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15 best Premier League signings of the 2023-24 season so far – ranked

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There was plenty of big spending in England over the summer, but only some arrivals have taken to life at their new clubs

The 2023 summer transfer window was another record-breaking moment for Premier League clubs. All in all, the 20 top-flight sides spent over £2 billion ($2.5bn) on new players, smashing the previous all-time highest tally from the previous year.

Chelsea were the biggest contributors to this record splurge, but they weren’t the only club who had an extremely active few weeks. Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham all spent over £200m ($253m) each, while even ‘lesser sides’ like Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest paid out more than £100m ($126m).

However, boasting the most-expensive transfers does not guarantee success and on reflection, the class of 2023 is unlikely to be viewed as a vintage year for new recruits. Kai Havertz, Mason Mount and Andre Onana are just three examples of high-profile new arrivals that have endured mixed starts at their respective new clubs.

It’s not all been bad, though, with plenty of other signings hitting the ground running in the Premier League. Below, goal.com ranks 15 of the best pieces of business completed this summer:

15. Ross Barkley (Luton Town) – Free transfer
After an underwhelming move to Nice last season, it seemed like Ross Barkley’s Premier League career had reached its natural conclusion. However, he was thrust back into the limelight when Luton Town came calling in the summer.

After overcoming some early fitness problems, he’s become a mainstay of the starting line-up in more recent times, providing the Hatters with a sorely-needed X-factor in the middle of the park. Barkley has regularly rolled back the years with some trademark driving runs, providing a reminder of why he was such an exciting prospect when he first broke through at Everton.

14. Thomas Kaminski (Luton Town) – £2.5m ($3.2m)
After surprisingly opting to not make Ethan Horvath’s loan move permanent after the American helped Luton reach the Premier League last season, the Hatters were on the lookout for a new No.1 in the summer.

In the end, Rob Edwards opted to bring in 31-year-old Thomas Kaminski from Blackburn Rovers. While the Belgian has let in a lot of goals so far, as you might expect when you’re playing in a side that concedes an average of 18 shots per game, he has helped keep the score down regularly this season. His ability to get the ball upfield to Luton’s attackers quickly has been similarly important.

13. James Ward-Prowse (West Ham) – £30m ($38m)
There were plenty of onlookers who turned their noses up at Ward-Prowse’s summer move to West Ham, but the English midfielder has proved to be a perfect fit for the Hammers. He got off to an incredible start, racking up two goals and five assists in his first six games for the club, and his pinpoint set-piece delivery is a big reason why David Moyes’ side have been so effective from dead-ball situations this season.

His performances have led to ever-increasing calls for Ward-Prowse to be reintegrated into the England squad. And when you consider Kalvin Phillips isn’t playing at Manchester City and Jordan Henderson is hardly operating at the top level in Saudi Arabia, it’s hard to understand why Gareth Southgate is so reluctant to select him.

12. Mohammed Kudus (West Ham) – £38m ($48m)
West Ham left it late to complete the signing of Kudus this summer and it took the Ghanaian a little bit of time to break into David Moyes’ starting XI properly. His Hammers career kick-started into life at the end of September when he inspired a Europa League comeback against FK TSC, forcing an own goal before scoring one himself in a 3-1 victory.

Since then, he’s firmly established himself as a fan favourite at the London Stadium, exciting supporters with his inventive ball-carrying and bubbling creativity. Losing him to the Africa Cup of Nations will be a significant blow.

11. Joao Pedro (Brighton) – £30m ($38m)
After qualifying for the Europa League for the first time last season, Brighton were in need of reinforcements this summer. Joao Pedro was among eight signings they made, with the Brazilian having the biggest impact so far.

The Brazilian has been spectacular in Europe, scoring in all but one of his side’s group games, including a vital winner against Marseille on matchday six, which ensured the Seagulls progressed to the last-16. He’s been used far less domestically, but has still contributed when called upon, netting a decisive brace against Nottingham Forest in November.

10. Cole Palmer (Chelsea) – £42.5m ($52m)
That Palmer is the only Chelsea player on this list is a depressing indictment of the club’s £450m ($570m) summer transfer splurge. Ironically, his arrival was among the signings greeted with the least enthusiasm when he completed a £42.5m ($52m) switch from Manchester City.

