Some people argue that there should be no transfer window, clubs should be able to sign players all year round. But without the window, what excitement would we get? New stories unfolding every day, all in a tense, exciting two month period which this year saw records tumble.
In the Premier League, all 20 clubs dipped into the transfer market, with West Bromwich Albion being the busiest, capturing 11 players, whilst Hull City were the busiest on deadline day, signing four players in a hectic final 24 hours.
But it was Manchester United who spent the most in the division, paying out £151.7 million on six players last month, a record spend for one club during a single transfer window.
By only splashing out £3.4 million, Stoke City spent the least over the course of the window, Bojan Krkic costing the majority of that at £3 million.
The most expensive arrival of the window was Angel di Maria, who arrived at Old Trafford for a British record fee of £59.7 million from Real Madrid.
In the total, £857.7 million was spent in the Premier League, smashing last year’s previous record total of £630 million. It also massively beats spending in other European leagues – the closest spenders were La Liga clubs who spent around £425 million this summer.
Because of these figures, it is not surprising that only three top division clubs made a profit in the this summer’s window – Chelsea (£0.8 million), Tottenham (£6.5 million) and Southampton (£30.7 million).
But enough of the facts, read below to find out my top five arrivals at Premier League clubs in this year’s summer transfer window.
5. Mario Balotelli – AC Milan to Liverpool (£16 million)
It was a toss up between three moving strikers for the number five spot, but I have chosen Mario Balotelli over deadline day signings Danny Welbeck and Radamel Falcao.
The Italian is a better player than the England international despite costing the same price, and is younger than Falcao, whose move is also only a loan deal.
For all neutral fans, the Italian being back in the Premier League is great news as there’s never a dull moment with Mario, as can be seen by reading my piece on him here.
The 24 year old’s goal stats aren’t bad either. He scored 28 goals in 86 games for Inter Milan, 30 goals in 80 games for Manchester City and 30 goals in 54 games for AC Milan. On top of that, he has 33 appearances for the Italian national team, notching 13 times.
Balotelli didn’t have the greatest debut against Tottenham last weekend, but he is sure to blossom back in England.
4. Alexis Sanchez – Barcelona to Arsenal (£35 million)
Arsene Wenger is usually very quiet throughout the transfer window, but this summer we have seen the Frenchman splash the cash in all areas of the pitch, and the most expensive of his five signings is Alexis Sanchez, who arrived from Barcelona for £35 million.
The Chilean impressed at the World Cup, so Wenger was quick to snap him up in order to improve his attack. Sanchez started the season on the right wing, but after Olivier Giroud’s injury which has ruled him out until the new year, he may occasionally play upfront for The Gunners, despite the arrival of Danny Welbeck on deadline day.
He has already had one huge impact for the North London side, scoring the only and winning goal in their Champions League play-off match with Besiktas, which ensured Arsenal qualified for the Group Stages for the 17th consecutive season.
The 25 year old’s first Premier League goal came against Leicester last weekend, and depending on where he plays, many more should follow.
3. Cesc Fabregas – Barcelona to Chelsea (£27 million)
When it was announced that Cesc Fabregas was to return to English football, Arsenal were favourites to sign their ex-captain. But it turns out that Arsene Wenger turned down this opportunity and let Chelsea swoop in to sign the Barcelona midfielder.
After being confirmed as a Blues player on June 12, Spain’s unexpected short stay at the Brazil World Cup gave fans the chance to see Fabregas in action before his return to the Premier League.
Once at Chelsea, the 27 year old was one of the star’s of the club’s pre-season tour, bagging a brace of goals and brace of assists. He has had a similar impact in the Premier League, not scoring yet, but he has already assisted teammates to score four times, the joint most in the division.
2. Angel di Maria – Real Madrid to Manchester United (£59.7 million)
With all of the big name arrivals at Real Madrid this summer, there just wasn’t going to be enough space at the Bernabeu for all the world stars.
Angel di Maria was rumoured with a move away all summer, but only left the club with just six days until the transfer window shut.
Manchester United paid a British record £59.7 million for the Argentine, and gave him the club’s iconic number 7 shirt, previously worn by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, George Best and Eric Cantona.
di Maria made his debut in the 0-0 draw at Burnley last weekend, and was the best player on the pitch before being substituted, and from just that 70 minute appearance, it is easy to see that he will be a hit in the Premier League, and key to any hopes Manchester United have of making the top four.
1. Diego Costa – Atletico Madrid to Chelsea (£32 million)
Chelsea’s biggest problem in 2013-14 was that they didn’t have a 20 goal a season striker, so Jose Mourinho’s main aim this summer was to overhaul his front line.
Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o all went out, whilst Didier Drogba, Loic Remy and most importantly Diego Costa arrived at Stamford Bridge.
The 25 year old has proved an instant hit with Blues fans and seems to have fitted into the team perfectly. After an impressive pre-season, he has so far taken the Premier League by storm, scoring four goals in two games, meaning he tops the scoring charts going into the international break.
An incident involving Seamus Coleman and Tim Howard at Goodison Park last weekend suggests that he is still to fully adapt to English football, but if he’s this good at the moment, then the sky is the limit for the former Atletico Madrid striker, meaning he may be winning a second successive league title come May, along with the golden boot.