The A-Z of completed transfers and how we think they will get on (Part 3)

[box_dark]Sunderland[/box_dark]

Transfers In:

Connor Wickham, Craig Gardner, Ahmed Elmohamady, Sebastian Larsson, Kieren Westwood, Wes Brown, John O’Shea, David Vaughan, Oumare Tounkara [loan expired], James McClean, Nicklas Bendtner [loan].

Transfers Out:

Boudewijn Zenden, Jordan Henderson, David Healy, Nathan Luscombe, Robbie Weir, Michael Kay, Jean-Yves Mvoto, Cristian Riveros [loan], Liam Noble [loan], Steed Malbranque, George McCartney [loan], Anton Ferdinand.

Only Wigan, Birmingham and West Ham scored fewer goals than Sunderland last season and the confident Dane will relish a run of games

What do we think?

Steve Bruce has certainly made up for the fact that the transfer window only comes around about as often as a Fernando Torres goal by completing no fewer than 22 deals over the summer. That is some serious transfer activity and the phrase ‘wholesale changes’ is somewhat of an understatement. The most notable departee from the Stadium of Light was Jordan Henderson, who completed a £20million switch to Liverpool. The England midfielder was voted Sunderland’s Young Player of the Year last season and has made an impressive start to his Anfield career.

While the Black Cats will miss Henderson, they’ve signed players capable of doing his job in the form of Sebastian Larsson (wing), Craig Gardner and David Vaughan (central). It is surprising that Vaughan has not featured this season since joining on a free from Blackpool, as he was more impressive than Charlie Adam last season. A footballer like Vaughan should win a place over the savage destroyer that is Lee Cattermole all day long if it is in fact creating goals that Steve Bruce is interested in.

Another high profile name to exit the Stadium of Light this summer was Anton Ferdinand, who moved to QPR. With the arrivals of John O’Shea and Wes Brown from Manchester United, perhaps Ferdinand saw his first team opportunities as limited at Sunderland. The former United pair will prove to be astute signings by Bruce. They’ve gained scores of experience both at Old Trafford and at international level and have had plenty of exposure to success.

Also coming in, Nicklas Bendtner, who has joined on loan from Arsenal. Steve Bruce will know the Dane from his time as Birmingham City manager and will be hoping he can offer some goals, with Sunderland netting just once this term. Given a regular run of games, Bendtner could prove to be a hit for the Mackems.

So far, it looks like the Sunderland boss has his work cut out. Having conducted so much business, he not only needs to find the right combinations but the new signings will require time to bed in and gel together. The size of their current squad is even more ridiculous than Manchester City and Bruce faces a balancing act in keeping everybody happy. Given time, it could all work out, but unfortunately time is not a luxury afforded to many Premier League managers these days. A few more bad results and the fans are likely to get on the manager’s back. He is a Geordie after all.

[box_dark]Swansea City[/box_dark]

Transfers In:

Danny Graham, Steven Caulker [loan], Jose Moreira, Leroy Lita, Wayne Routledge, Michel Vorm, Gerhard Tremmel, Fede Bessone, Rafik Halliche [loan].

Transfers Out:

The Dutch stopper looks every bit as good as the Swans' earlier target Lee Camp

Kerry Morgan, Albert Serran, Dorus de Vries, Yves Ma-Kalambay, Jamie Grimes, Cedric van der Gun, Darren Pratley, Scott Donnelly [loan], Gorka Pintado, David Cornell [loan], Ryan Harley, Shaun MacDonald.

What do we think?

Not many will be bowled over by Swansea’s transfer activity over the summer. They’ve not exactly spent big nor have they introduced much Premier League experience. Leroy Lita and Wayne Routledge are probably the biggest names moving to the Liberty Stadium this summer. Lita can hardly be described as the most prolific striker to don the Swansea white, with just seven Premier League goals to his name from his time with Reading. Routledge meanwhile is a fantastic Championship player, but has struggled to prove himself at the very top level, only really getting a run of games in the early days of his Spurs career and during his time on loan at Fulham.

Brendan Rogers has also brought in prolific Championship striker Danny Graham from Watford. Swansea are yet to register a goal in the league, even after having played two of their three games at home. Michel Vorm however, is looking the part between the sticks for the Swans after signing from FC Utrecht. He seems to be up to the job and is likely to prove a formidable replacement for Dorus de Vries. Darren Prately also exited the Liberty this summer, and Swansea are likely to miss his composure on the ball as well the steel he offers the midfield.

Swansea look set to struggle this season. While they played some fantastic attacking football to earn promotion to the Premier League, they were beaten 14 times last season; more losses than any other side in the top 6. You have to take your hat off teams that have a go, and while they may well turn some draws into wins, the Premier League is unforgiving. For all the plaudits Blackpool gained last season, their attacking style proved not to be enough and they were ultimately relegated. It’s difficult to see a different ending for Swansea at the moment. They probably haven’t spent enough money to add the quality signings required to survive and look likely to struggle to find many goals.