Since then, the 21-year-old has emerged as one of Mauricio Pochettino’s leaders, already netting six times in the Premier League and also registering several assists. His performance against City in November, where he scored a stoppage-time penalty to earn his new side a point, was a significant moment in his development and he’s only kicked on from there, positioning himself as an outside bet for England’s Euro 2024 squad this summer.

9. Moussa Diaby (Aston Villa) – £34.6m ($43.9m)
Two-player strike partnerships are not in vogue at the moment, but Diaby and Aston Villa team-mate Ollie Watkins are doing their utmost to change that – even if they do function in a slightly unorthodox way when playing together. Unai Emery’s attacking pairing has wasted little time building up a telepathic connection since the Frenchman’s €40m (£34.6m) move from Bayer Leverkusen.

Diaby’s incredible pace and trickery is his best asset, with his ability to receive the ball in crowded areas allowing Villa to progress up the pitch while under pressure. There’s plenty of time for him to get even better too, as he continues to contribute to Emery and Co’s refreshing title charge.

8. Pau Torres (Aston Villa) – £33m ($42m)
After missing out on a move to Manchester United in 2022, Torres finally arrived in the Premier League this summer, linking back up with ex-Villarreal manager Emery at Aston Villa. After a slightly shaky opening act in the West Midlands, including a 5-1 defeat to Newcastle on his debut, the Spaniard has gone from strength to strength.

Emery’s potent offside trap has been key in propelling his side into an unlikely title race, with Torres’ reading of the game ensuring this functions correctly. He’s also chipped in with some important goals, netting in a derby draw with Wolves and more recently nodding home a crucial equaliser in a huge win over Tottenham.

7. Dominik Szoboszlai (Liverpool) – £60m ($76m)
Following the departures of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, Liverpool desperately needed marquee midfield signing Szoboszlai to hit the ground running at Anfield. The Hungarian has risen to the challenge admirably, playing every second of his new side’s first 10 Premier League games and earning plenty of plaudits for his all-action performances.

Some onlookers even likened him to Reds legend Steven Gerrard – comparisons that might be a little premature considering Szoboszlai has struggled to hit the same heights more recently. However, there’s no reason to be too concerned yet; he still looks like an extremely shrewd signing.

6. Pedro Porro (Tottenham) – £39m ($49m)
After arriving at the club on loan from Sporting CP in January, Porro made a permanent move to Spurs this summer. The Tottenham faithful’s reaction to the news was muted, with the Spaniard failing to impress during the second half of the 2022-23 season.

This campaign, though, Porro has been a man transformed. Under the guidance of Ange Postecoglou, the 24-year-old has turned into one of the most effective inverted full-backs in the Premier League. This is quite remarkable, considering he was identified by Antonio Conte as a flying wing-back – a role that could not be further removed from what he’s doing this season.

5. Micky van de Ven (Tottenham) – £34.5m ($43.7m)
Spurs played a blinder in beating Bayern Munich and Liverpool to the signing of Van de Ven this summer. The Dutch centre-back has been an instant hit in north London, with his mobility allowing Postecoglou to implement his infamous high defensive line.

After making a superb start to the season, Van de Ven pulled up with a hamstring injury against Chelsea in November. Although Postecoglou’s charges have recovered more recently, they were massively unsettled by their defensive lynchpin’s absence at first – underlining his importance to the team.

4. Jeremy Doku (Manchester City) – £55.5m ($70m)
Doku has been longlisted as a future superstar for some time, but even still, his summer move to Manchester City came slightly out of leftfield, considering he’d long been linked with West Ham and only managed six league goals during the previous campaign for Rennes.

But Pep Guardiola’s tutelage seems to have unlocked something special in the winger this season. Doku’s fearless directness has added a new element to City’s attack, piling the pressure on Jack Grealish. His best display so far came against Bournemouth, when he provided a staggering four assists as well as scoring the opener.

