Some time around May, some British outlets reported Arsenal have only £40-45 million to spend over the course of the summer transfer window. To many, it made sense considering the Gunners had missed the bus on playing in the coveted UEFA Champions League after finishing fifth last season. But a few months later, those reports were refuted by the club directors. There was no better way of rubbishing those reports than by announcing Nicolas Pepe for a club record £72 million.
Elsewhere, Everton, too, did some pretty good business in preparation for the 2019-20 season. They brought in Andre Gomes from Barcelona, Fabian Delph from Manchester City and Alex Iwobi from Arsenal on deadline day. But their best business is quite easily the signing of Moise Kean from Juventus.
Presenting the top five signings of the summer transfer window in no particular order:
Kean (Juventus to Everton)
Where red side of Liverpool remained largely silent in the transfer department, the blue half made some shrewd signings over the course of the summer. Kean, 19, joined Everton for reported £29 million. No disrespect to Everton but its baffling they could pull this off and even more surprisingly for under 30 million.
He donned the headlines for being the target of racist abuse by Cagliari fans during a Serie A game. But more importantly, he scored six goals and created an assist for Juventus from March onwards. He also scored two goals for the Italy senior side including one against Finland that made him the youngest player to score for them since 1958.
With Juventus not short of options in attack, letting go of Kean seems to be a short-term vision from the Italian champions. But with Everton snapping him up, it looks like they finally have the long overdue replacement for Romelu Lukaku.
Joao Cancelo (Juventus to Manchester City)
Even though Manchester City made a bigger signing in Rodri from Atletico Madrid, Joao Cancelo is a smart signing in terms of strengthening the squad and the business it represents. Not only did the defending champions get the right-back, they also got rid of Danilo in a cash-plus-swap deal. In effect, it ended up costing City a reported £34.1 million.
Cancelo, at 25, signed a contract until 2025 in what is a sign of future prospect that Pep Guardiola and director of football Txiki Begiristain saw in the Portuguese.
Cancelo, besides coming up as a strong option for the flank occupied by Kyle Walker, also strengthens their defence which has looked vulnerable on the wings. Additionally, Cancelo can play further forward as well as at left-back, making him a versatile option to have in one's ranks.
Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon to Tottenham)
Spurs have gone from making no signing last season to bringing in Tanguy Ndombele for a club record fee in this window. And yet, the £55.5 million that Spurs have spent on the midfielder don't seem much considering the market.
Tottenham had concerns in centre of midfield last season with Victor Wanyama chipping in to partner Moussa Sissoko as the season stretched on and injuries started to kick in. Mauricio Pochettino alluded to him as "one of the most unbelievable talents in the history of football” and at 22, the Frenchman has in him to offer a decade of dominance.
68% - Tanguy Ndombele completed 63 of the 92 dribbles he attempted in Ligue 1 last season, resulting in a 68% success rate - this is the highest success rate of any player in Europe's top five league last season to attempt as many dribbles. Sixpence. pic.twitter.com/LbPDYvwmiO
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 3, 2019
Statistically speaking, Ndombele’s pass completion rate in the French League last season, according to WhoScored, was 89.1 percent or almost nine out of 10 passes. Alongside Harry Winks and Sissoko, Ndombele could be an interesting partnership.
Kieran Tierney (Celtic to Arsenal)
Defence is one of the areas where Arsenal have looked vulnerable for quite some time. It got worse with Laurent Koscielny expressing willingness to exit and doing so eventually, Per Mertesacker retiring last season, Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis and Sead Kolasinac looking shaky. Enter Kieran Tierney.
With the £25 million deal on deadline day, many have claimed it is a "bargain". An academy graduate in Glasgow, the 22-year-old could be the much-needed reinforcement that the club sought.
Last season he played 20 games in the Scottish league and 14 across qualifying and tournament proper in Europe. He scored one goal while providing six assists having accumulated almost 3500 minutes played.
Youri Tielemans (Monaco to Leicester City)
Between counting cash for the blockbuster sale of Harry Maguire to Manchester United, Leicester City made their shock move in bringing in Youri Tielemans from Monaco. As with Kean, it is surprising that the player went under the radar and sealed a permanent move with the Foxes.
He made 13 appearances during the six-month loan spell, scoring three goals. His display resulted in some strong potential suitors in Manchester United and Spurs but the Belgian opted to stick with Leicester.
To the credit of the 2015-16 champions, they've done incredible business as well. Besides making Tielemans permanent, they collected the big bucks for Maguire and brought in Ayoze Perez for 30 million to join Jamie Vardy upfront.
Special mentions: Pablo Fornals (from Villarreal to West Ham), Maguire (from Leicester to Manchester United) and Rodri (from Atletico Madrid to Manchester City).
Updated Date: Aug 09, 2019 16:50:56 IST