Sept. 1, 2012.
The transfer window has finally closed.
Now we can start fully focusing on the action on Premier League pitches rather than hoping our teams sign or offload this or that player.
A few weeks ago, I ranked the 20 EPL teams based on their transfers as of July 23.
With transfer season finally over (at least until January), let’s take a look at their transfer activity this summer and rank them on how they’ve done.
Disclaimer: Only confirmed transfers of players close to the first team are considered in this article.
In: Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar, free), Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord, £2.5m), Matthew Lowton (Sheffield United, £3.3m), Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord, £3.3m), Joe Bennett (Middlesbrough, £2.7m), Jordan Bowery (Chesterfield, £554k), Ashley Westwood (Crewe, £2.2m), Christian Benteke (Genk, £7.7m)
Underwhelming window for Villa with not much quality added or departed.
Vlaar adds international experience to an unreliable backline, but splashing out for Benteke is a move that raises eyebrows at the least.
With no real quality added, the reality is that Paul Lambert is working with a squad whose fears of a relegation battle are becoming very real.
In: Jamie Ness (Rangers, free), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo, £1.9m), Michael Kightly (Wolves, £3.1m), Charlie Adam (Liverpool, £5.5m), Maurice Edu (Rangers, £554k), Steven N’Zonzi (Blackburn, £3.9m)
Out: Ricardo Fuller (Charlton, free), Salif Diao (free), Michael Tonge (free), Jonathan Woodgate (Middlesbrough, free), Andrew Davies (Bradford, free), Danny Collins (Nottingham Forest, £563k)
A raft of cut-price midfield signings and no significant losses: A tidy window for Tony Pulis.
Kightly, Adam and N’Zonzi should add creativity and passing to support a group of tall and physical strikers.
But no signings stand out, and as such, Stoke’s transfer activity should be construed as keeping afloat, but hardly making significant progress.
In: Garath McCleary (Nottingham Forest, free), Nicky Shorey (West Brom, free), Danny Guthrie (Newcastle, free), Pavel Pogrebnyak (Fulham, free), Chris Gunter (Nottingham Forest, £2.6m), Adrian Mariappa (Watford, £3.3m), Stuart Taylor (Manchester City, free)
Out: Tomasz Cywka (free), Michail Antonio (Sheffield Wednesday, £792k)
Pogrebnyak stands out in a summer transfer window that sees net improvement at the Madejski Stadium.
Brian McDermott will be encouraged that he has not lost important first-team players, but he will also be hoping that his signings will be strong enough to augment a core lacking any stars.
Pogrebnyak will shoulder a huge goal-scoring burden in what will ultimately be a tough season back in the top flight for the Royals.
Out: Chris Kirkland (Sheffield Wednesday, free), Hugo Rodallega (Fulham, free), Mohamed Diame (West Ham, free), Hendry Thomas (Colorado Rapids, free), Steve Gohouri (free), Conor Sammon (Derby, £1.3m), Victor Moses (£7.8m)
Three famous names (Rodallega, Diame, Moses) out, but Miyaichi, Ramis and Kone are interesting arrivals.
A balanced window for Roberto Martinez and Co. Moses will be Wigan’s most significant loss, but Miyaichi and Kone augment the attack.
The erratic Franco Di Santo will need to maintain a decent goal-scoring form. Wigan will still struggle this season.
Out: Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahce, £880k), Maxi Rodriguez (Newell’s Old Boys, free), Jay Spearing (Bolton, loan), Charlie Adam (Stoke City, £5.5m), Andy Carroll (West Ham, loan), Craig Bellamy (Cardiff City, free), Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina, £1.8m), Nathan Eccleston (Blackpool, free), Fabio Aurelio (Gremo, free)
Six potential first-teamers have departed, with only four (at best) added: A disappointing window for Liverpool.
After the fire sales (and loans) of Adam, Carroll and Spearing, Brendan Rodgers failed to use the freed up wages to bring in further signings in late August.
