EPL transfers, part 2: Leicester to Wolverhampton
All the ins and outs of transfer deadline day. In Part 2, we look at Leicester to Wolverhampton10 August 2018 | Matthew Galea
Continuing our look at the INS and OUTS of this year's Premier League, part 2 looks at Leicester to Wolverhampton.
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.
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.
As with part 1, players in regular font are transfers IN, while players in italics are transfers OUT.
|Ricard Pereira||24||RB||FC Porto|
|Caglar Söyüncü||22||CB||SC Freiburg|
|Filip Benkovic||21||CB||Dinamo Zagreb|
|Jonny Evans||30||CB||West Brom|
|Riyad Mahrez||27||30||Manchester City|
|Harvey Barnes||20||LM||West Brom|
|George Thomas||21||RW||Scunthorpe United|
Defend in numbers!
Leicester City lost its biggest star in Riyad Mahrez and have used the money to stock up its defensive stocks.
Claude Puel might have been concerned about the interest in Harry Maguire heading into transfer deadline day, but he managed to keep his star defender as well as adding no fewer than three centre-backs, including former Manchester United man Jonny Evans.
He was complemented by Filip Benkovic from Dinamo Zagreb and Caglar Soyuncu from SC Freiburg ensuring plenty of defensive cover this season.
Rachid Ghezzal arrives from Monaco and will be tasked with replacing Mahrez on the flanks. Like Mahrez, Ghezzal hails from Algeria and has enjoyed a solid career in France. He signed from Monaco having scored two goals and assisting a further three last season.
Transfer Rating: 6/10 – The defensive reinforcements border on excessive, and the loss of Mahrez means it was always going to be a tough window for Leicester. Their business is somewhat unconvincing overall, but they do boast considerable depth at the back as a result.
|Naby Keïta||23||CM||RB Leipzig|
|Zherdan Shaqiri||26||RW||Stoke City|
|Jordan Williams||22||DM||Rochdale AFC|
|Ben Woodburn||18||LW||Sheffield United|
Reds go big.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has long bemoaned the spending of his Premier League rivals, but this season it is the German who has set the tone in the market.
To be fair, Klopp had to spend big if he has to have any hope of knocking off Manchester City this season.
And while Liverpool has spent big, it has spent on quality and on areas that it desperately needed to strengthen.
The signing of Alisson finally addresses the long-running goalkeeping issue at Anfield since the departure of Pepe Reina, while Naby Keita and Fabinho are two excellent additions to the team's midfield and more than cover the loss of Emre Can to Juventus.
Xherdan Shaqiri will struggle to compete with Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah for starting berths in the wide attacking areas, but he does provide a viable option to the first-teamers which will his manager some much needed rotational options.
Transfer Rating: 9/10 – Klopp will cop stick for spending money he claimed he never would at Liverpool, but no one can deny that he's spent on great players in areas his team needed the extra quality in. The goal of any transfer window is to improve your squad and Klopp has achieved that with flying colours
|Philippe Sandler||21||CB||PEC Zwolle|
|Daniel Arzani||19||LW||Melbourne City|
|Olarenwaju Kayode||25||ST||Shakhtar D.|
|Pablo Marí||24||CB||Deportivo La Coruña|
|Luka Ilic||19||AM||NAC Breda|
|Erik Palmer-Brown||21||CB||NAC Breda|
|Anthony Cáceres||25||CM||Melbourne City|
Consolidation the name of the game.
When you win the Premier League by 19 points, you probably do not need to do too much to stay ahead of the pack.
Pep Guardiola spent massive amounts of money ahead of the 2017-18 season, but with a team already in his model and already streets ahead of the competition, it makes sense that this summer was about consolidation rather than revolution.
Given all the distractions which come with a World Cup-affected pre-season, this is a massive advantage for Guardiola and City.
Still, the arrival of Riyad Mahrez is a fantastic addition to a squad already bursting at the seams with quality and adds another attacking outlet to the club's already embarrassing riches of talent.
Oh, and City signed a certain Daniel Arzani too. He'll be playing in the Scottish Premier League with Celtic.
Transfer Rating: 9/10 – Less is definitely more for Manchester City this season and with no major losses and still managing to bring in a player as good as Mahrez, this has been another successful summer for Guardiola.
|Diogo Dalot||19||RB||FC Porto|
|Lee Grant||35||GK||Stoke City|
|Daley Blind||28||LB||AFC Ajax|
|Sam Johnstone||25||GK||West Brom|
|Cameron Borthwick-Jackson||21||LB||Scunthorpe United|
|Axel Tuanzebe||20||CB||Aston Villa|
|Joel Pereira||22||GK||Vitória Setúbal|
Miserable Mourinho misses out on transfer action.
