The door slammed shut on the summer transfer window with new Premier league season officially upon us.
The 2018/19 transfer market was the shortest ever with deadline day coming earlier than ever before.
The market changes were intended to help clubs wrap up their transfer dealings in time for the new season and avoid confusion, anxiety and overall sense of anticipation that would usually drag on into the new campaigns in the past.
Now that the curtain has been dropped, the players can solely concentrate on their new clubs and managers in preparing their teams the best way possible for challenges that lie ahead.
It is fair to say it’s been a rather exciting summer in the Premier League and here we try to run down winners and losers of the summer transfer window. And we’ll start from the latter.
- Manchester United
No arguing here with the fact Manchester United are the biggest losers of the summer transfer market. The supporters are fuming and Jose Mourinho joined them by his constant moaning over the lack of transfer activity and selection problems he’s facing ahead of the new campaign.
Having invested greatly to boost the squad by bringing Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez last year, Manchester United were disappointingly inactive this time around. Mourinho’s public calls for the club officials to bring in a defender fell on deaf ears. None of the rumours linking United with the likes of Toby Alderweireld, Jeremy Boateng, Harry Maguire and lastly, Diego Godin materialized and the Portuguese manager is left cursing his faith.
The likes of Fred, Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant appear insufficient to call this transfer market a success story for Manchester United and therefore they are topping our list of losers. The Red Devils have a great chance to sent a different message straight from the off as they will be raising the curtain on the new season tonight against Leicester City. United stand at a price of 8/15 to beat Foxes at Old Trafford.
Simply put, the Spurs slept through the summer transfer window. Tottenham made no signings whatsoever and did not sell a single player which can either come to haunt them or end up being a blessing in disguise.
Maurizio Pochettino indeed has a well-settled squad at his disposal and a quality group of players. Some fresh blood could have been useful in terms of squad depth, however. Pochettino is expected to launch a Premier League title and could do with more players at his disposal. The north London club has flirted with the elusive title for a while now and can be found at 16/1 betting odds to lift the Premier League trophy this year. It will be, however, easier said than done. The Spurs are ahead of a defining season which will also see them compete for glory in the Champions League and all of the responsibilities could stretch them to the maximum in the end.
It would merely take a comparison between the most notable arrivals and departures to realize why Southampton earned their place on the losing end of the spectrum this summer. The Saints lost Dusan Tadic, Jordy Clasie and Sofiane Boufal but ended up boosting their squad with the likes of Mohamed Elyounoussi and Danny Ings as the most prominent arrivals.
The Liverpool striker’s move was secured on the transfer deadline day and can hardly be qualified as a shrewd piece of business. Ings spent most of his time at Liverpool sitting on the sidelines – injured – and his purchase has all the makings of a desperate move. Elyounoussi, on the other hand, will be expected to fill in the shoes of Dusan Tadic. He comes as one of the most promising talents in Basel but will still need some time to adapt to his new surroundings.
The Premier League newcomers Fulham have had an impressive summer behind them. Building upon a highly exhilarating season in the Championship which saw Slavisa Jokanovic’s side turn plenty of heads with their eye-pleasing style of play, the Cottagers have sent a strong message that they are back in business.
Jokanovic ended up boosting his squad by no less than 12 players. That’s an entire team’s worth of new players who are expected to push up the quality level and help Fulham avoid relegation this season. Aleksandar Mitrovic can hardly be qualified as a new player but Fulham did great to acquire him on the permanent basis following a loan spell from Newcastle. Andre Schurrle, Luciano Vietto, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Jean Michael Seri stand as the most notable names of them all and players who are all expected to make a clear difference for Fulham this season.
Wolverhampton Wanderers have become a Portuguese colony. Their connection to super agent Jorge Mendes paid dividends as Wolves ended up romping to the Championship title in style last season. With an even more reinforced squad, the Molineux based side enters the new season with more than survival in their mind.
Snapping up Euro 2016 winners Rui Patricio and Joao Moutinho with the club-record transfer of Adama Traore certainly top the list of most notable arrivals, although the versatile Belgian international Leander Dendoncker is a possible difference-maker for the Wolves.
The Toffees appear to have learnt an important lesson from last summer and should be complimented for their business activity this time around. The club made some great squad upgrades by bringing in the likes of Yerry Mina, Andre Gomes, Lucas Digne, Bernard and Richarlison who are all expected to make a difference on the pitch.
Both Mina and Silva will be burning with desire to prove themselves after a problematic spell at Barcelona. These two low-risk signings are in great need of a confidence boost and will benefit greatly from regular playing time. Richarlison and Bernard are expected to introduce dynamism and flair, whereas Lucas Digne comes as a valuable replacement for ageing Leighton Baines.
Call me biased in the assessment but I can’t look past Liverpool in announcing the absolute winner of the summer transfer market. The Reds did spend a significant sum of money as Jurgen Klopp made a U-turn on his recruiting policy. The German tactician needed to spend in order to keep up with heavy-spending competition following a highly exciting season at Anfield.
The Champions League finalists shelled out a world record fee for goalkeeper Alisson Becker – which got smashed by Chelsea this week – whereas they also recruited Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri who are all expected to bring much-needed depth into the Liverpool squad. The Reds are expected to mount a serious Premier League title challenge and are available at 4/1 to lift the coveted trophy this season.
The significant expenditure will have Jurgen Klopp head into the new season with few excuses for what’s likely to be one hell of a season in the Premier League.
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