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Ranking the 5 best transfers in the Premier League this summer

Cristiano Ronaldo's return to the Premier League has been the major talking point of the summer
Cristiano Ronaldo's return to the Premier League has been the major talking point of the summer
Paul Merson
EXPERT COLUMNIST

After weeks of speculation and intrigue, the summer transfer window has finally come to a close. It’s been an eventful window, with several Premier League clubs playing their cards in the transfer market. The league’s big names have made some new additions to their rosters this season and will look to their high-profile signings to improve their fortunes in the Premier League.

The smaller names in the Premier League have also made a few interesting signings this summer. With the transfer window we’ve had over the past month, this Premier League season may well be one of the most competitive we’ve ever seen.

There have been several excellent transfers this year, and condensing them into a top-five is no mean feat. All the players on this list have taken their teams to another level and could potentially propel their clubs to unprecedented heights. Without further ado, here are the five best transfers in the Premier League this season.


#5 Cristiano Ronaldo | Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo sealed an emotional return to Manchester United last month
Cristiano Ronaldo sealed an emotional return to Manchester United last month

Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t winning you the Premier League. Don’t get me wrong – he’s going to score a lot of goals this season, but he’s not going to pick the ball up on the halfway line and beat his markers. That’s never going to happen.

Call me a skeptic, but I don’t think Manchester United wanted Ronaldo in the first place. They weren’t ringing Juventus up every week asking about him. It was only after Manchester City wanted him that United decided to seal the deal. I was watching Gary Neville on Sky the other day, and he seemed thrilled that City weren’t able to sign Ronaldo. Gary knows everything you need to know about football, and he wasn’t particularly bullish about Manchester United winning the Premier League.

I’ve heard people say, “Oh shut up, Merson! He’s going to score a lot of goals.” Well, he’s the best player in the world. Of course he is going to score goals! He did score more goals than Lukaku in Serie A last season, but Juventus didn’t win the league, did they? If Ronaldo gets you 20 goals and you don’t win the Premier League, what’s the point? I hope I’m wrong – it won’t be the first time – but I think it’s a lazy transfer.

Juventus got rid of Ronaldo because they brought him to the club for one reason and one reason only – they wanted to win the Champions League. If they thought they had a shot at winning the trophy with Ronaldo in their team, they would’ve certainly kept him.

When Cristiano Ronaldo was in his pomp at Manchester United, he was a phenomenal player in a phenomenal team under Sir Alex Ferguson. Now, he’s joining a team that’s far from the best in the league, and most of their fans are relying on him to do what he did all those years ago. I do hope he does well but I don’t think Manchester United are winning the Premier League this season.

With Cristiano Ronaldo in the team, one of Sancho, Greenwood, and Rashford will have to make do with a place on the bench. They’ve spent so much on Sancho so he will certainly play his part, but will Greenwood get his chances with Ronaldo in the squad? I don’t think so. If they don’t win the Premier League in the next three years, all Ronaldo’s done is held Sancho, Greenwood, and Rashford back.

The fans of the club are the ones who worry me the most – they think he’s going to rip up the Premier League. They say he scored twice for Portugal the other night, but what else did he do? He was up against two defenders from the Championship, and he couldn’t beat his man. If his name wasn’t Cristiano Ronaldo, he would’ve been taken off before he scored his brace. Every team in the Premier League has lightning-quick players who can put in a good shift. If Ronaldo isn’t tracking back and is only waiting for balls to be put in the box, you’re effectively playing with 10 men off the ball against Premier League opponents.

I also have to acknowledge that he could make me look very silly this year. Ronaldo’s done a lot of massive things over the course of his career but if he manages to win the Premier League at the age of 36, it’ll be the biggest thing he’s ever done in football. I hope he does it, but I don’t think Manchester United are winning a league title with Cristiano Ronaldo.


#4 Ademola Lookman | Leicester City

Fulham v Newcastle United - Premier League
Fulham v Newcastle United - Premier League

Ademola Lookman was outstanding for Fulham last season. In terms of statistics, he was their best player going forward and was one of their most important players overall. I thought he did brilliantly to show his class in a struggling Fulham team, and he can now hit his peak with a world-class Leicester City side.

At Leicester City, Ademola Lookman will get to play with two excellent strikers in Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho. I reckon Fulham would’ve stayed up if they’d signed a good striker, because Lookman created so many chances for them.

With Brendan Rodgers, it’s quite rare to look at one of his signings and say it didn’t quite work out. His players always seem to improve, and I think he can work wonders with Ademola Lookman in his ranks.


Also Read: David James column - Ranking the 5 greatest full-backs of all time

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Edited by Vishal Subramanian
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