This week, due to the International’s, I will review each team’s activities over the summer, and whether they have gone forwards or backwards. But first, congratulations to Germany, Italy and Spain for reaching the Euro 2012 finals. Now, onto the review (Thanks to BBC Sport for all the transfers):
Players in: Carl Jenkinson (Charlton, £1m*), Gervinho (Lille, £10.7m*), Alex
Oxlade-Chamberlain (Southampton, initial £12million), Joel Campbell(Deportivo Saprissa, undisclosed), Park Chu-young (Monaco, £3m-5m*), Andre Santos (Fenerbahce, £6.2m*), Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen, £8m*), Yossi Benayoun (Chelsea, season loan), Mikel Arteta (Everton, £10million).
Players out: Gael Clichy (Manchester City, £7m*), Denilson (Sao Paulo, season loan), Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (Ipswich, £1.5m-£2m*), Kyle Bartley (Rangers, season loan), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona, £35m*), Emmanuel Eboue (Galatasaray, £3m*), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad, season loan), Samir Nasri (Manchester City, £25m*), Armand Traore (QPR, undisclosed), Joel Campbell (Lorient, season loan), Gilles Sunu (Lorient, undisclosed), Henri Lansbury (West Ham, season loan), Nicklas Bendtner (Sunderland, season loan).
Review: In all fairness, Arsenal have had probably the busiest and most strenuous transfer window, losing key players at poor times, and having to make a mad dash to put together a squad on the last day. Fabregas, Nasri and, in a way, Clichy are big losses, but there were no tears for Traore, Eboue or Bendtner. With Arteta joining the ranks, they may regain some creativity in midfield, boosted with the loaning of Benayoun also a decent addition to the squad. However, with Mertesacker bringing height and experience but the potential to be out-paced by Heskey, and Alex Santos, from what I have seen, being a very poor man’s left-footed Dani Alves, Arsenal are still worse off than they began the season.
Forwards or Backwards: Backwards, unfortunately.
Players in: Shay Given (Manchester City, £3.5m*), Charles N’Zogbia (Wigan, £9.5m*), Alan Hutton (Tottenham, undisclosed), Jermaine Jenas (Tottenham, season loan).
Players out: Nigel Reo-Coker (Bolton, free), John Carew (West Ham, free), Robert Pires, Moustapha Salifou, Isaiah Osbourne (all released), Brad Friedel (Tottenham, free), Ashley Young (Manchester United, £16m*), Stewart Downing (Liverpool, £20m*), Luke Young (QPR, undisclosed), Jean Makoun (Olympiacos, season loan).
Review: Villa have been quite shrewd in the market this summer, but have also lost quite a lot. Shay Given at almost £4m is an absolute steal, Hutton and Jenas are both solid players and N’Zogbia can be a terrific player. All this aside, they have lost the likes of Young and Downing, but they haven’t seemed to be too much of a loss, more like big gains to the sides they have joined.
Forwards or Backwards: Stayed relatively in the same position, maybe slightly backwards.
Players in: David Goodwillie (Dundee United, £2.8m*), Radosav Petrovic (Partizan Belgrade, undisclosed), Simon Vukcevic (Sporting Lisbon, undisclosed), Scott Dann (Birmingham, undisclosed), Yakubu (Everton, undisclosed), Jordan Slew (Sheffield United, £1m)
Players out: Phil Jones (Manchester United, £17m*), Frank Fielding (Derby, £300,000), Jason Brown, Zurab Khizanishvili, Maceo Rigters (all released), Benjani Mwaruwari(Portsmouth, free), Keith Andrews (Ipswich, loan), Nikola Kalinic (Dnipro, undisclosed), Brett Emerton (Sydney FC, free).
Review: Blackburn have made a poor start to the season, and bringing in players is what they needed and what they have done. Scott Dann, chased by Arsenal and Liverpool, is a great piece of business, and would be a superb partner to Samba at the back. Vukcevic, if his head is in the game, can be a great playmaker, Petrovic is a decent midfielder and Yakubu has scored goals wherever he goes. If Goodwillie gets regular starts too, they may steer clear of relegation. Jones is still a huge loss, as is Kalinic, but the Croation was never given the chance to shine.
