Despite the ongoing pandemic, Premier League clubs still splashed the cash in the latest summer transfer window.
In total, it is estimated that the 20 sides spent around £1.3b on 115 permanent signings during the latest window.
Chelsea were the heaviest spender of the window, with the Blues reportedly splashing around £226.1m on signings.
Manchester City and Leeds were also pretty heavy spenders whilst it would be Burnley, who didn’t pay for a single player, coming bottom of the money-spent list.
Now, with around two months of 2020/21 under our belt, we are starting to get a good idea of who made some wise investments in the delayed window and who has wasted their money.
Of course, some players may not have had time to reach their full potential yet, whether that be due to injuries, Covid or just getting used to a new league.
But based on the displays we have seen so far, here are 101’s top 5 summer Premier League transfers.
5: Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins
First up on our list is Aston Villa’s signing of Ollie Watkins from Championship outfit, Brentford.
Villa, of course, avoided relegation last season by the skin of their teeth.
Dean Smith’s side had a lot of problems all over the pitch, with one of the more obvious a lack of a true goalscoring centre-forward.
Obviously, Villa were not helped by the fact Wesley picked up a serious injury in January which ruled him out for the remainder of the season.
But even before that, the Brazilian had netted just five goals in 21 league outings.
The Lions then opted to sign Mbwana Samatta in January. But the forward also struggled to adapt to the Premier League, netting just one in 14 outings.
As a result, it was quite clear that Aston Villa were in need of some firepower up top if they were to avoid another relegation scrap this time around.
And in Ollie Watkins, that is exactly what they have found.
Despite having zero Premier League experience to his name pre-2020/21, Watkins has taken to the English top-flight like a duck to water, notching an impressive six goals and one assist in seven outings.
To put that into perspective, Villa’s top scorer in the entirety of the 2019/20 PL campaign was Jack Grealish with eight.
Ollie Watkins has scored goals in games in the Premier League this season.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) November 9, 2020
4: Arsenal’s Gabriel
Like Watkins, Arsenal’s signing of Gabriel saw a club address a clear weak point in their squad.
The Gunners’ centre-backs have, for some time, been pretty dismal.
The likes of Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis and David Luiz can put a decent shift in on occasion, and credit should be given to Mikel Arteta for getting the best out of these players.
But it was quite clear that if the north Londoners wanted to return to their former glory, they needed better quality at centre-back.
And in Gabriel, they have found that at a bargain price.
Despite being fairly young at 22 and having no prior Premier League experience, Gabriel slotted into Arsenal’s backline with ease.
The Brazilian even earned the MOTM award on his league debut vs Fulham and has since gone on to put on several commanding displays, including vs Manchester United:
Gabriel’s game by numbers vs. Man Utd:
92% pass accuracy
7 duels won
5 tackles (most)
5 ball recoveries
1 clean sheet
A colossal display. pic.twitter.com/HP1jRdohuj
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 1, 2020
Gabriel’s impressive form has also seen him pick up back-to-back Player of the Month awards, as well as playing a huge role in Arsenal currently boasting the joint second-best defence in the Premier League.
Player of the Month – September
Player of the Month – October
A great start to life in London for Gabriel!
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) November 12, 2020
3: Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech
A pre-season injury has limited Premier League fans’ exposure to Hakim Ziyech this campaign.
But from what we have seen so far, a case could be made that Ziyech has been one of the bargains of the window.
The Blues paid £33.3m for the Moroccan back in February, which looks set to be a real steal considering they look to have landed themselves a Champions League quality forward who has hit the ground running in one of the toughest leagues in the world.
In just four league outings this term, two of which were as a sub, Ziyech has already managed to score one and provide two assists.
The 27-year-old’s introduction also looks to have been the final piece in Frank Lampard’s attacking jigsaw, with Kai Havertz now able to feature more regularly in the centre of the pitch, where he looks much more comfortable.
Ziyech’s link-up play with Ben Chilwell has also been very impressive, as shown in Chelsea’s latest win vs Sheffield United:
Every touch of wizardry from Hakim Ziyech against Sheffield United! pic.twitter.com/YoQBtTPS1n
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) November 12, 2020
2: Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy
Our next player is once again a Chelsea signing.
But this time, it is the Blues’ backline which has been improved greatly.
Chelsea’s biggest issue last term was, of course, the number of goals they conceded.
Kepa’s displays were particularly concerning and his lack of confidence looked to be affecting those around him.
In Edouard Mendy, though, Chelsea appear to have found themselves a commanding, solid shot-stopper for just £22m – less than a third of what they paid for Kepa.
And Mendy’s impact has already been clear for all to see, with the African keeping six clean sheets in eight outings for the Londoners this campaign.
Granted, some credit should be given to Thiago Silva for Chelsea’s improvements at the back.
But Silva is 36 and is unlikely to play every game this season and could well be closing out his career in the next year or so.
Mendy, on the other hand, is more than capable of playing pretty much every tie and is just 28.
5 – In all competitions, Chelsea have kept five consecutive clean sheets for the first time since October 2010, whilst they last started a Champions League campaign with three-straight clean sheets in 2009-10. Mendy. pic.twitter.com/v2niOpdeMG
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 4, 2020
1: Arsenal’s Thomas Partey
For years Arsenal have been crying out for a strong, defensively sound midfielder who can carry the ball up the pitch.
And in Thomas Partey, the Gunners finally look to have found their man.
The African despite his limited appearances, has had a clear impact on Arsenal, offering something none of Dani Ceballos, Mohamed Elneny or Granit Xhaka can.
And though he still hasn’t had too much time to adapt to English football, Gunners fans have already seen just how impressive Partey can be from his staring display vs Manchester United, in which he kept Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes extremely quiet and prevented a number of counter-attacks.
What makes Partey’s signing more impressive is the fact that Arsenal paid just over £45m for him, which in today’s market is a real steal for someone of his quality.
Thomas Partey for Arsenal in the first half vs. Man Utd:
Most passes (33)
Most passes in the opp half (23)
Most take-ons completed (3)
Most ball recoveries (8)
Dominating the middle of the park. pic.twitter.com/EyfuhsTJvO
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 1, 2020
Honourable mentions: Thiago Silva, Emiliano Martinez, Ferran Torres, Diogo Jota.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, Premier League clubs still splashed the cash in the latest summer transfer window. In total, it is estimated that the 20 sides spent around £1.3b on 115 permanent signings during the latest window. Chelsea were the heaviest spender of the window, with the Blues reportedly splashing around £226.1m on signings. ManchesterFootball (soccer) greatest goals and highlights | 101 Great Goals – Feed