Originally Published on Sixth Feb
Praise be the gods, club football is almost back! After enduring a summer that was somehow both packed with football and had nothing interesting to watch at the same time, we get to look forward to the excitement of the Premier League! I mean if Leicester City - the greatest underdog story ever© - could win it, anyone can right? It's not like the Euros or the Copa America where the obvious favourites keep winning. In that vein, the ignorant fan is going to make completely informed judgments* on the upcoming season based on clubs' transfers so far!
*Judgments may not be complete or informed. Or even judgments, honestly.
Ins: Maarten Stekelenburg
Outs: Tim Howard, Aidan Graham, Tony Hibbert, Leon Osman, Steven Pienaar, Felipe Rohde, Jindrich Stanek and Jordan Thorniley
I know that keepers are supposed to be able to play until their late 30s, but he's had a long and fairly successful career. Sure, he never really made it at the highest level at the domestic level, but he did put in some great performances for his country. It's understandable that the club would want to release him at this stage. What I don't understand is why Everton have then gone and signed him. Stekelenburg? Really? If you wanted Dutch and average, why not just buy Jasper Cillessen?
Ins: Jonathan Edwards
Outs: Max Clark, Sone Aluko and Ben Clappison
I've got nothing. Who the living hell is Jonathan Edwards? Steve Bruce can barely keep a team in the Premier League after spending millions, there was no chance he was going to stick around without any real transfers. However, a lot of it does fall on him too. Sone Aluko was a decent lower-mid table player when he got to Hull. Now he's a decent lower-mid table player ONE LEAGUE LOWER. How can you except to keep being handed money, if you keep screwing it up Steve?
Ins: Ahmed Musa, Nampalys Mendy, Ron-Robert Zieler and Luis Hernandez
Outs: N'Golo Kante, Andrej Kramaric, Joe Dodoo, Jacob Blyth, Jonathan Maddison, Ryan Watson, Paul Konchesky, Kyle Bailey, Jack Barmby, Dean Hammond, Aaron Hassall, Michael Kelly, Keenan King, Harrison Panayiotou, Mark Schwarzer and Max Smith-Varnam
I'm a little confused about Leicester. On the one hand, Musa, Mendy and Zieler are nothing more than decent Europa League signings. Normally, a title-winning side would be torn apart for these kind of transfers. On the other hand, they won the league with Marc Albrighton. So, I'm going to guess a 10th place finish coupled with the Champions League. I should be able to get 5000-1 odds on that somewhere.
Ins: Sadio Mane, Loris Karius, Ragnar Klavan, Alex Manninge and Joel Matip
Outs: Jordon Ibe, Martin Skrtel, Jerome Sinclair, Sergi Canos, Lawrence Vigouroux, Jordan Rossiter, Joao Carlos Teixeira, Danny Ward, Adam Bogdan, Ryan Fulton, Daniel Cleary, William Marsh, Ryan McLaughlin, Alex O'Hanlon, Kristof Polgar, Jose Enrique, Kolo Toure and Samed Yesil
Jurgen Klopp was brought in to be the antithesis of Brendan Rodgers. Where the Scot had been reactive, the German was meant to be proactive. Where Rodgers had brought shame upon the club with Being Liverpool, Klopp was meant to make Liverpool cool again with his branded form of heavy metal football. Despite the low finish last year, fans and neutrals were both excited about what Klopp could do in his first full summer. Would he be raiding Bayern for Gotze? How about Hummels from Dortmund? No, he goes and buys Mane from f***ing Southampton of all places. It's good to know that somethings will never change.
Ins: Ilkay Gundogan, Nolito, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Aaron Mooy
Outs: Seko Fofane, Aaron Mooy, Jack Byrne, Charlie Albinson, Martin Demichelis, Nathaniel Oseni, Sam Tattum and Richard Wright
After years of half-arsed transfers - for Aguero, think Negredo - Manchester City seemed to have finally got their act together. They've found themselves a top-notch manager, and are going about their business early and professionally. It's funny how the exact same thing was said about Pep at Bayern in 2013, and look how he did there. It's a good thing Guardiola has found himself in charge of another club playing in a one-horse league, where their only real challengers are in decline.
For Parts 1,3 and 4, click here