Having spent the entire summer chasing Harry Kane, Manchester City had to settle for only breaking the Premier League transfer window once this transfer window.

The other 19 Premier League clubs were hardly quiet themselves, so let’s take a look back at a quite frantic summer of business .

Here, we rank each clubs’ transfer activity from 20th all the way down to number one…

20. Newcastle United

Hang on, Newcastle United weren’t under a transfer embargo this summer? You could have fooled us, with Mike Ashley seemingly losing his wallet as soon as the window opened – it’s uncanny how often that happens to him.

The Magpies eventually forked out £25m for Joe Willock before securing the loan signing of Santiago Munoz (who we refuse to believe isn’t a fictional character until we actually see him in the flesh).

Willock joined Newcastle for a reported £25 million

All in all, there’s been very little improvement made to their squad, and with no fewer than 18 players heading for the St. James’ Park exit door, it could be another long season for Newcastle fans.

Transfer window rating: 1/10

19. Arsenal

How do you solve a problem like Arsenal?

The Gunners are in a real spot of bother right now and desperately need a tactically astute, experienced leader to pull them out of the mud. So, it’s a good job they’ve got *checks notes* a man who once sat next to Pep Guardiola at the helm.

Signings like Ben White, Martin Odegaard, Nuno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga may turn out to be great pieces of business, but the fact is Arsenal need players for now and not for the future.

You certainly can’t accuse the Arsenal board of burying their heads in the sand, with Takehiro Tomiyasu and Aaron Ramsdale also arriving in big-money deals. In a few years’ time we may look back at this and think ‘as if we ever doubted them’, but there’s a time and a place for long-term vision and right now it’s probably not what the Gunners need.

Transfer window rating: 2/10

18. Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp wasted absolutely no time in looking to strengthen Liverpool’s backline options after a host of defensive injuries left their title defence in tatters last season.

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The early arrival of Ibrahima Konate suggested the Reds could be set for a busy summer, but since then the Liverpool owners may as well have been down the pub with Mike Ashley.

The respective sales of Harry Wilson, Xherdan Shaqiri and Taiwo Awoniyi added some coppers to the transfer kitty, though Konate remained their only summer signing.

A lot of Liverpool’s key players from their triumphant 2019/20 Premier League-winning campaign have either reached or are nearing their 30s, and their inability to freshen up the squad could come back to haunt them.

With Roberto Firmino recently picking up a knock in Liverpool’s draw with Chelsea, Klopp’s forward options already look threadbare and he may well be ruing not dipping into the market again last month.

Transfer window rating: 2/10

17. Burnley

There is absolutely no chance that Sean Dyche had anything to do with the arrival of Maxwel Cornet from Ligue 1 outfit Lyon. Granted, the arrivals of Nathan Collins from Stoke and Connor Roberts from Swansea sound right up his street, but somewhere at Turf Moor, Dyche was locked in a cupboard screaming ‘NOT ON MY WATCH’ as Cornet was unveiled to the media.

Sean Dyche has made three additions to his first-team squad

Of the aforementioned arrivals, Collins has the ability to become a top-class defender and he’ll definitely fit in at Burnley, while Roberts will provide decent cover at right-back.

Cornet is a very interesting signing, and he undoubtedly has the quality to bring some flair to the club. Whether he’s allowed to bring the form that tormented City in the Champions League to east Lancashire is a completely different matter, but kudos to Burnley for trying something different.

Transfer window rating: 2.5/10

16. Watford

Not a lot of money has been spent or brought in by Watford over the past few months, but if you’re thinking that must mean they’ve been inactive then you couldn’t be more wrong.

It’s evident that Hornets boss Xisco’s brief is simply to stay in the top flight, and experienced campaigners like Danny Rose, Moussa Sissoko and Josh King will definitely be able to aid their survival bid.

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There’ve been a couple of maverick signings as well – let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be Watford without a few random ones thrown in there – with Imrân Louza signing from Nantes and Emmanuel Dennis arriving from Club Brugge. Watford may well have given themselves a decent chance of staying in the league.

Transfer window rating: 4/10

15. Leeds United

Thirteen players left Leeds United this summer and yet they didn’t make a penny from player sales.

Despite that, Marcelo Bielsa still made a number of lofty purchases, with Jack Harrison’s 17-year loan deal finally made a permanent one and Junior Firpo arriving from Barcelona.

