With the dust starting to settle on the summer window and Chelsea trying to sort out the final pieces of paperwork to secure loan destinations for any number of players, it can only mean one thing – it’s time to mete out the coveted Transfer Window Awards! Will your team win an award?
The U-Turn Award: Timo Werner (Chelsea FC)
Cast your mind back to late Spring and it seemed certain that Chelsea’s German striker was going elsewhere. After a stellar season at RB Leipzig, every single journalist was queueing up to send the centre-forward to Anfield to bolster the front-line.
Step forward Marina Granovskaia, who quickly ascertained that he was in fact available for a steal, and a few hours later, hands were being shaken. A month later, Timo Werner was confirmed as a Blue.
Although Werner hasn’t quite hit the heights we expected so far from his first games at Chelsea, it was still worth it just to see the outpouring of ‘We didn’t want him anyway’ from a certain Merseyside club that had spent a good three months planning and deliberating where he fitted in. A worthy 1st award winner.
The Stupendous L Award: Manchester United
Cast your minds back to early June and Manchester United were – according to their fanbase on social media – set to dominate English football once again. Jadon Sancho was joining for the right wing, Jude Bellingham was coming in too, there was a world-class left-back, Declan Rice was joining to play in front of Dayot Upamecano and £80m bargain Harry Maguire.
Now flash-forward to October. After spending three months mulling, pondering and considering an approach, United have failed miserably to sign nearly all of their targets. They’ve finally signed Alex Telles, waiting a week to negotiate the price down without managing to do so, brought in Donny Van de Beek into an already packed central midfield.
Edinson Cavani brings a huge wealth of experience to match his eye-watering wages, and if you are a right-winger, keep your phone on until 11pm as you still might be in luck.
The word ‘disorganised’ springs to mind when giving this award.
Leaving It Late Award: Arsenal FC & Thomas Partey
There seems to be a correlation this window that whenever Arsenal choose to make budget cuts internally, a new pot of money suddenly emerges from Mr Joorachabian’s pocket.
Atletico have been known for bullish behaviour in the past, so from a purely neutral perspective, it was funny to see Simone get a taste of his own medicine as Arsenal triggered the clause with hours to go without even letting the Argentine, nor his club know.
A courtesy call might have been good, however. Kia doesn’t really care about relationships.
Whilst it doesn’t take a genius to work out who now runs transfers at Arsenal, you’ve got to give them some credit for finally getting Thomas Partey over the line. All it took was the laying-off of a beloved Premier League mascot, who already has a well-deserved GoFundMe set up.
Adjusted Expectations Award – Newcastle United
Back in May, Newcastle United fans were dreaming of the likes of Mbappe, Cavani, Coutinho, Gareth Bale and Kalidou Koulibaly rocking up at St James Park. Not to mention Mauricio Pochettino taking charge of the Magpies to replace Steve Bruce. All funded by a Saudi-backed takeover fronted by Amanda Staveley and the Reuben Brothers.
Then the wait began. The Premier League seemed reluctant to comment, the Reuben Brothers couldn’t comment, and Mike Ashley wouldn’t comment. With constant twists and turns, eventually the takeover fell through – to the surprise of absolutely no Newcastle fans – and Steve Bruce once again was under pressure.
To the Englishman’s credit, he’s recruited well this summer on tighter budgets. Callum Wilson is already showing what he can do in front of goal, whilst Jamal Lewis will turn out to be an astute purchase. Jeff Hendrick and Ryan Fraser on free transfers don’t quite carry the glitz and glamour of other names, but they are solid players for the Toon. A bittersweet award to win.
Less-Heralded-But-Great-Business Award – Abdoulaye Doucoure (Everton)
After being given free reign to sort out the squad, it’s no surprise that Carlo Ancelotti is doing fantastically with the Toffees.
Whilst Dominic Calvert-Lewin is starting to find real form upfront, and Richarlison is showing why Barcelona wanted to splash out £100m on him, the much-heralded James Rodriguez has arrived on a free transfer from Real Madrid and the Colombian has instantly stepped into the role of creative genius at Goodison Park. Accompanied by Allan from Napoli, they’ve helped to transform Everton into a potent midfield force.
However, a lot of this comes from the unsung work of Abdoulaye Doucoure, who covers every blade of grass and drives his team up the pitch with power and skill. They might have paid a hefty fee to relegated Watford to snap up the Frenchman, but it will prove to be money well spent.
What other transfer awards would you give this window? Who deserves an award? Let us know!
Written and Edited by Rob Pratley