As the 2023 summer transfer window concluded at the beginning of September, it ended a four-month period where EPL clubs could add to their squads and remove dead wood. Beginning on 14 June, the 20 clubs spent a record £2.36 billion ($4.5 billion AUD) combined to boost their squads.
Some of the biggest moves included Declan Rice, who captained West Ham to its first European trophy in four decades, moving to Arsenal for a whopping £105 million ($204m AUD). Chelsea also spent big this window, bringing in Brighton’s Moises Caicedo for £115m ($223m AUD), while Rasmus Højlund £72m ($140m AUD) move from Atalanta to Manchester United also made headlines.
With this year’s EPL transfer window being one of the biggest yet, The Inner Sanctum have ranked all 20 sides from worst to best.
20th – Luton Town
Though it has been a miraculous rise for Luton Town, it is hard to see how they will stay up this season based on the signings they made.
Spending just £22m ($44m AUD) during this transfer window, the Hatters brought in defender Ryan Giles from Wolves for £5m ($9m AUD), attacking midfielder Tahith Chong for £4m ($7m AUD) from Birmingham, and midfielder Ross Barkley on a free transfer.
Premier League veteran Ross Barkley will help bring much-needed experience to the Luton Town squad, but it is yet to be seen whether he can recapture the form that convinced Chelsea to sign him for £15m ($29m AUD) in 2018.
The loan signings of youngsters Albert Sambi-Lokonga and Issa Kabora from Arsenal and Manchester City respectively are good additions, but it is yet to be seen whether they will be able to break into the first team.
Despite this, Luton Town fans are thrilled to see their team playing against the world’s best. After starting the season with three straight losses, the Hatters will likely be back in the Championship next season.
Tedem Mengi, Ross Barkley, Ryan Giles, Tahith Chong, Mads Andersen, Marvelous Nakamba, Chiedozie Ogbene, Issa Kabore, Thomas Kaminski, Jacob Brown, Tim Krul, Albert Sambi Lokonga.
Carlos Mendes Gomes, Sonny Bradley, Harry Isted, Josh Neufville, Henri Lansbury, Elliot Thorpe, Jack Walton, Fred Onyedinma, Joe Taylor, John McAtee, Luke Freeman, Dion Pereira, Admiral Muskwe, Allan Campbell, Louie Watson
19th – Everton
Everton has added a few key players to its squad this season but lacks the depth of many other Premier League squads for the 2023/24 season.
Their defensive depth has taken a hit after losing important squad player Alex Iwobi to Fulham. The 27-year-old had the capability of playing out wide in defence and attack when required.
Iwobi’s replacement is Jack Harrison, on loan from Leeds United, who will play in that wide-right attacking role for the Toffees. At the back, Ashley Young can fill in on both flanks as cover but is not a player they will want to start every week given his age.
Up front, Everton has plenty of strike options after the additions of Arnaut Danjuma from Bournemouth on loan from Villareal, as well as big money signing Beto from Italian side Udinese.
Whether they can find that balance upfront remains to be seen after the loss of Demarai Gray early into September.
In midfield, they have plenty of options with Amadou Onana, James Garner and Abdoulaye Doucoure, but they have not strengthened in that area at all and look stagnant, lacking creativity.
At the back, they lack squad depth defensively, with only four senior centre-halves after Mason Holgate was loaned out to Southampton and Yerry Mina was released.
Everton’s squad remains one of the weakest in the league, despite some key additions, but fragility at the back, lack of creativity in midfield, and a lack of proven power up front.
Ashley Young, Arnaut Danjuma, Youssef Chermiti, Jack Harrison, Beto.
Alex Iwobi, Demarai Gray, Mason Holgate, Niels Nkounkou, Ellis Simms, Ishe Samuels-Smith, Lewis Gibson, Isaac Price, Tom Davies, Asmir Begovic, Yerry Mina, Andros Townsend, Stanley Mills, Harry Tyrer, Lewis Warrington, Reece Welch, Einar Iverse, Jean Phillipe, Tom Cannon, Neal Maupay
18th – Wolverhampton Wolves
The Wolves had an interesting transfer window in which they sold pretty much any player who wasn’t signed to a long-term contract and not in their future plans.
Mattheus Nunes, Ruben Neves, Conor Coady, Joao Moutinho, Adama Traore, and Diego Costa headline the list, which saw the club make a profit of over $100m from departing players.
Apart from Mattheus Cunha from Atletico Madrid, Wolves couldn’t bring any more players in that fit into their starting XI. The Brazilian forward was a great pick-up and signed with the club on a full-term deal.
