BPL Transfer window winners and losers

IMAGE, CHELSEAFC.COM

By MATTHEW LEVINE
Staff Writer

The rush of another transfer deadline day is subsiding and the hangover is starting to take effect. Who took advantage of the window and who is looking through the glass and wondering what could have been? While the impact of new signings can be rapid, they do sometimes take some time before accurately judging.

However, while the hangover is looming, here’s a look at who may have won and lost the transfer window.

Winners:

Chelsea– Last season, Chelsea just wasn’t strong enough to lift the title. With Jose Mourinho in charge, it was expected the Blues would make a splash to correct what went wrong a year ago.

They did that in a big way.

Diego Costa has started off firing on all cylinders with Cesc Fabregas pulling the strings from the midfield. Add to that the lift Didier Drogba‘s return has created around the club while providing vital experience to the bench. The Blues didn’t stop there in adding attacking talent with Loic Remy joining as well. Not to mention, the club got rid of Fernando Torres. The Spanish strikers inability to score and from close-range as well was becoming the stuff of legend. 

While Mourinho is typically more defensive-minded, the attack combinations at his disposal would have most managers around the world envious. The Blues should continue to score goals — and lots of them.

The only real surprise is that the “Special One” never rated Romelu Lukaku. After his strong seasons on loan, particularly at Everton last season, it’s a surprise the club didn’t hold onto Lukaku, who was once dubbed a future Drogba.

Liverpool– While the brilliant and sometimes bitey Luis Suarez left a void as the spear head of the Liverpool attack, the club has done well to fill it by committee.

Mario Balotelli joins as the replacement striker with loose hinges, but also bags full of quality. He should get the attention to allow Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling to find space in dangerous areas.

Overall the Reds window was steady, although for a while, they were looking to relocate Southampton up north. The club added Adam LallanaDejan Lovren and Rickie Lambert, who should all have a positive impact despite not being flashy signings. Lazar Markovic adds another attacking option as well.

The full backs have taken a youthful and energetic turn with Javier Manquillo and Alberto Moreno. Both have looked well in their short time in the Premier League and Moreno even chipped in with a goal at the end of a sparkling solo effort.

Are Liverpool title contenders? May be a little bit of a reach, but they surprised last year. On balance, they look a better side than the one a year ago.

Swansea– With a flying start to the season, Swansea can look at moves made in the transfer market as a direct result.

Lukasz Fabianski has joined from Arsenal and has shown well in goal so far for the Swans. However, the most significant improvements came at the attacking end of the field.

The club has added Jefferson Montero and Bafetimbi Gomes to add pace and power to the attack. Both players have gotten a run out in each of Swansea’s games to start the season.

The club also brought back some familiar faces. Gylfi Sigurdsson has already showed the glimpses of what made him such a key figure in his first stint at the club. Also the club signed Marvin Emnes, who will also boast the attack, who spent a short spell on loan at the club in the past.

While losing Michu is a loss up top, the club has done well to fill the void left by the Spaniard, who went on loan to Napoli. More importantly, they did manage to hold on to Wilfried Bony, who will look to build on his strong first season.  

Everton– Under Roberto Martinez, Everton continue to play an attractive style and have been successful in the table as well – although maybe not as much as they’d like. The club looks poised to once again challenge as a Top Four club.

Getting Romelu Lukaku on a permanent deal was a coup. Yes, it was the club’s record transfer fee, but there are strikers few and far between that combine the pace, power and raw ability that Lukaku can bring to the table and will look to build upon last year’s performances.

More under the radar is the importance of getting a permanent deal for Gareth Barry as well. Never known as the fleetest of foot, the 33-year-old is playing a key role in the midfield. He continues to keep things steady and adds loads of experience in the center of the park.

Adding Christian Atsu on loan adds a pacey winger much like Gerard Duelofeu did a year ago. Also, Samuel Eto’o should be able to pitch in goals much like he did in the loss to Chelsea as well and can either pair with Lukaku or be used as an impact sub.

