The Premier League season is underway and with just a few days to go before the transfer window closes, teams up and down the country will be looking to put the finishing touches on their squads before putting the cheque books away until January. It’s inevitable that some of the biggest clubs from England’s top-flight will be scrambling behind-the-scenes to complete a last-minute signing or two but for most it’s fair to say the majority of business has been conducted already. As per usual, Premier League clubs has been splashing the cash with some massive signings as the chasing pack look to get the upper hand in their bids to unseat Manchester City as the reigning champions. City rivals Manchester United have certainly improved their title credentials this summer along with Liverpool, Chelsea and last season’s runners-up Arsenal. Slightly further down the table, Brighton have enjoyed a very lucrative window while Newcastle have also bolstered their ranks ahead of a very exciting Champions League adventure. Overall it’s been another busy window that will have left a number of clubs feeling confident heading into the domestic campaign, but which ones have won out and who is best positioned to have another successful season in 2023/24? Here’s our loom at the biggest winners from this year’s summer transfer window.
Robert De Zerbi’s Seagulls were superb last season as the club recorded its highest-ever top flight finish and with it secured European football at the Amex for the first time in the club’s history. The team’s performances have earned them many plaudits and along with that heightened interest came a number of suitors looking to lure some of their key personnel away. First to head for the exit was Argentinian World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister to Liverpool for a fee believed to be in the region of £35 million. The second high-profile name to head for pastures new was Ecuadorian International Moises Caicedo who signed for Chelsea for an English transfer record fee of £115 million. While the midfield pair were two of De Zerbi’s most prized assets last season, to have fetched in excess of £150 million for both is excellent business, especially when building up a side to take on a European challenge this season. The South Coast Club have been similarly prudent bringing people in with Joao Pedro, Bart Verbruggen, and Igor strengthening them up and down the pitch. That combined with the invaluable experience of Mahmoud Dahoud and veteran James Milner entering the dressing room means that Brighton have enjoyed an exceptional window.
Mikel Arteta’s Gunners were a whisker away from dethroning Pep Guardiola’s City as Premier League champions last season and that success was in large part down to their successful recruitment over the last few windows. The Spaniard will be determined to go one better this year and has been in the market once again to ensure his side have the best chance of doing just that. While it would have been very easy to hit the panic button and throw money at the situation in the hopes of unseating the Cityzens from their perch, the 41-year-old has kept a cool head this summer and maintained the club’s meticulous approach to transfers to great effect. Declan Rice is the standout signing for obvious reasons; the England International is exactly the type of midfielder Arteta was in need of. Incredible at recycling the ball and a natural ability to snuff out a counterattack, he possesses the best qualities of both Xhaka and Partey with little to no downside. Kai Havertz was an expensive move at £60 million given performances for London rivals Chelsea but Arteta’s style of play will emphasize his strengths and find more value from him than the Blues ever could have while also adding some much-needed strength in depth up front. Jurrien Timber comes in to add some quality in defence and again address the lingering questions over backup for either Gabriel or William Saliba while the addition of David Raya from Brentford ensures that Arsenal have added to every position across the park and improved the competition for places which usually breeds successful results on the pitch.
A lot has been said of Chelsea’s over-the-top spending in the last few windows since Todd Boehly’s arrival at Stamford Bridge. The majority of criticism stems from the team’s woeful display last season where the club failed to make the most of a record-setting transfer window suffering their worst Premier League finish. New manager Mauricio Pochettino was the man tasked with turning things around for the Blues and has gone about his business well since entering the hot seat. The Argentinian set about trimming down his squad while also improving his options in key areas and has done so expertly. The departure of the old guard helped ease the FFP burden felt by the club and freed up some room for the signings of Caicedo, Christopher Nkunku, Romeo Lavia, Axel Disasi and Nicolas Jackson, all of whom are excellent players in their own right and should help Pochettino mount a charge on a top four spot this term. Chelsea who are now 15/1 to win the league according to the latest football odds and given the difficult task on the new manager’s hands, the club will likely look back on this window as a resounding success.
Erik Ten Hag’s rebuild at Old Trafford is in full swing with the club now well-positioned to at least secure a top-four finish again this season. The Red Devils probably aren’t done with their business this window just yet as they continue to move some players who are no longer in the Dutchman’s plans for the future. The main priority for the Manchester club this window was always bringing in a goalscorer to help ease the burden felt by Marcus Rashford up front. The English International was excellent last year but they cannot afford to rely on the 25-year-old if the club are to maintain their good form this season. The Dane Rasmus Hojlund is the man tasked with that job and the youngster has massive potential to be prolific in front of goal for the 13-time Premier League champions. Elsewhere United also addressed their issues in goal following the David De Gea saga by bringing in Andre Onana from Inter Milan. They also added Mason Mount to their midfield lineup offering Ten Hag more attacking tactical options than Casemiro or even Eriksen could provide him with. All things considered, United could probably do with one or two more signings before the window closes altogether but it’s been a good summer where key positions were filled.
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