The 2020 summer transfer window offered plenty of sagas and spectacles. With the window closing nearly a month into the Premier League season, it was easy to see the areas where clubs needed to strengthen – and whether or not they succeeded.
The COVID-19 pandemic has added numerous complications and a whole new dynamic to the way English clubs have conducted business this year. Some clubs have thrived under these conditions, others not so much, and the Premier League has been a mixed bag in terms of tranfer business.
With that being said, let’s take a look at each Premier League club’s summer transfer window, starting with the worst and working up to the best.
West Ham United
Despite a promising start in the league, West Ham had a pretty awful window. With only one new face at the club and several departures, fans of the Hammers can be excused for their pessimism this season. Diangana’s departure says it all.
Another year, another window of frustration for United fans. After missing out on Jadon Sancho, the Red Devils have been left with a squad littered with deadwood. Van de Beek and Cavani are good players, but they aren’t what the team needs. Several positions are crying out for improvement.
Despite holding on to most of their key players, it has been a thoroughly unimpressive window for Burnley. Dale Stephens is the only signing of note at Turf Moor, entering the club as an uninspiring Jeff Hendrick replacement. Sean Dyche may have a difficult season ahead.
The Blades are arguably weaker than last season, with star keeper Dean Henderson returning to Manchester United after his remarkable loan spell. Their big signing is the exciting prospect of Rhian Brewster – but the 20-year old has never even made a Premier League appearance.
A team with a recent history of poor recruitment, Fulham look destined for relegation once again this season. Whilst they have snapped up some interesting names, such as Andersen and Loftus-Cheek, they haven’t strengthened as well as they would have liked.
Brighton & Hove Albion
Fans of the Seagulls have been left wanting after a fairly underwhelming window, with injury-prone Adam Lallana their only marquee signing. The first team doesn’t appear much stronger than last season, and with a potential relegation battle ahead, Brighton would have wanted a bit more from the window.
West Bromwich Albion
Despite making some good signings, West Brom haven’t really improved – their best buys this summer were on loan at the club last season. They can be pleased with their purchases, but the reality is, their squad is almost identical to the side that competed in the Championship.
Diogo Jota is a significant loss and wonderkid Fábio Silva is possibly a bit of a gamble for £35 million. But holding on to Raúl Jiménez is probably enough for Wolves fans this season. They don’t necessarily look stronger than last season, but could still impress.
After the remarkable Lionel Messi transfer saga fizzled out, Man City failed to sign a target anywhere near as exciting. Aké, Dias and Torres all look solid, but City’s business doesn’t resemble that of a team desperate to win back the title.
The Saints have had a quiet window this summer, which could potentially come back to bite them or see them continue as they have done in recent months. Theo Walcott’s homecoming is an interesting one, but Southampton will miss Højbjerg.
Wilfried Zaha remains a Palace player and that alone is massive. However, the Eagles have barely made any other additions, with their team looking scarcely different from that of last season’s. Eze, their marquee signing, looks promising but is unproven at the top level.
Leicester have made some decent changes this season to improve their team, with Fofana and Under both looking like exciting prospects. Chillwell is unlikely to be overly missed, with Castagne filling in as a very solid replacement.
Thiago Alcântara is a brilliant signing, but with Liverpool keen to keep finances in check, there is little improvement elsewhere. Despite not losing anyone crucial to the team, the champions may struggle to emulate their title challenge with the same intensity as last season.
In an uncharacteristically solid window under Mike Ashley, Newcastle have enlisted a proven Premier league goalscorer in Callum Wilson, as well as the safe bets of Fraser, Hendrick and Lewis. Nevertheless, you can’t help thinking about what the window could have been like under new owners.
After looking destined for relegation last season, Villa have managed to significantly improve their side in the hope of securing Premier League safety. Barkley and Watkins look like quality business, and to top it off, Grealish remains at Villa Park.
Holding onto Aubameyang may be Arsenal’s best piece of business in recent years, made even sweeter by the acquisitions of Gabriel and Partey. Yet, Arsenal still look an unfinished side and they failed to clear out some of their deadwood.
The Whites have made a statement of intent with their spending this summer, bringing in a host of new players for their return to the top division. Having strengthened in virtually every department, Leeds look one of the most exciting prospects for the new season.
Questions of squad cohesion aside, Chelsea’s summer was impressive. £200 million has gone into an array of big name signings, with the club intent on making up for last year’s transfer ban. Despite this, it is clear that the Blues have only papered over the cracks of their defensive frailty.
When factoring in money spent and areas strengthened, Spurs have done as well as anyone. On a relatively low budget, José Mourinho has identified the weaknesses in his team and reinforced them, with Gareth Bale’s return to the club representing an excellent piece of business.
Following a complete midfield overhaul, Everton have looked their best in years. James Rodríguez is possibly the signing of the summer. Godfrey has bolstered their defence and the weak-link of Pickford has been given goalkeeper competition in the form of Robin Olsen. Essentially, the Toffees have done remarkable business and look frightening this season.
Featured image: via Sky Sports Football on Youtube
Last modified: 16th October 2020