Forwards or Backwards: Forwards, but barely.
Players in: Darren Pratley (Swansea, free), Nigel Reo-Coker (Aston Villa, free), Chris Eagles and Tyrone Mears (Burnley, joint £3m*), Tuncay Sanli (Wolfsburg, season loan), Dedryck Boyata (Manchester City, loan), Gael Kakuta (Chelsea, loan until January), David Ngog (Liverpool, £4m*).
Players out: Joey O’Brien (West Ham, free), Johan Elmander, Jlloyd Samuel, Tamir Cohen (all released), Ali Al-Habsi (Wigan, £4m*), Matt Taylor (West Ham, £2.2m*), Danny Ward (Huddersfield, £1m*).
Review: Bolton are slowly becoming the tester side for future Premier League stars, but that’s a tag I’m sure they will not mind holding. The signings of Pratley, Reo-Coker, Eagles, Tuncay and Ngog could all be very good, and they were all reasonably priced, so on that note Bolton have done well. Boyata looks like a future centre back star, and a potential softner to the almost certain departure of Cahill in January, and we will see if Kakuta was really worth all that hassle a couple of years ago, but it’s no water off Bolton’s back. In the departures, the only one really of note is Elmander, but Klasnic has already got off to a decent start, and he’s almost already been forgotten.
Forwards or Backwards: Forwards.
Players in: Thibaut Courtois (Genk, £7.9m*), Oriol Romeu (Barcelona, £4.35m*), Romelu Lukaku (Anderlecht, undisclosed), Juan Mata (Valencia, undisclosed), Ulises Davila (Chivas Guadalajara, undisclosed), Raul Meireles (Liverpool, £12m*).
Players out: Michael Mancienne (Hamburg, £3m*), Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid, loan), Gokhan Tore (Hamburg, undisclosed), Jeffrey Bruma (Hamburg, season loan), Jack Cork (Southampton, £750,000*), Fabio Borini (Parma, free), Yury Zhirkov (Anzhi Makhachkala, £13.2m*), Slobodan Rajkovic (Hamburg, undisclosed), Ulises Davila (Vitesse Arnham, season loan), Patrick van Aanholt (Wigan, season loan), Gael Kakuta (Bolton, loan), Yossi Benayoun (Arsenal, season loan).
Review: After chasin Modric all summer, they had to settle on deadline day for Raul Meireles. A good player in his own right, but not a huge step in quality that Chelsea look like they really need to challenge with full authority at the title this season. Mata is a superb signing, who will finally give Chelsea more genuine width, Lukaku will be a star for the future, as will Courtois. People were begging Chelsea to bring in some youth, and half of the players they did purchase have gone out on loan. All this might just have been preparing for next season, which is much more of a dissapointment.
Forwards or Backwards: Inched forwards, but not enough.
Players in: Denis Stracqualursi (Tigre, season loan), Royston Drenthe
(Real Madrid, season loan).
Players out: James Vaughan (Norwich, undisclosed), Iain Turner (released), Shane Duffy (Scunthorpe, loan), Mikel Arteta (Arsenal, £10million), Jermaine
Beckford (Leicester, rising to £4million), Yakubu (Blackburn, undisclosed).
Review: After almost no movement all summer, Everton were attracting flies on deadline day. Arteta, Beckford and Yakubu all left, leaving them with only one striker in Saha. Most fans will say rather Arteta than Fellaini or Cahill or Baines, but it’s still a huge loss in the end. Stracqualursi is a big risk, but if he provides it’ll be a terrific find, and Drenthe is a good winger, but is that enough for a European challenge? I think Everton would rather stick with mid table, rather than have their thin squad into Europe.
Forwards or Backwards: Backwards, no doubt about it.
Players in: Csaba Somogyi (unattached), John Arne Riise (Roma, undisclosed),
Marcel Gecov (Slovan Liberec, undisclosed), Pajtim Kasami (Palermo,
undisclosed), Zdenek Grygera (Juventus, free), Orlando Sa (Porto, free), Bryan Ruiz (FC
Players out: Kagisho Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace, £600,000*), Diomansy Kamara (Eskisehirspor, free), Jonathan Greening (Nottingham Forest, undisclosed), John Pantsil
(Leicester, free), Zoltan Gera (West Brom, free), David Stockdale (Ipswich, season
loan), Keanu Marsh-Brown (Dundee United, loan).
