The transfer market has already been incredibly busy this summer with no signs of a slowdown for English clubs in particular, especially given Manchester City’s promise of wanting to add class and quality to a squad that seems to be on a downward spiral. Without going into to too much speculation, we decided to look at five Premier League transfers that have already overcome the speculation hurdle to join their respective clubs.
One of the obvious places to start is Manchester, where United have added one of Europe’s hottest prospects, with a player who is sure to prove his worth to every fantasy football connoisseur. 21-year old Dutch winger and shooting star Memphis Depay joined the Red Devils for a fee of €27.5 million, and this figure might eventually turn out to be more than modest, for a player who is exciting, gifted and prolific. The young Dutchman scored 22 goals and provided six assists in the Eredivisie during PSV Eindhoven’s run to the league title. Despite his partially controversial reputation, Depay only received two bookings and no sending-offs in these games. As far as bold statements go, one might even argue that Depay is a more complete player now than Cristiano Ronaldo was at this age; something that will surely excite the United faithful.
At Manchester United, Depay will not necessarily replace anyone, but potentially provide the type of width that the Old Trafford audience expects on a regular basis. In this sense, there will also be less pressure on club record signing Angel di Maria who is likely to benefit from Depay’s arrival. In essence, the likes of Wayne Rooney can expect lots of assists, whilst the Dutchman is just as likely to contribute to the club’s rise with several goals.
With the purchase of Brazil international Roberto Firmino, Liverpool have also managed to add a certain level of excitement to their midfield game. The playmaker joined the club for a slightly exaggerated fee of €41 million, but the 23-year old possesses skills that might more than justify his price-tag. Firmino just concluded his second most productive season in a Hoffenheim shirt, scoring seven goals and providing ten assists in 33 Bundesliga games. Liverpool fans can look forward to the player’s assists rather than his ability to score, although English defences might arguably offer him more space to score than their German counterparts. Although the player might need time to settle, he is talented and determined enough to become a key player soon, and his compatriot Coutinho will play a key role in helping Firmino to settle.
Stoke City recently added Spanish striker Joselu to their squad, after paying Bundesliga side Hannover a fee of €8 million; a piece of business that might prove to be one of the summer’s most intelligent. The 25-year old former Real Madrid player joins the Potters with a recommendation of 22 goals and eight assists across three years and 79 appearances in the Bundesliga. Although the figures might initially sound not too impressive, Joselu is likely to surprise quite a few pundits, especially given how well he is physically suited to the Premier League, with a height of 1,92m and his strong presence in the air. The player is technically gifted and will benefit from compatriot Bojan, with whom he is likely to establish some great link-up play.
Etienne Capoue is another player who is likely to collect a significant amount of fantasy football points this summer. He leaves Spurs to join newly-promoted Watford, where he will surely boss the defensive midfield position. What can be expected from the 26-year old France international is accurate passing and some great tackling. Capoue struggled to make an impact at Spurs and was limited to only 24 Premier League appearances in two years. At Watford, the €8.9 million purchase is likely to turn around his fortunes and will be one of the Premier League midfielders to look out for.
Finally, West Ham recently managed to pull one out of the hat, when they announced the signing of attacking midfielder and France international Dimitri Payet for a fee of €15 million. The 28-year old joins the Hammers from French giants Olympique Marseille. In Ligue 1, Payet had an incredibly productive season, supplying an impressive 21 assists and seven goals in 36 games. In other words, West Ham are getting someone who will feed the likes of Enner Valencia with a range of passes that are sure to break down any Premier League defence. Ultimately, Payet’s presence will create more opportunities for the club’s strikers to score goals. This is a great purchase by West Ham and might turn out to be the buy of the season.