2014-15 Summer Transfer Window

Stoke City sign Wilfried Bony on loan from Manchester City

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Wilfried Bony is a Potter.

The Ivorian striker, 27, has joined Stoke City on a season-long loan from Manchester City after he didn’t feature in Pep Guardiola‘s plans at the Etihad Stadium.

[ LIVE: Every Deadline Day deal ]

Bony moved to Man City in January 2015 for $37 million after a breakout 18 months with Swansea City which saw him score 35 goals in 70 appearances for the Swans.

Stoke have been searching for a central striker to finish chances for the past two seasons with Marko Arnautovic, Bojan Krkic and Xherdan Shaqiri creating plenty of chances for Mark Hughes‘ side.

Bony joins Peter Crouch, Mame Diouf and Jonathan Walters as the central strikers in Stoke’s squad and his arrival seems to all but end the Potters’ long-term interest in West Brom’s Saido Berahino.

Getting Bony through the door when the likes of West Ham United and Everton were also interested is great news for Stoke as they have also added Derby County goalkeeper Lee Grant on loan and are expected to add Dutch international defender Bruno Martins Indi on loan later on Deadline Day.

Debut Watch: Who’s wearing a new shirt in Europe this weekend?

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The flurry of Transfer Deadline Day activity cast plenty of players into new clubs, but the majority of European league’s went dark for the international break before we could do anything other than spy introductory photos on the Internet.

Boo. Hiss.

[ REFRESHER: Done deals from Deadline Day ]

Yet that makes this weekend all the more fun, as many players could make their debuts for clubs in the Premier League and outside England as well. Let’s take a look at the matches we’ll be watching closely:

1. Manchester United vs. Queens Park Rangers, Sunday

Daley Blind, Radamel Falcao and Marcos Rojo could all see debuts for Manchester United, and it’s not like Angel Di Maria and Luke Shaw have been around for more than a single appearance as well (and certainly wasn’t nearly as electrifying as he was in Argentina’s 4-2 win over Germany last week). In addition to Louis van Gaal properly working out his side, QPR’s Harry Redknapp could hand debuts to new boys Sandro and Eduardo Vargas. Could be a fun affair as players get used to each other.

2. Arsenal vs. Manchester City, Saturday

Danny Welbeck takes his bow for Arsenal against his longtime cross-Manchester rivals. The Gunners have needed that central striker for a spell, and Welbeck just provided a brace for England in the Three Lions 2-0 win over Switzerland earlier this week. What a way to start the weekend.

3. Parma vs. AC Milan, Saturday

Look out, Italy: Fernando Torres may make the most of his breath of fresh air at AC Milan. Unable to keep hold on his place at Chelsea, and always under scrutiny after his big money switch from Liverpool, it’s easy to forget Torres posted a good strike rate of 11 goals in 19 matches for Spain since 2012 (while struggling at Stamford Bridge).

4. Hull City vs. West Ham United, Monday

Pity Sam Allardyce, as the West Ham manager has to attempt to figure out what Steve Bruce and an already-decent Tigers unit will bring to the table on Monday. For one, there’s record-signing Abel Hernandez. Then the loan signings of Gaston Ramirez and Hatem Ben Arfa. Oh, and Mohamed Diame as well. At least Allardyce will have the benefit of relative consistency on his side.

5. Hannover vs. Hamburg, Sunday

Both Julian Green and Lewis Holtby could be patrolling the pitch for the visitors this Sunday, as two high-profile moves make their way to Hamburg.

Honorable mention: Southampton debuts for Sadio Mane and Toby Alderweireld, Chicharito on the bench for Real Madrid, Micah Richards at Fiorentina.

Record summer: Breaking the transfer window down, by the numbers

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It was a record breaking transfer window over the summer, as Premier League clubs bolstered their squads in ruthless fashion.

How much was spent?

Not that the window is slammed shut, it’s time to get the old abacus out and start totaling that up.

[RELATED: Transfer window grades]

[RELATED: Every Deadline Day deal]

One thing is for sure, English clubs, once again, spent the most money during the European transfer window as the fees they paid for players dwarfed other leagues.

Below is a break down of the 2014-15 summer transfer window, by the numbers.

  • PL teams spent $1.4 billion on transfers, a new record for a single transfer window
  • That was up 30 percent on the previous record from 2013
  • Spanish clubs came second in Europe, spending $700 million
  • Italian clubs splashed out $430 million, while Bundesliga sides spent $410 million
  • France ranked fifth in total spent by European leagues, with $165 million
  • Manchester United spent the most in the PL, with an outlay of $250 million
  • United spent more than any other team in a single window in history
  • Liverpool were second, spending $193 million but got $128 million of that by selling Luis Suarez
  • Chelsea were the third highest spenders, forking out $150 million
  • Angel di Maria (Real Madrid to Manchester United) became the most expensive player in British history – $99 million
  • Southampton received $82 million from Liverpool alone for Lambert, Lallana, Lovren. Saints received $152 million in total
  • Six PL clubs made their record signings this summer- West Ham, West Brom, Hull, Leicester, Crystal Palace, Man United
  • 63 percent of transfer fees went to foreign teams, but over $500 million in transfer fees stayed in England
  • Only three PL teams made a profit, Saints ($50 million), Tottenham, ($10 million), Chelsea ($1.5 million)
  • Player wages are at an all-time high. They will total $1.7 billion this season

VIDEO: Breaking down the Deadline Day deals with the NBCSN crew

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Rebecca Lowe, Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle sat down to talk Deadline Day earlier this evening, and discussed everything from Liverpool’s summer of buys to Hull City’s late maneuvers.