In his four games this season, Cunha has already scored 50 per cent of the amount of goals he did over 17 games in the winter of 2023.
Boubacar Traore was also a good signing, but it is hard to see him making it into the starting squad and is more likely to be a depth player this season. Just like Cunha, he was on loan with the side last year but impressed the coaching staff to earn a full-term deal.
Boubacar Traore, Matheus Cunha, Tom King, Matt Doherty, Enso Gonzalez, Tommy Doyle.
Matheus Nunes, Ruben Neves, Conor Coady, Joao Moutinho, Adam Traore, Diego Costa, Sang Bin Jeong, Nathan Collins, Hayao Kawabe, Dion Sanderson, Jackson Smith, Raul Jimenez, Ryan Giles, Matija Sarkic, Lewis Richards, Tyler Roberts, Nigel Lonwijk, Theo Corbeanu, Louie Moulden, Ki-Jana Hoever, Chiquinho, Dexter Lembikisa, Ollie Tipton, Goncalo Guedes, Luke Cundle, Chem Campbell, Bendeguz Bolla
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17th – Sheffield United
Sheffield United have added names to their squad, but overall lack the quality and depth that is needed in a Premier League team.
Their best signing was attacking midfielder Cameron Archer from Aston Villa for £18 million ($35.2m AUD), but they have lost experience in Enda Stevens, Billy Sharp and Sander Berge, while a bright attacking spark in Iliman Ndiaye left the club for Marseille in Ligue 1.
Their defence will struggle, playing a back three with only five fit senior centre-halves after bringing in promising American Auston Trusty but they lack depth at right.
However, they have plenty of numbers down the left, particularly following the signing of former Liverpool player Yasser Larouci and former Leicester City player Luke Thomas.
In midfield, they have lost some firepower but have added young talent in Vini Souza and Gustavo Hamer, who have started the season well for the Blades.
Manchester City loanee James McAtee and former Everton player Tom Davies will add depth to Sheffield United but whether the side have the quality throughout the season to keep them in the top flight remains to be seen.
Up front, 20-year-old Benie Traore will hope to make a name for himself alongside Archer, Oli McBurnie and the young Daniel Jebbison. While they have a few bright young players up front, they may lack that consistent goal threat this season without a seasoned striker.
The market value of their team is among the lowest in the league and they have not balanced the squad well enough to the point where escaping relegation would be an arduous task to achieve.
Cameron Archer, Auston Trusty, Anis Ben Slimane, Benie Traore, Yasser Larouci, Vinicius Souza, Gustavo Hamer, Tom Davies, Luke Thomas, James McAtee.
George Broadbent, Zak Brunt, Jake Eastwood, Enda Stevens, Theo Williams, Kyron Gordon, Jack O’Connell, Billy Sharp, Oliver Arblaster, Harry Boyes, Finley Potter, Dylan Wharton, Sander Berge, Harrison Neal, Illiman Ndiaye, Louie Marsh.
16th – Bournemouth
Intending to establish itself as a Premier League side, Bournemouth made a few interesting signings that it hopes will help it do that.
The signing of midfielder Alex Scott for £25m ($48m AUD) from Bristol City is likely their most significant signing.
Bournemouth fans will be eager to see if the 20-year-old midfielder who was awarded the Championship Young Player of the Season award in 2023, can carry his excellent form into the Premier League.
Bournemouth also bought in young talents such as 24-year-old midfielder Tyler Adams, 24-year-old forward Justin Kluivert, and 23-year-old right-back Max Aarons. They also added excited Colombian winger Luis Sinisterra on loan from Leeds.
Though they have made some good additions, losing 28-year-old key midfielder Jefferson Lerma on a free transfer to Crystal Palace is a big loss for the Cherries.
Bournemouth’s chances of remaining in the Premier League hinge on the young talent it has invested in this transfer window.
Alex Scott, Max Aarons, Romain Faivre, Justin Kluivert, Hamed Traore, Milos Kerkez, Ionut Radu, Tyler Adams, Luis Sinisterra.
Siriki Dembele, Ben Pearson, Christian Saydee, Jefferson Lerma, Jack Stacey, Jordan Zemura, Junior Stanislas, Will Dennis, Romain Faivre, Mark Travers, Brooklyn Genesini, Josh Popoola, Tarik Gidaree, Matthew Burgess, Christopher Francis, Owen Bevan, James Hill, Jaidon Anthony.
15th – Manchester United
Despite being the first manager to bring silverware to Manchester United since Jose Mourinho in the 2016-17 season, Erik Ten Hag would’ve been justified in being disappointed with his club’s transfer business this window.