[box_dark]Tottenham Hotspur[/box_dark]

Transfers In:

Brad Friedel, Emmanuel Adebayor [loan], Iago Falque [loan], Scott Parker.

Transfers Out:

Jamie O’Hara, Jonathan Woodgate, Steven Caulker [loan], Paul-Jose M’Poku, Calum Butcher, Kyle Naughton [loan], Bongani Khumalo [loan], Nathan Byrne [loan], Ryan Mason [loan], Jonathan Obika [loan], Oscar Jansson [loan], Kudus Oyenuga [loan], Robbie Keane, Adam Smith [loan], David Button [loan], David Bentley [loan], Jermaine Jenas [loan], Alan Hutton, Peter Crouch, Wilson Palacios.

Spurs' strikers did not pull their weight last season and the former Arsenal man can make himself popular at the Lane if he shows what he's capable of

What do we think?

As far as bringing in new players is concerned, this window has been fairly quiet by Spurs standards, with most of the monotonous and droning transfer noise emanating from White Hart Lane this summer centred around Luka Modric. Harry recently complained that he’s not enjoyed pre-season at all, with Modric becoming increasingly unsettled in north London and Tottenham unable to match the wage power of clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City. Technically, they’ve won in keeping hold of Modric. Chairman Daniel Levy has stood firm and Spurs have held on to their star player. But really, they’ve lost him. He doesn’t look to be interested in playing for Tottenham any more and it’s difficult to believe that Spurs is the club at which his long term future lies. Perhaps they should have accepted £30million odd from Chelsea early on (consider how much Cesc Fabregas was sold for) and found replacement(s).

Tottenham struggled for goals last season and Robbie Keane and Peter Crouch are notable departees. Bringing in Emmanuel Adebayor on loan from Manchester City should prove to be a great bit of business. Ego or no ego, trouble maker or peacemaker, he is a top striker. Just give him the ball, and he will score. The fans will also be pleased to see Writers’ Footballer of the Year Scott Parker check in at the Lane to add to the midfield options. While Jermaine Jenas should have been offered more first team football, Parker will be a fine addition.

Another player joining the club is the young Spanish midfielder Iago Falque. While he’s a bit of an unknown quantity, you usually wouldn’t get to play for Barcelona for seven years if you are a donkey, but we will see. Harry also added the vastly experienced Brad Friedel to his goalkeepers on a free transfer in a deal which he can consider a steal. Spurs have once again sent out several players on loan in lieu of assembling a reserve side, but that is a discussion for another time.

The strength of Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea means that Tottenham’s chances of reaching the Champions League this season are about as high as the ankle socks of a very small beetle. That’s standing in a ditch. In a quarry. They have three decent goalkeepers but it’s still difficult to see many clean sheets for the defence. The strikers need to be more prolific than last season and while Adebayor joining Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jermain Defoe will help, three strikers may not be enough. Any lengthy injury to Rafael Van der Vaart could be catastrophic for Spurs. Europa League football is the best they can hope for.

[box_dark]West Bromwich Albion[/box_dark]

Transfers In:

Billy Jones, Gareth McAuley, Ben Foster [loan], Zoltan Gera, Martin Fulop, Shane Long.

Transfers Out:

Has shown he has what it takes to become a hit in the Premier League. Probably West Brom's best player for Fantasy Football

Dean Kiely [retired], Abdoulaye Meite, Ryan Allsop, Scott Carson, Gianni Zuiverloon, Marcus Haber, Boaz Myhill [loan], Borja Valero, Giles Barnes, Chris Wood [loan], Ishmael Miller, James Hurst [loan], Marek Cech, Pablo Ibanez.

What do we think?

Far more outs than ins at the Hawthorns this summer, with Roy Hodgson seemingly removing many of the fringe players from the club’s wage bill. Arguably, West Brom’s best piece of business was securing the services of last season’s leading goalscorer Peter Odemwingie for another three years.

Baggies fans probably won’t be too disappointed with the departures; most do not seem to be moving on to bigger and better things. As far bringing players in, Hodgson has tried to make it about quality, rather than quantity and he has made some astute signings. Shane Long has come in from Reading after an impressive season at the Madejski Stadium, netting 25 goals in 50 games. The Republic of Ireland international has what it takes to be a decent all-round striker in the Premiership: strength, composure and aerial ability. He should get his fair share of goals alongside Odemwingie.

Keeping clean sheets was a problem for the Albion last season and as such, Hodgson has recruited a proven Premier League stopper in Ben Foster, who joins on loan from Birmingham City. Also coming in to help shore up the defence are commanding centre halves Billy Jones and Gareth McAuley from Preston North End and Ipswich Town respectively.

