The summer transfer window has been absolutely bonkers and now it’s time to take stock of which Premier League clubs have done the best business.
That’s right, it’s time to dust off the old gradebook.
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Below we dish out a grade for every Premier League team based on their business this summer, as some teams have managed to navigate the ins and outs of the transfer market really well.
Others? Well, it has been a struggle for some but plenty of managers will be happy to have kept hold of their superstars (ahem, Harry Kane)… for now.
[ MORE: Full list of every PL deal this summer ]
With squads now set until January 1, all 20 Premier League teams have assembled their rosters and it’s going to be intriguing to see how they fare in the coming months.
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Premier League summer transfer window grades
What a really bizarre transfer window for the Gunners. You can see what Mikel Arteta and Edu are trying to do, but spending close to $200 million on new players is a huge investment and puts a lot of pressure on the young shoulders of Ben White, Martin Odegaard, Aaron Ramsdale and Albert Sambi Lokonga. Arsenal moved on a few big earners to balance the books but given their poor start to the season, this was a poor window. It seems like they just kept signing players that nobody else particularly wanted, and they paid big money to do so. Let’s see how this experiment goes…
Aston Villa: B+
After losing star man and club captain Jack Grealish for $137 million to Manchester City over a release clause they never thought would be met, it could have been a disastrous summer for Villa. They’ve turned it around wonderfully and signed Danny Ings, Emiliano Buendia and Leon Bailey to totally reshape their attack. Villa look stronger for it and Axel Tuanzebe also gives them extra cover at center back. Overall, a good window.
The new boys spent big on a couple of key additions, for them, and they continue to look closely at advanced stats when it comes to signing players. Kristoffer Ajer from Celtic looks like a great addition at center back, while Frank Onyeka has hit the ground running in midfield. Do they have enough experience to compete in the Premier League? So far, it looks like they’ll surprise plenty of PL teams this season. Keeping hold of Ivan Toney was key and he never really looked like leaving.
A late flurry of deals has seen the Clarets rescue their window a little, as Maxwell Cornet, Connor Roberts and Nathan Collins have all arrived. Sean Dyche has always gone for solid additions who can challenge for a starting spot and left back Cornet is a very exciting addition, while Roberts will also add extra cover. Burnley probably needed a little more business to be done in attack though.
Brighton and Hove Albion: C
The Seagulls have been pretty quiet in the window and they were keen to keep hold of striker Neal Maupay who was linked with Everton. Brighton have added Enock Mwepu and Marc Cucurella but Graham Potter probably would have surely wanted more of the Ben White cash to spend on players (read: forwards) who can help his first team now.
Romelu Lukaku was the big offseason arrival and that was exactly what Chelsea needed to turn them into one of the favorites to win the Premier League this season. The $135 million they spent to re-sign Lukaku looks like a bit of a bargain already, and given how many players they’ve moved on for big money fees, the Blues continue to do incredible business in the transfer market. A summer of freshening up their squad and focusing on key players has left Thomas Tuchel’s side in a very strong position, and they clearly want to add a new center back (likely Jules Kounde) soon.
Crystal Palace: C
The Eagles needed to do a lot of business and it feels like they haven’t done quite enough. Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi are good additions at center back and so too is Conor Gallagher on loan from Chelsea in midfield. Late in the window they moved for Odsonne Edouard, which is a good move, as their need for more firepower is clear for all to see. Patrick Vieira would have liked more depth in this squad but he has been able to add quality.
Some good bargain buys from Rafael Benitez as Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend came in. The Toffees will be delighted they kept hold of Richarlison, who was linked with a move to some European giants. Benitez has a very solid squad and has trimmed it nicely.
Leeds United: C
Daniel James was their big money arrival this summer and he is a very Marcelo Bielsa type of player. Aside from that, Patrick Bamford, Kalvin Phillips, Jack Harrison (now permanently) and Raphinha are all still around and that is a big win for Leeds. They could have probably done with some extra defenders given all of their injuries, but Junior Firpo in at left back will help with that.
Leicester City: B+
A very decent window for the Foxes. They didn’t lose any of their big players and Jannik Vestergaard, Ryan Bertrand, Patson Daka, Boubakary Soumare and Ademola Lookman (loan) have all arrived and their squad looks a lot stronger for it. Brendan Rodgers’ boys are ready to go far in Europe and push for the top four, once again.
Ibrahima Konate arrived early, and that was it. Liverpool locked down Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson and Jordan Henderson to new long-term contracts and they sold plenty of fringe players this summer. A quiet summer, but Jurgen Klopp has key men back from injury.
Manchester City: C+
They signed Jack Grealish for a record Premier League fee, which was huge, but not bringing in a top striker will have hurt their pride. They chased Harry Kane, hard, but couldn’t get it anywhere near being over the line and a late deal for Cristiano Ronaldo never really seemed likely. A decent window, but City are still searching for a new striker and surely they will be doing all they can to bring Erling Haaland to the Etihad Stadium next summer.
Manchester United: A
What. A. Window. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought in Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and then somehow Cristiano Ronaldo, as United have more quality and experience and their squad is no doubt stronger than it was at the end of last season. Ronaldo’s arrival pushes their grade from a B+ to an A, and the only thing which could have improved the grade is a new holding midfielder or getting Paul Pogba to sign a new contract.
Newcastle United: D-
Pretty underwhelming. Steve Bruce’s side brought in Joe Willock from Arsenal permanently following his amazing loan spell, and that was about it. Bruce will have wanted more than this. A lot more.
Norwich City: B+
A very good window for the Canaries as Billy Gilmour adds class in midfield after arriving from Chelsea on loan, while Josh Sargent, Dimitris Giannoulis, Milot Rashica and Pierre Lees-Melou add quality in attack. Norwich haven’t spent big. That isn’t how they roll. But they look better equipped to stay up this season.
They got good money for Danny Ings and Jannik Vestergaard who had just 11 months left on their contracts, but it was still a huge blow to lose both. Especially Ings. Saints have brought in plenty of young players and Tino Livramento looks like being a real bargain. Adam Armstrong looks like a handful and should score double figures too. A solid enough window and Ralph Hasenhuttl has a bigger squad to work with this season so there should be no second half slump.
Tottenham Hotspur: B
Of course the big news of the window was keeping Harry Kane. Daniel Levy stood firm and with three years left on his contract, Kane wasn’t going to leave for anything less than $225 million. Man City weren’t going to pay that. Nuno Espirito Santo has also added a few key defenders in Cristian Romero and Emerson Royal, while Bryan Gil is an exciting young prospect. Overall, a much better window than Spurs expected.
Some nice additions, especially in Juraj Kucka, Dennis Emmanuel, Moussa Sissoko and bringing back Cucho Hernandez from his loan spells. But will this be enough to give the Hornets a fighting chance to stay up? Watford have a bit more experience in their squad, but they probably needed some extra help in defense.
West Ham United: B
Very good finish to the window for David Moyes’ side as silky Croatian playmaker Nikola Vlasic and Czech holding mid Alex Kral arrived on deadline day with Kurt Zouma coming in at center back a few days earlier. West Ham went for quality over quantity with their summer signings. Keeping hold of Declan Rice was the main aim for West Ham this summer and their squad looks pretty strong heading into a busy Europa League campaign. Could they have signed another striker to back up Antonio?
Wolverhampton Wanderers: D
Not the best window for Wolves. Signed some good young players led by Francisco Trincao (loan) and brought in Jose Sa in goal to replace Rui Patricio who moved to AS Roma. With Raul Jimenez just coming back and Adama Traore linked with a move away, do they have enough options in attack to hurt teams?