Only 27 days remain in the summer transfer window in England, and teams are getting close to wrapping up their pre-season friendlies ahead of the August 17 kick-off to the Premier League season.
Based on the transfer signings so far in the summer window, here’s my ratings on how each club in the Premier League has done as of press time:
Other than a defensive midfielder, the Gunners have one clear area that they will be looking to improve: goals. As many foresaw at this stage last year, summer signings Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski have failed to fill the huge void left by Van Persie. And with Walcott’s best position still under investigation, Wenger needs a goal scorer – and quick. On their day, Arsenal’s front six is as effective as any. However when the going gets tough, there is a transparent lack of poaching ability. For the first season in years, Wenger can rest easy that he will lose his best players. He is lacking a talismanic figure of recent seasons – a Fabregas, Nasri or a Van Persie. Instead, the Frenchman faces the task of finding one.
The Gunners have already failed with bids for Higuain, Rooney and Suarez. The money is there to spend but Wenger can’t seem to give it away at the moment. Arsenal’s occasionally leaky back four could also do with reinforcing. Thomas Vermaelan is a real fan’s favorite at the Emirates. However it increasingly looks like he’s a time-bomb as his tenure at the club goes on. Arsene should look past the ball-playing defender and invest in a good old fashioned centre-half capable of closing down games. Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams have been mentioned. Both would be a breath of fresh air for Gunners fans who are becoming tiresome of their teams occasional naivety.
Ins: Yaya Sanogo (Auxerre, free)
Outs: Andre Santos (Flamengo, undisclosed), Vito Mannone (Sunderland, £2m), Francis Coquelin (Freiburg, loan), Johan Djourou (Hamburg, loan), Andrey Arshavin (Zenit, free), Sanchez Watt (Colchester, free), Sebastien Squillaci and Denilson (both released).
The best news for Villa fans is that Christian Benteke has committed his future to the club. With the Belgian and strike partner Weimann both having excellent debut campaigns, Villa could be in for a much more comfortable upcoming season if they’re both on fire. Lambert’s men provided lessons on how not to defend last term. This is something Lambert will be eager to remedy. The Villains have brought in Danish defender Okore to bolster their defense, although they shouldn’t stop there.
Richard Dunne’s departure to QPR along with skipper Sylvian Petrov’s premature retirement has left a lack of experience in Villa’s starting eleven that causes concern. Lambert’s priority should be to stabilize his young side by adding reliable Premier League experience to his setup. If Randy Lerner wants to keep his club afloat, he needs to revisit the ambition that saw him splash £24m on Darren Bent less than 3 years ago.
Ins: Nicklas Helenius (Aalborg, £2m), Antonio Luna (Sevilla, undisclosed), Jores Okore (Nordsjaelland, £4m), Leandro Bacuna (FC Groningen, undisclosed).
Outs: Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest, free), Courtney Cameron (Torquay, free), Richard Dunne (QPR, free). Stylian Petrov (retired).
As with any newly promoted team, Cardiff needs to focus on strengthening in depth and adding experience to their lineup. Bellamy’s familiarity with the League will be invaluable, and Mackay should look to bring in players of equal stature. Moves for Steven Caulker and Tom Ince of Tottenham and Blackpool respectively indicate that the funds are there and ready to be used if needed to ensure the Bluebirds don’t suffer an immediate return to the second tier. Mackay has installed a well-balanced playing style at the Welsh side and they will stand a sound chance of retaining their status if they can inject more flair, and with it, goals.
Giant hitman Cornelius should be able to answer questions against the more physical sides. Club record signing England defender Caulker could also prove to be a key player for the Bluebirds this term alongside Mark Hudson in the heart of the defense.
Ins: Steven Caulker (undisclosed) Andreas Cornelius (FC Copenhagen, £7.5m) John Brayford (Derby County, £1.5m), Simon Moore (Brentford, Undisclosed).
