GRADES: How did each Premier League team fare in the Summer Transfer Window?

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After the 2015 Summer Transfer Window slammed shut at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, September 1, we can now start to analyze the moves each team made over the last two months.

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Premier League teams have spent a whopping $1.3 billion during this transfer period, which is a record for any window involving England’s top-flight, but have they spent that cash wisely?

Let’s break down the business they managed to do. Here is a grade for all 20 PL teams after their deals.

   GRADE

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A Manchester City: After buying Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph and Nicolas Otamendi, then adding Kevin de Bruyne, City have become title favorites. The have spent over $220 million on transfer fees and Pellegrini’s boys are set up to challenge for the PL title and the Champions League.
source: B+ West Ham: The Hammers had a great Deadline Day, and they added 13 players in total. Top business from new manager Bilic as Moses, Song, Ogbonna, Lanzini, Jelavic and Antonio will make a big difference.
source: B +   Swansea City: Garry Monk continues to excel in the market as he brought in Andre Ayew in attack on big wages but for no transfer fee, plus Eder and a bunch of players to augment his strong squad. Top window for Swans.
source: B + Crystal Palace: The Eagles have added Cabaye, Bamford, Wickham, McCarthy and Sako to strengthen throughout their spine. Pardew didn’t lose any important players. Great business.

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B ChelseaMany complained that Chelsea didn’t get the big-name signings but they did land Pedro, and grabbed Falcao and Begovic early on. Mourinho didn’t sign Stones but added two CBs in Hector and Djilobodji. 
source: B Stoke City: A busy, busy window for the Potters. They lost Nzonzi and Begovic but brought in Afellay and Shaqiri in shock moves. All in all, Potters look like a top 10 team once again.
source: B Manchester UnitedScratching your head, yeah, me too. David de Gea’s move collapsed at the last minute, then United seemed to panic buy teenager Martial late on for $55 million. That said, Darmian, Depay, Romero, Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin have all settled in well. Decent business, but plenty of lost opportunities.
source: B Newcastle UnitedFour key players arrived in the window for the Magpies as Thauvin, Wijnaldum, Mitrovic and Mbemba arrived for $80 million in total. Steve McClaren has strengthened the side.
source: C+ WatfordThe Hornets have spent lots of money and bought more players than any other PL team. That will give them a chance of staying up, but most are unproven in England and that will be a big challenge.
source:  C+ Southampton: After losing Schneiderlin, Clyne and Alderweireld, Koeman has pounced to bring in plenty of new faces. Jordy Clasie, Oriol Romeu, Martina, Cedric, Caulker and Virgil van Dijk arriving from Celtic was a big signing at CB. Keeping hold of Mane was huge for Saints.
source: C+ Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers took a different route this season and signed players early and bought from within the PL. Ings, Milner, Clyne and Benteke arrived, while Gomez and Firmino may take longer to settle in. They lost Sterling (a big blow) but overall, a decent window.
source: C+ BournemouthThe Cherries weren’t scared to splash some cash and the arrival of Max Gradel and Glenn Murray in attack will boost their chances of survival. Sensible business from the new boys.
 source: C Aston VillaSherwood has gambled on the French market and so far the jury is out. Gueye has been superb but Ayew, Amavi and Veretout have struggled to settle. Let’s see if Richards, Gestede and others settle quicker.
source: C  Leicester CitySome shrewd buys from the Foxes as Ranieri brought in Okazaki, Inler, Kante and Huth. Solid buys throughout their spine should improve their chances of staying up after a spectacular start to the season.
source: D EvertonThe big thing about this window was keeping John Stones around, and the Toffees have done that despite Chelsea offering $60 million. Martinez has added Cleverley, Lennon and Mori, but apart from that it was pretty uneventful.
source: D- Tottenham: Harry Kane needs help and although Son and Clinton have arrived in attack, Spurs’ new boys are unproven in the PL. Bringing in Wimmer, Trippier and Alderweireld bolsters their defense and Pochettino has trimmed his squad but not grabbing Berahino or a top striker to help Kane will hurt Spurs.
source: D- West BromBerahino did not leave on Deadline Day but he is now refusing to play for the Baggies. Huge blow. They have signed Rickie Lambert and Salomon Rondon in attack, plus Jonny Evans in defense, but overall Berahino’s situation could be very harmful.
source: F Arsenal: Yeah, that striker never arrived did he? The Gunners are the only team in the top five leagues in Europe to not add a new outfield player this summer. They signed Petr Cech, which was great, but how did Wenger not grab a striker and a DM to strengthen this summer?
source: F Norwich City: The Canaries failed to sign a striker and with Alex Neil serious about keeping Norwich up, they have to buy a predatory forward. Norwich failed in late bids for several strikers and right now, their chances of staying up look bleak.
source: F SunderlandSpeaking of bleak survival chances, Sunderland signed plenty of players in the window but you have to argue if they were any better than those Dick Advocaat had before. Lens, Toivonen, Yedlin and Kaboul aren’t really upgrades. Another season of struggle ahead.

