EPL Summer Transfer Window Power Rankings: Who's Doing the Best Business?

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMay 27, 2013

EPL Summer Transfer Window Power Rankings: Who's Doing the Best Business?

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    Devised to track which Premier League clubs are conducting the most impressive purchases or the savviest sales, this week marks the beginning of our EPL Summer Transfer Window Power Rankings.

    Sides will be graded on a proportional scale in order to give the fairer results, meaning each bit of business is measured in terms of impact for that particular club.

    This means that even though Hull City aren’t going to be signing the Edinson Cavani or Radamel Falcaos of the world, they can still be considered as those doing the “best business.”

    What’s more, speculation and rumour can play a part in a team’s rankings but will always rank lower than official transfer news and be graded on credibility, as well as likelihood of the reported transfer going through.

    With those formalities established, read on to see just who’s already taken the initiative a month prior to the window’s official opening, and who’s been resting on their laurels.

    Note: Contracts expiring this summer won't become official until June 30, 2013 in most cases, but can be agreed early.

20. Crystal Palace

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    Movement: New Entry

    Transfers In: None

    Transfers Out: None

    Following their Championship playoff final win on Monday, Crystal Palace book their spot as the last qualifiers for the Premier League's 2013-14 season and are, as things stand, the least likely team to win the division's title.

    That being said, transfers will be the club's highest priority and survival in England's top flight their only thought in mind.

19. Everton

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    Movement: New Entry

    Transfers In: None

    Transfers Out: David Moyes (Manager)

    Having built a reputation for operating on a shoestring budget under Bill Kenwright’s ownership of the club, Everton’s summer has already taken an undesirable turn.

    David Moyes’ ability to squeeze value out of a signing was one of the attributes that made him the success he was at Goodison Park, and it remains to be seen whether his replacement will have the same know-how in the transfer market.

    What’s more, fans are displeased after the official Everton website announced that the club’s crest would be altered.

    Yet to make any signings, Toffees can at least be happy that Moyes hasn’t yet made a move for Marouane Fellaini yet, whom the Guardian tip as being a target for the new Manchester United boss.

18. Hull City

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    Movement: New Entry

    Transfers In: None

    Transfers Out: Danny East (Portsmouth, Free), Sonny Bradley (Portsmouth, Free) – Both deals become official July 1, 2013.

    Cash Converters may be the sponsor of Steve Bruce’s side, but Hull City have so far failed to conduct any real business upon their return to the Premier League.

    With that being said, the Tigers nor Bruce are any strangers to the demands of elite football business, meaning you can bet they’ll shift up these rankings in the coming weeks.

17. Newcastle United

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    Movement: New Entry

    Transfers In: None

    Transfers Out: None

    In January 2013, Newcastle were quite easily one of, if not the most active club in the winter transfer window, making six signings in total, five of which came from Ligue 1.

    The club have built a solid reputation as importers of French talent under Alan Pardew, but with the Magpies manager’s future in doubt, will the French revolution continue at St. James’?

    The Guardian recently reported that unless Pardew can earn a top-10 finish in the coming season, he faces the sack; rules laid out to him by the club’s hierarchy.

    With that pressure hanging over him, a good transfer window will be essential in getting off to a good start.

16. Southampton

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    Movement: New Entry

    Transfers In: None

    Transfers Out: Dan Seaborne (Free)

    With Dan Seaborne reported by Sky Sports as the only likely departure from St. Marys at this moment in time, not a lot is going on for Mauricio Pochettino’s side at this moment.

    That could be seen as a good thing, however, as this summer will likely be focused more on holding onto talent rather than bringing more in.

15. Sunderland

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    Movement: New Entry

    Transfers In: Duncan Watmore

    Transfers Out: Titus Bramble (Free)

    The first signing a manager makes at his new club can often leave a lasting impression and even sometimes sets the standard for the rest of his stay there.

    In Duncan Watmore, a 19-year-old from non-league Altrincham, the Black Cats need not be too hopeful about the remainder of Paolo Di Canio’s stay at the Stadium of Light.

    With that being said, the offloading of now-free agent, Titus Bramble, will be a welcome sight for some supporters of the club.