After being rewarded a Champions League campaign for finishing third last season, The Red Devils needed to add to their squad, especially with the likes of long-tenured goalkeeper David De Gea not being offered a new contract.
Similarly to top-six rivals Chelsea, the judgement of whether United’s transfer window has been a success or a failure will come with time.
With the purchases of Mason Mount for £60m ($116m AUD), Andre Onana to replace De Gea for £47.2m ($91m AUD) and wunderkind striker Rasmus Højlund for £72m ($140m AUD), there is a large chance the Glazers of United have once again overpaid for players.
Listening to fans of Manchester United, one of the key issues the club have had over recent transfer windows has been overpaying the players they bring in. Many feel the amount they paid for Antony from Ajax last season was too much for what he ended up providing on the field.
Will that happen with the likes of Mount or Højlund this season?
Once again, only time will tell.
Mason Mount, Sofyan Amrabat, Andre Onana, Jonny Evans, Rasmus Højlund, Altay Bayindir, Sergio Reguilon.
Anthony Elanga, Dean Henderson, Bjorn Hardley, Zidane Iqbal, Ethan Laird, Charlie Savage, Alex Telles, Manni Norkett, Ethan Galbraith, Di’Shon Bernard, David De Gea, Phil Jones, Axel Tuanzebe, William Fish, Nathan Bishop, Fred, Eric Hanbury, Charlie Wellens, Matej Kovar, Brandon Williams, Luke Emeran, Tedem Mengi, Mason Greenwood, Charlie McNeil, Logan Pye, Alvaro Fernandez.
14th – Chelsea
Chelsea has found itself to be the laughingstock of the English Premier League since being bought by American business mogul Todd Boehly.
With a combined spend of over £1 billion ($1.9 billion AUD) in total over recent transfer windows, one can be forgiven for being incredibly surprised to see the Blues not playing in any sort of European competition this campaign.
This transfer window was an important one; with new manager Mauricio Pochettino coming in at the end of last season, supporting a manager of European pedigree with new signings was vital.
Although from the outside the number of signings and the players they have brought in seem like good additions, only time will tell just how good the window has been.
Having too much squad depth is an issue not many clubs in the Premier League have had in recent years. However, with multiple potential starters in almost every position, Chelsea has had to off-load more players than any of the league opposition.
Although the Blues had to sell a lot of their squad this window, they also added to it even more, spending over £200m ($389m AUD).
With Monaco’s centre-back Axel Disasi, Villarreal forward Nicolas Jackson, RB Leipzig’s attacking-midfielder Christopher Nkunku, Brighton’s midfielder Moises Caicedo, and Southampton’s Romeo Lavia coming in for more than £235m ($457m AUD).
Chelsea fans can have no complaints about their club’s willingness to spend big. However, with Chelsea still sitting outside the top ten after four games, questions need to be asked whether or not the money is being spent in the right ways.
Despite spending big, The Blues were also able to recoup a fair chunk of cash, with the likes of Kai Havertz, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mason Mount, and Christian Pulisic, five players who were in starting positions for most of last season, all departing the club for just under £200m ($389m AUD).
Chelsea and Todd Boehly in particular will be hinging their hopes on finishing the season in European places this season after spending more than any club in the league since the American billionaire took over the club in May of 2022.
Axel Disasi, Nicolas Jackson, Christopher Nkunku, Kendry Paez, Robert Sanchez, Moises Caicedo, Lesley Ugochukwu, Angelo Gabriel, Alex Matos, Diego Moreira, Ishe Samuels-Smith, Dujuan Richards, Romeo Lavia, Deivid Washington, Djordje Petrovic, Cole Palmer.
Kai Havertz, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic, Lewis Hall, Romelu Lukaku, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ethan Ampadu, Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy, Derrick Abu, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Cesar Azpilicueta, Nathan Baxter, N’Golo Kante, Baba Rahman, Xavier Simons, Dujon Sterling, Ethan Wady, Prince Adegoke, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Juan Castillo, Henry Lawrence, Sam McClelland, Jayden Wareham, David Datro Fofana, Dion Rankine, Teddy Sharman-Lowe, Charlie Webster, Omari Hutchinson, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Ben Elliott, Harvey Vale, Cesare Casadei, Angelo Gabriel, Bryan Fiabema, Joe Haigh, Silko Thomas, Hakim Ziyech, Andrey Santos, Tino Anjorin, Zak Sturge, Mason Burstow, Diego Moreira, Bashir Humphreys.