It’s hard to be humbled. Anything less could cost Berhalter his job

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Wild nights, positive or negative, deserve reflection one day later. Here’s our bid to put the USMNT’s 2-0 loss to Canada in context less than 24 hours later…

The humbling of Gregg Berhalter is one of two distinct hopes for his survival as United States men’s national team coach.

The other is an unreliable route, one filled with long-term health for his best players on some pie-in-the-sky road where he utilizes the same 12-14 players per game for the rest of his tenure.

So, yeah, the first one is pretty key.

Coaches are by nature arrogant, and Berhalter earned his confidence by nurturing a suboptimal Columbus Crew roster into an over-performing playoff mainstay despite owner and former showgirl Rachel Phelps trying to move the club to Miami (Movie reference No.1, achieved).

[ MORE: USMNT player ratings ]

When Berhalter beat out the field of two to lay claim to the USMNT position, he won over the media with Powerpoint slides about Pep Guardiola-inspired possession, which assumed to the delight of the American fan base that the nation had the immediate tools to out-class most of CONCACAF simply by being organized. He even had people handing him cute nicknames and defending the idea of using a Bundesliga regular defensive midfielder as a right back because he was generous with his time. Who needs La Masia when you’ve got the DA?

It should be pointed out that the philosophy’s failure through nine months doesn’t entirely destroy the idea to try it, but Berhalter’s often bizarre player selection and tactical destruction at the hands of Jamaica, Mexico, and now Canada have hastened the end of his honeymoon period almost as effectively as his the federation’s refusal to interview anyone other than Berhalter and Oscar Pareja. I mean, who needs Sergino Dest’s optimism when you can keep trying to jam a Wil Trapp-sized Wil Trapp through an Andrea Pirlo-shaped hole?

So you get what we had last night, a tire fire of a match in which his midfield had no idea what to do with the ball and his forwards might as well have been on a monastic retreat. According to the broadcast, Berhalter thought a miserable first half was due to his men not moving the ball fast enough side-to-side. His answers via subs, even before they were down, were to take off Christian Pulisic and leave creative minds Sebastian Lletget and Tyler Boyd on the bench. After the game, he claimed his players weren’t working hard enough and didn’t match Canada’s desire.

Here’s the problem, though, that’s on Berhalter, too. There were myriad articles out there, including several on this site, detailing Canada’s desperation to get results in the CONCACAF Nations League in order to move into a Top Six CONCACAF spot on the FIFA Rankings and qualify for the Hex.

(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

All it takes is a cursory look at the Canada roster to see that their electric attackers were their hope of winning the match, and that pressing their relatively weak group of defenders — one of whom has only been a defender for a year — was probably a great idea.

But Berhalter again stuck with his idea that the United States men’s national team program, even without several of its best players, could implement his system anywhere, against anyone.

And it failed spectacularly.

The thing is that Berhalter is actually quite a decent coach, as he proved in Columbus, but whether or not he lives to show it to this American audience in this particular job depends on his accepting the shortcomings of his depleted roster.

I want to talk to you about Aaron Long, and not because of his “Stranger Things” lifeguard haircut (TV show reference No. 1, achieved).

Aaron Long is a mauler, the sort of player who’d be beloved by many segments of the USMNT community in several generations. He gets stuck in, has a good work rate, and can factor on set pieces in the attacking third.

What he does not do very well — and I’ve covered this a lot in this space — is pass the ball and aid in possession. Since breaking into MLS in 2017, the now 27-year-old center back has completed 76, 69, and 65 percent of his passes with the New York Red Bulls.

[ JPW: What now for Berhalter, USMNT? ] 

Part of that is a function of the Red Bulls’ system; The team doesn’t really care at all about possession, passing at a terrible 68.6 percent, and not one of their players had a completion rate above 80 percent this year. By comparison, 197 players in Major League Soccer completed 80 percent or more of their passes this season (WhoScored).

This is not an argument that Long shouldn’t be in the U.S. system. While he’s had a rough couple of months in the shirt, he’s in the mix for the toughest American center backs in the game.

Might this possession-based idea look a lot better when healthy? Of course, that’s what we mentioned above. John Brooks is by far the best passing center back in the pool, and has been out of the mix for sometime due to injury. The same is true for the side’s best No. 6 in Adams.

But what the Yanks were for so long was difficult to break down, a hassle to play against. Berhalter needs that right now, and he’s got the horses to do it (Watch Jordan Morris’ legs keep moving for 90 minutes if you need proof). Success could then require admitted in front of a microphone that his team can’t hack his system right now, and that he talked down to an entire room last month when they just spit facts his way. That’s humbling, and it’s not fun. But it’s needed.

Adding to the issue is that it’s easy to see the Yanks still emerging from their group by beating Canada in Orlando next month and then walloping Cuba. But if Berhalter hasn’t been humbled and sees victories against the 53rd and 145th ranked teams in EloRatings as validation, well, I’ve got some truly valuable early 1990s baseball cards to sell you for a premium price.

Arrogance does nothing for you if it’s ill-founded. That confidence has felled countless executives, coaches, and players over the years (and yes, even average writers). Being outfoxed by Tata Martino is one thing, but having no reaction to the plan of John Herdman is another (That’s not a shot at Herdman, who had done well with the New Zealand and Canada women, but let’s be real).

