Jean Michael Seri (M) from Nice ($32.1 million)
Maxime Le Marchand (D) from Nice ($9.7 million)
Fabri (G) from Besiktas ($6.4 million)
Andre Shurrle (F) from Borussia Dortmund (loan)
Aleksandar Mitrovic (F) from Newcastle ($28.3 million)
Alfie Mawson (D) from Swansea ($19.3 million)
Calum Chambers (D) from Arsenal (loan)
Sergio Rico (G) from Sevilla (loan)
Joe Bryan (D) from Bristol City
Luciano Vietto (F) from Atletico Madrid (loan)
Andre-Frank Anguissa (M) from Marseille ($34.7 million, reportedly – unconfirmed)
Timothy Fosu-Mensah (D) from Manchester United (loan, reportedly)
Fulham’s net spend was greater than that of United, City, Arsenal or (of course) Tottenham. It could ultimately top Chelsea’s as well.
It was spread out across all positions, age profiles, deal structures and wage levels. It served two simultaneously important purposes: To upgrade the first-choice 11 and add depth. The Cottagers appear to be in outstanding shape to not only survive year one back in the top flight but re-establish themselves in the Premier League’s mid-table.
More Jorge Mendes clients. More World Cup participants. Euro 2016 winners. Like we did with Fulham, let’s just gawk at a list of the signings:
Willy Boly (D) from Porto ($12.9 million)
Diogo Jota (F) from Atletico Madrid ($16.2 million)
Raul Jimenez (F) from Benfica (loan)
Rui Patricio (G) from Sporting CP (free)
Leo Bonatini (F) from Al-Hilal ($6.4 million)
Ruben Vinagre (D) from Monaco ($2.6 million)
Joao Moutinho (M) from Monaco ($6.4 million)
Jonny Castro (D) from Atletico Madrid (loan)
Adama Traore (F) from Middlesbrough ($23.2 million)
Leander Dendoncker (M) from Anderlecht (loan)
Wolves made previous successful loan deals permanent. It secured new ones that could become permanent in the future. Jimenez, a Mexican international, is very intriguing up top. Dendoncker, a 23-year-old Belgian international who’ll join permanently for around $15 million next summer, is flexible and still improving. Patricio is a coup. Moutinho, with 113 Portugal caps to his name, might be as well.
How are they getting accomplished Portuguese stars? We addressed that in depth yesterday. But this goes beyond the Mendes connection. Wolves, like Fulham, were aggressive, and had an excellent summer.
Loser, but not as much of one as you think: Tottenham
The hand-wringing over Spurs’ idleness often gets a bit carried away. They spent their money on contract extensions, including one for their brilliant manager, and on a club-trajectory-changing new stadium. They didn’t lose a single contributor from the only Premier League team that’s finished in the top three each of the past three seasons. They’ll be good once again.
They’re also the first club to not sign a single player during a summer transfer window since it was introduced in 2003. That’s nonetheless remarkable. And it’s one of a few reasons Spurs are losers of the summer window.
First, if there were ever a summer to take the next step, this would have seemed to be it. The trophy drought is now the longest in Tottenham’s post-war history. The clock is ticking. There were needs in midfield. There was a broader need to prove the club hadn’t reach its ceiling.
Second, there was the Alderweireld situation. Pochettino seemed to freeze out the Belgian defender last season as contract talks stalled. Alderweireld seemingly wanted to leave. United wanted him. It’s unclear if Pochettino plans to use him in 2018-19. If he doesn’t, it’s absolutely inexcusable that Spurs couldn’t meet United halfway and get somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million.
(Of course, Spurs could still ship Alderweireld abroad and get their money. But it’s doubtful anybody will display a higher willingness to pay than United.)
Tottenham has built its core by cashing in on latter-prime contributors and reinvesting the money in promising youngsters who’ll grow under Pochettino. Its two options this summer were to continue to do that, or to spend on prime-age stars and lurch into unabashed win-now mode. It appears to have done neither.