Kuyt and Rodriguez leave, taking their experience and goal-scoring know-how with them.
Allen and Sahin add quality to the midfield, but Liverpool will rue their failure to show up for transfer deadline day. A long season ahead.
A quiet summer by all accounts, but the important thing is that Newcastle have kept their key men.
Vurnon Anita adds quality depth to the midfield, but Alan Pardew has rightly opted to stick with the team that brought him so much surprise and success last season.
In: Steven Whittaker (Rangers, free), Jacob Butterfield (Barnsley, free), Michael Turner (Sunderland, £1.7m), Robert Snodgrass (Leeds, £2.8m), Sebastien Bassong (Tottenham Hotspur, £2.6m), Alexander Tettey (Rennes, £1.3m), Mark Bunn (Blackburn, £1.1m), Javier Garrido (Lazio, loan), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur, loan)
Out: Adam Drury (Leeds, free), Zak Whitbread (free), Andrew Crofts (Brighton, £334k), Daniel Ayala (Nottingham Forest, loan), James Vaughan (Huddersfield, loan), Tom Adeyemi (Brentford, loan)
Turner, Bassong and Garrido add Premier League experience, but Snodgrass will be Norwich’s real success story.
Norwich’s departures are squad players at best, so Chris Hughton’s signings will have taken the squad to a slightly higher level.
Snodgrass has shown why he might just become a Premier League force, but it’s hard to say the same for the rest of Norwich’s signings. Hughton will struggle to match Lambert’s finish last season.
In: Ben Foster (Birmingham, £4.4m), Yassine El Ghanassy (AA Gent, loan), Claudio Yacob (Racing Club, free), Markus Rosenberg (Werder Bremen, free), Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea, loan), Goran Popov (Dynamo Kiev, loan)
Out: Paul Scharner (Hamburger SV, free), Nicky Shorey (Reading, free), Joe Mattock (Sheffield Wednesday, free), Somen Tchoyi (free), Keith Andrews (Bolton, free), Marton Fulop (Asteras Tripoli, free), Simon Cox (Nottingham Forest, £2.2m)
A few first-teamers in with none out provide a solid platform for West Brom to match last season’s league finish.
Yacob and Lukaku have shown their importance to a new West Brom team.
Shane Long, Peter Odemwingie and Jonas Olsson remain integral to Steve Clarke’s side, and their non-departures mean that his squad has enjoyed a net improvement.
In: Lukas Podolski (Koln, £11.4m), Olivier Giroud (Montpellier, £10.6m), Santi Cazorla (Malaga, £16.7m)
Out: Manuel Almunia (Watford, free), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad, £3.3m), Ryo Miyaichi (Wigan, loan), Joel Campbell (Real Betis, loan), Ju-Young Park (Celta Vigo, loan), Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest, £1.1m), Alex Song (Barcelona, £16.7m), Robin van Persie (Manchester United, £27m), Kyle Bartley (Swansea City, £1.1m), Nicklas Bendtner (Juventus, loan)
If it weren’t for van Persie’s departure, this would be a solid window for Arsene Wenger.
But van Persie did leave, and Podolski and Giroud have yet to fully settle at the Emirates, so for now there is a gap in Arsenal’s firepower.
Cazorla has been a revelation and may yet be Arsenal’s best playmaker since Cesc Fabregas left, but Podolski and Giroud must come up with the goods if Wenger is to replace van Persie’s influence.
Oh, and that whole thing about plugging the defensive midfield gap Song left behind. Yeah.
In: Hugo Rodallega (Wigan, free), Mladen Petric (Hamburg SV, free), Sascha Riether (Cologne, free), Dimitar Berbatov (Manchester United, £4.4m), Kieran Richardson (Sunderland, £2.2m), Ashkan Dejagah (VfL Wolfsburg, £2.2m)
Out: Andy Johnson (QPR, free), Danny Murphy (Blackburn, free), Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading, free), Orlando Sa (AEL Limassol, free), Bjorn Helge Riise (Lillestrom, free), Moussa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur, £16.7m), Dickson Etuhu (Blackburn, £1.7m), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur, £6.6m)
Berbatov heads a raft of impressive signings for Martin Jol offset by the departure of four key players.