We won’t learn whether Berhalter has learned from his errors via results next month, rather by what he does to try and get those results. When Martino beat him in the Gold Cup Final, the rematch two months later was far worse. He gets a second chance to match wits with Herdman next month, and it really cannot get much worse. So he’s got that going for him, which is nice (Movie reference No. 2, achieved).

Last month, I wrote that Berhalter’s duties including the following bare minimum goals.

  1. Qualify for the World Cup
  2. Reach the final of all CONCACAF competitions
  3. Look like an adequate footballing nation in other competitions
  4. Make sure he doesn’t lose any talented dual nationals (also the GM’s job)

No. 1 is still far away, but 2-4… woah. We’re one Alphonso Davies star show away from finishing 2019 without a Gold Cup and no place in the CONCACAF Nations League semifinal. Sergino Dest might’ve skipped town for Ronald Koeman‘s Netherlands set-up either way, but being shoehorned at left back last month probably helped his decision.

Finally, a number of people on Twitter pointed out that Canada is due plenty of respect for out-dueling the USMNT on Tuesday. Absolutely! But if you think a nation with under 1 million registered soccer players should be absolutely clowning a nation with 4 million-plus, a side they hadn’t beaten let alone dominated in 34 years, then you’re not getting the point. There’s room for Canada and the U.S. to both be good, but the Yanks looked like a steaming hot mug of spoiled milk to Canada’s well-chilled bag of the fresh stuff. No good.

Your move, Gregg. Do what you did last night, and last month, and you’ll get the same results. Your only other option is Voodoo dolls of Alphonso Davies and Scott Arfield.

Mbappe in frame for monster contract offers from PSG, Real

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Kylian Mbappe is one of the most dynamic players in the world and doesn’t even turn 21 until late December.

Paris Saint-Germain has locked the youngster up through 2022, but that hasn’t stopped the biggest names in football from being linked with massive bids for his services.

[ MORE: Pogba, De Gea out ]

Dueling reports out of French outlet Le10 Sport claim that Mbappe is set to be offered a monster new $55 million annual contract from Les Parisiens, with Real Madrid ready to offer the big man almost $40 million per year.

The new PSG figure would give Mbappe the richest deal in football, while Real’s offer would sit below only Lionel Messi (at least until the Barcelona legend gets his new deal this winter).

We’ve argued that, given his age and acumen, Mbappe is the one player in world football worth the outlandish numbers it would take to land his services.

At age 20, he’s already a World Cup winner with 13 goals in 33 caps, and his club numbers are eye-popping: 89 goals and 51 assists in 154 matches between Monaco and PSG. Absurd.

Everton’s Gbamin undergoes surgery, out 3 months

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Everton’s lack of scoring prowess has stolen the headlines as Marco Silva‘s men have wasted a wonderful opportunity to start the season off in style.

But it’s been easy to forget that the Toffees have been without the man they bought to help offset the loss of Idrissa Gana Gueye, perhaps their best player two years running, in the form of Jean-Philippe Gbamin.

[ MORE: Pogba, De Gea out ]

The Ivorian cost a reported $30 million this summer when he arrived from Mainz, and Everton won his only start before an injury sent him to the sidelines.

Gbamin has not suitably improved, and is now set for another three months on the sidelines thanks to surgery on his hamstring.

It’s a sock to the gut for a team already wallowing in misfortune. Now sitting 18th, as close to 20th as they are to 10th, it’s difficult to imagine things getting much worse for a team that held so much promise.

Everton hosts West Ham to kickoff the Premier League weekend at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday.

Pogba, De Gea ruled out for Man United v. Liverpool

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According to our partners at Sky Sports, Manchester United’s David De Gea and Paul Pogba will not play against Liverpool this Sunday (Watch live, 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

This is far from ideal for a United side already low in confidence after a dreadful start to the season.

De Gea injured his groin while on international duty with Spain on Tuesday as he injured an abductor while kicking a ball against Sweden in a EURO 2020 qualifier. He is expected to have a full assessment in Manchester on Thursday but isn’t expected to be available to play against Liverpool.

As for Pogba, he suffered a reoccurrence of his foot injury before the international break and has been training in Dubai on his own during the past week to try and speed up his recovery.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already been without Pogba, Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial and Aaron Wan-Bissaka for large chunks of the season so far, as Man United sit in 12th place in the Premier League table.

“No chance,” Solskjaer said of Pogba’s availability for the weekend. “Paul had an injury, then came back, worked really hard, played a couple of games. Maybe played through the pain barrier. We had a scan after the Arsenal game and he needed a few weeks rest in the boot. Hopefully he won’t be too long but he won’t make this game, no.”

Not having their star goalkeeper and central midfielder available for this clash with bitter rivals Liverpool is another huge setback for Solskjaer, as Sergio Romero and Fred will likely start in their place.

Martial, Shaw and Wan-Bissaka are all expected to miss the game against Liverpool too as Solskjaer will at least have a valid excuse if the Premier League leaders give United a hiding on Sunday.