Some of the craziest signings I have seen in my lifetime as yet another transfer window closes, I will look back at some of the ‘deals’ that have been done within the last couple of months.
Whether it was Pogba’s record transfer deal, or Jack Wilshere moving to the south coast on a loan deal, it has been one of the most astonishing transfer windows there has ever been. It was always going to be that way because of the new Premier League TV rights deal which was over £8bn and would be spread between the 20 clubs. It has been effective for some clubs, not so for others. Ever since Guardiola and Mourinho became managers of rival clubs in the Premier League, there was always going to be a battle as to who would spend the most amount of money, with the two teams spending £323.6m.
Starting at the Etihad Stadium, with Manchester City spending a huge amount of money, the most being on England centre-back John Stones. Also, they have bought players that are young and promising with Leroy Sané joining the club as well. Pep Guardiola has made it clear who he wants to stay or go, with Joe Hart, Samir Nasri, Eliaquim Mangala and Wilfried Bony going out on loan, and Yaya Touré not making the Champions League team, with perhaps his lack of effort and lathragic movement. I tip them to be title contenders along with their rivals, Manchester United.
Manchester United have made some bold signings with Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimović. But most notably, the world record signing of Paul Pogba. After three league games, Manchester United look the strongest as they look rock solid at the back and look threatening going forward, but it’s to early to make a real judgment as to who’s going to win the league. Coming up is a massive game between the two Manchester clubs on the next match day.
The reigning champions Leicester City have had a successful transfer window as they have kept the main core of the title winning team by giving new contracts to Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, and have bolstered the line-up with Ahmed Musa and Islam Slimani joining the Foxes. Meanwhile, at White Hart Lane, Tottenham Hotspur have added a few players into their young squad with Vincent Janssen, Victor Wanyama and Moussa Sissoko, who joined in the last hour of deadline day and rejecting Everton along the way.
Once again, Arsenal left it late by signing two players in Lucas Perez from Deportivo La Coruña and Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia. A lot of former players have been very critical at Arsenal as they have had the same problems each year and haven’t resolved them. Will we see improvements? We’ll have to wait and see how the season progresses. They’ve gone after Karim Benzema and Alexandre Lacazette in previous seasons and have failed. Arsenal either don’t want to spend that amount of money, or they have lost their pulling power as they haven’t won a league title in over a decade.
After a poor season, there has been an instant revival at the bridge, as Chelsea have made a promising start to the new campaign and have made one of the signings of the summer in N’Golo Kanté. After re-signing David Luiz on deadline day, there has been talk of Antonio Conte moving to a back three with added signings of Kanté, Michy Batshuayi and Marcos Alonso. With the start they have had, they should get a Champions League spot as they have no European distractions this season.
I bet Liverpool will be relishing the chance of being back at Anfield after the international break as they have had an inconsistent start to the season, with an attacking win against Arsenal, but a loss to Burnley and then a draw to Tottenham. They will want a run in order to get Champions League football next season. They have made some good signings in Sadio Mané and Georginio Wijnaldum, but lack a left back and a centre-back after a poor start from the back four.
West Brom, Sunderland, Stoke City, Watford, West Ham, Crystal Palace and Southampton have had slow starts to the first few games but have made some late signings so might settle within the upcoming month. Whereas Hull City and Everton have commenced positively with more than one win to their name. Middlesbrough are unbeaten as well, with their experienced players, they look like staying up. Bournemouth have made the transfer of the summer for me, after signing Jack Wilshere on a loan deal. He will add quality and some goals to the team and look like they could stay up this season as well. However, the signing of Jordan Ibe does confuse me in terms of £15 million being spent on him. You could get Cristiano Ronaldo for that amount of money 10 years ago. It just shows how money is effecting the sport we love.
As we head into the mundane international break, it will be interesting how new players will gel into their new clubs and who will prevail in the all acclaimed Manchester derby. Was it money well spent? Was it a rush signing? Or did your club pay too much for a player? We’ll have to wait and see!