It’s fair to say that Arsenal have under promised and over delivered in the transfer window — because most fans went into the summer convinced very little was going to happen. The Gunners, who claimed they had no money, were clearly bluffing. The record arrival of Nicolas Pépé, plus clever moves for David Luiz, Daniel Ceballos, and Kieran Tierney are great business. For once Arsenal fans can be excited about the season ahead, and are no longer holding up banners asking why more money hasn’t been invested.
If you are looking for the kings of this summer’s transfer market, then there’s little doubt that the crown fits best at Goodison. The club has shown huge ambition with the level of transfers targeted, and they have pulled off possibly the coup of the window by persuading young Juventus striker Moise Kean to make the move to Merseyside. It’s the one transfer which really took your breath away. Everton really do mean business — and they’ve done good business, too.
Villa might have missed out on Brentford winger Said Benrahma on deadline day, but they still delivered 12 excellent signings for the Holte End to enjoy — and there’s some real quality in the group. No doubt Villa’s stature as former European champions helped with negotiations, but it’s not easy for a former Championship club to compete in the market when they arrive in the top flight. Villa’s capture of the likes of Bjorn Engels, Kortney Hause, Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa, Tom Heaton, and Douglas Luiz showed real intent to make an impact in the Premier League.
The Reds already have a strong squad, but it seems a strange decision for the European champions not to take advantage of that new status by flexing their muscles. Liverpool’s only signings were teenagers Harvey Elliot from Fulham (the fee to be decided by tribunal) and 17-year-old centre-back Sepp van den Berg from Eredivisie club PEC Zwolle for only €1.4m. Have they missed a trick here?
It hasn’t been an entirely terrible window for the Canaries — the arrival of striker Patrick Roberts on loan from Man City is positive. But there must be a nagging doubt over whether they have done enough to ensure survival in the top flight. Josip Drmic from Borussia Monchengladbach, on a free, Sam Byram from West Ham and Ralf Farhmann from Schalke, on loan, and deadline-day midfielder Ibrahim Amadou is a small list in a big league.
This is one to argue about. Chelsea weren’t allowed to work the market this summer because of a transfer embargo, so the only signing was a permanent deal for Mateo Kovacic who was on loan last season. Now, is that a bad thing or not? Many fans in west London are saying it can be a positive, offering up an opportunity for exciting youth team players such as Callum Hudson-Odoi and Mason Mount to make their mark under new manager Frank Lampard. Time will tell.