So, the window finally shuts. And having waited an extra day for Spain to come into line with everyone else, here are our 2017 Premier League summer transfer ratings. Will Mamadou Sakho turn things around for Crystal Palace? Are Liverpool light at the back? What will Renato Sanches bring to Swansea? Have West Ham done enough?
The early summer arrival of Alexandre Lacazette gave hope to Gunners fans that this might be the year their team finally got back to dining at the top table. But things fizzled out after that with just one more arrival (Saed Kolasinac), and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and a bunch of fringe players including Kieran Gibbs, Lucas Perez, Gabriel and Leigh Jenkinson moving on.
Keeping Alexis Sanchez (apparently the powers-that-be refused to sanction the sale after Thomas Lamar declined the opportunity to join as his replacement) might be a good thing depending on how hard he plays (probably hard) and whether they are able to get him to agree a new deal (probably not).
Deadline day passed the Cherries by so they will rely on early summer arrivals Asmir Begovic, Nathan Ake and Jermain Defoe, all of whom are more than capable of performing at the top level, to bolster resources as they bid to continue their impressive stay in the top flight
Eddie Howe reportedly failed in a late bid for Demarai Gray, a move he might well look to revisit when January comes around. There were plenty of loan departures from the club but none of those should affect Howe’s first-team plans and he has a hard-working and capable squad to work with.
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION
The Seagulls appear to have taken plenty of fliers on their newcomers with little known (al least in these quarters) about the likes of Ezequiel Schelotto and Jose Izquierdo. Matthew Ryan is a solid find in goal, Davy Propper has a bit of class and Izzy Brown is very promising so there is some hope.
It is how those mystery men fare as they look to make an impression in the ultra-demanding world of Premier football that will go a long way towards deciding whether Chris Hughton can keep his team afloat in the top flight rather than making their visit to the top a brief one.
Sean Dyche beefed up Burnley’s attacking options late in the window with the arrivals of Chris Wood (who already proved his worth with a vital point-earning goal at Wembley) and Nakhi Wells from Huddersfield. Add those to earlier captures Jack Cork, Phil Bardsley and Jonathan Walters and it should make for a good window, but there is a ‘but’.
Michael Keane’s defensive class hasn’t really been replaced and that is something Dyche and the Clarets might come to regret over the course of the season, although four points from visits to Chelsea and Tottenham were an excellent bonus to start the new campaign.
After early arrivals Alvaro Morata, Timoue Bakayoko and Antonio Rudiger, the Champions seemed to spend much of the later stages of the window teeing-up players for others to sign. They eventually relieved the frustration by nabbing long-term target Danny Drinkwater and international defender Davide Zappacosta on the final day to bolster the squad.
The number of promising youngsters departing Stamford Bridge this summer looking for playing time elsewhere means that the squad looks worryingly thinner, especially given the extra manpower required for European challenge added to their defence of the title this term.
Four new faces for incoming boss Frank de Boer (already under pressure according to some reports) with perhaps the most significant being the return of much-awaited of defensive kingpin Mamadou Sakho, such a major influence when on loan at Selhurst Park last year.
The biggest problem at the club looks to be the players adapting de Boer’s style of play and that is something that Palace men old and new, will need to get to come to terms with in hurry, given the awful start to their campaign which is already leading to talk of a relegation battle in South West London.
Ronald Koeman’s team did some great early business. Whilst the return of Wayne Rooney and the later arrival of Gylfi Sigurdsson capture many of the headlines, Jordan Pickford and Michael Keane already looking set for long and successful careers at Goodison.
In an ideal world the club would have signed a Romelu Lukaku replacement as there is still some doubt where the goals might come from in the long-term but overall it was an impressive window and underlines the club’s new-found wealth and attractiveness to youngsters.
Town struck early and often, ending the transfer period with a whopping 12 new arrivals, all of whom are real competitors for a first-team spot.
An excellent start to the season, with a number of the newcomers prominent in the early running, has already shown the benefits of David Wagner’s early signing policy and the Terriers look best-equipped of the promoted teams to maintain their status.
City can be pleased with their business this summer. Harry Maguire, Kelechi Iheanacho and Vicente Iborra are all first-teamers whilst Nampalys Mendy is a decent replacement for Danny Drinkwater and late arrival Adrien Silva will further bolster midfield options.
The non-departure of Riyad Mahrez could prove one of the most significant pieces of business not done this window although the Algerian is likely to leave in January continuing the dismantling of the shock title-winning side of 2016. City should be a comfortable top-half team.
Early signing Mohamed Salah has looked a different player to the one who floundered at Chelsea a few short seasons ago and has dovetailed nicely with Sadio Mane in early skirmishes. The arrival of Alex Oxlade–Chamberlain gives the squad more versatility and the club also nabbed Naby Keita for next term.
