Premier League 2021/22 transfer power rankings: Ronaldo sees Man Utd top

FT Desk
FT Desk
  • Updated: 2 Sept 2021 15:29 BST
  • 7 min read
Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo

With deadline day now over, clubs within the Premier League will need to make do with what they have until January at the earliest.

After a bit of a lull in the week prior to the final few days of the window, things burst into life before the final weekend into the deadline on Tuesday.

Some huge deals got over the line, no more so than Cristiano Ronaldo completing a sensational return to Manchester United after making it clear to Juventus he wanted to leave.

On deadline day itself, Saul Niguez joined Chelsea on loan, Daniel James left Man Utd for Leeds Utd, and Emerson Royal made the move to Tottenham from Barcelona.

Our team of experts have put their heads together to judge which sides are performed best in the market, based on four key factors.

These are:

Necessity. How well has the team covered holes in their squad and has the squad improved?

Value. Has the team paid a fair price for the players they have signed?

Efficiency. Have they signed their leading targets?

Retention. Have they kept their important players and have they sold those they don’t want?

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Premier League summer transfer window power ranking

1. Man Utd

Even before Man Utd got one over Man City by completing Ronaldo's return to the Premier League, the Red Devils were already in good shape from their summer dealings.

Number one target Jadon Sancho was finally signed from Borussia Dortmund, while serial winner Raphael Varane joined from Real Madrid.

Yes, they wanted a right-back and potentially a centre-mid, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer really does have a mouthwatering attack now, plus a world-class partner for Harry Maguire.

2. Leicester

The Foxes have conducted good work to pick up prospects Patson Daka and Boubakary Soumare, albeit for a couple of significant fees. Adding Jannick Verstegaard to their defence was also a smart move. Noted for their strong work in the transfer market of late, the summer is set to be another hit.

Ademola Lookman was a shrewd acquisition on loan on deadline day.

3. Aston Villa

Beating Arsenal to Emiliano Buendia was a major coup for Aston Villa. Jack Grealish has gone - but for £100m that represents excellent business for Villa, even if it is a sore blow for the fans. Danny Ings, Leon Bailey and Axel Tuanzebe have all arrived for half that fee.

4. Chelsea

Champions League winners Chelsea did not have any particular need to strengthen their squad, but they missed out on Achraf Hakimi, who joined PSG.

However, the Blues have certainly impressed fans and given their rivals something to fear in the form of Romelu Lukaku, who re-opened his Premier League account with a goal just 15 minutes into his first game back for the club. One of England's best teams just got even better.

On the final day of the window, they brought in Saul from Atletico Madrid on loan.

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5. Brentford

The Premier League new boys are noted for their work in the transfer market and have not rushed to overhaul the team that won promotion. Celtic’s Kristoffer Ajer is their marquee arrival.

6. Liverpool

Only Ibrahima Konate has arrived at Anfield this summer and there is a sense that the squad perhaps needs a little more freshness, especially in midfield, where Gini Wijnaldum has left a void. However, the work they have done to tie down key players to long-term deals has been excellent.

7. Leeds

Junior Firpo might have flopped at Barcelona, but he showed enough at Real Betis to suggest he could be a good addition to Leeds, who have equally retained all their key personnel.

They also finally got James after his move from Swansea was cancelled a few years.

8. Crystal Palace

Questions might be raised over Patrick Vieira, but Palace have given him the means for a successful season by adding Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen at centre-back. Michael Olise also seems like good value and Conor Gallagher has arrived on loan, while no key players have been lost.

Firepower was needed up top, and they got it in the form of Celtic's Odsonne Edouard.

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=9. Watford

Eleven new faces have arrived at Vicarage Road this summer, the most expensive of which have been Nantes’ all-action midfielder Imran Louza and Brugge centre-forward Emmanuel Dennis. Premier League experience has been signed in the form of Danny Rose and Joshua King, both arriving on free transfers.

Moussa Sissoko from Spurs could prove a very good piece of business.

=9. West Ham

West Ham have secured the signing of Alphonse Areola on loan from PSG who will provide competition for Lukasz Fabianski.

Most of their more impressive business came late in the window as they signed Kurt Zouma from Chelsea and Nikola Vlasic from CSKA Moscow.

=11. Norwich

The big mark against the Premier League new boys has been losing Emmanuel Buendia, but picking up promising Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour on loan was certainly a coup.

Josh Sargeant and Milot Rashica, signed from Werder Bremen, may also help make up the goals and assists lost by Buendia. So too could Manchester United full-back Brandon Williams, who has also joined on loan.

Ozan Kabak also arrived on loan from Schalke.

=11. Brighton

Brighton's problems in front of goal last season were well-documented which is why they are desperate for another centre-forward, which they didn't actually get. Enock Mwepu is an interesting acquisition, while Marc Cucurella should provide plenty of flamboyancy at right-back or wing-back.

=13. Burnley

Burnley's strength has always been their defence as Sean Dyche battles the team to safety every year. Ben Mee and James Tarkowski have struck up a good partnership, so it remains to be seen where £12m Nathan Collins will fit in. They have retained the spine of their squad, though.

Maxwell Cornet will add some creativity.

=13. Tottenham

Harry Kane has been the story of the season at Tottenham and has now confirmed that he will stay following serious interest from Manchester City. This is a massive boost. In terms of incomings, Bryan Gil could prove to be a fantastic acquisition and Cristian Romero is highly rated.

Emerson Royal addresses the issues at right-back, but there is still a feeling the window lacked something from the club.

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=13. Everton

The biggest acquisition Everton have enjoyed this summer is that of their manager, Rafa Benitez.

The controversial appointment has overshadowed all transfer activity. Andros Townsend, Demarai Gray and Asmir Begovic were viewed as underwhelming acquisitions, but the two wingers have started the season well.

=16. Wolves

There’s been no overhaul in Wolverhampton this summer, although they have lost goalkeeper Rui Patricio. The arrival of Francisco Trincao on loan from Barcelona is an eye-catching deal.

17. Southampton

Southampton have not had a busy window, with Ryan Bertrand replaced by Romain Perraud, who arrives from Brest. Danny Ings' departure is a huge blow, with Adam Armstrong and Armando Broja arriving as slightly underwhelming replacement. Losing Vestergaard - even for a decent fee - could come back to haunt the club this season.

=18. Man City

Manchester City completed a British record deal to sign Jack Grealish for £100m from Aston Villa - a princely fee for a player who still has fewer than 100 Premier League appearances to his name.

They failed to bring in a big name striker like Kane or Erling Haaland and were humiliated by United over Ronaldo.

Jack Grealish scores for Man City against Norwich

=18. Newcastle

Newcastle looked dead in the water when it came to the transfer window this summer but the permanent signing of Joe Willock will surely galvanise fans and Steve Bruce, who'll be delighted to add the former Arsenal to his ranks for next season and beyond.

20. Arsenal

The summer transfer window has been chastening for the Gunners. Snubbed by Sergio Ramos, despite offering far more than PSG, and turned down by Emmanuel Buendia, who went to Aston Villa instead.

While Ben White has arrived, his £50m price is excessive for his current ability. The same could be said for Aaron Ramsdale and Martin Odegaard, who cost a further £55m between them. Albert Sambi Lokonga for £15m and Nuno Tavares for £7.2m may be smart moves, but it’s unlikely that Mikel Arteta’s squad has actually improved much at all this summer