Premier League 2018/19: Which top six club won the transfer window?
I composed an article a few weeks ago regarding which Premier League top six club was having the best transfer window.
The window ended on 9th August 2018, so there can be no other incomings or outgoings for any PL club. Players may leave for other countries, but cannot transfer between English teams. This marks a change from recent years, in which the window concluded after the season had started.
At that time, I deemed Liverpool's window to be the best, so it's time to see if I have revised my views since then. I had thought Liverpool made the highest profile signings, addressed key areas, and been the boldest of all clubs vying for the League and/or Champions League places.
A lot has happened for all of the clubs since then and we shall see how each has featured. Some clubs made some prominent deadline day signings, whilst others didn't. Even clubs outside the top six made some good signings like Yerry Mina to Everton.
Karius's errors cost Liverpool in the Champions League Final, and signing Alisson was a key measure in rectifying this. Moreover, Keita and Fabinho will add more pace, steel, and creativity in the midfield, and possessing this is key for any top team in the modern era. They also still have Salah, Firmino, and Mane, and Alexander-Arnold impressed a lot in the World Cup. Holistically, the team looks strong, and they have added very well to their existing line-up.
Akin to the prior article, I will come to a grading based on:
- Signing star factor
- Signing suitability (are key areas addressed)
- Will it help a team win trophies, or be better tactically
- Position relative to the other top six
The notion of "winning" a transfer window is silly, since it's not a trophy. But it's prime to see who will or won't prosper in the coming season.
Given how competitive the top six is, and the evident Champions League placements on offer, there is a lot of incentive to get the right players in. These clubs will be competing often for the same players, so it's key to get them in, and embed them as best as possible.
Will Liverpool have definitively "won" the transfer window? Let's see, shall we?
Tottenham Hotspur (6th)
RATING - 2/10
Despite the stadium debt, and a relatively settled side, Spurs fans and possibly Pochettino himself would be upset at not getting anybody.
What Tottenham need, possibly, is a real top-level signing. Somebody of genuine world-class stature, who can propel them from top four to league champions.
But this costs money, and that's something Spurs don't have at a premium, given current circumstances.
And their neighbours and "friends" Arsenal - whilst not strapped for cash in a major way - have bought reasonably, and not really big name players either.
United have signed Dalot, and Everton have signed several players who are not top-level, but affordable.
Tottenham, even with the stadium project, should have a ring-fenced transfer budget, and not to exercise this at all is negligent. Daniel Levy is pound for pound the best CEO/MD of any PL club. Considering Spurs' position when he and ENIC head Joe Lewis took over in 2001, vis a vis today, his input has been stark.
Nonetheless, Tottenham have a good team with some genuine world-class talent (namely Kane and Lloris), and numerous good players (Alli, Eriksen, Son, Dembele, etc.) A top-four place is not beyond them, but it's telling that they are not progressing. The stadium alone shouldn't hamper them.