Ranked! Every Premier League club's summer transfer business
It’s been a relative low-key summer for Southampton, which makes for a change after the mass exoduses of previous years. The Van Dijk saga attracted plenty of attention after months of the Dutchman being linked with Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, but Saints ultimately stood their ground and refused to sell a player who signed a new five-year contract in May.
Wesley Hoedt was earmarked as Van Dijk’s successor after a £15m switch from Lazio but could now partner him at the back, with Jan Bednarek another new addition to the defensive unit. Former Juventus man Mario Lemina looks like a terrific signing in the engine room, but Saints probably could have done with a dash more creativity in attacking areas.
Despite a raft of new signings, there’s an argument that Everton aren’t actually that much stronger this season following the departure of Romelu Lukaku.
In fairness to the Toffees, they were never going to source a like-for-like replacement for the Belgian and will instead aim to supplant his goals collectively. Sandro Ramirez, Croatian youngster Nikola Vlasic, Wayne Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson will be at the heart of that effort, with Michael Keane and Jordan Pickford tasked with aiding Everton’s defensive efforts at the other end and Davy Klaassen offering another option in midfield.
Overall, the Merseysiders probably haven’t done enough to challenge for the Champions League places this year, but they may well jostle for sixth due to Arsenal’s ongoing struggles.
6. Manchester City
Even Sheikh Mansour’s deep pockets will feel a little lighter after City’s £220m spending spree. The full-back issue has been resolved with the additions of Kyle Walker, Danilo and Benjamin Mendy. Behind the defence, Ederson can’t possibly be as disastrous as Claudio Bravo was last term.
Bernardo Silva provides yet more invention further forward, but City probably could have done with an upgrade at centre-back and a younger, steelier presence at the base of midfield. Only time will tell whether defensive shortcomings will come back to bite them once again, but Pep Guardiola at least managed to solve his side’s two biggest problems.
While many of their Premier League rivals were frantically dashing down the aisles on deadline day, Huddersfield had their feet up. David Wagner completed the bulk of his business in early July, which gave the squad time to gel and the newcomers a chance to learn his methods long before the competitive action began. It’s therefore no coincidence they’ve started the season so impressively.
Striker Steve Mounie, wideman Tom Ince and centre-back Zanka have already made an impression, but perhaps the Terriers’ most significant signing was that of midfield conductor Aaron Mooy – now a permanent employee following a successful loan spell in West Yorkshire last term.