre Lacazette means that the Englishman started the game up front for Arsenal. It was a huge opportunity for him after being pushed down the pecking order at the club and he took it with both hands.
The Englishman worked tirelessly and caused problems with his movement.
Although his final product wasn’t great, he was a constant threat and led the defensive effort from the front. Welbeck will never be a leading Premier League striker, but he is effective in matches such as this one. He deserves more opportunities during the run-in.
It would be too soon to get carried away for Arsenal fans. There are still questions regarding Arsene Wenger and the work rate of the players, but this was an excellent performance that finally provides the club with positive momentum. They have had a miserable few weeks and the supporters can get excited about their team once again.
When the draw was made, a lot of supporters checked their expectations when it came to the Europa League. Milan were the overwhelming favourites, but Arsenal have taken a dominant position in the tie and should be able to finish the job in London.
If they can do that, they will move into the quarter-final stage. Although it will be difficult to win it, they will have as good a chance as any.
There have been many false dawns for Arsenal in recent years and this could be another one. That said, it takes enormous character to go away to a huge stadium like the San Siro after a poor run of form and win comfortably.
Considering the criticism that they have had for their lack of desire, few would have thought the Gunners to be capable of a result like this.
It is now up to Wenger to prove that he can get this level of effort and performance out of his players on a regular basis. The Frenchman remains in a difficult position with no margin for error. If he is going to keep his job, he needs to finish the season strongly and win the Europa League.
It won’t be an easy challenge, but this performance and result will give him hope that he can upset the odds to claim his first European trophy.
Brighton 2-1 Arsenal: Three talking points from the Amex
Arsenal lost for a fourth successive game as Brighton & Hove Albion bullied their opponents into submission.
Arsenal suffered their fourth consecutive defeat in all competitions as Brighton & Hove Albion took a giant leap towards Premier League survival.
The pressure on Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, which has intensified since the turn of the year, looks set to reach new heights after another dismal day at the office for his charges.
Goals from Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray put the Seagulls in control before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulled one back for the visitors on the stroke of half-time.
Despite enjoying the lion’s share of possession, Arsenal were unable to muster an equaliser.
For Brighton, this was a huge result that lifted them seven points clear of the relegation zone.
Here are three talking points…
Is beleaguered Wenger’s position now untenable?
It lurches from one disaster to another for Wenger.
He probably thought the nadir had been reached after last weekend’s limp performance in the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City, when his future became the main topic of debate.
The Frenchman would have hoped for a reaction from his players in the subsequent fixtures.
Instead, his side were brushed aside against City in the Premier League before producing another sub-standard display here against Brighton.
Added to their shock Europa League reversal at home to minnows Ostersunds, it is the first time Arsenal have lost four successive matches since 2002.
After last season’s FA Cup triumph, Wenger penned a new contract that takes him through to the summer of 2019.
Now, however, it’s difficult to see how he can last beyond the end of the current campaign.
Perhaps only by lifting the Europa League, which would automatically qualify Arsenal for the Champions League, could Wenger realistically remain in situ.
Even then, it may not be enough. His players look devoid of any confidence and need an injection of new ideas.
Brighton take a massive step towards safety
The focus will understandably be on Arsenal, but Brighton’s display should not be overlooked.
This victory extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to four games and has all but banished thoughts that they might be dragged into a relegation scrap.
Yes, it was a good time to face Arsenal, but Chris Hughton’s side made a fast start with two early goals that went a long way to recording their first win over the Gunners since 1982.
Brighton’s performance bore all the hallmarks of their season so far.
Despite being one of the lowest scorers in the division, they took their chances when they came, exploiting Arsenal’s weakness from set pieces and aerial balls.
In the second half, the home side remained very organised defensively, which was key when the Gunners upped the tempo.
Modest and unassuming, Hughton has done a terrific job on the south coast.
Defensive shortcomings continue to haunt Arsenal
Wenger has regularly spoken of his belief that Arsenal cannot compete on a level playing field with the likes of Manchester City.
And while his side’s record against fellow ‘Big Six’ clubs is regularly scrutinised, the Gunners’ results against the lesser lights have not been good enough for a club with Champions League aspirations.
In 2018 alone, Arsenal have been beaten by Swansea City, Bournemouth and now Brighton in the Premier League, while losing to Nottingham Forest and Ostersunds in cups.
A lack of leadership has long been an issue on the pitch and it’s an area Wenger has consistently ignored.
Defensively, the Gunners are too easy to bully.
Take Shkodran Mustafi’s defending for the first goal in the Carabao Cup final last weekend, for example.
Particularly away from home, Arsenal are prone to imploding.
Despite the attacking talent Wenger has at his disposal, his failure to invest in proven defenders at the top level looks set to cost him dearly.
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