This summer’s transfer window for English Premier League clubs has never been more fruitful. When the window shut at 6pm London time on September 1st, they set a record - $1.3 billion spent between them spanning the months of June, July and August. That can be seen two-fold. It shows initiative and ambition, but it’s also a sign of panic. Money hungry soccer players are happy to take the big deal and sit on a fat contract because the club who bought them were stupid enough to fork out the funds.
After signing on for a multi-billion dollar television deal that makes the EPL the world’s tastiest gravy train of all time, a new trend has emerged. No longer will the also-rans fight and scrap their way to survival. No, they see this cash influx as an incentive to spend big!
On the flip side, players with ambition have the capacity to hand in a transfer request. Once that goes public, the fans know their player wants out and they become something of a glorified martyr wanting to nail their colors to the mast.
Players speak ill of transfer deadline day, a time when soccer stars are either on their cell phones constantly with their agent trying to get the deal over the line, or turning it off and hiding under the covers. These professionals are the meat in the sandwich and can be left in the middle of a dreaded tug-of-war.
With Manchester City starting the season with 4 wins from 4 games and buying the explosive power and talents of Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne, and the defensive solidity of Argentine international defender Nicholas Otamendi, the blue half of Manchester look unstoppable.
Their business puts all of their other competitors under the pump. This transfer deadline day could be best described as “manic” by those neutral observers, leaving players and agents in limbo about where they’ll be suiting up for the season. Add to this the continual whining and complaining from EPL managers about the nature of the transfer window arguing for it to end prior to match day one, and the only winners from this scenario are the television channels, radio stations and websites who leak sensitive information or fire up rumors.
With the European Championships only nine months away from kicking off in France, the big names want to play regular football and star for their teams to send a message to their international coach – “Pick me!” But as The Rolling Stones told us way back in 1969, you can’t always get what you want. So now the dust has settled, here are the biggest losers and winners of the transfer window.
22 Carlos de Pena
21 Charlie Austin
20 Belgium Clubs
19 Tottenham Hotspur
18 Steve Bruce
17 Saido Berahino
16 John Stones
Such is the angst and acrimony felt around John Stones at the moment, he has moved from his Liverpool home to live in a motel room in Manchester. Stones’ transfer request to join Chelsea fell on deaf ears, despite multiple attempts by the blues to get their man. The last bid was in the region of $60 million which meant Everton were expected to bend over and accept without a fight, but they held strong and quashed the defender’s hopes of going to London. The good news is Stones will get guaranteed first team football to impress prior to the European Championships, but he will have to recover from the awkward embarrassment of making it known to the world he wanted to leave the joint.
12 David de Gea
10 Aston Villa
9 Leicester City
7 Virgil van Dijk
6 Anthony Martial
5 Jose Mourinho
3 Roberto Martinez
2 West Ham
1 Manchester City
Manchester City did sweet nothing on deadline day by ticking all of their boxes well in advance. Massive deals for Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling in the summer and this weeks addition of Belgium sensation Kevin de Bruyne means the City faithful have every reason to believe they can mount challenges on the Premier League front and Champions League. De Bruyne’s deal of $84 million was by far the biggest done in this window. What would be most reassuring for their fans is the efficiency of business, which is translating over the pitch. Look out EPL and Europe!
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