By far the most successful club in July. Jose Mourinho has had to pay a premium for some of his new arrivals but has supplemented his already strong squad with genuine quality.
The signing of Douglas Costa from Atletico Madrid was a huge coup that means, with the return of Romelu Lukaku from his loan spell at Everton (provided rumours about his imminent departure are proven false) and Blues hero Didier Drogba resigning from Galatasaray, Chelsea now possess one of the strongest strike forces in the country.
The most impressive addition appears to be Cesc Fábregas from Barcelona however. A proven Premier League performer, the Spaniard is more than capable of emulating the success achieved by the departing Frank Lampard at the heart of the Chelsea midfield.
Filipe Luis in for Ashely Cole at left-back seems to be a fair swap considering Cole’s age, whilst the £50m received for David Luiz could potentially be Mourinho’s best bit of business this summer.
The transfer window has traditionally been a more painful experience for Arsenal fans than most but in recent years, Arsene Wenger has looked less to the club’s youth academy and more to his cheque book in aiming to strengthen his squad.
The signing of Mesut Özil last summer signalled this adjustment and with another big-name arrival in the form of Alexis Sanchez this July, Arsenal’s attacking prowess is beginning to look formidable. Unfortunate to be forced out the door at Barcelona in the face of competition from the likes of Messi, Neymar and now Suarez; Sanchez had a fantastic World Cup and should be set for great things next season.
The purchases of French right-back Matheiu Debuchy from Newcastle, Chilean goalkeeper David Ospina from Nice and exciting young defender Calum Chambers from Southampton also appear favourable and may well help to spell an end to Arsenal’s recent defensive frailties.
After a remarkable campaign last term in which the Humberside club reached the FA Cup Final, Steve Bruce has built on this success by some early solid business in this summer’s transfer window.
The permanent signing of previous loanee Jake Livermore, one of Hull’s standout performers last season, along with the arrival of Robert Snodgrass from Norwich are both extremely impressive.
The addition of winger Tom Ince from Blackpool is also similarly encouraging. A midfielder blessed with pace and a remarkable ability to finish, the England Under-21 International may be the man to help propel the Tigers into the top half of the league table come next May.
By far and away the biggest losers of the first month of the transfer window.
The south-coast team have not only lost manager Mauricio Pochettino to Tottenham but have seen the backbone of their team completely implode. Luke Shaw has departed to Manchester United whilst Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren have all moved to Liverpool. With serious doubts over the future of the likes of Jay Rodriguez and Morgan Schneiderlin, the foundations of the Saints success in the last couple of seasons seem to have been completely torn apart.
Although they can expect a huge cash inflow from their sales, money isn’t necessarily everything if the right targets cannot be identified and signed as we saw with Tottenham last season. Success is built on consistency and Southampton certainly won’t have any of that this season.
The arrival of Dušan Tadić from FC Twente, who is seen as being a direct replacement for Lallana, and prolific Italian striker Graziano Pelle may help to curtail the Saints demise but I still struggle to see them reaching the heights they managed last season.
Gus Poyet worked wonders towards the end of last season to keep the north-east club afloat but serious business needs to be done this transfer window to strengthen an average squad.
Unfortunately for the Black Cats, July has been an underwhelming month on Wearside and with the loss of seasoned performers such as Craig Gardener, Jack Colback and Phil Bardsley; new additions of genuine quality has become even more of a necessity.
The signings Poyet has made so far such as Billy Jones, Jordi Gómez and Costel Pantimillion are all a step in the right direction but are nowhere near the standard necessary to guarantee Sunderland’s safety next season.
Although the north-west club secured second position in the Championship last term by a considerable margin, one seriously worries about the club’s Premier League pedigree. With no real standout names in their squad, Sean Dyche is tasked with the job of securing players who possess the qualities that will help ensure Burnley’s safety.
As of yet, he has failed to fulfil this requirement. Although Steven Reid and Matt Taylor have both enjoyed some success in the league in recent years, neither of them are the answers to Burnley’s problems whilst the likes of Marvin Sordell and Lukas Jutkiewicz are similarly uninspiring.
Clearly operating on a limited budget, Dyche must cast his net in the upper echelons of the league and search for coups such as the one Harry Redknapp has pulled off at QPR, bringing Rio Ferdinand to Loftus Road. If not, Burnley surely must be amongst the favourites for the drop next season.
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