Review: It’s almost as if Fulham saved up all their pennies over the summer to pay for one big markee signing, and they really pulled it out of the bag. Bryan Ruiz is a terrific player, a brilliant addition to the Fulham squad, and could be that type of player to push them into that next level. Riise is a great addition also, a very adept and experienced left back, and Kasami is one for the future. Link this to not a key player leaving, and Fulham have had a good summer, with the real possibilty of pushing forward.
Forwards or Backwards: By quite a while, forwards.
Players in: Jordan Henderson (Sunderland, £16m*), Charlie Adam (Blackpool, £8.5 million), Alexander Doni (Roma, free), Stewart Downing (Aston Villa, £20m*), Jose
Enrique (Newcastle, £6m*), Sebastian Coates (Nacional, undisclosed), Villyan Bijev (California Odyssey, undisclosed), Craig Bellamy (Manchester City, undisclosed).
Players out: Paul Konchesky (Leicester, £1.5m*), Peter Gulacsi (Hull, season loan), Milan Jovanovic (Anderlecht, undisclosed), Tom Ince (Blackpool, undisclosed), Daniel Ayala (Norwich, £800,000*), Sotirios Kyrgiakos (Wolfsburg, undisclosed), Daniel Pacheco (Atletico Madrid, season loan), Alberto Aquilani (AC Milan, season loan), Emiliano Insua
(Sporting Lisbon, undisclosed), Joe Cole (Lille, loan), Christian Poulsen (Evian, undisclosed), Villyan Bijev (Fortuna Dusseldorf, loan), David Ngog (Bolton, undisclosed), Raul Meireles (Chelsea, £12m*).
Review: This summer, Liverpool spent big, spent British and spent well. Downing, Henderson and Adam have all got off to great starts for the reds, and although they all came with hefty price tags, Dalglish’s side are yet to lose and are beggining to gel. In Jose Enrique they finally have a left back, and in Sebastian Coates they have a young centre back who could be a future star. The only loss of not is Meireles, but it’s not as bigger blow as it may have been last year, and the rest of the outgoings were deadweight.
Forwards or Backwards: Not walking, but running forwards.
Players in: Gael Clichy (Arsenal, £7m*), Stefan Savic (Partizan Belgrade, £6m*), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid, £38million*), Costel Pantilimon (Timisoara, undisclosed), Samir Nasri (Arsenal, £25m*), Owen Hargreaves (unattached).
Players out: Patrick Vieira (retired), Javier Garrido (released), Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich, undisclosed), Ben Mee (Burnley, season loan), Shay Given (Aston Villa, £3.5m), Jo (Internacional, undisclosed), Kieran Trippier (Burnley, season loan), Michael Johnson (Leicester, season loan), Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham, season loan),Dedryck Boyata (Bolton, loan), Roque Santa Cruz (Real Betis, season loan), Vladimir Weiss (Espanyol, season loan), John Guidetti (Feyenoord, season loan), Ahmed Benali
(Rochdale, season loan), Shaun Wright-Phillips (QPR, undisclosed), Craig Bellamy
Review: As usual, City have spent big on quality player, but it finally looks like they will be title contenders. Aguero, even though he is the most expensive player of this window in England, he has become already a goalscoring machine, a tricky opponent and is disposing the need for Carlos Tevez. Nasri is a terrific addition, Clichy should be more likely good cover for Kolarov and Savic will become a good defender. They also managed to come up with the biggest surprise of the window, signing former United player Owen Hargreaves, and if he can keep fit would be another magnificent addition to a deep squad pool. They have got rid of any extra baggage, and look to have shifted up an extra gear, worryingly for any potential title contenders.
Forwards or Backwards: One big step forwards.
Players in: Phil Jones (Blackburn, £17 million), Ashley Young (Aston Villa, £16m*), David de Gea (Atletico Madrid, £17.8m*).