3. Guglielmo Vicario (Tottenham) – £17.2m ($21.8m)
Strangely, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham all decided to search for a new goalkeeper this summer. And while David Raya, Robert Sanchez and Andre Onana have all endured mixed starts at their new clubs, Vicario has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water.

Not only has the Italian’s shot-stopping been exemplary, he’s also played out from the back as competently as most goalkeepers in the division. Snapping up a player of his quality for just over £17m increasingly looks like a stroke of genius.

2. James Maddison (Tottenham) – £40m ($51m)
Maddison seemed like excellent value for Spurs this summer at just £40m ($51m) – and so it has proved. After Harry Kane rode off into the Bavarian sun, Postecoglou was in desperate need of a need talisman in north London. Maddison has risen to that challenge, embracing the Australian’s invigorating new playing style and acting as the team’s creative fulcrum.

Had he not suffered an untimely injury against Chelsea in November, a result which coincided with Spurs’ downturn in form, he would have been in with a serious shout of taking the No.1 spot in our list.

1. Declan Rice (Arsenal) – £100m ($125m)
The alternative reality where Manchester City beat Arsenal to Rice’s signature is a scary prospect. In this universe, there’s little doubt Pep Guardiola’s side would be streaks ahead in the Premier League title race by now, such has been the England international’s transformational impact at the Emirates.

Rice has been an all-action presence in the heart of the Gunners midfield, breaking up the play, driving forward and keeping his side composed in possession. He’s even chipped in with several important goals, grabbing dramatic winners against Manchester United and Luton, as well as netting a vital equaliser in their draw with Chelsea.

There were a few eyebrows raised at his £100m ($125m) price tag, but Rice has definitively silenced his doubters already. If Arsenal end their Premier League trophy drought this May, their marquee summer signing will have been a huge reason why.

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Transfers

Transfer: Trabzonspor keen to extend Onuachu’s loan for another season

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Transfer: Trabzonspor keen to extend Onuachu’s loan for another season

Trabzonspor want to take Southampton forward Paul Onuachu on loan for another season.

Onuachu joined the Turkish Super Lig side on a season-long loan last summer.

The Nigeria international has registered nine goals and three assists in 17 league appearances for Trabzonspor.

The Black Sea Storm are keen to sign the striker permanently but cannot meet up with Southampton’s €15 million valuation.

According to a report in Transfermarkt, Trabzonspor president, Ertugrul Dogan is pushing hard to have Onuachu at the club at least for another season.

A return to Southampton is highly unlikely for the lanky hitman, who struggled to establish himself during his six-month stay at the club.

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Transfers

Transfer: Napoli identify top striker to replace Osimhen

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Transfer: Napoli identify top striker to replace Osimhen

Napoli have identified Lille striker, Jonathan David as the top target to replace departing Victor Osimhen.

Despite signing a contract extension with Napoli last December, Osimhen is set to leave the Italian side at the end of the season.

Paris Saint-Germain is leading the race to sign him as a replacement for Real Madrid-bound Kylian Mbappe.

Chelsea are also said to be interested in signing the Nigeria international as their marquee forward signing to take the club to the next level.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Jonathan David is the top preference for Napoli.

David has scored 23 goals and provided 7 assists in 39 games so far this season, mirroring his output from the 2022-2023 campaign.

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Transfers

Transfer: Newcastle, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Barcelona, others battle for Ndidi

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Transfer: Newcastle, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Barcelona, others battle for Ndidi

Super Eagles midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi could be playing for Tottenham Hotspur or Newcastle United next season.

The two Premier League sides have joined a host of other European clubs keeping close tabs on the Nigeria international.

The 27-year-old, who is helping Leicester City make a swift return to the Premier League, is currently in the last months of his contract at the King Power Stadium.

Ndidi could leave on a free transfer after the expiration of his contract with the Foxes.

Tottenham, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Brighton & Hove, and Wolverhampton Wanderers are all monitoring the situation of Ndidi, according to HITC.

With Ndidi’s experience, Leicester City have worked themselves into a position to return to the top-flight of English football next season.

DAILY POST reported yesterday that La Liga giants, Barcelona are keen on bringing the Nigeria international in the summer.

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