English Premier League: Grading the Top Ten Transfer Seasons

Jonathan Woo@woo_jonathanwooCorrespondent ISeptember 11, 2012

English Premier League: Grading the Top Ten Transfer Seasons

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    The summer transfer window has been closed for a week now, and what better time to take a look back to see which clubs made the best moves.

    With acquisitions being completed left and right all over Europe, the landscape has definitely shifted in the past few months.

    In England's top flight, a handful of top quality names switched clubs in recent weeks, possibly re-calibrating the projected finishes at the end of the season.

    Manchester United snagged Robin van Persie from Arsenal, but how does the signing stack up against the rest of the moves this summer?

    Here are the grades for the top ten transfer seasons in the Premier League.

Manchester United

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    Notable transfers in: Robin van Persie, Shinji Kagawa

    Notable transfers out: Dimitar Berbatov, Park Ji-Sung, Fabio (Loan)

    United tops the grade chart this summer by virtue of two moves that undoubtedly improve the product at Old Trafford.

    Sure, the club lost a couple of very serviceable players in Berbatov and Park, but the additions of van Persie and Kagawa ultimately provide an even better quality to the pitch in front of an already impressive squad.

    Sir Alex Ferguson simply added proven quality.

    Summer Transfer Part One Grade: B+

    Completed Summer Transfer Grade: A


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    Notable transfers in: Eden Hazard, Oscar, Victor Moses, Marko Marin, Cesar Azpilicueta

    Notable transfers out: Raul Meireles, Michael Essien (Loan), Romelu Lukaku (Loan), Yossi Benayoun (Loan), Didier Drogba

    Chelsea greatly changed its roster for the upcoming season in the post-Andres Villas-Boas era at Stamford Bridge.

    The Blues did take a hit in their physical attributes with the departures of Essien, Lukaku and Drogba, but the additions of Hazard, Oscar, Moses and Marin alone provide some quality dribblers and creators for an offense that has some impressive assets.

    If the newcomers blend well with the likes of Fernando Torres and Juan Mata, among others, Chelsea could be in for a positive campaign in a bright transition for the club.

    Summer Transfer Part One Grade: A-

    Completed Summer Transfer Grade: A-

West Ham

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    Notable transfers in: Andy Carroll (Loan), Yossi Benayoun, Alou Diarra, Matt Jarvis

    Notable transfers out: Robert Green, Nicky Maynard

    West Ham brought in a bevy of veterans for the Hammers promotion season in the Premier League.

    Late moves for Carroll and Benayoun solidify West Ham's transfer season and the two add to an impressive haul that brings experience and some savvy to a club looking to keep a place in England's top flight for next year.

    Additionally, West Ham did well not to lose too much of its own fabric and instead looked to add depth, age and quality.

    How well the Hammers compete is an entirely different story.

    Summer Transfer Part One Grade: B

    Completed Summer Transfer Grade: B+

Queens Park Rangers

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    Notable transfers in: Fabio, Junior Hoilett, Park Ji-Sung, Esteban Granero, Jose Bosingwa, Julio Cesar

    Notable transfers out: Joey Barton, Heidar Helguson

    In a re-evaluation of what QPR has done over the summer, the result is essentially the same.

    Rangers did well to add good talent and depth to a club that barely survived the Premier League gauntlet a season ago. Experience comes in waves with Park, Bosingwa and Cesar as QPR minimized the quality leaving Loftus Road.

    On paper, the club has the pieces to have a successful campaign, but the execution will have to be precise.

    Summer Transfer Part One Grade: A

    Completed Summer Transfer Grade: B+


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    Notable transfers in: Adam Johnson, Steven Fletcher, Louis Saha, Carlos Cuellar, Danny Rose

    Notable transfers out: Kieran Richardson, Asamoah Gyan, Ahmed Elmohamady

    For part one of this series, Sunderland had secured just a single acquisition in Cuellar and looked desperate for quality in Martin O'Neill's first full season at the Stadium of Light.