Leeds left it late to complete their biggest deal of the window as they secured the services of Daniel James from Manchester United on deadline day. The former Swansea man came within inches of moving to Elland Road back in 2019, but finally Leeds got their man as he completed a £25million switch.

James never really looked like settling at Old Trafford, though his work rate and ability to run in behind could be perfect in Bielsa’s set-up. The two parties could be a match made in heaven.

Transfer window rating: 4.5/10

14. Everton

Well, well, well, who would’ve thought we’d be sat here discussing the signings made by Rafael Benitez at Everton.

In possibly the biggest PR disaster since Arsenal decided to hand the Gunnersaurus his P45 (the Gunnersaurus is male, right? Meh, that’s a conversation for another day) Everton turned to former Liverpool boss Benitez to help guide them to European football.

Everton boss Rafa Benitez is reportedly interested in signing Chelsea man Malang Sarr

Former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is now in charge of Everton

A lot’s been made of the fact the Toffees’ summer business has been pretty timid and reserved, but when you’re as bad at spending money as Everton seem to be then a change in tack probably isn’t a bad idea.

Andros Townsend and Salomon Rondon have both shown they’ve got the talent to cut it in the Premier League, while Demarai Gray could flourish into a top player with the right guidance.

Everton may not have made the sort of marquee signings their fans were craving, but laying the foundations of a solid team and then looking to build on it later down the line is something Benitez has done throughout his managerial career and the club are in safe hands with him at the helm.

Transfer window rating: 5/10

13. Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves look like a bold, exciting team committed to attacking football under new boss Bruno Lage. Creating this impression despite failing to score a Premier League goal yet is no mean feat.

They now have competition up-front for the fit-again Raul Jimenez, although Hwang Hee-chan’s failure to find the net at all in the Bundesliga for RB Leipzig last season doesn’t exactly suggest he’ll prove an instant remedy to their most pressing problem.

Keeping hold of powerhouse winger Adama Traore in the face of interest from old boss Nuno Espirito Santo and Tottenham might be the best transfer window outcome of the summer at Molineux, where Jose Sa replacing Rui Partricio between the posts feels like a downgrade.

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Wolves managed to grab their piece of the Barcelona fire sale in the form of Francisco Trincao (of course he’s represented by Jorge Mendes) and there is understandable excitement over the prospect of the 21-year-old operating in tandem with Spain international Traore.

Transfer window rating: 5/10

12. Norwich City

Back in the Premier League at the first time of asking, Norwich already look in danger of being one of those teams we chortle at having ‘won’ the transfer window, only to flop on the pitch.

Daniel Farke and his operation at Carrow Road look to have done some fine work in the market and there’s plenty of intrigue around how highly-rated Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour will fare on his season-long loan.

Similarly, Brandon Williams and Ozan Kabak look like astute defensive additions and they’ll certainly need to be, with the Canaries having already conceded ten goals in their first three games of the season.

Emiliano Buendia departed for Aston Villa, leaving much of the creative burden with Milot Rashica – a £9.9million signing from Werder Bremen. Christos Tzolis and Josh Sargent arrived for similar fees and will be charged with adding more firepower to the attack.

Transfer window rating: 5/10

11. Brentford

Intelligent planning and meticulous analysis of targets in the transfer market were huge factors in Brentford’s unlikely ascent to the top flight and they have seen no reason to revert from type.

Thomas Frank benefitted from the club-record signing of Kristoffer Ajer from Celtic. The £14million centre-back has been an ever-present in the Premier League, where the Bees have conceded only once so far.

Frank Onyeka has charted the well-trodden path from Midtylland to Brentford, while winger Yoane Wissa opened his account for the club in the Carabao Cup win over Forest Green.

Hold your ‘Moneyball’ applause though because the London club have not brought in a penny in transfer fees.

Transfer window rating: 5.5/10

10. Southampton

Remember when you’d get fed up on Football Manager and just decide to sell all your best players, make loads of money and then start all over again? Yeah, that.

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It seemed like Southampton were pressing the self-destruct button earlier this summer, with the club forced to cut ties with Danny Ings having been unable to tie him down to a new deal, Jannik Vestergaard sold to Leicester, Ryan Bertrand walking away on a free and even rumours of captain James Ward-Prowse being sold.

It was going to take something special to avoid the Saints being bottom of our list, and in fairness to them they’ve pulled it out of the bag.

