As the summer transfer deadline day draws to a close, supporters can collectively take a deep breath.
Whether you are happy with your team’s signings, unhappy with the new additions, or upset with any favorite players leaving, the teams are set. These are the players you will have to support this upcoming season.
Or at least until January.
As the dust begins to settle, let us go back to the beginning of the madness and assess which three teams had the best summer transfer window in the English Premier League.
Chelsea’s near perfect window can be defined by the £50m departure of the “defender” David Luiz. Whether the PSG directors had money literally burning a hole in their pocket, or whether they wanted the opportunity to ask Luiz what sort of product he uses in his hair remains unclear.
Chelsea was able to wrap up two big name signings early in the window, securing Spanish national team duo Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas.
Costa has already scored 4 goals in just 3 games. It seems Chelsea has found their man to lead the line and get the goals, something that they were lacking last season.
Fabregas has had a similar successful start to the season, racking up 4 assists in just 3 games. He seems to be the perfect foil for the man mountain that is Nemanja Matic.
On top of that, they brought back club legend Didier Drogba. His on the pitch influence will mainly be coming from the bench, but he will be a great presence behind the scenes.
Last season Chelsea lacked cutting edge in attack and played largely defensively out of necessity. They knew early on that they needed players to come in and help out in attack, and so far have gotten great return on their investments.
With their efficiency in the market and the instant impact of their new signings, its very hard to look past Chelsea for the title.
Liverpool has easily had the most action this summer, headlined with the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona. Beside that, this summer’s transfers have the feeling that they had been planned months in advance.
The cash accrued with the Suarez sale and the new Champions League money meant that Liverpool had the luxury of not worrying too much about the price of players, and instead were able to focus on which players were the right ones to bring in.
The purchased players seem to fit into the team seamlessly thus far. Deals for Adam Lallana, Emre Can, and Rickie Lambert were completed early, as was the interest of Dejan Lovern and Alberto Moreno. Other arrivals were Javier Manquillo, Lazar Markovic, and Italian striker Mario Balotelli.
Liverpool needed to add depth this year and did so. Their bench now has top quality on it. After the Balotelli transfer, you can say that their first 11 was improved as well.
I say that with confidence because what a lot of people don’t realize is that Raheem Sterling didn’t hit form last season until about December. Before that, he was actually quite miserable. Having Sterling as one of the most exciting attacking players in the league all season will help soften the blow of losing Suarez.
Overall, Liverpool did exactly what they needed to do; they needed to strengthen their defense, and add quality players to the first 11 and the overall squad. They did just that.
Liverpool go from top 4 contenders to title contenders with their excellent business.
3. Manchester United:
United sneaks ahead of Arsenal in the top three, just because of the size of the names that were brought in.
I can’t see a team with Radamel Falcao, Angel Di Maria, Juan Mata, Robin Van Persie, and Wayne Rooney not making the top 4, regardless of what has happened so far this season.
Manchester United’s window really did not seem to have any rhyme or reason to it.
The most glaring holes in defense and midfield were adressed very late with the signing of Daley Blind. Blindwas probably United’s best transfer, despite the blockbuster signings of Falcao and Di Maria. He is the missing piece to their puzzle.
Blind, only 24 years of age, had a great World Cup, starting at left wingback for the Netherlands. Before that, he had an excellent season for Ajax where he won the Dutch Player of the year while playing defensive midfield.
The versatility of Blind makes him their best signing.
Now the hard part begins: How do you fit all of these top players into a formation? With only the Premier League and the FA cup to play, rotating won’t be an option.
It will be near impossible to fit all of those attacking options into the first 11, but the quality of players is there. Whether Van Gaal can work some magic and pick a winning formula remains to be seen.
With so many strong teams this year, just making good signings will not be enough to guarantee success. Fans will be eager to see how all these teams come together and where they will be come May.