The Premier League’s summer transfer window delivered some surprises and rebuffs, with some clubs leaving it late until deadline day while others wrapping up their business early on.
Arsenal splashed a mammoth £156.8m on six new recruits, followed by the Manchester clubs, who spent a combined £233.7m in the recently-concluded transfer window. Aston Villa and Chelsea also invested well to bolster their squads, while the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Everton and Southampton were among the few clubs to keep their finances largely intact.
In a market with premium price tags and bloated wages, there were clubs that made some smart buys and snapped up free agents. So at the end of all this, let’s take a moment to look at the top five Premier League transfers that happened in the transfer window.
Top Premier League transfers in the summer transfer window
1. Raphael Varane—Real Madrid to Manchester United
In the last couple of years, Manchester United have made some really smart signings in the transfer window. The pattern continued in this summer’s transfer window as well, with the Reds pulling off some unbelievable deals for reasonable prices.
One of those was Raphael Varane, who ended his decade-long illustrious time with Real Madrid to join Manchester United in a £41m deal in July. Indeed, in a career that has seen him win four Champions League trophies, three LaLiga titles and the 2018 World Cup with France, Varane, 28, has arrived at Old Trafford at the peak of his powers and looks ready to become the club’s defensive lynchpin.
At the end of the day, pretty much every manager in Europe would have been extremely happy to build their defence around the French international. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, though, has Varane at his disposal and going by his assured display against Wolves at Molineux last weekend, the United boss can feel the £41m has been spent well.
2. Jadon Sancho—Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United
Manchester United fixed one of their main weaknesses—the right-wing position—by signing Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund for £73m.
One of Europe’s hottest young talents, Sancho, 21, is a wide player with speed, class, quality and solid top-level experience, even at such a tender age. The 20-time English champions have done incredibly well to negotiate a £73m deal and can now spread the cost over the next five years.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side still has a lot to learn, but Sancho is mature beyond his years. Anyone who has watched the England international play for both Dortmund and the national team will tell that he is worth every bit of his £73m transfer fee.
3. Romelu Lukaku—Inter Milan to Chelsea
It is no secret that Chelsea struggled to score goals last season regardless of having a potent attack. Thomas Tuchel decided to address his squad’s glaring hole, sharpening the Blues’ attack by signing Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan for a staggering £97.5m.
Over the past couple of years, Romelu Lukaku, 28, has established himself as one of the most complete centre-forwards in the continent. The big Belgian’s pace, power and physicality with clinical finishing saw him score goals at a frighteningly consistent rate at Inter Milan.
At Inter, he racked up 64 goals and 16 assists in 95 games across all competitions. Lukaku has taken his game to another level under the guidance of former Inter boss Antonio Conte and has already made his mark on his return to Chelsea.
With his goal-scoring prowess and other elements to his game, the Belgian could guide the Blues to the Premier League title.
4. Jack Grealish—Aston Villa to Manchester City
Manchester City wanted a prolific goalscorer, and after chasing Tottenham striker Harry Kane throughout the window, they eventually failed in replacing Sergio Aguero. This left Pep Guardiola with Jack Grealish as his only marquee signing.
The most exciting English talent with Premier League pedigree, Jack Grealish’s acquisition in a £100m deal from Aston Villa saw City shatter the British transfer record. The 25-year-old creative midfielder takes his talents from Midlands to Manchester, where he will be a key cog in Guardiola’s attack.
Becoming a part of City’s breathtaking attack alongside Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez and Kevin De Bruyne, Grealish has every chance to take his game to the next level under Guardiola.
5. Cristiano Ronaldo—Juventus to Manchester United
No one saw Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United homecoming! From being heavily linked with a move to Manchester City to making a sensational return to Old Trafford, the summer transfer window saw it all.
Arguably the greatest player to grace the game, Ronaldo, 36, is returning to Manchester not like how he left 12 years ago. His game has been transformed over the years and there’s no one who can question the Portuguese megastar’s ability to put the ball in the back of the net. With over 670 career club goals and 30 major honours, Ronaldo will be an invaluable addition to a relatively young Manchester United team.
It feels like Solskjaer is building something special at Old Trafford. The Norwegian seems to be steering the club in the right direction, and Ronaldo could be the missing piece in the Red Devils’ jigsaw.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.