Valentino Livramento and Romain Perraud are both astute pieces of business by the south coast club, while Adam Armstrong has the pace and the clinical finishing ability to score goals at any level.

Transfer window rating: 5.5/10

9. Manchester City

It’s been a bit of a frustrating transfer window for Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola’s ultimately fruitless pursuit of Harry Kane has left a sour taste, yet in the blossoming Ferran Torres he looks to have a solid contingency plan.

Manchester City star Jack Grealish.

Jack Grealish’s move to City was one of the biggest moves this window

Expect some big ‘I never fancied her anyway’ vibes from Guardiola as he smiles down the camera and into Kane’s soul before handing Torres the Premier League Golden Boot award next year.

Whether City ever really wanted to sign Cristiano Ronaldo or not we’ll probably never know, though the signing of Jack Grealish earlier in the window is a brilliant one.

The former Aston Villa man looks to have seamlessly settled into life at City and he’s already on his way to becoming a fans’ favourite.

The addition of Brazilian youngster Kayky could turn out to be a masterstroke given the enormous hype surrounding him, while Scott Carson is still in the building. Rejoice!

Not a great window. Not a disastrous window.

Transfer window rating: 5.5/10

8. Brighton and Hove Albion

Let’s be honest, the second Arsenal’s fax came through (fax machines are still a thing, right?) and Brighton saw they were about to make £50million from the sale of Ben White, the Seagulls’ transfer team should have been lighting the cigars and heading to the pub.

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You may think we’ve been a bit generous handing them eighth spot on our list, but some of their business – White’s sale included, of course – has been mightily impressive.

The signing of Enock Mwepu from RB Salzburg looks a very shrewd move, while a late flurry of activity that saw them welcome Marc Cucurella and Abdallah Sima has added some quality to their squad.

Whether any of the above actually helps Brighton learn how to put the ball in the back of the net remains to be seen but, for now, their fans can be pleased with their club’s efforts.

Transfer window rating: 6/10

7. Leicester City

Isn’t it boring when a football club you don’t support just understand how to do football?

Leicester City have become that club in recent seasons, with the Foxes developing an uncanny knack for unearthing hidden gems, selling them on for a huge profit and then going and buying even better replacements.

Teddy Sheringham has suggested that Brendan Rodgers would have been perfect for the Spurs job.. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Brendan Rodgers has been working his magic in the market again

You’d do well to find a top-flight club in the whole of Europe who hasn’t been linked with Patson Daka at some point in recent years, but he’s now officially a Foxes player following his £27million move from Salzburg.

Former Southampton pairing Ryan Bertrand and Jannik Vestergaard will provide plenty of competition for the club’s current defenders, with the latter of the two, in particular, helping to bolster a weak spot in the squad.

Boubakary Soumare looks to have all the talent needed to make it in the Premier League, while you wouldn’t back against Brendan Rodgers unlocking the potential of Ademola Lookman following his switch from RB Leipzig.

Alright Leicester, you win again, well done.

Transfer window rating: 6.5/10

6. West Ham United

Something just doesn’t sit right about West Ham United carefully considering their approach to the transfer market and having contingency plans in place for when deals fall apart – c’mon guys, where’s the fan protests and meltdowns? You’ve lost sight of everything that made the Hammers fun.

In all seriousness, West Ham are a completely different football club with David Moyes at the helm and their progression since the Scotsman returned to the London Stadium shows no signs of hitting the buffers.

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Kurt Zouma has always had the potential to become a top defender and, with the Frenchman now guaranteed regular game time, we could be about to see the best of him. The signing of Nikola Vlasic could turn out to be a masterstroke, while Alex Kral and Alphonse Areola add yet more strength in depth to areas of West Ham’s squad already brimming with talent.

We thought it was just a bit of a joke at first but it seems West Ham really are serious about leaving the ‘banter era’ behind them. We’re not sure we like it, in all honesty.

Transfer window rating: 7/10

5. Aston Villa

Look, if you were to have told us earlier this summer that Aston Villa would lose their talisman, Grealish, we’d have already pencilled them in at the bottom of this list.

However, they somehow seem to have had an impressive transfer window.

The £100million generated from the sale of Grealish has already been invested back into the squad, with Villa’s chief executive, Christian Purslow, taking the time to explain the thought process behind their summer acquisitions as they looked to fill the void left by their former captain.