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13th – Fulham
After Aleksandar Mitrovic departed for Al-Hilal, Fulham nearly went from bad to worse. It seemed as if the trio of Joao Palhinha, Tosin Adarabioyo and Harrison Reed were set to follow Mitrovic out the door but ultimately stayed, much to the pleasure of the Fulham fans.
Particularly Palhinha, who is not only a regular starter for the club but also represented Portugal at the 2020 EURO and 2022 World Cup.
The departure of Mitrovic meant they had to bring someone in to replace him, but they would do the complete opposite.
Having lost a player who scored 27 per cent of their league goals, Fulham replaced him with Raul Jiminez, who has failed to score a single goal since March 2022- a humiliating statistic for the number-one striker of the team.
Yet, to be given much game time so far, Adama Traore could be a handful pickup for the club, having continually shown his raw pace and attacking skill throughout the world for a number of clubs, including Barcelona.
Predominantly coming on as a substitute, Calvin Bassey is another good get for Fulham and a great backup player for the likes of Antonee Robinson, Tim Ream, Issa Diop, and Kenny Tete.
The signing of Alex Iwobi from Everton and Timothy Castagne from Leicester City was somewhat unusual, but they have shown they can be starters in the Premier League. However, they will need to adjust to Fulham’s playing style and will need time to slowly earn their spots in the team or on the reserves.
Alex Iwobi, Calvin Bassey, Timothy Castagne, Raul Jimenez, Steven Branda, Adama Traore, Fode Ballo-Toure, Jay Stansfield, Luke Harris
Aleksandar Mitrovic, Paulo Gazzaniga, Ivan Cavaleiro, Joe Bryan, Neeskens Kebano, Shane Duffy, Anthony Knockaert, Steven Sessegnon, Kevin Mbabu, Jay Stansfield, Terence Kongolo, Manor Solomon, Cedric Soares, Layvin Kurzawa.
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12th – Burnley
While Burnley decided to bring in a plethora of new recruits, the club failed to bring in any stars and instead focused on signing an exciting bunch of young players to lead it into the future.
However, the signings may negatively affect where Burnley ends up on the ladder at the end of the season. If the Clarets finish near relegation or face a battle with other sides for relegation, these new signings may have a negative effect.
In what was a disappointing transfer window, Burnley may have kept all its most important players but it struggled to sign anyone who would make a difference in the team.
Zeki Amdouni, James Trafford, Aaron Ramsey, Jordan Beyer, Sander Berge, Wilson Odobert, Dara O’Shea, Michael Obafemi, Hannes Delcroix, Luca Koleosho, Nathan Redmond, Han-Noah Massengo, Lawrence Vigouroux, Mike Tresor, Jacob Bruun Larsen.
Bobby Thomas, Wout Weghorst, Ashley Barnes, Will Norris, Scott Twine, Luke McNally, Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Dara Coselloe, Matthew Lowton, Jordan Beyer.
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11th – Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace were relatively quiet this transfer window, only deciding to bring in four new player signings: Mattheus Franca, Dean Henderson, Rob Holding and Jefferson Lerma.
Dean Henderson was a surprising pick-up, considering the Eagles didn’t require a goalkeeper because Sam Johnstone held the reigns as the first-choice keeper.
The signing of Jefferson Lerma has seen him slot straight into the defensive midfield position alongside Cheick Doucoure. His versatility has allowed him to play further up the pitch and play as an attacker, adding an extra element to his game and the club.
While Rob Holding may be considered a surprise signing, his experience will help develop the younger players in the team, and he only cost £1m ($2m AUD).
Brazilian Matheus França is set for big things and is one of the best young, promising attacking midfielders. Whilst he is unlikely to slot straight into their first XI, França’s signature has set Palace up for the future with the youngster already earning honours for the Brazil U16s and U20s national team.
Unfortunately, after 18 seasons with the club, Wilfried Zaha turned down a four-year contract offer and departed Palace to join Galatasaray.
While it seemed like an interesting move, his departure has allowed Jean-Phillippe Mateta and Odsonne Édouard to come into their own, with the latter being impressive to begin the season.
Matheus Franca, Dean Henderson, Rob Holding, Jefferson Lerma.
Wilfried Zaha, Luka Milivojevic Jack Butland, Vicente Guaita, James McArthur, Luke Plange
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10th – Liverpool
Liverpool may have lost key players and veterans of the club in Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner, and Roberto Firmino, but it was able to bring in some new blood into the roster.
Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Leipzig has been a regular starter, with the Hungarian being one of the best new transfers in the Premier League to date. Playing a hybrid of midfield and attacking positions, he will progress extremely well under Jurgen Klopp.
