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Mourinho and Leicester were transfer window winners; Southampton lost out

With another transfer window done and dusted, ESPN FC writer Miguel Delaney takes a look at the winners, losers and those who finished the summer somewhere in between.


Jose Mourinho -- In terms of forensic work on his team and getting almost all the moves he wanted, the Manchester United manager probably hasn't had a summer such as this since 2009 at Internazionale. The four signings all fit so well tactically, and he added extra intangible elements such as the star power and presence brought by Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. You would have said this was a fine window for executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and United as a whole, except for the fact that they struggled to fully rectify the errors of old and are now stuck with the unwanted Marcos Rojo and Bastian Schweinsteiger. That shouldn't overly affect Mourinho, though, as he now has the first XI he wanted.

Bournemouth -- The team pulled off a huge coup in beating Crystal Palace and AC Milan to get Jack Wilshere, and that completes a window that could pull them up the table. The on-loan Arsenal midfielder adds a class that elevates the solid work Eddie Howe did elsewhere, given how he bolstered the spine of his team with buys such as Marc Wilson and Jordan Ibe.

Leicester City -- They held on to two of last season's three main stars in Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, when it seemed at one point that all could go. They showed their top-flight clout by breaking their own transfer record three times. The last of those was the astute purchase of the excellent Islam Slimani from Sporting Lisbon.

Aitor Karanka -- Mourinho's old assistant showed what seems to be a similar sharpness in the market by bolstering his side with such an impressive range of signings, most notable of which was Alvaro Negredo. What is most impressive is that Middlesbrough have done the type of business usually beyond a promoted club, strengthening the growing feeling that they belong at this level and are here to stay.

Olivier Giroud -- With Lucas Perez no more than another alternative option, Arsenal still haven't signed the clear upgrade on Giroud that they have wanted for so long. That means the Frenchman will remain the focal point of attack.


Jack Wilshere and Joe Hart -- There's no other way to put it: Neither of these England teammates are anywhere near where they want to be. Their respective loan moves to Bournemouth and Torino represent serious blows to their status, even if are good for the teams to which they are headed. Keep in mind that those deals happened for very different reasons. Wilshere is being given the opportunity to build himself back up to ensure his future at Arsenal, but it has been made very clear to Hart that he has no future at Manchester City under Pep Guardiola.

Southampton -- This was yet another summer of big exits, with Sadio Mane and Victor Wanyama going, but this time did not have the same size response, in terms of replacements. Nathan Redmond is a highly capable player, of course, but he doesn't feel like the quality of cover for Mane that, say, Dusan Tadic was for Adam Lallana in 2014. Can this carousel continue at the same speed? Southampton might surprise again, but it's difficult to not think this endless turnover will begin to have a corrosive effect.

David Moyes -- After admitting that this is going to be a struggle of a season for Sunderland, Moyes now has only one striker to try to get him out of that, the 33-year-old Jermain Defoe. It is remarkable the team didn't add more, regardless of some of the good business they did elsewhere, such as bringing in Jason Denayer and Adnan Januzaj from the Manchester clubs. It is telling, though, that Moyes had to go back to areas he knew. With such a late managerial change after England appointed Sam Allardyce, this was hardly the summer for Moyes' notorious procrastination in the market.

Tony Pulis -- Despite publicly talking about transfers, he got almost no one he wanted, and it sums up West Brom's parsimony that they had to sign free agent Hal Robson-Kanu on deadline day. They could struggle. Saido Berahino, meanwhile, still hasn't left.

Swansea City -- In the Premier League's packed middle tier, where a series of similar clubs are looking to smash ceilings, it could be a pendulum moment when Swansea lost on the signings of two of their former players, Joe Allen and Wilfried Bony, to Stoke City. Although Mark Hughes' team are undergoing an impressive evolution, Swansea appear to be plateauing and possibly slipping, no longer earning praise for their football or outward-looking business in the way they used to. Fernando Llorente and Borja Baston will be required to adjust to the Premier League very quickly.

Somewhere in between

Chelsea's defence -- Those in France are saying it is simply amazing that the error-prone David Luiz has been bought back by Chelsea for such a price. Those in Italy say Antonio Conte can make a player out of almost anyone. This could be a wild-card masterstroke or more indication of how oddly haphazard Chelsea's business has become. At least they have the brilliant N'Golo Kante in front of that backline.

Everton -- The team showed their backbone by holding on to Romelu Lukaku, only to suffer the curious embarrassment of the Moussa Sissoko situation, as he wound up at Tottenham. Everton's business has still been very canny, though, even if they could have done with more forward options.

Liverpool -- Signings such as Mane are clearly excellent, and Jurgen Klopp has insisted he wants to develop his team in his own way, but have they done enough business? Is there enough quality running through the team? Did the midfield need more? These slightly unnerving questions are offset by the good buys represented by Mane, Georgino Wijnaldum and Joel Matip -- not to mention offloading Mario Balotelli on a free to Nice.

Mauricio Pochettino -- It's always a little difficult to tell how the Tottenham Hotspur manager's transfer moves will work out, but that's partly because the demands of his style of play are so difficult for many players to adjust to. When you look at the players Spurs sign, it always seems they could do with more star quality. When you look at their football, though, it becomes clear that Pochettino needs specific player types to apply his high-intensity game. Georges-Kevin N'Koudou and Sissoko certainly seem suited to that, even if the latter's inconsistent form sums up how difficult Pochettino's business is to judge. At the same time, their moves at this time last year seemed even more underwhelming, and the team wound up with a shot to win the league.

Crystal Palace -- They didn't get Wilshere, but in Christian Benteke and Loic Remy, they did get the reinforcements to their attack that they so clearly needed. Will those be enough, however, to spark the club out of the clear sense of stagnation that has set in under Alan Pardew?


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