Liverpool’s fortunes after a summer transfer window that watched them sell Luis Suarez for $128 million but reinforce the side with a bevy of strong players including Dejan Lovren and Mario Balotelli.

[ RELATED: Done Deal — all the transfers from Deadline Day ]

The trio make the point that if their new Italian striker can behave and stay focused, then Liverpool may well have won the window.

Though Tottenham Hotspur didn’t make a massive splash at the summer transfer deadline, doing plenty of business last summer, they did remain busy in the offseason. And today they did add sought-after Ligue 1 star Benjamin Stambouli.

Petr Cech is no longer playing first-team football for Chelsea and was granted the opportunity to leave the club. The keeper declined and wanted to remain with The Blues.

With one man on the top of the their list, Everton failed to strike a deal with Manchester United for the transfer of Tom Cleverley, causing much disappointment at Goodison Park (but really, probably not universally amongst its fans).

Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City arguably didn’t have to do much in order to stay in tip-top shape, but they did and are better off for the moves.

West Bromwich Albion is blazing a new trail in European football with the way Alan Irvine manages his club and scouts potential transfers.

Hull City brought on a few top names, getting deals done just as the transfer window was ready to slam close.

With deeps roots to his Spurs days, Harry Redknapp’s dealings brought QPR former Tottenham stud Sandro among other transfer signings.

Though he isn’t prolific goal-scorer or technical player, Danny Welbeck is a striker that brings pace to the game and is a good fit for Arsenal.

Despite the formalities of getting the deal finalized, Radamel Falcao is the newest member of Manchester United, and is a two-footed striker who can give the Old Trafford club a much-needed shot in the arm.

Premier League transfer window grades – Which team did the best business?

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With the transfer window now shut, it’s time to look back on the summer of transfer activity and assess how each Premier League time fared.

Over $1.4 billion was spent this summer, as the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool splashed the cash, but did they improve their squads?

[RELATED: Latest transfer window news]

[RELATED: Every Deadline Day deal]

Below we have given each PL team a grade and broken down some of their key ins and outs during the summer.

Lets us know if you agree.

SUMMER TRANSFER WINDOW 2014-15 – GRADES

Chelsea – A

No doubt that the big winners from this window have been Chelsea. Jose Mourinho has managed to get rid of David Luiz, Romelu Lukaku and Fernando Torres and replace them with Loic Remy, Diego Costa, Filipe Luis and Cesc Fabregas… plus, he made a profit. Remarkable summer for the Stamford Bridge club.

Hull City – A-

Steve Bruce worked wonders in the final few days of the window. They signed Abel Hernandez from Palermo for a club record fee, grabbed Hatem Ben Arfa and Gaston Ramirez on loan, plus got Mohamed Diame from West Ham after offloading George Boyd. The Tigers spent the $20 million they got for Shane Long wisely. Great deals all round.

Southampton – B+

Southampton handled a mass exodus superbly and are arguably stronger than they were in May. Lallana, Shaw, Lambert, Chambers and Lovren left, but players like Dusan Tadic, Graziano Pelle and Fraser Forster have arrived to help Ronald Koeman build a new team. Deadline Day buys Toby Alderweireld and Sadio Mane were great pieces of business as the Saints looked well stocked and made a profit of over $50 million during the summer.

Liverpool – B+

Brendan Rodgers has spent over $200 million this summer, but he did rake in over $128 million for selling Luis Suarez. Lallana, Lambert, the main man Mario Balotelli, Lovren, Lazar Markovic, Alberto Moreno and others have arrived as Rodgers has brought in quantity. Liverpool look stronger across the board and with a European campaign coming up, the Reds will be better off for it.

Arsenal – B+

The Gunners bagged Danny Welbeck on Deadline Day and his capture was crucial. He will compliment Alexis Sanchez superbly and with Sanchez’s $65 million signing, Welbeck, Calum Chambers and Matheiu Debuchy, the Gunners did very well overall. However, Wenger probably should have brought in a striker of Falcao or Edinson Cavani’s caliber. That said, big, big money has been spent.