The club also picked up 2022 World Cup winner Alexis MacAllister from rivals Brighton. The 24-year-old had played four games to date for the Reds.
Signing a five-year contract with the club, Ryan Gravenberch is regarded as one of the world’s top young talents, but after a failed stint with Bayern Munich, his stock fell dramatically.
A product of the famous Ajax academy, the midfielder is the perfect addition to the team and will likely be a regular starter for years to come.
Liverpool were extremely fortunate to have not lost superstar Mohamed Salah to the Saudi Pro League after rumours arose that he had been offered close to $200m to sign with Al Ittihad.
Dominik Szoboszlai, Alexis MacAllister, Ryan Gravenberch, Wataru Endo.
Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner, Fabio Carvalho, Sepp van den Berg, Calvin Ramsey, Nathaniel Phillips, Rhys Williams.
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9th – Brentford
Brentford acted smart in the market and replaced the holes in its squad with quality players, enough that it should see an improvement on last season.
The Bees have a solid base of players across the pitch; starting in goal, despite loaning David Raya to Arsenal for the season, they have brought in the experienced Mark Flekken, who enjoyed a good season last time out with Freiburg in Germany, helping them to a fifth-placed finish in the Bundesliga.
In defence, the £23 million ($44.9 million AUD) addition of Nathan Collins from Wolves solidifies a defence that already has the likes of Ben Mee, Ethan Pinnock, and Kristoffer Ajer.
Brentford recruited a lot of young talent who will shine in the years to come, including David Beckham’s son, Romeo Beckham, as well as 19-year-old midfielder Ethan Brierley, 18-year-old centre-half Kim Ji-soo, 18-year-old attacker Ethan Laidlaw, and 18-year-old defender Erion Zabeli.
This adds to the quality in depth the Bees have, particularly across the midfield with Christian Norgaard and Vitaly Janelt at the base, with Josh Dasilva, Frank Onyeka, Mathias Jensen and Mikkel Damsgaard already established and with plenty of quality going back and forward, along with new signing, Yegor Yarmolyuk, who adds to that depth.
Their attack has been bolstered since the suspension of Ivan Toney until January 2024, with former Brighton and Everton striker Neal Maupay brought in as their lone central striking option, while Bryan Mbeumo and new permanent signing Kevin Schade provide depth on the right with the loss of Sergi Canos to Valencia for free.
With Damsgaard, Yoana Wissa and Keane Lewis-Potter down the left, Brentford have plenty to offer in attack, albeit a bit light in the striker position.
Brentford brought in smart signings, both in the long and short term, which should set it up for a successful season in the Premier League in 2023/24.
Nathan Collins, Romeo Beckham, Ethan Brierley, Mark Flekken, Ji-Soo Kim, Kevin Schade, Ethan Laidlaw, Erion Zabeli, Neal Maupay.
David Raya, Mads Bidstrup, Halil Dervisoglu, Alex Gilbert, Pontus Jansson, Joel Valencia, Tariqe Fosu, Matthew Cox, Tristan Crama, Daniel Oyegoke, Fin Stevens, Ryan Trevitt, Paris Maghoma, Ben Winterbottom, J’Neil Bennett, Lachlan Brook, Nico Jones, Roco Rees, Roy Syla, Lucias Vine, Sergi Canos, Mads Bech Sorensen
8th – Nottingham Forest
After finishing 16th last season, Nottingham Forest will hope that they’ve done enough to stay up this season after adding the likes of Ibrahim Sangare, Anthony Elanga, Divock Origi, Chris Wood, and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Defensive midfielder, Ibrahim Sangare looks to be their most significant signing, as the Ivorian joined the club for £30m ($58m AUD) from PSV Eindhoven.
Anthony Elanga, who signed for the club from Manchester United for a reported £15m ($29m AUD) hit the ground running for Forest, as he scored the only goal in its shock 1-0 win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
With experienced Premier League strikers Chris Wood and Divock Origi joining the side, Forest has certainly done a good job of bolstering the squad’s forward depth.
If Hudson-Odoi can become a regular in the Forest side, the £5m ($9m AUD) signing could prove to be one of the bargains of the Transfer Window.
Forest was also able to get a new number-one goalkeeper, signing Matt Turner from Arsenal for £10m ($19m AUD).
After having a very busy transfer window, Nottingham Forest will be looking to consolidate themselves as a Premier League side this season, hopefully avoiding a relegation battle.
Andrew Omobamidele, Ibrahim Sangare, Divock Origi, Gonzalo Montiel, Anthony Elanga, Chris Wood, Manni Norkett, Ola Aina, Matt Turner, Andrey Santos, Murrilo, Nuno Tavares, Nicolas Dominguez, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Odysseas Vlachodimos.
