Transfer window’s biggest winner and loser
The Premier League’s starting pistol will let off an emphatic bang this year. Thanks to a vote by the clubs, the transfer window closed on Thursday, slamming shut on the fingers of managers who didn’t get their business done in time. No August midnight rush, no “deadline day” bonanza on Sky Sports.
Biggest winner: Liverpool
Liverpool is cool again. Jürgen Klopp has turned them into winners whoare easy to cheer for and fun to watch.
Now, with a few prudent additions, it’s not hard to envision the Champions League finalists challenging for the league.
They finally have a keeper more worthwhile than a lamppost. Like the old womanwhoswallowed a fly, the last attempts to fill this position didn’t go so well. Simon Mignolet was never able to
touch the consistency of Pepe Reina, whereas his own upgrade, Loris Karius, quickly proved to be more of a liability than a replacement.
But in the £65-million Alisson Beckerthey have one of the world’s best, and he will only get better.
In the centre, Fabinho, Naby Keïta and Xherdan Shaqiri will provide both immediate impact and depth. Shaqiriin particular has shown enough flashes to remind us why Bayern Munich once considered him a solidprospect. It’s a slight gamble, but a fluid Reds side might just see him excel.
As for departures? Nothing of note, unless you derive an irrational satisfaction from watching Emre Can amble about in midfield.
Sorest loser: ManUnited
José Mourinho has spent the past month having a good old-fashioned moan. He’s cried about the lack of signings, taken shots at the club’s board and alleged that not giving Alexis Sanchez the right support is a human rights abuse.
Isolating yourself is probably not the best useof the precious time in this year’s window; especially if you’re out to disprove the notion of a third-season curse you may or may not have.
The Red Devils needed big names to prove they haven’t been resigned to noisy neighbour status. Fred has arrived from Shakhtar Donetskbut is hardly a marquee signing. Diogo Dalot is an interesting rival to Antonio Valenciabut he’s still young and raw. Backup goalkeeper Lee Grant is exactly that.
Add in the undying speculation about Paul Pogba and the attempted desertion of Anthony Martial and Man U are in trouble before even kicking a ball this season.