Fulham have performed decently without Murphy, Pogrebnyak and Dempsey, so they will now worry most about Dembele’s departure.
Berbatov’s arrival adds real class to Jol’s strikeforce, and with Rodallega and Petric augmenting the forward line, this should be an exciting season at Craven Cottage.
In: Jay Rodriguez (Burnley, £7.6m), Steven Davis (Rangers, £880k), Nathaniel Clyne (Crystal Palace, £2.8m), Paulo Gazzaniga (Gillingham, £2.7m), Maya Yoshida (VVV Venlo, £2.2m), Emmanuel Mayuka (Young Boys, £3.5m), Gaston Ramirez (Bologna, £13.4m)
Out: Radhi Jaidi (retired), Lee Holmes (Preston, free), Billy Sharp (Nottingham Forest, loan)
Ramirez is the big-name signing at St. Mary’s in an all-round decent window.
Davis, Clyne and Ramirez will be instant first-teamers and bring real quality for Southampton fans to get excited at.
Rodriguez has been more miss than hit so far and will struggle to live up to his price-tag, but Yoshida may prove to be a real bargain.
The core of Southampton’s squad still doesn’t look EPL-level, and so this will still be a tough season for the Saints.
In: Carlos Cuellar (Aston Villa, free), Louis Saha (Tottenham Hotspur, free), Steven Fletcher (Wolves £13.4m), Adam Johnson (Manchester City, £11.1m), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur, loan)
Out: Craig Gordon (free), George McCartney (West Ham, free), Asamoah Gyan (Al-Ain, £6.6m), Wayne Bridge (Manchester City, loan return), Sotirios Kyrgiakos (VfL Wolfsburg, loan return), Cristian Riveros (Kayserispor, £264k), Michael Turner (Norwich City, £1.7m), Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull City, free), Kieran Richardson (Fulham, £2.2m)
A slow start to the transfer window, but a fine finish sees five first-team players arriving and mostly squad players departing.
Fletcher was Martin O’Neill’s big-money signing, but Johnson might turn out to be one of the signings of the season if he performs to his potential consistently.
Saha adds experience while Rose adds youthful unpredictability, and there are no significant losses.
In: Richard Wright (free), Jack Rodwell (Everton, £13.2m), Scott Sinclair (Swansea City, £6.9m), Maicon (Internazionale, £5.3m), Matija Nastasic (Fiorentina, £13.4m), Javi Garcia (Benfica, £17.8m)
Out: Stuart Taylor (free), Owen Hargreaves (free), Wayne Bridge (Brighton, loan), David Pizarro (AS Roma, loan return), Dedryck Boyata (FC Twente, loan), Nigel de Jong (AC Milan, £3.1m), Roque Santa Cruz (Malaga, free), Adam Johnson (Sunderland, £11.1m), Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham Hotspur, £5.6m), Vladimir Weiss (Pescara, £1.6m), Stefan Savic (Fiorentina, part exchange)
A boring summer with a climactic deadline day, but the new arrivals are squad players at best.
Roberto Mancini has done well to shift out some of his bigger-earning stars, but he will be concerned at the time it took to kick off City’s transfer activity, as well as his inability to land his most coveted stars.
Not a huge improvement over last season’s title-winning squad by any means, and City fans will hope that their summer will not have impacted their chances this year.