Outs: Elliott Parish (Bristol City, free) Heidar Helguson, Stephen McPhail, Nat Jarvis, Jesse Darko (all released)
If there’s one thing that Chelsea do need, then new players isn’t it. You would have to run through the Blues squad with a fine toothed comb to find any significant weakness in their arsenal. Mourinho has a fine array of midfielders to choose from – including the rejuvenated Michael Essien who joins his manager in making a return from Madrid. With Tobias Courtious on loan at Athletico Madrid and Ross Turnbull quitting the Bridge, Chelsea were looking threadbare between the sticks however that void has been filled by the ever reliable Mark Schwarzer. Mourinho has openly announced his interest in Wayne Rooney yet despite having lodged a sizeable bid, a move south seems unfeasible.
Andre Schurle could prove to be an excellent signing. The German impressed at the Euro’s and his game looks well suited for the Premier League. If Chelsea are to put up a genuine fight for the title, they will need goals and that simply can’t be promised by Torres. The ever improving Lukaku has returned from West Brom and looks a hugely exciting prospect but not yet ready to lead the line of a title-challenging team. A goalscorer would not go amiss. Money isn’t the question for Mourinho but with Falcao and Cavani both choosing France, the market is drying up.
Blues fans will be ecstatic to see club hero Frank Lampard sign on for another season at the Bridge. If David Luiz rejects an apparent approach from Barcelona, Chelsea’s transfer campaign can be deemed a success.
Ins: Andre Schurrle (Bayer Leverkusen, £17m), Marco van Ginkel (Vitesse Arnhem, £8m), Mark Schwarzer (Fulham, free)
Outs: Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid, loan), Oriel Romeu (Valencia, loan), Florent Malouda (Trabzonspor, free), Yossi Benayoun, Paulo Ferreira, Hilario, Ross Turnbull (all released)
Palace climbed their way into the top flight by winning the playoffs after a 5th placed finish. A Wilfried Zaha inspired forward line managed to outscore the majority of the league, yet they also leaked an unconvincing 62 goals. Holloway will need to address this defensive frailty. Palace have made promising signings to date, including promising teenager Dwight Gale and winger Jerome Thomas. Forty year old Kevin Phillips has already joined on a free to complete yet another top year season. Judging by Palace’s signings so far, Holloway looks set to adopt the ‘outscore your opponent’ philosophy that won plaudits for brave Blackpool – but still saw them relegated on the final day of term. There is something un-easing about Palace’s squad; distinctly lacking in Premier League experience and it is difficult to see the goals will come from – although the same was said for Swansea on their arrival to the top flight.
If Holloway brings in experience and a striker or two before deadline day, they stand an okay chance of avoiding relegation. That much is paramount. Zaha must be replaced.
Ins: Dwight Gayle (Peterborough, £8.5m), Stephen Dobbie (Brighton, undisclosed), Jerome Thomas (West Brom, free) Kevin Phillips (Blackpool, free), Jose Campana (Sevilla, £1.75m)
Outs: Alex Marrow (Blackburn, undisclosed), Dale Banton (MK Dons, loan)
The Toffees’ boardroom has done a brilliant job so far in keeping hold of key duo Fellaini and Baines. The latter is rumored to be close to signing a new deal on Merseyside and fans would probably settle for the transfer window closing prematurely if given the chance. The same can be said again for a pre-season Everton squad; surplus requirements at the back but strikers needed.
Martinez has brought in Wigan colleague Arouna Kone to reinforce his attack and has pulled off a fabulous signing in the form of Barcelona goldenboy Gerard Deulofeu who could light up the Premier League next season if given the game time. Whilst Nikica Jelavic dried up on the goal front last term, Kevin Mirallas looked to be a real special talent and could also be in for a memorable season if he can keep himself out of the treatment room. The Toffees have been linked with Wigan’s James McCarthy, who would be a sound addition to Martinez’s array. However, for once, Everton’s squad looks complete ahead of the season opener.
