Rating the single best signings each Premier League club has made so far, from Arsenal to Leicester (Liverpool to Wolves will follow tomorrow):
Arsenal – Gabriel Magalhaes (£27m from Lille)
He’s not the first Brazilian centre-back named Gabriel Arsenal have signed in recent years, but this one looks likely to be a significant upgrade on the Gabriel who flopped and moved to Valencia in 2017. Magalhaes is a tall, left-footed centre-back who should make Arsenal stronger in an area where they badly need help. His signing was a real coup.
Aston Villa – Matty Cash (£16m from Nottingham Forest)
The 23-year-old full-back joined Villa on a five-year contract. It’s a big fee for a Championship defender, but Forest fans rated him very highly and are gutted to see him move to another Midlands club. He should add aggression, dynamism and a genuine attacking threat to what was a fairly dour defence.
Brighton – Adam Lallana (free from Liverpool)
It’s simply great business from the Albion to pick up Lallana, a proven international with a couple of good years left in his tank. As Lallana himself said, he and Brighton make a “perfect fit”.
Burnley – Will Norris (undisclosed from Wolves)
Norris, 27, makes this list by default, as he is so far the only signing Sean Dyche has made. With Joe Hart moving to Spurs, Norris looks set to slot in as third-choice keeper behind Nick Pope and Bailey Peacock-Farrell. Should Burnley fans be a little worried that they’ve only brought in a reserve keeper? Yeah, I think so.
Chelsea – Timo Werner (£47.5m from RB Leipzig)
In start contrast to Burnley, it’s tough to pick just one Chelsea player out of the insane window the Blues are having. But Werner just gets the nod ahead of the likes of Hakim Ziyech, Thiago Silva and Kai Havertz. He’s a highly coveted German international striker (29 caps and he’s still only 24) coming into his prime. To acquire such a player for less than £50m is bordering on a miracle.
Crystal Palace – Eberechi Eze (£16m from QPR)
A properly exciting signing for Palace fans, by all accounts, although I confess I haven’t seen much of him in action. He’s young (22) he’s English, he’s a creative player who excels at dead-ball situations. All big ticks. He put up 14 goals and eight assists for QPR last season. Anything close to those numbers this campaign, and Palace will be happy.
Everton – Abdoulaye Doucoure (£20m from Watford)
Everton tried to sign Doucoure last summer but Watford wouldn’t play ball. But after relegation last season, the Hornets had no choice but to cash in on their star midfielder, who has been one of the most consistent performers in the Premier League in recent seasons. He will add bite and quality to Everton’s midfield, alongside the experienced Brazilian Allan (also a first-rate signing – Carlo Ancelotti is making moves). Everton are also close to capturing James Rodriguez from Real Madrid, but I’d still rate the acquisition of Doucoure as the better bet.
Fulham – Harrison Reed (£6m from Southampton)
Reed was instrumental in Fulham’s promotion last season, powering their midfield alongside Tom Cairney. Some Saints fans appear mystified that they let him go so cheaply, but it seems he simply wasn’t a part of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s plans. Their loss is a big gain for Fulham, though.
Leeds United – Robin Koch (£12.9m from Freiburg)
The obvious choice would be club record signing Rodrigo, but I think spending £30m on a 29-year-old striker who has never played in the Premier League is a huge gamble by Marco Bielsa. Much less of a gamble is the modest £12.9m fee spent on 24-year-old Koch, a German international defender who will stiffen up (ahem, there it is) the Leeds defence.
Leicester City – no signings at time of writing
Pull your finger out, Brendan!
EDIT: After this list was published, Leicester signed Belgian full-back Timothy Castagne from Atalanta for £21.5m. Big money for a full-back but Leicester did have a fat pile of Ben Chilwell cash to splash, and Castagne, 24, is highly rated.