Premier League 2018/19: Top 7 bargain signings of the summer
With the inflation in the transfer market, snapping up a bargain has become extremely difficult. Further, with the time period of the window cut short on the request of Premier League club executives, there was more pressure than ever before to complete deals before the 11th hour, providing further incentive for sellers abroad to demand a higher fee.
In light of this, the following transfers stood out for their value of money. The player arrives with a very respectable reputation and an even more decent price tag. To keep in mind, the transfer fee has been capped at €7.5m, and all the figures obtained are via Transfermarkt.
#7 Joao Moutinho [€5.6m – AS Monaco to Wolverhampton]
Joao Moutinho represents one of the bargains of the season for newly promoted Wolves. A man who has anchored the Portugese national side for years, with an excellent positioning sense and set-piece delivering ability, Moutinho represents the ideal central midfield partner for Ruben Neves. Having completed 90 minutes on 6 of the 8 occasions he started, Moutinho is proving he still has the legs to compete in the world’s toughest league, and his quality in possession is unquestionable. He kicks off the top 7 bargains of the season.
#6 Jonny Evans [€4m – West Bromwich Albion to Leicester City]
Leicester were in a perpetual worry of their star defender Harry Maguire being poached by Manchester United, and they signed Jonny Evans, perhaps as a back-up should a transfer materialise. The former is still at the club, but that by no means renders Evans’s arrival any less significant.
A seasoned centre-half with mountains of experience and leadership attributes is hard to come by so easily, let alone for pennies on the dollar. At the price, he represents quite the transfer coup, and his arrival allows Leicester to rotate more often, as well as keeping the established first-teamers honest.
#5 Mateo Kovacic [Loan – Real Madrid to Chelsea]
Kovacic signing on loan was part of the deal that took Thibaut Courtois to the Spanish capital and represents truly supreme business from the Spanish giants. The deal isn’t as sweet for Chelsea in the long run, but for this season, Kovacic looks to be an excellent addition for Mauricio Sarri.
Trying to transcend Chelsea’s football from a defensive and slow system under Conte to a quick and possession-oriented one, Sarri needed all the help he could get in central midfield, in the form of a player who is comfortable in possession and has a good passing range. Kovacic offers just that. He may not be the most devastating player on the pitch, but the work he does in switching the play, creating a little space and retaining possession cannot be underestimated.
#4 Danny Ings [Loan – Liverpool to Southampton]
Southampton stayed up by the skin of their teeth last season, as their goals imply dried up. They created the most number of chances outside the Big 6 last season but had no one to convert. Danny Ings represents a player whose career has been blighted by injury, and who needs regular football to get back to peak ability. A loan move represents a win-win situation here for the club and the player.
Ings has scored thrice in 7 games and must shoulder a significant burden if Southampton are to avoid a collapse like last season’s.
#3 Martin Dubravka [€4m – Sparta Prague to Newcastle United]
Dubravka showed his class last season when he signed for Newcastle on loan, and he quickly became an indispensable element of a grinding Newcastle side. When your game is built on soaking pressure and resisting, it is imperative to have a goalkeeper who can keep you in the game when your defence is breached.
Just ask both Manchester clubs – United simply couldn’t get past him last season at St. James’ Park, and City saw him make a simply sensational triple save to keep Newcastle in the game at the Etihad this time around. Dubravka will undoubtedly be key to Newcastle’s ambitions this season.
#2 Andre Schurrle [Loan – Borussia Dortmund to Fulham]
Fulham enjoyed a very, very eventful summer, effectively purchasing themselves an entirely new starting XI, and Andre Schurrle represents the feather in their cap. The German World Cup winner, having already proven himself in the English top flight before, was looking to rejuvenate his stagnant career, and Fulham offered him just the opportunity.
Entering the prime of his career, and having scored 3 in 7 games for Fulham, Schurrle’s acquisition looks like an extremely shrewd piece of business from another Premier League new boys.
#1 Rui Patricio [Free Transfer – Sporting to Wolverhampton]
It isn’t often that you’ll see Premier League new boys sign one of the most established shot-stoppers in the modern game. When Rui Patricio, Portugal’s Number 1 for a few years now, terminated his contract at Sporting, Wolves were the quickest to pounce, offering the Portuguese a fresh start at a hungry English club, determined to topple the established order.
Thus far, Patricio has been quite sensational, producing a save of the season contender against the champions to become the first team to take points off them this season.