Tuchel, Ten Hag & Forest – the big deadline day talking points

Morgan Gibbs-White, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Antony

The transfer window has closed with Premier League clubs spending almost £2bn to put their squads in shape for the next few months.

Managers must now go with what they have, whether it is the mega-spending seen at Chelsea and Manchester United or the shoestring existence of Leicester City.

So what are the big issues after that one final transfer spree on Thursday?

Tuchel must justify Boehly backing

Chelsea’s new ownership under American Todd Boehly wanted to make a statement that ambition and spending would not be reeled back in the post-Roman Abramovich era.

Boehly ended up making several statements by spending more in one transfer window than any other British club in history, £255.3m according to financial services firm Deloitte.

Now the pressure is on manager Thomas Tuchel to deliver, the temperature turned up by a disappointing start to the season which has included defeats at Leeds United and Southampton.

The £10m signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona was the final flourish on a window that brought in Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella and Wesley Fofana in the most high-profile deals.

Boehly’s policy has appeared scattergun at times, a long-touted deal for Everton’s Anthony Gordon failing to materialise, but no-one can question his commitment to strengthening Tuchel’s squad.

Tuchel now has the materials, expensive ones, and must make them work.

We do not know yet if Boehly is as ruthless as Abramovich when dealing with managers who fail him but Tuchel can be under no illusions that expectations are now sky-high.

Can Forest survive after spending spree?

Nottingham Forest signed more players in one summer than any club in British history and it must now be justified by Premier League survival because the alternative is unthinkable after such an outlay and squad churn.

Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis has delivered an incredible 21 new players to head coach Steve Cooper and might have signed more, with a deal Michy Batshuayi falling through.

The club have a point in saying such a rebuilding process was required when seven of the 14 players who figured in the Championship play-off final win over Huddersfield Town left over the summer but the transformation and integration required of so many new faces is still unprecedented.

Forest have had a mixed start to the season, impressing when beating West Ham United and even when losing to Tottenham. They were thrashed 6-0 at Manchester City but they may not be alone in that fate this season.

Cooper is a fine coach but it is still a tough task to mould so many new players and personalities together in one dressing room. And it needs to be done quickly.

Forest now have home games against Bournemouth and Fulham to come, with a visit to Leeds sandwiched in between, and these are the fixtures likely to be significant in defining their standing this season.

Has Ten Hag got the Manchester United he wants?

Manchester United are a much calmer club after three wins steadied the ship following the opening home loss to Brighton and the 4-0 debacle at Brentford.

Manager Erik ten Hag was in optimistic mood after Thursday’s victory at Leicester City, which followed wins over Liverpool and Southampton.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s situation will need delicate handling after a summer when it seemed he wanted to quit United but elsewhere Ten Hag’s team looks to be taking shape after more expensive ventures into the transfer market, the £214m summer outlay breaking their own spending record.

Lisandro Martinez has settled in defence after his traumatic experience against Brentford’s Ivan Toney led to his half-time substitution – although he has not faced a striker of similar power and stature since.

It does leave serious questions over captain Harry Maguire, so clearly now marginalised and with a World Cup on the horizon. It does not look good for the England defender.

Christian Eriksen has eased his way into midfield but it is elsewhere where Ten Hag will look to the new arrivals for a major impact.

Casemiro, at £70m from Real Madrid, showed trademark calm when he came on at Leicester while £83m forward Antony, well known to Ten Hag from Ajax, carries high hopes and much excitement.

United may feel they needed another striker but the mood is markedly different from three weeks ago.

Are they title challengers? Of course not. Top four must be the aim.

There is no doubt, however, that Ten Hag has started to put his stamp on United.

Antony: Manchester United’s £80m man who grew up in Sao Paulo’s ‘Little Hell’

Are Everton a striker light?

Everton owner Farhad Moshiri told discontented fans to judge him at the end of this window. The jury remains out.

They brought in eight players as well as keeping the prized Anthony Gordon out of Chelsea’s clutches and much of their business looks smart.

Conor Coady and James Tarkowski provide experience and leadership in defence. Amadou Onana is the most expensive acquisition at £33m but shows great promise while the return of the hugely popular and quietly effective Idrissa Gueye and the arrival of the highly-rated James Garner widen midfield options.

And then we get to the questions.

Everton desperately needed a striker, probably two, with Richarlison sold to Tottenham and Dominic Calvert-Lewin regularly plagued by injuries.

Neal Maupay has arrived from Brighton but no other forwards pitched up on deadline day.

Is this enough to cure a chronic goals shortage? If it is not, then the judgement on Moshiri and those who do the deals in Everton’s boardroom may yet be an unfavourable one.

Gerrard and Rodgers under scrutiny

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