A frantic final day of trading for Premier League clubs came to an end on Thursday, and it bucked the trend of recent deadline days with a number of big-name deals being completed.
Last season Fulham were declared ‘winners’ of the market after splashing out nearly £130m. They went on to be miserably relegated from the top flight.
Here at Football Whispers we won’t be making any declarations about ‘winners and losers’ of the 2019 summer transfer window. But we have analysed and rated every team’s business.
Since reaching the Premier League in 2015, the Cherries have tended to recruit well on paper only for boss Eddie Howe to revert to his trusty lieutenants from their time in the Football League.
This summer he’s dipped into the Football League to bolster his squad, picking up Luton Town right-back Jack Stacey, Bristol City left-back Lloyd Kelly and Harry Wilson who – while signed on loan from Liverpool – was a revelation on loan at Derby County last term.
With no major losses either, this looks like a good window. The proof is in the pudding. B
In a faraway dystopian future you can envisage Unai Emery wistfully telling his grandchildren that in his day, £45million bought William Saliba, Dani Ceballos, Nicolas Pépé, Kieran Tierney, David Luiz and Kieran Tierney.
The Gunners have made the absolute most of that figure and will be expected to return to the Champions League after plugging major holes at centre-back and left-back.
Another senior centre-back would have been good as Laurent Koscielny‘s departure means there’s a danger Shkodran Mustafi will still have to play. Netting £35million for Alex Iwobi was superb business. Any takers for Mesut Özil have the rest of August. A-
After reaching the Premier League via the Championship play-offs, manager Dean Smith did not mess around.
With a number of senior players leaving, Villa had to go big and comparisons with Fulham are unfair. Smith got the bulk of his business done early with England stopper Tom Heaton and Clube Brugge midfielder Marvelous Nakamba the final additions on August 1.
Another striker would have been ideal, £22million man Wesley only notched 14 times in Belgium’s top flight for Club Brugge last season so a lot of responsibility rests on his shoulders. C
Under new management following Graham Potter’s arrival, the Seagulls could be an entirely different proposition this season. It’s out with the sterile, safety-first football of Chris Hughton and in with a sexy new 3-4-3 system.
Upfront, the rather less sexy Glenn Murray, now 35, will be expected to get the goals again even though Jürgen Locadia has been reintegrated on the right of that three-man attack, flourishing in pre-season.
Neal Maupay has signed from Brentford after two prolific seasons in the Championship but, like centre-half Adam Webster who signs from Bristol City, he will be expected to make the leap up quickly. C+
Premier League status secured for a fourth consecutive season, Clarets boss Sean Dyche did not feel the need to go crazy in the transfer market – no surprise there – and instead supplemented his existing squad with some shrewd additions.
Jay Rodriguez returns after seven years away and if he can get back to being the player who won an England cap in 2013, he could be a coup.
The deadline day addition of Danny Drinkwater could add some quality on the ball in midfield and rescue his top-flight career in the process. C
A registration ban meant the Blues couldn’t sign any new players so they recruited a new manager instead, bringing club legend Frank Lampard back from Derby County to replace Maurizio Sarri.
Knowing they’d be unable to sign this summer the Blues replaced Real Madrid-bound Eden Hazard with Christian Pulisic in January but the USMNT international will struggle to fill the brilliant Belgian’s boots.
Mateo Kovačić was not a resounding success on loan from Los Blancos but his switch has been made permanent – more out of necessity than anything else. N/A
While their additions might not have been particularly surprising, the fact Wilfried Zaha remains at Selhurst Park is an enormous bonus for Roy Hodgson’s side. The Ivorian was Palace’s second-top scorer with ten goals but also won six penalties – more than anyone else in the Premier League. He is irreplaceable.
Víctor Camarasa signed on loan from Real Betis after impressing for Cardiff City last term and the Spaniard could add a much-needed sprinkling of stardust to an already workmanlike midfield which saw James McCarthy add yet more grit.
Gary Cahill brings bags of experience and leadership to boot, whether or not he can play week-in week-out, particularly in a central defensive pairing, remains to be seen. C-
It was a frantic final day of the transfer window at Goodison Park with the Toffees desperately trying to snare an upgrade on Theo Walcott. In the end, they got one, returning to Arsenal to pay £35million for Iwobi.
Elsewhere, Moise Kean could be one of the signings of the summer after proving an able deputy for Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus last season. In midfield, Fabian Delph adds muscle and know-how, André Gomes shone on loan from Barcelona and Jean-Philippe Gbamin could be a shrewd acquisition.
Centre-back is a problem, though. Failure to replace Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams leaves Marco Silva short while Idrissa Gueye, with more tackles per 90 than any Premier League midfielder last term, has left for Paris Saint-Germain and cannot be replaced. B
Dark horses for the top six in the eyes plenty of neutrals, it’s hard not to be impressed by the Foxes’ summer business. Getting Youri Tielemans back from Monaco on a full-time basis was a coup, the Belgian was one of the stars of the second half of last season.
Ayoze Pérez might seem overpriced at £30million but excelled in a poor Newcastle side and should only get better at the King Power Stadium. Midfield conductor Dennis Praet – a deadline day addition from Sampdoria – adds more quality to a stuffed midfield.
