The Premier League transfer window is over for the summer. But who came out on top on Deadline Day? And who will be wishing they had done a bit more?
Marco Silva’s flurry of late additions may just have transformed the Everton squad — and their prospects of, as a minimum, cementing a place as the strongest challengers outside the top six.
Their two additions from Barcelona, Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes, strengthen the core of the side. Mina, well known to those who watched Colombia’s World Cup campaign, is a towering centre-back who has plenty of room to improve at the age of 23 and provides genuine goal threat at set-pieces — as England discovered.
Gomes had a patchy two years at the Nou Camp but was excellent in his time at Valencia and, at 25, could have several years in him as the dynamic midfield presence they have lacked if his loan is turned permanent.
Meanwhile they have a bargain in Bernard, the thrillingly talented winger who has arrived for free from Shakhtar Donetsk, and if Kurt Zouma’s loan arrival from Chelsea is rubber-stamped then Everton have depth in almost all areas.
The only doubt is whether Silva should have added extra quality at centre-forward, but Everton fans are hardly complaining at the last 24 hours’ activity.
What a revolution newly-promoted Fulham are undergoing. Slavisa Jokanovic spelt out the need for new players within minutes of their playoff final win over Aston Villa and their deadline day activity built on an already strong summer’s work.
Their five arrivals all add something: Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, who joined from around £22m from Marseille, is an exceptional midfield prospect; Luciano Vietto, on loan from Atletico Madrid, has a hugely encouraging goal scoring record in Spain; Joe Bryan is an exciting attacking left-back from Bristol City;
Sergio Rico is a smart goalkeeping capture from Sevilla; while Timothy Fosu-Mensah, on loan from Manchester United, will be all the better for his season at Crystal Palace last term.
In total Fulham have spent nearly £100 million on eight permanent signings and four loans during the summer; it will take time for them all to settle in but a club whose recruitment once caused fractures between Jokanovic and those above him now looks set for a fascinating ride.
Losing both Riyad Mahrez and Harry Maguire could have made this a troubling window for Leicester, but instead it ends with shoots of genuine hope.
The highly-rated centre-back Caglar Soyuncu arrived from Freiburg on deadline day and was joined by another defender: Croatia’s Filip Benkovic. Yet Maguire stayed put, with Manchester United’s interest never really crystalising, and Leicester now have genuine depth of quality among their back four.
To cap it all, they announced that Jamie Vardy has signed a new contract that will keep him at the club until he is 35. It crowned a deadline day that, broadly, proved far more productive for the Premier League’s mid-ranking clubs than its elite.
Zero, nada, nothing. That is how much Tottenham spent on summer transfers and, in the process, became the first club in the Premier League era not to bring anybody in during preseason.
That need not be a disaster and it is refreshing in some ways that Mauricio Pochettino will simply have to develop what he already has — a job that should play nicely to his strengths — yet the manager had stated his wish for early reinforcements as far back as January and, even when speaking in his news conference on Thursday, clearly had not given up hope of a last-minute arrival.
But, largely due to the £850m millstone of their new stadium, players were always going to have to depart before anyone came in; there was to be no deal for the want-away Toby Alderweireld despite some interest from Manchester United and that essentially meant Pochettino was bereft of leeway.
There was a certain amount of cash available to spend on Jack Grealish, who would have lessened some of Christian Eriksen’s creative burden, but Aston Villa quickly made it clear a deal could not be done even though the player was believed to be keen.
Any other targets were simply too expensive; the window passed frustratingly and Tottenham, whose first XI can stand up to almost any, may live to rue their lack of depth in key areas.
Jose Mourinho wanted a centre-back but his board were, by all accounts, unimpressed with his targets. It will not do much for the atmosphere, already testy, around Old Trafford although United do look strong in most other areas, provided Mourinho can get them playing with the fluidity they often lacked last term.
That in itself is a big question; the other is whether a top-quality full-back, to put genuine pressure on Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia, might have been added too.
The sense is that United can get by, and their defence was stingy last season behind the great form of David De Gea after all — but the impact on Mourinho’s mood, which has been fragile all preseason, may be more important than anything that immediately happens on the pitch. If United do not get off to a good start, a long autumn may be in the offing.
On Friday morning it was announced that Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct company had bought House of Fraser, the British department store chain, for £90m. The timing might either make Newcastle fans laugh or cry.
Rafa Benitez had been desperate for Ashley to loosen the purse strings as the window ticked down to its conclusion, with a left-back and a No. 10 particularly high in his sights.
In terms of fees spent and received, Newcastle are in profit to the tune of £21.4m from this summer — but Federico Fernandez, the Swansea centre-back, was the only deadline day addition and Benitez must be wondering what exactly he is expected to achieve with a squad that looks woefully short in key areas.
He will surely keep Newcastle up, but the last few days have been nothing like enough for a manager of his quality and ambition.