After remaining open for longer than usual due to the impact of COVID-19 on the current season, the Premier League’s transfer window is finally closed. And while there were a handful of big-money deals on deadline day, most of the Premier League’s clubs got their business done much earlier this time.
But which clubs did the best business during the window, and have come away from it looking much stronger than they went in? With over £1bn spent by the Premier League’s giants in the past few months, it’s an interesting question.
The following five clubs though stand out as doing the most impressive transfer business overall.
Despite being one of the few Premier League sides to splash out with big money on deadline day, signing Norwich City’s Ben Godfrey for a fee of £20m, Everton actually got most of their business done early on in the window.
A spell of four days in early September saw the Toffees bring in a trio of new midfielders, and all three have already made a major impact. The first to sign was Brazilian Allan, who moved to Goodison Park from Napoli for a fee of £21m. Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure was signed last, costing a cool £20m.
But it was the man who was signed on September 7th who has made the most impact. Everton’s signing of Colombian superstar James Rodriguez – on a free transfer nonetheless – represents one of the biggest coups in recent Premier League history.
Sure, Rodriguez struggled for playing time at Real Madrid during 2019-20 – making just 14 appearances overall. But the Colombian was the outstanding player in the 2014 World Cup and remains one of the world’s most talented midfielders.
And his influence has already begun to show. Everton have won all four of their Premier League games thus far into 2020-21, with Rodriguez playing a starring role, and Carlo Ancelotti’s men currently sit at the top of the table.
For how long they can sustain this run remains a question mark but for now, their transfer business in the recent window seems like brilliance.
#2 Aston Villa
When Aston Villa avoided relegation from the Premier League on the final day of the 2019-20 campaign, it was painfully clear that Dean Smith’s side needed an injection of talent. The Villans had spent over £100m on new signings during the summer of 2019, but with the backing of billionaire owners, they were more than willing to open the purse strings again.
The difference this time, however, is that Villa have focused on quality over quantity. Sure, they’ve spent big money on some unproven players - £28m on Ollie Watkins and £14m on Matty Cash, neither of whom had played in the Premier League before. But every one of their signings has made perfect sense.
Villa were short of goals last season, so they’ve signed Watkins, who netted 26 for Brentford in 2019-20. They needed a new right-back, a new goalkeeper and another winger, and so Cash, Emiliano Martinez, and Bertrand Traore have been purchased.
And most recently, Smith’s side have been able to bring in Chelsea playmaker Ross Barkley on a season-long loan deal in order to beef up their attacking options in midfield.
In a similar fashion to Everton, the results have been immediate. It took Villa three games in 2019-20 to register their first win. In the current campaign, however, they’ve won three out of three and in their most recent game, thumped reigning Premier League champions Liverpool 7-2.
Right now Villa sit in second position and have the best goal difference in the whole Premier League. Even if they don’t remain near the top, another relegation dogfight seems highly unlikely, and for the large part, they have their new signings to thank for it.