The best and the worst of the Premier League summer window: Arsenal disappoint despite being the league’s highest spenders

This summer has been one of the most exciting yet in the world of football.

The summer window has had some unbelievable rumours - some that haven’t materialised and some that have.

Some of the ‘big six’ clubs have shown their commitment to winning the league this season with some exceptional business in the summer market, while others may regret their lack of activity come the end of the Premier League campaign.

Meanwhile, the likes of Aston Villa and Crystal Palace have investested smartly as they look to ramp up their bid for European football.

At the other end of the table, the newly-promoted teams in Norwich City, Watford and Brentford are hoping their signings will keep them in the top tier for consecutive seasons.

Here are our best and worst performers in the summer window...

Best of the summer spenders


Chelsea played the summer window very smartly, focusing all their efforts on bringing in a striker - a position they had needed to fill since the departure of Diego Costa four years ago.

While they had to spend big to get their man, the signing of Romelu Lukaku was probably the best Chelsea fans could have asked for.

Total squad value: £793.35m MVP: Romelu Lukaku Average age: 26.8 Foreign players: 17

The Belgian has bags of Premier League experience and is a proven goalscorer - while also showing huge improvement since he last played in England.

Lukaku has quietly become one of the best forwards in the world and is almost guaranteed to win the Blues games this season - giving Thomas Tuchel’s side a good chance of winning the league.

Their only other major signing saw Saul Niguez arrive on loan on deadline day - a player that Manchester United were also reportedly keen on bringing in.

The Spaniard won a league title, two Europa League trophies, the UEFA Super Cup and two domestic cups with Atletico Madrid and has also made 19 appearances for his national team.

Alongside the likes of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, Chelsea’s midfield is looking extremely impressive.

Manchester United

Manchester United have undoubtedly had one of the best summer transfer windows with the arrivals of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane.

Sancho has been absolutely superb for Borussia Dortmund and at, only 21-years-old, could become one of the best footballers in the world if he can shine at Man United.

Meanwhile, the former Real Madrid pair of Ronaldo and Varane bring with them to Old Trafford endless trophies. Between the two of them they have ten league titles, nine Champions League medals and, of course, five Ballon d’Ors.

Varane’s in after his impressive debut. Credit: Getty.

As well as the quality that the new trio bring with them, the arrival of such talented players should give the rest of the team a huge boost as they look to secure their first Premier League title since 2012/13.

The Red Devils also made a hefty £26 million from the departure of Daniel James - an impressive fee given the lack of game time the Welsh international would get this season.

Aston Villa

At the start of the summer Aston Villa fans would have been horrified at the thought of a season without Jack Grealish.

Yes, the midfielder’s departure is a disappointment, but Dean Smith’s side have brought in the likes of Danny Ings, Leon Bailey and Emi Buendia for less than what they sold Grealish for.

If the three new arrivals can replicate their form for their previous clubs then they will guarantee goals for the Premier League outfit.

Meanwhile, the return of Ashley Young and Axel Tuanzebe adds some important defensive cover to the Villa squad and it will give the fans a lift to see some much-loved familiar faces back in Birmingham.

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace are another side that have acted smartly in the transfer window as they look to employ a new style of football under Patrick Vieira.

The Eagles have brought in some top players this summer and have looked to focus on youth ahead of a new era at Selhurst Park.

Chelsea fans were devestated to see Marc Guehi go, while his new defensive partner Joachim Andersen had an impressive spell with Fulham prior to their relegation.

Meanwhile, Michael Olise could prove to be the next Eberechi Eze after a successful start to his career in the Championship with Reading, and former Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard really is the cherry on top of the cake for Palace.

The South London club have been crying out for a proven goalscorer in their team for a long time and the three-time Scottish Premiership champion should give them just that.

A summer overhaul has also seen Palace let go of their ‘dead wood’, with the likes of Andros Townsend, Mamadou Sakho and Connor Wickham all departing at the end of last season.

Worst of the summer spenders


Arsenal were the Premier League’s biggest spenders this summer and that probably wouldn’t have been much of an issue if they had brought in the big names to match the price-tags.

Instead, the Gunners spent over £70 million on Brighton’s Ben White and twice-relegated Aaron Ramsdale.

Ivan Toney of Brentford is challenged by Ben White of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Brentford and Arsenal at Brentford Community Stadium on August 13, 2021 in Brentford, England. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)

Ben White clearly has heaps of potential and has impressed for both the Seagulls and Leeds United in the Championship, however £50 million is certainly a bit steep and there will be a lot of pressure on the defender’s shoulders now.

Meanwhile, despite being one of Sheffield United and Bournemouth’s better performers over the past two seasons, he hasn’t done much to warrant a £24 million move to one of the Premier League’s biggest clubs.

While the arrivals of Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares could prove to be decent signings, it is difficult to see how all these players will offer the impact needed given the amount of money Arsenal have spent.


Liverpool haven’t made any bad signings this summer, but only because they haven’t really made any signings at all.

After their Premier League title win, Liverpool found themselves struggling last season and could really have done with some big money signings this summer - especially given Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City all brought in some huge names.

While the Reds are boosted by the return of Virgil Van Dijk, their lack of transfer activity has seen them fall further behind their Premier League rivals and it seems unlikely now that they will be able to compete with the other three clubs for the title.

Sporting director Michael Edwards played a big hand in Virgil van Dijk’s Anfield arrival in January 2018. Picture: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Given the mess that their lack of squad depth got them into last season, you would have thought Liverpool would want to bolster their ranks this time round but they don’t seem to have learnt from their mistakes - instead they will be relying on the likes of Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi if they pick up any significant injuries once again.

Newcastle United

Bar the return of Joe Willock, Newcastle United have been very quiet in this window, with their only other signing being Santiago Munoz - a transfer that some fans think is a PR stunt due to the similarity to the main character of Goal!.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 21: Douglas Luiz of Aston Villa battles for possession with Joe Willock of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Newcastle United at Villa Park on August 21, 2021 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The Magpies have failed to improve their squad or their league position over the last few seasons and really needed some significant investment in some top quality players this summer if they were to get anywhere this season, but it is looking like Newcastle supporters are set for another average season at St. James’ Park.