The Premier League transfer window wrap continues with part three..
In: Carlos Cuellar, Louis Saha, Steven Fletcher, Adam Johnson, Danny Rose (loan) (Approx expenditure: £22 million)
Out: Craig Gordon, Trevor Carson, Cristian Riveiros, George McCartney, Asamoah Gyan, Jordan Cook, Michael Turner, Ahmed Elmohamady (loan), Kieran Richardson (Approx income: £9.6 million)
The off-season was one of immense change for Martin O’Neil’s Sunderland, as he looked to reshape the squad he inherited last season ahead of his first full year with the club.
There were a number of notable departures, including Craig Gordon, who was the most expensive keeper in British transfer history when he signed for the club, whilst Asamoah Gyan was also completely transferred. Kieran Richardson, a Sunderland main-stay over the years was also moved on, as was George McCartney.
Their replacements are nothing to sneeze at, however. Carlos Cuellar bring plenty of experience to the side, whilst Louis Saha is still a capable Premier League striker on his day, and the loan of Danny Rose brings some extra depth and quality to the side as well.
Steven Fletcher’s transfer from Wolverhampton Wolves has been the subject of some ridicule given the vast amount spent on him, but he has answered those critics with a debut hattrick for his new club last weekend. Adam Johnson is also a fine player that proved his ability to win games several times in a frustrating spell with Manchester City, representing something of a coup for Martin O’Neil.
Score - 6 - Some good names coming in, but the age of these signings are cause for concern. A short term solution for now, as Martin O’Neil sets about reforming the squad.
In: Chico Flores, Michu, Kyle Bartley, Jamie Proctor, Ki Sung-Yueng, Pablo Hernandez, Jonathan De Guzman (loan), Itay Shechter (loan) (Approx expenditure: £16.1 million)
Out: Ferrie Bodde, Joe Walsh, Casey Thomas, Scott Donnelly, Joe Allen, Scott Sinclair, Andrea Orlandi, Federico Bessone, Stephen Dobbie, Leroy Lita (loan) (Approx income: £21 million)
It is hard to think of a manager better suited to replacing Brendan Rodgers and continuing the traditions and culture has put in place at Swansea City than Michael Laudrup, and he has got off to a fine start in this new chapter of his career.
Laudrup has astonishingly been able to bring in players of the calibre of Michu and Pablo Hernandez, players who have spent their whole careers in La Liga, and still make a profit of around £5 million in the market.
The losses of Joe Allen and Scott Sinclair have more than been made up for with the aforementioned duo, whilst Jonathan De Guzman and Itay Shechter also bring in a solid amount of European top flight experience on loan.
With ten goals from three games, Michu has four on his own, this has been a good summer for the Swans, even with the loss of two key contributors from last season.
Score - 8 - Laudrup has done a tremendous job in the market, making a profit whilst bringing in some top quality talent.
In: Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jan Vertonghen, Emmanuel Adebayor, Moussa Dembele, Hugo Lloris, Clint Dempsey (Approx expenditure: £55.5 million)
Out: Louis Saha, Giovani Dos Santos, Rafael Van der Vaart, Luka Modric, Steven Pienaar, Niko Kranjcar, Sebastien Bassong, Ryan Nelsen, Ledley King, David Button, Oscar Jansson, Danny Rose (loan), Harry Kane (loan), Massimo Luongo (loan) (Approx income: £66.5 million)
A poor start to the season for Tottenham Hotspurs has perhaps not been helped by the ammount of activity that occured late in the window, as an already tricky transition under new manager Andres Villa-Boas was made even harder with major players coming and going even after the start of the Premier League season.
Perhaps the mammoth fee Tottenham eventually recieved from Real Madrid for Luka Modric has justified Daniel Levy’s stance on waiting until very late in the window to conclude the deal, but I’m sure Villa-Boas would have preferred to have seen the Croatian leave earlier, so that he could have time to find ample replacements and work them into his squad over the pre-season.
Tottenham did very well to replace Modric as it turned out, bringing in Moussa Dembele and Clint Dempsey on deadline day, as well as Gylfi Sigurdsson. The loss of Rafael Van der Vaart, despite his age, is a big one too, but the trio of midfielders brought in will go a long way to replacing the two departing. Bringing in Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen and Emmanual Adebayor has also brought improvements in key areas to the squad.
Still, this does not look like a settled side at the moment, and with the lack of a proper pre-season with his first complete squad, Villa-Boas might just have his work cut out for him if he wants to keep Tottenham in contention for the top four.