The Toffees look set to adopt a brave 3-5-2 formula next season. In Jagielka, Baines and Distin, they have three highly intelligent defenders who have become some of the most consistent in the League. This said, it is inevitable that the Blues will leak more goals in their current setup than they did under the stewardship of David Moyes. By playing 3 at the back, they will be adopting the same philosophy that saw Wigan relegated. With no disrespect to Wigan, Martinez is given a better quality of personnel to execute his style. This will be a refreshing sight for the Goodison faithful but will only be worthwhile if Martinez can get his usually goal dry Toffees forward line finding the net regularly.
Ins: Arouna Kone (Wigan, £6m), Antolin Alcaraz (Wigan, free), Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona, loan) Joel Robles (Athletico Madrid, undisclosed)
Outs: Conor McAleny (Brentford, loan), Thomas Hitzlsperger, Sam Kelly, Jan Mucha (all released), Phil Neville (retired).
The Cottagers were a mixed bag last term. Martin Jol performed excellently in last summer’s market to secure the services of Dimitar Berbatov and Mladen Petrov for a combined £6m. Along with Bryan Ruiz, Fulham had formed potentially their strongest ever forward three. Petric has departed, leaving a gap in attack. Hugo Rodallega should be able to step up to the plate as solid backup.
The ever dependant Brede Hangeland didn’t seem quite himself last year however still remains one of the most underrated defenders in the league. If Jol can pair him up with another top centre half, they can look to improve on last season’s record of 60 goals conceded. Fulham have made a great signing in Staeklenburg who in previous years was tipped to reach the very top. Midfield enforcer Derek Boateng has also been brought in on a free to add to steel the Cottager’s middle line. If Jol was approved the funds by the board he would look to buy a playmaker – something that has been left wanting after the departure of Danny Murphy last summer. Fulham are close to a deal on Adel Taarabt, which would be exactly that playmaker Jol is needing.
Ins: Maarten Stekelenburg (Roma, £4.76m), Sasha Riether (Cologne, £1.27m), Fernando Amorebieta (Athletic Bilbao, Free), Derek Boateng (Dnipro, Free), Ange-Freddy Plumain (Lens, Free
Outs: Mark Schwarzer (Chelsea, free), Chris Baird, Simon Davies, Mahamadou Diarra, James Musa, Mladen Petric (all released)
Questions have been asked if Hull are ready for the Premier League. Steve Bruce has the experience required, but his team don’t. Bruce has played 3 at the back in his time at the KC Stadium. If he is to get away with this in the top flight, he requires a real top defender who can play this system. New signing Figueroa has played this role during his time at Wigan. Curtis Davies has shown signs of true class during his career to date but can’t seem to stick to one club – a decent signing nonetheless. If Hull are to suffer this year, a lack of goals will be their downfall. Midfielder Robert Koren was their top scorer in the Championship last year with 9.
In Sone Aluko, they have somebody with the potential ability of firing them out of trouble. Danny Graham has also signed on loan from Sunderland after a miserable half of a season in the North East. Bruce has got his men playing a fluid and unpredictable game. And his midfield roster, sparked by youngster Robbie Brady, are capable of making this work. It is the two danger ends that will decide Hull’s fate this season. With their squad as it is, doubts are raised whether they will score the goals at home to keep them afloat in the division.
