Open and shut: How the 'Big 5' did in the transfer window
- Big hopes in: Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsburg) £52m, Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) £49m, Nicolas Otamendi (Valencia) £32m, Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) £8m
- Big names out: James Milner (Liverpool) free, Stevan Jovetic (Inter Milan) loan, Edin Dzeko (AS Roma) loan.
- Net spend: £101.9m
When it comes to financial clout, not even Roman Abramovich’s billions can compare with the wealth at the disposal of City owner and United Arab Emirates deputy prime minister Sheikh Mansour. So yet again when it comes to spending, City remain the starting centre in this All-Star five of EPL giants, to use a little basketball parlance.
Eyebrows were certainly raised when Sterling arrived in a deal that will ultimately cost around £50 million. That is extraordinary money for a 20-year-old that had scored 18 goals in 95 EPL appearances with Liverpool prior to his shift 56 kilometres or so east to Manchester. Work permit issues have prevented Otamendi from making his debut, while as expected, Delph is struggling for playing time early on.
Still, City have impressed all and sundry by strolling to the top of the Premier League with the only unblemished record – and that was before they signed Wolfsburg standout De Bruyne. The sky is seemingly the limit once again for Manuel Pellegrini’s Sky Blues.
Transfer rating: A
Predicted finish: Champions. Oh the benefits of hindsight… some were predicting a fall from grace for City this season. But a couple of shrewd, albeit exorbitantly priced, transfers have them sitting pretty and now title favourites with the bookmakers.