by Nishant D. Parekh, M.D.

Having had a few games to watch the new players play on their new teams, this is an introspective look at the transfer winners and losers in the BPL.


At Goodison Park, the past few seasons the emphasis has been on selling before buying. This unfortunately, always left the squad weakened. This season, however, Everton did good business and managed to make the squad stronger. They were bound to lose one of their bright lights, but the fact they only lost Jack Rodwell and (fading light) Tim Cahill has got to make the manager David Moyes very happy. In return for the price of one Rodwell they got Kevin Mirallas, Bryan Oviedo and the return of fan favorite Steven Pienaar. If Mirallas – who was scoring goals for fun in Greece – and last season’s transfer sensation Nikica Jelavic gel quickly, Everton could have one of the most potent attacking lines in the BPL. Also getting Steven Naismith for free from Rangers was a coup, as was rejecting the overtures for defender Leighton Baines from Manchester United.

Ins: F Matthew Kennedy (Kilmarnock), F Kevin Mirallas (Olympiakos), F Steven Naismith (Rangers), MF Bryan Oviedo (FC Copenhagen), MF Steven Pienaar (Tottenham Hotspur)

Outs: MF Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), G Marcus Hahnemann (released), F James McFadden (released), MF Jack Rodwell (Manchester City), MF James Wallace (Tranmere Rovers), D Joseph Yobo (Fenerbahce), João Silva (Levski Sofia)


Manchester United

You have to hand it to the master tactician- Alex Ferguson. He has been doing it for over 25 years and seems like he did it again this year. He successfully, at least on paper, transitioned out some of the older players to bring in youth and/or class – signing two of the best players he has arguably signed in his 20 plus years at Old Trafford; one being a Bundesliga top performer in Shinji Kagawa, the other being Arsenal captain Robin van Persie. The transfer coup of RvP has to count as a transfer equivalent of a “6-pointer” – signing the league’s top scorer and at the same time taking him from your closest rival from the previous campaign. Some say that Fergie overpaid for the striker ($28.8 million) but early indications suggest that the price was just right. Players in the exit lanes were only those that were having a tough time getting in games – Berbatov, Kusczak, Ji-Sung and Fabio (out on loan). The only sour patch was the loss of Paul Pogba to Juventus.

Ins: MF Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund), MF Nick Powell (Crewe), F Robin van Persie (Arsenal), D Alexander Büttner (Vitesse Arnhem)

Outs: F Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham), D Ritchie De Laet (Leicester City), D Fabio (Queens Park Rangers, on loan), G Tomasz Kuszczak (Brighton & Hove Albion), F Michael Owen (released), MF Park Ji-Sung (Queens Park Rangers), MF Paul Pogba (Juventus)


Tottenham Hotspur

So finally the Luka Modric saga ends, moving on (at the second time asking) to none other than Real Madrid. Their other midfield star, Rafael van der Vaart, went back to the Bundesliga and Hamburg. Despite those two leaving, all in all Spurs should be very happy with the business they did. Six players arrived and all could very well be first-teamers for Andre Villas-Boas this year. The acquisition of Fulham pair Moussa Dembélé and Clint Dempsey looks very good business, and in finalising Emmanuel Adebayor’s transfer on a permanent basis, they hold onto their major striking threat from last season. Add in the impressive Jan Vertonghen, Icelandic wonder Gylfi Sigurdsson and French captain Hugo Lloris, Spurs were more than happy with what they did and they have every reason to be.

