LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 18: Santi Cazorla of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Sunderland at Emirates Stadium on August 18, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
A club-by-club breakdown of who did the best out of the transfer window, and who ended up short-changed.
Out: Robin van Persie (Manchester United, £24m), Alex Song (Barcelona, £15m), Kyle Bartley (Swansea, £1m), Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest, £1m), Joel Campbell (Real Betis, loan), Denilson (Sao Paulo, loan), Ryo Miyaichi (Wigan, loan), Park Chu-young (Celta Vigo, loan), Nicklas Bendtner (Juventus, loan), Gavin Hoyte (Dagenham, free), Manuel Almunia (Watford, free)
It's never easy to lose your two best players, but time will have to tell whether Arsenal's reinforcements prove capable of marshalling the midfield or replacing Robin van Persie's goals. At present, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud are yet to score for the club, and the Gunners also look like they could have serious problems in midfield - Abou Diaby is all that stands between their current first XI and having to deploy Francis Coquelin. When you look at how the likes of Tottenham and Swansea have reacted to losing high-calibre players, it doesn't look good for Arsene Wenger's boys.
In: Christian Benteke (Genk, £7m), Matthew Lowton (Sheffield United, £3m), Joe Bennett (Middlesbrough, £2.5m), Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord, undisclosed), Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord, undisclosed) Jordan Bowery (Chesterfield, undisclosed), Ashley Westwood (Crewe, undisclosed), Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar, free)
Aston Villa needed a revolution in this transfer window, and they've certainly brought in a lot of players to try and readdress the balance in their squad. Paul Lambert has signed a number of young players, some from the lower-leagues, and while the likes of Christian Benteke, Joe Bennett, and Ashley Westwood could prove to be excellent moves in the course of time, it remains to be seen whether the Villans have adequately addressed the short-term problems in their squad. Nonetheless, they should be less reliant on Darren Bent for goals, and have more options in attack, which should rejuvenate them at least enough to ensure they won't be in any serious danger like last season.
Out: Didier Drogba (Shanghai Shenhua, free), Jacob Mellis (Barnsley, free), Salomon Kalou (Lille, free), Jose Bosingwa (QPR, free), Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid, loan), Romelu Lukaku (West Bromwich Albion, loan), Kevin De Bruyne (Werder Bremen, loan), Sam Hutchinson (Nottingham Forest, loan), Thorgan Hazard (Zulte-Waregem, loan), Yossi Benayoun (West Ham, loan), Michael Essien (Real Madrid, loan), Josh McEachran (Middlesbrough, loan), Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford, loan)
Chelsea have undoubtedly improved their squad by a considerable margin, particularly if Eden Hazard's imperious early form is a harbinger of things to come, but there is a large caveat: They have done so at great expense, while leaving two weaknesses unaddressed. Firstly, a lack of squad depth and a reliance on Fernando Torres to spearhead their attack could come back to haunt them as the season wears on - letting Romelu Lukaku go out on loan seems reckless now that the window has closed without any other forwards being brought in. Secondly, there is a huge gap in Chelsea's midfield, with the attacking section having been strengthened hugely but the defensive side still understaffed - Lampard is ageing and ill-suited to sitting too deep, Ramires lacks the positional discipline for such a role, and Oriol Romeu and Oscar are still untested. The problem was laid bare and brutally exposed in the European Super Cup as Atletico Madrid handed out a severe thrashing, and Chelsea will need to find a midfield combination that works soon if they are to challenge for the Premier League title. In the long-term, they have bought well, but to have left two such glaring weaknesses in their squad while spending so much money is unforgivable.
In: Steven Pienaar (Tottenham, £4.5m), Kevin Mirallas (Olympiakos, £5.2m), Bryan Oviedo (FC Copenhagen, undisclosed), Steven Naismith (Rangers, free), Matthew Kennedy (Kilmarnock, nominal fee), Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe (Club Brugge, loan)
Out: Jack Rodwell (Manchester City, £12m), Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls, £1m), Adam Forshaw (Brentford, undisclosed), James Wallace (Tranmere, undisclosed), Joao Silva (Levski Sofia, undisclosed), Joseph Yobo (Fenerbahce, undisclosed), James McFadden (released), Marcus Hahnemann (released)
Some sensible activity as usual from Toffees boss David Moyes, using the money from the sale of Jack Rodwell to readdress an imbalance in his squad by bringing in two strikers to support Nikica Jelavic. Steven Pienaar's re-signing looks to be another astute move as he has picked up where he left off at Goodison Park. Given the financial restrictions at Everton, it's harsh to expect too much more of Moyes.
