Transfer Window Winners and Losers
Unlike last summer, Manchester City have significantly improved their squad this summer and have shown serious intent to be more competitive in the race for the title and the Champions League this term.
City’s three main signings not only improve their squad but improve the starting 11. Raheem Sterling is one of Europe’s brightest talents and his pace and ability to beat players in the final third was much needed. Kevin De Bruyne is a top class attacking midfield player who was one of the best players in Europe last season and can operate centrally and out wide. Nicolas Otamendi was another outstanding performer last term for Valencia and is an improvement on Martin Demichelis. Fabien Delph is a useful addition as a squad player and is a no brainer at a paltry £8m.
It goes without saying that City paid way over the odds this summer, but money is not a issue at the Etihad and if we solely look at their acquisitions in terms of quality, City have had an outstanding summer transfer window.
Many have criticised Manchester Utd Chief Executive, Ed Woodward this summer and although there were several failed attempts to attract some of Europe’s stellar names to Old Trafford, United have made a bigger improvement to their squad than many of their rivals in this transfer window.
Right full back was a position that needed urgent strengthening and the acquisition of Matteo Darmian was a brilliant move. Darmian has seamlessly settled in at Old Trafford and has been one of Manchester United’s best players so far this term.
In central midfield, United have made big improvements. Morgan Schneiderlin has been the one of the best central midfielder in the Premier League in the last three years and Bastian Schweinsteiger adds class and experience to a relatively young group of players.
Memphis Depay and Anthony Martial are exciting young players and add pace and directness to a side severely lacking in penetration in attacking areas.
Without getting into the intricacies of David De Gea’s failed deadline day move to Real Madrid, United have worked wonders in tying up the Spaniard to a four year contract. Regardless of the presence of a buy-out clause, United now have one of the best goalkeepers in the game for at least another season and guarantee a more representative market value should Real come back in.
Alan Pardew has done some outstanding business this summer and Crystal Palace appear to have made bigger strides than many clubs this summer.
Alex McCarthy is an impressive goalkeeper and adds real strength in depth in between the sticks. Pardew’s strong relationship with Yohan Cabaye helped lure the Frenchman to South London and Cabaye’s capture adds a touch of class to a generally workmanlike squad. Connor Wickham arrives from Sunderland and immediately strengthens the forward line. Bakary Sako was far too good for the Championship and the Mali international has landed on his feet in the Premier League scoring twice in 3 starts following his free transfer from Wolves.
Palace have spent very well, adding quality and improving positions that needed addressing and the Eagles look a much better proposition this season.
Our column in July http://eastbridge-sb.com/?p=1798 hinted that Arsene Wenger would have an underwhelming transfer window and to not sign a single outfield player is unacceptable on so many levels for a club where a sustained title push is well over due.
Arsenal have their best group of players in years and there was an increasing thought that a few quality additions could make Arsenal genuine title challengers this season.
Looks like another opportunity missed from Wenger and the Gunners look set for another standard top 4 finish.
Spurs look desperately short of a squad needed to compete for a Champions League position and Mauricio Pochettino has a job on his hands even keeping the North Londoners in the top 6 this season.
Daniel Levy seems to have been scarred by that disastrous summer of 2013 and Levy has failed to provide Pochettino with enough resources to improve Tottenham’s squad.
Toby Alderweireld is an impressive signing and adds strength in central defence while Heung-Min Son is also a talented attacker. Clinton N’Jie arrives from France but the Cameroonian started more games last season on the bench than from the start for Lyon while Kevin Wimmer and Kieran Trippier are not inspirational signings. Pochettino will be rueing failing to sign a quality central midfield player and a forward too assist Harry Kane. Spurs look really average in the engine room and having just one recognised first team centre forward is negligent.
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