The winners and losers of the transfer window

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£2.36 billion later and the Premier League summer transfer window has finally closed after destroying last year’s spending record by a whopping £440 million. 

At the end of last season, it was clear that Chelsea’s squad needed another overhaul, as did Liverpool’s midfield, whilst Wolves and Everton surely needed to bolster their squads. Now, with the 2023/2024 season well and truly underway it’s time to see which teams made shrewd signings and who will be delving back into the market come January.

Given Manchester City’s pure dominance last season it would be sensible to assume other clubs would be playing catch up in the transfer market, yet it’s City who can be considered the winners of the transfer window thanks to their funding and astute purchases. Ilkay Gundogan, Aymeric Laporte and Riyad Mahrez were key losses but have been replaced and arguably improved in the latter two cases with Mateo Kovacic, Josko Gvardiol and Jeremy Doku. Additional new contracts to Kyle Walker and Bernardo Silva as well as the purchase of Matheus Nunes from Wolves mean a fourth premier league title in as many years for City seems likely. 

Similarly to City, Newcastle saw success last season and look to go one step further with investment of their significant funds. Young Italian Sandro Tonali joined from AC Milan to bolster an already impressive midfield whilst threatening but seemingly inconsistent Harvey Barnes has added to their attacking depth.

Newcastle saw success last season and look to go one step further with investment of significant funds

West Ham seem an unlikely candidate for winner of the transfer window, as they were never going to replace Declan Rice, but they seem to have done the next best thing in a Moneyball-esque move of recreating him in the aggregate. James Ward Prowse, Edson Alvarez and Mohammed Kudus have been signed to provide set piece danger, defensive capability and attacking threat. 

Tottenham also lost their talisman, with Harry Kane moving to Bayern Munich, yet they’ve started the new season emphatically. The signings of centre-back Micky van de Ven and ‘keeper Guglielmo Vicarious have strengthened their defence, whilst James Maddison looks a bargain, even at £40 million.

Even with all their money spent some of the “Big Six” clubs are heading into the new season with questions unanswered. It seemed Arsenal’s tactic of early business had pushed them towards being near title-favourites, especially due to the marquee signing of Declan Rice. Yet Jurrien Timber’s Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury and Kai Havertz’s less than convincing start in an Arsenal shirt leaves some concerns, especially with Mikel Arteta’s tactical shifts that have yet to set the league alight. 

Chelsea, as usual under the ownership of Todd Boehly, spent excessively, contributing to just under 20% of the league’s spending. However, Christopher Nkunku’s early injury means goalscoring responsibility falls to unproven 22-year-old Nicolas Jackson. It also remains to be seen whether young defensive midfielders Moises Caicedo and Roméo Lavia, both swiped from Liverpool’s grasp, can shore up last season’s leaky defence. 

Chelsea… spent excessively, contributing to just under 20% of the league’s spending

After missing out on the aforementioned pair, Liverpool turned to 30-year-old Wataru Endo from Stuttgart, a left field choice which leaves them defensively vulnerable, even with the additions of promising young midfielders Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai and Ryan Gravenberch. 

Manchester United have not lacked investment in recent years, and they spent big again this summer, with headline buys including Mason Mount, Rasmus Hojlund and Andre Onana. Yet they’ve started the season with two losses in four games in a shaky start that’s left fans calling for the Glazers to sell the club, even though some blame must lie with the players and manager.

In a reversal of Man City’s building on success, Everton avoided relegation last season but have failed to improve a weak squad, with the late signing of Beto for £30 million the only major addition. If he can’t provide the goals Sean Dyche’s team desperately need, especially after losing Alex Iwobi’s creativity, then the Toffees look set for another relegation scrap. 

Wolves may join them as off the pitch problems left them with next to no investment and needing to make multiple sales to cover last year’s spending. From a financial perspective selling Ruben Neves, Matheus Nunes, Nathan Collins and Raul Jimenez makes sense but on the pitch disaster looks imminent.

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