Players out: Edwin van der Sar (retired), Paul Scholes (retired), Owen Hargreaves (released), Bebe (Besiktas, season loan), Ritchie de Laet (Norwich, season loan), Nicky Ajose (Peterborough, undisclosed), Wes Brown (Sunderland, £1m*), John O’Shea (Sunderland, £5m*), Corry Evans (Hull, loan), Gabriel Obertan (Newcastle, undisclosed), Oliver Norwood (Scunthorpe, loan).
Review: The champions did their business early and quickly, bringing in De Gea, Jones and Young. Young has been superb, both for United and England, and looks well worth the money, as does Jones who has slotted in well with Vidic’s absence. De Gea has at times struggled, but has also got time on his side, and has shown at times his outstanding shot stopping ability. And with Cleverley and Welbeck returning like two extra signings, United have softened the blow of the retiring Scholes and Van Der Sar. They almost look stronger.
Forwards or Backwards: Worryingly for others, forwards.
Players in: Yohan Cabaye (Lille, £4.3m*), Demba Ba (West Ham, free), Sylvain Marveaux (Rennes, free), Mehdi Abeid (Lens, undisclosed), Gabriel Obertan
(Manchester United, undisclosed), Davide Santon (Inter Milan, undisclosed), Rob Elliott
Players out: Sol Campbell, Shefki Kuqi (both released), Kevin Nolan (West Ham, £4m*), Kazenga LuaLua (Brighton, loan), Wayne Routledge (Swansea, undisclosed), Jose Enrique
(Newcastle, £6m*), Joey Barton (QPR, free).
Review: With the loss of Barton, Nolan and Enrique, some may say Newcastle have gone backwards. Sure, they were all good players for the magpies, but they seem to have done more bad than good before they were shown the exit. In came Cabaye, Marveaux, Obertan and Santon, who more than soften the blow. Cabaye could be a magnificent piece of business, as could Marveaux and Santon, and Obertan will feel much more at home with regular football at St James Park. And if Ba can start firing, they may be more than pleased to see the back of players such as Barton.
Forwards or Backwards: Surprisingly, forwards.
Players in: James Vaughan (Everton, £2m*), Steve Morison (Millwall, £2.8m*), Elliott Bennett (Brighton, £2m*), Ritchie de Laet (Manchester United, season loan), Bradley Johnson (Leeds, free), Anthony Pilkington (Huddersfield, £2m*), Kyle Naughton (Tottenham, season loan), Daniel Ayala (Liverpool, £800,000).
Players out: Luke Daley (Plymouth, free), Stephen Hughes (released), Cody McDonald
(Coventry, undisclosed), Anthony McNamee (MK Dons, free).
Review: Norwich did the majority of their dealings early, and the signs are showing that it might not be quite enough. De Laet looks big but error prone, Johnson looks much more like a Championship player, and Vaughan will not score 10 goals a season. However, there are bright lights in Bennett and Pilkington, Naughton looks to be quite decent, but they aren’t quite enough to keep them up.
Forwards or Backwards: From last season, forwards, but not enough for this league.
Players in: Jay Bothroyd (Cardiff, free), Kieron Dyer (unattached), Danny Gabbidon (unattached), Bruno Perone (unattached), DJ Campbell (Blackpool, £1.2m*),
Brian Murphy (unattached), Joey Barton (Newcastle, free), Luke Young (Aston
Villa, undisclosed), Armand Traore (Arsenal, undisclosed), Tommaso Trani (unattached), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City, undisclosed) Anton Ferdinand (Sunderland, undisclosed)
Players out: Mikele Leigertwood (Reading, undisclosed), Angelo Balanta (MK Dons, five-month loan), Kaspars Gorkss (Reading, undisclosed), Antonio German(released).
Review: QPR were, eventually, the most active team in the transfer market, and they pulled in masses of players. Wright-Phillips is a great buy for the club, with pace and great width, he might be a great assett, as could potentially Joey Barton. Luke Young, Armand Traore and Anton Ferdinand add more bodies and steel to the back line, as do DJ Cambell and Jay Bothroyd to the attack. They really brought in quality at the end of the window, enough to potentially keep them in the league.
