by Sambit Satpathy Sep 4, 2013 17:10 IST
This year’s Premier League Transfer window has seen more drama than an Ekta Kapoor soap opera. There have been numerous ups and downs and a lot of cash splashed around during the two months that the window was open. In total, the Premier League teams spent £ 657,034,400 in player transfers, with the six-top teams shelling out £ 245,826,240.
With businesses continuing into late night, let’s have a look at how these six teams fared in the transfer market and how that could affect their chances this season.
Out: Danny Wilson, Jamie Carragher, Péter Gulácsi, Andy Carroll, Jonjo Shelvey, Michael Ngoo, Suso, Pepe Reina, Krisztián Adorján, Jack Robinson, Jay Spearing, Stewart Downing, Oussama Assaidi, Dani Pacheco, Fabio Borini.
In: Conor Coady, Kolo Touré, Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas, Simon Mignolet, Aly Cissokho, Mamadou Sakho, Tiago Ilori, Victor Moses, Dani Pacheco.
Liverpool got most of their business done early in their season by signing the likes of Mignolet, Touré, Alberto and Aspas before their first official kick-off. With most these players having a good pre-season behind them, Liverpool got off to their best League start since 1994, winning three matches on the trot, thanks largely to their inform striker Daniel Sturridge.
Rodgers and the Liverpool hierarchy should also be commended for holding onto their star striker Suarez, who is a big match player and makes a huge difference to the squad. To further drive in their intentions of competing for silverware, Rodgers also signed centre backs Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori for a combined fee of around £25m, from PSG and Sporting Lisbon respectively. As seen in the win against United, Liverpool seem quite confident of their chances this season and they could win some kind of silverware this year.
Out: Gareth Bale, William Gallas, Jack Barthram, John Bostock, David Bentley, Jack Munns, Jake Nicholson, Dean Parrett, Massimo Luongo, Grant Hall, Alex Pritchard, Nathan Byrne, Ryan Mason, Adam Smith, Bongani Khumalo, Steven Caulker, Clint Dempsey, Jake Livermore, Tom Huddlestone, Scott Parker, Iago Falqué, Massimo Luongo, Benoît Assou-Ekotto, Tom Carroll.
In: Grant Hall, Paulinho, Nacer Chadli, Roberto Soldado, Étienne Capoue, Érik Lamela, Vlad Chiriches, Christian Eriksen, Ryan Mason, Heurelho Gomes.
Spurs have been really shrewd in the transfer window and the most notable piece of business is, of course, the selling of Gareth Bale for a reported world record of £85 million. Spur’s owner Levy dug in deep and ensured that the Bale business was done on his terms, so he could get as much money as possible for the Welsh winger. To cover for the winger’s absence, Spurs were in the market for a winger and some attacking midfield options, which saw them buy players such as Paulinho, Lamela, Capoue and Eriksen.
To give players like Defoe and Adebayor more competition, Spurs boss AVB also bought in forward Soldado from Valencia. These players will suit Spur’s attacking style of play, but with so many new players in the team, it will surely take time to get the combination right and this was evident during Spur’s first derby loss of the season to Arsenal. It is still early days of course and it will be interesting to see just how well Spurs do.
Out: Martin Angha, Sébastien Squillaci, Kyle Ebecilio, Craig Eastmond, Jordan Wynter, Elton Monteiro, Samir Bihmoutine, Jernade Meade, Conor Henderson, Josh Rees, Nigel Neita, Philip Roberts, Sanchez Watt, James Shea, Reice Charles-Cook, Denílson, Andrey Arshavin, Johan Djourou, Vito Mannone, Francis Coquelin, André Santos, Joel Campbell, Sead Hajrovic, Chuks Aneke, Gervinho, Ignasi Miquel, Marouane Chamakh, Wellington Silva.
In: Mesut Özil, Yaya Sanogo, Mathieu Flamini, Emiliano Viviano, Chu-Young Park.