Lewis O’Brien, Riley Harbottle, Sam Surridge, Swan, Andre Ayew, Cafu, Adnan Kanuric, Jack Colback, Jesse Lingard, Jordan Smith, Lyle Taylor, Dale Taylor, Fin Back, Aaron Donnelly, Steve Cook, Braian Ojeda, Josh Bowler, Oli Hammond, Billy Fewster, Alex Gibson, Ryan Hammon, Nicky Hogarth, Lewis Salmon, Gustavo Scarpa, Tyrese Fornah, Jonathan Panzo, Loic Mbe Soh, Remo Freuler.
7th – Newcastle
Newcastle has been riding a wave of incredible excitement over the past year or so. The recent acquisition of a Saudi Arabia-backed take-over of the club has seen them climb to be one of the richest footballing sides in the world.
Despite their instant increase of money available for the club to spend, the Magpies have spent their cash carefully, spending a surprisingly low amount compared to what people first expected them to.
Finishing fourth in the Premier League last season, the Toon needed to improve the depth of their squad going into their first Champions League campaign since the 2002/03 season, and they did just that.
The transfer window saw the club bring in a number of players, headlined by Leicester City winger Harvey Barnes who was brought in for £39m ($79m AUD), as well as AC Milan central midfielder Sandro Tonali for £55m ($107m AUD).
The club also spent big on Southampton full-back Tino Livramento for £32m ($62m AUD).
With one eye on the future, Newcastle also brought in a number of young promising talents, including 18-year-old Irish centre-back Cathal Heffernan from AC Milan, 19-year-old Gambian winger Yankuba Minteh from Odense Boldklub, and 17-year-old Shrewsbury Town midfielder Travis Hernes.
Harvey Barnes, Sandro Tonali, Yankuba Minteh, Tino Livramento, Lewis Hall, Cathal Heffernan, Travis Hernes.
Allan Saint-Maximin, Chris Wood, Matt Longstaff, Ryan Fraser, Max Thompson, Ciaran Clark, Matthew Bondswell, Yankuba Minteh, Dale Taylor, Kelland Watts, Jamal Lewis, Karl Darlow, Harrison Ashby, Garang Kuol, Niall Brookwell, Dan Langley, Josh Stewart, Isaac Westendorf, Jay Turner-Cooke, Jeff Hendrick.
6th – West Ham
West Ham fans were understandably anxious as the club stood alone among Premier League teams in failing to secure a single signing as August began. This apprehension persisted even after the departure of their captain, Declan Rice to Arsenal for a staggering £105m ($204m AUD).
Speculation swirled around potential acquisitions like Manchester United’s Scott McTominay and Harry Maguire, as well as Leicester City’s Harvey Barnes, leading to doubts about the club’s ability to invest the windfall from Rice’s sale wisely.
However, the mood among Irons supporters soared when the claret and sky blue outfit eventually commenced their recruitment efforts. Rather than pursuing players who struggled to crack Manchester United’s starting line-up, the European champions cast their net across Europe and England.
Notable acquisitions included the promising Ajax duo Mohammed Kudus and Edson Alvarez, who joined forces with former Southampton skipper James Ward-Prowse to fill the midfield void left by Rice.
Additionally, the arrival of Stuttgart centre-back Konstantinos Mavropanos added defensive depth, generating excitement among West Ham faithful regarding the club’s transfer activities this season.
Furthermore, West Ham achieved the feat of retaining some of its standout performers from the previous season. Although luck played a role, the Hammers successfully thwarted Manchester City’s pursuit of dynamic attacking midfielder Lucas Paqueta.
Mohammed Kudus, Edson Alvarez, James Ward-Prowse, Konstantinos Mavropanos
Declan Rice, Gianluca Scamacca, Nikola Vlasic, Arthur Masuaku, Manuel Lanzini, Flynn Downes.
5th – Brighton
Though Brighton lost arguably three of its best players, Alex Macallister, Robert Sanchez, and Moises Caicedo, it made a whopping £170m ($331m AUD) from those three transfers.
Brighton invested that money into more young talent, adding the likes of 19-year-old midfielder Carlos Baleba, 21-year-old goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen, and 21-year-old forward Joao Pedro.
Brighton also added the experienced and versatile former Liverpool and England player James Milner in hopes of bolstering its midfield for the upcoming season.
It will be interesting to see how 20-year-old wonderkid Ansu Fati fits into the Brighton squad, and how he plays in the Premier League, as he joined the club on loan from Barcelona.
