Having played more than 1 quarter of the season already, it’s time to do a review of this season’s signings so far amidst the international break and look at which clubs have invested well over the summer!
1. Ederson (Manchester City) – £36 million
The Premier League runaway leaders have started the season with a blitz. An almost perfect record of 10 wins and 1 draws from their opening 11 games have left them 8 points clear of their nearest rivals. Whilst City have invested very heavily again over the summer, amongst all their signings, beyond Kyle Walker, only goalkeeper Ederson has featured prominently for them so far this season. Fast off his feet and not as error prone as his predecessors, Ederson has helped plugged a gap that was missing the previous Man City teams. He has helped shore up a defence that has only conceded a measly league second best 7 goals in 11 games so far. Whilst the attention has always been on the firepower that City has on their disposal, given the fact that Pep Guardiola likes to play from deep, it is actually the improvement in their defence that has been making all the difference for them so far this season in being able to grind out results when they are not scoring at will.
2. Nemanja Matic (Manchester United) – £31.5 million
The other Manchester club has also started the season brightly albeit a slight hiccup in recent weeks. Whilst Lukaku again will be grabbing the headlines for the Red Devils again, many pundits have been left scratching their heads as to why boss Antonio Conte was willing to let Matic leave Chelsea. He has fitted in extremely well at the Red Devils and has played every single minute so far this season and has helped the Red Devils maintain the league’s meanest defence, having only conceded 5 goals so far. The addition of Matic to the holding midfield role has also helped the likes of Mata and Mkhitaryan to flourish in a more forward position. Probably one of the most under-rated players at the club but yet one of the most crucial player for them.
3. Alvaro Morata (Chelsea) – £56 million
Morata is by the far the best Chelsea signing so far this season. The only summer transfer signing that is a regular starter in the Chelsea starting 11 at the moment, Morata has helped fill the void left by the departing Diego Costa and has already chipped in with 7 league goals so far this season, which is roughly more than one-third of Chelsea’s goal tally so far. Beyond his goals, Morata has also assisted 3 times this season and that has helped the Blues keep pace with the pace-setters so far this season.
4. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – £37.8 million
After his short but ill-fated stint in the Premier League with Chelsea a couple of seasons ago, many doubted if Salah was worth the cash Liverpool was splashing on for him. With injuries to Mane and transfer disputes with Coutinho, Salah has been instrumental in taking on the scoring responsibility for the Reds and has chipped in with 7 goals and 2 assists so far this season whilst playing on most occasions in a wide right winger position. He’s also the top scorer and top assist player for the Reds so far. With the Reds still consistently leaking goals and preferring to play without a recognised striker, it is crucial that Salah continues with his fine performances if Liverpool wants to end up in a Champions League spot by the end of the year.
5. Pascal Gross (Brighton & Hove Albion) – £2.7 million
In comparison to the rest of the signings, little known Pascal Gross who came along with team mate Markus Suttner from relegated Bundesliga club Inglestadt came without much of a fanfare. Whilst Brighton has broken their own club transfer record a couple of times in summer, Gross was never featured as one of those. Yet Gross has proven himself to be the most important signing for the Seagulls who are sitting pretty in 8th position currently with a tally of 2 goals and an impressive 5 assists for the club this season. Given that the Seagulls has only scored 11 goals so far this season, Gross has had a hand in more than 60% of the Seagull’s goals this season! It’s no wonder that Gross was only named to be the player who has created the most chances in the Bundesliga last season.
6. Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal) – Free transfer
Probably the bargain of this season so far, Kolasinac came into the Gunners squad without much fanfare and the transfer window for Arsenal was probably depicted more by the lack of success to the various transfer targets that they were being associated with. Once the season started though, Kolasinac has slotted in really well into the left wingback position and has contributed 1 goal, 3 assists and has also helped the Gunners keep 4 clean sheets in 11 games. This was even more important with long term injuries happening to teammate Shkodran Mustafi which allowed Nacho Monreal to move into a more central role for the Gunners. Whilst the Gunners have already lost 4 times this season, they have at least been able to keep pace with the front runners and are only 3 points away from a Champions League spot and much credit should go to Kolasinac with his contributions.
7. Tammy Abraham (Swansea) – On Loan from Chelsea
It’s probably a bit funny to talk about the top signings of the season so far when the club is languishing at the wrong half of the table and mired in relegation troubles. However, Swansea has been having an attacking issue for the past few seasons and that was exacerbated further this season by the loss of their talisman Sigurdsson to Everton. They have the second lowest tally of 7 goals so far this season and their big money signing of Bony has not paid back the dividends that they have expected so far. This probably makes the loan signing of Tammy Abraham all the more important. Whilst the move was probably to allow Abraham to pick up more minutes and exposure in the top flight, the Swans probably didn’t expect him to be so crucial to their survival cause. Abraham has already scored 4 and assisted 1 and one could wonder how far adrift the Swans would have been without Abraham in their squad. His performances have also not gone unnoticed and recently England coach Gareth Southgate has called him up for the upcoming Three Lions friendly against Brazil and Germany with a view to give him his full England debut!
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