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Few football leagues love the art of the deal quite like the English Premier League.

From newly promoted teams like Wolves and Fulham to the big teams like Arsenal and the blue and red halves of Manchester, no one gets up for transfer deadline day quite like the Premier League.

This season presented plenty of obstacles from clubs looking to get their deals done.

An earlier transfer deadline, which meant all permanent deals had to be concluded before the first game of the season between Manchester United and Leicester City on Friday night, put the English clubs at a distinct disadvantage to their European rivals.

Even with the deadline been and gone, the likes of United and Chelsea wait nervously as those on the continent eye stars like Paul Pogba and Eden Hazard.

With less time to get deals done and the disruption that comes with a World Cup off-season, it would seem some clubs struggled with the adjustment, while others have prospered.

Of course, the goal of any transfer window is to make sure you finish it with a stronger squad than what you started it with.

In that respect, the summer of 2018 was a good one for the majority of English Premier League clubs.

But who got the best business done? Which clubs didn't do enough?

We go through each club and profile their major business and offer some thoughts on how they fared. Check out part 2 (Leicester to Wolverhampton) here.

Of course, there's a lot more to preparing for a new season than just transfers, but we find that some clubs have put themselves in a great position to improve on their positions from last season, while others may just have been caught napping.

Players in regular font are transfers IN, while players in italics are transfers OUT.

ARSENAL

PlayerAgePositionFrom / To
Lucas Torreira22DMSampdoria
Bernd Leno26GKBayer Leverkusen
Sokratis30CBBorussia Dortmund
Mattéo Guendouzi19CMFC Lorient
Stephan Lichsteiner34RBJuventus
Takuma Asano23STHannover 96
Chuba Akpom22STPAOK Saloniki
Jack Wilshere26CMWest Ham
Santi Cazorla33CMVillareal
Lucas Pérez29STWest Ham

A new era is set to beging at Arsenal.

New manager Unai Emery, the man tasked with replacing Arsene Wenger and restabilising the Gooners as a Premier League force, has wasted little time in shaping the squad in his vision.

Bernd Leno suggests Emery may be looking to replace Premier League legend Petr Cech – or at least prepare for his eventual departure – while Sokratis and Stephan Lichtsteiner both bring solid European pedigree, leadership and experience to a new-look defence.

Lucas Torreira enjoyed a solid World Cup with Uruguay and was a consistent performer for Sampdoria in the Serie A last season.

The departures of Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla further mark the end of an era at Arsenal, but neither will be big losses.

Transfer rating: 6/10  - Nothing spectacular. New additions alone unlikely to propel Arsenal into the title race. Emery’s style and vision for the squad may get the best out of those already in the squad, such as Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette, which will crucial to Arsenal’s top-four challenges than signings alone. 

BOURNEMOUTH

PlayerAgePositionFrom / To
Jefferson Lerma23DMLevante
Diego Rico25LBCD Leganés
David Brooks20CMSheffield United
Benik Afobe25STWolves
Lewis Grabban30STNottingham Forest
Max Gradel30LWToulouse
Baily Cargill22CBMK Dons
Ryan Allsop26GKWycombe
Harry Arter28CMCardiff

Another year, another club record fee. 

Bournemouth has defied all expectation in the Premier League thus far, comfortably surviving the threat of relegation three seasons running.

And in a bid to maintain their Premier League status, the Cherries have not been shy about spending the vast fortunes such status affords them.

The £25million deal to bring midfielder Jefferson Lerma surpasses the fee paid for Nathan Ake last season, and Eddie Howe will hope the Ecuadorian significantly bolsters his team’s midfield.

Diego Rico adds depth in defence, while Howe will hope David Brooks is another youngster who will relish and rise to the challenge of Premier League football under his tutelage.

The Cherries did well to get a decent fee for Benik Afobe, who has moved to Stoke City after scoring just 11 goals in 70 Premier League appearances. 

Transfer Rating: 6/10 – After two mid-table finishes, this transfer window has certainly been about minor improvements. The additional of Lerma will be an interesting one, but despite the big fee, it remains uncertain how much he stands to improve a Bournemouth midfield which has already held its own so well in the Premier League. Harry Arter's exist is less than ideal

BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION

PlayerAgePositionFrom / To
Alireza Jahanbakhsh24RWAZ Alkmaar
Yves Bissouma21CMLille
Bernardo23LBLeipzig
Florin Andone25STDeportivo La Coruña
David Button29GKFulham
Percy Tau24STSundowns
Leon Balogun30CBFSV Mainz 05
Jason Steele27GKSunderland
Sam Baldock29STReading
Connor Goldson25CBRangers
Jamie Murphy28LWRangers
Jiri Skalak26LWMillwall
Tyler Hornby-Forbes22RBNewport Country
Tim Krul30GKNorwich
Niki Mäenpää33GKBristol City
Uwe Hünemeier32CBSC Paderborn

New season, new look for the Seagulls.

