- From Everton's aggressive, creative purchases to Tottenham Hotspur's unassertive mentality, we take a look at some of the winners and losers from a busy (ish) transfer window in the Premier League.
The first EPL transfer window is done and dusted as clubs spent more than $1.5 billion searching for players. Liverpool asserted itself by spending smartly while Everton and Wolves were creative, hoping to add defensive and offensive support. Other clubs were forced to be reactive, such as Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea, who needed to fill the void left by Thibaut Courtois. Meanwhile, trouble brews in Manchester and North London.
Here are some of the biggest winners and losers from the Premier League's first transfer window.
After losing to Real Madrid in the Champions League final in heart-breaking manner, Liverpool smartly utilized the summer transfer market by purchasing certain pieces that add strength. Jurgen Klopp hopes that Brazilian stopper Alisson Becker will add a calmer role in goal as well providing more vision at the back, while Xherdan Shaqiri still offers a spark and will look to make a case to become a starter. But the real gems come with Naby Keita and Fabinho, who provide a more balanced midfield, offering penetration and support to the trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. As Jonathan Wilson writes, if anyone can dethrone Man City, it's them.
Loser: Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs became the first ever club to not bring in a single player in the transfer market since its inception in 2003 and Mauricio Pochettino was clearly frustrated, though offered some reasons on why the club failed to bring anyone in, including the construction of a new stadium and Brexit. "What the club is doing is showing that it is so brave because building a new training ground, finishing the (player) lodge this summer is a massive investment. Building a stadium that costs nearly £1bn – that’s the truth, don’t believe when they say £400million," he said after the window closed. "Then with Brexit it’s worse because the cost is 30 per cent more. That is a drama, I feel sorry for the English people."
The reality is that out of any club in the league, Spurs need depth as Pochettino's system and philosophy demand so much from a player, especially as the Champions League and other cup responsibilities take their toll. This summer, Daniel Levy did not help his manager.
It is not far fetched to predict that Nuno Espirito Santo's team will escape relegation. It's also realistic to suggest the newly-promoted squad has the opportunity on reaching a top-ten berth by the end of the season. This summer, Wolverhampton was active but more importantly smart in acquiring players. Important loanees from last season (Willy Boly, Diego Jota, Leo Bonatini) are now permanent members, while Mexican striker such as Raul Jimenez (on loan from Benfica) and Adama Traore (bought for £20 million from Middlesborough) provide even more offensive arsenal. Portugal stopper Rui Patricio, Belgium international Leander Dendoncker and Joao Moutinho show how this team is getting ready for life in the Premier League by adding talent, technique and experience. Get excited, Wolves fans.
Loser: Man United
It has been a strange summer for the Red Devils, mainly because of Jose Mourinho's public rants illustrating his frustrations on the transfer market while possibly burning bridges with a few players. But the truth is that United needs players, and the fact that Fred was the only main addition, speaks volumes for both the directors and the manager. The clear search was for a center back and names kept surfacing; Toby Alderweireld, Jerome Boateng, Harry Maguire and Yerry Mina, who ended up with Everton, but ultimately, none arrived and the team who ended as runner-up last season should anticipate the fact that it may keep descending. As for Jose Mourinho? Time will tell, but it looks as if his third season with United might be his last.
If there was one team who played a real version of fantasy EPL, it's Everton. It was clear the Toffees were planning a complete transformation, especially since Marco Silva's strategy differs from Sam Allardyce, so the club went to work this summer. There is a case to be made that Richarlison was perhaps bought for too much money (£40 million) but what if the Brazilian, now with more talented teammates, produces and helps towards a top sixth finish? The squad has undeniable talent, it's all down to Silva to make it tick. From the creative winger Bernard, who arrived from Shakhtar Donetsk, to a late Kurt Zouma loan arrival from Chelsea, the team added depth across the squad.
The most exciting part for Everton fans was the business being done with Barcelona, which started with left-back Lucas Digne and ended on Deadline Day with Colombian center back Yerry Mina that included a temporary move for Andre Gomes. Success obviously depends on chemistry and adapting to the league, but no one can deny that Everton took full advantage of the transfer window.