As Winter Transfer window approaches, let’s review the top 10 signing of 2020-21 so far.
10. Ruben Dias
It feels as though we haven’t quite seen the best of Ruben Dias yet. Manchester City’s centre-back signing quite simply looks the part as a long-term successor to Vincent Kompany.
He has a combination of 2.4 aerials won per game, 3.8 clearances per game and a 93% pass accuracy. He displays domineering defending and calmness on the ball. They say you get what you pay for and the early signs suggest. Dias’ £64.3m transfer fee was money well spent.
9. Timo Werner
It’s pretty clear Timo Werner still hasn’t hit top gear for Chelsea. The German international is freakishly quick when running with the ball at feet.
There’s just a natural hunger about the way he operates, constantly testing defenders and trying to get into the box. £48m is a fair chunk of cash but Werner’s only going to get better with more Premier League minutes under his belt.
8. Emiliano Martinez
Emiliano Martinez’s run in the Arsenal starting XI was one of the stories of last season. Climaxing with a win in the FA Cup final. But upon Bernd Leno’s return, the Argentine was eager to find a new home. Aston Villa were more than happy to part with the cash.
Martinez has certainly repaid the faith so far; as well as being joint-sixth in the saves charts Villa have conceded the joint-fewest goals of any Premier League side.
7. Timothy Castagne
Part of Atalanta’s free-scoring 2019/20 team, Timothy Castagne always looked like a smart signing from Leicester City. The Belgium international has lived up to his billing as well, kicking off his Premier League career with one goal and two assists in his first three games.
He also helped the Foxes to a clean sheet win over Arsenal. But has since been sidelined with an injury. Brendan Rodgers will hope he’s back on the pitch soon.
6. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
An understated signing with something of an understated impact. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is never going to grab headlines from defensive midfield. But it says a lot that he’s featured in every minute of Tottenham’s Premier League campaign so far.
Jose Mourinho clearly trusts his new general. He averages of 3 tackles and 82 passes per match – as well as a superb assist in a 6-1 win over Manchester United – it’s not hard to see why. A shrewd addition at £15m.
5. Callum Wilson
Scoring goals for Newcastle really isn’t easy, but £20m acquisition Callum Wilson is making it look like child’s play.
With 7 goals, 3 assists in 11 appearances. He is currently 8th in the Premier League’s scoring charts. having helped the Magpies to wins over Crystal Palace, Burnley and Everton and a draw against Tottenham. Newcastle are still very much a defensive team. But Wilson offers the threat on the break that stops other sides boxing them into their own half.
4. Wesley Fofana
It simply isn’t normal for 19-year-old centre-backs to immediately get cozy in the Premier League. So the initial evidence suggests Leicester City’s recruitment team have smacked this one out the park. It’s still very early days but Wesley Fofana just oozes class.
He is averaging 2 tackles, 3 interceptions and 2.5 aerials won per match. The teenager has an impressive knack of slaloming down the pitch with the ball at feet. Leicester have conceded just twice in four games with Fofana in the starting XI. Caglar Soyuncu might have a real fight on his hands to earn back a first-team spot once he returns from injury.
3. Ollie Watkins
Aston Villa’s £28m spend on Ollie Watkins could have blown up in their faces. The former Brentford man had played under Dean Smith before, but some Football League strikers just can’t transition their goalscoring to the top flight.
Nevertheless, The 24-year-old has been sensational. He’s netted 8 goals in 14 games, while registering one assist. He has also averaged 4.6 aerials won, 1.3 key passes and 1.6 dribbles per match. That goal run started with an incredible hat-trick against Liverpool. But clearly an all-round centre-forward; he’s helping bring the best out of the likes of Grealish, Barkley and McGinn.
2. Diogo Jota
Diogo Jota has proved to be an inspired signing for the reigning Premier League champions. Already scoring 9 times for the Reds, with 4 goals in Europe and 5 in the top flight.
There’s talk of him permanently replacing Roberto Firmino in Liverpool’s front three. For a relatively modest £41m, this one has to go down as another Michael Edwards masterstroke.
1. James Rodriguez
When it comes to summer signings, Everton’s swoop for James Rodriguez is in a league of its own.
Barring a quiet performance against Manchester United last time out after returning from injury. The Colombian playmaker had been superb, accumulating three goals and three assists while registering at least two shots, two key passes and two dribbles in all but two of his seven outings. He’s got as much creative flair as any other Premier League No.10.
But what makes this summer signing even more special is that it may have actually gone down as a free transfer. Although it seems we’ll never quite get to the bottom of the nature of the deal.
In terms of not only impact but also value for money, Rodriguez is at the top of the pile.