Top 20 Premier League summer signings, club by club – part 2

Ollie Irish

4th, September 2020

Part the second (part one):

Liverpool – Kostas Tsimikas (£11.8m from Olympiakos)

Klopp’s only signing so far as he sticks with the squad that won him the league. Tsimikas was brought in to be back-up to Andy Robertson. The Greek full-back looks tidy enough but this isn’t a signing to stir the heart.

Man City – Ferran Torres (£24.5m from Valencia)

Spain winger Torres, who will take David Silva’s No.21 shirt at City, looked absolutely mustard against Germany in his first senior international appearance last night. Looks like Pep Guardiola has snaffled one of Spain’s top young prospects – and that transfer fee is already looking like a stone-cold robbery of poor Valencia. If Torres adapts to English football, Leroy Sane will quickly be forgotten.

Man Utd – Donny van de Beek (£34.7m from Ajax)

‘Maradonny’ looks like a potentially great signing, but quite where the young Dutch midfielder will fit in with Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba remains to be seen – perhaps against lesser teams he will play in an advanced role alongside Bruno, in front of Pogba, but that seems a little risky in bigger games. More importantly perhaps, he seems thrilled to have signed for the club, which isn’t something you could say of every new United player in the last couple of years (Alexis, hello).

Newcastle United – er, this is awkward

Steve Bruce has so far brought in 28-year-old midfielder Jeff Hendrick on a free from Burnley, and 28-year-old goalkeeper Mark Gillespie from Motherwell, and frankly I can’t bring myself to feature either in a ‘top signings’ list. Nothing to shout about for a club that likes to shout about things quite a lot. That said, United could work some late transfer magic – the rumoured imminent signing of centre-back Rob Holding from Arsenal would be a smart deal. But the ghost of what might have been had the Saudis took over will haunt the club’s fans for a while yet.

Sheffield United – Aaron Ramsdale (£18.5m from Bournemouth)

Ramsdale was never going to stick around at Bournemouth, and the Blades needed a good young goalkeeper to replace Dean Henderson, so this looks like good business for all concerned – Ramsdale, 22, is a probable future senior England international, although ironically he may find Henderson standing in his way for years. By the way, what a mad world we’re living in when a relegated club can pull in almost £20m for a keeper.

Southampton – Mohammed Salisu (£10.9m from Real Valladolid)

A pretty quiet window for the Saints up to now, with centre-back Mohammed Salisu and full-back Kyle Walker-Peters the only signings. I can’t pretend to know anything about Salisu, but as a Spurs fans KWP never really convinced me, so Mo gets the nod. What to say about Salisu? He’s 21 years old, Ghanaian and arrives on a four-year deal. Ralph Hassenhuttl called him an “important signing”, and also praised the player’s physical attributes and calmness on the ball.

Tottenham – Matt Doherty (£14.7m from Wolves)

Spurs’ dire need for full-backs is well-known, and Irish international right-back Doherty is a safe bet to improve on the erratic Serge Aurier. In many ways he’s the model Mourinho signing: proven at the top level, almost never gets injured, tall, counts as a homegrown player, and, for bonus Jose trolling points, he’s an Arsenal fan. Quite how Daniel Levy managed to get Wolves to agree a fee of less than £15m (and with no add-ons) is a mystery.

West Brom – Matheus Pereira (£9m from Sporting)

West Brom’s player of the season in 2019/20 has signed a four-year deal with the club after his buyout clause was triggered in June. The Brazilian is a fan favourite but I wonder how his playmaking skills will translate from the Championship to the Premier League, where the standard of defending is so much higher.

West Ham – Tomas Soucek (£19.1m from Slavia Prague)

Soucek really shone for the Irons after he arrived on loan in January, and it was a no-brainer to sign him for what is an admittedly steep price – his height (6ft 4in) and physicality make him an uncomfortable presence in the opposition box. Unfortunately, he’ll miss West Ham’s opening league game against Newcastle as he has to self-isolate after coming into contact with someone who has the coronavirus.

Wolves – nothing to see here

It’s been a frustratingly quiet window for Wolves fans. The club signed Montenegrin goalkeeper Matija Sarkic on a free from Aston Villa, and they’ve already sent him on loan to Shrewsbury. And that’s it. On the plus side, Sarkic has a world-class hairline.

Posted in Premier League, Top 10s & lists

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