This season has already been a crazy one to say the least. Teams have suffered embarrassing losses while others have had incredible victories. Overall, I’m at a loss for words on how to describe this season so far. I feel the same way about this past transfer window as some teams made some big moves while others stayed very quiet. So, I’ll be explaining what teams I feel are winners of the transfer window, while others left fans disappointed and came out as losers.
This one is very obvious. Frank Lampard and the Chelsea board did an excellent job strengthening the entire Chelsea squad from head to toe. The club spent a total of 300 million euros to buy the players they believe were necessary to be successful. The Blues now have the right mixture of youth, talent and experience to make a run at both the Premier League Title and the Champions League, if they are managed correctly.
They were able to bring in top quality players such as Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech to add to their young attacking core that already contains Cristian Pulisic, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi. They also brought in Ben Chillwell, from Leicester City, and Thiago Silva, from Paris Saint-Germain, in hopes to strengthen a defense that conceded 51 Premier League goals last season. Those are all fantastic signings, but to me the most important transfer the Blues made was bringing in goalkeeper Edouard Mendy from Rennes in the French League. Chelsea’s former No. 1 keeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga, has struggled during his time at Chelsea. Mendy will be a definite upgrade in goal for the Blues this season.
In my opinion, Lyon had a very successful transfer window. Not because they splurged on new players, but because they were able to keep their very important players in their squad at least until January. For a team that had recent success, they will not be playing in the Champions League or Europa League after finishing eighth in Ligue 1, so being able to keep their top players at the club will be key to their success this season.
Lyon held on tight to Memphis Depay, Houssem Aouar and Moussa Dembélé after all three players received interest from top teams across the world. Depay was set to join Barcelona this transfer window, and up until deadline day, it looked like he was going to leave. Depay’s international manager, Ronald Koeman, recently took over Barcelona after their embarrassing loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. The Dutch manager had Depay as his number one priority this summer window, but the two clubs never came to a deal. Aouar was linked with clubs such as Arsenal, Juventus and Real Madrid. It seemed that the Frenchman bought into Mikel Arteta’s project and was more than willing to move to the Gunners. Lyon wanted 50 million euros for Aouar, but the Gunners didn’t have enough funds to complete the deal. After multiple “timid” offers it seemed both clubs knew the deal wasn’t going to be completed. Dembélé was linked with Manchester City, Manchester United and Barcelona, however, no offer was ever made for the striker.
Lyon should be more than happy with this window as they can now push to get back into the Champions League on the backs of Depay, Aouar, and Dembélé.
Recently promoted Leeds United have had a great start to the Premier League season and also had a very solid transfer window. The club was able to sign some quality players, while not losing any key members of their squad that won them promotion to the Premier League.
Their big name signing this window was Rodrigo. Leeds signed the Spanish International from Valencia for $33 million. Rodrigo is a proven player as he accumulated 59 goals and 41 assists during his time at Valencia and will be a key factor in Leeds success this year as they hope to stay in the Premier League after this season. Leeds’ second key signing was defender Diego Llorente from Real Socidad in Spain. The 27 year old will be adding defensive experience and depth to United’s side.
Leeds have already had success as the club currently sits eighth in the Premier League, and there is no doubt in my mind that Rodrigo and Llorente will be key to their success as they move into the bulk of the season.
The Reds had a sneaky, quiet and successful transfer window. They added some depth in areas, but also sold players that brought in decent money for the club.
The most notable signing Liverpool made was signing Thiago Alacantra from Bayern Munich. It’s still mind blowing that they were able to get a world-class midfielder for only 23 million euros. They also signed young Greek left-back Konstantinos Tsimikas from Olympiacos for 14 million euros and added some depth to their attacking options by adding Diogo Jota from fellow Premier League club Wolves.
What I’m most impressed by was the one major departure Liverpool had from the club. The Reds sold young upcoming striker Rhian Brewster to Sheffield United for just about 30 million euros. Allow me to repeat myself. They sold Rhian Brewster, an unproven Premier League striker, for nearly 30 million euros. Close your eyes and think, they sold Brewster for more money than they bought Thiago for. That is great transfer business.
Arsenal, Inter Milan, Napoli, Tottenham, Inter Miami and Wolves are all honorable mentions for this transfer window.
Manchester United are one of the biggest losers in the transfer window in my opinion. They left fans absolutely disappointed, and criticism of the board has been at an all-time high. The club missed out on their main target, Jadon Sancho, and it wasn’t even close. United knew what Borussia Dortmund wanted Sancho, and to put it in simple terms, they swung and they missed badly. The Red Devils also paid 23 million euros for Amad Diallo from Italian club Atalanta. A lot of people have never heard of the youngster before and he is rumored to be a great young talent. However, the facts are the facts, and the fact is United paid 23 million euros for someone who only saw playing time in three league games for his former club. Not only did they do that, but they brought in Edison Cavani. Now you’re probably thinking Cavani is a proven striker, which he is, but is he worth a contract that sees him earning 200k euros a week?
Now, United had some success in the window. They brought in Alex Telles, a left-back from Porto, and midfielder Donny Van De Beek from Ajax. But De Beek has struggled to find a spot in the starting 11 for the Red Devils and Telles isn’t known for his defending. After their 6-1 defeat to Tottenham this past weekend, I think everyone expected United to make some major moves to shake the squad up before the deadline, but clearly the board had other ideas.
I think it’s safe to say that Barca, as a club currently, are a mess. No one really knows what to expect, and no one knows what the future holds. One thing most fans know is Messi will more than likely leave the club at the end of the season. I believe that their last hope was to make some major changes to the squad this transfer window, and that’s something they didn’t really do.
Yes players such as Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakatic and Nelson Semedo all left the club which is good, but it’s clear that Suarez’s exit from the club rubbed Messi the wrong way. Not to mention Luis Suarez was the squad’s second-leading goal scorer. It’s the fact they didn’t make any signings that would make an immediate impact for the upcoming season. They weren’t able to bring in Memphis Depay or Gini Wijnaldum, who were their top two transfer targets. They were able to sign young star Sergiño Dest from Ajax, but he won’t make a huge impact for the team.
On paper, Barca should still be one of the best teams in La Liga, but after not landing a huge transfer this window, I’m a firm believer it’s the beginning of the end for Barcelona as a power house team.
In my opinion, Pep Guardiola’s time at Manchester City is coming to an end, and this transfer window was a clear indication of that. Now I’m sure people will say they signed Fernan Torres, Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias. How is his time coming to an end? Well let me explain. Pep Guardiola is known for getting the players he wants, and that’s something that didn’t happen this window.
It’s clear the style of play City has been accustomed to since Pep’s arrival. Very attacking minded and very risk taking. Pep has always needed center-backs that knew how to be calm with the ball at their feet and how to pick a pass. Hence, why he signed Aymeric Laporte. Nathan Ake is known for his defending, not his play going forward, and for me he’s nothing but a rotation player. A successful transfer window for City would’ve been adding Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli to the squad. Koulibaly is the complete package and could do everything Pep demands out of a defender, but instead they settled for Ruben Dias. Now I’m not saying Ruben Dias is a bad defender, but he’s not what Pep wanted and clearly needed.
City has struggled in the Premier League, losing 5-2 to Leicester City and tying Leeds United 1-1. City’s defense has been an obvious weakness, even with the new signings. They are constantly caught out on the counterattack which results in goals, and they haven’t held a clean sheet in any of their Premier League matches.