Manchester United – B+

The Red Devils left it late but have brought in six new players over the summer. Angel Di Maria, Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Radamel Falcao have arrived. The latter will be influential, as Falcao’s goals could be the differnce. Louis van Gaal has also got rid of plenty of veterans such as Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra, as the squad looks a lot younger and fresher. Work to do defensively but the summer moves has seen over $200 million spent at Old Trafford. LVG’s revolution is well underway but they missed out on Mats Hummels and Arturo Vidal.

Everton – B

Roberto Martinez spent his entire loot on Romelu Lukaku this summer and it could come back to haunt him. Look, Everton got Gareth Barry in and locked down Lukaku, but elsewhere they have only signed Mohamed Besic and Samuel Eto’o. More defensive players were needed.

Queens Park Rangers – B 

Harry Redknapp, of course, wheeled and dealed on deadline day. He lives for it. QPR brought in Sandro from Tottenham and Niko Kranjcar on loan from Dynamo Kiev. After signing two Chilean internationals on loan, Mauricio Isla and Eduardo Vargas, plus the likes of Leroy Fer, Steven Caulker and Jordon Mutch, Rangers are a lot stronger.

Crystal Palace – C+

On Deadline Day, Palace moved to sign James McArthur for a club record fee of $13 million. They also added young defender Zeki Fryers from Tottenham, plus former star Wilfried Zaha via a loan deal late in the window. New boss Neil Warnock has a solid core of players to build from in South London.

Aston Villa – C+

A few seasoned pros arrived at Villa in what has been a quiet yet steady summer. Roy Keane arrived as assistant boss, while Alan Hutton, Charles N’Zogbia and Darren Bent all come back into the fold after falling out with manager Paul Lambert. Philippe Senderos, Aly Cissokho, Carlos Sanchez and Joe Cole all arrived, plus they held onto Ron Vlaar. Not bad at all for Villa.

Swansea City – C

Garry Monk had an uneventful Deadline Day and that was just the way he likes it. Wilfried Bony had been the subject of plenty of inquiries but the Swans held onto him, plus added the likes of Federico Fernandez, Jefferson Montero and, most importantly, Gylfi Sigurdsson. He has been a revelation on his return to South Wales from Tottenham and the Swans are in fine shape.

Sunderland – C

Gus Poyet has done okay this summer with Jack Rodwell the main signing, but you do wonder if Sunderland have enough strength to stay away from a relegation battle. Ricky Alvarez has arrived from Inter Milan on loan and the Argentine winger could be a star for the Black Cats. He needs to be.

Manchester City – C

Man City have spent the summer signing their experienced players to new deals. They have also added a few new players with young defender Eliaquim Mangala arriving from FC Porto for $54 million, plus midfielder Fernando also arriving from Porto. They let Alvaro Negredo leave on Deadline Day. Will Manuel Pellegrini rue that decision?

Newcastle United – C

An okay window for the Magpies. They failed to bring in a new top class striker, which is a real worry for Alan Pardew’s men. They signed Daryl Janmaat, Remy Cabella, Siem de Jong and Emmanuel Riviere but you do wonder where the goals will come from after losing Loic Remy.

Tottenham Hotspur – C

Mauricio Pochettino has added Federico Fazio, Benjamin Stambouli, American defender DeAndre Yedlin and Eric Dier but all four are solid defensive players. Spurs were looking to add a pacey wideman and couldn’t get a deal for Jay Rodriguez done on Deadline Day. They will be okay, that’s for sure, but Spurs fans were hoping for a lot more.

West Bromwich Albion – C-

Alan Irvine brought in 11 new players at West Brom, but the new manager has a lot of unknown quantities. Nigerian international Brown Ideye looks a real handful but plenty of other signings have yet to shine. Let’s see how this plays out but the Baggies should have signed some more experienced faces.

Leicester City – C-

Esteban Cambiasso, Leonardo Ullo and Marc Albrighton were the big arrivals as Nigel Pearson decided to stick with the core squad he had in place from their Championship success. You have to think the newly-promoted squad didn’t bring in enough players. Will it cost them dear?

Burnley – C-

Sean Dyche found it hard to sign players on a shoestring budge at Turf Moor. George Boyd arrived on Deadline Day for $5 million, but plenty more players arrived looking for a second chance in the PL. A mixture of youngsters and veterans came in, with Matt Taylor, Steven Reid and Michael Kightly arriving. Not a great window.

Stoke City – D-

The Potters are going to be okay, but only Oussama Assaidi came in on loan from Liverpool on Deadline Day. Mark Hughes’ men finished ninth last season and you would have hoped to see big money spent by Stoke’s board. Bojan arrived from Barcelona and Diouf looks like a gem up top, but they didn’t add the quality we would have expected.

West Ham United – D-

Sam Allardyce is under pressure and the Hammers’ moves this summer leave a little to be desired. Alex Song coming in on loan from Barcelona is a good deal but I’m not convinced Enner Valencia can score the goals they need up top. West Ham’s squad looks weaker than last season. The January window will be vital for the East London club.