In: Dimitar Berbatov (Manchester United, £5m), Hugo Rodallega (Wigan, free), Mladen Petric (Hamburg, free), George Williams (MK Dons, free), Sascha Riether (Cologne, loan), Kieran Richardson (Sunderland, undisclosed), Ashkan Dejagah (Wolsfburg, undisclosed)
Out: Moussa Dembele (Tottenham, £15m), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham, £6m), Dickson Etuhu (Blackburn, undisclosed), Marcel Gecov (AA Gent, undisclosed), Andrew Johnson (QPR, free), Danny Murphy (Blackburn, free), Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading, free), Bjorn Helge Riise (released), Orlando Sa (released)
This is how to cope with losing your two best players - Arsene Wenger take note. With Mladen Petric, Hugo Rodallega, Dimitar Berbatov, and Bryan Ruiz, Fulham now have arguably the best strikeforce outside the top two - remarkable business for a club of their stature. The only downside is that Moussa Dembele's midfield scheming has not been adequately replaced, but Berbatov, Petric and Ruiz can certainly replace his creativity, if not his ability to control games. So far, things are looking very bright indeed for the Cottagers.
Out: Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbache, £1m), Craig Bellamy (Cardiff, undisclosed), Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina, undisclosed), Maxi Rodriguez (Newell's Old Boys, undisclosed), Andy Carroll (West Ham, loan), Jay Spearing (Bolton, loan), Charlie Adam (Stoke, £4m), Nathan Eccleston (Blackpool, loan), Fabio Aurelio (Gremio, free), David Amoo (Preston North End, free), Stephen Darby (Bradford, free)
A mixed transfer window to say the least for the Reds. Joe Allen and Fabio Borini should both be sensible investments for the future and players who can make an immediate contribution, while Nuri Sahin is quite a coup. On the other hand, letting Andy Carroll, Craig Bellamy, Maxi Rodriguez, and Dirk Kuyt all depart the club and only signing Fabio Borini in attack is utter madness - likely, the rumours suggesting they were permitted to leave in the assumption of snaring Dempsey are true. It leaves Liverpool with a very thin squad indeed - they are already having to play Martin Skrtel at left-back, and when injuries and fatigue begin to tell, they will soon have problems at both ends of the pitch.
In: Jack Rodwell (Everton, £12m), Scott Sinclair (Swansea, £8m), Maicon (Inter Milan, undisclosed), Richard Wright (Preston North End, free), Matija Nastasic (Fiorentina, undisclosed), Javi Garcia (Benfica, £16m)
Out: Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham, £5m), Vladimir Weiss (Pescara, undisclosed), Greg Cunningham (Bristol City, free), Owen Hargreaves (released), Gunnar Nielsen (released), Stuart Taylor (Reading, free), Wayne Bridge (Brighton, loan), Adam Johnson (Manchester City £10m), Nigel de Jong (AC Milan, undisclosed), Roque Santa Cruz (Malaga, loan), Dedryck Boyata (FC Twente, loan), Stefan Savic (Fiorentina, player exchange)
Presented with the problem of how to improve a title-winning team, Manchester City have opted for some light tinkering - Jack Rodwell provides more cover at centre-back and midfield, Scott Sinclair gives the Blues further options going forward, and Javi Garcia provides a more cerebral option in defensive midfield to the outgoing Nigel De Jong' brute force. Matija Nastasic has also replaced Stefan Savic in the hope he can provide more reliable backup in defence, and Maicon gives City a more attacking option at right-back which should help them to break down weaker teams. In all, it's undoubtedly progress from the champions, although whether it's enough is debatable - depth of options was the one department in which their closest rivals Manchester United were superior to them last year, and it'll be interesting to see if enough has been done to address that.
Out: Park Ji-sung (QPR, undisclosed), Richie De Laet (Leicester, undisclosed), Matty James (Leicester, undisclosed) Paul Pogba (Juventus, free), Tomasz Kuszczak (Brighton, free), Michael Owen (released), Fabio (QPR, loan), Ben Amos (Hull, loan), Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham, £5m)
A strange transfer window for the Red Devils, to say the least. A considerable outlay was needed to secure the signings of Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa, while their most obvious weakness - central midfield - went unaddressed yet again. It's a baffling state of affairs from Alex Ferguson, although Kagawa has looked excellent and should at least provide creativity and guile to a Manchester United attack that was pedestrian and obvious at times last year. Robin van Persie's recruitment means that Manchester United have probably the best strikeforce in Europe, although they undoubtedly overpaid to secure his signature. In sheer options, few teams can compete, but United could struggle against higher-quality teams, as evidenced by their opening defeat to Everton.