Having supposedly given the Manchester United board a list of targets at the end of last season, manager Jose Mourinho will be disappointed to see just one senior first-teamer added to his squad.
The deal for Brazilian midfielder Fred was done quite early in the window, and the Brazil international adds much-needed depth to the United midfield, but otherwise, it's slim picking for United.
However, if Fred can help get the best out of Paul Pogba, his addition will be a crucial one to United's chances this season.
Of course, whether or not the club can retain Pogba's services remains to be seen. The window may be closed for United in terms of purchases, but Pogba could still be lured to the exit door by the right offer.
Anthony Martial is another who remains with the club but faces an uncertain future as his own relationship with Mourinho continues to strain.
Still, the defence has not been reinforced, other than the addition of teen right-back Diogo Dalot – who has missed the pre-season with an injury anyway – and the club is still extremely short on strikers with Romelu Lukaku the only recognised out-and-out centre-forward at the club.
Transfer Rating: 3/10 – Despite a second-place finish last season, United were miles off the pace set by cross-town rivals Manchester City last season. Its failure to address severe issues with squad depth makes a Premier League challenge a big ask. Instead, United will rely on Mourinho finding new levels of consistency from those already at the club to bridge the gap.
|Yoshinori Muto||26||ST||FSV Mainz 05|
|Fabian Schär||26||CB||Deportivo La Coruña|
|Martin Dubravka||29||GK||Sparta Praha|
|José Salomón Rondón||28||ST||West Brom|
|Mikel Merino||22||DM||Real Sociedad|
|Chancel Mbemba||23||CB||FC Porto|
|Jack Colback||28||DM||Nottingham Forest|
|Dwight Gayle||27||ST||West Brom|
Off-field dramas disrupt Benitez.
Poor Rafa Benitez really wants to make a fist of it St. James Park (I refuse to call it by its sponsored name).
However, the usual off-field drama surrounding owner Mike Ashley means Benitez is only ever really allowed to do just enough to keep the Toon around the mid-table mark.
Within those constraints, Benitez has still made some interesting signings.
Salomon Rondon will look to make a big impact on loan from relegated West Bromwich Albion.
Rondon scored 10 goals in a troubled season for West Brom last year and Benitez will hope that in a team that creates more chances he will flourish once again.
Japanese striker Yoshinori Muto scored 10 goals for Mainz in the Bundesliga last season, while Sung-yong Ki is a quality free transfer having seen out his contract with Swansea City.
Transfer Rating: 7/10 – All things considered, this has been a solid window for Newcastle. Benitez has improved his team but will be frustrated that his ambitions are not matched by the club's ownership.
|Jannik Vestergaard||25||CB||Borussia M'gladbach|
|Mohamed Elyounoussi||23||LW||FC Basel|
|Angus Gunn||22||GK||Manchester City|
|Dusan Tadic||29||AM||AFC Ajax|
|Florin Gardos||29||CB||CS U Craiova|
|Sofiane Boufal||24||AM||Celta de Vigo|
|Guido Carrillo||27||ST||CD Leganés|
Will Southhampton's eye for talent impress again?
Southampton has a long track record of going under the radar to find fantastic Premier League talent and it may have achieved just that over the off-season.
Jannik Vestergaard has been a consistent performer in the Bundesliga for Monchengladbach over the last two seasons, having played for Hoffenheim and Werder Bremen before that.
With over 200 Bundesliga appearances to his name, the experienced campaigner will relish his chance in the Premier League and could prove a great signing for the Saints.
Mohamed Elyounoussi is the other player who looks an interesting signing. The left winger is just 24-years-old and scored 22 goals in 66 games for Swiss giants Basel. Prior to that, he registered 30 goals in 70 league games for Norwegian giants Molde over a two-year spell.
At the modern-day bargain price of £16 million, “Moi” could prove one of the Premier League's most exciting additions.
The only real downside to another interesting off-season for the Saints is the loss Dusan Tadic.
Transfer Rating: 6/10 – Losing Tadic is undoubtedly a blow, but there are some interesting Ins for the Saints. Still, it's hard to say how much the overall balance of the squad has improved. File Southampton's additions under “Wait and See”.
As you were!
Has Tottenham's notoriously hard bargaining come back to bite them?
Tottenham is the first club to fail to bring in a single player in the transfer window since transfer windows came into play.