Ins: Curtis Davies (Birmingham, £2.25m), Ahmed Elmohamady (Sunderland, £2m), Allan McGregor (Besiktas, £1.8m), Yannick Sagbo (Evian, £1.5m), George Boyd (Peterborough, Free), Maynor Figueroa (Wigan, Free), Steve Harper (Newcastle United, Free), Jamie Devitt (Chesterfield, Free), Danny Graham (Sunderland, Loan)
Outs: Sonny Bradley (Portsmouth, Free), Mark Cullen (Luton, Free), Andy Dawson (Scunthorpe, Free), Danny East (Portsmouth, Free), Mark Oxley (Oldham, Loan), Jack Hobbs (Nottingham Forest, Loan), Jamie Devitt (Chesterfield, Free), Paul Mckenna (Released)
Sadly for Brendan Rodgers, the ongoing Suarez transfer saga has deflected away from a decent performance so far during the window. With Reina moving to Napoli on loan, Mignolet joins from Sunderland for what should be a like-for-like switch. Communication with the back four may take time to master. However the Belgian should go on to fill the goalposts for the next decade. Much has been said of the Reds defensive trusty partnership of Agger and Skrtel. Agger remains a class act however the usually reliable Skrtel became the unpredictable last season and was simply not good enough. Kolo Toure has been brought in on a free from Manchester City and few would be surprised to see the Ivorian earn a regular spot on Rodger’s teamsheet – a good bit of business. Luis Alberto at just short of £7m could prove to be one of the buys of the season. The Spaniard is a passmaster much in the same mould as Coutinho and should fit straight into Rodgers’s fluid system.
It is impossible to forecast the Red’s fortunes this season without knowing Suarez’s fate. If he goes, they need goals – and lots of them. Sturridge had a superb first half-season at Anfield, however the honeymoon is over now and his ego will leave him found wanting next season. There has been talk of a big money move for Diego Costa. Highly likely to bring in goals eventually but Liverpool don’t have time to wait for the Brazilian to adjust to the English game. On the exports front, the Anfield board have done superbly to somehow sell Andy Carroll and Shelvey for a combined £20m.
Ins: Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo, £9m), Simon Mignolet (Sunderland, £9m), Luis Alberto (Seville, £6.8m), Kolo Touré (Manchester City, Free).
Outs: Andy Carroll (West Ham, £15m), Jonjo Shelvey (Swansea, £5m rising to £6m), Jamie Carragher (Retired, Conor Coady (Sheffield United, Loan), Pepe Reina (Napoli, Loan), Suso (Almeria, Loan)
After surrendering the title to rivals United, it was inevitable that City would be sending off for another cheque book come September. Once again, they have made some frighteningly good signings. Pellegrini knows exactly how he wants to play next season. He’s gone out and got the players who he knows can fit right into his plans. Eyebrows were raised when City forked out £30m for Shaktar’s Fernandinho. Less well known, the Brazilian looks a superb talent and is at the peak of his game. He should be one of the stars of the division this term. The Chilean has a vast knowledge of La Liga and then duly made Sevilla duo Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo his next signings. Both regular Spanish internationals, they should link up excellently at the Etihad. Highly sought after Stevan Jovetic has also joined the Citizens in a big money move and should adequately fill the gap left by troublemaker Carlos Tevez.
City have avoided investing in defense this summer. However this is already the best in the League and is only getting better with Serbian youngster Nastasic increasingly looking set to become one of the world leading marshals (despite being out injured for the first month of the season). For once at City, their signings have been well meditated and Pellegrini has brought in exactly the right calibre to play his style and challenge for the title. The Etihad will be home to the most advanced and entertaining football in the country this season.
Ins: Fernandinho (Shakhtar Donetsk, £30m), Stevan Jovetic (Fiorentina, £22m), Jésus Navas (Seville, £17m rising to £22.9m), Alvaro Negredo (Seville, £16.4m rising to £20.6m).
Outs: Carlos Tévez (Juventus, £10m rising to £12m), Maicon (Roma, Undisclosed), Wayne Bridge (Reading, Free), Roque Santa Cruz (Malaga, Free), Kolo Touré (Liverpool, Free), Karim Rekik (PSV Eindhoven, Loan).
For the first time in over two decades, we are crossing into uncharted territory at Old Trafford. With Sir Alex Ferguson at the realm, United have managed to succeed without having the best team in the League. You only have to go back as far as last season to see how the consistency at Old Trafford has seem them come up trumps over embarrassingly unstable City and Chelsea sides, despite the latter two having arguably superior squads. After a full management makeover at the league summit, stability can be completely taken out of the equation. Last season’s top 3 are now on a level playing field, and questions are being asked if United’s squad is strong enough squad to challenge for the title without their Scottish messiah behind the wheel.
