The 2017 summer transfer window hasn’t disappointed: Premier League clubs alone took their deadline day spending to a record £210m.
We asked Adrian Clarke to highlight the highs and lows of this year’s window…
Let’s start with those who must be on a ‘Debbie Downer’ the day after the night before, and two clubs immediately spring to mind – Arsenal and Newcastle United.
Rafa Benitez had publicly told owner Mike Ashley his squad wasn’t equipped to thrive in the Premier League, but the Magpies owner coldly decided to turn the other cheek.
St James’ Park was a ghost town on Deadline Day, with the Spaniard no doubt fuming inside, which has to raise the prospects of a sudden parting of the ways.
I fear a relegation fight lies ahead for Newcastle United, and Rafa might not want to be a part of it.
At Arsenal it’s hard to fathom what their strategy was for the transfer window.
To my mind, the Gunners desperately need a central defender upgrade, and a central midfielder of note; but when push came to shove, they were never in the market for either.
The departure of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a blow, as was the refusal from Thomas Lemar to join them in a £92million deal that was cobbled together on the final day.
— Alex Ox-Chamberlain (@Alex_OxChambo) August 31, 2017
Keeping Alexis Sanchez is a plus, but only providing the Chilean’s head and heart aren’t fixated on Manchester City.
How their superstar responds to the prospect of one last season in North London, having been denied his move, will be the key to Arsenal’s fate. The club must tread carefully.
With 24 outgoings, and just two new faces (both terrific buys) I’m afraid it’s impossible to say that Arsene Wenger’s squad is stronger. They have work to do on the training ground.
The window’s ‘losers’
While we’re on the subject of the window’s ‘losers’ it would be remiss not to mention West Ham United and Southampton. Their inactivity on the back of mediocre starts was all a bit mystifying.
And then there are the scores of weaknesses that haven’t been properly addressed.
We’re not gonna sign anyone are we?
— James Corden (@JKCorden) August 31, 2017
Everton didn’t land a Lukaku replacement up top, Manchester City couldn’t persuade West Brom to part with Jonny Evans, Chelsea didn’t come close to bringing in the four or five bodies they needed, and Liverpool (who otherwise did well) are perhaps naïve to place their faith in the likes of Dejan Lovren and Alberto Moreno. Failing to buy a defender could harm their title assault.
As for the plusses, there are many.
Manchester United and Manchester City both improved their squads dramatically this summer, Everton recruited some fabulous footballers, and Tottenham’s late work in ‘Levy Time’ looks clever.
Sergie Aurier is a quality right back that cost half the price they received for Kyle Walker, and Fernando Llorente was the ideal pick.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 31, 2017
If Harry Kane is injured they now have a front line striker to step in, and perhaps more importantly, from a tactical perspective the Spaniard’s immense aerial power gives them another way to break teams down.
Kudos to Swansea City, too! Their loan signing of Renato Sanches was a jaw-dropper that will give them bundles more ‘engine room’ quality this season.
Paul Clement’s relationship with the player from his Bayern Munich days, allied with his friendship with Carlo Ancelotti sealed a deal that dozens of bigger European clubs will be insanely jealous about.
Here are my Top 10 transfers of the 2017 window…
1 – Alvaro Morata (Chelsea from Real Madrid)
2 – Nemanja Matic (Manchester United from Chelsea)
3 – Mo Salah (Liverpool from Roma)
4 – Renato Sanches (Swansea City from Bayern Munich on loan)
5 – Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City from Monaco)
6 – Harry Maguire (Leicester City from Hull City)
7 – Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal from Lyon)
8 – Kurt Zouma (Stoke City from Chelsea on loan)
9 – Jordan Pickford (Everton from Sunderland)
10 – Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United from Everton)
Who do you think is the signing of the summer? Leave us a comment, below!