Another summer has passed and as always there has been some interesting and eye catching deals, especially on the last day as the inevitable panic sets into managers and they desperately attempt to ﬁll gaps left by other rushed transfers. This window has been as busy as any other and fans across the country have been left either heart broken as their heroes leave or licking their lips as they may just be watching the next big thing in their beloved strip as the season unfolds, but who has done the best business?
Arsenal is the most logical place to start as they have probably had the most media attention since the close of the season. Many will obviously state that Arsenal have lost out during the transfer window as they have lost long serving captain and midﬁeld meastro Fabregas with the transfer saga with Barcarlona ﬁnally coming to an end, along with creative dynamo Nasri. With games that have surpassed since the two left the club have suggested bleak times ahead, with one point from three, a ﬁrst defeat on Arsenal ground against Liverpool in eleven years and an absolute destruction by defending champions Man Utd. If things stayed as they were then indeed Arsenal would have been given the title of worst business during the window, however thankfully Wenger woke up and realized his young guns did not provide adequate depth. Maybe the rollicking against the devils made him realise just how inept his squad was as he strengthened with Arteta, Mertesacker, Traore and Benyaoun late on, add to this Gervinho who does have promise and Arsenal have a lot to look forward to. It’s the ﬁrst time that Wenger has signed proven quality rather than banking on a hot prospect and that will be very beneﬁcial as last season they lacked that leader and a few extra experienced players may be just what the doctor ordered for the Londoners. I still don’t believe they have enough about them to ﬁnish 4th however, as Fab and Nasri are irreplaceable, but the likes of Arteta and Yossi can ﬁll the void slightly and they ﬁnally have a natural leader at the back in Mertesacker, they alone might just save them from a massively embarrassing season that looked very likely before Wenger spent out.
Liverpool have spent out big bucks investing primarily in British talent, and generally speaking they have done brilliant business, ﬁlling gaps that have been a problem for many years. This main gap is the position of winger, for years now Liverpool have been one of those most guilty of ﬁlling round holes with square pegs, with Gerrard even being forced out wide for the club, in Downing however they have welcomed a natural winger with bundles of talent through the doors for the ﬁrst time in too long. And he’s already impressed, add to this the big man Carroll up front aching to get on the end of crosses and you get a signing that explains itself. The best signing by the club was Charlie Adam however, and personally I believe this was signing of the season, the 25 year old was a bargain and is a playmaker that can rival Alonso who the kop still hold close to their hearts and an amazing skill at set pieces. Jose Enrique is another very clever signing and again stops Dalglish having to play a player out of position as Enrique is a natural left back, unlike Johnson. With a debut that saw him win man of the match against Arsenal Enrique has bundles of talent and him and Downing could be giving right backs headaches all season. Despite all this promise there are some transfers that are puzzling, obviously the main one is the shock signing of Bellamy, an experienced player albeit, but at 32 and with a temperament that remains untamed is he really a reliable back up to Carroll and Suarez? The second is Henderson, he is a player with future, that is undoubtable, however with the central midﬁeld options available before his signing was it really necessary? Spearing has just as much potential as Henderson, and more passion for the club, the sale of Merelies, probably because Henderson made him surplus requirements makes the deal even more questionable, the plmoved of last season for the reds moved to a rival club because of Henderson and there are still question marks whether he’ll rise to the quality that will prove he’s worth both his price tag and his disruption to the squad. Of course I may end up eating my words and with the coaching of Dalglish Henderson will rise in quality and calibre, and one day he may ﬁll the big boots of Gerrard, however right now, and with the central midﬁeld options that were available at the time another centre back may have been a wiser investment.
The blue side of Manchester have once again spent big bucks, and just like Liverpool they have made signings that can fall both side of the fence on whether they will be worthwhile or not. Beginning with arguably the biggest signing for the premier league, Aguero, they have a player with mass quality and could just have signed a player that will set the top tier on ﬁre this season, he’s already impressed, and may be one of the players of the season. Add to this the addition of Nasri and Clichy from Arsenal and it is little wonder that there’s title talk going around Eastlands, especially as Nasri looks to have already settled and unlocked the flair that made him such a big player at the Gunners. The late signing of Hargreaves is one of those that may fall on the other side of the fence however, as the injury prone Englishmen never really made an impact at City’s neighbours, and why would any club going for the title sign their main competitors dead weight? In Bellamy City lost a player that was taking up a high wage whilst giving little back to the club and soon Mancini may realise that he’s simply readded to this list with Hargreaves.
