That’s it – the transfer madness is over. Well, it is until January at least.
The transfer window may excite football fans across the world, but it frustrates the hell out of players, managers and clubs. Unsurprisingly, Premier League clubs spent an extortionate amount of money to attract top talent this summer - £1.4 billion to be exact, according to figures in The Guardian.
But which Premier League club fared the best this summer?
We take a look at three of the biggest winners of the 2017 summer transfer window:
Pep Guardiola’s contingent were active from the start in the transfer window, acquiring gifted midfielder Bernardo Silva from AS Monaco as early as May – a move that signalled City’s intent for the new campaign. The Blues kept the money flowing since then, signing the likes of Kyle Walker, Ederson Moraes and Benjamin Mendy.
Building a competent defensive unit was Guardiola’s main priority this summer and, on paper, City do look much stronger. According to the Daily Star, City ended the transfer window with a net spend of over £130 million. Yes, that is a lot of money, but Guardiola is in it for the big one - and that requires the spending of mammoth amounts.
With a number of high-profile stars now plying their trade at the Etihad Stadium, City are looking strong enough to cause even the most cautious man to back them up to win the league. Trophies and tournaments are not won on paper, but City are surely in the race with a decent chance of going all the way this year. The Blues are currently joint top of the table alongside arch-rivals Manchester United, but you could argue that Guardiola’s astute transfer activity may make the difference. A new and improved defensive unit may spur City on in the title race at the business end of the season.
Swansea felt the burn to act going into transfer deadline day.
Gylfi Sigurdsson left Liberty Stadium for Everton midway through August, but the Welsh side managed to make up for his departure. Wilfried Bony returned to the club after leaving for Manchester City just a few years ago and his goal-scoring prowess will be welcomed. In his previous Swansea stint, he bagged 35 goals in 70 appearances, and fans will expect big things this season - especially when the five players out injured at the moment return to the squad.
Without a doubt, Renato Sanches’ arrival on loan from Bayern Munich will go down as one of the biggest coups this summer. The Portugal star was linked with a move to Old Trafford just two years ago and that shows the calibre of player that Swansea have acquired.
At just 20 years old, he still has plenty to learn. He didn’t have the best of debuts, but it would be foolish to write him off just yet. Clement used his contact book wisely to sign Sanches – Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti worked with the Swansea manager for years, most notably at Real Madrid. Links to big personalities in the football universe is key, and Clement will be constantly in touch with his fellow bosses, transfer targets and super agents. As mentioned by super agent Joe Smith in this blog piece, most of the biggest deals actually begin three or four months before the transfer is officially finalised. With Sanches, Swansea could begin to climb the table and look towards the top half rather than glancing nervously over their shoulder at the relegation fight.
Ronald Koeman deserves plenty of credit for Everton’s transfer window leaps. One could go as far as to claim the Toffees did the best business in the Premier League.
Keeping Ross Barkley could actually turn out to be like a new signing if the England man regains his best form. Sigurdsson was a great acquisition, but Michael Keane, Davy Klaassen, Jordan Pickford and an emotional return to Goodison Park for Wayne Rooney all signal a great summer. In time, Everton could mature into a consistent top-six outfit, especially if they continue to invest heavily. The Toffees came crashing down to earth in their most recent Premier League encounter, losing 3-0 at home to Tottenham Hotspur.
Everton still need time to gel, but the signs are positive ahead of what could be an exciting campaign. Koeman knows that instant success is expected after spending so much money, and the Goodison Park faithful will demand a much improved effort in the coming months.
Everton now have all of the pieces needed to challenge for silverware, but they are still a fair way behind England’s elite clubs. Eventually, the Toffees will be confident of competing with the Manchester United’s and Chelsea’s of English football on a yearly basis – that is the long-term plan. Koeman has the qualities to lead Everton for the most part of the next decade, and the Dutchman could be set to take the Toffees into a golden era.