Football | Transfer Window Review Part 2

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Time’s running out folks. This year we won’t see Harry Redknapp leaning out of a car window – at least not representing a Premier League team – or Peter Odemwingie doing donuts round a mid-table, big spending club’s car park, but we will see – as we always do – late deals, drama, the window slamming shut, Jim White claiming “That’s it, ladies and gentleman, the window is shut!”, only to wake up the next morning to see another five or six deals have been completed.

So, with a month or less – depending on when you’re reading this – until not a single penny can be spent by a Premier League club – for a few months at least – we look at the other ten that we didn’t preview in Part 1 to take a look at the good, bad and ugly of their window so far and where they still lack quality…

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LIVERPOOL

The Window So Far…
It’s been a case of more hot air coming out of Anfield rather than a plethora of players going in through the doors. Jurgen Klopp acquired Dominic Solanke from Chelsea for a compensation fee, and the only notable name joining has been Andrew Robertson from Hull City, which could now mean James Milner returns to his more usual central midfield role.

Work To Be Done?...
There’s been murmurings all summer of Virgil van Dijk joining the club from Southampton and centre half is a position that looks particularly week for Liverpool. That deal may or may not happen, but one that looks unlikely is Naby Keita from RB Leipzig, with the German side he won’t be sold for any price. There’s still a lot of dross in the Liverpool squad and one of them in Alberto Moreno, may well leave. There’s also talk of Barcelona being in for Phil Coutinho, as happens every summer window, but we think any more for that Brazilian will depend on another certain Brazilian’s move from the Nou Camp to Paris SG happening.

Prediction?...
6th – It’ll be impressive if the players don’t burn out with Klopp’s kick and rush style of football, particularly with the extra European games. Will the German use the tactic sparingly? We doubt it and that’s why we fancy them to finish outside the top four. Come March they’ll be knackered and we know what Liverpool are like when it comes to home games against your Burnleys, Stokes and Swanseas. Hold on, of course they won’t finish outside the top four or even the top one – this year is definitely their year, remember.


MANCHESTER CITY 

The Window So Far…
It’s been a busy last few months for Pep Guardiola, who’s sorted out a problematic area of the team in the full back positions. Danilo and Kyle Walker will fight it out at right back, whilst on the other side, Benjamin Mendy has arrived from Monaco. It’s yet to be seen if Guardiola will bring in another centre back, but for us, that’s still a concern. Up top they look strong and there is talk that one of either Kylian Mbappe or Alexis Sanchez could be coming in, too.

Work To Be Done?...
Only another centre back. If Vincent Kompany gets injured then Pep will be left with John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi as a back pairing. Eliaquim Mangala has somehow been linked with a move to Juventus, but we saw the last time he was in the Premier League that he wasn’t good enough. Fellow Frenchman Samir Nasri could also be shifted out – the former Arsenal man has been linked with Roma.

Prediction?...
1st – Pep won’t be able to get away with any excuse to not win a big trophy this season. He simply cannot afford to slip up again. Another barren year? We don’t think so after the money that’s been spent.


MANCHESTER UNITED

The Window So Far…
It’s been pretty busy at United who have strengthened a front line that was pretty toothless last term with the capture of Romelu Lukaku from Everton. Also coming in, Victor Lindelof from Benfica early in the window and it’s looking likely that Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic will be linking up with old boss Jose Mourinho once again come the end of this week.

Work To Be Done?...
It’s difficult to say. Jose loves splashing the cash and the full back options don’t look terrific for him, but pretty safe in Antonio Valencia and Daley Blind. We’re probably more likely to see outgoings than incomings, with the likes of Chris Smalling linked to West Brom and Marouane Fellaini to Galatasaray. We’ll have to wait and see.

Prediction?...
3rd
– Better than last term, but it remains to be seen if Jose will let the shackles off this time around. He appeared to hold his team back at times last season.


NEWCASTLE UNITED

The Window So Far…
Fresh from promotion from the Championship, it’s actually been a pretty quiet summer for the Toon, which, with their history of always having something go completely wrong, isn’t bad at all. Rafa’s spent money on young winger Jacob Murphy from Norwich City, Mikel Merino on loan from Borussia Dortmund and Javier Manquillo from Atletico Madrid.

Work To Be Done?...
Bearing in mind they just about scraped the title, it’s surprising that an experienced boss like Benitez hasn’t gone all out to get hardened Premier League players who have that knowledge of the division. He’ll surely be aiming to bring one of two more in, whilst the likes of Karl Darlow could be moved on. Adrian from West Ham has been linked with a move to the north-east and that would be a very decent capture.

Prediction?....
10th - They have enough about them to survive and with Rafa at the helm, a man who’s known for being tactically astute, the Toon could flirt with a top half finish – a great first campaign back in the top flight, if so.


SOUTHAMPTON

The Window So Far…
Quiet, which is very surprising for Southampton, especially with the record of big names exiting the Hampshire club – normally to Liverpool – in the last few years. A move to Merseyside, however, could still be on the cards for Virgil van Dijk, who could follow the same path as Cuco Martina to the north-west, albeit joining the other side across Stanley Park. Jan Bednarek has signed from Lech Poznan, whilst the massive news will be that Stuart Taylor signed a new deal this summer. Let’s be honest, anybody could do Stuart Taylor’s job – paid for getting one of the best seats in the house at a variety of different clubs in the last two decades, pretty much.

Work To Be Done?...
They have some cash to spend from the sale of Jay Rodriguez to West Brom, and with the van Dijk situation still ongoing, it may be wise for new boss Mauricio Pellegrino to bring in another centre back early doors, rather than leaving it too late if his star Dutch defender does depart.

