10 Clubs Whose 2014 Transfer Window Is Already a Success
The 2014 FIFA World Cup might barely be finished and the dust settling on the celebrations and recriminations, but club football is already back on the horizon, with transfers aplenty happening and preseason already kicking off for most.
While there is still plenty of time remaining for teams to make big additions to their squad before the beginning of the 2014-15 season kicks off competitively, a number of clubs have gotten into gear nice and early.
It could all change yet by the end of August, but here are 10 sides who are already looking like making it a successful summer in the transfer window.
Whatever Arsenal do to their forward line, whoever they sell from this point onward, it doesn't matter.
They've signed Alexis Sanchez, a phenomenal forward with pace, technique and goalscoring ability, and he is better than anything they have in the final third—so sales or not, the attack has improved for the Gunners this season.
Mathieu Debuchy is a very good replacement (and upgrade, even) on Bacary Sagna, while a big midfield name—Sami Khedira has been mentioned—will make them a Premier League force once more.
Oh, and they offloaded Nicklas Bendtner—a guaranteed win.
Southampton might seem an odd choice as a success given they have made more sales than signings, but as a mid-table team unable to break into the top five or six, they were always going to lose their star players this summer.
The key for them was to do it quickly, get the money in and get the price they wanted.
Having recouped around £60 million for Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert, they've certainly done that. The signing of Dusan Tadic is a good one who will add invention and goals to the attack, while new boss Ronald Koeman will be hoping Graziano Pelle can bring his Eredivisie scoring form to the Premier League.
That latter is a gamble, perhaps, but they have the funds in place to further strengthen the team and especially the attack this summer.
Chelsea have done some big business already this summer and their three main signings take care of the three areas of need.
Cesc Fabregas in the middle, Filipe Luis at left-back and Diego Costa in attack are £82 million-worth of talent combined, but they fill big holes in the Chelsea team and give it a phenomenally strong look about the XI.
As if all that wasn't enough, they scraped back the staggering sum of £50 million for David Luiz.
Great work all round.
Moving out of the Premier League and into Germany, Bayern Munich's strong title-winning team has already gotten stronger.
Robert Lewandowski is a better penalty box striker than Mario Mandzukic, who has left for Atletico Madrid, while Juan Bernat will provide cover at left-back and in midfield. Sebastian Rode is an intriguing arrival who will have his work cut out for game time in the centre of the park.
The one downside must be the loss of Toni Kroos, despite the hefty fee they received for his signature.
Knowing so early in the year that they were losing main striker Lewandowski has enabled Dortmund to cast their net around and secure a number of options to replace him.
Italian striker Ciro Immobile looks the main man, but Adrian Ramos impressed in the Bundesliga last season and Ji Dong-Won is another attacking addition.
Add into the mix the permanent signing of Nuri Sahin and the recent capture of Germany's World Cup-winning defender Matthias Ginter, and it's been a great early round of business from BVB.
Bayer Leverkusen have already brought in more than half a dozen players this summer, but two in particular are extremely astute signings.
Hakan Calhanoglu impressed many last year despite his Hamburg side stuttering in the league and was extremely sought after, while Josip Drmic excelled with Nurnberg. Both get the chance to step up considerably and will replace the losses of Sidney Sam and Emre Can.
Tin Jedvaj has arrived on loan from AS Roma and they have also brought in highly rated Ukraine under-21 midfielder Vladlen Yurchenko, on a two-year deal.
Our final German side is Borussia Monchengladbach, who lost their young goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to Barcelona, along with a clutch of other players, but have set about replacing them with talented youngsters from around Europe.
Yann Sommer is a great capture in goal from Basel, while Andre Hahn has joined in midfield from Augsburg. The loan capture of Thorgan Hazard brings creativity and drive from wide, while Fabian Johnson has already proved his worth from full-back, including at the World Cup recently with United States.
Inter Milan's transfer workings often leave plenty to be desired, but they have at least made a positive start this time around.
Nemanja Vidic arrives as an experienced central defender on a free transfer, bringing organisation and reliability as long as they keep a relatively deep line and keep him fit, while Saphir Taider is now fully owned by the club.
The two best potential arrivals though—showing vision and potential not always associated with Inter's transfers—are Dodo, on loan from Roma for two seasons, and defensive midfielder Yann M'Vila, who still has the potential to become one of the foremost holding players in Europe if he can recapture his form.
Newcastle United's car-crash of the second half of last season left few people in doubt that major reconstruction of the side was needed, and the Magpies have certainly gotten underway with that quickly.
Jack Colback is a controversial but astute acquisition on a free transfer, while Daryl Janmaat proved his ability at the World Cup with the Netherlands for those who hadn't seen him at Feyenoord.
Goals and creativity should return to the Newcastle attack after the additions of Remy Cabella, Siem de Jong and Emmanuel Riviere, from Montpellier, Ajax and Monaco respectively. The latter in particular has the capacity to have a big impact on the Premier League in his debut campaign.
Manchester City have spent less than £20 million so far this summer, but have strengthened their squad with three good signings.
Bacary Sagna will of course offer depth and ability at right-back, up against Pablo Zabaleta for the position, after arriving on a free transfer from Arsenal. Willy Cabellero will fight Joe Hart for a place in goal, having signed from Malaga for £6 million.
It is the signing of holding midfielder Fernando Reges, though, which offers City not just quality and value for money, but also strengthens a key area of the pitch—central midfield—which was lacking last season and which will allow them to more easily absorb injuries or departures in future.
Fernando as the holder allows Fernandinho to push on more, or the former can comfortably be paired with Yaya Toure. It's a great capture for City for a relatively low fee of £12 million, allowing them to no doubt spend big in other areas.