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Football

The best Premier League signings of the summer transfer window

For just shy of three months, the summer transfer window has been wide open, allowing England's top clubs to splash the cash and bring a host of new talent to the Premier League

For only the second year now, the summer transfer window closed just one day before the start of the Premier League season, instead of doing so on the very last day of August. While this has prevented players from trying to force a move during the beginning of the campaign, it certainly hasn’t stopped clubs from bringing in the very best players from Europe and beyond.

So, with all the chaotic deadline dealings now behind us and the players’ agents returning to a state of hibernation until January rolls around, here are the most exciting, expensive and promising summer signings that will soon be gracing the pitches of England...

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Nicolas Pépé

Lille to Arsenal

Back in 2017, Nicolas Pépé, the mercurial Ivory Coast winger, stated that his preferred club in England was none other than Chelsea. Arsenal fans, however, won’t be the least bit dispirited by the fact that he has chosen North London instead. Ever since the last season ended in May, Arsenal's supporters have been loudly calling on the club’s owner, Stan Kroenke, to invest seriously in the squad – and it seems as if it has finally worked. A club-record fee of £72 million was required to bring the player from Lille to London and in doing so he will supercharge Arsenal’s already powerful attacking line-up. Last year, only Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe had more combined goals and assists in Ligue 1 and his record of 35 goals in 74 Lille appearances isn’t to be sniffed at either. While Arsenal’s ageing defence did see a little love this window with the late acquisition of Chelsea's David Luiz – they were unable to offload the error-prone, sometimes comical Shkodran Mustafi – a front three of Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Pépé is enough to instil fear in every Premier League defence.

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Rodri

Atlético Madrid to Manchester City

Surprisingly, Rodri’s £62.8m transfer from Atletico Madrid flew under the radar somewhat at the beginning of July, despite the fact that he now becomes City’s record purchase – quite a claim considering their recent spending. This is maybe due to the fact that he's not a forward or, simply put, a hot English prospect. What he is, though, is the missing piece for Pep Guardiola’s side. Essentially brought in to be Fernandinho’s replacement in the centre of midfield, the 23-year-old Spaniard has been compared to fellow compatriot Sergio Busquets – high praise indeed. Txiki Begiristain, Manchester City’s director of football, remarked, “He has as all the attributes we are looking for,” which proves that City are spending their money with both the present and future in mind. Having being coached in Madrid by Diego Simeone he will surely adapt quickly to the pace of the Premier League and only improve under Pep’s intensive guidance. City’s already impressive squad depth goes from strength to strength...

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Sébastien Haller

Eintracht Frankfurt to West Ham United

Another transfer, another club record fee. West Ham spent £45m on the 25-year-old Frenchman, bringing him from the Bundesliga to the Premier League. At 6ft 3in, his large frame is reminiscent of a number of former Hammers strikers – such as Carlton Cole, Andy Carroll and Bobby Zamora – but don’t let his size fool you; he is athletic, quick-footed and technically gifted. Last season he scored 24 goals in the German league, with only Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski scoring more (with 29). When he came on against Chelsea in the Europa League semifinal he caused David Luiz all sorts of problems, playing off the shoulder and using his strength to his advantage during set-plays. With the loss of Marko Arnautović to China, West Ham will need goals and Haller is the solution. Expect him to reach the high teens come May next year – anything less would be a disappointing showing.

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Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Crystal Palace to Manchester United

After a fantastic first full Premier League season, Wan-Bissaka was in many people’s teams of the year – and rightly so. His pace, intelligent reading of the game and all-round defensive play was clear to see from the very first match until the very last. His statistics only further supported the claim that he was the best full-back in the country, the most eye-catching of which was that he won a staggering 92.8 per cent of his one-on-one duels. Palace, therefore, were understandably reluctant to let such a homegrown talent depart and only did so for a fee that tops £50m. Many will shudder at the thought of spending so much on such an inexperienced player, but the move is just one part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s larger strategy to invest in promising, young British players. Considering United’s defensive misgivings last season he is desperately needed and will undoubtedly improve their back line this time round.

© Aitor Alcalde Colomer

Giovani Lo Celso

Real Betis to Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham’s late bid to bring Paulo Dybala to White Hart Lane may have failed on the very final day of the window, but considering the fact they signed precisely zero players the summer before Spurs fans will be more than happy with this year’s showing. Although they did sign central midfielder Tanguy Ndombélé for a club record fee of £60m, it is Lo Celso, the 23-year-old Argentina, who will get the terraces of Tottenham’s shiny new stadium bouncing. Arriving on loan, but with an option to buy included, Lo Celso would have likely been swayed by the fact that fellow Argentine Mauricio Pochettino wanted him in his side. And for good reason: last season, playing in La Liga with Real Betis, he scored 16 goals in 45 appearances – an excellent return considering Betis aren’t one of the top teams in Spain. He will, therefore, provide Tottenham with another dimension in midfield, especially considering Dele Alli’s initial absence through injury. Expect him to be involved in many of Spurs' goals this season alongside Harry Kane and co.

© Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC

Moise Kean

Juventus to Everton

You might remember the name Moise Kean from back in April, when the 19-year-old Italian of Ivorian descent made headlines after he was racially abused while playing in Serie A. His dignified response was to find the back of the net again and again for his club. It is somewhat surprising, therefore, that Juventus have decided to part with him – especially as the transfer isn’t an initial loan deal with an option-to-buy tacked on. But the reality of playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo meant that Kean simply wasn’t getting enough game time. Everton’s purchase, therefore, looks incredibly shrewd. For just £25m (next to nothing for a Premier League club in the current market) they get a player will barrels of potential and a keen eye for goal (excuse the pun). With Richarlison and Cenk Tosun beside him, he has all the goalscoring qualities to excel in his first season in England. Kean is one to keep on your radar for the next few years and we wouldn’t be at all surprised if he’s belatedly linked with a top six side as he develops on Merseyside.

© David Geieregger

Christian Pulisic

Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea

OK, technically Christian Pulisic wasn’t a summer 2019 transfer, but bear with us for a moment. After signing in January, the American was loaned back to Borussia Dortmund until the end of the 2018/2019 season. He has now, however, finally donned the blue shirt of the West London club, playing in their preseason tour and looking like a very special player indeed. Diminutive, strong and pacey, his finishing has also looked clinical and precise in the few games he has been involved in. Chelsea will be missing a great number of goals and assists usually provided by a certain Eden Hazard and so it’s up to Pulisic to both create attacking opportunities for his teammates and score himself. Although he won't be able to fill the void left by the now departed Belgian captain immediately, he has all the qualities to develop into a hugely important player for the club. At just 20 years old, he appears to be one of a handful of great attacking prospects and under the tutelage of Chelsea legend Frank Lampard he will undoubtedly reach his full potential in the years to come.

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