Arsene Wenger’s transfer business is reminiscent of a hibernating bear that suddenly wakes up to realize that it doesn’t have enough food to survive the winter and desperately goes out to forage for supplies. After a relatively quiet window and a start to the campaign that exposed their apparent weaknesses, Wenger was jolted awake and moved in to smash the club record to land Özil. The signing is not only a statement of intent by the club hierarchy, but also an immense signing that is bound to rejuvenate the team. Özil, who boasts the highest assists in the past two seasons in the La Liga will add steel and creativity to the midfield and is likely to work well alongside Ramsey. But what remains to be seen is if this move could affect the growth of the promising Jack Wilshere?
Out: Paulo Ferreira, Yossi Benayoun, Ross Turnbull, Archange Nkumu, Amin Affane, Todd Kane, Milan Lalkovic, George Saville, Danny Pappoe, Jeffrey Bruma, Marko Marin, Patrick Bamford, Matej Delac, Oriol Romeu, Billy Clifford, Sam Walker, Florent Malouda, Cristian Cuevas, Lucas Piazón, Wallace, Stipe Perica, Christian Atsu, Victor Moses, Ulises Dávila, Romelu Lukaku.
In: Mark Schwarzer, André Schürrle, Marco van Ginkel, Anjur Osmanovic, Willian, Samuel Eto'o, Tomas Kalas, Kevin de Bruyne, Michael Essien.
The London club might have spent nearly 70 million on player transfers, but their biggest signing is their new manager, José Mourinho. The team, which is known to park the bus to stop other teams from scoring, has spent plenty on improving in the attacking third. Players like Schürrle, van Ginkel and de Bruyne will form a lip-smacking partnership with the likes of Mata, Oscar and Hazard and are easily the most attacking midfield in the league. José though hasn’t forgotten about his defense and has bolstered it with signings like Schwarzer and Essien.
Chelsea’s weakness though lies in front of the goal. With Torres a mere shadow of what he was, Eto'o clearly past his prime and Brazilian forward Willian yet untested in the Premier League, it remains to be seen how Chelsea manage to score enough goals in all competitions. It is also for this very reason, that loaning out Lukaku makes little sense.
Out: Carlos Tévez, Kolo Touré, Roque Santa Cruz, Wayne Bridge, Karim Rekik, Jérémy Helan, Maicon, Reece Wabara, Scott Sinclair, Albert Rusnák, Harry Bunn, Gareth Barry.
In: Fernandinho, Jesús Navas, Álvaro Negredo, Stevan Jovetic, Martín Demichelis.
Last year’s runner-ups suffered due to the lack of any signings last season and to rectify that City, under their new manager, Manuel Pellegrini, moved to get their business sorted as early as possible. Having let go of the rebellious Tévez, City craved for firepower up front and their signings reflect that. Negredo, Navas, Jovetic and Fernandinho are all good players and will ensure that there is no dearth of goals.
Out: Paul Scholes, Frédéric Veseli, John Cofie, Reece Brown, Luke McCullough, Sean McGinty, Reece James, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Bebé, Sam Johnstone, Scott Wootton, Ángelo Henríquez, Nick Powell.
In: Guillermo Varela, Marouane Fellaini.
The defending champions under a new manager —David Moyes — and a new Chairman — Ed Woodward — had a largely forgettable transfer window. They failed to capture their primary targets (Thiago Alcântara and Cesc Fàbregas) and their only signing was a previously unheard of Guillermo Varela. United left things till the very last minute and in the last few hours before the window shut, it looked as if they would have to return home empty handed. But in the nick of time they managed to sign Marouane Fellaini — United’s first midfield signing in six years. The wild-haired, towering midfielder is expected to bring in much needed steel and creativity to the midfield, which was easily overpowered in the last two games against Liverpool and Chelsea. Though he’s a good signing, Fellaini is untested at the bigger stage and it remains to be seen if he can dominate the best teams around Europe.
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