It’s over, everyone. We’ve made it through months of rumours, misleading reports and rage-inducing headlines. Well done us.
Deadline Day was eventful without providing too much. Completed deals were short of blockbuster level, but they did at least happen, which is quite an upgrade on recent years. The excitement from Sky Sports was as heady as we have come to expect, too, even when they realised the biggest money deals were all certain no-goers at about 6pm.
It went ‘right to the wire’ as Jim White loves to say. Deals were announced at gone 1am, and clubs – for reasons best known to themselves – left potentially season defining transfers until right at the last minute.
Managers up and down the table will be disappointed, and few can claim to have had a faultless window.
The undoubted kings of the window – for the title challengers at least – were Manchester United. Signing Nemanja Matic was crucial to their midfield, Victor Lindelof gives another potential partner to Eric Bailly, and the arrival of Romelu Lukaku is a game-changer. Resigning Zlatan Ibrahimovic gives Jose Mourinho endless forward options too. Having got off to a flyer in the league, their price of 2/1 to lift the title looks a gem.
Manchester City enjoyed early success, but their centre-back frustration and failed pursuit of Alexis Sanchez leaves it feeling incomplete. They remain title favourites, but the reliance on the injury prone Vincent Kompany is a concern for any backers.
Spurs’ Deadline Day push that saw the signings of Fernando Llorente and Serge Aurier made a real difference to their chances, though a lack of pace is still a major concern. Their price of evens to make the top four is a good one.
Chelsea similarly splashed cash as they added Davide Zappacosta and Danny Drinkwater to their squad. Depth is still a slight concern, but their 11/2 price to retain the title seems lengthy given how emphatically they won it last year.
Arsenal’s poor start leaves them as rank outsiders even for a top four berth, and their end of window inactivity only hammered that home. Liverpool, meanwhile, had a decent window, but their failure to add a centre-back leaves question marks over the 4/6 top four price.
Away from the top six jostling, the ‘best of the promoted teams’ market is an appealing one. With Rafa Benitez at the helm, it’s understandable that Newcastle are favourites at evens. Their window was underwhelming – though Mikel Merino has made a great early impression – but Benitez will find a way to accumulate points.
Huddersfield have slipped to 7/4 having got off to an absolute flyer under David Wagner. An injury to Aaron Mooy could derail their season, however, and we have seen plenty of promoted teams run out of steam after a great start. How all their new signings settle will clearly be key for the Terriers.
Brighton unsurprisingly sit at 7/2. Chris Hughton’s side were turned down by Vincent Janssen on Deadline Day, but their window makes them one of the league’s more intriguing teams. Hughton is a pragmatic, cool-headed manager and could guide Brighton to a rather more comfortable season than many expect. The grave concern is a lack of goals, though, and their start to the season has done little to quash that.
Before we stop the transfer talk for another few months, it could be worth taking a look at West Bromwich Albion in the Midlands market. Having enjoyed perhaps the best window of any Premier League club, Tony Pulis’ warriors are way out at 11/5 to finish above Leicester and Stoke. One of the value outright bets about at the moment, that one.