With the Premier League window drawing to a close, clubs are rushing to conclude their business and wrap up any remaining deals left on the table. We rounded up the biggest transfers of the window and look at what they have to offer their new club and their fan bases.
Nicolas Pepe – Lille to Arsenal (£72 million)
The words “Arsenal” and “£72 million transfer” don’t usually appear very often seeing how frugal their owners have been in the last decade. But now with crazy transfer fees being a common phenomenon, Arsenal have made their record signing in 24-year-old Ivorian, Nicolas Pepe.
He operates mainly as a right forward and was used as Lille’s main attacking threat last season as he has the ability to run at players and take them on. With Lacazette and Aubameyang forming a formidable duo up front, Unai Emery is likely to deploy Pepe on the wings to create chances for the two main forwards. With 22 goals and 11 assists last season for Lille, he is the catalyst that the Gunners have been lacking and might be the player to bring them back to the glory days of ‘The Invincibles’.
Harry Maguire – Leicester City to Man United (£80 million)
Move over Van Djik, looks like there’s a new “most expensive center-back” in town.
It’s been a move that’s been in the works for a while now and it has finally come to fruition. Maguire, 26, is the centre back that United need – tough, intelligent, and committed. He, like Van Djik, could solve all of United’s problems at the back and make them title contenders once again.
He also has something that Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, or Marcos Rojo don’t – world-class talent. Often, these three have been lackluster and prone to defensive errors which make fans question their position at the club. Since Rio Ferdinand, Nemenja Vidic, and Patrice Evra left in 2014, the board has been under pressure to sign a dependable center-back and they now can relax knowing that they have that in Maguire.
Tanguy Ndombele – Olympique Lyon to Tottenham (£60 million)
Tottenham’s spending hasn’t been much either considering they haven’t made a signing in 18 months before this.
Now, all that has changed with the £60 million signing of Tanguy Ndombele. Lyon’s former tank of a midfielder has got the Premier League move that he deserves. The young Frenchman is one of the brightest prospects in the world and is the perfect midfielder in terms of passing, creating chances and defending – think N’Golo Kante.
All these coupled with his athleticism will make him one of the most overpowering players in the league. Also, at just 22, he has plenty of gas left in the tank and will become a strong bedrock for Spurs in the coming years.
Joao Cancelo – Juventus to Man City (£60 million)
Juventus have been heavily involved in the English market this year with plenty of transactions occurring between the two.
The latest deal of Joao Cancelo to Manchester city for £60 million and Danilo going the opposite way for £35 million might be something that Juve will regret. Pep Guardiola holds the Portuguese full-back in very high regard and with good reason. He can play on both flanks, either as a full-back or winger, and is also an exceptional crosser.
The 25-year-old has the pace to suit the intensity of the Premier League and will provide good competition for Kyle Walker and Oleksandr Zinchenko in their positions. In this case, Man City got the better end of the deal and Juventus are going to have to make do with Danilo who is already in his 30s. Having made a name for himself in Italy, Spain and Portugal, it is now time for Cancelo to take England by storm.
Rodri – Atletico Madrid to Man City (£62.5 million)
£62.5 million signings may seem like the norm these days, but City have acquired a true star in the making.
This Busquets-Esque midfielder brings composure and a physical presence into the centre of the park for City. His passing ability is matched by his defensive work rate and the Spaniard has proven to be an effective shield for his centre-backs at Atletico Madrid.
He is also seen as the heir to Fernandinho’s position on the pitch as the Brazilian is ageing rapidly and won’t be able to fulfill his ‘Regista’ role for very much longer. At 23, Rodri has many years left in the tank and could bring some of that Spanish possession-based football to England and change the whole dynamic of games for Pep and his merry men.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – Crystal Palace to Man United (£50 million)
Despite having only one full season under his belt at Crystal Palace, United have taken a huge gamble in splurging £50 million on the young right-back.
After Antonio Valencia’s departure, United need a new right-back who can support their wingers and also defend decently at the same time. Wan-Bissaka, 21, is exactly that.
The England under-21 international is nicknamed “the spider” because of his long legs that stretch out to steal the ball from opposition attackers. He was also a winger in his younger days and possesses the skill to get forward. Thus, he is the perfect candidate to fill the right-back vacancy at Old Trafford.
Kieran Tierney – Celtic to Arsenal (£25 million)
Arsenal have had a flurry of transfer activity and have made a worthy investment in the signing of Kieran Tierney.
Celtic’s youngest ever captain rose through the ranks at the Scottish clubs to become one of the most sought after left-backs in Britain as he had previously been linked with Man United as well. In the end, it was the gunners who got their man for £25 million and they certainly have a much stronger left flank.
The 22-year-old is adventurous in going forward and defends like a warrior for his team. But over everything else, Tierney would give his life for the team which is more than can be said about many players these days. He belongs to a dying breed of players and a player with such an attitude is exactly what Arsenal need to boost their position in the Premier League.
Joelinton – Hoffenheim to Newcastle (£38 million)
Brazilian forwards are usually skillful, fast, and lethal. Think of Rivaldo, Ronaldo, and Neymar. Joelinton is nothing like that.
He belongs to a different breed of strikers similar to that of Thomas Muller and Roberto Firmino. Joelinton, 22, always manages to find space for himself and gets himself in good positions to score. He is also comfortable on both feet and has a good stature which makes him perfect for the abrasive and physical environment of the Premier League.
After scoring 11 goals in last season’s Bundesliga campaign, the Brazilian can only improve at Newcastle as he will be the main man to lead the line at St. James’ Park. Following the departures of Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez, the Tyneside club have spent it wisely on the young starlet Joelinton.
Moise Kean – Juventus to Everton (£29 million)
The signing that perhaps nobody saw coming would be this one as there were little reports of one of Juventus’s brightest prospects coming to Merseyside.
The 19-year-old Kean rose to prominence last season when he made a few substitute appearances for the Old Lady and scored some crucial goals. He even caused a stir when he celebrated in front of the fans that were chanting racist remarks towards him and riled them up even more.
He is not afraid to take on big challenges as we have seen from his time in Juventus and his eye for goal will be well utilised at Goodison Park. He is strong, fast and has the potential to become one of the best strikers in the Premier League if he works hard and keeps on improving.
Patrick Cutrone – AC Milan to Wolves (£16 million)
A bargain deal of £16 million was agreed for one of the hottest young strikers in the game.
His agent claims that the 21-year-old Cutrone was forced out of Milan despite him wanting to stay at the club. He only made 12 appearances for them last season and scored three goals, but Milan’s loss is Wolves’ gain as the young forward has proven himself to be an exceptional finisher in front of goal.
His positioning and intelligence are impressive for a player his age and he can function as an alternative to Raul Jiminez and Diogo Jota. Wolves are going on to achieve big things after finishing seventh last season and his signing is just a taste of greater things to come.Leave a comment