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To spend big or not at all? The Premier League conundrum

| 10.08.2018

Fulham, Wolves and Everton have gone all out

The Premier League transfer window has closed, and now is the time to see if those summer signings (or lack of) are a success.

There’s always a risk factor when you bring a player in. Equally, choosing not to sign a player comes with a risk too.

The big spenders

Fulham, Wolves and Everton were three sides who overhauled their squads this summer.

The Cottagers became the first promoted side to spend more than £100m in a summer window, while Everton brought in three players from Barcelona plus a £50m move for Richarlison.

As exciting as it is, bringing in new players always requires time for them to gel. But with the new season upon, that’s time teams don’t have.

And if the new signings don’t work out, there is always the threat of relegation with an inflated wage bill. It’s ruined many a club in the past.

No change at Spurs

In contrast, Tottenham Hotspur became the first Premier League club since 2003 to not sign a single player in the summer window.

While some Spurs fans may be disgruntled by the apparent lack of progression, it means boss Mauricio Pochettino can hit the ground running with a squad he knows inside out.

Time will tell if Fulham, Wolves and Everton’s squad overhaul is a success. History shows it can go either way…

When it works

Chelsea – 2003

Following Roman Abramovich’s game-changing acquisition, Chelsea went on a summer splurge like never before.

In 2003 they signed 13 players for a total of more than £100m. In came Glen Johnson, Geremi, Wayne Bridge, Damien Duff, Joe Cole, Juan Sebastian Veron, Hernan Crespo, Adrian Mutu and more.

The changes worked. Chelsea went on to finish a then-best second in 2003-04, before landing successive titles in 2005 and 2006.

When it doesn’t

QPR – 2011

Completely overhauling your squad doesn’t always pay dividends.

Queens Park Rangers brought in 10 players in the summer of 2011, including Joey Barton, Anton Ferdinand, Danny Gabbidon and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

The change was too much and QPR would win only five of their first 28 league games en route to relegation.

Aston Villa – 2015

Four years later and Aston Villa did likewise. In came 12 players including Joleon Lescott, Rudy Gestede, Adama Traore and Jordan Ayew.

But the result was a catastrophic campaign of just three league wins, a miserly 17 points and relegation.

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Richard Marsh