Generally, United’s squad is excellent. United conceded a concerning 43 goals last season (only the 5th best in the league). However the personnel in their back four shows no real sign for expenditure. Ferdinand and Vidic have received criticism over recent seasons. However they remain two of the best in the game. And with Phil Jones and Jonny Evans both having great seasons, Moyes will see no reason to invest in the future. De Gea has put his shaky first season behind him to become a real wall between the sticks.
The future of Wayne Rooney has had United fans less concerned than they should be. Stubborn supporters have lost patience with the striker’s lack of loyalty and have already booked his taxi. Losing Rooney – especially to rivals Chelsea – would be United’s downfall. With him, their forward line looks immense. Without him – suspect. Rooney is the only gel between United’s front two lines (the jury is still out on Kagawa) and if Van Persie was to pick up an injury, then Moyes’ strike-force would look very average. Moyes’ priority is a scheming playmaker to sit alongside Carrick. With Scholes gone, United have a lack of creativity through the middle. Whilst they have relied on wingers for ingenuity over recent years – spanning back to the age of Ronaldo – Young, Nani and especially Valencia all looked poorly predictable last season and won’t be able to carry United’s unimaginative middle two next year. Fabregas has been stongly linked. He would be perfect. The Spaniard is tailor made for the system that Moyes will put in place.
Ins: Guillermo Varela (Penarol, £2.4m)
Outs: Paul Scholes (Retired) Reece James (Carlisle United, Loan), Frederic Veseli (Ipswich, Free), Ryan Tunnicliffe (Ipswich, Loan)
It is difficult to discuss Toon arrivals over recent years without it feeling an episode of Napoléon. Pardew’s French revolution looks set to be reignited with the imminent signing of Frenchman Bruno Bafetimbi Gomis after the successful loan signing of clinical striker Loic Remy. After the January departure of fan favorite Demba Ba, the Magpies were in need of a striker or two. Pardew’s front six now looks in a good position to put together a solid campaign and potentially push for Europe. They suffered heavily last term and were let down by a continuous, growing list of absentees. If Pardew can keep his squad fit, he has good reason for optimism in this coming year.
With Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Gouffran, Sissoko and Gutierrez at their disposal, the Magpies have attacking options in abundance. Mike Ashley should think twice before adding to his midfield – bringing in yet more attackers would only cause an imbalance on and off the field.
Newcastle were missing the solidity last year that led them to a 5th place finish in the 2011/2012 season. In Tim Krul they have one of the best keepers in the League. However their defenders (or perhaps Pardew’s setup) looked woeful at times. With Coloccini looking lackluster and growingly uncommitted to the cause, Director of Football Joe Kinnear should be looking to invest in a reliable centre-half.
Ins: Olivier Kemen (Metz, Undisclosed), Loic Remy (QPR, season-long loan).
Outs: James Perch (Wigan, £750,000), Danny Simpson (QPR, Free), Steve Harper (Hull City, Free), Shane Ferguson (Birmingham City, Loan), Shane Ferguson (Birmingham, Loan), James Tavernier (Shrewsbury, Loan)
The Canaries are serious contenders for the best performing team in the transfer market. ‘Let’s be having you’ Delia cried, as she rallied in almost £30m worth of new signings. With skipper Grant Holt dropping down a league to join Wigan, Celtic’s Gary Hooper has joined sharpshooter Ricky Van Wolfswinkel in making big money moves to Carrow Road. But arguably the pick of the bunch is midfielder Leroy Fer. The Dutchman looked set to complete a move to Everton in January but the deal collapsed following a failed medical. He’s a tall, athletic, goalscoring midfielder who should immediately adapt to the Premier League. Don’t be surprised to see a top team come looking for his services in coming seasons.
Hughton hasn’t failed to address the defensive frailties of last year either. The Canaries looked solid at times with the impressive Ruddy between the sticks but they still managed to leak 58 league goals. He has seeked to remedy that by bringing in Martin Olsson and Javier Garrido. The latter in particular is a great acquisition and will look to improve Norwich’s fluidity by carrying the ball from the back.