Ins: F Emmanuel Adebayor (Manchester City), MF Moussa Dembele (Fulham), MF Gylfi Sigurdsson (Hoffenheim,), D Jan Vertonghen (Ajax), MF Clint Dempsey (Fulham), G Hugo Lloris (Lyon)

Outs: MF Luka Modric (Real Madrid), G Ben Alnwick (Barnsley), D Sebastien Bassong (Norwich), D Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), MF Niko Kranjcar (Dynamo Kiev), D Ryan Nelsen (Queens Park Rangers), MF Steven Pienaar (Everton), D Danny Rose (Sunderland), F Louis Saha (Sunderland), D Bongani Khumalo (PAOK Salonika), MF Giovani Dos Santos (Real Mallorca), MF Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburg)


Swansea City

How can a team say that they were transfer winners when they lost one of the brightest young managers in the game (Brendan Rodgers), their master passer (Joe Allen), missed out on their top target (Sigurdsson), and lost their ace winger (Scott Sinclair)? Ladies and gentlemen, meet Swansea. The Wales-based outfit replaced Rodgers with Michael Laudrup (one the best strikers of his generation and a smart, young tactician) and significantly strengthened the team with some excellent new signings: Michu, Ki-Sung yeung, and Pablo Hernandez – all were bought with change from the Allen sale. To that add Jonathan De Guzman, Kyle Bartley, Chico and Itay Shechter and Laudrup did very well indeed. Michu in particular looks like he is ready to light up the BPL.

Ins: D Chico Flores (Genoa), F Pablo Hernandez (Valencia), MF Jonathan De Guzman (Villarreal, on loan), MF Michu (Rayo Vallecano), F Itay ShechterI(Kaiserslautern), MF Ki-Sung-yeung (Celtic), F Jamie Proctor (Preston), D Kyle Bartley (Arsenal)

Outs: MF Joe Allen (Liverpool), F Scott Sinclair (Manchester City), F Stephen Dobbie (Brighton & Hove Albion)



Just when we thought Chelsea were starting to lose their swagger, like lumbering giants they won the UEFA Champion’s League. And what did they do with the winning team? Gutted it. Out went Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, José Bosingwa and Michael Essien. However, with the cache and appeal of being European Champions, they stunned everyone when they landed the most coveted and exciting talent “available” this summer – Eden Hazard. But they weren’t done there. They then proceeded to add Oscar – Brazilian wunderkind – who some call the next Kaka, and exciting Serbian winger/attacking midfielder Marko Marin. So what if they have a plethora of creative playmaker-type midfielders? No one ever lost because they had too much talent. They also shipped out Yossi Benayoun, Romelu Lukaku and Gael Kakuta – the latter being the cause for a lot of fuss and a near ban on transfer activities a few seasons back. The only reservation about this team is the lack of depth in first team strikers.

Ins: D Cesar Azpilicueta (Marseille), MF Eden Hazard (Lille), MF Marko Marin (Werder Bremen), MF/F Victor Moses (Wigan Athletic), MF Oscar (Internacional)

Outs: MF Yossi Benayoun (West Ham United, on loan), D Jose Bosingwa (Queens Park Rangers), MF Kevin De Bruyne (Werder Bremen, on loan), F Didier Drogba (Shanghai Shenhua), MF Michael Essien (Real Madrid), MF Thorgan Hazard (Zulte Waregem, on loan), F Gael Kakuta (Vitesse Arnhem), F Salomon Kalou (Lille), F Romelu Lukaku (West Bromwich Albion, on loan), MF Josh McEachran (Middlesbrough, on loan), D Patrick van Aanholt (Vitesse Arnhem)


Queens Park Rangers

QPR were the busiest team in the transfer window – no less than 12 new signings arrived. The likes of Park Ji-sung, José Bosingwa and Andy Johnson are proven Premier League performers whilst Junior Hoilett is an outstanding prospect. Esteban Granero, Julio Cesar and Stéphane Mbia are also top caliber players with pedigree from top European clubs. The names arriving have plenty of experience and talent. If Mark Hughes can make QPR the team greater than the sum its individual players, QPR will make a serious push at a top half finish – the talent is there.

