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EPL Transfer Deadline: Grading The Teams

Gabe Quintela |
September 3, 2013 | 6:18 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer


Gareth Bale (Creative Commons)
Gareth Bale (Creative Commons)
Soccer never sleeps. As the players go off on international duty and take their well-earned vacations, managers and owners across the world are making deals to strengthen their respective teams. The English Premier League, Europe's most entertaining league on the field of play, is coincidentally Europe's most entertaining league in the transfer market as well. 


Rating: 10

Positives: Everton had the most impressive summer of the EPL. Selling Marouane Fellaini for arguably more than he’s worth, and then replacing him with a very comparable Gareth Barry, was an absolute steal. Everton also added Romelu Lukaku on a season-long loan and held onto English international left back Leighton Baines, even with Manchester United desperate to take him away. 

Manchester City

Rating: 9

Positives: Manchester City, under new manager Manuel Pellegrini, had a big summer. They signed four big name players in Fernandinho, Jesus Navas, Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic as well as veteran center back Martin Demichelis. 

Fernandinho and Navas are two of my favorite EPL signings this summer. The Brazilian Fernandinho is an absolute wall in the midfield. He sits right in front of the center backs and cuts out a lot of the opposing attacks. He's also great at distributing the ball going forward. 

Navas, on the other hand, is excellent on the wing. His pace alone is enough to get past almost every defender he faces, and his work rate is continually high for all 90 minutes. Navas is a great contribution for the City side that has found Edin Dzeko in great form. Navas has been able to provide the star Bosnian striker excellent balls going forward. 

Negatives: Although Manchester City had a great transfer period, Pellegrini could have made a better signing for the backline. While they have a solid starting team with Vincent Kompany and Matija Nastasic at center backs, both have struggled with injuries in past seasons. Demichelis is a veteran, but at 32 he has lost a lot of his pace. Additionally, the fact that he is coming from the Liga BBVA, makes it difficult to adapt to the English style of play. 


Rating: 8

Positives: Chelsea had an impressive summer on the transfer market, which began by re-signing the “chosen one” in Jose Mourinho and letting him shape the team precisely to his liking. 

Confident in his backline with veterans John Terry, Ashley Cole and Branislav Ivanovic, Mourinho chose to dedicate his summer to boosting the attacking presence of the London side. The team had struggled going forward last season as they saw Fernando Torres continue his poor form and Demba Ba fail to impress his new side.  The acquisitions of German Andre Schurrle and Brazilian playmaker Willian to play along side the trio of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar are significant ones. Schurrle, who scored 11 goals in his Bundesliga season last year, knows exactly how to do what all Chelsea strikers since Didier Drogba have failed to do, and that is score goals consistently.  Mourinho and his staff also picked up Samuel Eto’o, the ex-Barcelona and Inter Milan superstar, on a free transfer from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala, giving Chelsea depth from the bench.  

Negatives: Despite the bolstering of their attack Chelsea, once again, loaned out Romelu Lukaku for the season. Lukaku, the 20 year-old Belgian international, has tremendous upside and a work rate higher than most of his competition.

While Mourinho did plenty to amp up the attack, I still believe that Lukaku deserves a shot at first-team minutes. 


Rating: 7 

Positives: The obvious positive of Arsenal’s activity in the transfer market and realistically the only activity that Arsenal had this summer is the uncharacteristic $68,406,800 singing of German playmaker Mesut Ozil. Long time coach Arsene Wenger is known to keep his wallet shut during the transfer window since he prefers to develop the players he already has, but the Ozil acquisition is a fantastic one for the team. With a decent attacking core made up of English winger Theo Walcott, German Lukas Podolski and Frenchman Olivier Giroud, Ozil should have plenty of options to display his tremendous passing ability. 

Negatives: The downfall of Arsenal as a club is its unwillingness to spend like the other top teams in the EPL do. The team could benefit from a solid center back to help out Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, who at times struggle with their form. 


Rating: 7

Positives: With money to spend after sending Gareth Bale away for a record $155,430,000, Tottenham made a number of key signings. Picking up Brazilian Paulinho and former Ajax man Christian Eriksen will help the midfield. Winger Erik Lamela and striker Roberto Soldado who last year scored 49 goals between the two of them, should do a decent job in replacing Gareth Bale’s ridiculous production from last year. 

Negatives: Whenever you lose a player as electrifying as Gareth Bale, regardless of how much money you make from the deal, it hurts. At the age of 24, Bale still has a huge upside and tremendous potential to grow. 

Tottenham also lost out on the signing of Willian to Chelsea. It seemed like the Brazilian was ready to make his move to Spurs before he was stolen away by Mourinho. Losing out on a major singing to another EPL rival is a hard loss to swallow for Andre Villas-Boas. 

Manchester United

Rating: 5

Positives: The only real success that Manchester United had this summer was the last-minute conquest of Belgian powerhouse midfielder Marouane Fellaini. Fellaini is an important pick up for a team needing some help in the midfield, but he is far from the ideal playmaker you think of when talking about elite midfielders. 

Negatives: After losing Paul Scholes to retirement and the fact that Ryan Giggs is creeping up in age, United was left with no option but to hit the transfer market for a new midfield option. Yet David Moyes, in his first year of work after the departure of one the greatest soccer coaches of all time, Sir Alex Ferguson, failed repeatedly to pick up his guy. After losing out to Bayern Munich on the young Spaniard Thiago Alcantara, failing to make any progress with Barcelona star Cesc Fabregas and making a complete mess of a last second desperation effort to sign Athletico Bilbao’s Ander Herrera, Moyes’ transfer window looked like a pathetic impersonation of Ferguson’s dominance in years prior. 

Reach Staff Writer Gabe Quintela via Twitter




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