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Which Premier League Clubs Had the Best and Worst Summer 2023 Transfer Window?

The 2023 summer transfer has slammed shut for Premier League clubs and the 20 top-flight sides spent a ludicrous total of £2.36 billion between them on new players. But which clubs bought well in the latest transfer window and which ended up panicking and splashing untold millions on complete duds?

Best Transfer Window

Amex Stadium, Brighton
Image: Mark, flickr

When assessing how well clubs have performed in the transfer market, we’ll consider the key players they’ve acquired and those they’ve allowed to leave.

Brighton and Hove Albion

  • Key Players In – Joao Pedro (£30m), Carlos Baleba (£23.2m), Bart Verbruggen (£16.3m), Igor (£15m), James Milner (Free)
  • Key Players Out – Moises Caicedo (£115m), Alexis Mac Allister (£35m), Robert Sanchez (£25m)

As so often in recent years, Brighton have been very shrewd in the transfer market: buying smart and selling big. Bringing in not far short of £200m from the sales of Moises Caicedo and Robert Sanchez (to Chelsea) and Alexis Mac Allister (to Liverpool) meant manager Roberto De Zerbi had a war chest with which to purchase new talent.

The club didn’t go nuts on new players, but the ones they bought all look like they could prove to be very good business. Brazilian Joao Pedro looked impressive in his time at Watford and is likely to thrive when surrounded by better players on the south coast. Carlos Baleba, meanwhile, offers real defensive guile, but perhaps Brighton’s best signing might prove to have cost them nothing: James Milner.

A veteran of the Premier League, he is certainly getting on in years, but he’s fitter than most players 10 years his junior and it’s likely he’ll be around for a while yet. Given that he can play in so many positions and has a wealth of experience to help guide younger players, getting Milner on a free from Liverpool could be one of the best signings of the window.


  • Key Players In – Dominik Szoboslai (£60m), Alexis Mac Allister (£35m), Ryan Gravenberch (£34.2m), Wataru Endo (£16.2m)
  • Key Players Out – Jordan Henderson (undisclosed), Fabinho (£40m), Roberto Firmino (free), James Milner (free), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (free)

Liverpool were one of the beneficiaries of Brighton’s transfer policy when the Reds landed Argentine World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister for a relative snip at £35m. Still only 24, he could become a pivotal part of Liverpool’s new-look midfield. And the midfield certainly needed rebuilding after the departure of Milner, Henderson and Fabinho.

And one of Liverpool’s other signings could go some way to filling those very large boots. Captain of the Hungary national side, Dominik Szoboslai is a proven winner (with both Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig) and his early performances for the Reds have given fans a glimpse of what he might offer the team over the coming months and years.

Aston Villa

  • Key Players In – Pau Torres (£33m), Moussa Diaby (undisclosed), Rico Richards (free), Youri Tielemans (free), Nicolo Zaniolo (loan), Clement Lenglet (loan)
  • Key Players Out – Jaden Philogene (undisclosed), Cameron Archer (£18m), Aaron Ramsey (undisclosed), Marvelous Nakamba (undisclosed), Ashley Young (free)

There’s a strong argument to suggest Aston Villa had the best window of any Premier League side. They paid more than £50m for French international attacker Moussa Diaby from Bayer Leverkusen, and yet the pacy 24 year old could prove to be a real bargain. Former Leicester man Youri Tielemans has shown his ability to mix it in the Premier League and the Belgium international has bags of experience despite only being 26. Villa also grabbed another impressive 26 year old in the form of Spanish defender Pau Torres. A centre back with a cool head and a tough tackle, he’ll help Villa grind out the results they’ll need if they want to compete for the European places.

West Ham United

  • Key Players In – Mohammed Kudus (£38m), Edson Alvarez (£35.4m), James Ward-Prowse(£30m), Konstantinos Mavropanos (£19m)
  • Key Players Out – Declan Rice (£105m), Gianluca Scamacca (£27.5m), Nikola Vlasic (£11m)

West Ham’s transfer window was, overall, very positive in our eyes. Okay, they lost the services of their best player, Declan Rice. But on the other hand, they brought in a monster sum of more than £100m for him and, importantly, David Moyes and the West Ham board appear to have spent their cash very wisely.

