The whole EFL has been done; the Championship, League One and League Two. Now though, to the top division in English football, the Premier League. On Friday night, Brentford and Arsenal will get the new season underway. Honourable mentions are Bryan Gil to Spurs and Kristoffer Ajer to Brentford, but here are some of the best signings of the summer!
Ben White to Arsenal
Talking of Arsenal and the negativity surrounding the Londoners is far from in the past. Their window started off slowly with a few relative unknowns coming through the door but a surprise exclusion in Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad has been bought for big bucks. Ben White was a late replacement for the injured Alexander-Arnold and has come to the fore out of the blue really. He impressed on loan at Leeds under Bielsa and continued to perform for Brighton yet he wasn’t being spoke about regarding a big money move until very recently.
Emi Buendia to Aston Villa
The business from Aston Villa has been pretty sensational in truth. Grealish’s departure was forever looming and their arrivals emphasised this, but can they be just as good in his absence? Maybe not, but they could be oh so fun to watch this season. Premier League safety is almost a foregone conclusion now and along with the goals of Danny Ings, they have acquired pace and productivity too. Leon Bailey often had fans on the edge of their seats with Bayer Leverkusen and it will be interesting to see how the Jamaican fares on English shores. Emi Buendia has already proven himself here though, he looked very good more often than not in the Championship and although he wasn’t a goal threat himself in the PL, the playmaking abilities were clear for all too see.
Marc Guehi, Michael Olise, Joachim Andersen and Conor Gallagher to Crystal Palace
On the topic of good business and that statement, if accredited to Crystal Palace, would be doing them a disservice. The aim with these articles is to highlight players from a range of clubs but the Londoner’s window is unbelievably strong. Manager Patrick Vieira may come with a question mark next to his name but two new arrivals have proved themselves in the Premier League, whilst the other two are sure to be hits. Defender Joachim Andersen was one of very few shining lights in the Fulham side that went down last season and the same can be said for Conor Gallagher at West Brom. Meanwhile, Marc Guehi excelled alone from Chelsea to Swansea, the peak was him being named MOTM in both playoff semi-finals against Barnsley. Then finally, after Eze proved the Championship is a massive hotbed for young English talent, the Eagles went and snapped up Reading’s Michael Olise who is very exciting indeed.
Junior Firpo to Leeds
The situation at Barcelona was truly dire even before it was announced that Lionel Messi’s time at the club was done. A number of players have been moved on to allow for the new arrivals, including Memphis and Sergio Aguero, to officially sign on. One of the departures is Junior Firpo, a wingback who thrived under Quique Setien with Betis. He arrived at Camp Nou not long before Setien did but the manager failed to last, whilst Firpo was always on the fringes. It is very rare that a Marcelo Bielsa signing doesn’t pay off, Raphinha and Rodrigo Moreno last season being two prime examples so Firpo arrives with high expectations. At both La Liga clubs he topped their respective running charts even if he was far from undroppable and thus it is clear to see why he caught the magician’s eye.
Patson Daka and Boubakary Soumare to Leicester
One criticism of this superb Leicester City is a lack of depth and that has become evident with big injuries to the likes of James Justin, Wilfried Ndidi and Harvey Barnes. The Nigerian international in that trio won’t be run into the ground any longer as Ligue 1 winner Boubakary Soumare joins the squad. He had a strong partnership with Benjamin Andre is Christophe Galtier’s side whilst Patson Daka was banging in goal-after-goal for Salzburg. He has been compared to Jamie Vardy in some ways and given the journeyman’s age, the Foxes are clearly thinking of the future. The youth in this squad is truly frightening, another centre back could be in order too following the horror injury sustained by Wesley Fofana last week.