Score - 6.5 - Nothing wrong with the quality and calibre of players brought in, but whilst making Real Madrid sweat over Luka Modric might have earned the club an extra few million quid, it has made for a disruptive pre-season and an unsettled squad. Still, this has the makings of a good side, once everyone settles.
West Bromwich Albion
In: Ben Foster, Yassine El Ghanassy (loan), Claudio Yacob, Markus Rosenberg, Romelu Lukaku (loan), Goran Popov (loan) (Approx expenditure: £4.4 million)
Out: Joe Mattock, Somen Tchoyi, Nicky Shorey, Keith Andrews, Martin Fulop, Paul Scharner, Simon Cox (Approx income: £2.2 million)
Steve Clarke has enjoyed a decent summer as he builds his first real squad at West Bromwich Albion. Markus Rosenberg brings plenty of international and European experience to the squad, whilst securing Romelu Lukaku also offers mutual benefits for both the club and the player.
Lukaku has not been the only addition from the loan market. Steve Clarke has utilised the possibilities offered by loan deals to bring in Macedonian international left full-back/winger Goran Popov from Dynamo Kiev, who has over 200 senior appearances to his name. Yassine El Ghanassy, a versatile attacking player, also joins on loan.
The club has bid adieu to a few bigger names from last season, such as Paul Scharner, Keith Andrews, Nicky Shorey and Somen Tchoyi.
Score - 5.5 - The core of the squad remains, and the squad looks neither particularly stronger nor weaker.
West Ham United
In: Stephen Henderson, Jussi Jaaskelainen, Mohamed Diame, George McCartney, Modibo Maiga, Raphael Spiegel, James Collins, Alou Diarra, Matt Jarvis, Andy Carroll (loan), Yossi Benayoun (loan) (Approx expenditure: £20.4 million)
Out: John Carew, Abdoulaye Faye, Julien Faubert, Papa Bouba Diop, Frank Nouble, Robert Green, Freddie Sears, Marek Stech, Ravel Morrison (loan), Christian Montano, Sam Baldock, Nicky Maynard (Approx expenditure: £4.4 million)
Sam Allardyce is back in the big-time, and he has brought about a raft of changes to the squad as he hopes to turn West Ham from one of the Premier League’s “yo-yo” clubs into Premier League mainstays, and so far the season has gotten off to a magnificent start, a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Swansea aside.
The late acquisition of Matt Jarvis will ensure a constant supply for Andy Carroll, who looked right at home at Upton Park on his debut for the club. George McCartney and Yossi Benayoun have also returned to their previous employers and add plenty of quality to the side.
Such expenditure was made possible by the release of a number of big earners, though they did not recoup much in terms of transfer fees.
Score - 7 - A much improved squad that all seems to be pulling in one direction thus far. A good summer for Sam Allardyce and West Ham United.
In: Fraser Fyvie, Ivan Ramis, Ryo Miyaichi, Arouna Kone (Approx Expenditure: £9.2 million)
Out: Chris Kirkland, Mohamed Diame, Steve Gohouri, Hugo Rodallega, Lee Nichols (loan), Adam Dawson (loan), Nouha Dicko (loan), Conor Sammon, Hendry Thomas, Victor Moses, Roman Golobart (loan) (Approx income: £11.4 million)
Any late season survival miracle Wigan manager Roberto Martinez hopes to pull off this season is going to have to be accomplished with some of his most important players in recent seasons, most notably Hugo Rodallega, who let his contract run out to seek a new adventure with Fulham in London. Mohamed Diame’s presence will also be missed in midfield, whilst Victor Moses has also left the club after interest from Chelsea proved too good an offer to turn down for the club.
Arouna Kone should replace Hugo Rodallega aptly, whilst Ivan Ramis brings some great quality to the Wigan backline. Fraser Fyfie comes to the club from Aberdeen, with over 50 senior appearances to his name despite only being 20 years of age, where he debuted as the club’s youngest player ever, and after debuting in Wigan’s Capital One Cup fixture against Nottingham Forest, a 4-1 win, looks set to be a decent long term replacement to Diame.
Score - 5.5 - The loss of Rodallega, Mohamed Diame, Victor Moses and even Conor Sammon leave Wigan a tad short up front. The players coming in are good, but this still looks a squad that is perhaps a little weaker than the one that scraped survival last season. More miracles may be required this season.