    Bramble’s wages (thought to be around £30-35,000-a-week) can now be allocated to talents perhaps a bit more deserving as Di Canio seeks to make his mark at the club.

14. Stoke City

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    Movement: New Entry

    Transfers In: None

    Transfers Out: Tony Pulis (Manager), Michael Owen (Retired), Rory Delap (Free)

    With nothing to speak of in terms of acquisitions, it seems this summer has been about moving the older generation on at the Britannia Stadium.

    The end of Michael Owen’s Stoke City contract has seen the former Liverpool great decide to hang up his boots for good, while last week also saw Tony Pulis be shown the door from his managerial position after seven years with the club.

    BBC Sport have linked Mark Hughes with the Potters’ vacant position while Sky Sports have also quoted Rory Delap on his heartache at ending a successful tenure with the club.

    Another saddening bit of news for supporters will be Sky Sports reporting on Steven Nzonzi’s apparent transfer request, which was swiftly rejected by the club. 

13. West Brom

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    Movement: New Entry

    Transfers In: None

    Transfers Out: Jerome Thomas (Released), Gonzalo Jara (Released)

    Clearing out some of their dead weight, West Brom have already released two former Baggies, Jerome Thomas and Gonzalo Jara, this summer.

    However, with several other players’ contracts ending in 2013, that number could soon rise depending on how negotiations with the likes of Zoltan Gera, Marc-Antoine Fortune and Steven Reid progress.

12. Aston Villa

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    Movement: New Entry

    Transfers In: None

    Transfers Out: Stilyan Petrov (Retired – now in coaching staff role),

    Having performed a late miracle of sorts at Villa Park, Paul Lambert will need a very fruitful transfer window if his side are to move on from the struggles of the 2012-13 season.

    Sky Sports announced that Stilyan Petrov, a former club captain and survivor of acute Leukaemia, would be leaving his position on the playing staff.

    However, keeping the Bulgarian at the club in a youth coach capacity is a very smart move by the club and shows the great unity that Aston Villa can have between it and its players.

    One transfer saga set to revolve around the Birmingham outfit this season is just where Christian Benteke will end up come September, but Villans can at least be happy at holding onto their star for this long.

11. Swansea City

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    Movement: New Entry

    Transfers In: None

    Transfers Out: None

    For Swansea City, the coming months will hinge on a combination of squad strengthening but also simply retaining their existing stars.

    Jonathan de Guzman has headed back to Villarreal following the conclusion of his season-long loan in South Wales but has made no secret of his desire to stay at the Liberty Stadium, speaking candidly of his time with the club to WalesOnline.com:

    With players here now and a couple of reinforcements I think we can do a lot of damage next season, especially with the football we play and if we can get the one or two things the squad needs.

    What’s more, the Welsh outfit will strive to hang onto 2012 super signing Michu in the coming months, a task made all the easier by his signing of a four-year extension with the club in January of this year.

10. Tottenham Hotspur

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    Movement: New Entry

    Transfers In: None

    Transfers Out: None

    One of those sides yet to dip into their wallets this summer, the biggest priority for Andre Villas-Boas’s squad is without a doubt hanging onto the services of one Gareth Bale.

    Without the Welshman, the club’s efforts to tie up even a Europa League spot would have derailed far earlier than they did, and it’s with Bale that any hopes of future European involvement lies.

    Therefore, Spurs fans can at least be pleased with the 23-year-old’s latest comments to Spurs TV (h/t Sky Sports), where Bale spoke of his hopes for next season at White Hart Lane in fine detail.

9. Manchester City

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    Movement: New Entry

    Transfers In: None

    Transfers Out: Roberto Mancini (Manager), Kolo Toure (Liverpool—Free)

    One of several top Premier League clubs to conduct a managerial changing of the guard this summer, Roberto Mancini will no longer be the one spending Manchester City’s big bucks.

    However, with the club so far yet to appoint a replacement, transfer business has been slow at the Etihad Stadium.

    Even with that being the case, however, a club of City’s magnitude and extreme wealth is never completely at ease, and one can rest assured that some big transfer news isn’t far away from the club.