With the Seagulls qualifying for the Europa League this season, it is yet to be seen whether they have enough squad depth to remain competitive in the Premier League while playing regular European football.
With their history of signing young players and then selling them on for a significant profit, it will be interesting to see how the young players Brighton signed during this window will develop going into the future.
Carlos Baleba, Bart Verbruggen, Mahmoud Dahoud, Igor Julio, Joao Pedro, Igor Julio, James Milner, Jacob Slater, Ansu Fati.
Alexis Mac Allister, Robert Sanchez, Moises Caicedo, Reda Khadra, Taylor Richards, Antef Tsoungui, Teddy Jenks, Haydon Roberts, Jack Spong, James Beadle, Kacper Kozlowski, Jeremy Sarmiento, Kjell Scherpen, Abdallah Sima, Odel Offiah, Marc Leonard, Aaron Connolly, Deniz Undav, Michal Karbownik, Jensen Weir, Carl Rushworth, Ed Turns, Billie Clark, Matthew Everitt, Todd Miller, Sam Packham, Casey Gabriel-Shann, Fynn Talley, Lorent Tolaj, Ben Wilson, Andrew Moran, Yasin Ayari, Cameron Peupion, James Furlong.
4th – Tottenham Hotspur
After failing to win silverware once again, the writing was on the wall for Harry Kane to leave Spurs in the transfer window, especially considering he was entering the final year of his contract. Heavy suspicions of a move away from the Spurs were confirmed after the England skipper joined Bundesliga giant Bayern Munich in a £102m ($198m AUD) transfer.
Replacing the English Premier League’s second-highest goal scorer proved to be the first big challenge for new manager Ange Postecoglou, who took over in June.
Despite this huge challenge, Tottenham seemingly replaced the outgoing Kane with ease, helping it on its way to sit second on the ladder going into the first international break of the season.
The permanent signing of Dejan Kulusevski, who had been on loan previously, as well as the signings of Leicester’s James Maddison and Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson, have fit in perfectly with the mentality and attacking outlook the new manager has instilled.
The signing of centre-back Micky van de Ven from Wolfsburg, as well as Empoli’s Guglielmo Vicario, have replaced the outgoing Japhet Tangana, Harry Winks, and Hugo Lloris, with the latter being the Spurs’ Number one keeper for the past decade.
Tottenham has had a blistering start to the season under Postecoglou, who found himself the first-ever Australian to manager in the Premier League.
His attacking mindset helped by an incredible transfer window has helped Tottenham fans chant his name after every game, and has brought them 10 out of a possible 12 points to start the season.
Dejan Kulusevski, James Maddison, Guglielmo Vicario, Manor Solomon, Ashley Phillips, Alejo Veliz’s, Pedro Porro, Micky van de Ven, Brennan Johnson.
Harry Kane, Harry Winks, Moura, Tom Bloxham, Rodon Jamie Bowden, Kallum Cesay, Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Marqes Muir, Alfie Devine, Djed Spence, Troy Parrott, Dane Scarlett, Sergio Reguilon, Japhet Tanganga.
3rd – Aston Villa
Finishing in seventh at the end of the 2022/23 season, Aston Villa found itself qualifying for the Europa Conference League. It has been a return to European football, which the club has not taken part in since the 2010/11 season when they made the Europa League.
Being in the Championship for a large part of the 2010s, Villa will certainly want to make the most of their new-found form under recently appointed manager Unai Emery – winner of eleven major trophies
The Villains have given their chances of another strong campaign on both domestic and European fronts. With the signing of six players, they managed to add to an already strong squad without losing any of their star players who helped them reach European football last season.
With signings such as Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres, Belgian International midfielder Youri Tielemans, highly touted French right-winger Moussa Diaby, Barcelona centre-back Clement Lenglet, and Galatasaray attacking midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo, Aston Villa had one of the best transfer windows out of the twenty Premier League clubs.
If taken seriously, Aston Villa has given itself a chance to go into the Europa Conference League as one of the odds-on favourites to lift the trophy with the transfer window the club had.
Pau Torres, Moussa Diaby, Rico Richards, Youri Tielemans, Nicolo Zaniolo, Clement Lenglet.
Jaden Philogene, Cameron Archer, Aaron Ramsey, Marvelous Nakamba, Ashley Young, Louie Barry, Kaine Kesler-Hayden, Morgan Sanson, Viljami Sinisalo, Wesley Moraes, Finn Azaz, Arjan Raikhy, Lamare Bogarde, Ruben Shakpoke, Chisom Afoka, Keinan Davis, Jed Steer, Brad Young, Declan Frith, Hayden Lindley, Ruben Shakpoke, and Myles Sohna.