Prediction?...
9th – Not quite as good as last term but Pellegrino will be hoping to play a more expansive game than last season’s boss Claude Puel. A top half finish will result in another good campaign for the Saints.


STOKE CITY

The Window So Far…
There has been a lot of anger doing the rounds in the Potteries after a pretty dismal last couple of months for Stoke, with only the likes of Darren Fletcher and Josh Tymon coming in, both on frees. Marko Arnautovic has moved to West Ham for £24m, whilst John Walters and Phil Bardsley have both switched to Burnley. Mark Hughes has around £28m to spend on players in the next month.

Work To Be Done?...
The issue with Hughes, rather than Stoke, is that he gets stale after spending too long at a club and it seems to be edging towards that stage now. He needs to go out and spend and also sort out the situation with Giannelli Imbulu, who has really fallen out of favour under Hughes. They do lack that deadly striker and Peter Crouch isn’t getting any younger.

Prediction?...
19th – This may be a controversial choice, but without a Sunderland type in the division next term, who could almost guarantee a spot in the bottom three, Stoke could well struggle. Time for Hughes to act.


SWANSEA CITY

The Window So Far…
As things stand, the Swans have managed to keep hold of Gylfi Sigurdsson, but things could change within the next month. They’ve had a pretty quiet summer so far with Tammy Abraham and Roque Mesa the only notable names coming into south Wales.

Work To Be Done?...
A lot depends on the Sigurdsson situation. That’ll have to be resolved ASAP so Paul Clement can go about finding a suitable replacement. A £50m bid is reportedly being lined up by Everton for the Icelandic playmaker and you’d expect Clement to go out and spend at least half of that to bolster the squad and ensure another relegation battle isn’t on the cards.

Prediction?...
16th – They experienced what it was like in a relegation battle last term and will have gained a lot of belief that they can do the same again this time around. They should have enough about them but a lot does depend on Sigurdsson going and making sure they spend the funds well enough. Fernando Llorente should get 10-15 goals next term, too.


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 

The Window So Far…
The only Premier League side not to spend a penny is Spurs. They’ve lost Kyle Walker to Manchester City after selling the England right back for £50m and look as if they’ll go with Kieran Trippier at full back. They’ll need reinforcements for sure. They are in the Champions League again and don’t have the strength in depth really needed to challenge on all fronts.

Work To Be Done?...
Absolutely. There are still whispers that Moussa Sissoko could depart the club before the deadline and if so, bewilderingly they’ll probably get around £20m for him. Spurs will need two or three more bodies to boost the squad and also to freshen things up a little as there hasn’t been too many incomings in the last 18 months or so.

Prediction?...
5th – Playing in a stadium where they don’t have the best of records, a squad which will be playing regular football again, we fancy Spurs to just miss out on the top four this season.


WATFORD

The Window So Far…
As usual, Watford spent a part of the summer unveiling another new manager, just as they do every summer. Marco Silva’s come in at Vicarage Road and has brought in the likes of Will Hughes and Nathaniel Chalobah, who both played for England U21s in the summer.

Work To Be Done?...
We think so. The Hornets weren’t great last season under Walter Mazzarri and although you think things will surely get better for them, the quality they have added to the squad is pretty basic. There’s still talk Troy Deeney could be off and then appear to lack a bit of mobility up front too, which may be an issue for Silva. It remains to be seen what sort of budget he has to play with too, bearing in mind nobody notable has been sold to generate funds.

Prediction?...
19th - They were dicing with death at times last season and we think their stay in the Premier League won’t last beyond this campaign.


WEST BROMWICH ALBION

The Window So Far…
They haven’t spent too much this summer in truth, with Jay Rodriguez the only real signing of note for £12m from Southampton. If the striker can stay fit and get back to the form that got him into England contention then that price looks a great one for Tony Pulis. He’s a good striker on his day but he’s been hampered with numerous injuries over the last couple of years. Ahmed Hegazy has also arrived on loan but let’s be honest, nobody knows if he’s a great player or absolutely awful.

Work To Be Done?...
It’s difficult to say what West Brom want to do this season. They’ll survive – after all, that’s what Pulis is, a survivor. They had a great campaign last term but we think they’ll just fall short of reaching that same positioning this time about. Will they be in danger? No chance.

Prediction?...
12th – They’ve loads of experience, are solid across the park and have a goal threat in Solomon Rondon as well. Absolutely no chance of the Baggies being in a relegation scrap.


WEST HAM UNITED

The Window So Far…
The Hammers have had a brilliant window so far, boosting their squad with the signing of Joe Hart on loan from Manchester City, Marko Arnautovic from Stoke and the excellent acquisition of Javier Hernandez for £16m from Bayer Leverkusen, which is pretty much signing of the summer. The Mexican knows where the net is and has a brilliant goalscoring record from his last stint in England with Manchester United. Pablo Zabaleta has also joined from Man City, making it three of the four big captures being former winners of the Premier League.

Work To Be Done?...
Possibly. Slaven Bilic will surely be looking for another striker considering Andy Carroll’s injury record. Adrian could well be off, which means a backup goalkeeper will also be needed, whilst they’ve also been linked with Burnley’s Andre Gray and Balde Keita from Lazio too.

Prediction?...
8th – No excuses now they’ll be heading into their second season in the London Stadium. The summer signings will all play their part and are all better than the players they had in those positions, too. It seems the owners trust Bilic to take them to the next level with their summer backing. Exciting times to be a Hammer, surely?


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