As two of the most free-spending managers in football history, José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, paved way for the arrival of more high-profile managerial switch-a-rounds, it’s perhaps no surprise to see Premier League clubs shatter the records of expenditure once more with a £1.165 billion bill, surpassing the £870 million mark set just last season.
In its trail, the relentless cash burning has left a bunch of euphoric agents, players and, for the most part, many satisfied fans with the acquisitions made by their favourite clubs. Some teams went about their business better than others, however.
Yesterday, we brought to you those ranked by Fresh Football as 20th-17th, so here’s the next four teams in our power rankings:
16th – Sunderland
Key Incomings: Papy Djilobodji (£8m), Didier Ndong (£13.4m), Adnan Januzaj (Loan), Paddy McNair (£4.4m), Donald Love (£975,000), Jason Denayer (Loan), Javier Manquillo (Loan), Steven Pienaar (Free), Victor Anichebe (Free).
Key Outgoings: Jeremain Lens (Loan), Younes Kaboul (£3.4m), Emmanuel Giaccherini (£1.3m), Steven Fletcher (Free), Wes Brown (Free).
Sunderland managed to land a loan move for the talented, yet uninspired Adnan Januzaj, but a move to the Stadium of Light does offer the Manchester United man some much-needed TLC, as he links up with David Moyes once more.
The likes of Jason Denayer and Papy Djilobodji will all have a point to prove after being streamlined straight down from traditionally top six clubs in Manchester City and Chelsea, whereas there’s also sense of intrigue surrounding the Black Cats’ latest signing from Lorient, Didier Ndong.
Keeping Lamine Koné rooted to the club for the foreseeable future will also be a huge plus for Sunderland, too, but Moyes’ admission that the club would most probably be involved in yet another dog fight to remain in the Premier League, even with Januzaj, Djilobodji and, evidently, Koné already at the club, doesn’t offer much confidence with regards to the squad’s preparation for the season ahead.
15th – Stoke City
Key Incomings: Joe Allen (£13m), Wilfried Bony (Loan), Bruno Martins Indi (Loan), Ramadan Sobhi (£4.25m), Lee Grant (Loan).
Key Outgoings: Philipp Wollscheid (Loan), Joselu (Loan), Marc Wilson (£2m).
It’s difficult to look beyond Joe Allen as the key attraction to this Stoke City side this summer. After an impressive Euro 2016 campaign, it’s perhaps surprising to see the Welshman relinquished by Liverpool, but his arrival adds to an ever-luxurious looking Mark Hughes side.
With Joselu out the door, Manchester City’s Wilfried Bony provides the Potters with a heavyweight replacement on a temporary basis, which, if he can produce anything like his Swansea City numbers, will see the striker become an instant fan favourite at the Bet365 Stadium.
Ramadan Sobhi’s first venture into European football could also prove to make for interesting viewing, but the deadline day acquisition of Bruno Martins Indi does bring a negative twang to Stoke’s dealings. Much like the Potters’ record signing, Gianelli Imbula, the Dutchman failed to impress in a considerably weaker league for FC Porto in the past two seasons.
With Philipp Wollscheid joining Bundesliga side Wolfsburg on loan, there’s a good chance Martins Indi will be fast-tracked to the first-team alongside Ryan Shawcross, which, as far as his recent history is concerned, may be a real worry.
14th – Everton
Key Incomings: Yannick Bolasie (£25m), Ashley Williams (£12m), Maarten Stekelenburg (£850,000), Idrissa Gana Gueye (£7.25m), Enner Valencia (Loan).
Key Outgoings: John Stones (£47.25m), Tim Howard (Free), Brendan Galloway (Loan), Steven Pienaar (Released), Leon Osman (Free), Aiden McGeady (Loan), Ryan Ledson (Undisclosed), Tony Hibbert (Released).
Everton moved quickly to reinvest their £47.25 million windfall from John Stones by landing Swansea City captain Ashley Williams, which should cover them defensively for at least a couple of seasons. Yannick Bolasie’s price-tag is evidently eye-popping, however, and despite his talent, it’s difficult to see such necessity with the likes of Kevin Mirallas and Gerard Deulofeu already at the club.
Within new surroundings, Idrissa Gana Gueye could prove to be a shrewd piece of business after a turbulent season with Aston Villa, but the arrival of Maarten Stekelenburg might not offer great assurances between the sticks after mixed experiences in the Premier League with Fulham and Southampton.
Then there’s the low-risk loan signing of West Ham United’s Enner Valencia, who should be useful in backing up Romelu Lukaku, but initially represents the Toffees’ failure to land the likes of Lucas Pérez last month. A real mixed bag of a window in the blue half of Merseyside.
13th – Crystal Palace
Key Incomings: Christian Benteke (£26.5m), Andros Townsend (£13.25m), James Tomkins (£10m), Steve Mandanda (Free), Loïc Rémy (Loan).
Key Outgoings: Yannick Bolasie (£25m), Dwight Gayle (£10m), Miles Jedinak (£4m), Emmanuel Adebayor (Released).
If you have your centre back, Scott Dann, leading the way for goals scored, you might want to seriously consider overhauling your frontline of attack. Thanks to the big sale of Yannick Bolasie, Crystal Palace have managed to do just that by shelling out on Liverpool misfit Christian Benteke.
Despite a heavy price tag, Benteke’s time with Aston Villa before Liverpool recklessly swooped in for him last summer speaks for itself. Alan Pardew has also had an interesting relationship with strikers in the past, with the likes of Demba Ba, Papiss Cissé and Glen Murray all scoring on a consistent basis under his command, so there’s hope the Palace boss can get the best out of Benteke.
If that fails, the Eagles have Loïc Rémy to back them up in attack, whereas Andros Townsend, as proved towards the end of last season for Newcastle United, can also contribute with a goal or two. Much like the Benteke deal, the signing of Tomkins looks a little too costly, whereas the failure to add creativity, or someone to relieve Yohan Cabaye of some of his defensive duties, stand as the only clear blemishes to Palace’s window.