Picking transfer window winners and losers is a tough task. There’s no tried and true way to determine what players will perform at their new clubs, and it can be incredibly difficult to quantify the impact of a player leaving the ranks of his old team at the beginning of the season. We’re going to do our best, though. Here are our 13 winners from this summer’s transfer window.
Inter Milan were BUSY this summer. They added troubled genius midfielder Ever Banega and Caner Erkin for free, then splashed the cash on Lazio star Antonio Candreva, European Championship winner Joao Mario, and wonderkid Gabriel Barbosa. They also added two more defenders in Dodo and Cristian Ansaldi, before new manager Frank de Boer decided Erkin wasn’t his cup of tea and shipped him directly back out the door just a couple months after arriving. Cold blooded.
Chelsea added pocket midfield dynamo N’Golo Kante, who’s basically two signings all in one. They also signed Tweet Gawd™ Michy Batshuayi to compete with/play alongside Diego Costa, as well as bringing back David Luiz into the fold for approximately £6m less than what they sold him to Paris Saint-Germain for just two years ago. Marcos Alonso arrived from Fiorentina as well, giving Antonio Conte two more quality defenders at his disposal to do battle in his first season in England. Oh, and they moved Papy Djilobodji on to Sunderland for a tidy profit. Solid, solid work from the Blues.
RB Leipzig were only founded in 2009, earning promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time ever this season. That didn’t stop them from going out and making some serious noise in the transfer market though, and they rattled more than a few cages. They took Naby Keita and Timo Werner out from under the noses of some big big clubs, and it’ll be truly interesting to see how this season goes for the baby boomers.
Sevilla went on an all-out attacking hunt this summer, bringing in Franco Vazquez, Joaquin Correa, Paulo Henrique Ganso, Wissam Ben Yedder, Hiroshi Kiyotake, and Luciano Vietto. They also added promising defensive midfielder Matias Kranevitter, Manchester City reject Samir Nasri, and goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu, all on loan. They might’ve lost Gregorz Krychowiak, Kevin Gameiro, Ciro Immobile and Fernando Llorente, but the young talent they’ve brought in to replace them has to have Rojiblanco fans excited.
Leverkusen quietly had a very successful transfer window. They lost Christoph Kramer to Monchengladbach, but they added young German star Kevin Volland, Austrian center-back Aleksandar Dragovic, plus the fantastically named and indefatigable Julian Baumgartlinger. Plus they held on to Karim Bellarabi, Hakan Calhanoglu, and Julian Brandt. Incredible work from the Germans.
Schalke lost Leroy Sane to Manchester City, but they used that money to add Swiss wonderkid Breel Embolo, Benjamin Stambouli, Coke, Nabil Bentaleb, Abdul Rahman Baba, Naldo and Ukrainian sensation Yevhen Konoplyanka. That’s how you redistribute transfer funds.
Watford brought in Nigerian youngster Isaac Success, Juventus midfielder Roberto Pereyra, Daryl Janmaat, and a number of other solid squad players to tack onto the team that finished 13th last year. None of them will make your head spin off your neck, but there’s a ton of talent in this group, and they didn't have to break the bank to make any of it happen.
Manchester City added Pep Guardiola, Ilkay Gundogan, Leroy Sane, Nolito, and Claudio Bravo to their already pretty stacked squad this year. That’s not even mentioning Gabriel Jesus, Marlos Moreno, Geronimo Rulli, and Oleksandr Zinchenko, a group of extremely bright young prospects who’ll continue their development elsewhere. Manchester City beefed up, and they got (possibly) the world’s best manager. Scary.
Borussia Dortmund sold their three best players, then hopped into the market like it was nothing and got themselves a whole boatload of young, exciting players to tear around the pitch under Thomas Tuchel. Andre Schurrle, Mario Gotze, Ousmane “fam rewind it, I need to see what he just did” Dembele, Raphael Guerreiro, Sebastian Rode, *takes breath*, Emre Mor, Mikel Merino, and Marc Bartra all arrived at the Westfalenstadion, and they ALL look like they have something special. Mkhitaryan, Hummels, and Gundogan, who?
Another new manager, and with him, two marquee signings. Carlo Ancelotti, Renato Sanches and Mats Hummels join up with Germany’s best to make them, well -- better.
Barcelona were already probably the scariest team in the world. Their one foible was that every year, you could count on them to screw something up in the transfer window. Then they went out and learned how to buy players. This is not cool. Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Digne, Andre Gomes, Denis Suarez, Paco Alcacer, and Jasper Cillessen. Each one of them (minus Cillessen) under 23 years old, and each one of them with the potential to be world class. Again: Not. Cool.
United got themselves a brand new manager, and gave him four brand new marquee signings as a “hey, thanks for being so d*ng persistent” gift. Any combination of Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly would’ve been fantastic, but all four? That’s how you transfer window.
Juventus sold Paul Pogba for a world record fee to Manchester United, but before the transfer was made official to the public, they went and snapped up Miralem Pjanic, Gonzalo Higuain and Dani Alves. They also added Croatian Marko Pjaca, made the transfer of Mario Lemina permanent (in April), and casually pulled off the loan signings of Mehdi Benatia and Juan Cuadrado. Fantastic business from the five-time Italian champions, who basically broke even after the additional sales of Alvaro Morata, Simone Zaza, Roberto Pereyra and a number of other fringe players. Juve just missed out on Axel Witsel due to Zenit dragging their feet, but even without him, they had arguably the best window of anyone this summer.