    Weeks later, the Black Cats have assembled quite the crew of newcomers. Johnson, Saha and Fletcher all come in as highly serviceable and capable players that bring immediate impact to the club.

    Losing Gyan hurts from an athletic point of view, but Sunderland did well to improve itself.

    Summer Transfer Part One Grade: D-

    Completed Summer Transfer Grade: B+


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    Notable transfers in: Clint Dempsey, Moussa Dembele, Emmanuel Adebayor, Jan Vertonghen, Hugo Lloris

    Notable transfers out: Rafael van der Vaart, Luka Modric, Steven Pienaar

    The obvious standouts are van der Vaart and Modric leaving the club, but Tottenham did extremely well to make up for those losses by acquiring a bevy of great, proven quality at the highest levels.

    Dempsey and Dembele come to North London from Fulham and immediately can make an impact in the middle of the field. Adebayor can provide an anchor point for an attack that still can use the exploits from Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon.

    So for however much Spurs may have dropped in their dealings, they definitely did the most to reinvest back into the club.

    Summer Transfer Part One Grade: B

    Completed Summer Transfer Grade: B+


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    Notable transfers in: Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla

    Notable transfers out: Robin van Persie, Alex Song, Nicklas Bendtner (Loan), Park Chu-Young (Loan)

    Van Persie's move to Old Trafford is the headliner of the transfer season, but Arsenal had already spent the money gained from his deal to pick up Giroud, Podolski and Cazorla.

    The three signings are a part of a change in offense for the Gunners. What had been a one-man look up top with van Persie has transformed into a two-striker formation that simply plays into the strengths of the acquisitions.

    Song's departure to Barcelona puts a damper in the heart of Arsenal's midfield, but Arsene Wenger did well to replace the losses this summer.

    Summer Transfer Part One Grade: B+

    Completed Summer Transfer Grade: B

Manchester City

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    Notable transfers in: Scott Sinclair, Jack Rodwell, Maicon, Javi Garcia

    Notable transfers out: Nigel de Jong, Adam Johnson, Emmanuel Adebayor

    City was surprisingly quiet early during the window, but a strong push on deadline day had the Blues reel in a number of quality players to bolster depth and improve their defense presence.

    Rodwell is a young, budding talent that just needs the experience. Maicon, who moved to the Etihad Stadium from the San Siro and AC Milan, brings that experience in waves.

    No superstar names this summer, but City definitely looked to come out on top when all the dust settled.

    The trade-offs listed above surely lean towards the incomers as far as quality and impact.

    Summer Transfer Part One Grade: C-

    Completed Summer Transfer Grade: B


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    Notable transfers in: Dimitar Berbatov, Hugo Rodallega, Mladen Petric, Pavel Pogrebnyak

    Notable transfers out: Moussa Dembele, Clint Dempsey, Danny Murphy, Carlos Salcido

    Though the notable names of Dembele and Dempsey left the club, Fulham brought in quite a haul of new signings to counter its losses. Berbatov and Rodallega offer great qualities to the club, which has lacked top-shelf kind of quality at striker for some time.

    It may take a little bit to acclimate the newcomers, but on the surface, the exchanges are good to see at Craven Cottage.

    Summer Transfer Part One Grade: B-

    Completed Summer Transfer Grade: B


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    Notable transfers in: Nuri Sahin (Loan), Fabio Borini, Joe Allen

    Notable transfers out: Charlie Adam, Andy Carroll (Loan), Maxi Rodriguez, Dirk Kuyt

    At the bottom of the top ten comes Liverpool, a club that has slowly faded, but still remain somewhat relevant in the big club conversation.

    Adam, Kuyt, Rodriguez and Carroll all have had their share of impacts for the Reds, and their moves away from Anfield will be something to ponder this season.

    In their place are a trio of intriguing players who all bring flair and quality. Is it enough to revitalize Liverpool and see them back into top contention?

    Summer Transfer Part One Grade: B-

    Completed Summer Transfer Grade: B-