In: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund, £13.2m), Nick Powell (Crewe, £6.6m), Robin van Persie (Arsenal, £27m), Alexander Buttner (Vitesse, £4.4m), Angelo Henriquez (Universidad de Chile, £4.8m)
Out: Ji-Sung Park (QPR, £2.7m), Michael Owen (free), Tomasz Kuszczak (Brighton, free), Fabio da Silva (QPR, loan), Paul Pogba (Juventus, free), Ben Amos (Hull City, loan), Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham, £4.4m)
Van Persie and Kagawa have stolen the headlines in a window that has seen a net improvement at Old Trafford.
No major departures for any important first-team player, or any squad player at that.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s two star signings have made themselves at home, but his main conundrum will now be to fit his star forwards into a balanced United starting lineup.
Easier said than done, but he has sounded his warning from the Red side of Manchester.
In: Samba Diakite (Nancy, £3.5m), Ryan Nelsen (Tottenham Hotspur, free), Andy Johnson (Fulham, free), Robert Green (West Ham, free), Fabio da Silva (Manchester United, loan), Ji-Sung Park (Manchester United, £2.7m), Junior Hoilett (Blackburn, free), Jose Bosingwa (Chelsea, free), Julio Cesar (Internazionale, free), Esteban Granero (Real Madrid, £7m), Stephane Mbia (Marseille, £4.8m), Sam Magri (Portsmouth, free)
Out: Fitz Hall (Watford, free), Akos Buzsaky (free), Paddy Kenny (Leeds, £440k), Peter Ramage (Crystal Palace, free), Danny Shittu (Millwall, free), Danny Gabbidon (free), Taye Taiwo (AC Milan, loan return), Heidar Helguson (Cardiff City, free), Joey Barton (Marseille, loan), Jay Bothroyd (Sheffield Wednesday, loan)
Twelve. Mark Hughes has signed a whole new XI, but it feels more like a collection than a team.
There is no question that QPR have added some real quality to their ranks this summer, and Hughes will be delighted with the caliber of players he has been able to bring to Loftus Road.
But there is a sense that Hughes opted for big-name signings on the market rather than to really mold a squad. The pressure is on.
In: Steven Naismith (Rangers, free), Steven Pienaar (Tottenham Hotspur, £5.1m), Kevin Mirallas (Olympiakos, £6.7m), Bryan Oviedo (FC Copenhagen, £4.0m), Matthew Kennedy (Kilmarnock, free), Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe (Club Brugge, loan)
Out: Marcus Hahnemann (free), James McFadden (free), Royston Drenthe (Real Madrid, loan return), Denis Stracqualursi (Tigre, loan return), Tim Cahill (New York Red Bull, £1.1m), Joseph Yobo (Fenerbahce, £2.2m), Jack Rodwell (Manchester City, £13.2m)
Four first-teamers in to replace two star names (Cahill and Rodwell) in a surprisingly productive window for David Moyes.
Naismith and Pienaar have already shown why Moyes was so keen to bring them on board, while Mirallas enjoyed an encouraging debut in the League Cup last week.
With Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic on form, Cahill and Rodwell’s departures may be rendered insignificant: How long has it been since Everton fans can say that about a star departure?
In: Gylfi Sigurdsson (TSG Hoffenheim, £8.8m), Jan Vertonghen (Ajax, £11m), Emmanuel Adebayor (Manchester City, £5.6m), Moussa Dembele (Fulham, £16.7m), Hugo Lloris (Lyon, £8.8m), Clint Dempsey (Fulham, £6.6m)
Out: Louis Saha (free), Niko Kranjcar (Dynamo Kiev, £6.2m), Ryan Nelsen (QPR, free), Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow, £6.2m), Ledley King (retired), Steven Pienaar (Everton, £5.1m), Danny Rose (Sunderland, loan), Giovani dos Santos (RCD Mallorca, £880k), Luka Modric (Real Madrid, £26.4m), Sebastien Bassong (Norwich City, £2.6m), Louis Saha (Sunderland, free), Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburger SV, £11.4m)
Spurs work their deadline-day magic again to offset the departure of several first-teamers.
