Paul Merson ranks the 5 best summer signings in the Premier League so far

Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez could be in the running for the Premier League Golden Boot
Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez could be in the running for the Premier League Golden Boot

The summer transfer window is up and away in full swing as Premier League teams look to fine-tune their squad ahead of the 2022-23 season. With the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar set to happen mid-season this time around, managers could look to have a larger pool of players to pick from to account for injuries and fatigue.

A handful of transfers are set to happen imminently - like Gabriel Jesus to Arsenal - but haven't been officially confirmed, so I've refrained from talking about those players. I just want to wait it out and speak about them after the player has been unveiled, because in the transfer market, anything can happen as we've seen recently with Raphinha, who is in the middle of a transfer scuffle between Arsenal, Chelsea and Barcelona.

If Jesus' deal to join Arsenal had been confirmed earlier, he'd have been #1 on my list as he's exactly the player they've been crying out for.


#1Yves Bissouma | Tottenham Hotspur

Yves Bissouma will add some much-needed quality to Tottenham's midfield
Yves Bissouma will add some much-needed quality to Tottenham's midfield

This is an unbelievable coup for Spurs as Yves Bissouma could have played for any of the other top-six sides in the Premier League. He's better than Scott McTominay and Fred, I have no idea why Manchester United didn't go in for him!

He runs the show, affects football matches right from the get-go and is an all-round midfielder with quite a bit of Premier League experience under his belt. No disrespect to Spurs, but why didn't some of the other teams look at him and consider making a move for him? I look at Liverpool's midfield and feel he could play for them, especially if someone like Fabinho we're to get injured.

£25 million in this day and age - it's nothing. Spurs have nabbed an absolute bargain with Bissouma and he, in my opinion, has been the signing of the summer in the Premier League so far.


#2 Nick Pope | Newcastle United

Nick Pope is likely to replace Martin Dubravka as Newcastle's first-choice goalkeeper
Nick Pope is likely to replace Martin Dubravka as Newcastle's first-choice goalkeeper

Nick Pope is a top goalkeeper, it's ridiculous that Newcastle United got a player of his caliber for as little as £10 million. If Jordan Pickford hadn't done so well for Everton at the business end of last season, you could've argued that there is much between him and Pope - that's how good a player the former Burnley man is.

Eddie Howe is looking to build a team that can compete in the Premier League. It could take them five to six years, but they are doing a steady job and not splashing £100 million on a player just for the sake of it - they are learning to walk before they can run.

If they can get 10th place and probably win one of the domestic cups, that would be a fantastic season for Newcastle. Pope will save them points and is a top, top goalkeeper for their project.


#3 Erling Haaland | Manchester City

Manchester City's capture of Erling Haaland is one of the most talked-about deals of the transfer window
Manchester City's capture of Erling Haaland is one of the most talked-about deals of the transfer window

Erling Haaland's wages are massive, but his transfer fee wasn't all that huge. It'll be interesting to see how he copes at Manchester City because it'll be a different challenge for him in comparison to what was the case at Borussia Dortmund.

He's big, strong, electric for his size and it goes without saying that he's an unreal finisher, but as a Manchester City player, he won't have grass to run into because teams usually put ten men in front of the ball! This is where the test of all tests begins, because we've seen top strikers failing to hit the ground running for the so-called bigger teams in the Premier League.

Lukaku's second stint at Chelsea is a classic example, as it turned out to be a different ball game to what was the case at Inter Milan for the towering striker. When he was a young kid at Chelsea, Jose Mourinho let him go, but he went to West Bromwich Albion and later to Everton and absolutely ripped it up. However, when he joined Manchester United, he struggled a bit again, which once again takes me back to the issue I mentioned earlier.

For Haaland, it'll be about how quickly he adapts to English football, but all I'm saying is that his success isn't as much of a foregone conclusion as others are making it out to be. For Manchester City, my personal opinion is that Harry Kane would have been a better signing for them. Age isn't really on his side, but he's got everything and Manchester City have a bottomless pit of money, so I'd have taken him instead.

As for Haaland, he can still rip it up and score bags and bags of goals, but they are going to be different goals to what has been the case for him with Norway and Dortmund.


#4 Ivan Perisic | Tottenham Hotspur

Ivan Perisic is set to reunite with Antonio Conte at Tottenham
Ivan Perisic is set to reunite with Antonio Conte at Tottenham

I'm a huge fan of Ivan Perisic, he's a top player who works as hard as anybody else on the pitch. For every young kid who wants to be a professional footballer - watch this player and see how he makes things happen on the pitch. He sets the tone with his work ethic and professionalism and will turn out to be a great signing for Tottenham.

Spurs have bought very, very well this summer and they aren't quite finished. Reports suggest they've agreed a deal to sign Barcelona defender Clement Lenglet on loan, while the deal to sign Brazilian striker Richarlison is also close to completion. Personally, I don't see why they are splashing the big bucks on the latter, as he'd effectively replace Dejan Kulusevski in the starting lineup, who was outstanding in the second half of last season.

As for Perisic, Antonio Conte knows him well and his versatility could prove to be an invaluable asset for Spurs this season. He ticks a lot of boxes for them and I'm really excited to see how this one turns out.


#5 Fabio Carvalho | Liverpool

Fabio Carvalho was one of the most exciting players in the Championship last season
Fabio Carvalho was one of the most exciting players in the Championship last season

Fabio Carvalho is not someone who will start from week one for Liverpool, but this guy is a top talent and played a big role in Fulham's promotion bid last season. Jurgen Klopp just makes players better and I personally like his eye for talent. He did something similar with Harvey Elliott last season and the kid was playing unreal football before his injury against Leeds United, so I expect Carvalho to play an important role for Liverpool.

I think this is the kind of signing other managers might look at and think, 'Why didn't we get him?' because he's a fantastic talent. I'm not sure, but my best guess is that Carvalho will start off as an attacker before eventually being transitioned into midfield. You look at the likes of Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara and realize that Liverpool's midfield is running on its last legs, so I'm sure there's some kind of succession plan already in place.

I considered a handful of other players and just want to talk about Raheem Sterling, whose departure could be a big blow for Manchester City. This isn't a move I like because he scores a lot of goals and Jack Grealish isn't close to replicating his end product as things stand. Losing Jesus and Sterling - who in my opinion are the two unsung heroes of the Manchester City squad - could come back to haunt them later.

I've also seen reports that Bernardo Silva is wanted by Barcelona and if that were to happen, Manchester City would have lost three key players from a squad that has won four league titles in the past five seasons. That's a little worrying, if you think about it.

As for Darwin Nunez, he's replacing someone who scored big goals in big football matches in Sadio Mane, so he's got no choice but to hit the ground running immediately. Liverpool are relying on this lad to produce the goods immediately, like Luis Diaz, but as I said earlier, that happens once every million years!


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Edited by Paul Merson
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