Thursday, September 7, 2023

No Declan Rice, the next Erling Haaland, Tottenham star and Moises Caicedo – Premier League’s best transfers ranked

Aston Villa’s acquisition of Moussa Diaby from Bayer Leverkusen is the Premier League’s signing of the summer… so far.

That’s according to talkSPORT pundit Gabby Agbonlahor, though we suspect there’s some bias given his loyalties to his former employers.

GettyDiaby joined Villa earlier this summer from German side Bayer Leverkusen for £51.9million[/caption]

The forward enjoyed a brilliant pre-season, before scoring on his debut in the Villans’ Premier League opener away at Newcastle.

Though it wasn’t the result Unai Emery’s men were hoping for given they were hit for five at St James’ Park.

But Diaby, who made the move to the Midlands in a £51.9m deal, was one of the shining lights in an otherwise disappointing display.

He is just one of a number of high-profile signings made by Premier League clubs this window, which has seen Chelsea fork out almost £360m on eight new players.

Arsenal have also spent big as they look to mount another tilt for the Premier League title after coming up just short last season.

Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber have joined on permanent deals, while David Raya has been brought in on an initial loan transfer.

Meanwhile, Manchester United have handed over almost £200m by snapping up Rasmus Hojlund, Mason Mount and Andre Onana.

But as we approach the final stretch of the transfer window, who are the best Premier League transfers so far this summer? Agbonlahor has named his top five.

Chelsea are the biggest spenders this summer, with the club forking out almost £1bn in the last year, with a British record being spent on Moises CaicedoGetty

Gabby’s top five signings so far

5. Rasmus Hojlund to Manchester United – £72million

“What I’ve seen of him, he is the next [Erling] Haaland, he really is.

“He’s strong, he’s quick, he can shoot with both feet, finish with both feet, he’s good in the air, he’s good at link-up play.

“I really feel like he’s one that’s going to really shine for Manchester United.

“I don’t look at [his nine Serie A goals in 2022/23 campaign], I look at his age, I look at a young lad who is learning season by season, he’s going to be playing in a better side.

“He’s going to have the service of [Chrsitian] Eriksen, [Bruno] Fernandes, [Mason] Mount, Antony – if he wants to cross the ball every now and then.

“He’s going to be that physical striker that Manchester United need.”

United paid £72million to Atalanta to bring Denmark striker Hojlund to Old TraffordGetty

4. James Maddison to Tottenham – £40m

“He’s the player that Spurs have been missing, I’ve watched him for years, I watched him against Brentford [Tottenham debut] – he just wants the ball.

“He’s addicted to the ball, that’s who Spurs need, a No.10 that wants the ball all the time, wants to make things happen.

“He’s got a set piece in him, he’s got a goal in him, he’s got a great touch in tight spaces to turn and put people through.

“That’s the player that Spurs have been crying out for since they lost Eriksen [to Inter Milan in January 2020].”

Maddison chipped in with two assists on his Spurs debut against BrentfordGetty

3. Harvey Barnes to Newcastle – £38m

“I love him. When I first heard he was available, I was like, ‘Aston Villa please’.

“This guy is lightning quick, always wants to run at defenders, can finish.

“He’s got to a learn a bit more composure, but that will come.

“He’s a really, really good player, and I feel that Newcastle have got a real gem.”

GettyBarnes scored and assisted in Newcastle’s Premier League opener against Aston Villa[/caption]

2. Moises Caicedo to Chelsea – £115m

“I’ve seen enough of him now to know he’s a top, top player.

“And the thing about Caicedo is that Reece James struggles a lot with injuries, so there’s cover at right-back.

“He played for Brighton against Arsenal [at right-back] and he was outstanding, no one could get any change out of him.

“He’s just the sort of player that can play anywhere and he would be outstanding.

“He can play at centre-half and he’d be good, he’s strong, aggressive, he’s good on the ball, got an eye for goal when he gets forward.

“And I really feel that he’s the one that is money well spent.”

Chelsea forked out a British record £115m to prise Caicedo away from BrightonGetty

1. Moussa Diaby to Aston Villa – £51.9m

“You know why? I just feel like value for money, he turned down Saudi Arabia for Aston Villa, which no one else has been doing really,

“And I’ve just enough of him now, I saw him against Newcastle – he’s frighteningly quick – low centre of gravity.

“He’s strong, can finish, can get in the box in the back post like he did against Newcastle to get his goal.

“I feel that value for money and what he’s going to offer that Aston Villa attack from that right hand side, he’s a great, great signing for Aston Villa.”

GettyDiaby was on the score sheet for the Villans in their 5-1 defeat at St James’ Park[/caption]

Honourable mention

Declan Rice to Arsenal – £105m

“Listen, Declan Rice is an outstanding player, he will help that Arsenal side a lot.

“But I think that Arsenal team are going to be helped out by the goals of [Bukayo] Saka, [Gabriel] Martinelli, Gabriel Jesus and [Eddie] Nketiah.

“I think Declan Rice is going to have a key role, but more breaking up the play, maybe not allowed to go forward as much in certain games.

Rice won the Community Shield on his competitive debut for Arsenal against Manchester CityGetty

“Especially as Thomas Partey has injury problems.

“A great signing Declan Rice.”

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