This year’s summer transfer window broke all sorts of records in the Premier League, mostly to mixed results.
While Chelsea spent more than ever, Barcelona dug themselves out of a hole, but at what cost?
Here are the biggest winners and losers of the European football summer transfer window.
Winner: Premier League
The Premier League spent a TON of money this transfer window with a net expenditure of $2.24 billion, leaving their current balance $1.3 billion in the red. And it wasn’t just the Manchesters and Chelseas of the world – newly promoted Nottingham Forest spent $170 million. While the signings have produced very mixed results, it can’t be denied that Premier League teams bought everything they could, sending their unwanted mostly to…
Loser: Serie A
These losers spent under a billion and kept their books balanced. What nerds.
Just kidding. Serie A did fine. They did add Premier League rejects like Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku, but they do that every season. Now that Dest is with AC Milan, the Italians have a real shot at going far in this year’s UEFA Champions League.
Barcelona bought a veritable superteam over the summer, perhaps only in response to Real Madrid’s latest Champions League victory. There isn’t a single name too small to leave unlisted – Lewandowski, Raphinha, Kounde, Christensen, Alonso, Kessie, Bellerin, and whoever that last guy is… Barca president Joan LaPorta certainly did his job this summer (and possibly earned a black eye for it), but only time will tell: at what cost?
Loser: Barcelona’s Sense of Self
Barcelona had to sell off everything to make this summer happen – not just Aubameyang and Dest. Barca sold their soul, their stadium, and themselves to register these signings with LaLiga, a classic Faustian deal that has yet to see the third act’s twist.
Winner: Manchester United
After an apocalyptic start to their Premier League season, Ten Hag’s men have turned it around, currently sitting in 5th on a three-game winning streak. That is due, in part, to Man U’s new recruits, like Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez, and Antony, though the former Ajax man has yet to play yet. With so much new talent, old talent has taken a backseat.
Ronaldo, who has been linked with every UCL qualifying team from Borussia Dortmund to Galatasaray, has somehow found himself stuck on the bench for a Europa League side in Old Trafford. Though the Red Devils are clearly improving, CR7 only wanted to play Champions League ball this season, something he may need to wait till the winter transfer window to do.
Winner: Erling Haaland
Speaking of Dortmund, former Bundesliga wunderkind Erling Haaland is off to a legendary start in the Premier League with Manchester City. He has nine goals in his first five games, including six goals in the last two games. The long, borderline awkward, tall Nordic kid has proven himself a back-of-the-net magnet, worth every penny Pep’s side spent on him. With Haaland on their side, this might finally be City’s year to win the Champions League.
Loser: Nottingham Forest
The recently-promoted Nottingham Forest tried to dress for the job they want by spending like the big boys on the summer transfer window, signing a record 21 players. Though there are some undeniably strong signings in the mix, Nottingham has only won one of their first five games, currently sitting at 15th in the table.
Winner: Bayern Munich
Adding Sadio Mane from Liverpool was always going to be positive, and so far, Mane has lived up to expectations. Bayern Munich hasn’t missed a beat since losing Lewy to Barca, thanks in part to stellar signings like Mane, De Ligt, Tel, and Gravenberch.
In something that’s both unrelated and sort of related to the transfer window, Bayern also drew Barca again in the Champions League. Bayern won their last UCL match-up 3-0.
Loser: The Rest of the Bundesliga
Well, only because Bayern Munich did so well and because Borussia Dortmund had to say goodbye to Erling Haaland. The rest of the Bundesliga is really doing pretty well right now, with upstart Union Berlin (starring USMNT striker Jordan Pefok) taking on Munich this weekend in a battle of undefeated squads.
Thomas Tuchel’s side, two years removed from a Champions League victory, spent the most money in Premier League history on a new squad of incredibly promising talent. The Blues beat Barca out for several big names while getting Raheem Sterling from Man City and refusing to #FreePulisic. And speaking of #FreePulisic.
Just like Nottingham Forest, Chelsea is learning that buying all sorts of talent doesn’t always equal wins. Chelsea pretty much sucks right now, quickly falling out of favor as USMNT fans’ favorite team (that title now belongs to Leeds United, obviously.)
Who do you think won the summer transfer window?! Sound off below!
Featured Image: Pexels/Felipe Cespedes/PremierLeague/DM