On to another big spending club in blue let’s turn attention to Chelsea, always a dominant force in the transfer market, however for once they did not grab all the headlines with their deals. They did however play their standard trick of throwing money at rivals transfer targets. A week after Mata’s deal with Arsenal died down Chelsea targeted the player, and sure enough Stamford Bridge was Mata’s preferred destination, it is understandable why there was so much over the 23 year old winger with stories emerging about him as soon as the window opened. He’s a classic Spainish winger, with pace and a creative ﬂair with a bright future ahead of him and may go down in the history books at Chelsea. Mereiles, as aforementioned was Liverpool’s player of the season last season, and it’s a big loss for the Reds, the Portugese midﬁelder is everything you want from an attack minded central midﬁelder, he can be playmaker and goal scorer, proving this against his current employer as he netted against Chelsea whilst still in red, and if he gets the playing time at Chelsea he will prove himself as a decent signing. Romelu Lukaka was a big signing for Chelsea as Villa-Boas spent out around 20mil on the young forward, and the Belgian may just develop to be a perfect replacement for Drogba.
The defending champions have been understandably quiet in the close of the season, why would they need to add to an obviously winning formula? Despite this they did pull off two massive signings in Young and Jones. In Young they’ve acquired the best English winger out there, he’s already proven he’s of a high enough calibre to warrant a ﬁrst team place at Utd. and the only way is up from here and he’s set to have an incredible season. In Jones the champions have a perfect replacement for Ferdinand, Jones has a lot of potential and looks to be a young John Terry in the making as he throws himself about defending at all costs like the Chelsea stalwart, former boss Kean admitted on Sky Sports that he may have lost the future captain of England and signing for a team such as United has only set that situation to play out perfectly. De Gea was a signing that Ferguson would have preferred to avoid as he did all in his power to keep Van Der Sar playing for another year, there has been a lot of talk of De Gea and whether he’s ready to step in between the sticks for the devils. The tabloid vultures have already swarmed and classed him as a calamity after some very shaky moments. This is warranted as the Community Shield was a game De Gea would probably want to forget, and many corner balls that he’s committed to and not claimed have rival fans laughing, despite this his does have potential and once he settles in and his nerves are calmed he may be able to rise to the met the high expectations left by his Dutch predecessor.
Spurs have been the quietest club in the top six, and this is for the simple fact that they don’t have the big bucks like those above, it’s a sad situation as they will not be able to mount a serious challenge for a champions league spot this season, just because of money in the game. They have however snapped up Scott Parker, for whom age is against, but undeniably he’s still an effective engine and puts in a shift every game, a link up with him and Van Der Vaart is an exciting prospect. There is also a strong centre forward for Parker to aim for in the form of Adebayor, who is a good free signing due to the loan status of the transfer, Spurs’ strike force was the area that was most lacking last season and in Adebayor they have a strong natural forward that can lead the line well.
Even outside the top six there has been big transfers, primarily by QPR with the free signing of Joey Barton. He’s very much cut from the same cloth as Bellamy in the sense that his temper has always been a problem and very much over shadows the players ability, and he is one of those players that fans love to hate. He is perfect for QPR though, an experienced player who will rally the premier league newbies when morale may hit a low. Blackburn Rovers are another club who have made impressive signings, Scott Dann in particular will prove to be a worthwhile signing as he was the rock that the Blues missed in the second half of the season that he spent injured and
will ﬁll the place of Jones with little transition. Sunderland have been the busiest club outside the top six, adding depth and experience, mainly from the red side of Manchester but they have also added excitement and creativity in the form of Sebastian Larsson who scored an impressive goal in his debut and is another player who did well for Birmingham last season. Ex-Birmingham boss Mcleish has done some good buisness the other side of the second city as boss of Aston Villa, signing Given, N’Zogbia, Hutton and Jenas, all solid experienced Premier League players that may just see Villa challenge for a Europa League place.
Ultimately I don’t mean to sound cheesy but the main victor of this transfer market is the English game, as strengthening across the country is going to lead to better matches, higher competition and a closer title race. With an 8-2 thriller already being played out
between two clubs that ﬁnished in the top four, and a 5-1 between 3rd and 5th, this season promises to be one of the best in recent years.
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