Andre Villas-Boas ultimately didn’t get his top target, Joao Moutinho, but three real bargain buys in Lloris, Dempsey and Adebayor will augment the quality additions of Vertonghen and Dembele.
Modric and van der Vaart’s departures may have something to say in Tottenham’s performances this season, but the spotlight as usual will fall on AVB himself.
In: Marko Marin (Werder Bremen, £8.6m), Eden Hazard (Lille, £35.2m), Oscar (Internacional, £28.2m), Cesar Azpilicueta (Marseille, £7.7m), Victor Moses (Wigan, £7.8m)
Out: Jose Bosingwa (Queens Park Rangers, free), Salomon Kalou (Lille, free), Didier Drogba (Shanghai Shenhua, free), Kevin de Bruyne (Werder Bremen, loan), Josh McEachran (Middlesbrough, loan), Romelu Lukaku (West Bromwich Albion, loan), Michael Essien (Real Madrid, loan), Yossi Benayoun (West Ham, loan)
A lopsided window that has seen a revolution in attack but no real defensive cover come in.
Hazard has been a revelation, and has brought Torres back to life. Oscar has shown glimpses of enormous potential. Bosingwa, Kalou, Drogba and Essien have seen much of the old guard depart.
But while this results in a huge upgrade for the Blues attack, the defence is aging and becoming more suspect, as evidenced by their European Super Cup dismantling at the hands of Atletico Madrid and Falcao.
Expect a hefty goals tally with an equally significant goals conceded.
In: Mohamed Diame (Wigan, free), Stephen Henderson (Portsmouth, £655k), Jussi Jaaskelainen (Bolton, free), George McCartney (Sunderland, free), Modibo Maiga (Sochaux, £5.3m), Raphael Spiegel (Grasshoppers, free), Matt Jarvis (Wolves, £8.4m), James Collins (Aston Villa, £2.8m), Alou Diarra (Marseille, £2.2m), Andy Carroll (Liverpool, loan), Yossi Benayoun (Chelsea, loan)
Out: Freddie Sears (Colchester, free), Marek Stech (Yeovil, free), Frank Nouble (Wolves, free), Robert Green (Queens Park Rangers, free), Papa Bouba Diop (free), Abdoulaye Faye (Hull City, free), John Carew (free), Julien Faubert (Elazigspor, free), Paulo Barrera (Cruz Azul, free), Ravel Morrison (Birmingham City, loan), Sam Baldock (Bristol City, £1.7m), Nicky Maynard (Cardiff City, £2.2m)
If QPR signed an entire team, West Ham aren’t far behind with 11 additions, almost all of them first-teamers.
Simply put, a great transfer window for Sam Allardyce.
Getting Diame in early was a signal of intent, as well as shipping dead wood out of Upton Park, but Jarvis was the one that kicked it off.
Now with Carroll and Benayoun on the books, West Ham should be looking at a solid midtable finish.
In: Chico (Genoa, £2.2m), Jonathan de Guzman (Villarreal, loan), Michu (Rayo Vallecano, £2.3m), Itay Shechter (Kaiserlautern, loan), Kyle Bartley (Arsenal, £1.1m), Sung-Yueng Ki (Celtic, £6.1m), Pablo Hernandez (Valencia, £6.2m)
Out: Gylfi Sigurdsson (TSG Hoffenheim, loan return), Joe Allen (Liverpool, £16.7m), Scott Sinclair (Manchester City, £6.9m)
Five instant first-teamers for around the same price that Allen fetched for Swansea. Add Sinclair to the equation and you have an astute and impressive window.
Allen and Sinclair’s departures take away two of Swansea’s main ingredients under Brendan Rodgers’ impressive first season with Swansea, but a raft of signings from Spain, as well as Ki from Celtic, show that the Swans mean business.
So far, Michael Laudrup looks like a class act and may well be the best Swansea signing of all. It’s hard to look past them as this season’s dark horses.