Premier League clubs have broken transfer records once again this summer, but that does not mean there’s not value to be found in the market.
Several sides have snapped up cost-efficient additions, with free agents a prominent part of any summer transfer window. We’ve decided to look at six of the most intriguing out-of-contract signings made by Premier League clubs so far this summer.
Six of the most interesting free transfers in the Premier League this summer:
Youri Tielemans (Aston Villa)
Aston Villa moved quickly to raid relegated Midlands rivals Leicester City this summer, securing the services of Youri Tielemans on a free transfer.
The arrival of the Belgium international can be considered a coup for Villa, with Tielemans having been linked with several ‘Big Six’ sides before his stock fell during Leicester’s relegation last season.
Still just 26 and already owner of 60 caps at international level, Tielemans – who signed for Leicester in a £40m deal from Monaco – improves Unai Emery’s squad ahead of Villa’s return to European competition this season.
Aston Villa have put together a superb transfer window 👏
✅ Pau Torres
✅ Nicolo Zaniolo
✅ Youri Tielemans
✅ Moussa Diaby pic.twitter.com/uyO6WJuJSr
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) August 18, 2023
He joins a strong contingent of central midfield options in the Villa squad, alongside Douglas Luiz, Jacob Ramsey, Boubacar Kamara and John McGinn. That quintet was assembled for a combined sum of just £17.7m – that’s incredible value.
Mahmoud Dahoud (Brighton)
Brighton are rebuilding in the centre of the pitch after bringing in £150m from the sales of midfield duo Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister. The Seagulls have chosen a more cost-effective replacement in Mahmoud Dahoud, who has arrived from Borussia Dortmund on a Bosman deal.
The 27-year-old spent six seasons at Dortmund and saw fitness issues hinder his time with the club, but De Zerbi is confident the twice-capped Germany international can be a ‘top player’ for his side after an impressive debut in the club’s 4-1 win over Luton.
“Dahoud is a top player,” De Zerbi said after the win over Luton.
“He needs time to reach the best physical condition but he is a top player. He is a free agent and for it I think people can forget him.
“It’s not like this. He is still very important for us.”
— Mahmoud Dahoud (@modahoud8) August 20, 2023
If Dahoud can maintain fitness and find form in the Premier League, he could be one of the best value deals of the summer window. James Milner has also arrived at Brighton on a free from Liverpool and his adaptability has already proven valuable.
Jefferson Lerma (Crystal Palace)
Crystal Palace have been relatively quiet in the transfer window to date, but made an early move to sign Jefferson Lerma from Bournemouth.
The Colombia international was named as Bournemouth’s Player of the Season after the Cherries secured another season of top-flight football last term, but has decided to move on search of a new challenge after his contract expired on the south coast.
Lerma made an immediate impression with a man-of-the-match performance on debut against Sheffield United, producing a typically combative showing at the heart of the club’s midfield.
Alongside Cheick Doucouré, Palace have a defensive midfield double-act to shutdown opposition sides.
This is a Jefferson Lerma appreciation post. pic.twitter.com/N9kQcNTW5L
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) August 12, 2023
Adama Traore (Fulham)
Adama Traore is one of the Premier League’s great enigmas.
In full flight the winger can be a thrilling watch, an unmatched blend of raw pace, power and balance.
Several coaches have tried and failed to coax the best from the Spaniard on a consistent basis, but a return of just 10 goals and 15 assists from 195 appearances highlights the lack of end product that has been frustrating in Traore’s career to date.
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 16, 2023
Marco Silva is the latest to gamble on the 27-year-old and on a free transfer could reap the rewards. Traore has signed for a Fulham side who secured a top-half finish last season and has linked up with former Wolves team-mate Raul Jimenez in west London, after the Mexican made the move earlier in the window.
Ross Barkley (Luton)
Ross Barkley is back in the Premier League as the midfielder looks to turn around a career which has stalled in recent seasons.
A foreign venture to Nice failed to reinvigorate the fortunes of the 29-year-old, who has signed for newly-promoted Luton Town as a free agent. Barkley’s career has not reached the heights expected following his exciting emergence at Everton, but he no doubt represents a gamble worth taking for Luton if he can find anywhere close to the form that once saw him feature regularly for England.
Barkley has scored six goals in 33 appearances for the Three Lions at senior level, but has not been capped by Gareth Southgate since 2019.
— Luton Town FC (@LutonTown) August 9, 2023
Manor Solomon (Tottenham)
Tottenham secured a deal to sign Manor Solomon on a free transfer during the summer, having left Shakhtar Donetsk as a free agent.
Solomon had spent last season on loan at Fulham and impressed in flashes, scoring five goals in 24 appearances across all competitions and proving to be a livewire in the final third.
The 24-year-old – who has scored seven goals in 35 appearances for Israel at international level – adds depth to Ange Postecoglou’s options as Spurs look to rebuild from Harry Kane’s sale to Bayern Munich.
Full of trickery and energy in wide areas, he fits the bill for Postecoglou’s frontline.
— Manor Solomon (@Manorsolomon) August 20, 2023
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