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The Premier League summer transfer window is always a little slow out of the blocks in a World Cup year. However, with the tournament in Russia now over, we can expect to see the Premiership ins and outs beginning to take shape.
The new season kicks off on 11 August, when the Premier League welcomes back three sides who have been away for a few years — automatically promoted Wolves and Cardiff City, and Fulham, who won promotion via the playoffs.
They will be taking the places of Swansea City, Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion, who drop down to the Championship. The final round of matches in the 2018/19 Premier League season is on 19 May next year.
Summer Transfer Window
As the World Cup has only just ended, a lot of proposed premiership transfers are yet to be finalised. However, it’s likely that the activity will be even more frantic than usual this year, as the final premiership transfer window dates have been moved forward to 9 August, two days before the season begins.
In previous years, Premier League transfer signings could be made until the end of August. There have been some big moves made already, but we can expect to see Premier League signings in 2018 right up until deadline day.
The delay has also had an impact on Premier League betting markets, as the leading online sports books are waiting to see who moves where before framing the odds for the upcoming season.
Top Premier League Ins and Outs
In terms of completed English Premier League transfers 2018, the biggest deal to date is the move of Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City to champions Manchester City for a fee of £60 million.
Mahrez, who has now become City’s record transfer, had requested a move to the Etihad in January, but the deal was blocked at the time because a fee couldn’t be agreed upon.
The Algerian was a central figure in Leicester’s historic title winning season in 2015/16, and is expected to add even more potency to City’s attack in partnership with Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane.
Manchester United hasn’t let its cross-town rivals get the jump on them, and has also started this transfer season with a bang. Its biggest move to date has been the signing of the Brazilian playmaker Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk for a fee of £52 million.
United under Jose Mourinho have been criticised for a lack of vision and inventiveness in midfield, and Fred has been brought in specifically to address this issue.
United have added further to their Premier League signings in 2018 with the addition of 19-year-old Portuguese right-back Diogo Dalot, signed from Porto for £19 million.
As always, when there is a spending spree taking place, Chelsea hates to be left out. It has made its first Premier League transfer signings by bringing in Jorginho from Napoli for a fee of £57 million.
New Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri, who until last season was in charge of Napoli, has brought his former player to Stamford Bridge to fill a playmaker role, a position the Brazilian-born Italy international has excelled at in Naples.
The signing has, however, not been without controversy, as Manchester City thought they had a deal with the player sewn up, only to be pipped at the post at the last minute by the London club.
Probably the two most unexpected of all the completed English premier league transfers 2018 thus far has been the moves of Nice’s Jean-Michael Seri and Maxime Le Marchand to Premier League newcomers Fulham.
Seri has been the subject of intense scrutiny for some time, and it appeared as though he would be heading to west London rivals Chelsea, but the Cottagers pulled off a brilliant coup in getting the Ivorian midfielder for a fee of £18 million.
The fee for Le Marchand is undisclosed, with the Frenchman being lined up as a replacement for Matt Targett, who was on loan at Fulham last season from Southampton but who, for the time being at least, has returned to his parent club.
In terms of other noteworthy Premier League ins and outs 2018/19, West Ham have been particularly busy, bringing in six new players already, including Jack Wilshere and Ryan Fredericks for free from Arsenal and Fulham respectively.
Arsenal, under a new manager for the first time in more than two decades, have themselves done a lot of business in terms of Premier League signings in 2018, with five new players coming in, while Liverpool have also been making some waves, most notably with the signing of Naby Keita from Leipzig for £52.75 million and Fabinho from Monaco for a fee of £43.7 million.
Thus far, the Premiership ins and outs have largely involved continental players coming into England, with few significant top level transfers — with the exception of Mahrez — between Premier League clubs.
Whether this is because there are more foreign managers than ever before, or because clubs are wary handing their rivals any sort of advantage, it’s increasingly the case that stars aren’t going from one Premier League club to another in the way they did in previous years.
It will be interesting to note whether there are more transfers between Premier League clubs on the cards as deadline day looms closer.