Forwards or Backwards: In the end, forwards.
Players in: Jonathan Woodgate (unattached), Matthew Upson (unattached), Wilson Palacios (Tottenham, £6m*), Cameron Jerome (Birmingham, undisclosed), Peter Crouch (Tottenham, £12m).
Players out: Abdoulaye Faye (West Ham, free), Eidur Gudjohnsen (released), Ibrahima Sonko (Ipswich, free), Carl Dickinson (Watford, undisclosed), Andrew Davies (Crystal Palace, loan)
Review: Tony Pulis has really pulled the rabbit out of a hat at Stoke. When they hadn’t spent a penny all summer, bringing in Upson and Woodgate, people thought that was it. Then, on deadline day, he secured the signatures of Peter Crouch, Wilson Palacios and Cameron Jerome, in what many have seen as quite a coup. They have real options going forward, a real quality midfielder, and an already packed and solid defense. With no real loss of note, Stoke are going to be difficult to face this season, even in Europe.
Forwards or Backwards: Forwards.
Players in: Ahmed Elmohamady (ENPPI, £2m*), Kieren Westwood (Coventry, free), Sebastian Larsson (Birmingham, free), Conor Wickham (Ipswich, £8million), Ji Dong-won (Chunnam Dragons, £2.1m*), Craig Gardner (Birmingham, £6m*), Wes Brown (Manchester United, £1m*), John O’Shea (Manchester United, £5m*), David Vaughan (unattached), James McClean (Derry City, £350,000), Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal, season loan).
Players out: Jordan Henderson (Liverpool, £16m*), Boudewijn Zenden (released), Cristian Riveros (Kayserispor, season loan), David Healy (Rangers, free), Steed Malbranque (St Etienne, undisclosed), George McCartney (West Ham, season loan).
Review: Sunderland have decided to re-shuffle this season, with plenty of players joining the club. Larsson, Vaughan and Gardner and all good buys, especially the first two on free’s, O’Shea and Brown will bring experience to the defence, and the trio of Wickham, Dong and Bendtner hopefully bringing goals. Sunderland have been poor in the first few games, but they do now have the squad to build on permormances and be a much better side. Losing Henderson was a dissapointment, but they have brought in plenty to compensate.
Forwards or Backwards: On paper, forwards, but potential to go backwards.
Players in: Danny Graham (Watford, £3.5million), Steven Caulker (Tottenham, season loan), Jose Moreira (Benfica, £750,000*), Leroy Lita (Middlesbrough, £1.75m), Wayne Routledge (Newcastle, undisclosed), Michael Vorm (FC Utrecht, £1.5m), Gerhard Tremmel (free), Fede Bessone (Leeds, free), Darnel Situ (Lens, initial £250,000).
Players out: Darren Pratley (Bolton, free), Dorus de Vries (Wolves, free) Gorka
Pintado, Cedric van der Gun, Albert Serran (all released), Ryan Harley (Brighton, undisclosed).
Review: Swansea needed to find extra players to strengthen their squad, and they have tried their best to bring bodies in. Championship top scorer Danny Graham could be a great buy when he scores his first goal and gains confidence, Routledge is another decent player and competition for Sinclair and Dyer, and Michael Vorm looks a steal already for £1.5m. However, the loss of Pratley is a big one, and with Tate out for a while and Monk only just returning, they haven’t brought in enough decent defensive cover, which may worry Swan fans.
Forwards or Backwards: Stayed in neutral.
Players in: Brad Friedel (Aston Villa, free), Cristian Ceballos (unattached), Emmanuel
Adebayor (Manchester City, season loan), Yago Falque (Juventus, season loan), Soleymane Coulibaly (Siena, undisclosed), Scott Parker (West Ham, undisclosed).
