The Premier League (PL) Transfer window shut on Aug. 8, a day before the awaited English top flight season kicked off at Anfield. Newly promoted Norwich started things off by playing last season’s runners up, Liverpool. Premier League clubs spent a total of £1.4 billion on 99 players this season, which is £158 million more than they spent in the summer of 2018. So how did the top clubs fair during the recent transfer window?
Arsenal: The outcome of the summer transfer window was nothing less than a dream for Arsenal supporters. The most talked about transfer of their window—and perhaps the PL summer—was Nicolas Pepe, who was bought for a princely sum of £72 million from French club Lille. Besides Pepe, they also bought central defender David Luiz from Chelsea for £8 million to replace departing captain Laurent Koscielny, left back Kieran Tierney from Celtic for £25 million to replace the departing Nacho Monreal, central defender William Saliba from St. Etienne for £28 million, and loaned in Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid for one season. If the intent shown by Arsenal in the transfer window is anything to go by, they are in for an exciting season under manager Unai Emery.
Manchester City: Pep Guardiola had perhaps the best team in the world on paper before the summer, but that didn’t stop him from strengthening further. Signing CDM Rodri from Atletico Madrid for £70 million to replace the aging Fernandinho. They also brought in Portugese right back Joao Cancelo from Juventus in exchange for Danilo and £26 million in order to give Kyle Walker competition for his starting birth. These necessary reinforcements are only going to make it more difficult for opposing teams to stop Pep’s men from enjoying another successful season.
Chelsea: In a window where there was an array of talent available, serving a transfer ban severely hurt Chelsea’s chances for the 2019-20 season. However, things only got worse for them when they lost their marquee player, Eden Hazard, to Real Madrid for £86 million. Losing established centre back David Luiz to arch rivals Arsenal on deadline day only made the window even worse for Chelsea fans. A long and challenging season awaits Lampard and Chelseas’s army of youth who he has decided to show faith in.
Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp decided against making any signings this window, despite Alberto Moreno and Daniel Sturridge leaving the club. He insists Joe Gomez, Adam Lallana and Oxlade Chamberlain recovering from serious injuries before the beginning of the campaign are as good as three new signings. With nearest rivals, Man City, strengthening in the necessary departments, Klopp’s decision to not purchase reinforcements could hurt Liverpool as the season progresses.
Manchester United: Despite spending the most among the Top 6, Manchester United fans are not content with the transfer window—and rightfully so. Having signed the most expensive defender in the world in Harry Maguire for £85 million and highly rated right back Aaron Wan Bissaka for £50 million, their defense does not look to be an area of concern. However, not signing replacements for Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini, Alexis Sanchez, and Romelu Lukaku means Manchester United have very limited options at both midfield and forward. It could be a long season ahead for United and Manager Ole Gunnar Solskaer who like Chelsea, have decided to trust the youth.