Which EPL Club Had The Best Transfer Window?
Which EPL Club Had The Best Transfer Window?
The shortest and most hectic transfer window in living memory has come to an end in the English Premier League. Unless they buy players from the lower domestic divisions during the next few days, the squads that the Premier League clubs now will remain unchanged until the window opens again in January. A lot of money has been spent, and a lot of new faces have come into the league. That’s the case with every transfer window, and there are always some moves that work out better than others. Who’s had the best summer transfer window of 2020, and who’s had the worst? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
In some cases, it will be too early to determine whether a move has worked out for the best or not. Even when you’re buying a player with an established reputation and obvious pedigree, spending money on a footballer is no more a guarantee of success than spending money at an online slots website like Dove Casino. When a player decides to spin the reels of an online slots game, they generally know what the potential rewards are and what their chances of success might be, but they can’t force that success to happen. That’s why online slots websites make more money than the people who play them do. That same element of the unknown applies to footballers, and even to whole teams. A player’s success elsewhere doesn’t mean that he’ll gel well with his new teammates, or be happy in his new home – especially if he’s living in a new country. We’ve taken all of this into account when we’ve made our assessments.
Best Performers: Everton
It would be very difficult to credit anyone other than Everton with doing the best business of this transfer window. They managed to land James Rodriguez from Real Madrid. His excellent performances in blue have prompted some media outlets to sensationally claim that he’s outperforming fellow south American Lionel Messi. It seems absurd that the ‘bigger’ teams in the division passed on the opportunity to bring Rodriguez in, but that says a lot about Carlo Ancelotti’s acumen as a manager. Their other signings in midfield, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure, have turned the Toffees into a much more potent attacking threat than they were last season, and that’s been reflected in the team’s results. There were still concerns at the back – especially with the stuttering form of Jordan Pickford in goal – but the loan signing of Swedish keeper Robin Olsen coupled with the arrival of central defender Ben Godfrey from Norwich have taken care of that. Everton’s transfer business has been fantastic.
Worst Performers: Manchester United
I don’t think we’ll shock anyone by saying that Manchester United let their fans down with their transfer conduct over the summer. As the whole world knows, their top target was Borussia Dortmund’s Jaden Sancho. The German club was open for business but set a price and a deadline to get the deal done. United didn’t want to pay the price and arrogantly assumed that the deadline was a bluff. They were wrong, and relations between the clubs have been damaged because of it. United fans went from starting the summer wondering how they were going to fit Sancho and Jack Grealish into their midfield alongside their established players and ended the summer looking up deadline day signings Amad Diallo and Facundo Pellistri on Google. Alex Telles might be an improvement on Luke Shaw at left-back, and Edinson Cavani may prove that he still has something in the tank, but Donny van de Beek already looks like a square peg in a round hole three games into the season. A club of Manchester United’s stature shouldn’t be reduced to scrambling for signings on the last day of the window, and lessons must be learned from this shambles.
Most Inactive Club: West Ham United
Last season wasn’t a great one for West Ham United. They narrowly avoided relegation, and it was clear that investments would need to be made over the summer if the 2020/2021 season was going to be any different. When Grady Diangana was sold to West Bromwich Albion for £12m, the club’s owners were promised that the funds would be re-invested in the playing staff. That hasn’t happened. Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek will nominally improve the team in defense and midfield, but they don’t look to be of significantly better quality than the players they’re replacing. More importantly, the team is still bereft of options in attack. They’ve started the season with two wins and two losses, which is better than the fans and manager David Moyes probably expected, but the board remains deeply unpopular with supporters, and the squad looks desperately lightweight.
Biggest Overspenders: Chelsea
Chelsea probably expected to have more than seven points on the board after four games when you consider their summer of heavy spending. Manager Frank Lampard and owner Roman Abramovich clearly wanted to capitalize on the team’s unexpected qualification for this season’s Champions League by extensively refreshing the team, but you can’t help but feel that they’ve overspent in a few cases. Kai Havertz is an exciting young attacking midfielder, but we question whether he’s worth £72m. Timo Werner will prove to be worth the £47m that was spent on him if he finds the back of the net regularly, but very few people would agree that Ben Chilwell merited an investment of £45m. It doesn’t help that they’ve had to spend a further £21m on bringing in goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to replace Kepa, who’ll now be enjoying his status as the world’s most expensive goalkeeper while sat on the bench. After such heavy spending, the pressure is on Lampard and his players to achieve big things. They’ll need to improve on this stuttering start.
Transfer business elsewhere in the Premier League – other than Arsenal’s daring last-minute raid on Atletico Madrid to acquire Thomas Partey – was fairly unremarkable. Aston Villa appear to have made one of the best investments of the window in Brentford’s Ollie Watkins, and Manchester City have inexplicably failed to recruit the additional striker they badly need, but everyone else has been relatively calm. Now we all watch and wait to see how these moves work out. If they don’t, there’ll be lots more business done in January!