Premier League winners and losers: Man United, Welbeck and more
Here is a special summer transfer window edition of Premier League winners and losers after a fascinating deadline day
Chelsea. Jose Mourinho’s side are top of the Premier League after three successive victories, and Chelsea were the clear winners in the summer transfer window, too. It was testament to the swiftness of their transfer dealings that the Sky Sports News reporter camped at Cobham could only offer news of fringe players leaving the club on loan on deadline day. Mourinho tackled his big issue from last season; the lack of a prolific striker. Diego Costa moved to the Blues in a £32m deal with minimum fuss in July. Former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas followed his compatriot to Stamford Bridge from La Liga, filling the void left by Frank Lampard. Mourinho kept Thibaut Courtois happy by picking Europe’s best goalkeeper as his number one despite his respect for long-serving Petr Cech. Filipe Luis gives Mourinho options at left-back should right-footed Cesar Azpilicueta come unstuck. When Fernando Torres sealed a move to AC Milan on Saturday, it appeared that despite their early business, Chelsea could be active on deadline day. But Loic Remy made the short move from Queens Park Rangers in an £8.5m deal after Arsenal and Liverpool toyed with the idea of signing Remy earlier this summer. Like their performance on the pitch so far this season, Chelsea were impressively slick in the transfer market.
Ronald Koeman and Southampton. Southampton were tipped as relegation candidates after a summer exodus. Brendan Rodgers sounded his Liverpool pipe and Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren made their merry way to Anfield. England international Luke Shaw completed a £27m move to Manchester United, whilst his fellow highly-rated defender Calum Chambers joined Arsenal in a £16m deal. In total, the Saints saw 11 players leave St Mary’s, raising an estimated £90m in transfer funds. New manager Koeman has spent wisely. Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster has usurped the mistake-prone Artur Boruc, and Ryan Bertrand is a ready-made replacement for Shaw. Shane Long is a mobile option up front, whilst Graziano Pelle and Dusan Tadic arrive with big reputations from the Eredivisie. It could well be disaster averted.
Danny Welbeck. It has become a Premier League tradition for Arsenal to sell their players to Manchester clubs over the past five or six years. So, it was a refreshing change to see Danny Welbeck complete a £16m switch to north London on transfer deadline day. Of course, some United supporters will scoff at the suggestion that Welbeck will be missed, other more shrewd fans will miss the industry and movement which the England international provided. After all, Angel di Maria is their only signing who adds real pace to Louis van Gaal’s side. Welbeck played out of position under Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes, and it will be interesting to see where Arsene Wenger plans to start Welbeck in his Arsenal side. Olivier Giroud’s broken leg means Welbeck could get his chance in a central role, if £35m signing Alexis Sanchez remains on the wing. Let’s not forget Wenger’s role in transforming Thierry Henry from an underperforming winger into Europe’s best striker. This move could prove the fresh start that Welbeck needs to develop as a player and maximise his potential.
Manchester United. The Red Devils were both winners and losers in the summer transfer window. Van Gaal has addressed two key positions that needed to be filled; left-back and centre-midfield. Marcos Rojo has also joined in a £16m deal from Sporting Lisbon, identified as a centre-half capable of playing in a back three. British record £59.7m signing Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao are the glamour, luxury signings. Di Maria adds pace and Falcao a goal threat but United remain unconvincing at the back. The Red Devils have enough firepower to outscore most Premier League opponents, but the top six will fancy their chances of inflicting damage against a confidence-sapped United rear guard. Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels isn’t a flair player, but he would have solved a big problem at the back. Juventus talisman Arturo Vidal would have brought guile to United’s midfield that Darren Fletcher has looked incapable of providing so far this season. With the United owners coughing up huge fees this summer, the Red Devils need a top-four finish to justify the splurge – and that remains a doubt.
Manchester City. Much like Chelsea, Manchester City flexed their financial muscle and wrapped up deals early in the summer transfer window. Murmurings of a move to sign Falcao came to nothing as the Colombia international completed a loan move to United. And surprisingly, City saw their attack options depleted after Alvaro Negredo join Valencia on loan. Los Che have made a commitment to sign the Spain international in a £25m deal next summer. Whilst Negredo failed to score in his last 16 games, the former Sevilla man did net 23 goals in his debut season in all competitions. The transfer fee is good value bearing in mind that Negredo is 29, but the concern is the injury history of Manuel Pellegrini’s remaining front men. Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic have all struggled with fitness issues in their respective City careers. It could become a talking point should injury ravage the Citizens’s ranks.
Fabio Borini. Harry Redknapp is traditionally one of the busiest managers on deadline day and Monday night proved no different. The Queens Park Rangers manager was at Loftus Road tying up deals to sign Niko Kranjcar and Sandro. However, Fabio Borini was the one that got away. The Hoops manager revealed that the Italy international could not agree personal terms – the west London side refused to meet the striker’s wage demands. Borini has been touted to Sunderland and other clubs this summer, but the 24-year-old remains at Anfield behind Daniel Sturridge, Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert. There will be games for Borini as Liverpool fight on four fronts this season, but at such an important stage of his career, the former Roma man needs regular first-team football. It appears, though, Borini has no regrets in this Instagram message that he posted on Tuesday.