For the third year running, the spending of Premier League clubs exceeded £1billion in the summer transfer window.
After 11 games, it will surprise few that two of the biggest culprits, Liverpool and Chelsea, sit comfortably inside the top three. They forked out a combined £306million.
The correlation between spending and early-season success is not to be found across the board, however, as not all have used their financial muscle wisely. Fulham’s woeful start has left them in 19th place, with little indication that their £105m worth of new signings will be enough to keep them up. West Ham were another surprise club in the top-five spenders, but Manuel Pellegrini has had a fairly rocky start to the new era.
Yet, there have also been a number of shrewd acquisitions who have taken very little time to make their presence felt at their new clubs.
Jorginho (Napoli to Chelsea)
While it was touch-and-go whether the deep-lying playmaker would end up at Manchester City or Chelsea, Maurizio Sarri quickly brought his old ally from Napoli in to help conduct a midfield that would needed help transitioning from Antonio Conte’s tactics. So much starts with Jorginho, who breaks up the play and allows the two midfielders on either side of him to move up the pitch. The only real downside has been that the Italian’s importance to the Blues’ system has forced Sarri to re-evaluate N’Golo Kante’s role, as the Frenchman is now tasked with running to create space for Jorginho rather than fulfilling his regular duties.
Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria to Arsenal)
It has taken a while for the Uruguayan’s impact to be realised, but much like Jorginho, his importance is not just about how he plays, but about how he allows Arsenal to play. The Gunners have been crying out for a physical central midfielder for years and his high energy also allows his team-mates to break quickly in the style Unai Emery demands. All that remains is for the 22-year-old to work on his fitness so he can cement his place in the starting XI more regularly.
Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon to Wolves)
Wolves were able to capitalise on Sporting Lisbon’s off-field crisis to bring in the shot-stopper, who was one of nine players to terminate their contracts with the Primeira Liga outfit in May. The newly-promoted side thought they had bagged him on a free transfer, though they have since had to pay £16million in compensation to his former employers. It’s a fee more than justified by the Portugal international’s performances so far, which have included four clean sheets – more than 11 other Premier League goalkeepers.
Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke to Liverpool)
Admittedly, Jurgen Klopp had many more pressing issues to deal with than adding more depth to his attack. The summer was chiefly about finding a goalkeeper and strengthening in central midfield, both of which he achieved. It is worth remembering the collective eyebrows raised following the arrival of Shaqiri, though, and the Swiss international has more than silenced his critics as an impact sub. Liverpool’s front-line options will be crucial to their titles hopes going forward and Shaqiri is already looking much more consistent than he was at Stoke.
Richarlison (Watford to Everton)
Last season, the Brazilian’s impact was relatively short-lived at Watford and his form tailed off noticeably after Marco Silva left the club. It seemed a perfect fit then, that he should reunite with the Portuguese boss at Goodison Park. His form, which has earned him a call-up to recent Selecao squads, is already looking more prolonged and with six goals, he sits just one behind Eden Hazard, Sergio Aguero, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the Premier League’s top scorers’ chart.
James Maddison (Norwich to Leicester)
It quickly became inevitable that the young Englishman would leave Norwich after his displays in the Championship last term and Leicester pulled off quite the coup in landing his signature ahead of several other suitors. The 21-year-old has started every league game so far, contributing three league goals and two assists, including a stunning free-kick against Huddersfield.
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