Players out: Jonathan Woodgate (released), Jamie O’Hara (Wolves, £5million), Robbie Keane(LA Galaxy, £3.5million), Steven Caulker (Swansea, season loan), Paul-Jose M’Poku (Standard Liege, undisclosed), Kyle Naughton (Norwich, season loan), Bongani Khumalo (Reading, season loan), Ryan Mason (Doncaster, season loan), David Bentley
(West Ham, season loan), Callum Tapping (Hearts, nominal), Wilson Palacios
(Stoke, £6m*), Alan Hutton (Aston Villa, undisclosed), Jermaine Jenas (Aston Villa, season loan), Peter Crouch (Stoke, £12m).
Review: This summer, Harry Redknapp seemed more determined to get the wage bill down more than anything, other than keeping Modric on the books. He managed to do both, while at the same time adding Friedel and Parker to an already good side. It will bring that more experience to the squad, but they need Modric to feel at home again, as that is really the big gain this summer. The losses of Crouch and Keane have left the front line bare, an area they should have stregthened the most, and losing out on Cahill has also left the defence looking a little weak also.
Forwards or Backwards: On everything, most likely backwards.
West Bromwich Albion
Players in: Gareth McAuley (Ipswich, free), Billy Jones (Preston, free), Ben Foster (Birmingham, season loan), Zoltan Gera (unattached), Marton Fulop (Ipswich, free), Shane Long (Reading, undisclosed).
Players out: Abdoulaye Meite (Dijon, free), Giles Barnes, Dean Kiely (both released), Borja Valero (Villarreal, undisclosed) Scott Carson (Bursaspor, £2m*), Gianni
Zuiverloon (Real Mallorca, free), Boaz Myhill (Birmingham, season loan), Chris Wood (Birmingham, loan), Ishmael Miller (Nottingham Forest, £1.2m), James Hurst
(Blackpool, season loan), Marek Cech (Trabzonspor, undisclosed), Pablo Ibanez
Review: There wasn’t too much business this season from the Baggies, but what they have done has been significant. Long already has two goals agains Man United and Chelsea, which looks like a great purchase, and getting Ben Foster on loan to replace the error prone Scott Carson was probably the best decision Roy Hodgson has made. Althought Valero has left, unsurprisingly to Villareal, West Brom look a much better outfit than last season, and could be a mainstay in the Premier League.
Forwards or Backwards: Luckily, forwards.
Players in: Ali Al-Habsi (Bolton, £4m*), David Jones (unattached), Nouha Dicko (unattached), Albert Crusat (Almeria, undisclosed), Shaun Maloney
(Celtic, £1m*), Patrick van Aanholt (Chelsea, season loan).
Players out: Steven Caldwell, Daniel de Ridder, Jason Koumas, Mike Pollitt (all released), Antonio Amaya (Real Betis, undisclosed), Charles N’Zogbia (Aston Villa, £9.5m*), Mauro Boselli (Estudiantes, loan)
Review: Wigan have lost a lot more than they gained this window. As may be obvious, getting Al-Habsi on a permanent deal is the best business they did this summer, and that says a lot. Maloney is a decent player, but may not replace the giant shoes of N’Zogbia or Cleverley. Van Aanholt is a good loan signing, but they clearly haven’t done enough to stay in the league.
Forwards or Backwards: Backwards, probably more than anyone.
Players in: Dorus de Vries (Swansea, free), Jamie O’Hara (Tottenham, £5m), Roger Johnson (Birmingham,
Players out: Marcus Hahnemann, David Jones (both released), Steven Mouyokolo (Sochaux, season loan), Andy Keogh (Leeds, loan), Greg Halford (Portsmouth, undisclosed), Carl Ikeme (Middlesbrough, loan), Stefan Maierhofer (Red Bull Salzburg, undisclosed).
Review: Even though they haven’t brought in many players, Wolves this season look like a different team. Part of it can come down to Roger Johnson, who has given them something extra at the back, and is a real leader in the side, something they really needed. Jamie O’Hara was impressive on loan, and signing him on a permanant deal was a great piece of business, and settling for him now knowing where his future lies. Only shifting deadweight out of the club, McCarthy may lead this club into mid table mediocrity, but I’m sure the Wolves fans will be more than pleased with that.
Forwards or Backwards: Forwards, to the delight of the fans.
And that’s it for this week, subscribe and comment, and join me again for a more traditional review of the games in the Premier League next week.