Grading the Title Challengers’ Transfer Windows


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The combined British outlay this season on new players was a reported 1.165 billion, which is a record fee. Let’s grade the transfer windows of the top teams, to see who did the best business this window.

ArsenalShkodran Mustafi

Transfer in: Granit Xhaka, Rob Holding, Takuma Asano, Kelechi Nwakali, Shkodran Mustafi, Lucas Perez.

The Gunners surprised most in the end by spending over £90 million, the most ever in the club’s history.

At the end of last season, the consensus was that the club needs reinforcements in four positions, Center Back, Defensive Midfield, Right Wing and Striker position.

Shkodran Mustafi and Granit Xhaka should considerably improve the first two positions, while Lucas Perez might yet turn out to be an inspired signing in the centre forward position, time will tell. Rob Holding has also looked good in his first couple appearances for the club.

The North London side are however hoping that one of Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Alex Iwobi will own the right wing position, and it might end up costing them.

Grade: B

ChelseaNGolo Kante

Players In: Michy Batshuayi, N’Golo Kante, Eduardo, Marcus Alonso, David Luiz.

Chelsea opened this window on fire, capturing the highly rated striker Michy Batshuayi. Also, the signing of N’Golo Kante will likely be one of the coups of the season.

Their search for defensive reinforcements, however, was not as straightforward, but they eventually landed former Sunderland player, Marcus Alonso, and their former player, David Luiz.

Marcus Alonso wasn’t exactly great in his previous stint in England, while they only signed David Luiz when they couldn’t land their initial defensive targets Kalidou Koulibaly and Alessio Romagnoli.

It will be interesting to see how Luiz’s firebrand approach to defending fits in with Conte’s conservative style.

Grade B.

Leicester CityAhmed Musa

Players In: Ron-Robert Zieler, Luis Hernandez, Raul Uche Rubio, Nampalys Mendy, Ahmed Musa, Bartosz Kapuska, Islam Slimani.

Leicester City absolutely owned this transfer window, making substantial additions to the First XI and the squad players.

Ahmed Musa is an attacking upgrade on Shinji Okazaki, while Islam Slimani will provide competition to Jamie Vardy, and present the team with a different way to play if the opponent defends deep.

Nampalys Mendy will have his work cut out in replacing N’Golo Kante, while Bartosz Kapuska and Ron-Robert Zieler will be useful rotation options for Riyad Mahrez and Kasper Schmeichel.

The best business done by Leicester this window was keeping Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy from the likes of Arsenal. Having to replace all three of their most key players from last season would have been almost impossible.

Grade: A

Manchester CityJohn Stones

Players In: John Stones, Leroy Sane, Ilkay Gundogan, Nolito, Claudio Bravo, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel Jesus, Aaron Mooy , Marlos Moreno.

Pep Guardiola, backed by the resources of Manchester City’s billionaire owners, made a dent in this transfer window, recruiting nine players, the most expensive of which was John Stones.

For Manchester City this season, the transfers in and out were tailored at assembling a squad who could play the Guardiola way. John Stones and Ilkay Gundogan especially should flourish under the new manager.

Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus (who won’t join until January) have the potential to become very quality players; Claudio Bravo is a ball playing goalkeeper, while Nolito’s technical know-how makes him one to look out for.

A fantastic window for the Citizens all in all, but many feel they should have upgraded their full-backs, who are all getting along in age.

Grade: A-

Manchester UnitedPaul Pogba

Players In: Zlatan Ibrahimovich, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Eric Bailey, Paul Pogba

Manchester United went shopping from the top shelf this summer, signing the Ligue 1 top scorer, the most productive Bundesliga midfielder last season, one of the most promising La Liga defenders, and the most dynamic midfielder in the world.

The Red Devils have upgraded in every single area they needed to improve from last season.

They’ve gotten a marquee centre-forward to lead the line, a right winger to compliment Anthony Martial, a midfielder who can dominate games, and a no-nonsense defender.

The Manchester powerhouses still have some potential weak links in their squad, as they have to hope the likes of Schneiderlin and Fellaini justify their huge transfer fees.

But all in all, Manchester United have signed players who should help them at least challenge for the title.

Grade: A


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