Home / Soccer Fans / Summer Transfers – The Final Score


Earlier this summer we looked at the progress teams were making in the transfer market. A lot has happened since we dubbed our early winners and losers, and now with the transfer window shut until January it’s time to hand out some final grades. With all of the major leagues getting under way, the play of some newcomers has already improved some team’s positions. As before, we will start with the winners.

  1. Liverpool: While no slouch in the middle of the summer at No. 3, the early-season form of the Reds has catapulted them to the top of the winners and the English Premier League table. Signings Fernando Torres, Ryan Babel, Andriy Voronin and Yossi Benayoun have all played a vital role in Liverpool’s early success while adding depth and making them serious title contenders.
  2. Barcelona: Thierry Henry got all the headlines, but the defensive additions of Yaya Toure, Gabriel Milito and Eric Abidal might be the most significant additions. Still, Henry is Henry and Barcelona again has the scariest attacking lineup in the world.
  3. Bayern Munich: The German giants’ big summer spending is already paying dividends and sending a message to the rest of the Bundesliga. Franck Ribery, Miroslav Klose and Luca Toni have added attacking prowess. The return of midfielder Ze Roberto is a plus as are the additions of Hamit Altintop, Jose Sosa and Marcell Jansen.
  4. Real Madrid: The only team to jump from our losers list makes the leap after a flurry of quality additions late in the transfer window. Madrid’s additions had a very Dutch feel with the arrivals of Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Royston Drenthe. In defense Christoph Metzelder, Pepe and Gabriel Heinze have all added some bite. Javier Saviola adds depth at forward and Jerzy Dudek gives Madrid and experienced and capable back-up goalie. New Manager Bernd Schuster is also paying dividends as he has opened up Madrid’s attack and has it sitting at the top of the table.
  5. Manchester United: While the Reds early-season form has been lacking, they still had a wonderful summer. The late capture of Carlos Tevez kept our previous No. 1 winner on the list. Owen Hargreaves has played well so far and youngsters Nani and Anderson have shown promise for this season and for the future of United.

Honorable Mentions: Chelsea (added depth, but besides Florent Malouda, no real difference makers), Manchester City (Sven Goran Eriksson’s squad has been an early surprise and has been lifted by newcomers Elano, Rolando Bianchi, Geovanni and Martin Petrov), Atletico Madrid (Good signings in Diego Forlan, Simao, Thiago Motta, Luis Garcia, Jose Antonio Reyes and Christian Abbiati after the sale of Torres), Inter Milan (Christian Chivu, Hernan Crespo and David Suazo were all good signings for the reigning Serie A champs) Blackburn (while it only made two signings, forward Roque Santa Cruz could turn out to be the bargain of the summer).

Now, on to the losers. While some of these squads may be off to good starts, these rankings are based on what they did during the summer. So even if AC Milan wins the Scudetto, right now its summer has been quiet and disappointing.

  1. AC Milan: The defending European champion did little to bolster its ageing squad. While January signing Ronaldo will not be cup-tied this season, he does not count in this ranking. Milan did get 17-year-old Brazilian wunderkind Alexandre Pato, but he will not be able to play until January, and again he his just 17. Defensive midfielder Emerson also arrived, but besides that it was not a good summer for Milan.
  2. Lyon: With six straight Ligue 1 titles, Lyon has been doing well domestically. This summer though, it faltered a bit. The losses of Malouda and Abidal will hurt the left side of the pitch, especially since the only significant signing for Lyon was Fabio Grosso. Not an inspiring transfer window.
  3. Tottenham Hotspur: Spurs were an honorable mention as winners in the middle of the summer, but after a sluggish start, their deficiencies have been shown and a lack of looking for need during the transfer window has come back to hurt them. The $33 million signing of Darren Bent looks extraneous and unnecessary with Dimitar Berbatov, Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane still around. Younes Kaboul and Kevin Prince-Boateng are still adapting. The best signing was 18-year-old fullback Gareth Bale who has been pressed into service on the left wing. With all the money splashed around and desires to break into the top four, the Spurs didn’t bring in a midfield playmaker to solidify its play or a top-notch defender to balance out its attack.
  4. Fulham: Manager Lawrie Sanchez spent around $50 million this summer on 14 new players, and still the Cottagers should finish around the relegation zone, if not in it. When summer signings don’t signal a turn in the right direction, that is a sure fire way to hit the loser list.
  5. Arsenal: We may have been a bit hard on the Gunners earlier, but that was when the departure of Henry was still fresh in our minds. Still, Arsene Wenger went with youth and did not adequately fill Henry’s boots, which might hurt if Arsenal needs some late match winners this season. Eduardo da Silva, Bakary Sagna, Lassana Diarra, Lukasz Fabianski and Havard Nordtveit could all turn out to be good players, but they might not make the impact Arsenal needs this year.

Not-so-Honorable Mentions: Juventus (Some solid signings, but nothing to replace the talent it lost when it was sentenced to Serie B last season), Sunderland (Only Craig Gordon looks like he’s justifying his transfer fee), Valencia (Manuel Fernandes is a good signing, but not much more help was brought in).

As always more winners and losers should surface as teams get more games in, but for now this is the list. We also liked the off-seasons for Roma, Everton and Newcastle, and are still skeptical of the dealings of West Ham, Reading and Werder Bremen.


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  1. I watched Barcelona play Athletic last weekend on GolTV and it was amazing. The combinations between Ronaldinho, Messi and Henry were incredible. They play for each other. At one point toward the end Dos Santos entered the game and it seemed like Ronaldinho wanted him to score. He continued to go out of his way to get him the ball. I have to give Barcelona the top spot. Their team chemistry and overwhelming talent pool will give them the edge over all teams in Europe.