Ranked! Every Premier League club rated by their summer transfer business

Naby Keita

Have your club pulled off a series of transfer masterstrokes or spent all summer sitting on their wallet? Huw Davies ranks the business done by each club, from the worst to the Prem's top recruiters

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All fees are reported and approximate, etc. We don’t hate your club – or at least, we hate all equally.

20. Tottenham


OUT: Keanan Bennetts (£2m), Anton Walkes (£200,000)

You know, Daniel, you should really stop doing this.

Levy did what Levy does, engaging in brinkmanship to ensure the best deal for his club. That’s the theory, anyway. Last season, Tottenham’s first summer signing arrived only a week before the transfer deadline; this season, he never arrived at all. Rumours of a £150m war chest were rightly greeted with scepticism, but even so… nothing?

While the Levy lols flooded Twitter, some focusing on the irony that the Spurs chairman voted for the earlier transfer deadline, the joke is ultimately on the club’s fans. Ticket prices rose for Tottenham’s move to their still-uncompleted new stadium, some by as much as 50%, yet the supposedly ring-fenced budget for transfers hasn’t been ring-fenced at all. The team needed strengthening and new contracts are not new signings, whatever Mauricio Pochettino says.

19. Manchester United

IN: Fred (£52m), Diogo Dalot (£19.3m), Lee Grant (£1.5m)

OUT: Daley Blind (£14.1m), Sam Johnstone (£6.5m), Joel Pereira, Dean Henderson, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Axel Tuanzebe, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Matty Willock (all loan), Joe Riley (released), Michael Carrick (retired)

Given their own manager’s feelings on the coverage of his club, we feel it necessary to declare that it was never our intention to put Manchester United this low in our rankings. They were mid-table until recently, the assumption being that, after a solid start, two more defenders would arrive. Or one. But a really good one. Right?

Nope. Despite Jose Mourinho saying a fortnight ago: “I would like two more players; I think it’s possible I’m going to have one,” in a not-so-subtle prod to his boss, Ed Woodward didn’t manage even that and returned empty-handed.

Mourinho’s belittling of his own players, most notably Luke Shaw, affords him limited sympathy, and he shouldn’t be allowed to forget that he has bought two £30m centre-backs already. Nonetheless, it seems extraordinary that United will enter the 2018/19 season with Alex Ferguson’s old wingers as their first-choice full-backs. Oh well. There’s always Lee Grant.

18. Burnley

IN: Ben Gibson (£15m), Matej Vydra (£11m), Joe Hart (£3.5m)

OUT: Scott Arfield, Dean Marney, Chris Long (all released)

Burnley were slow to add to their squad, and the upshot of that hesitancy was almost a premature end to their long-awaited European campaign. The Clarets released two useful squad players in Scott Arfield, who started 15 Premier League games last term, and Dean Marney, yet didn’t bring in anyone until the final few days of the window. By that point, a tiny squad had been dragged into extra time by Aberdeen, while their fans feared Burnley’s Europa League adventure might end in A) tears, B) early August, and C) Scotland.

Burnley got there in the end, in the match and the market. However, giving yesterday’s man, Joe Hart, a two-year contract is incredibly short-sighted: Tom Heaton returns soon and Nick Pope later in the year, whereupon Hart will be an expensive – and noisy – third-choice goalkeeper.

Meanwhile, Matej Vydra’s transfer raises questions, not answers. He can’t replace Chris Wood or Sam Vokes as the lone striker in a direct team, and is Sean Dyche, having shifted with such success from 4-4-2 to 4-4-1-1, prepared to play Vydra as a No.10 in place of the hard-working Jeff Hendrick? It’s not certain where the Czech will fit in. On a happier note, record signing Ben Gibson is a very shrewd addition in defence.

17. Watford

IN: Gerard Deulofeu (£11.5m), Adam Masina (£3.5m), Ben Foster (£2.5m), Ken Sema (£2m), Marc Navarro (£1.8m), Ben Wilmot (£1.5m), Domingos Quina (£1m)

OUT: Richarlison (£40m), Nordin Amrabat (£7.5m), Mauro Zarate (£2m), Costel Pantilimon (£1.1m), Jerome Sinclair, Tommie Hoban, Dodi Lukebakio, Daniel Bachmann, Alex Jakubiak (all loan), Brandon Mason (released)

Hmm. There are positives: Marc Navarro is a bargain at that price, they’ve taken a lot of low-risk punts and it’s hard to argue with a profit of nearly £30m. Perhaps they could’ve used that windfall to acquire some goals, however.

Buying 35-year-old Ben Foster to displace 37-year-old Heurelho Gomes in nets also seems insufficient, unless Javi Gracia plans to throw teenage Sweden international Pontus Dahlberg straight in. None of this screams ‘confidence’ from Watford.

£40m (rising to £50m) for Richarlison, though…

16. Everton

IN: Richarlison (£40m), Yerry Mina (£27.2m), Lucas Digne (£18m), Andre Gomes (loan), Bernard (free)

OUT: Davy Klaassen (£12m), Ramiro Funes Mori (£8m), Henry Onyekeru (loan – £700,000 loan fee), Ashley Williams, Shani Tarashaj, Luke Garbutt, Antonee Robinson, Callum Connolly (all loan), Wayne Rooney, Joel Robles, Jose Baxter, David Henen (all released)

Everton needed an injection of pace and they’ve got it in Richarlison, Bernard (one of those transfers where life imitates Football Manager) and the earlier acquisition of Theo Walcott.

However, they also needed a striker, a midfielder and a pair of centre-backs, and it took a late scramble to find two of those four players. The inconsistent Yerry Mina shot up in value thanks to his set-piece goals at the World Cup, but at 23 he could still be an asset; the question is whether he, Michael Keane, Phil Jagielka and Mason Holgate represent four reliable centre-back options.

The striker didn’t materialise, even though Everton disentangled themselves from Wayne Rooney’s wage asphyxiation and found a buyer for Davy Klaassen, clawing back half of the fee they paid for the Dutchman a year ago. Fans should be excited by the new arrivals, if they ignore the nagging sense that Everton think they’re best mates with Barcelona, while Barcelona see them as the geeky new kid with deep pockets.

INTERVIEW Richarlison: “On the day that the guy pointed the gun at my head, he thought I was a drug dealer”