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.

Watch Live: Sheffield United v. Crystal Palace

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Sheffield United host Crystal Palace at Bramall Lane on Sunrday (Watch live, 9 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as the Blades fans will enjoy their first home game back in the Premier League.

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Chris Wilder, the lifelong United fan who is now their manager, will be emotional and fans of the Yorkshire club will create a heated atmosphere for opponents to visit this season.

In team news Sheffield United are unchanged from the team which drew at Bournemouth last week, with club captain Billy Sharp on the bench.

Crystal Palace bring in star man Wilfried Zaha who starts up top


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Zidane says Bale will stay at Real Madrid

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Gareth Bale is staying at Real Madrid.

The Welshman was not wanted by manager Zinedine Zidane, who stated that publicly on many occasions over the summer.

But Bale started and grabbed an assist as 10-man Real beat Celta Vigo 3-1 in their La Liga opener on Saturday and it seems like Zidane is ready to brush all of this Bale talk under the carpet.

“He’s going to stay and we all have to think of that as a positive thing,” Zidane said. “The injury to Eden Hazard was bad luck for us but it didn’t change the plans we had for Bale in this game. Gareth and everyone else here is going to show this shirt the respect it deserves.”

After his move to China broke down at the last minute amid conflicting reports blaming Bale and the club for the collapse of the deal, his future at Real has seemed pretty much dead in the water.

Adding in a serious injury to Marco Asensio and Eden Hazard picking up a knock, and all of a sudden Bale is needed again. But for how long?

He was linked with a loan move to Bayern Munich but Philippe Coutinho moved to Bavaria instead, and Bale wasn’t chased by Premier League clubs during the summer due to his huge wage demands. With the transfer window across many European countries closing at the end of this month, he has run out of options to leave a club where the hierarchy and fans don’t want him.

Bale, 30, is now stuck at Real and he has another three years left on his contract. It will be interesting to see how this plays out for the man who has won four Champions League trophies at Real, yet has become the main villain at the Santiago Bernabeu as fans lambast him for playing golf and not learning to speak Spanish fluently during his six years in Spain.

Ibrahimovic scores twice, 10-man Galaxy ties Sounders 2-2

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Carson, Calif. (AP) Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored in each half and the LA Galaxy tied the Seattle Sounders 2-2 on Saturday night despite playing nearly the entire match down a man.

The Galaxy’s Daniel Steres was sent off in the sixth minute for the denial of obvious goal opportunity.

Ibrahimovic tied it at 1 for the Galaxy (13-11-2) with a header in the 45th minute. In the 65th minute, he was taken down by Kim Kee-hee while going for a header in the area and converted the penalty, making it 2-1 with his 20th goal of the season.

LA defender Jorgen Skjelvik scored an own goal in the 82nd minute when he inadvertently deflected goalkeeper David Bingham’s attempted clearance into the Galaxy net.

Raul Ruidiaz opened the scoring in the 42nd minute for the Sounders (11-8-7). Harry Shipp hustled to round up a loose ball and fed it to an open Ruidiaz, who slotted it home.

MLS Wrap: What we learned

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Three unanswered goals from FC Dallas to earn a draw, a late Jozy Altidore goal and Chicago cruises past Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union: Saturday’s early slate of games had it all. Here’s what we learned from the busy action.

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Montreal, Dallas split points in six-goal thriller

The Montreal Impact, up 3-0 in the 56th minute, probably thought they had the game in the bag. Dallas said, ‘not so fast.’

With three unanswered goals – one of those in stoppage time – Dallas did the unthinkable, stunning the Impact and flying back home with a point that tastes like three.

Dallas, like practically everyone else in the West this season, is dreaming of cracking into the final seven. Whether that happens or not is yet to be seen. What was palpable on Saturday, however, is that Dallas played with a lot of determination on the road and with all the odds against them.


Chicago gets by Philadelphia with ease

The Philadelphia Union are good but not good enough to beat the Chicago Fire, apparently.

It could have been the league’s well-known parity, or the fact that the Union were on the road, but the Fire were able to squeeze out the three points, winning 2-0 with 10 men. Nicolas Gaitan earned a straight red right before halftime.

The Union, a proven side time and time again this season, alternatively, have questions to answer and a set of defects that were unearth Saturday (including finishing) to polish up on. But as they shown several times this season after suffering loses, they’ll bounce back under Jim Curtin.

The Fire (33 points) sit one point behind Montreal, Toronto and Orlando, while Philadelphia (45 points) remain clear leaders in the Eastern Conference.


 

NYCFC too much for Cincinnati 

NYCFC had quite the showing.

With Valentin Castellanos and Heber recording a brace each, Allan Cruz’s goal stood no chance. City, who are now third in the Eastern Conference with 41 points (one behind Atlanta), are clearly in midseason form, while FC Cincinnati is yet to win under Ron Jans.

With a defense that has allowed 61 goals – like the one above – Jans’ rest of the season is looking bleaker than brighter. But then again, it’s with a team he purely adopted. It worth noting that New York’s attack has produced eight goals in the last three games, so maybe that was the determining factor.

 

 


 

Altidore earns last-minute draw for Toronto

Like in many other instances, it was Altidore to the rescue for Toronto FC.

Its goal No. 10 for the 29-year-old goal, making it his fourth season with double digit goals. Jonathan Osorio, too, pitched in a goal in the 42nd minute. 26 games in, this is exactly when Greg Vanney needs his big-time players to step up.

The Columbus Crew, in contrast, can’t catch a break. Once again the superior team, a lack of finishing and defensive concentration make it three-straight draws for the Caleb Porter’s men. With seven games to go and seven points out of playoff contention, even a late run might not be enough for a postseason regular.