Grading the Biggest Transfer Moves This Window
It has been a surprisingly quiet summer in the Premier League transfer market, with the headlines dominated by those who haven’t moved rather than those who have.
However, there have been several astute new signings, some for club-record transfer fees, who should flourish in the Premier League this season.
Here I grade the players that will have the biggest impacts on their new clubs this season.
Whether Bale stays or he flees to Spain, Tottenham can be assured they now boast a striker good enough to lift them in to the top four.
The Spanish international has real pedigree, enough to persuade Tottenham to break their transfer record and pay £26 million for him even though he will turn 29 this season.
Soldado, however, guarantees goals, scoring 29 in 60 appearances in two years at Getafe and then 59 in 101 games in three years at Valencia. Already he has 6 goals in 11 internationals for Spain.
In his first appearance for Tottenham yesterday he scored a crucial penalty in their 1-0 win at Crystal Palace.
As Chelsea and Arsenal continue to hunt for a striker, Tottenham have already found the man who could lead them into the Champions League places this season.
Impact this season: 9/10
Jesus Navas could potentially have the biggest impact of Manchester City’s quartet of new signings.
The Spaniard could also instigate a change in City’s style of play, introducing greater width and adding unpredictability to their attacking options.
A natural winger with a direct style and genuine pace, Navas gives City a quality they didn’t possess last season, when opposition teams found they could stifle them in midfield.
As Navas told the Manchester Evening News, “I like to play wide. I want to be dangerous with my pace and my dribbling skills.”
If he can do this, and provide the chances for Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and new signings Stefan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo, City should go close to regaining the Premier League title.
Impact this season: 8/10
The Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony has predicted that Dwight Gayle, who he sold to Crystal Palace for £4.5 million, could make a late surge into England’s World Cup squad.
This was not naked hype in an effort to extract the biggest price: The deal had already been done when MacAnthony told Talksport:
He is international quality for me. The kid is 22. He could be anything. His technical ability is unbelievable.
I expect him to play for England. If Roy Hodgson sees this boy, and he does the job I think he is going to do, I would hope he is in the World Cup squad next year.
The 22-year-old striker is a raw and hungry talent, blessed with searing pace and a natural goalscoring instinct.
Last season he scored 13 goals in 29 games for a struggling Peterborough side in the Championship, and with Palace’s leading scorer Glenn Murray still out injured, Gayle’s ability to score goals could help the south Londoners avoid relegation.
Impact this season 7/10
Ricky Van Wolfswinkel
Great name—and potentially great player.
The signing of the Dutch striker this summer for an almost reasonable fee of £8.5 million is the main reason Norwich City are being widely tipped to extend their stay in the Premier League and force their way into the top half of the table.
Just one game into this season Van Wolfswinkel has shown his importance, scoring on his debut in Norwich’s 2-2 draw with Everton at Carrow Road on the opening day of the season.
Over the last four seasons, the 24-year-old Dutchman has proven a consistently prolific force, first for Utrecht in his native Holland then at Sporting Lisbon.
If he continues on that upward trajectory while wearing canary yellow, Norwich could enjoy a very good season in the Premier League.
Impact this season: 7/10
The new Everton manager Roberto Martinez knows the Spanish market very well, naturally, and has pulled off quite a coup in luring Gerard Deulofeu from the fringes of the Barcelona side on a season-long loan.
This week, when talking to the Liverpool Echo, Martinez could not disguise his delight at capturing Deulofeu:
To say that Gerard is a talented boy is an understatement. He’s got incredible potential, that really raw talent that any fan wants to watch.
We need to be a little bit patient because Gerard needs to adapt to a different way of playing, in a league with a different physicality, but that was always the plan; to give Gerard a steady introduction.
Slowly you’re going to see a player that’s going to develop, grow and give us some incredible memories at Everton, I’m sure.
The 19-year-old is a naturally attacking player still searching for a defined role, but he can play across midfield, on the wing and up front. Last season he scored 18 goals for Barcelona B.
The Spaniard could give Everton the creativity and goals from midfield they would need if Marouane Felliani leaves Goodison Park in the next two weeks.
Impact this season: 7/10