Nathan Redmond has also signed from Championship side Birmingham. The teenager looks a promising young player and should prove to be an exciting addition to Hughton’s squad in the years to come. Canaries fans have good reason for optimism and can expect their side to match – if not beat – their successes of last season.
Ins: Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Sporting Lisbon, £8.5m), Leroy Fer (FC Twente, £7m), Gary Hooper (Celtic, £5m), Martin Olsson (Blackburn, £2.5m), Nathan Redmond (Birmingham, £2.2m rising to £3.2m), Javier Garrido (Lazio, £1.275m), Carlo Nash (Stoke, Free).
Outs: Grant Holt (Wigan, £2m), James Vaughan (Huddersfield, £1m), Tom Adeyemi (Birmingham, Free), Chris Martin (Derby, Free), Korey Smith (Oldham, Free), Jed Steer (Aston Villa, Free), Marc Tierney (Bolton, Free), Declan Rudd (Preston, Loan).
The critics were out in their masses after the dismissal of Nigel Adkins in January. This seemed somewhat unjust after guiding the Saints to two straight promotions. Now six months on, few can argue with the decision. Pochettino has taken over the reins and has his team playing fruitful, exciting football.
The Saints have been resourcefully efficient in the window so far. They may have only brought in two faces. However these are great additions to an already flourishing squad. Wanywawa became a hot property after leading Celtic to a 1-0 win against Barca in the Champions League. Securing his signature is a great sign of intent and shows supporters how ambitious the club is. The Kenyan will do a great job of marshaling an attack-minded midfield and finding the balance required. Defender Dejan Lovren has joined from Lyon for a hefty fee – the Croat should help to tighten up an inexperienced defense.
With Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez in the team, Southampton will always score goals. Pochettino will be happy with his team as it stands – and so too should the supporters.
Ins: Victor Wanyama (Celtic, £12.5m), Dejan Lovren (Lyon, £8.5m).
Outs: Vegard Forren (Molde FK, Undisclosed), Sam Hoskins (Yeovil, Free), Richard Chaplow (Millwall, Free), Ryan Dickson (Colchester, Free), Ben Reeves (MK Dons, Free), Dan Seaborne (Yeovil, Free) Frazer Richardson, Alberto Seidi.
A portion of Stoke fans were disappointed to see Tony Pulis leave the club after guiding the club through the doldrums. But the vast majority will be glad to see the back of his negative, un-daring approach. Under Mark Hughes, they can expect to see a more respectable and entertaining brand of football. Judging by Stoke’s current transfers alone, you wouldn’t have thought so. Midfielder Muniese has been brought in on a free from Barcelona, but ans shouldn’t get too excited yet. The Spaniard will struggle with the pace and demands of the English game. There has been a mass exodus of experience at the Britannia. Former regulars Matthew Upson, Rory Delap and Dean Whitehead have left the club. The board should look to replace these with players of equal calibre to regain a balance in the dressing room. One such player is Juan Agudelo who is reported to be set to join the club in January.
We are likely to see Hughes deploy the same 4-2-3-1 that has seen the Potters build an unbreakable counter attacking unit during Pulis’ tenure. However, Sparky will look to use natural widemen with pace and trickery rather than the false winger that his predecessor was fond of. Expect to see the forgotten Jermaine Pennant enjoy his best season in years.
Hughes has a real point to prove and Stoke can be the benefactor of this. But if Stoke are to succeed under their new boss then they need to bring in some real talent capable of breaking down defenses.
Ins: Erik Pieters (PSV Eindhoven, £3m), Alex Grant (Portsmouth, Free), Marc Muniesa (Barcelona, Free).
Outs: Carlo Nash (Norwich, Free), Matthew Upson (Brighton, Free), Dean Whitehead (Middlesbrough, Free), Rory Delap (Burton Albion, Free) Michael Clarkson, Matthew Gledhill, Jadan Hall, Andrew Musunga, George Rigg, Mamady Sidibé (all released) Michael Owen (Retired).