Out: Leon Best (Blackburn, £3m), Fraser Forster (Celtic, £2m), Danny Guthrie (Reading, free), Peter Lovenkrands (Birmingham, free), Alan Smith (MK Dons, free) Ryan Donaldson (released), Tamas Kadar (Roda JC, free)
A summer of limited activity for Newcastle, their biggest success probably represents keeping hold of their key players. Cheik Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse were all linked with moves away, but the Toon have been able to hold on to all four and should be capable of challenging for fourth place once again. Their squad remains light in wide positions and in defence, and any major injuries there could be devastating, but the signing of Vurnon Anita should ease the Magpies' problems slightly. Regardless, it's hard not to feel slightly disappointed that more money wasn't invested after such a successful season - one or two buys could be all Newcastle need to really take them to the next level. But with Cisse for the whole season, they'll already be stronger than they were last year, and they've done well not to emerge from the transfer window weakened.
In: Robert Snodgrass (Leeds, £3m), Sebastian Bassong (Tottenham, undisclosed),Michael Turner (Sunderland, undisclosed), Jacob Butterfield (Barnsley, undisclosed), Alexander Tettey (Rennes, undisclosed), Mark Bunn (Blackburn, undisclosed), Steven Whittaker (Rangers, free), Javier Garrido (Lazio, loan)
Out: Andrew Crofts (Brighton, undisclosed), Adam Drury (Leeds, free), Aaron Wilbraham (Crystal Palace, free), Zak Whitbread (Leicester, free), Josh Dawkin (released), Daniel Ayala (Nottingham Forest, loan), James Vaughan (Huddersfield, loan)
Norwich have enjoyed a quiet transfer window, focusing on a scattergun approach to signings which should boost their depth and, in places, their first team. Compared to the other two promoted teams last season, however, they have not strengthened significantly. Bassong and Turner will undoubtedly make them a more solid outfit at the back, but beyond that, they could end up fielding much the same set of players as last year. In a stronger league, and with the possibility of second-season syndrome, it's a risk. Keeping hold of Grant Holt was a positive, but not keeping hold of Paul Lambert could be fatal. At present, Norwich probably look the most at risk of relegation.
In: Junior Hoilett (Blackburn, tribunal), Park Ji-sung (Manchester United, undisclosed), Samba Diakite (Nancy, undisclosed), Robert Green (West Ham, free), Ryan Nelsen (Tottenham, free), Andrew Johnson (Fulham, free), Fabio (Manchester United, loan), Jose Bosingwa (Chelsea, free) Esteban Granero (Real Madrid, £9m), Sam Magri (Portsmouth, free), Stephane Mbia (Marseille, undisclosed)
Out: Tommy Smith (Cardiff, £300,000), Paddy Kenny (Leeds, £400,000), Heidar Helguson (Cardiff, undisclosed), Rowan Vine (St Johnstone, free), Peter Ramage (Crystal Palace, free), Danny Gabbidon (released), Danny Shittu (released), Fitz Hall (released), Gary Borrowdale (released), Lee Cook (released), Patrick Agyemang (released), Akos Buzsaky (released), Joey Barton (Marseille, loan)
What started out as a seemingly desperate series of panic buys from the R's has surprisingly condensed into what is, on paper, an excellent window at Loftus Road. The dross leftover from the Championship era has been cleared out, and the team has been strengthened in every available department, with Julio Cesar and Esteban Granero being two huge coups for the West London outfit. Before the window, Q.P.R. looked destined for relegation - now, they have a team that should be able to compete in the top half if they play at the level expected of them. Even more surprisingly considering QPR's position as a wealthy club desperately in need of players, they've done it for a good price.
In: Chris Gunter (Nottingham Forest, £2.5m), Adrian Mariappa (Watford, £2.5m), Pierce Sweeney (Bray Wanderers, undisclosed), Pavel Pogrebnyak (Fulham, free), Danny Guthrie (Newcastle, free), Garath McCleary (Nottingham Forest, free), Nicky Shorey (West Brom, free), Stuart Taylor (Manchester City, free)
Transfer activity at Reading was among the quietest in the league, with Royals boss Brian McDermott making a handful of low-cost upgrades and patches to what is already a well-balanced squad. Solid defensive options have been signed, while Pavel Pogrebnyak should provide the goals, and that's all. If you were being cruel, you might say it's the sort of activity made by a club that expects to be relegated, but there's nothing wrong with prudence. Whether Reading stay up will largely be dependent on whether the squad that won promotion from the Championship can provide a solid enough base, but they have not looked out of place in the top-flight so far.
