Business is closed for Premier League clubs with the transfer deadline having now passed, the chaos of another summer window drawing to a close with a flurry of deadline day activity.
England’s top tier has once again seen widespread investment with clubs willing to splash the cash once more despite the financial impact of a global pandemic, spending more than £1bn on new talent as a host of leading players swap allegiances and club colours.
Following the window’s closure we’ve decided to look at the best recruitment drives from top flight sides, here are the five Premier League clubs who enjoyed the best transfer windows:
After appearing likely to be a quiet transfer window at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Jose Mourinho has overhauled his squad with a series of eye-catching signings for the north London side.
Proven Premier League performers have arrived in the form of Matt Doherty and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Wolves and Southampton respectively, whilst former England international Joe Hart adds depth to the goalkeeping ranks following his free transfer signing.
The signings of Doherty and Sergio Reguilon have overhauled Mourinho’s full-back options with the duo predominantly effective when going forward, with Spurs hopeful the pair can add attacking dynamism to a side which has struggled for consistent levels of performance.
The problematic nature in finding suitable competition and cover for the indispensable Harry Kane has been addressed with the signing of Carlos Vinicius – leading scorer in Portugal’s Primeira Liga last season – on a loan deal from Benfica, whilst Kane will also be ably supported in attack by a certain Gareth Bale.
Bale has returned to his former side on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid following a difficult recent period in the Spanish capital, where he will hope to rediscover the form that saw him twice named as the PFA Player of the Year before leaving Spurs in a world-record deal seven years ago.
Even a percentage of the Bale who thrived as the Premier League’s finest footballer could have a huge impact on Spurs’ season, the prospect of the Welshman working in tandem with Kane and Son Heung-Min a mouthwatering proposition for the club’s supporters.
4. Aston Villa
Aston Villa secured their Premier League safety by the slimmest of margins on the division’s final day last season, narrowly avoiding an instant return to the Championship before investing once more in a bid to improve.
Dean Smith looked to the second tier and secured two of the division’s most promising talents in the signings of full-back Matty Cash and club-record signing Ollie Watkins, the latter arriving in a £28m deal from Brentford and making an immediate impact at Villa Park.
Watkins scored a sensational hat-trick during Villa’s astonishing 7-2 thrashing of champions Liverpool, an unforgettable result in the club’s recent history and a sign of what Smith’s new-look side is capable of achieving when at their best.
The signing of Emiliano Martinez in goal looks a shrewd acquisition following his exploits with Arsenal last season, whilst Ross Barkley’s season-long loan from Chelsea brings intrigue with the midfielder desperate to rediscover his finest form and return to England contention.
Bertrand Traore also returns to English football after an impressive spell at Lyon and it will be hoped the former Chelsea youngster can add an increased goal threat to this Villa side, who have begun the new season impressively with three consecutive victories to head into the international break.
Perhaps their best business, however, was the signing of influential club captain Jack Grealish to a new long-term contract, the midfielder now possessing an able supporting cast as ambitious Villa look to climb the division.
Jurgen Klopp was faced with a transfer market dilemma as he sought to improve a side which won a long-awaited league title with a record seven games to spare last season, but Liverpool’s recruitment team – as it so often has in recent years – appears once more to have found a way.
The widespread consensus that an almost flawless side was lacking in just a few select areas, positions which seem to have been addressed during another window of efficiency at Anfield.
Kostas Tsimikas was the first signing of the window after arriving from Olympiakos, the Reds moving quickly to secure the left-back after pulling out of a deal for Jamal Lewis, Klopp keen to find competition and cover for Andy Robertson with veteran midfielder James Milner having been utilised as an auxiliary left-back all too often.
The marquee arrival came in the form of Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who decided to leave the European champions in search of a new challenge on Merseyside.
It is not often a player of the Spaniard’s calibre becomes available for a fee of just an initial £20m, one of the world’s finest midfield talents signing for Liverpool and adding a touch of ingenuity to a midfield famed for its industry.
Diogo Jota then followed in a surprise £45m deal from Wolves, the lack of depth beyond the club’s fabled front three addressed with the signing of the talented and versatile Portuguese international.
Liverpool also once again raised notable sums for unwanted talent in the form of Rhian Brewster, Dejan Lovren and teenager Ki-Jana Hoever, Michael Edwards and the club’s recruitment staff amongst the best in the business at present.
Much of the headlines surrounding the summer transfer window centred around Chelsea’s lavish summer spending, Frank Lampard handed a huge war-chest by Roman Abramovich as the west London side bid to compete at the top once more.
The marquee arrivals of Germany internationals Kai Havertz and Timo Werner have caused great excitement, with the duo having been monitored by Europe’s leading clubs before being tempted to move to Stamford Bridge this summer.
Chelsea’s advantageous financial position following their transfer ban and sales of Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata allowed the club to capitalise on a pandemic-impacted market, the signings of Havertz and Werner a case of the Blues stealing in and taking advantage when rival sides – who perhaps were more fancied to secure their signings – opted to remain cautious in the current climate.
Hakim Ziyech’s signing from Ajax looks a shrewd move given his performances in recent seasons, whilst the additions of Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy will hope to shore up a defence which has looked vulnerable during Lampard’s tenure.
It remains to be seen how a relatively inexperienced manager now juggles his options with a squad boasting both talent and depth, whilst his preference for expensive attacking imports over addressing his side’s defensive issues with marquee arrivals is likely to lead to an entertaining watch.
Big-money spending is no guarantee of big success, but there is no disputing Lampard had added star quality to his side in the summer window.
There have been many false dawns at Everton in recent years, but there wave of optimism surrounding the club is perhaps greater now than at any stage of the Premier League era.
Carlo Ancelotti’s appointment as manager provided Everton with a genuine coach of the highest quality, the Italian a serial winner during spells with clubs such as AC Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
There are few coaches in world football with as impressive a résumé and his first summer transfer window at Goodison Park has seen Ancelotti backed by the board, addressing the Toffees’ weakness in midfield with the signings of dynamic duo Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure, a double signing which has revolutionised the side in the opening weeks of the season.
Ben Godfrey also arrived from Norwich on deadline day with the England U21 international bolstering Ancelotti’s centre-back options, whilst goalkeeper Robin Olsen has signed on a season-long loan deal to provide competition and cover for the under-fire Jordan Pickford.
The jewell in the crown, however, has been the capture of James Rodriguez from Real Madrid, the midfielder viewed as a gamble by some but having quickly demonstrated why he was once regarded amongst the world’s finest footballers.
The Colombian international has settled quickly on the blue half of Merseyside with three goals and two assists in just four league appearances, helping Everton to a perfect start to the season and adding a sprinkling of stardust to Ancelotti’s side.
His creative class perfectly compliments the ever-improving Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison in a new-look forward line, with hopes high Everton can build on an impressive start and secure European football.
After several seasons of mundane mediocrity, it is perhaps time to dare to dream at Goodison Park.