    The Mirror reported Monday Manuel Pellegrini as admitting the vacant Citizens position as one of his options, although no decision has been made yet.

    One great bit of news for the club was of Sergio Aguero’s one-year contract extension, putting to bed any talk of a summer move away.

8. Arsenal

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    Movement: New Entry

    Transfers In: None

    Transfers Out: Craig Eastmond (Free), Jordan Wynter (Free), Martin Angha (Free), Kyle Ebecilio (Free), Elton Monteiro (Free)

    Although the club’s transfer trends have changed in recent years, Arsenal remains a club heavily orientated around their academy prospects.

    Therefore, the departure of five former reserve team youngsters from the club in the last month or so makes room for other, more promising prospects to make their move up through the ranks.

    Yet to bring any faces into the club this summer, Marouane Chamakh and Andre Santos are just two of the players set to re-join the Gunners after loan spells away last summer, while Andrey Arshavin looks likely to leave once his contract expires in June.

7. Cardiff City

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    Movement: New Entry

    Transfers In: Promotions for numerous youth products

    Transfers Out: Heidar Helguson (Retired), Stephen McPhail (Released), Nathaniel Jarvis (Released)

    As mentioned above, Malky Mackay’s only real additions to the first team this season have been players already within the club, formerly playing at the youth level.

    However, the Scot’s best business has been shedding some of the fringe players, namely Heidar Helguson and Stephen McPhail.

    Helguson, an ex-QPR forward, struggled to feature for the Bluebirds in the 2012-13 campaign and heads back to his native Iceland while McPhail, somewhat of a fan favourite in the Welsh capital, was plagued by injury in the final year of his contract.

    Those veterans now vacate room for other talent to progress through the system of the Championship champions, as well as freeing up what will be some much-needed wages.

6. Liverpool

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    Movement: New Entry

    Transfers In: Kolo Toure

    Transfers Out: Danny Wilson (Hearts – Free)

    After spending the second half of last season on loan at Hearts, the Scottish club have chosen to sign the former Liverpool youngster to a permanent deal, BBC Sport have announced.

    The centre-back’s departure comes after Jamie Carragher’s retirement from the game, leaving two spots unaccounted for in the Reds’ defensive roster.

    However, Kolo Toure was reported today by BBC Sport as having finally completed his free transfer to Anfield, representing what could be another busy transfer window under Brendan Rodgers.

    Other doubts remain over the long-term future of Luis Suarez, banned for the beginning of the 2013-14 campaign, but the Uruguayan has so far failed to make a move.

5. West Ham

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    Movement: New Entry

    Transfers In: Razvan Rat (Free)

    Transfers Out: Carlton Cole (Released), Eoin Wearen (Released)

    Following the conclusion of his Upton Park contract, Carlton Cole was deemed surplus to requirements by West Ham, featuring only sporadically in their latest Premier League quest.

    The long-time Hammer will be a missed figure in East London but could perhaps be replaced by Andy Carroll, a player whom Sky Sports claim could be close to a permanent £15 million move to West Ham after a successful loan period.

    Sky Sports also claim that Romelu Lukaku could trade West Brom for the Hammers this summer on loan after a successful spell in the West Midlands.

    Apart from those rumours, ex-Shakhtar Donetsk defender, Razvan Rat, signed with West Ham after it was announced by BBC Sport that the club had signed him on a free transfer.

4. Chelsea

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    Movement: New Entry

    Transfers In: None

    Transfers Out: Rafa Benitez (Manager), Florent Malouda (Released), Yossi Benayoun (Released), Hilario (Released), Paulo Ferreira (Retired), numerous reserve players (Released)

    As the only managerial carousel that might even contend with the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson from Manchester United, Jose Mourinho’s prophesised return to Chelsea brings with it a plethora of speculation and rumour.

    Mourinho himself could be considered one of the finest acquisitions for any club all summer, but the player relations that the soon-to-be ex-Real Madrid boss would bring are just as advantageous.

    As of yet, however, the Blues have made no purchases, instead merely clearing some space on the wage bill thanks to the expiration of numerous veteran's contracts, ESPN explains.