The one blot was the late loss of Harry Maguire. The £85million world-record fee for a defender should soften that blow while a succession plan is in place: highly-rated Turkish international Caglar Söyüncü will step up. B+
It’s hard to envisage Jürgen Klopp strengthening his starting XI and that’s reflected in the Reds’ decision not to make a first-team signing this summer.
Former West Ham keeper Adrián replaces Simon Mignolet as Alisson‘s understudy while youngsters Harvey Elliott (16) and Sepp van den Berg (17) have been snapped up with an eye on the future. Both are big talents.
Cover at left-back would have been handy after Alberto Moreno‘s exit but James Milner has deputised in the past. The fit-again Rhian Brewster and re-born hero Divock Origi will share game time in Roberto Firmino‘s absence after Daniel Sturridge left. C
There were two question marks against Pep Guardiola’s squad heading into the summer: left-back and holding midfield.
The Spaniard will gradually take over from Fernandinho and the Brazilian has revealed he will drop in at centre-back if and when required, negating the need to sign a Vincent Kompany replacement. A-
What a mess. It took until the final hours of the transfer window to offload Romelu Lukaku, a player Ole Gunnar Solskjær clearly had no need for since the start of the summer. There was no time to sign a replacement.
Paulo Dybala was not a player the Red Devils needed but he would at least have been a boost for supporters and injected some genuine star quality. Christian Eriksen did not sign either, nor did Bruno Fernandes.
While the signings of Allan Saint-Maximin, Joelinton, Jetro Willems and Emil Krafth look good and address problem areas in the Magpies’ squad, it’s impossible to analyse them without the context of those who left St. James’ Park.
They don’t come any bigger than Rafa Benítez. Mike Ashley’s game of brinkmanship finally forced the Spaniard out and he was replaced by Steve Bruce who, despite having this writer’s respect, is a clear downgrade.
Upfront, Salomón Rondón and Perez accounted for 25 goals between them last season. The pressure is on Joelinton (seven league goals last term) and Saint-Maximin (6) to pick up that slack. C-
Having won promotion against all expectations, Norwich boss Daniel Farke has decided to largely keep faith with the players who won last season’s Championship title, spending just £1million.
Ralf Fährmann arrives on loan from Schalke to battle for the No.1 jersey with Tim Krul while Sam Byram is a cheap pick-up from West Ham, a pre-emptive strike for when highly-rated teen Max Aarons leaves.
Attackers Luke Freeman, Ravel Morrison, Ben Osborn, Oli McBurnie and Callum Robinson are all unproven in the Premier League while Lys Mousset never tore up any trees at Bournemouth. It could be a tough season. C-
The English transfer window has shut but one suspects the Saints will be busy in the next fortnight. Boss Ralph Hasenhüttl wants to ship out sinners Fraser Forster, Cédric Soares, Wesley Hoedt, Mario Lemina, Sofiane Boufal, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Guido Carrillo still.
Restricted by the bloated squad he inherited, the Austrian made just four major summer signings. Danny Ings‘ loan deal from Liverpool included an £18million obligation to buy while winger 21-year-old winger Moussa Djenepo arrived from Standard Liège with a big reputation.
Che Adams could prove a shrewd get from Birmingham City after scoring goals for fun in the Championship while Kevin Danso, a late deadline day loan acquisition from Augsburg, will rival Yan Valery for the right-back spot. B+
After steadfastly refusing to sign anyone in the last two transfer windows – a period of more than 500 days – Tottenham finally broke their duck this summer, and in some style.
The deadline day arrival of Giovani Lo Celso on loan from Real Betis – with the option to buy next summer – adds further creativity to a midfield which, at the time of writing, still includes Christian Eriksen.
With an eye on the future, Spurs also signed Leeds United winger Jack Clarke before loaning him back to the Championship promotion hopefuls while Ryan Sessegnon completed his long-awaited switch from Fulham. A+
Then they stirred into life. Danny Welbeck arrived on a free, signing a deal which will see his wages more than double if he is fit to play. If Watford’s medical team can get the England striker right, he’ll be a huge coup.
As will Ismaïla Sarr. At one point considered by Arsenal instead of Pépé, the 21-year-old Senegalese winger will inject some much-needed pace and directness into the Hornets’ attack. A-
After nabbing a pair of back-up goalkeepers at the start of July, West Ham’s summer improved with two big-money captures which could make Manuel Pellegrini’s side an intriguing watch this season.
Former Villarreal playmaker Pablo Fornals could be a steal at £24million, linking the midfield and attack while chipping in with goals himself. Ahead of him, striker Sébastien Haller becomes the Hammers’ record signing at £45million after netting 19 for Eintracht Frankfurt in all competitions.
Having snapped up last season’s top scorer Raúl Jiménez earlier in the year for a club-record £35million it was a quiet summer at Molineux with several fringe players leaving.
Arrivals were eventually secured; Real Madrid’s Jesús Vallejo joined on loan after captaining Spain’s Under-21s to European Championship glory this summer. Patrick Cutrone, who looked set to be the next great Italian striker two seasons ago, will share the load with Jiménez and Diogo Jota up top.