But spending on new show ponies is often overrated. There is comparatively little correlation between transfer splurges and success; there is plenty correlation between wage bills and success. Spurs have chose to spend their money to retain players they know are good rather buy players who may or may not be good. That’s the responsible way to operate.
Chelsea had a complicated window, made awkward by the delayed Antonio Conte sacking. But it came out on the other side of deadline day with:
- Mateo Kovacic;
- A slight goalkeeper downgrade at a significant price, but a youthful and retainable one who could prove to be a long-term upgrade;
- And most importantly, Eden Hazard.
Maurizio Sarri’s primary need was in midfield, and he’s assembled a three – Jorginho, Kovacic, N’Golo Kante – who can play together at a high level.
The Thibaut Courtois situation, meanwhile, was an unfavorable one, but Chelsea did about as well as it could have hoped to do.
Sarri still has unfilled holes elsewhere. But it’s often better to revamp a squad progressively rather than all at once.
They got their business done early, and the Lucas Torreira deal looks good … but the Gunners sign too many damn mediocre players, and the rest of their signings fit that bill.
What a deadline day it was for the Toffees. They’ve confirmed the capture of Bernard from Shakhtar Donetsk. They appear to have signed Mina and Gomes as well. Zouma could be the fourth of the day.
With Richarlison and Lucas Digne already on board, Everton has done wonders to rectify the mistakes of last summer. It solved the squad imbalance. It got faster, younger, more athletic. It cut fat contracts and/or players who had become the equivalent of deadweight (Wayne Rooney, Ashley Williams, Ramiro Funes Mori, Kevin Mirallas).
Marco Silva suddenly has a lot to work with in year one at Goodison Park.
Winner: Newcastle owner Mike Ashley’s pockets
And this is what the close of Premier League summer trading looked like at 5pm (with a few deals, pending completion, not included yet). News of the stragglers as they get done: https://t.co/7LwdBDVEhh pic.twitter.com/jfq0o8XlMD
— Nick Harris (@sportingintel) August 9, 2018
Given the circumstances, Newcastle’s business, from a value-for-money perspective, was actually decent. Salomon Rondon, on loan from West Brom, is a great signing. But there’s trouble brewing here. Not only does the lack of investment from ownership leave the squad alarmingly thin; it could compel manager Rafa Benitez to walk, in which case the Magpies would become relegation favorites.
Brighton seems to really know what it’s doing. As I wrote in our relegation preview:
Brighton is in the process of penning the latest chapter in How To Turn A Championship Team Into An Established Premier League One. It has struck a balance between overhaul and fatal frugality, sticking with its foundation but supplementing it with quality. Last summer’s signings – Pascal Gross, Mat Ryan, Davy Propper, Jose Izquierdo – seemed to stem from intensive, analytically-driven scouting, and they panned out. This year’s additions – Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Yves Bissouma, Bernardo, Leon Balogun – appear to follow the same blueprint.
Draw: Leicester City
Lost Mahrez. Offloaded Ahmed Musa and – reportedly – Islam Slimani (the latter on loan). Seem to have spent the money wisely, with Jonny Evans a bargain and former Norwhich midfielder James Maddison the pick of the bunch.
But none of the signings, save for maybe Portuguese fullback Ricardo Pereira, is a sure thing. The Mahrez departure will likely outweigh all of them, at least in the short term.
Losers: Watford, Huddersfield
Neither did enough to pull themselves away from the relegation zone. Perhaps we shouldn’t have expected Huddersfield to spend much. But Watford’s business, factoring in the loss of Richarlison, is worrying. That squad is old. And it got older this summer.
Draw: West Ham
Felipe Anderson is a fantastic capture, even if a bit of a mercurial one. Jack Wilshere on a free isn’t bad, either.
But the rest of West Ham’s $100 million outlay? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Monday: Who’s getting relegated?
Tuesday: Is Liverpool closing on City?
Wednesday: Is a Mourinho flameout already underway?
Wednesday: Is Spurs’ trophy deadline approaching?
Wednesday: Wolves: Shady, brilliant, or both?
Thursday a.m.: Predictions
Thursday p.m.: Transfer window winners/losers
– – – – – – –
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