Ins: MF Samba Diakite (Nancy), D Fabio (Manchester United), GK Robert Green (West Ham United), F Junior Hoilett (Blackburn), F Andy Johnson (Fulham), D Ryan Nelsen (Tottenham Hotspur), MF Park Ji-Sung (Manchester United), D José Bosingwa (Chelsea), GK Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), MF Esteban Granero (Real Madrid), D Stéphane Mbia (Marseille), D Sam Magri (Portsmouth)

Outs: F Patrick Agyemang (released), F Jay Bothroyd (Sheffield Wednesday, on loan), MF Joey Barton (Marseille, on loan), MF Akos Buzsaky (free), D Daniel Gabbidon (released), D Fitz Hall (released), GK Paddy Kenny (Leeds United), F Heidar Helguson (Cardiff City), D Peter Ramage (Crystal Palace), D Daniel Shittu (released)


Honorable mention goes out to:
Newcastle for hanging onto all their prized assets – the Senegalese strike force of Demba Ba and Papiss Cissé, midfielders Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye and goalkeeper Tim Krul.
West Ham for the 11th hour deal to bring in front man Andy Carroll. This is the perfect setting for Carroll to rediscover his form; the formation and style of play at Liverpool were not suited to this big man – he will do well at West Ham once he recovers from his hamstring issues.
Southampton for getting a very, very good Gaston Ramirez from nowhere…well, not literally from nowhere (Bologna), but you get the picture.


For the losers first I’ll focus on the teams that actually made some moves in the transfer market but didn’t make the right moves. Then obviously we’ll talk about the teams that made little to no move and should have.


Though Arsène Wenger landed most of his top targets – Cazorla, Giroud and Podolski – losing Robin van Persie to hated BPL rivals Manchester United, and Alex Song to perennial raiders Barcelona, is a massive blow. The writing was on the wall last season, when Alex Song orchestrated the midfield and unlocked defences – it was very Barcelona-esque. Whilst they may have more creativity, as a whole they are weaker.

Ins: MF Santi Cazorla (Malaga), F Olivier Giroud (Montpellier), F Lukas Podolski (Cologne)

Outs: GK Manuel Almunia (Watford), D Kyle Bartley (Swansea), D Gavin Hoyte (Dagenham & Redbridge), MF Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest), F Robin van Persie (Manchester United), MF Alex Song (Barcelona), F Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad), F Park Chu-Young (Celta Vigo, on loan)



New manager Brendan Rodgers had a lot of work to do. He had to shift some of the underperforming, overpriced and overpaid players from previous regimes and at the same time install new players with his belief. Target #1 – Sigurdsson – was not landed. Target #2 – Dempsey – was not landed. They did land two impressive midfield talents – Joe Allen and Nuri Sahin. The latter was part of a stellar Borussia Dortmund team prior to an ill-advised move to Real Madrid (read here Modric). If Sahin can reach those heights again, the Turk could be a valuable asset in the Liverpool midfield. The need for strikers was made even more glaringly obvious after the bewildering decision to allow loan out Andy Carroll at the last minute and Liverpool failed to land Target #2 or any other striker for that matter. Fabio Borini was the only striker added. Early signs suggest that Liverpool will rue this decision, till January at least.

Ins: MF Joe Allen (Swansea City), F Fabio Borini (Roma), MF Oussama Assaidi (Heerenveen), MF Nuri Sahin (Real Madrid, on loan), F Samed Yesil (Bayern Leverkusen)
Outs: MF Charlie Adam (Stoke), MF Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina), D Fabio Aurelio (Gremio), F Craig Bellamy (Cardiff City), F Andy Carroll (West Ham United), F Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahce), MF Maxi Rodriguez (Newell’s Old Boys), MF Toni Silva (Barnsley), F Nathan Eccleston (Blackpool), MF Jay Spearing (Bolton Wanderers, on loan)


Manchester City

Aside from Javi Garcia, Manchester City’s additions feel like afterthoughts, and they must have been because five of the six happened on deadline day. Once again, Javi Garcia aside, none of the players look like they will actually be part of Roberto Mancini’s starting XI. They also did not strengthen their striking options. Edin Dzeko looks unhappy playing a bit part role and should probably have moved on to other European pastures, and someone of the ilk of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Hulk or Radamel Falcao should have come in. They have also lost Adam Johnson and Nigel de Jong and they failed to land top targets Robin van Persie, Eden Hazard and Daniele de Rossi. May be the UEFA Financial Fair Play is actually working, or may be Manchester City just doesn’t have the same draw as some of the other top clubs. Either way, Manchester City are going to struggle to retain their title.

