The pull of the Premier League is arguably at an all-time high, with world football’s most watched league able to attract big names and star signings each summer.
Whilst the division’s ‘Big Six’ tend to dominate the transfer talk, there’s been plenty of exciting business conducted across the rest of the Premier League this summer.
We’ve decided to look at six of the best signings made by non ‘Big Six’ clubs.
Six exciting Premier League signings made by non ‘Big Six’ clubs this summer:
Moussa Diaby – Aston Villa
Aston Villa have had one of the most impressive summer transfer windows, with Unai Emery moulding his squad ahead of his first full campaign in charge. Emery’s arrival sparked an upturn in form for Villa last season to secure Europa Conference League football and Moussa Diaby has been the headline arrival of their summer window.
Europe’s top clubs had tracked the France winger during his time at Bayer Leverkusen, but it’s Villa who secured a deal to sign Diaby for a club-record fee of £51.9m. Diaby scored 14 goals and provided 11 assists in all competitions for Leverkusen last season and has began his Villa career in electric form, scoring twice and creating another goal in his first four Premier League appearances.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) August 29, 2023
Diaby’s arrival has already added another dynamic to the Aston Villa attack, with the winger having formed encouraging early understandings with the likes of Matty Cash and Leon Bailey.
“Moussa’s adaptation is going fast but he needs this adaptation,” Unai Emery told the club’s official website.
“Each match for him, to know his teammates better, is very important. He is a player being versatile for us and I’m going to use him for the next matches and over the season in different positions.
“It’s very important for him and the team his capacity to assist and score goals. His qualities are adding to us being stronger in our squad.”
Pau Torres – Aston Villa
Another statement signing from Aston Villa, with Pau Torres having been linked with Europe’s wealthiest clubs in recent transfer windows.
Villa capitalised on Torres’ contract situation to sign the defender for a fee in the region of £33m, as Emery sought to reunite with a player he previously worked with at Villarreal. Torres won the Europa League under the now Villa boss in 2020/21, before a run to the Champions League semi-finals the following season.
The 26-year-old’s arrival will aid Emery’s desire to build from the back with the left-footed centre-back having led La Liga for touches (2,560), passes completed (1,846) and passes in the final-third (275) among all central defenders last season, while ranking second for chances created (14).
He is one of several eye-catching arrivals at Villa Park this summer, with Youri Tielemans, Nicolo Zaniolo and Clement Lenglet having all added quality to Emery’s improving side. A real run at the Premier League’s top six and in the Conference League will be the target this season.
Ansu Fati – Brighton
Brighton pulled off one of the biggest shocks of the transfer window late on, after agreeing a deal to sign Ansu Fati on a season-long loan deal from Barcelona.
Regarded as one of Spanish football’s best talents, Fati became the national side’s youngest ever goalscorer when netting against Ukraine, aged just 17 years and 311 days, in 2020.
Such was the regard in which he was held, Fati was handed Lionel Messi’s number ten shirt upon the latter’s exit from the Camp Nou.
Fati’s development has slowed with injuries having had a role in his inconsistency at Barcelona, but the talent remains and Brighton’s capture of the winger can be considered a coup. Still just 20, Fati could thrive in Roberto De Zerbi’s attack-minded side and can look forward to featuring in European competition for the Seagulls this season.
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) September 1, 2023
Brighton have lost some big names during the summer window, but the signing of Fati on loan from one of Europe’s biggest clubs is an indication of the club’s continued, and admired, upward progress.
Beto – Everton
Everton’s search for a striker has been ended after the €30m signing of Beto from Udinese, with the Portuguese powerhouse appearing a fine fit for Sean Dyche’s tactical approach.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s fitness concerns and Neal Maupay’s profligacy had made the signing of a centre-forward important, and Beto made an immediate impact on debut to raise hopes he can be the solution to Everton’s goalscoring woes.
The 25-year-old came off the bench to equalise as Everton came from behind to beat Doncaster in the Carabao Cup and, while there will be tougher tests than the team currently bottom of the Football League, he showed a range of attributes that look tailor-made for this team.
— Everton (@Everton) August 30, 2023
A threat in the air and in behind with his pace and size, Beto could be the focal point Everton have lacked in Calvert-Lewin’s absence.
Sandro Tonali – Newcastle
Newcastle’s business has again been considered, though the arrival of Sandro Tonali has injected real quality into an already impressive midfield.
The Italian reached the Champions League semi-finals with AC Milan last season and will be part of Newcastle’s venture into the competition this, having signed in a deal worth around £55m. He has proven pedigree on that stage, having led the competition for big chances created (9) last season, while ranking third for overall opportunities created,
Comparisons to Andrea Pirlo during his early emergence were predictable but not entirely accurate, with Tonali’s game built on dynamism and drive more than elegance in midfield.
He marked his debut with a goal against Aston Villa after just six minutes and was influential throughout as Newcastle began the season with a 5-1 win at St James’ Park. Alongside Bruno Guimarães and Joelinton, Newcastle now have a midfield trio with the hustle and talent to compete with the Premier League’s best.
SANDRO TONALI ON HIS DEBUT!!!
DREAM START 💫 pic.twitter.com/bWtq4jVBNG
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 12, 2023
Mohammed Kudus – West Ham
Whisper it quietly, but West Ham might just have sold Declan Rice and improved their midfield this summer.
James Ward-Prowse and Edson Alvarez appear well-suited to the demands of David Moyes and combine hard-work with technique, but the arrival of Mohammed Kudus from Ajax is one that has excited the East End.
The Ghana international scored 18 goals in all competitions for Ajax last season and has thrived in a number of advanced roles, his ability to adapt and perform in multiple positions adding variety to the West Ham side.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) September 12, 2022
An elite dribbler, Kudus averaged three successful dribbles per 90 in the Eredivisie last season. For context, that’s a higher average than any player in the Premier League managed last season, with Allan Saint-Maximin (2.3), Wilfried Zaha (2) and Marcus Tavernier (2) topping the rankings in English football.
Kudus is full of purpose and willing to let fly with shots on goal, all the ingredients to make him a fans’ favourite at the London Stadium.