The non-arrival of Virgil Van Dijk though, might be the missing piece. The Dutchman, or someone of his quality, is needed in central defence before Jurgen Klopp can challenge at the very highest level. Is a January move likely? We think so.
City have improved in all the areas they needed to except one, with central defence continuing to look a potential weak spot (hence the attempt to add Jonny Evans). Bernardo Silva in particular looks a difference-maker and that potential middle at the back fragility might only be felt at the highest of levels – we’re talking Champions League knockout stages.
The signing of Alexis Sanchez would have been interesting – where would he have fitted in with a number of world-class options for his position(s) already on board? All told this has to be considered a positive window for Pep Guardiola
Through the spine of the side, Jose Mourinho has strengthened, both physically and in terms of ability with immediate impact players Victor Lindelof. Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku added to the squad.
The return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic went somewhat unnoticed but it is the kind of signing that could make a world of difference when the season is on the line. Strength, and strength-in-depth is now the Old Trafford byword.
It was a tough window for Rafa Benitez and the United boss will surely feel let down at the lack of the activity he was expecting. Joselu and Mikel Merino will surely not be enough to turn things around on Tyneside. Merino and Javier Manquillo, both have plenty of promise but will be thrown in at the deep end.
It would appear any more big moves hinged on the departure of Dwight Gayle, which never occurred leaving the club and their manager with a fairly small, and in a number of cases non-Premier class squad.
A relatively quiet window for Saints from whom the major piece of business was non-business. The fact that Virgil Van Dijk is staying at St Mary;s is a major plus as long as, like others whose move fell through elsewhere, the fact that he is still at the club doesn’t affect his play negatively.
Mario Lemina and Wesley Hoedt were interesting late-window arrivals whilst early capture Jan Bednarek looks a top prospect, although it may be a while before the promise turns into Premier League quality. Jay Rodriguez was the only notable departure and the team look to have cover in his position.
Mark Hughes quietly did some serious reshaping this summer. Darren Fletcher, having proved he retains top-flight ability whilst at West Brom, will add some fuel to the engine room whilst the arrival of Kurt Zouma on a season-long loan from Chelsea might be a master stroke. Bruno Martins-Indi was excellent whilst on loan last season and he has now made his move permanent, Kevin Wimmer is proven at this level, and Eric Choupa-Moateng and Jese are wild cards.
Marko Arnautovic will be missed whilst Bojan was a fans favourite but the other departures were players slightly past their best. No great strides for the Potters but no loss of ground either.
The Welshmen were already having a good-enough transfer window and then the last day put not one but two cherries on the cake. Renato Sanches, one of the most promising midfielders in Europe agreed a season-long loan from Bayern Munich, partly thanks to manager Paul Clement’s reputation, and then Wilfred Bony agreed a return to the club where he made his name.
Add these to other newcomers Roque Mesa, Sam Clucas and Tammy Abraham and it is clear that, despite the departure of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente, Swans are probably stronger than ever.
Three late strikes in the market and Mauricio Pochettino’s men suddenly seem to have filled in the gaps might have found them wanting. Davinson Sanchez gives the team much more flexibility at the back (he is certainly an upgrade on Kevin Wimmer) and should allow Eric Dier to have a more settled role whilst Serge Aurier will be a more-than adequate replacement for Kyle Walker.
Up front Pochettino now has the luxury of Fernando Llorente available should something unthinkable happen to Harry Kane (or should Spurs want to go two up front in search of goals). All-in-all a decent job by Daniel Levy
If the Hornets’ late captures prove as successful as their early captures have done in limited action thus far Marco Silva will be delighted with his summer business. Tom Cleverley, Nathaniel Chalobah and Richarlison have all made an impact in early action as the new boss has hit the ground running.
Record buy Andre Gray, along with two arrivals from Udinese and another pair from Portugal bring further strength to the squad. Peruvian international Andre Carrillo, whom Silva has worked with before, could be a find.
WEST BROMWICH ALBION
In Jay Rodriguez, Kieran Gibbs and Gareth Barry, Baggies boss Tony Pulis has added three players whose Premier experience will undoubtedly be useful whilst Oliver Burke, signed from Red Bull Leipzig, is a player many have looked at. The fact that Jonny Evans preferred playing at the Hawthorns to sitting on the bench elsewhere is another plus.
The real coup for Albion though is the loan arrival of Grzegorz Krychowiak from Paris St German. The Polish international, looking for regular playing time before next year’s World Cup, will be a major asset for his new team.
WEST HAM UNITED
A puzzling window for the Hammers. The early signs were good with the attack bolstered and Man City pair Joe Hart and Pablo Zabaleta adding experience at the back. A disappointing start to the season should surely have made the powers-that-be realise that more is needed but a failed attempt at bringing in William Carvahlo seemed to bring things to a halt.
There should still be enough talent to cope at the London Stadium but it must be considered an opportunity missed and one wonders whether ownership is prepared to invest the funds needed to compete at the top level