The season has ended, the summer is here, the transfer merry go-round is in full swing and clubs across the Barclays Premier League have been making additions to their squads since the window opened on the 1st of July. There have been varying levels of transfer activity across the league and TiF’s Will Robey offers his thoughts on the business completed so far.
Whilst the signing of Auxerre youngster Yaya Sanogo seems to be a very promising piece of business by Arsene Wenger, their as of yet unsuccessful pursuit of Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has perhaps prevented them from making moves for other players, and there is the fear that the club are in essence placing all their eggs in one basket. Despite the focus on the Liverpool man, Wenger has done well to clear out some of the ‘dead wood’ at the club with the likes of Andrei Arshavin, Denilson and Andre Santos leaving the club. The ambition is there from Arsenal in this market, however as of yet the execution is not. The failure to land Stefan Jovetic due to Wenger’s unwillingness to meet the €23 million asking price, and the collapse in the clubs bid for ex Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain who moved to Napoli, after Arsenal switched their attentions to Suarez, scores them a 4 for execution. However, were they to land the Uruguayan international from Liverpool, with talks still ongoing between the clubs clubs, and add another couple of players during this window, their rating would match their ambition.
Ambition: 9/10 Rating: 4/10
Paul Lambert’s summer acquisitions have reached seven, with continued importance of signing younger players being stressed. His signings whilst young, have established their own individual reputations in their respective leagues. His most notable signings include Jores Okore and Nicklas Helenius, two young Danish internationals with very bright future’s ahead of them. Okore arrived from Danish side FC Nordsjælland, where he built up a repuatation as a ruthless centre-back. Striker Helenius arrived from fellow Danish club Aalborg BK where he scored 40 goals in 102 appearences. Villa’s most important piece of business this summer is without doubt securing the future of Belgian hitman Christian Benteke, who will once again prove povital to Villa’s fight to secure their Premier League status.
Malky Mackay has so far added four signings to his squad this summer: right back John Brayford from Derby, Danish striker Andreas Cornelius from FC Copenhagen, goalkeeper Simon Moore joins from Brentford and Tottenham and England centre back Steven Caulker, who joins for a club record fee of £8.5 million. The capture of Caulker is certainly a huge signing for the club and will boost their chances of survival dramatically. Cornelius has a good record in his homeland, but the expensive nature of the signing adds extra pressure on the Danish giant. The club was linked with a number of big name talents early on in the window but they were rejected by new Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama and Blackpool winger Tom Ince. However the capture of Caulker, an extremely promising talent, will make up for missing out on Ince and Wanyama. Good business so far from Cardiff.
Ambition: 7/10 Rating: 6/10
Whilst Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insists Wayne Rooney is the clubs ‘only target’, Chelsea have made some useful additions thus far, with the likes of Andre Schurrle, Mark Schwarzer, and promising Dutchman Marco Van Ginkel all arriving at Stamford Bridge. However after Mourinho’s outward expression of desire for Rooney to join the club, there is an expectation from the fans that he uses his managerial might to sign his number one target. As it stands, Chelsea have made some good signings, who will add extra quality and depth to the squad, but the news surrounding the future of Wayne Rooney is expected to run through this transfer window.
Palace manager Ian Holloway has so far added five players to his squad. One of these signings Steven Dobbie is perhaps too old to cut it in the Premier League once again and will have a tough season. Kevin Phillips, whilst a legend, will also fall into the same category. The £8 million signing of Dwight Gayle from Peterborough is an expensive gamble for a player who was playing non-league football only a year ago. Jerome Thomas adds depth and experience, arriving from West Brom. The signing of Spain Under 20 star Jose Campana is something of a coup by Palace, and he looks a very promising player and one to watch this coming season. Despite Campana’s arrival, the manager is certainly going to have to add much needed quality and depth in defence and attack, otherwise Palace will find themselves relegated quicker than they can say Selhurst Park. Perhaps more time spent on transfers rather than organising the cheer leading clad that entertains the crowd at half time is much needed. Jose Campana the only signing of Premier League quality, and they have paid massively over the odds for striker Gayle.
New Everton manager Roberto Martinez has wasted no time since he arrived at Goodison Park. The FA cup winning manager has already brought in 4 new signings. He’s raided former club Wigan fro duo Antonin Alcaraz and Arouna Kone, and has also purchased Joel Robles from Atletico Madrid and captured Barcelona youngster Gerard Deulofeu on loan until the end of the season. All four signings will contribute in different ways but add much needed depth to the squad. Kone and Deulofeu are expected to play a big part this season, Robles is expected to play no. 2 to American Tim Howard and Alcaraz will provide cover for Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin. Good business so far from Everton.