2nd – Arsenal
After surprising the football world by finishing second in the league last season, the Gunners have strengthened their squad even more.
The £105m ($204m AUD) signing of Declan Rice from West Ham is without a doubt the highlight of Arsenal’s transfer window. The 24-year-old Englishman has slotted into the side seamlessly, replacing midfielder Granit Xhaka, who was sold to Bayer Leverkusen for £21.4m ($41m AUD).
Though the signing of Kai Havertz from Chelsea for £65m ($126m AUD) has received mixed reviews from Arsenal fans. If Havertz can capture the glimpses he showed at Chelsea, there is no reason why he can’t consolidate himself into Arsenal’s starting XI.
Unfortunately for the Gunners, their £38m signing from Ajax, Jurrian Timber, suffered a significant ACL injury during their 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest, which will likely sideline him for much of this season.
David Raya, who was brought in on loan from Brentford, will look to put pressure on Aaron Ramsdale for Arsenal’s number goalkeeper spot.
After being on top of the Premier League table for much of last season, will these signings be enough to lead Arsenal to its first title in 19 years?
David Raya, Kai Havertz, Declan Rice, Jurrien Timber.
Folarin Balogun, Kieran Tierney, Matt Turner, Granit Xhaka, Pablo Mari, Auston Trusty, Nikolaj Moller, Mazeed Ogungbo, Matt Smith, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Mauro Bandeira, Hubert Graczyk, Billy Vigar, Mika Biereth, Zach Awe, Charlie Patino, Marquinhos, Ben Cottrell, Tom Smith, Joel Ideho, George Lewis, Kaleel Green, Alexandar Kovacevic, Tino Quamina, Mathaeus Roberts, Alex Runarsson, Tyreece John-Jules, Brooke Norton-Cuffy, Nuno Tavares, Nathan Butler-Oyedeji, Arthur Okonkwo, Omar Rekik, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Rob Holding
1st – Manchester City
Topping the list is none other than Manchester City, who replaced Ilkay Gundogan, Riyad Mahrez, Aymeric Laporte, Joao Cancelo, and Cole Palmer with what seems like ease. They have added more depth and quality to their squad with high-profile, smart replacements.
Their goalkeepers were already set with Ederson and Stefan Ortega. They added size and speed with their big-money signing, 2023 Ballon d’Or nominee Josko Gvardiol at £77m ($151m AUD) from RB Leipzig to replace Laporte at the back, who left for Al Nassr for £23m ($46m AUD).
Alongside Ruben Dias, John Stones, Manuel Akanji, and Nathan Ake, Gvardiol is a major signing for City and will cover Cancelo’s spot at left-fullback after his loan move to Barcelona.
In midfield, despite losing Gundogan, Manchester City has gone for the perfect replacement in Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea for £30m ($58m AUD) as well as the incredibly talented Matheus Nunes from Wolverhampton Wanderers for £53m ($103m AUD).
The duo adds to the quality City already has with Rodri, Kalvin Phillips, Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, and Phil Foden in midfield – a truly frightening prospect for opposition teams.
Up front, City has two of the most lethal strikers in the league with the robotic Erling Haaland, as well as Julian Alvarez, while Jack Grealish and Foden provide depth on the left wing.
On the right, Palmer has departed City for Chelsea for £42m ($83m AUD) as well as Riyad Mahrez to Al Ahli for £30m ($58m AUD) but they have replaced them with the electric 21-year-old Belgian winger Jeremey Doku for £55m ($108m AUD) from Rennes.
Overall, City has lost some big names who have brought them plenty of success but replaced them with like-for-like players that somehow have added to the quality of their stacked squad; it is with that smart business that they have topped this list and will be the favourites to win the Premier League and go deep in every competition they play in.
Jeremey Doku, Josko Gvardiol, Mateo Kovacic, Spike Brits, Yangel Herrera, Matheus Nunes.
Riyad Mahrez, Aymeric Laporte, Joao Cancelo, Shea Charles, James Trafford, Alex Robertson, Josh McNamara, Adedire Mebude, Morgan Rogers, Cieran Slicker, Terrell Agyemang, Ilkay Gundogan, Benjamin Mendy, Kian Breckin, Yan Couto, Liam Delap Callum Doyle, Issa Kabore, Josh Wilson-Esbrand, Carlos Borges, Finley Burns, Rowan McDonald, Jadel Katongo, Maximo Perrone, Cole Palmer, Tommy Doyle, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, James McAtee.