Surprisingly, Chelsea have not brought in as many new faces as we are accustomed to seeing them do. Falcao who famously flopped on loan at Man U has been brought in on loan from Monaco to add the striking force while Asmir Begovic was brought in from Stoke City to be the number two goalie.
Out went Didier Drogba who was released expected. Gael Kakuta was sold to Sevilla, Petr Cech was sold to London and title rivals Arsenal and Josh McEachran to Brentford. Christian Atsu once again goes out on loan, this time to Bournemouth as does Mario Pasalic to Monaco, Marco van Ginkel to Stoke City, Tomas Kalas to Middlesbrough, Andreas Christensen to Borussia Monchengladbach and both Lewis Baker and Isaiah Brown to Vitesse Arnhem.
Swirling Rumors: There are rumors that Chelsea have launched a bid for Everton’s Josh Stones. Why anyone would want to come and sit on the Chelsea bench remains beyond me, but players who had first team football at their clubs do it over and over until their careers fade!
What We Think: Chelsea did not need to do much if anything to strengthen and they did next to nothing. Even with next to nothing done to strengthen, they are the defending champions for a very good reason and they still enter the season as favorites.
Never very active in the transfer market, the Gunners have stayed true to form this window so far. The big deal was the acquisition of Petr Check for a rumored £11 Million. There many who have branded this the signing of the season. We will see.
Unsurprisingly, the Gunners released Abou Diaby (sadly a long overdue action) and shipped Podolski to Galatasaray. Carl Jenkinson was sent out on loan to West Ham, Yaya Sanogo was sent on loan to Ajax for some much needed tutelage under a pair of Gunners legends Bergkamp and Overmars and Ainsley Maitland-Niles was sent on loan to Ipswich.
Swirling rumors: There have been persistent rumors that Arsenal are in for Benzema or Aubameyang and/or a DM. That they are about to complete a deal to send Mathieu Flamini to Galatasaray for rumoured £3 million. That they are close to sending Woczniech Schezzny to Roma on loan (as a first step am sure to a permanent exit).
What we think: For the first time since Jens Lehman, The Gunners have in Petr Cech, a goalie who can save points and add points. The entire team will be healthy to start the season for probably the first time in a decade. They still need a solid DM to share the load with Coquelin though. But notwithstanding, Arsenal should be able to challenge for the title this season.
Manchester City FC
They have a bottomless pit of money, do Man City, it looks like. They are always buying. They were not as prolific this go round but still, they added Raheem Sterling from Liverpool for a rumored £49 million. They brought in Patric Roberts from Fulham and rounded it out with Fabian Delph from Aston Villa. The logic of Delph’s move eludes me – from the player’s point of view at least – how does he expect to get playing time? Staying with the subject of Delph for a moment, a capped 26 old English player priced at £8 million? Something doesn’t smell right.
On the flip side, Man City shipped Scott Sinclair tp Aston Villa,
Dedryck Boyata to Celtic, James Milner switched to Liverpool on a free transfer as did John Guidetti to Celta Vigo and Jordy Hiwula moved to Huddersfield Town.
Swirling Rumors: We should probably be able to discount the Pogba rumors by now. So let’s.
What we think: Man City are a very talented and deep side. Raheem Sterling adds speed and guile to their attack, Fabian Delph adds depth. If Yaya Toure brings his game consistently (no Africa Cup of Nations this year to go away for) and Mangala fulfills his potential at the back, they will be a tough team to beat.
Manchester United FC
We knew Manchester United would spend. Their valuation is based on how well their stock performs on the stock exchange. The performance of their stock depends on how they perform on the field. Lately, they have been poor. They needed to get better fast and so they had to buy. They brought in Memphis Depay from PSV Eindhoven for a rumored £21 million, added Bastian Schweinsteiger from Bayern Munich for a rumored £14 million ( a bit steep for an almost 32 year old that will need some bedding in into the premier league, brought in Morgan Schneiderlin from Southampton and Matteo Darmian from Torino.
The biggest name to leave Manchester united was Robin van Persie (Robin van Judas to Arsenal fans) to Fenerbahce for the price of peanuts and a ham sandwich. In addition, they got rid of Falcao the loan flop from Monaco who went to Chelsea, Tom Cleverly left on a free transfer to Everton, they released Tom Thorpe, shipped Saidy Janko to Celtic, Angelo Henriquez to Dinamo Zagreb and sent Saidy Janko and Will Keane to Bolton Wanderers and Preston North End respectively.
Swirling Rumors: Real Madrid is rumored to be in for De Gea. Man U are rumored to be in for Ramos or Mueller, or Reus or Pedro depending on who is spreading the rumor.
What We Think: On paper, Man U should be good enough to challenge for the title. We think it might take a few weeks for the team to jell. If De Gea stays, there might be some issues with his state of mind. If he leaves, it creates a major vacuum. Top four at best.
Liverpool always seem to have a lot of activity without much change in their quality or performance (at least rarely for the better). Will this time be the exception? Not too sure. They paid a whopping £32.5 million to bring in Christian Benteke from Aston Villa. A good striker, yes, but we will have to see if his performance justifies that price. And as has been their recent want, they signed a Southampton player, Nathaniel Clyne. They brought in Roberto Firmino, the Brazilian forward from Hoffenheim for £21 million although his performance at Copa America must have dampened some of the excitement at Merseyside. A couple of the players they got on a free transfer might well turn out to be their best business of the summer – Danny Ings from Burnley and James Milner from Man City. They also added Adam Bogdan from Bolton Wanderers and Joe Gomez from Charlton Athletic.
Liverpool saw some big name leave this summer. Raheem Sterling joined Manchester City for a handsome £49 million. Steven Gerrard went to Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS on a free transfer. His time was up, it was time to move on. Glen Johnson moved to Stoke City (also on a free transfer), Sebastian Coates joined, Sunderland, Lloyd Jones went to Blackpool on loan as did Jordan Williams and Kevin Stewart to Swindon Town and Danny Ward to Aberdeen. Brad Jones was released.
Swirling Rumors: Surely they are done, are they not?
What we think: That is a lot of change and they were an unsettled team anyway. It will take some time to find the cohesion they need to be consistent. Even then, it is not clear that the talent they have brought in is good enough to break into the top four.
Thoughts? Did we miss some about your team’s transfers? Tell us in the comments.