Spurs already boast a very good team, if one lacking in depth, but there is no doubting that some serious reinforcements were needed if Tottenham were going to step up and make a proper title challenge.
On the plus side, Tottenham has managed to hold onto its star players despite plenty of interest from elsewhere. Harry Kane, Dele Ali, Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld were all linked with big-money moves elsewhere (mostly to Manchester United) yet all remain.
Transfer Rating: 2/10 – Credit for keeping the team together, but with their direct competitors all strengthening in one way or another, Tottenham risk falling behind.
|Gerard Deulofeu||24||RW||FC Barcelona|
|Ben Wilmot||18||CB||Stevenage FC|
|Domingos Quina||18||CM||West Ham|
|Ben Foster||35||GK||West Brom|
|Mauro Zárate||31||ST||Boca Juniors|
|Dodi Lukebakio||20||RW||F. Düsseldorf|
|Costel Pantilimon||31||GK||Nottingham Forest|
Deulofeu signs permanently.
After an impressive loan spell, Watford secured the services of Barcelona's Gerard Deulofeu on a permanent basis in a massive coup for Watford.
Premier League mainstay goalkeeper Ben Foster aside, Watford manager Javi Garcia has opted for youth, with the Spaniard bringing in a number of youngsters from the continent.
Left-back Adam Massina arrives from Bologna, while Marc Navaro will fit in at right-back having signed from Espanyol.
The loss of Richarlison will be a big blow and it will remain to be seen if the players who have been bought in are able to perform in the Premier League.
Transfer Rating: 6/10 – Losing Richarlison is less than ideal, but a good fee and the signing of Deulofeu help to soften the blow. A lot of unproven talent comes in, and a lot will depend on how well manager Garcia sets into life at Vicarage Road ahead of his first full season at the club.
WEST HAM UNITED
|Andriy Yarmolenko||28||RW||Borussia Dortmund|
|Cheikhou Kouyaté||28||DM||Crystal Palace|
|Reece Burke||21||CB||Hull City|
|Sead Haksabanovic||19||LW||Málaga CF|
Pellegrini flexes financial muscle at West Ham.
Manuel Pellegrini became accustomed to big budgets as Manchester City and Real Madrid manager, and it would seem he has been given similar financial freedom at West Ham United.
Pellegrini has used every bit of his European football expertise to bring a diverse array of talent to London Stadium.
West Ham remains a club seemingly struggling for an identity since leaving the famous Boleyn but, on paper, the team looks exciting ahead of a new season.
Felipe Anderson has been a fantastic player for Lazio in recent seasons, while Andriy Yarmolenko comes highly rated from Borussia Dortmund. The deadline-day signing of Arsenal striker Lucas Perez is just the cherry on top.
With Cheikhou Kouyate the only notable departure, alongside Patrice Evra and James Collins, the further additions of defenders Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena ensures West Ham are well stocked for the new season.
Transfer Rating: 8/10 – Pellegrini is an accomplished manager and a coup for West Ham, and the Chilean has had no trouble attracting some very talented and experienced players to the project at London Stadium. We've seen this before from West Ham, with big names not always equalling good results, but it would be hard to argue that West Ham's squad is not significantly stronger now than it was at the end of last season.
|Diogo Jota||21||LW||Atlético Madrid|
|Willy Boly||27||CB||FC Porto|
|Rui Patrício||30||GK||Sporting CP|
|Jonny Castro||24||LB||Atlético Madrid|
|Jon Flatt||23||GK||Scunthorpe United|
Predictably busy summer for Wolves.
While some described Wolverhampton Wolves' Championship winning season as a 'fairy tale', the 99-point haul was more the product of a super agent's vast network as opposed to any footballing miracle.
Jorge Mendes – agent to the likes of Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo – has strong ties to the club and the Portuguese revolution will roll on in the Premier League this season.
Highly promising Portuguese left-back Diogo Jota arrived from Atletico Madrid, while Portugal international Joao Moutinho also signed from Monaco, joining the likes of Helder Costa and Ruben Neves, who both had outstanding seasons in the Championship last season.
The club also plucked Willy Boly, Raul Jiminez and Rui Patricio from Portuguese giants Porto, Benfica and Sporting CP.
An extraordinary window for any club coming up from the Championship, but no less than should have been expected for Wolves.
Transfer Rating: 8/10 – A predictably good window for the Wolves, but will still be a big task to bring it all together week in, week out in the Premier League. Expectation will be high on manager Nuno Espirito Santo.
premier league, epl, transfer deadline day