Ibrahim Konate to Liverpool
Off the back of a tough season for Liverpool in which they were unable to mount any sort of a title defence, there is new found hope at Anfield. Virgil Van Dijk’s return from injury is far better than any new signing and that is undeniable but that doesn’t mean Klopp hasn’t made a great move at the heart of defence. Not only has Dayot Upamecano been snapped up by Bayern but his Leipzig partner in crime Ibrahim Konate will now don the red of Liverpool. Joe Gomez is also on his road to recovery so the club now employ three top class centre-backs which is necessary if they are to sit atop of the Premier League table again.
Jack Grealish to Man City
There is a temptation to miss out the beloved Englishman altogether because everything has already been said. Jack Grealish has earnt at least a mention though, the free-flowing attacker have served his beloved Aston Villa so, so well. He remained with them when they were relegated, was assaulted by a rival fan and went on to score the winner in that derby, stayed loyal when teams such as Spurs expressed interest. Grealish deserves to have a big move and the fee maybe mouth-watering, but rightly so. The arrival of Gazza 2.0 may spell the end for Bernardo Silva and potentially others, it is not a certainty that he will work under Pep but it is so enticing either way.
Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane to Manchester United
The usual English idiots are out in force saying that the four-time Champions League winner, the World Cup winner Raphael Varane won’t be able to cope in the Premier League. There is some strange arrogance in England that our league always has been and always will be far superior in comparison to that of Spain and Germany and co. This is far from true and Real Madrid could be set for a huge struggle with manager Zidane joining Varane and Sergio Ramos in exiting the Santiago Bernabeu. When Harry Maguire was absent for Ole, the drop-off in defensive stability was staggering really and so Man United fans will be hopeful that Varane and the Englishman can form a rock-solid pairing and quickly too.
Billy Gilmour and Milot Rashica to Norwich
I’m all about positivity and I love watching Daniel Farke’s Norwich but I would be surprised if the Canaries can avoid the drop this season. I hope to be proved very wrong but their new exciting arrivals aren’t to strengthen the squad but instead to fill the void of Oliver Skipp and Emi Buendia. As previously mentioned, Buendia has signed for Villa and meanwhile, Skipp has returned to parent club Tottenham. Billy Gilmour was loved by Lampard at Stamford Bridge and his brief time on the pitch at the Euros showed Norwich fans a glimpse of what the young Scot could answer. On the other hand, Milot Raschica will be an unknown quantity to most Premier League watchers. It was 14 goal contributions in the 18/19 season and then 15 in 19/20 for Werder Bremen but he arrives in England off of a record of just three goals and one assist. Can he fill the gaping hole left by the gliding Argentinian?
Danny Rose and Josh King to Watford
Experience of the division is always key for a new arrival and that remains the case for Watford, even though they are relatively familiar to the ins and outs of the Premier League. The likes of Deeney, Tom Cleverley and Ben Foster know all too well what it takes to survive, the arrival of Danny Rose only adding to that. Rose was, for quite some time, one of the best left-backs in the division but a rough time in North London has now come to an end. Along with Rose is Josh King who hardly featured on loan at Everton last year. Putting that aside though and the Norwegian forward certainly knew where the back of the net was during his time with Bournemouth, a dynamic relationship forming between him and Callum Wilson (now of Newcastle). A shoutout goes to Ashley Fletcher too, he was unable to fully breakthrough at West Ham and had a tough time of it with Sunderland but after scoring a few goals for Boro, this could be the chance he seizes.
Francisco Trincao to Wolves
Finally then to Wolves and I think the departure of the beloved Nuno came as a surprise to many, especially those outside of the club. This will be a new era at the Molineux and with star striker Raul Jimenez yet to fully recover from that nasty head injury, times are definitely uncertain. On paper, the impact that the wide-men should have makes them easily a top half team, especially when paired with the stability throughout the XI from Coady to Neves. Pedro Neto, Daniel Podence and to a lesser extent Vitinha have showed just how good they are with the ball at their feet and you can add a good friend of the former’s to the list. Neto and Francisco Trincao played together previously and were very close so the arrival of the Barcelona exile should hopefully add to what seems to be, a fairly harmonious group of players.