Welcome to Yahoo Soccer’s Premier League Starting XI. This lineup of stories will get you ready for the upcoming season as we count down to kickoff on Friday.
The English Premier League’s summer transfer window slammed shut Thursday at 5 p.m. local time (noon ET), a little more than 24 hours before the new season was scheduled to kick off.
Who were the big winners and losers on Deadline Day after the dust settled? Let’s take a look.
So what if Spurs missed out on Juventus playmaker Paulo Dybala? Mauricio Pochettino’s team is still significantly improved from the one that finished fourth in the Prem last season and lost in the Champions League final.
After signing no new players the last two transfer windows, becoming the first team in Premier League history to stand pat, Spurs acquired French central midfielder Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon for $67 million in July.
Tottenham then added Argentine midfielder Giovani Lo Celso from Spanish outfit Real Betis — some reports say its for a club-record fee, others that it’s a loan — and highly regarded wide player Ryan Sessegnon from Fulham just before the buzzer sounded. Not bad at all.
The Gunners shockingly acquired longtime Chelsea defender David Luiz from their North London rivals on Thursday. That immediately upgrades their suspect back line, even if the 32-year-old Brazilian is a little bit past his best. What’s more, they spent a reported $9.7 million on him.
Arsenal also signed fullback Kieran Tierney Thursday from Celtic, but the real coup of this window for Unai Emery’s team came last week, when the club landed 24-year-old Ivory Coast forward Nicolas Pepe from French side Lille, after he had drawn serious interest from Liverpool.
Wilfried Zaha — Pepe’s International teammate — is staying put. That’s bad news for the veteran, who reportedly submitted a formal transfer request on Wednesday in an effort to force a transfer to Everton.
But Palace’s owners determined that neither of the Toffees’ two offers was sufficient for the 26-year-old, who has scored 31 goals in 147 league appearances for the club over the last four years.
That means at least another six months at Selhurst Park in South London, which should benefit an Eagles team that wouldn’t have been able to immediately replace Zaha’s production.
The Red Devils were involved in two of the biggest deals of the summer, but it’s still not clear if they actually improved. Sure, selling Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan for $88 million represents a nice piece of business considering the big Belgian forward wasn’t even a full-time starter under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and didn’t really fit his high-press system. On the other hand, how will they make up for his double-digit goals?
Experienced midfielders Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia also departed this summer without being adequately replaced. So while they may have splashed nearly $100 million to buy Harry Maguire from Leicester City — a record fee for a defender — it’s hard to see Maguire alone as the missing piece United needs to reclaim its status as one of England’s elite squads.
It’s a sad commentary on the state of the Toon that the big news on Deadline Day was the return of local product Andy Carroll.
That’s not to say Carroll can’t play. His numbers were fairly respectable at West Ham (26 goals in 102 games) following his disastrous spell at Liverpool, which made him the most expensive British player ever when they bought Carroll from the Magpies back in 2011.
But he’s also on the wrong side of 30 now, and still hasn’t fully recovered from the ankle injury that forced him to miss the end of last season and won’t be ready to play immediately. That’s not an ideal situation for new manager Steve Bruce, who will need Brazilian striker Joelinton and French winger Allan Saint-Maximin to settle in quickly on Tyneside.
Yahoo Soccer’s Premier League Starting XI