Ranked! Every Premier League club's summer transfer business
16. West Ham
In isolation, Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez all have something to offer, but West Ham’s dealings this summer have once again been haphazard. It’s difficult to detect any sort of overarching plan when it comes to their recruitment, which is precisely why Robert Snodgrass, Havard Nordtveit, Ashley Fletcher and Sofiane Feghouli have already found new homes one season (or less in Snodgrass’s case) after pitching up in east London.
Hernandez will at least add goals and Hart is a better keeper than the outgoing Darren Randolph, but West Ham’s lack of on-field organisation and identity is at least partly a product of their scattergun approach to transfers.
To put a positive spin on things, Arsenal have signed an international striker and an international defender this summer, while also keeping hold of their two principal attacking stars. Yet this has been another dysfunctional window for a club that seems further than ever away from winning the Premier League.
Thomas Lemar was supposedly uninterested in a move to the Emirates, which forced Arsenal to keep hold of an unhappy Alexis Sanchez rather than shift him for a healthy sum of £70m. The Chilean and Mesut Ozil will almost certainly leave for nothing in 10 months’ time, while they’ll need to replace Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from within their own ranks having trousered £35m for the England man.
The Gunners ended up making a profit, but rather than a sign of health that’s just another indication of the club’s skewed priorities.
Eddie Howe’s record in the transfer market isn’t the best, with the likes of Andrew Surman, Charlie Daniels, Steve Cook, Simon Francis, Harry Arter and Marc Pugh – who all played for the Cherries in the Championship – still key members of his squad.
The wisdom of giving Jermain Defoe a three-year contract worth around £130k per week is questionable, even if the ex-Sunderland striker will score goals this term. Asmir Begovic is an upgrade on Artur Boruc in goal and defender Nathan Ake has a bright future ahead of him, but there’s still a feeling that Howe has something to prove when it comes to recruitment.
Sean Dyche has again demonstrated his preference for British and Irish players in recent months, bringing in Jon Walters, Charlie Taylor, Jack Cork, Phil Bardsley and Adam Legzdins, as well as New Zealand international Chris Wood and Bermudan striker Nahki Wells – two players who have been playing their trade on these shores for a combined 15 years.
The loss of Michael Keane and Andre Gray will be heavily felt, though, particularly as Burnley haven’t replaced the former with a new signing.
The Clarets’ seven new arrivals may lack stardust, but they should fit in well with Dyche’s approach at Turf Moor. Burnley will once again amount to more than the sum of their parts this season.