Football

The power of the Premier League's best clubs is on the wane

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This transfer window was the one the Premier League finally stood up against the big boys.

Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea's hopes of landing their chief targets were dashed as clubs like West Bromwich Albion and Everton refused to cave in. 

Jose Mourinho wanted John Stones to become the Blues' centre-back for the next decade. With John Terry on the wane - and Gary Cahill looking surprisingly suspect, a £40 million bid was tabled for the youngster. Everton, in need of cash, still said no. 

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It was the same with West Bromwich Albion and Saido Berahino. The youngster looked destined to move to Tottenham Hotspur only for Tony Pulis and Jeremy Peace to hold firm. Though his future is now shrouded in uncertainty, it was yet another example of the other clubs failing to bow. 

Defiance

Even Manchester United, inferior maybe only to Real Madrid, beat the Spaniards in the transfer window. Keeping David de Gea may have its negatives - particularly given the goalkeeper's fractured relationship with Louis van Gaal - but having their star performer for another year will work in their favour. 

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Meanwhile the Red Devils may have successfully raided Southampton for Morgan Schneiderlin but saw their efforts to land Saido Mane blocked by Ronald Koeman. The Dutchman, who like De Gea is hardly best friends with Van Gaal, refused to allow another starlet to stroll away to Old Trafford. 

There were more cases involving plenty of other Premier League teams. Spurs - though thwarted with Berahino - refused to pay the money to finally offload Emmanuel Adebayor. Keeping the Togo forward clearly carries more weight than letting him leave to Upton Park with West Ham. 

Even Liverpool - now out of the Champions League and back into the Europa League - refused to be bullied into business. Raheem Sterling only left once Manchester City spent £50 million to prise him away. It made signing the likes of Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino that bit more easier. 

Shrewd business

Another way Premier League clubs have helped close the gap is by signing players that were rumoured to be tickling the fancy of many of the country's elite. 

Crystal Palace pulled off the major coup of Yohan Cabaye, who unwanted by Paris Saint-Germain was granted his wish to return to England. Arsenal had been linked with a move, but Selhurst Park is now his new home rather than the Emirates Stadium. 

It's the same with Stoke City who managed to lure Xherdan Shaqiri to the Brittania Stadium. Though he only left Bayern Munich for Inter Milan in January, he now joins Bojan and Ibrahim Afellay in leaving bigger surroundings for a crack in the English game. Mark Hughes has had a successful summer. 

In the years to follow the Premier League may soon have a different look about it. With these clubs holding firm and refusing to be bullied into business, top sides will find it even harder to lure who they want. 

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Topics:
Everton
Football
West Bromwich Albion
Chelsea
Transfer News
Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Manchester United

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