Ins: D Maicon (Inter Milan), MF Jack Rodwell (Everton), MF Scott Sinclair (Swansea City), D Matija Nastasic (Fiorentina), GK Richard Wright (free), MF Javi García (Benfica)

Outs: F Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham), D Wayne Bridge (Brighton & Hove Albion, on loan), MF Omar Elabdellaoui (PSV Eindhoven, on loan), MF Owen Hargreaves (released), MF Adam Johnson (Sunderland), GK Stuart Taylor (released), MF Vladimir Weiss (Pescara), MF Nigel de Jong (AC Milan, on loan), D Stefan Savic (Fiorentina), D Dedryck Boyata (Twente, on loan), F Roque Santa Cruz (Malaga, on loan)


Wigan Athletic

Wigan’s biggest coup in the transfer season was holding onto Houdini, a.k.a. manager Roberto Martinez. In avoiding relegation in 2011/12, he masterminded a Great Escape for Wigan last season that even Steve McQueen would have been proud of. This past off-season they have been busy doing most of their meaningful shopping in Spain. Roberto Martinez will be pleased to get Ivorian striker Arouna Kone, who is a good signing, and defender Ivan Ramis. But that is far from fulfilling all their needs. The loss of star Victor Moses is going to hurt, as is the loss of the midfield steel of Mohamed Diame. The jury is out on striker Hugo Rodallega; if he turns out to be the player of a few seasons ago for Fulham, Wigan will regret the loss. They likely won’t.

Ins: MF Fraser Fyvie (Aberdeen), F Arouna Kone (Levante), MF Ryo Miyaichi (Arsenal), D Ivan Ramis (Real Mallorca)

Outs: MF Mohamed Diame (West Ham United), F Nouha Dicko (Blackpool, on loan), D Steve Gohouri (released), GK Chris Kirkland (Sheffield Wednesday), MF/F Victor Moses (Chelsea), F Hugo Rodallega (Fulham), F Conor Sammon (Derby County)



How the Royals landed Pavel Pogrebnyak we may never know. May be it heralds the new beginnings under new owner Anton Zingarevich. On the evidence of his form with Fulham and his early games with Reading, Pogrebnyak may yet be the savior of Reading this season.  Danny Guthrie is becoming somewhat of a journeyman but adds some quality in the midfield. But, there have been no other significant additions – it has been more quantity than quality. It is going to take some smart managing to keep Reading in the chase to avoid relegation but they may have to ultimately go back in the January market since they look to have come up short this summer.

Ins: D Chris Gunter (Nottingham Forest), MF Danny Guthrie (Newcastle), D Adrian Mariappa (Watford), MF Garath McCleary (Nottingham Forest), F Pavel Pogrebnyak (Stuttgart), D Nicky Shorey (West Bromwich Albion), GK Stuart Taylor (Manchester City)

Outs: MF Michail Antonio (Sheffield Wednesday), GK Mikkel Andersen (Portsmouth, on loan)


About the Author:

Nishant D. Parekh, M.D. is a neuroradiologist and neuroadiology fellow at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. In his spare time (if such a thing exists with him), he is a fan of all things soccer, especially the Barclays Premier League, which he has intently followed since 1996. By concentrating really hard, you can hear his bellows of “Glory, Glory Man United” all the way from the Second City. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto.

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