When Paolo Di Canio was appointed Black Cats manager in March, few fans could have expected an easy ride. The Italian has installed an old fashioned philosophy into the club, integrally built around discipline and rectitude. Anyone who does not buy into this ethos will be left behind. Matt Kilgallon has been shipped out and his gambling partner in crime Phil Bardsley cannot expect to pull on the red and white jersey again anytime soon.
The Sunderland board has had a very busy summer indeed. Their belief in Di Canio is clear to see. Each and everyone one of their signings has his name written all over it. The Black Cats’ roster is beginning to fill with young, hungry, technically-sound players who should thrive playing under Di Canio. The pick of the bunch has to be Italy international Emanuele Giaccherini who joins from Juventus. He could prove to be one of the buys of the season and become the schemer that Sunderland lack when Sessegnon fails to show up. American striker Jozy Altidore has been also been added and should provide the physical presence to synthesize with the sharpshooting of Steven Fletcher (after he returns from injury in September). Modibo Diakite, once given the game time to prove himself, should go on to be a rock in an already experienced Sunderland back four.
Di Canio’s squad looks as complete as it has done in recent history.
Ins: Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar, £6.5m), Emanuele Giaccherini (Juventus, £6.5m), Vito Mannone (Arsenal, £1.5m), David Moberg Karlsson (IFK Gothenburg, £1.5m), El-Hadji Ba (Le Havre, £380,000), Duncan Whatmore (Altrincham, Undisclosed), Cabral (Basel, Free), Modibo Diakité (Lazio, Free), Valentin Roberge (Maritimo, Free),
Outs: Simon Mignolet (Liverpool, £9m), Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull, £2m), Matt Kilgallon (Blackburn, Free), Adam Reed (Burton, Free), Ryan Noble (Burnley, Free), Danny Graham (Hull City, Loan). Titus Bramble , Matt Kilgallon (both released)
Swansea won last season’s award for signing of the season. Bringing in attacker Michu for £2.5 was nothing short of a miracle. Manager Michael Laudrup now appears to have matched it by bringing in Wilfried Bony – scorer of 31 league goals in last term’s Eredivisie. Granted, this deal does not qualify with the same financial frugality of the Michu purchase. However come the end of the season, this could well be deemed as money well spent. Jonjo Shelvey has been brought in from Liverpool to add a different dimension to a typically interactive middle four. The youngster can be effectively direct when needed.
The Swans can shut up shop and be happy with their dealings this summer. Providing that captain Ashley Williams stays, the Swans will be as defensively astute as last season and have now replenished their attacking options.
Fans can be happy that last season’s top performers — including Michu, Williams and Dyer — have all resisted big money moves to remain at the Liberty Stadium.
Ins:. Wilfried Bony (Vitesse Arnhem, £12m), Jonjo Shelvey (Liverpool, £5m rising to £6m), Jordi Amat (Espanyol, £2.5m), Alejandro Pozuelo (Real Betis, £425,000), Gregor Zabret (NK Domzale, Undisclosed), José Cañas (Real Betis, Free), Alex Gogic (Olympiakos, Free), Jernade Meade (Arsenal, Free), Jonathan de Guzman (Villareal, Loan).
Outs: David Cornell (St Mirren, Free), Mark Gower (Charlton, Free), Kyle Bartley (Birmingham, Loan), Gwion Edwards (St Johnstone, Loan), Alan Tate (Yeovil Town, Loan).
You would be hard pushed to convince a Spurs fan of this: Tottenham can do well next season with or without Gareth Bale. The Welshman may continue to be the best winger in the league, arguably even the best player. However it remains possible to take positives from an inevitable departure to La Liga. The rumored transfer fee spans from £80m to £110. Bale is a sensational talent. However nobody can begin to justify that this fee is warranted. The winger has endured a fabulous season – everything went his way. But when it doesn’t, £80m worth of talent spent elsewhere on the pitch will. Tottenham have become heavily reliable on Bale and now their gameplan can be too predictable at times. If the transfer does go ahead, the mass of funds received will stretch a long way in forging a team capable of matching the heights of Bale FC.