Emiliano Buendia, Leon Bailey and Danny Ings will all add creativity and goals to Dean Smith’s starting XI, and their work in the transfer market has all the hallmarks of a club with a long-term plan who are desperate to mix it with some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs.

Transfer window rating: 8/10

4. Tottenham Hotspur

Rumour has it, Daniel Levy had a full head of glorious, flowing, blonde locks prior to the 2021 summer transfer window.

The Tottenham Hotspur chairman spent most of his summer either looking for a new manager, trying to stop Manchester City signing Harry Kane or looking to freshen up a squad that could only muster a disappointing seventh-place finish in last season’s Premier League.

Tottenham managed to keep hold of Harry Kane

However, he can look back at his summer’s work and be pleased with his efforts.

Bryan Gil, Emerson Royal and Cristian Romero are upgrades on their options from last season, while Serge Aurier and Erik Lamela have both been shipped out having shown they couldn’t be trusted to produce the goods on a consistent basis.

There are still a number of weak spots in Spurs’ squad, so a top-four finish looks a tall order, but some quality additions coupled with retaining the services of Kane means they’ve had a great window.

Transfer window rating: 8/10

3. Crystal Palace

Patrick Vieira had a huge job on his hands when he took the reins at Crystal Palace earlier this summer, with a whole host of senior players out of contract. A massive rebuild was needed at Selhurst Park and Vieira has kicked things off in emphatic fashion.

Promising youngsters like Marc Guehi, Odsonne Edouard, Michael Olise and Conor Gallagher have added life to Palace’s squad, while the respective additions of Joachim Andersen and Will Hughes mean there’s Premier League experience alongside them.

It’s going to take more than one transfer window to overhaul what was an aging squad, but former City midfielder Vieira has done as much as he can this summer.

Transfer window rating: 8.5/10

2. Chelsea

Hang on, are Chelsea… sensible now? Well, that’s no fun.

Thomas Tuchel has absolutely transformed the Blues’ backline since arriving at Stamford Bridge, somehow turning Andreas Christensen into a prime Franz Beckenbauer and – perhaps even more incredibly – making Marcos Alonso just look like a competent footballer.

With their defence seemingly sorted, goals were the order of the day in the summer transfer window and so Chelsea went out and bought one of the best strikers in the world. It just doesn’t sit right, does it? Usually, they go and buy a player they don’t need. Awfully unsettling.

Anyway, Romelu Lukaku’s arrival has made them many people’s favourites for the Premier League title, an incredible turnaround having sat in ninth place in the table when Frank Lampard was sacked earlier this year.

The loan signing of Saul Niguez is a very astute piece of business with the Blues’ midfield now well-stocked, while the club have generated some healthy sums having sold Tammy Abraham, Zouma and Fikayo Tomori.

You may notice this piece of writing has been produced by a name you’re not familiar with on our regular Manchester City content.

That is because we are expanding our horizons and starting to bring even more to you from a whole host of different voices. We have appointed a whole host of people who – like our journalists – care deeply about what’s happening at Etihad Stadium – but sit in the stands rather than the press box.

We want to give you raw, authentic fan voices about the big issues at Man City – which is why the story you have read today might sit on Manchester Evening News for now, and is part of the MEN family, but is not representative of those who work there full time.

Keep your eyes peeled for more info on where you can read more from this author in the future. But in the meantime, we hope you enjoy what they have written.

I swear if Danny Drinkwater and Tiemoue Bakayoko aren’t handed ten-year contract extensions in the next few months I’m going to start worrying they really have become sensible.

Transfer window rating: 8.5/10

1. Manchester United

United fans have waited years to finally see their hero return to Old Trafford, and this summer they finally got their wish. That’s right folks, he’s back – welcome home Tom Heaton.

Naturally, the club were never going to trump the marquee arrival of the former Aston Villa shot-stopper, though they continued to plug away in the market regardless.

The signings of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and some bloke called Ronaldo followed, a trio who’ll surely add to the quality Heaton will bring to the squad.

In all seriousness, United couldn’t have asked for much more from this window, with their outgoing business similarly impressive after they recouped £25million from the sale of Dan James to Leeds.

Still, imagine how sweet it’s going to feel when City finish above their rivals once again, after the transfer window when the dreams of United fans came true.

Transfer window rating: 9/10

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