The best buys of the summer!

At last. It’s over. The transfer window is closed for another few months and we can all go back to watching and talking about the actual football, rather than trying to make sense of the swirl of rumours and counter-rumours. Now we know who’s gone where and for how much and who’s stayed put.

But which clubs have done the best business? Which teams are in a stronger position now than when the summer transfer window opened? Most managers will put a positive spin on their dealings, even those who have done little more than hold on to what they already had. But there is no doubt that some will be smugger than others.

Here are five signings that I imagine will have given their new bosses special cause for smugness.

Steven Caulker (Spurs to Cardiff City) £8m.
Of all the ins and outs at Tottenham, one of the biggest surprises was that they let their talented and promising centre back, already capped for England, go to the newly promoted Bluebirds. This was a coup for Cardiff and another reason why they might be around in the Premier League for more than just a season or two.

Tom Carroll (Spurs to QPR) Loan.
Another player surplus to requirements at White Hart Lane, at least for now, but Spurs’s loss will be QPR’s gain as Harry Redknapp’s side attempt to bounce straight back into the Premiership. Carroll, a gifted midfielder, is a star of the future and this guarantee of regular games will benefit everybody, including perhaps England one day.

Jesus Navas (Sevilla to Manchester City) 14.9m.
The 2012 Champions look as strong again now as they did then and one of the main reasons is the acquisition of the Spain international winger. Frighteningly quick and with the crucial ability to deliver an accurate cross at the end of a run, Navas gives City a new attacking dimension.

Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea to Everton) Loan.
It can be argued that no team did better than Everton in the transfer window, despite the loss of Marouane Fellaini, which they probably considered inevitable anyway. Lukaku, still only 20, scored 17 goals for West Brom last season and may well help enable the Toffees to again challenge for a European place at the end of the season.

Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid to Arsenal) £42.4m.
Yes it’s a lot of money and yes another playmaker probably isn’t what Arsenal needed most – rather like buying yet another expensive flashy shirt when your only pair of trousers have got holes in them. But Ozil is absolutely top class, one of the best attacking midfielders in the world. His former team-mates are mortified that he has been allowed to leave the Bernabeu. But above all, after so much negative talk, this is a huge morale boost for Arsenal and their fans, who will now feel they are back in the big time.

Written by Jon Freeman