    Having loaned out over 30 players last season, Chelsea also have the benefit of seeing dozens of players return to their ranks this summer with new experience under their belts.

    Among those farmed out, the likes of Thibaut Courtois, Kevin de Bruyne, Lucas Piazon, Wallace, Romelu Lukaku and Michael Essien rank as the most talented.

    On top of that, speculation surrounding Andre Schurrle’s proposed move to West London kicked into overdrive earlier this month after the forward was quoted by BBC Sport as saying he had played his last game for Bayer Leverkusen.

3. Manchester United

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    Movement: New Entry

    Transfers In: David Moyes (Manager), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace - £10 million plus add-ons)

    Transfers Out: Sir Alex Ferguson (ex-Manager)

    Although the transfer became official in the 2012-13 season, Wilfried Zaha’s loan back to Crystal Palace means the youngster will only join up with his new Manchester United teammates this summer.

    However, the biggest story at the Theatre of Dreams is undoubtedly Sir Alex Ferguson handing of the managerial reigns to fellow Scot, David Moyes.

    Just how the former Everton boss will fare in his new position is anyone’s guess, but one can bank on a busy summer transfer window ahead.

    One particularly strong hint of a move is that concerning Marouane Fellaini joining back up with his former Toffees boss with the Red Devils.

    The Mirror has claimed that Moyes will fight to make the Belgian his first signing as United boss and is also battling to hold onto Wayne Rooney.

2. Norwich City

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    Movement: New Entry

    Transfers In: Ricky van Wolswinkel (Sporting Lisbon - £8.5 million), Javier Garrido (Lazio – Undisclosed)

    Transfers Out: Chris Martin (Derby County - Free), Lee Camp (Released), Simeon Jackson (Released), Tom Adeyemi (Released), Marc Tierney (Released), Elliot Ward (Released), Korey Smith (Released), several reserve players

    While their fight against Premier League relegation ran closer to the wire than many may have liked last season, Norwich City are already showing new passion for the coming campaign by taking some serious initiative around their squad.

    Quite simply, Chris Hughton’s side have conducted some seriously good business in recent weeks/months, ridding themselves of almost a dozen fringe players while bringing in some real quality.

    Chris Martin, Simeon Jackson and Lee Camp rank as some of the more talented players to be released, but their departures allow the Canaries to now move closer to a squad of Premier League quality and not something closer to Championship level.

    really happy to join ncfc family with a permant deal!as my first day i promiss i will give my best for this shirt. thanks again. #otbc

    — javier garrido (@javiergerr) May 14, 2013

    BBC Sport recently announced that Javier Garrido, a star performer in their most recent season, had made his loan move from Lazio a permanent one, adding an assured presence at left-back.

    However, Ricky van Wolfswinkel is by far the marquee signing for the side so far this summer, announced by the BBC way back in March as part of an £8.5 million club-record deal with Sporting Lisbon.

    Although young, van Wolfswinkel adds an assured and potentially devastating presence up top for the Norfolk club and is certainly something for all Canaries to get excited about.

1. Fulham

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    Movement: New Entry

    Transfers In: Fernando Amorebieta (Free), Sascha Riether (FC Cologne – Undisclosed), Derek Boateng (Free)

    Transfers Out: Giorgos Karagounis (Released), Simon Davies (Released)

    With Harrods' business mogul Mohamed Al-Fayed in their chair, Fulham have shown some very shrewd transfer acumen this summer already, making three first-team purchases before June has even come around.

    Sascha Riether was nominated as the club’s Players’ Player of the Year last season, and his loan deal from Cologne was made permanent shortly after.

    Add to that the free signatures of Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Amorebieta and Dnipro’s Derek Boateng as reported by Sky Sports and the West Londoners have brought in some true talent without much to speak of in terms of transfer fees.

    To counter the inevitable wages that those three transfers have made, veterans Giorgos Karagounis and Simon Davies have been reported by Sky Sports as released by the Cottagers, presumptively deemed a little too far on the wrong side of 30.

    Although Riether, Boateng and Amorebieta are all close to or over 30 themselves, the trio solve some immediate squad issues at Craven Cottage, and supporters can only hope this active strategy in the market continues.

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