In James Ward-Prowse, West Ham have picked up a proven Premier League performer, and though he’s not quite at Rice’s level, at 28 years of age, he still has time to refine his game. Mohammed Kudus and Edson Alvarez, meanwhile, give Moyes lots of options in the middle of the park and Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos is a great edition to a defence that looked a little leaky at times in the league last term.

Worst Transfer Window

Stamford Bridge Seating
Image: Kinkreet, Wikimedia Commons

Here we take a look at the other end of the scale, that is to say the teams who perhaps didn’t make the most of the latest transfer window.


  • Key Players In – Moises Caicedo (£115m), Romeo Lavia (£58m), Christopher Nkunku (£52m), Cole Palmer (£42.5m), Axel Disasi (£38.5m)
  • Key Players Out – Kai Havertz (£65m), Mateo Kovacic (£30m), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (£17.18m), Mason Mount (£60m), Christian Pulisic (£18.8m)

There appears little rhyme or reason to Chelsea’s scattergun approach to the transfer market in recent times and it seems as if they are happy to simply do lots (and lots and lots) of business. There’s no doubt the Blues have signed some very good players in this window, but we’ve only mentioned the signings that cost more than £35m… they signed another 11 players on top of those above! With similar numbers leaving the club (notably the misfiring Kai Havertz to Arsenal and Mateo Kovacic to Man City), it must make managing the playing staff a massive challenge, to say the least. Even remembering their names must present quite a challenge!

Of course, we might well eat our words if Chelsea go on to win the Premier League. But as things stand, we feel it will take weeks if not months for the manager, new himself of course, to find a settled starting XI. And even if that happens, there will be so many expensive bench-warmers that it seems like maintaining squad morale could prove impossible. Still, the football agents will have been laughing all the way to their Swiss banks!

Sheffield United

  • Key Players In – Cameron Archer (£18.5m), Gustavo Hamer (£15m), Vini Souza (£10m), Auston Trusty (£5m), Benie Traore (£4m)
  • Key Players Out – Iliman Ndiaye (£20m), Sander Berge (£12m), Jake Eastwood (Undisclosed)

At the other end of the budgetary scale, Sheffield United were never in a position to make massive waves in the summer transfer market. But there’s a feeling they’ve ended the window in a weaker position than when they began having lost arguably their two best players Iliman Ndiaye (to Marseille) and Sander Berge (to Burnley). Paul Heckingbottom managed to pick up a couple of decent – if not exactly mind-blowing – signings, with Cameron Archer likely to prove a relatively shrewd acquisition, assuming the England under-21 man fulfils his potential… and quickly.

It’s going to be all about survival for the Blades this term and the squad they have at present could make that goal rather challenging to say the least, especially if they start to pick up injuries. There’s a distinct lack of Premier League experience (and class) among the squad and there was clearly room for players at the backend of their careers to have been snapped up to help bolster the team’s options. As it is, unless they spend big (and wisely) in January, we think Sheffield United will be heading back to the Championship.


  • Key Players In – Beto (£25.75m), Youssef Chermiti (£15m), Ashley Young (free), Arnaut Danjuma (Loan), Jack Harrison (Loan)
  • Key Players Out – Alex Iwobi (£22m), Ellis Simms (£8m), Tom Cannon (£7.5m), Niels Nkounkou (£1.7m)

As a fan, if your team has made only three permanent signings in a transfer window, you are unlikely to get overexcited. Especially if one of those is Ashley Young on a free transfer! Having narrowly dodged relegation last term, Sean Dyche will be doing everything he can to ensure the Toffees don’t leave things so late this season. But with a squad that is looking rather threadbare and lacking real quality, the club could really have done with a little more action in the transfer market.

The one real bright spark, however, has been the acquisition of Portuguese striker Beto from Udinese. Serie A is not an easy place in which to score goals, and Beto’s return of 21 goals in 62 league games for the Italian side is certainly very respectable. He has shown desire and skill in his opening appearances for the Toffees, and Everton’s Premier League future might well rest on the 25 year old’s shoulders.