Wednesday , December 1 2021

Who have been the best signings in the Premier League this season?

The transfer window before the 2021-22 season was one of the most exciting in living memory, with plenty of sumptuous stories for football fans to feast on.

The Harry Kane saga dominated headlines for a while but was eventually a damp squib. The acquisitions of Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku by Manchester United FC and Chelsea respectively were considered major moves, but neither player managed to set the world alight in their initial run of games.

So, who have been the signings of the season so far then? Which players have been quietly getting on with business and superbly adapting to life at their new clubs?

Andros Townsend

Last summer, few would have expected to see Andros Townsend’s name in a list of signings of the season. When Everton fans discovered that the 30-year-old was joining the club in the summer, it was probably met with the same level of enthusiasm offered to someone announcing that there’s going to be a new season of Big Brother. This was a major departure from the marquee addition of James Rodriguez the previous year.

Against the odds, the veteran winger got off to an excellent start in the 2021-22 campaign and rapidly won over the Everton faithful. He bagged three goals and two assists in his first seven showings for the Goodison Park club and, most importantly, showed a desire and work rate that was desperately lacking from Rodriguez’s game.

Townsend was one of a few shrewd additions made by the new Toffees manager Rafa Benitez in the summer. The former Newcastle boss has brought some much-needed rigidity at the club, with them looking the right way up the table after a turbulent campaign last time out. As of the 22nd of October, Everton can be backed at 5/2 in the football betting to finish in the Premier League’s top six this term. With players like Townsend in red hot form, this could be a realistic possibility.

Aaron Ramsdale

At the start of the 2021-22 campaign, there was serious cause for concern at Arsenal and many fans were calling for Mikel Arteta’s dismissal. In the first two games of the season, the Gunners lost 2-0 and 5-0 to Chelsea and Manchester City respectively. It was at this point that the manager decided that he needed a drastic change between the sticks, and he opted to replace Bernd Leno with Aaron Ramsdale.

Ramsdale has now seemingly established himself as the number one choice in goal, and in his first five games for the club, he only conceded three goals. More importantly, in those games, the North London side won three and drew two. Not only is the former Sheffield United man an exceptional shot stopper, but his distribution out from the back is superior to Leno’s. Ramsdale has enabled Arsenal to build from defence well and this has had an excellent knock-on effect on the attack.

Jack Grealish

For the £100 million price tag, you’d expect Jack Grealish to make a list of the top signings of the summer. After publicly courting Kane for many weeks, Manchester City were unable to strike up a deal with Tottenham Hotspur and opted to turn their attention elsewhere. Instead of looking for a different striker, though, Pep Guardiola added to his already swelling midfield ranks with the former Aston Villa talisman.

You’d think a midfielder is the last thing that City needed, especially seeing as they already have a variety of highly talented players that operate on Grealish’s preferred left flank. However, the 26-year-old has slotted in seamlessly and has already added new dimensions to his game under Guardiola. City often find themselves up against teams playing a low block, which is something that Grealish wasn’t used to encountering at Villa. However, he has adapted and his technical ability and creative skills have flourished. It seems that Grealish will be a worthy long-term successor to David Silva.

These players have managed to have an immediate impact on their clubs, but it would be wise to reassess at the end of the season to see which signing was the most successful. Some other great additions to keep an eye on include Conor Gallagher at Crystal Palace and Leon Bailey at Aston Villa.

About Arunava Chaudhuri

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