Spurs have made three excellent coups during the window although these have inevitably been overshadowed by other affairs. Fans should be excited by the arrival of Spanish striker Roberto Soldado who should score for fun this season. The 28 year old looks perfectly suited for the Premier League – technically excellent with the physique and athleticism to put this to good use. Paulinho looked a real player in Confederations Cup and should eventually keep Sandro and Scott Parker out of the starting eleven. If Bale’s move to Madrid follows through, don’t be surprised to see a portion of the funds spent on a replacement for the departing Steven Caulker.
Ins: Roberto Soldado (Valencia, £26m) Paulinho (Corinthians, £17m), Nacer Chadli (FC Twente, £7m).
Outs: Steven Caulker (£8m) John Bostock (Royal Antwerp, Free), Jack Bartram, Nathan Byrne (both Swindon, Free), Adam Smith (Derby, Loan). David Bentley, William Gallas (both released). Clint Dempsey (£6million).
West Bromwich Albion
Under Steve Clarke the Baggies were consistent, well marshalled and disciplined last term — perfectly balanced but perhaps lacking in creativity and killer instinct. It is therefore somewhat surprising that they haven’t gone in search of a craftsman during this summer window. Or perhaps they have. Clarke is resilient with funds and will not buy unless he believes they will improve his squad.
Veteran striker Nicolas Anelka has checked in at the Hawthorns and should be a welcome addition to the strikeforce. The Frenchman is a proven goalscorer in England and will add invaluable experience.
Fans can be thankful that Youssuf Mulumbu has remained a West Brom player. If the midfielder can consistently perform at the level he showed signs of last season, Europe’s top teams will come calling next summer. The Congolese enforcer is the perfect box to box midfielder. If the board can dig deep into their pockets to find him a midfield partner then the Baggies can continue to climb their way up the league table.
Ins: Nicolas Anelka (Shanghai Shenhua, Free), Goran Popov (Dynamo Kiev, Loan).
Outs: Marc-Antoine Fortuné (Wigan, Free), James Hurst (Valur, Free), Gonzalo Jara Reyes (Nottingham Forest, Free), Jerome Thomas (Crystal Palace, Free), Romaine Sawyers (Walsall, Free), Scott Allan (Birmingham, Loan), Zoltan Gera (released)
West Ham United
By making Andy Carroll a club record signing at £15m, West Ham have told fans exactly what they can expect. Allardyce’s men will pick up where they left last season – with Carroll scoring and creating chances for goal-scoring midfielder Kevin Nolan. If Carroll stays fit, fans can expect a comfortable season. Another injury however and the Hammers could become dangerously dry in front of goal. Carlton Cole has been released, which seems like an odd decision at present. The former Chelsea hitman would be a like for like replacement for Carroll in the system West Ham will adopt next season. Big Sam must find an insurance bet before the window closes and bring in another forward.
The Hammers were typically resilient at the back last term and fans can expect this to continue. This is the Allardyce way and he won’t be steering clear of this anytime soon. Collins and Reid looked tight and robust at the back last season behind a strong midfield unit of Mark Noble and Mohamed Diame. There is little room for improvement in this area without Allardyce breaking the bank further.
Hammers fans can take great optimism from the fact Mohamed Diame remains with the club. Many predicted the midfielder would make a big money move over the summer in search of European football.
Ins: Andy Carroll (Liverpool, £15m), Danny Whitehead (Stockport, Undisclosed), Adrián (Real Betis, Free), Razvan Rat (Shakhtar Donetsk, Free).
Outs: Jake Larkins (Leyton Orient, Carlton Cole, Gary O’Neil, Jack Powell, Jami Rafati, Eoin Weaken.