Some promising signings for West Brom, who will now look to become an established Premier League outfit under Roy Hodgson. They were let down last season by a lack of clean sheets, although this may be remedied to some extent by the signing of Ben Foster. The big question is, can Billy Jones, Gareth McAuley and Shane Long especially, make the step up from the Championship? The Baggies look like a team that will score goals but their back line, even with Foster, remains unconvincing. They are unlikely to be battling relegation, however, don’t expect them to be dreaming of European football just yet. A mid-table finish is certainly not out of the question.

[box_dark]Wigan Athletic[/box_dark]

Transfers In:

Ali Al Habsi, David Jones, Patrick van Aanholt [loan], Shaun Maloney.

Transfers Out:

Jason Koumas, Joe Holt, Steven Caldwell, Daniel de Ridder, Antonio Amaya, Charles N’Zogbia, Mauro Boselli [loan], Roman Golobart [loan].

Was a key figure for Wigan last season and will hope to save the Latics more points now that he's signed permanently at the DW

What do we think?

Once again, the pundits are tipping Wigan to struggle this season, particularly with Tom Cleverley returning to Manchester United and Charles N’Zogbia joining Aston Villa. It is a shame for the Latics that most of the £9.5million recouped from N’Zogbia’s transfer was not reinvested in new players but Wigan should not be underestimated. Although they have lost their star performer in N’Zogbia, Wigan held on to manager Roberto Martinez, who decided Villa Park was not for him. The Spaniard remains one of the most promising young managers in the game and he must be congratulated for keeping Wigan up last season against the odds.

Securing the permanent services of goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi for around £4million is a shrewd piece of business, particularly when you consider how much Manchester United will pay for a goalkeeper. Wigan demonstrated last season, particularly away from home, that they have the ability to defend stubbornly and grind out results. This was largely thanks to their goalkeeper.

David Jones has Premier League experience, although he may struggle to step into Cleverley’s shoes. It may prove a similar story with Shaun Maloney, who is a dead ball specialist, although it remains to be seen if he can be as good for Wigan as N’Zogbia has been. Patrick van Aanholt is a promising left back, but has little first team experience from his loans and will a need a run of games this season.

Wigan were never going to sign Gerard Pique or Carlos Tevez and losing two of their best players from last season will mean this campaign will be all about those they have held on to. Ben Watson and Victor Moses will have to step up and become match winners from midfield, while the likes of Emmerson Boyce and Gary Caldwell will need to fight like beavers at the back. The Latics certainly have goals in them with Franco Di Santo and Hugo Rodallega, although striking cover will be a worry should either of these two pick up lengthy injuries. They may be in the frame for relegation, but with Martinez’s season of Premier League experience, Wigan should have just enough to stay up.

[box_dark]Wolverhampton Wanderers[/box_dark]

Transfers In:

Jamie O’Hara, Dorus de Vries, Roger Johnson.

Transfers Out:

Impressed during last season's loan spell with Wolves and poses a real threat from set pieces

Nathan Rooney, Marcus Hahnemann, John Dunleavy, Steven Mouyokolo [loan], David Jones, Greg Halford, Scott Malone [loan], Adriano Basso, Danny Batth [loan], Carl Ikeme, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing [loan], Andy Keogh [loan], Stefan Maierhofer, Sam Winnall [loan], Leigh Griffiths [loan], David Davis.

What do we think?

Another team which has not brought in many players. The advantage of course is that Wolves don’t need to wait for the newbies to settle in. Those departing Molineux can mainly be described as fringe players, while there are also youngsters who have gone out on loan to gain valuable first team experience. Jamie O’Hara has signed permanently after impressing during his loan spell. He will pose as Wolves’ main attacking threat through the centre and is also the danger man as far as set pieces are concerned. Mick McCarthy has also brought in Roger Johnson from Birmingham City. Despite the Blues being relegated last season, Johnson showed he is every bit the Premier League defender, forming an impressive partnership with Scott Dann.

With few changes to their first team squad, Wolves will be mainly relying on their two years of Premier League experience to see them through this campaign. In Mick McCarthy they have a manager who can transform them into an established top flight side and they were far from lucky when they defeated Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United last season. They certainly have that Stoke element about them that will allow them to batter teams into submission before attacking down the flanks. They have avoided making wholesale changes to their side which should allow them to make a decent start. With some valuable points on the board early on, they will believe they possess the experience to keep themselves in the Premiership again.

If you missed Parts 1 or 2 of our transfer window round-up, you can check them out at:

https://www.footballfansonline.net/2011/the-a-z-of-completed-transfers-and-how-we-think-they-will-get-on-part-1/

https://www.footballfansonline.net/2011/the-a-z-of-completed-transfers-and-how-we-think-they-will-get-on-part-2/