• Premier League clubs scrambled around on Thursday to make last-minute deals.
• Elsewhere, Chelsea had a transfer ban and Tottenham splashed the cash.
With the summer transfer window now shut, it’s time to let football do the talking as the Premier League gets ready to kick-off all over again.
Clubs from the top flight were desperately scrambling around for some last-minute signings on Thursday before the 5 pm deadline, while others were trying to offload players to cut down their squads. Here are the winners and losers of yet another hectic window....
It was all doom and gloom at the beginning of the window for the Gunners, with the departure of Aaron Ramsey and reports of a £45million budget leaving fans with little to be optimistic about after yet another campaign to forget.
But new Head of Football Raul Sanllehi has quickly made himself a cult hero with the fans, masterminding a number of brilliant deals over a summer that has by far and away exceeded expectations. Negotiating the club’s limited finances with cleverly structured deals, Sanllehi secured the highly-rated Nicolas Pepe and William Saliba while securing Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos on loan.
Most Arsenal supporters would have been content with that but the deadline day additions of defensive duo Kieran Tierney and David Luiz really solidified the change in mood heading into the new campaign. Getting £35m for Alex Iwobi was the icing on the cake.
The Belgian became the butt of many a joke over his second season at Old Trafford and will be thrilled to have put his disappointing spell there to an end with a big money move to Inter Milan on the final day.
The striker was given a rough time by many United fans and clearly wanted to leave, ignoring the club’s demands to return to training at Carrington earlier this week.
His agent has delivered, facilitating a somewhat surprising £73m transfer fee and wages of £300,000 a week. He’ll no doubt be smiling about the fact his former club have failed to find a replacement.
It may not have all gone to plan for Spurs but their deadline day activity can leave them looking back on a window to be pleased with.
The disappointment of missing out on Paulo Dybala will sting but the additions of Ryan Sessegnon and Giovani Lo Celso will surely soften the blow.
Add that to the earlier £65m purchase of imposing midfielder Tanguy Ndombele and you can count on Mauricio Pochettino’s men being a force to reckon with again this season.
A quietly strong window for the Wanderers. The core of last year’s surprise package was left intact with Helder Costa and Ivan Cavaleiro the only notable departures, both players having fallen out of Nuno Espirito Santo’s starting plans. In turn, they have made Raul Jiminez’s loan move permanent while giving the Mexican a striking partner in the form of Patrick Cutrone from AC Milan. Winger Pedro Neto and midfielder Bruno Jordao also come in from Lazio for a combined £18m, while defensive midfielder Leander Dendoncker has stayed put on a permanent deal to add further depth to the squad which finished seventh last season. Manchester United fans find themselves nervously looking over their shoulders.
It couldn’t really have gone much worse for the Crystal Palace winger. Chased by Arsenal for much of the window, his hopes of a move back to a ‘top six’ club came crashing down as the north London side turned to Pepe after Palace’s unwillingness to negotiate. His hopes of a switch were reignited when Everton came calling but once again Palace refused to play ball with their valuation of £80m.
A transfer request didn’t help and he enters the season in the same position as last, but now with the fans on his back.
Ed Woodward is public enemy No 1 at Old Trafford again. The Red Devils may have recruited talented winger Daniel James as well defenders Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire but supporters are far from happy. The £80m Maguire fee raised eyebrows across the footballing world, while the decision to allow Lukaku and Ander Herrera to leave without finding replacements has incensed the United faithful. Spending £180m to enter the campaign weaker in both midfield and attack is hardly great business. It’s no surprise the hashtag #WoodwardOut was trending minutes after the clock struck 5pm and a return to the glory days seems further away than ever.
Sure, they look set to keep hold of the stars that won them the Champions League but big clubs always need to keep improving to stay at the top.
The Reds spent just £1.3m on 17-year-old Sepp van den Berg over the summer. It’s the Premier League title the club wants this season and they haven’t brought in anyone to help end the dominance of Manchester City, who have made two high-profile signings in the form of Rodri and Joao Cancelo.
This summer’s window was always going to be difficult for Frank Lampard with Chelsea under a transfer ban. Talisman Eden Hazard was always destined for Real Madrid and the only addition they could make was to turn Mateo Kovacic’s loan into a permanent deal. But the Croatia midfielder had done little to impress at Stamford Bridge last season. The best Chelsea could really hope for was to reach 5 pm on Thursday unscathed and they very nearly did... until defender and fan favourite David Luiz rocked the boat in order to force through a shock £7m switch to rivals Arsenal. It leaves Lampard short at centre half for the start of the season. Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen are his immediate options with Antonio Rudiger returning to full fitness after knee surgery – far from ideal when you are competing in four competitions.