Hull– The best bits of business may have occurred in the waning moments of the window, but Hull look a much improved side.

Abel Hernandez becomes the club’s record signing and is a player with loads of potential and the Tigers will hope he can lead the line.

However, it is the signings of players very familiar with the league that could play a more crucial role. The Tigers brought in Mohamed DiameMichael DawsonRobert Snodgrass with Hatem Ben Arfa and Gaston Ramirez joining on loan.

Ben Arfa is looking to kickstart his career and along with Ramirez could add another dimension to the Hull City attack.

The club also brought in younger players that could have an impact right away with Tom Ince and Jake Livermore.

Losers:

Manchester United– How can Manchester United bring some of the best attacking talent in Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria and still end up a loser?

Simply put — they didn’t do enough in the other areas.

With Louis van Gaal‘s plan to use a three back formation, the club desperately needed some help at the back. While Marcos Rojo can play in that area, it is asking a lot for a player to adjust to a new country, new league and a new system all on the fly and needing to be done in a short period of time.

United could have done well adding an experienced Premier League defender to replace Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. Luke Shaw is another defender signed, but in the wingback role. He has a lot of promise, but will have work to do to impress van Gaal.

Daley Blind and Ander Herrera could turn out to be good signings, but United could have done further still with a defensive midfielder to help shield the backline.

At the moment, United look set to go with the score more than our opponent approach. However, it’s a risky move. One only has to ask Liverpool of last season about scoring tons of goals, but having defensive miscues hamper a title bid.

Arsenal– It appeared the tide was changing, but as sure as the sun and the moon interchange, Arsenal’s transfer window remains unchanging.

The Gunners got several deals done early to replace leaving parts. Mathieu Debuchy has looked at home on the right side of defense. David Ospina will be the club’s number two goalkeeper.

However, it was Alexis Sanchez that seemed to signal intent. That was seemingly short-lived.

Calum Chambers has done well, but will be prone to mistakes through youth and as he is adjusting to life as a center back with Arsenal failing to replace the outgoing Thomas Vermaelen.

The club added Danny Welbeck and will replace Olivier Giroud, but more could have been done.

Arsenal have the cash and could have looked to bring in a top striker of a quality higher than Giroud. Also, the defense is looking a bit light and a proper defensive midfielder would have gone a long way.

Unfortunately, it was the same old Arsenal, never buying to their potential in the transfer window.

Hopefully, the club can improve their early performances and make due with some promising new signings although that feeling of missed opportunity will linger.

Southampton– With most of their squad picked over, Southampton did a relatively good job at bringing in players in their stead.

Toby Alderweireld can play either as a center or right back while Fraser Forster adds a stronger presence in goal.

Graziano PelleDusan Tadic  and Premier League experienced Shane Long will have to bear the attacking burden.

However, the Saints are in the losing column because of what could have been. The club was building something special before it ever reached it’s full potential. Academy products Lallana, Chambers and Shaw left as well as key contributors in Lamber and Lovren.

The Saints will need their new signings to remain consistent in order to achieve any semblance of the eighth place finish a year ago.

Jermaine Defoe and Toronto FC– Seeing executive staff readying to step down, a head coach fired with 10 games remaining and an organization that’s known for it’s ineptitude, it came as no surprise Defoe wanted out.

Having a chance to reunite with Harry Redknapp, Defoe seemed very keen. However, Toronto rejected any such bids.

For Defoe he could have returned back to England and proved he still could do it in the Premier League and out of MLS, where it seems he isn’t totally settled with Toronto. 

Instead, he is forced to stay and find the desire to help lift the club into a playoff spot.

For Toronto, therein lies the risk. Will Defoe be disinterested over the last 10 games? Did they miss out on cashing in on a player that wants out? And if they miss the playoffs would it have all been worth it?

The answers to that will be known in January, but by the looks of things, it may not end well for Toronto.