Brighton & Hove Albion may have survived the drop by seven points in their first season back in the Premier League but Chris Hughton has not hesitated in remodelling his squad for the new season.

There has been plenty of movement in and out of the club and some decent money spent in the process.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Yves Bissouma are both eight-figure additions to the squad.

Jahanbakhsh enjoyed a smashing season with AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch top-flight last season, scoring 22 league goals in 39 appearances and looks to be comfortable on the wings or in a more central attacking role. With pace to burn, he could be one of the signings of the season.

Bernardo looks an interesting acquisition at left-back, while the arrival of centre-back Florin Andone from La Liga’s Deportivo should help to bolster the defensive stocks.

Transfer Rating: 8/10 – With some bright, young talent arriving and the club retaining its key players, Hughton can look back on the transfer window with pride. Now, he just has to get this new-look squad in sync for the new season.

BURNLEY FC

PlayerAgePositionFrom / To
Ben Gibson25CBMiddlesbrough
Joe Hart31GKManchester City
Matej Vydra26STDerby
Tom Anderson24CBDoncaster Rovers
Scott Arfield29LMRangers
Dean Marney34CMFleetwood Town
Chris Long23STFleetwood Town

Rear-guard reinforcements. Will it be enough?

It's been a light summer in terms of transfer activity for Burnley manager Sean Dyche.

The club spent relatively big money to acquire Ben Gibson from Middlesbrough after a fine season in the Championship, while Manchester City legend Joe Hart will look to re-establish his reputation as one of the best goalkeepers in the league after two tough seasons on loan.

Dean Marney and Scott Arfield both depart after distinguished service to the club. No doubt both leave with the well-wishes of the club, but the loss of Arfield on a free transfer does leave a bit of a gap on the left side of midfield.

On the plus side, the addition of Matej Vydra is a welcome addition to the club's front-line. The Czech international scored 22 goals in 44 games for Derby last season and Dyche will hope that the hit-man can light up the Premier League.

Still, with most of the teams around Burnley strengthening in big numbers, the question is, will this be enough?

Transfer Rating: 4/10 –The loss of Arfield and could hurt Burnley, and it will be banking on Hart finding his best form. Still, Gibson and Vydra are interesting acquisitions, so it could yet prove a case of quality over quantity. Looking at the movements of the teams around them, Burnley may be left behind.

CARDIFF CITY

PlayerAgePositionFrom / To
Josh Murphy23LWNorwich
Bobby Reid25AMBristol City
Alex Smithies28GKQPR
Greg Cunningham27LBPreston North End
Harry Arter28CMBournemouth
Víctor Camarasa24CMReal Betis
Matty Kennedy23RWSt Johnstone
Ben Wilson25GKBradford City
Omar Bogle26STBirmingham
Greg Halford33CB-

Second time lucky?

Cardiff City will be hoping its second attempt at Premier League survival goes a touch better than its first.

City finished the 2013-14 season dead last, spending the last four years in the Championship plotting a comeback, but Neil Warnock won't be arriving with any fireworks in terms of signings.

The club has outlaid almost £20million on 23-year-old winger Josh Murphy and attacking midfielder Bobby Reid.

Murphy enjoyed a decent Championship season, scoring nine goals and looks an interesting prospect, but surely nothing worth hanging your Premier League hopes on.

 Goalkeeper Alex Smithies has also joined the club from QPR.

Rather, it seems Warnock is hoping the squad which finished second in the Championship will prove good enough to survive another harsh Premier League season.

Deadline day loan singings Harry Arter (Bournemouth) and Victor Camarasa (Real Betis) add some much-needed quality and depth to the midfield.

Transfer Rating: 4/10 – Cardiff might boast a decent squad to start with, but the jump to the Premier League is a big one. Frankly, it does not look like the club has done enough to really boost its chances of Premier League survival in any significant way.

CHELSEA FC

PlayerAgePositionFrom / To
Kepa Arrizabalaga23GKAthletic
Jorginho26DMSSC Napoli
Robert Green38GKHuddersfield
Mateo Kovacic24CMReal Madrid
Thibaut Courtois26GKReal Madrid
Mario Pasalic23CMAtalanta
Matej Delac25GKAC Horsens

Sarrai salvages transfer disaster. 

