The Premier League is the promised land for any team dwelling in the Championship. The riches that come with the bumper TV deals is what drives so many owners to do everything they can to get their clubs promoted and to then stay there.
The three promoted clubs — Cardiff City, Fulham and Wolves — have all been spending, and then some. Combined, the three teams have spent over $212 million. That is around 1/5 of the entire Premier League spending this transfer window.
Is that not crazy to think about? The fact that just last season these three teams were in the second division but now are throwing money around like it’s nothing. Fulham played in what's considered “the richest game in football,” recording a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa in the Championship playoff final.
Wolves have brought in a ton of players, and the club's in talks for numerous others. Leander Dendoncker and Sam Clucas are close to signing for Wolves, despite the club having already signed a whopping eleven new players.
One of the players that will be playing at the Molineux Stadium this coming season is Rui Patricio, the goalkeeper for Portugal as well as a former Sporting player. He cancelled his contract with Sporting and became a free agent, but Sporting want a transfer fee for him. If this happens, Wolves will be spending even more money in a situation that is certainly not ideal for them.
Other than Patricio, Wolves have done some tidy business. They signed a number of players on permanent deals that were at the club on loan in the Championship, including Willy Boly, Diogo Jota and Leo Bonatini.
Cardiff City hasn't brought in the same number of players that Wolves has, but Neil Warnock will certainly be happy with the four players that he's signed. We forgive you if you haven’t heard of Josh Murphy, Greg Cunningham, Alex Smithies or Bobby Reid before, but each of those players will be critical for the Welsh side if they want to keep themselves in the league for another season.
The key signing for Cardiff is undoubtedly Bobby Reid. Signed for $12.8m from Bristol City in the Championship, Reid is coming off his best season yet. He scored 19 goals and racked up seven assists for Bristol City last season, and he'll no doubt be looking to continue his rich vein of form in the Premier League.
Fulham has flexed its financial muscle in the transfer window, making two signings for over $20m in Jean Michaël Seri from Nice and Aleksandar Mitrovic from Newcastle United. Alfie Mawson also joined from Swansea City as well as André Schürrle from Borussia Dortmund, among a number of other players.
Mitrovic spent the second half of last season on loan at Fulham, and he was a huge reason in the club's significant turnaround in form that led to them winning the playoff final. It was a well-known fact that Mitrovic was Fulham’s main target for the window, and they now have their man.
All of these signings are of great quality. But, too many signings can unsettle a squad and make it harder for a manager to get the team firing.
Need some examples? When Liverpool sold Luis Suarez, Brendan Rodgers made a ton of signings but lost his job a few months later. Tottenham sold Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, and they made seven signings. Only two of those players are still at the club: Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela. The other five were complete flops at Spurs: Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Nacer Chadli, Etienne Capoue and Vlad Chiriches are all plying their trade elsewhere.
Still need more examples? Everton sold Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United, signed 12 players and were flirting with relegation when Ronald Koeman was sacked last season. Aston Villa sold Christian Benteke and also brought in 12 players. They finished in 20th place that season.
See what I'm getting at?
Granted, Wolves, Fulham and Cardiff have not signed all of their players on the back of selling one player for significant profit, but the message is still very much the same. If you sign a ton of players at once, it could backfire very easily.
One would like to think that the respective managers of each club are smart enough to know that bringing in plenty of players at once can be highly detrimental. But for Fulham and Wolves especially, they need to be very careful that they don’t fall into the same trap that the aforementioned teams did when they brought in multiple players. Otherwise, they could see themselves having a much shorter stay in the Premier League than they would have liked.