The 2022/23 Premier League campaign has come to an end, and it is now time to evaluate the Premier League top 10 signings based on their performance, price, and expectations
The Premier League clubs spent a record-breaking £2.8 billion ($3.5 billion) on transfers in both windows of the 2022-23 season. Most of the expensive signings, except for those who joined Chelsea, had a significant impact on the season, which was full of surprises and entertainment.
10. Alexander Isak (Newcastle, £63m)
Isak faced the challenge of being Newcastle’s most expensive player and then suffered a severe muscle injury shortly after joining from Real Sociedad, which kept him out of action until January. However, since his return, the agile Swedish striker has lived up to expectations, impressing opposing defenses with his smooth dribbling and proving to be a valuable asset for Eddie Howe’s team. He has scored an impressive 10 goals in just 14 starts in his debut season in England, and if he can avoid further injuries, he is likely to perform even better in the 2023-24 season, making Newcastle a formidable attacking force.
9. Manuel Akanji (Manchester City, £15m)
Last year, City made some excellent deals with Borussia Dortmund. While Erling Haaland received most of the attention, Akanji has also proven to be a wise acquisition. The Swiss defender quickly surpassed Aymeric Laporte in the hierarchy of centre-backs and has demonstrated himself to be the perfect defender for Pep Guardiola.
Akanji has excelled in various positions, including as a left-back when Nathan Ake was injured. He has been so impressive that City has hardly felt the absence of Ake, who has been one of their most important defenders this season. Additionally, Akanji was purchased for only £15m, which is equivalent to five Harry Maguires with extra money left over.
8. Casemiro (Manchester United, £60m)
After losing their first league two games of the season to Brighton and Brentford, it became apparent that Erik ten Hag needed a strong player to prevent his time with Manchester United from becoming a disaster. Casemiro, a five-time Champions League winner and regular for Brazil, stepped up to the plate. While watching United’s shocking 4-0 defeat to Brentford, he jokingly told his agent that he could solve the team’s problems.
Casemiro has brought strength and dedication to a midfield that was previously lacking, acting as a formidable shield for the defense and providing ample opportunities for the attack. He has also brought a winning mentality to the dressing room, setting the bar for the rest of the team after a disappointing previous season. His influence was significant in the Carabao Cup victory, and he celebrated as if it were a league title. It’s no surprise that United fans adore him.
7. Joao Palhinha (Fulham, £20m)
The midfielder from Portugal has adopted the English football fans’ fondness for tackling and has been actively engaging in challenges throughout the season, making him a popular player at Fulham. Palhinha is currently leading the Premier League in the number of tackles made, surpassing his closest competitor Moises Caicedo by over 50 tackles. His eagerness to regain possession of the ball has been a valuable asset for Marco Silva’s team.
Palhinha has a wealth of experience, having played a crucial role in Sporting CP’s first title win in 19 years in 2021 and being a regular player for the Portugal national team. His aggressive style of play has been one of the main reasons for the team’s impressive comeback to the top flight after being newly promoted.
6. Andreas Pereira (Fulham, £10m)
Marco Silva’s phone call convinced Pereira to return to the Premier League after a successful loan spell in Brazil with Flamengo. Since his £10m transfer from Manchester United, the midfielder has been a great addition to Fulham, taking over as the team’s most creative player after Fabio Carvalho’s departure. He has formed a strong partnership with Aleksandar Mitrovic on the field and has contributed four goals and six assists for Silva’s team. Unfortunately, his season ended abruptly due to an injury sustained during a match against Manchester City. Despite this setback, Pereira proved that he could excel in the top-flight of English football.
5. Lisandro Martinez (Man Utd, £56m)
When the small Argentine player joined the Premier League, he was ridiculed by people like Jamie Carragher, although he later admitted that he was wrong. Many believed that Manchester United had made a mistake by spending a lot of money on a player who appeared physically weak. However, Martinez’s composure while in possession of the ball and his skill in passing the ball into the attack from his own area have compensated for his lack of height. He has changed Manchester United into a team that enjoys having possession of the ball. His significance to Erik ten Hag’s team has been emphasized by their struggles since he broke his metatarsal in mid-April.
4. Oleksandr Zinchenko (Arsenal, £32m)
Arsenal’s Ukrainian player has been dominant in almost all areas of the field. He plays as an inverted left-back, which has given the team an additional presence in midfield and an attacking threat. He has also performed well in important matches, such as the victories over Manchester United and Tottenham, where he had the most touches, passes, and duels won. Zinchenko’s quality, intelligence, and winning mentality, which he developed at City, have been valuable assets for Arsenal. At the beginning of the season, his teammates laughed at his suggestion that they could contend for the title, but Zinchenko’s influence has been a significant factor in Arsenal’s best season in a decade, even though they fell short of winning the title.
3. Sven Botman (Newcastle, £35m)
In January 2022, Newcastle attempted to secure the signing of Botman, a Dutch defender. However, they were unable to finalize the deal until the summer, when they agreed to a £35m transfer fee with Lille. Despite the delay, the acquisition proved to be a wise decision. Botman’s imposing physical presence ensured that Newcastle won the majority of aerial battles, while his composure on the ball allowed the team to launch swift counterattacks. He and Fabian Schar have formed a formidable defensive partnership, resulting in Newcastle boasting the best defense in the league for much of the season, until they were overtaken by Manchester City in May.
2. Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal, £45m)
Although he had a successful track record, Pep Guardiola was never fully convinced that the Brazilian player should be a regular for Manchester City. However, under the guidance of Mikel Arteta, Guardiola’s former assistant coach, he seamlessly integrated into the Arsenal system and played a key role in their unexpected title challenge, which unfortunately fell short. Despite missing three months due to an injury sustained at the World Cup, Gabriel Jesus managed to score 10 goals and provide five assists in his first season for Arsenal. He also acted as a focal point for the team, allowing his teammates to shine by holding the ball up effectively and working well with Bukayo Saka and fellow Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli.
1. Erling Haaland (Manchester City, £51m)
Haaland’s goal-scoring record in Norway, Austria, and Germany was impressive, with him averaging more than a goal per game. However, his ability to maintain this rate in England was doubted. Nevertheless, he has exceeded expectations by having his most prolific season yet, breaking Premier League records and scoring a total of 52 goals in all competitions. Despite concerns that his presence might weaken Manchester City’s overall performance, they have just the historic treble. Despite his high salary, City only paid £51m for Haaland, which is 25% less than what Liverpool paid for Darwin Nunez.
During this transfer window, several players are going to switch teams and obviously, some will have impacts on the teams they will join while others will perform below average.
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