In: Emmanuel Mayuka (Young Boys Berne, undisclosed), Jay Rodriguez (Burnley, £6m), Paulo Gazzaniga (Gillingham, undisclosed), Steven Davis (Rangers, free), Nathaniel Clyne (Crystal Palace, tribunal), Maya Yoshida (VVV-Venlo, undisclosed), Gaston Ramirez (Bologna, undisclosed)
Out: Dan Harding (Nottingham Forest, undisclosed), Bartosz Bialkowski (Notts County, free), Lee Holmes (Preston North End, free), Ryan Doble (Shrewsbury, free), David Connolly (released), Radhi Jaidi (retired), Aaron Martin (Crystal Palace, loan), Tommy Forecast Gillingham, loan), Billy Sharp (Nottingham Forest, loan)
Southampton's activity in the transfer window has been dominated by one gamble: the signing of Gaston Ramirez from Bologna. In time, the youngster should be an excellent signing due to his undoubted skill and potential, but there are serious questions to be asked as to whether Southampton's short-term future is secure enough to allow such risks. Steven Davis, a criminally-overlooked player who was the best player in the SPL for the past several seasons, is an astute addition, while Nathaniel Clyne and Jay Rodriguez both have great potential but valuable contributions to make in the short-term too. If the rest of Southampton's squad is up to it, then it's a superb window for the Saints. If they go down, then they'll look very silly indeed.
In: Michael Kightly (Wolves, £2m), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo, undisclosed), Jamie Ness (Rangers, free), Charlie Adam (Liverpool, £4m), Maurice Edu (Rangers, undisclosed), Steven Nzonzi (Blackburn, £3.5m)
Out: Danny Collins (Nottingham Forest, undisclosed), Jonathan Woodgate (Middlesbrough, free), Andrew Davies (Bradford, free), Salif Diao (released), Ricardo Fuller (released), Louis Moult (released), Tom Soares (released)
Stoke have had a quietly excellent transfer window, with little money spent and all recruits seeming to be wise moves. Michael Kightly has made an immediate contribution to Stoke's campaign and gives them further wide options, and Geoff Cameron's long-throws appear to have made Rory Delap obsolete. The rest of their signings address Stoke's weakness in central midfield - the versatile Maurice Edu will give them options, while Charlie Adam improves their creativity and set-piece delivery, while Steven N'Zonzi and Jamie Ness are both excellent prospects who will have their role to play this season as well. Overall, it's a textbook window from Tony Pulis.
Out: Asamoah Gyan (Al-Ain, £6m), Marcos Angeleri (Estudiantes, undisclosed), Michael Turner (Norwich, undisclosed), George McCartney (West Ham, undisclosed), Michael Liddle (Accrington, undisclosed), Jordan Cook (Charlton, free), Craig Gordon (released), Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull, loan), Kieran Richardson (Fulham, undisclosed)
Sunderland's pursuit of Steven Fletcher was one of the more eye-opening moves of the window, with much criticism levelled at the Black Cats for supposedly overpaying for the striker. That's debatable - Fletcher is undoubtedly a capable and versatile goalscorer - but Sunderland have improved their first-team considerably with the signings they've made. Adam Johnson is a wonderful signing, and Sunderland's attack now looks potent enough to take them to the next level. Carlos Cuellar's continued synchronicity with Martin O'Neill's career path will also lend them increased solidity at the back - overall, they seem to have got what they paid for.
In: Michu (Rayo Vallecano, £2m), Jose Manuel Flores (Genoa, £2m), Jonathan de Guzman (Villarreal, loan), Kyle Bartley (Arsenal, £1m), Jamie Proctor (Preston, undisclosed), Pablo Hernandez (Valencia, £5.55m)
Out: Joe Allen (Liverpool, £15m), Scott Sinclair (Manchester City, £8m), Ferrie Bodde (released), Casey Thomas (released), Joe Walsh (released), Scott Donnelly (released), Andrea Orlandi (Brighton, free)
Hats off to Michael Laudrup and the Swans - they've managed to complete an absolutely incredible window despite spending next to nothing. Michu has been a revelation, Jonathan de Guzman looks excellent, Kyle Bartley is an excellent prospect, and in replacing Scott Sinclair with Pablo Hernandez, they've managed to get an upgrade and a profit at the same time. The departures of Allen and Sinclair will negate the progress made by Swansea, but they look a much better team now, and given the minimal expenditure, it has to go down as a great window for the South Wales club.
