Manchester City and Chelsea spent big on Jack Grealish and Romelu Lukaku, while Tottenham thwarted Harry Kane’s attempts to leave.
Here, the PA news agency looks at the key issues from the summer transfer window.
Is player power on the wane after Harry Kane failed to force through a move to Manchester City?
In a word, no. But Kane’s inability to twist Tottenham’s arm into letting him leave north London underscores the enduring value of a long-term contract, for both good and bad. Kane’s lengthy deal, signed three years ago and running until 2024, offered him security in the first instance, but has now allowed Spurs to deny him his big move.
How has the pandemic affected transfer spending?
He created more chances than any other player 💫— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) August 28, 2021
Among the Premier League’s elite, the impact of Covid-19 appears limited when it comes to new recruits. Chelsea broke their club record to bring in Romelu Lukaku for £98million and Manchester City set a new high British watermark with their £100million capture of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa. Arsenal’s willingness to shell out £50million on developing Brighton defender Ben White proved instructive on the Premier League’s enduring spending power.
Will Chelsea be happy with their transfer window business?
The Blues will be more than satisfied with pulling off their main summer target of a premium striker, with Lukaku arriving from Inter Milan and immediately hitting form. The loan capture of Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid adds important depth in defensive midfield too. Thomas Tuchel has been coy on his side’s title chances, but Chelsea can be genuine contenders.
What impact can Cristiano Ronaldo have on his Manchester United return?
🇵🇹🔴 𝗩𝗜𝗩𝗔 𝗥𝗢𝗡𝗔𝗟𝗗𝗢 🔴🇵🇹— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 31, 2021
The five-time Ballon D’Or winner can propel United back into a genuine title race. The 36-year-old might not be the flying winger of old, but 29 goals in 33 Serie A appearances last season tells its own story. United have pace to burn on the flanks, especially with Jadon Sancho’s arrival. Throw in Raphael Varane’s calming defensive influence, and the Red Devils should be right in the mix.
Which teams struggled in the window?
Everton were unable to offload a number of players needing fresh starts, most notably James Rodriguez, leaving Rafael Benitez’s hands fairly well tied. Watford brought in 11 and saw 15 leave amid a revolving Vicarage Road door, but the Hornets could be short on Premier League nous. Newcastle stumped up £25million for Joe Willock from Arsenal but an otherwise lean window could leave Steve Bruce’s Magpies in trouble.
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