With yet another summer of wheeling and dealing behind us- though do not phrase it as such to Harry Redknapp- IMPACT take a look at the Premier League business and mull over the winners and losers of transfer season:
In: Lukas Podolski (Cologne, £10.9m), Olivier Giroud (Montpellier, £12m), Santi Cazorla (Malaga, £16m), Daniel Waller (Fulham, Free).
Out: Robin van Persie (Manchester Utd, £24m), Alex Song (Barcelona, £15m), Henri Lansbury (Forest, Undisclosed), Ryo Miyaichi (Wigan, Loan), Denilson (Sao Paulo, Loan).
Three class additions to the Arsenal squad this summer. Cazorla will provide a flair and creativity that was missing last season while the double addition of Podolski and Giroud to the forward line will go a long way to filling the void left by RVP. Where the Gunners will be lacking after the departure of Song to the Camp Nou is in front of the back four. With Jack Wilshere’s return still a long way off, Arsenal need a combative player in heart of the midfield to win the ball. Nonetheless Arsene Wenger should be pretty satisfied with his summer’s work.
Grade: Upper 2:1, 67.
In: Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar, Free), Jordan Bowery (Chesterfield, £0.5m), Ashley Westwood (Crewe, £2m), Karim El Ahmadi, Ron Vlaar (both Feyenoord, Undisclosed), Christian Benteke (Genk, £7m), Matthew Lowton (Sheffield Utd, £3m), Joe Bennett (Middlesbrough, Undisclosed).
Out: Nathan Delfouneso (Blackpool, Loan), Carlos Cuellar (Sunderland, Free), James Collins (West Ham, £2.5m).
The post-O’Neill decline continues at Villa Park though one must feel that Paul Lambert has enough about him to stave off relegation. Villa’s highest profile purchase was Vlaar, who formed one quarter of that infamous Dutch defence from the Euros. Christian Benteke cost the most and may prove to be yet another from the Belgian production line to star in the Premier League; if recent editions of FIFA are to be believed, there’s a lot of room for growth in this one.
Grade: High 2:2, 57.
In: Oscar (Internacional, Undisclosed), Eden Hazard (Lille, £32m), Marko Marin (Werder Bremen, £8m), Cesar Azpilicueta (Marseille, £6.5m), Victor Moses (Wigan, £9m).
Out: Salomon Kalou (Lille, Free), Jose Bosingwa (QPR, Free), Michael Essien (Real Madrid, Loan), Sam Hutchinson (Forest, Loan), Didier Drogba (Shanghai, Free), Romelu Lukaku (West Brom, Loan), Yossi Benayoun (West Ham, Loan).
Chelsea have strengthened immensely this summer, yet will still struggle to compete with the Manchester clubs for the title. Hazard already looks like an incredible player, as does young Oscar. Furthermore, Azpilicueta is a much fresher and younger upgrade on both Bosingwa and Paulo Ferreira in what had become a problem position for the Blues. Where Moses will fit in is unclear and he may well find his career stall quickly given Chelsea’s reputation for an incompetence in nurturing youth. No replacement for Drogba and the loaning out of Lukaku mean that Roberto Di Matteo will be completely reliant on Fernando Torres- this is not wise.
Grade: Upper 2:1, 68.
In: Bryan Oviedo (Copenhagen, £5m), Kevin Mirallas (Olympiakos, £6m), Steven Naismith (Rangers, Free), Steven Pienaar (Tottenham, £4.5m), Francisco Junior (Manchester City, Free).
Out: Joseph Yobo (Fenerbahce, Undisclosed), Jack Rodwell (Manchester City, £12m), Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls, Undisclosed).
David Moyes has spent quite a lot by his standards and certainly his recapture of Pienaar will make a huge difference. Equally as important is the fact that the likes of Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines have stayed. A promising season is ahead for the Toffees but with the top end more competitive than ever, Everton’s strength in depth may still be their downfall. Pienaar aside, additions have been risky and only time will tell if Moyes has unearthed yet more gems.
Grade: Just into a 2:1, 61.
In: Mladen Petric (Hamburg, Free), Dimitar Berbatov (Manchester Utd, £4m), Kieran Richardson (Sunderland, £2m), Hugo Rodallega (Wigan, Free), Ashkan Dejagah (Wolfsburg, Free), Sascha Riether (Cologne, Loan).
Out: Danny Murphy (Blackburn, Free), Dickson Etuhu (Blackburn, Undisclosed), Andy Johnson (QPR, Free), Moussa Dembele (Tottenham, £15m), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham, £6m), Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading, Free).
Martin Jol had done some excellent business only to watch much of it undone by the late sales of Dembele and Dempsey to Spurs. Petric, Berbatov and Rodallega will certainly ensure that the Cottagers are not short of goals and are upgrades on the departed Johnson and Zamora.
Grade: Mid 2:1, 64.