Not for the first time in recent seasons, a Chelsea manager may be heading into a new Premier League season disappointed with their club's activity in the transfer market.

The late – but expected – departure of Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid will have undoubtedly unsettled the Chelsea squad, with the club forced into late action to sign Athletic goalkeeper Kepe Arrizabalaga. Kepe arrives as a highly-rated goalkeeper, but it is unlikely he is quite the finished article Courtois has looked over the last 12 months.

The arrival of former England goalkeeper Robert Green seems more about satisfying squad home-grown quotas than actually competing for the number one berth. 

To his credit, new Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has not complained anywhere near as much as his predecessors Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho. The former Napoli boss perhaps feels it will be his tactical direction and vision for the squad already at Stamford Bridge which will be the more telling variant in deciding the club's fortunes this season.

Even without a flurry of activity, the club has significantly strengthened its midfield with the arrival of Jorginho, who follows Sarri from Napoli and will almost undoubtedly prove himself one of the best midfielders in the Premier League this season.

Madrid's Mateo Kovacic also arrives on loan from Madrid after a strong World Cup with Croatia.

Perhaps the biggest win has been keeping hold of Eden Hazard, despite strong interest from Madrid.

Oh, and Chelsea also have an army of players returning from loan, including Michy Batsuyashi and Marco van Ginkel.

Transfer Rating:  6.5/10 – It's been a tough summer for Chelsea in the market with rumours that Roman Abramovic may be tightening the purse strings. Hazard and Willian have been retained (for now) but the departure of Courtois is a blow. However, the midfield additions of Jorginho and Kovacic means Chelsea now boasts world-class depth in the middle of the park and is one of few teams in the league capable of going blow for blow with Manchester City's own sparkling midfield.

CRYSTAL PALACE

PlayerAgePositionFrom / To
Cheikhou Kouyaté28CMWest Ham
Vicente Guaita31GKGetafe CF
Max Meyer22AMFC Schalke 04
Jordan Ayew26STSwansea
Damien Delaney36CBCork City
Yohan Cabaye32CMAl-Nasr
Cheong-young Lee29RW-
Diego Cavalieri35GK-
Bakary Sako30LW-

Better things to come.

It was a minor miracle that Crystal Palace avoided the drop last season after a disastrous start to the year.

Roy Hodgson did a remarkable job turning his team's fortunes around and he will hope his limited additions make his job that little bit easier this time around.

So far, he has managed to keep hold of Wilfried Zaha, who will remain integral to Palace's chances of improving its fortunes this season, while the addition of Cheikhou Kouyate adds plenty of steel and Premier League experience to the midfield.

The acquisition of Max Meyer on a free transfer could prove a masterstroke by Hodgson too. At just 22 years of age, Meyer already has four Germany caps to his name and has made almost 200 Bundesliga appearances.

The club has said goodbye to Yohan Cabaye and Damien Delaney, while Bakary Sako has also departed. All have been solid players for Palace, but will not be massive losses to the first-team moving forward.

Transfer Rating: 7/10– Holding onto Zaha, for now at least, is a great result for Crystal Palace. The midfield duo of Koyate and Meyer adds fantastic steel and creation in the middle of the park and make for great improvement in that area of the park.

EVERTON

PlayerAgePositionFrom / To
Richarlison21LWWatford
Yerry Mina23CBFC Barcelona
Lucas Digne25LBFC Barcelona
André Gomes25CMFC Barcelona
Bernard25LWShakhtar 
Davy Klaassen25AMWerder Bremen
Ramiro Funes Mori27CBVillareal
Henry Onyekuru21LWGalatasaray
Kevin Mirallas30RWFiorentina
Joel Robles28GKReal Betis
Conor Grant23CMPlymouth
Wayne Rooney32STDC United

Big fees, big quality?

The frugal spending of the David Moyes era seems a long time ago for Everton. These days, the club isn't afraid to splash the cash.

The appointment of Marco Silva is perhaps the most important signing the club made in the off-season and will hope the new man in charge can unlock the talent within the Everton dressing room.

In the transfer market, the club has focussed on quality over quantity and will hope that 21-year-old Brazilian winger Richarlison continues to develop with the potential he showed at Watford.

Lucas Digne also looks a shrewd acquisition from Barcelona as the club looks for a firm succession plan for Leighton Baines.