Out: Luka Modric (Real Madrid, £33m), Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburg, £10.2m), Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow, £5m), Steven Pienaar (Everton, £4.5m), Niko Kranjcar (Dynamo Kiev, £2m), Sebastian Bassong (Norwich, undisclosed), Giovani dos Santos (Real Mallorca, undisclosed), Ryan Nelsen (QPR, free), Ben Alnwick (Barnsley, free), Louis Saha (Sunderland, free), Bongani Khumalo (PAOK, loan), Massimo Luongo (Ipswich, loan), Ryan Fredericks (Brentford, loan), Danny Rose (Sunderland, loan)
Tottenham may have lost their best player, but the continued dark arts of Daniel Levy appear to have saved them once again. As well as extracting a ludicrous fee for Rafael Van der Vaart, Spurs have used the money to give their squad a huge upgrade. Moussa Dembele and Gylfi Sigurdsson in midfield, Hugo Lloris in goal, and Jan Vertonghen in defence, and Emmanuel Adebayor and Clint Dempsey up front all improve the Lilywhites' squad and first XI immensely, and should more than make up for Modric's departure. The only downside is that they will miss the world-class creativity he provided - clearly, Joao Moutinho would've solved that problem, but in the end it wasn't to be. An otherwise excellent window for Spurs, who negotiated a bad situation superbly and should still have money left to spend in January.
West Bromwich Albion
In: Ben Foster (Birmingham, undisclosed), Markus Rosenberg (Werder Bremen, free), Claudio Yacob (Racing Club de Avellaneda, free) Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea, loan), Yassine El Ghanassy (AA Gent, loan), Goran Popov (Dynamo Kyiv, loan)
Out:Keith Andrews (Bolton, free), Joe Mattock (Sheffield Wednesday, free), Nicky Shorey (Reading, free), Marton Fulop (Astera Tripolis, free), Somen Tchoyi (released), Paul Scharner (released), Simon Cox (Nottingham Forest, undisclosed)
The Baggies may have replaced their manager, but there's been no spending spree to greet Steve Clarke's inauguration at the Hawthorns. An already balanced squad has been boosted by free transfers and loans, with Romelu Lukaku in particular looking like he could play an important role in West Brom's season. Overall, it's treading water - their squad was solid enough before, so they should have no problems this season.
In: Matt Jarvis (Wolves, £10.75m), Modibo Maiga (Sochaux, £5m), Alou Diarra (Marseille, £2m), James Collins (Aston Villa, undisclosed), Stephen Henderson (Portsmouth, undisclosed), George McCartney (Sunderland, undisclosed), Raphael Spiegel (Grasshoppers, undisclosed) Jussi Jaaskelainen (Bolton, free), Mohamed Diame (Wigan, free), Andy Carroll (Liverpool, loan), Yossi Benayoun (Chelsea, loan)
Out: Robert Green (QPR, free), Julien Faubert (Elazigspor, free), Frank Nouble (Wolves, free), Freddie Sears (Colchester, free), Abdoulaye Faye (Hull, free), John Carew (released), Papa Bouba Diop (released), Ravel Morrison (Birmingham, loan), Sam Baldock (Bristol City, undisclosed), Nicky Maynard (Cardiff, undisclosed)
A busy window for the Hammers, after they made substantial investments and appear to have improved considerably as a result. It's odd to see a Sam Allardyce side looking stronger in attack than defence, but Andy Carroll, Yossi Benayoun, Modibo Maiga and Matt Jarvis being added to the side means that West Ham should have an attack more than capable of scoring the goals to keep them up. Mohamed Diame is also an excellent signing, hugely underrated during his time at Wigan. The only real black mark is the bizarre decision to replace Robert Green - unfairly lambasted for rare high-profile blunders - with the well-past-it Jussi Jaaskelainen. Other than that, the Hammers should have improved their squad enough to stay up.
Out: Chris Kirkland (Sheffield Wednesday, free), Mohamed Diame (West Ham, free), Hugo Rodallega (Fulham, free), Hendry Thomas (released), Steve Gohouri (released), Jordan Robinson (released), Victor Moses (Chelsea, £9m)
On the face of things, Wigan's transfer activity looks poor. Only two significant signings were made, and they lost their best striker and best midfielder on free transfers. In addition, Victor Moses has departed the club, although the price was probably a good one - his actual contributions to Wigan's success in staying up were overstated last season. While it's a bad transfer window for the club, Wigan aren't in too bad a position - they have a young squad overall, and the improvements in James McCarthy, James McArthur, Franco Di Santo and others should negate the players they've lost. In addition, Arouna Kone is a fine signing, potentially one with more goals in him than the outgoing Rodallega. Not a great window for the Latics, but far from a disaster either.