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Transfer window winners and losers: United showed Arsenal how it's done

It has been one of the most dramatic transfer windows in recent memory, with world-record deals, last-minute collapses and a series of sagas running throughout the summer months.

With the majority of European windows now firmly shut until January, who have been the winners and losers of the summer transfer market?

The "wow" transfer of the window: Neymar

Paris Saint-Germain not only smashed the world transfer record by triggering Neymar's €222 million release clause at Barcelona, they also sent a warning to Europe's biggest clubs that no player cannot be bought. Questions will be asked about PSG's funding, but they were bold and decisive in signing the Brazilian.

Biggest tease: Cristiano Ronaldo

Remember the early days of June, when Cristiano Ronaldo was determined to leave Real Madrid, and this time he meant it? Manchester United and PSG were both potential destinations, but guess what? The storm blew over, and Ronaldo is still with the reigning European champions.

Biggest coup: Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United

By early July, Chelsea believed they had Lukaku in the bag, with the Belgium striker favouring a move from Everton to Stamford Bridge over Old Trafford. But United saw an opening and seized the opportunity, ditching a move for Alvaro Morata and ending up with a forward who could win them the Premier League.

The deal we expected to happen, but didn't: Antoine Griezmann / Alexis Sanchez

Two deals, at opposite ends of the window, which should have happened, but didn't. Manchester United had trailed Antoine Griezmann for months, but the France international chose to stay loyal to Atletico Madrid during their transfer ban. And as for Sanchez, Manchester City have wanted him all summer, but left it too late to get a deal done for the Arsenal forward.

Alexis Sanchez's proposed move to Manchester City failed to go through on deadline day.

Best bargain: Andy Robertson

Liverpool have been searching for a reliable left-back for over a decade, and they may have finally signed one in Andy Robertson. The Scotland defender may have slipped under the radar, but for an initial £8m, he could prove a wise buy for Jurgen Klopp.

Biggest gamble: Ravel Morrison

Morrison, the star of a Manchester United youth team containing Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard, is English football's great lost cause, but Mexican club Atlas have now signed the 24-year-old from Lazio. It will either end in tears, or Atlas will hit the jackpot with a huge talent who just needs the right club and environment to succeed.

Smartest deal: Kyle Walker

Forget the £50m transfer fee, Manchester City have been in desperate need of a right-back for three years, and the England defender has made an instant impact for Pep Guardiola. He cost big bucks from Spurs, but Walker is precisely what City need.

Unhappiest player: Virgil van Dijk

Plenty of contenders for this one, including Diego Costa, Philippe Coutinho and Alexis Sanchez, but Van Dijk has been denied a move to one of the elite clubs by Southampton, while the other three already play on the big stage. Van Dijk must now somehow motivate himself to perform at St. Mary's.

Best behaved transfer seeker: Riyad Mahrez

The Algeria winger has made no secret of his desire to move to a bigger club than Leicester, but rather than sulk or claim an injury, Mahrez has knuckled down and performed well for Craig Shakespeare's team this season. By doing so, he may earn that big move in January.

Riyad Mahrez left the Algeria squad in order to finalise a move but remained at Leicester after the deadline.

Best club: Huddersfield Town

The Premier League newcomers have invested £40m in a series of new signings, being the busiest of all top-flight clubs, and raised their wage bill by a similar level. They haven't broken the bank, but they have shown ambition with some strategic signings, and it could keep them up.

Worst club: Arsenal

Two additions to a squad which failed to finish in the top four last season was never enough, then they missed out on Thomas Lemar on a chaotic final day which saw Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain join Liverpool and an unhappy Alexis Sanchez miss out on a £60m move to Manchester City. Arsenal are now as shambolic off the pitch as they are on it.

Best free transfer: Wayne Rooney

The jury was out on Rooney after his return to Everton from Manchester United, but the 31-year-old has hit the ground running back at Goodison Park, and his form for Ronald Koeman's team suggests he has the ability to make a decisive difference for his boyhood club.

Best loan: Jese

Mark Hughes admitted that Stoke City could never dream of signing a player of Jese's quality on a permanent deal, but the PSG forward has moved to the club on a season-long loan, and his debut goal against Arsenal highlighted his quality.

Nemanja Matic has helped Manchester United top the Premier League table with a 100 percent record.

Most baffling deal: Nemanja Matic

Chelsea have had a mixed transfer window, but they only have themselves to blame for allowing Nemanja Matic to sign for Manchester United. Matic may have been surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge, but his move to Old Trafford has strengthened a title rival, which makes no sense from a football perspective.

The club that the window forgot: Newcastle United

Promoted from the Championship last season, Newcastle needed to spend heavily to underline their big club status, but their top signing was the £11m winger Jacob Murphy from Norwich. Rafael Benitez wanted more and didn't get it, so expect tough times ahead at St. James' Park.

Mark Ogden is a senior football writer for ESPN FC. Follow him @MarkOgden_


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