Deadline day was a busy one at Goodison Park too, with Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes joining team-mate Digne at Everton. Mina enjoyed a great World Cup for Colombia, but is still relatively raw, while Gomes' quality and versatility will make for a great addition to the club's depth.

The Wayne Rooney return never hit the height many hoped for and he has been allowed to leave to pursue a career in the MLS with DC United, while Kevin Mirallas leaves on loan. Davy Klaassen and Ramiro Funes Mori failed to impress at Goodison and have also been allowed to leave.

Transfer Rating:  8/10 – A general clean out and several fine additions gives new manager Silva a much neater squad to work with. The late additions of Mina and Gomes are genuine coups for Everton and if Richarlison can take his game to a new level, it will make for a great window for the Blues. 

FULHAM FC

PlayerAgePositionFrom / To
André Zambo Anguissa22DMMarseille
Jean Michaël Seri26CMNice
Aleksandar Mitrovic23STNewcastle
Alfie Mawson24CBSwansea
Joe Bryan24LBBristol City
Fabri30GKBeiktas
Maxime Le Marchand28CBNice
André Schürrle27LWBorussia Dortmunc
Sergio Rico24GKSevilla
Tim Fosu-Mensah20RBManchester United
Calum Chambers23CBArsenal
Luciano Vietto24STAtlético Madrid
David Button29GKBrighton
George Williams22AMForest Green
Ryan Fredericks25RBWest Ham
Tayo Edun20DMIpswich

Back with a bang!

Fulham FC will make its long-awaited return to the Premier League following a four-year absence from the top-flight.

Slavisa Jokanovic oversaw a thrilling campaign which eventually needed to go through the Championship play-offs for the Craven Cottage outfit to reclaim its Premier League status.

And he has wasted little time in strengthening his squad with no less than 12 players coming in.

Andre Schurrle, formerly of Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen, arrives on loan from Borussia Dortmund and should make for an exciting addition to the squad.

Aleksandar Mitrovic plundered 12 goals in 17 appearances last season and his loan from Newcastle was made permanent over the off-season, while the cash was splashed on signing midfielder Jean Seri from OGC Nice.

A dynamic box-to-box midfielder, Fulham will hope Seri will make a big impact in his debut season.

Seri will be joined in midfield by former Marseille enforcer Andre Zambo Anguissa, while Manchester United's versatile defender Tim Fosu-Mensah also joins on loan alongside Atletico Madrid striker Luciano Vietto.

The addition of Arsenal defender Calum Chambers on loan also looks a promising signing.

Transfer Rating:  8/10  – Transfers alone are rarely enough to keep assure Premier League safety but Fulham has added quality in good numbers and in good areas of the park. If nothing else, the Whites have given themselves a great platform to build from.

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN

PlayerAgePositionFrom / To
Terence Kongolo24CBMonaco
Adama Diakhaby22STMonaco
Ramadan Sobhi21LWStoke City
Florent Hadergjonaj23FBFC Ingolstadt
Juninho Bacuna20CMFC Groningen
Jonas Lössl29GKFSV Mainz 05
Erik Durm26RBBorussia Dortmund
Ben Hamer30GKLeicester
Isaac Mbenza23RWMontpelier
Tom Ince26RWStoke City
Robert Green38GKChelsea
Sean Scannell27RWBradford City
Jack Payne23AMBradford City
Jordy Hiwula23STCoventry City
Tareiq Holmes-Dennis22LBBristol Rovers
Joel Coleman22GKShrewsbury
Dean Whitehead36CMRetired

Wholesale changes

Huddersfield Town avoided the drop by seven points last season but that hasn't stopped manager David Wagner from embarking on widespread changes.

The club welcomes no less than eight new players ahead of the new season. Thankfully, none of the additions would suggest that Socceroo superstar Aaron Mooy's position at the club is under threat.

Rather, the biggest addition – both figuratively and literally – comes in defence with the arrival of Terence Kongolo from French giants Monaco.

Kongolo arrived on loan last season and his move has now been made permanent after an impressive stint at the club at the back end of last season.

Attacker Adama Diakhaby also joins from Monaco, while Ramadan Sobhi and Florent Hadergjonaj have both joined, the latter having also spent the back end of last season on loan at Huddersfield from FC Ingolstadt.

Transfer Rating: 8/10 – Huddersfield has equipped itself well for another season in the Premier League and Wagner can be proud of the calibre of player and depth in numbers he been able to bring in.


Categories: Analysis | News | Premier League

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