The most expensive transfer window in Premier League history has finally come to a close as teams finalized what their squads would look like for the rest of the 2015/16 campaign.
In the grand scheme of things it was a strange transfer window as it was the mid- and lower-table clubs who made the most noise while the bigger clubs were much more on the quiet side. The window wasn’t without drama though, but ultimately it will likely be remembered more for what didn’t happen, than what did.
As always with any transfer window, some clubs conducted much better business than others. Here are the big winners and losers from the entire summer transfer window:
For anyone that’s been following my work in the Premier League so far this season, you’d notice that I’ve been very high on Crystal Palace. Palace’s business in this transfer window is a major reason why.
They’ve taken a good — albeit strongly disliked — manager in Alan Pardew and have slowly and quietly assembled a fantastic young squad. This summer they added former Sunderland striker Connor Wickham, brought in England U21 international Patrick Bramford on loan from Chelsea, and swooped in for Wolverhampton’s Bakary Sako. But the crown jewel of the window was somehow signing top class midfielder Yohan Cabaye for just £10 million from PSG.
The French international will provide excellent leadership and composure in the middle of the pitch surrounded by a Palace’s plethora of young talent. Palace currently sit second in the table and though they’ll fall out of the top four eventually, they certainly have a great chance to sneak into one of the Europa League spots.
Like everyone else, I thought Villa would be in serious relegation trouble this season after losing their top two players, Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph, to Liverpool and Manchester City, respectively. But instead of rolling over, Villa hunkered down and rattled off a slew of impressive signings.
They brought in a few former Manchester City players in winger Scott Sinclair and former England internationals Micah Richards and Joleon Lescott. But perhaps their two best signings were youngsters Jordan Ayew from French side Lorient and Adama Traore from Barcelona.
The 19-year-old Traore is one of the biggest teenage prospects in Europe. With the addition of veteran defenders and some new exciting players, combined with one of the best tactical managers in England in Tim Sherwood, Aston Villa have used this transfer window to excellently remove themselves from the relegation discussion and into the discussion of teams that can finish in the middle of the table.
You may start noticing a theme here, that it’s the smaller clubs making the best signings. Despite getting off to a fantastic start this season, which included historic wins at the Emirates and Anfield, it didn’t exactly look like West Ham would be making an appearance on this list. But than the Hammers went out and absolutely owned deadline day.
The club brought back Alex Song on another one-year loan from Barcelona as well as adding Chelsea outcast Victor Moses on a one-year loan. Song, a former Arsenal player, and Moses have both had tremendous previous success in the Premier League before moving to bigger clubs where things haven’t exactly worked out for them.
The team also signed Croatian international Nikita Jelavic who has 39 career Premier League goals to his name, as well as Nottingham Forrest winger Michail Antonio, who has four goals in the first five games of the season this year for Forrest. These additions do two things for West Ham, Song provides another rock in the center of the pitch to help out and take pressure off of 16-year-old star Reece Oxford, while the wingers will provide great pace for a team that loves to counter attack.
It was always going to be a difficult transfer period for United due to the whole David de Gea saga looming over them the entire summer. The window did get off to a good start when they quickly signed young Dutch international Memphis Depay.
They stayed quiet for a few weeks but then in the blink of an eye the club swooped in to sign Matteo Darmian, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin. It looked as if it was going to be a great summer at Old Trafford, but unfortunately for the Red Devils their summer peaked just before their preseason tour of the U.S.
After some solid signings to start, ultimately United’s window can be seen as questionable at best. They signed Argentinian goalkeeper Segio Romero who has proven to be quite horrible and wrapped things up by spending £36 million on 19-year-old Anthony Martial, making him the most expensive teenager ever, who has just nine league goals to his name.
The Martial deal can rise to as much as £58 million should he win a European Player of the Year award. While £58 million for a European Player of the Year may be worth it, the whole point of buying young teenagers and hoping they pan out is you can get them for cheap.
To make matters worse, ESPN has reported that the club balked at the £60 million asking price for Marco Rues. United have made a habit of overpaying for almost everyone yet somehow decided £60 million was too much for one of the best attacking players in the world.
Finally at the end of the day, the deal to sell David de Gea embarrassingly fell through at the 11th hour. The de Gea deal is pretty symbolic of United’s entire transfer window: embarrassing. They also lost out on Barcelona winger Pedro, who snubbed the club in favor of Chelsea after it was pointed out to him that Louis van Gaal has somehow managed to alienate every single Spanish player in United’s squad at some point.
It wasn’t exactly a banner transfer window for the champions either. Like United, Chelsea were left looking pretty weak when all was said and done.
The club stayed quiet for most of the summer, only bringing in backup goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to replace the departed Petr Cech. They’re attacking signings to name were the additions of Pedro and Radamel Falcao, a striker who no longer has the ability to score. The club pursued Everton defender John Stones all summer, yet somehow despite sitting on a pile of wealth, were unable to lure the defender away from Everton.
On the final days of the transfer window, they turned their attention to Brazilian Marquinhos of PSG but were unable to lure him away, forcing them to settle on Reading defender Michael Hector. Yikes.
Tottenham like to view themselves as a club that sits just outside the top four clubs but is still bigger than the rest of the clubs in England. Well if that’s the case, why didn’t Tottenham do anything this entire window?
There are three marquee signings were Burnley right back Kieren Trippier (who will be a backup), defender Toby Alderweireld and winger Heung-Min Son. Talk about underwhelming. The only positive part of this transfer window was that they managed to hold on to goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, but that can partially be attributed to the David de Gea deal dragging along and falling through.
Despite the club making it be very well-known of their interest in West Brom striker Saido Berahino, the club waited until the last-minute to try to get a deal done and ultimately ran out of time. For anyone that follows the game, this is typical Spurs.
While we have praised chairman Daniel Levy in the past for pulling off some absolutely fantastic deals, sometimes his past history has led to him being too stubborn and difficult to deal with as he tries to get the best deal for his club. This was one of those times and in the end, he’s drastically hurt his team.