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Premier League 2023-24: The signings of the season

After the conclusion of the 2023-24 Premier League campaign we’ve decided to look back and review the events of the past nine months.

Transfers are a huge factor when it comes to deciding a successful season and there have been some stellar signings in the Premier League this season.

We’ve picked out some of the very best.

Declan Rice (Arsenal)

Sometimes to reach the next level you’ve got to break the bank. Arsenal might not have got over the line in the title race but the Gunners certainly showed they are here to stay in terms of competing for the Premier League.

Declan Rice was a driving force, quite literally, in the club’s challenge and has added a layer of steel and security to Mikel Arteta’s team. It’s no coincidence that Arsenal boasted the division’s best defensive record with Rice providing presence in front of the backline while showcasing a more complete skillset than we ever saw at West Ham.

He’s set career-best numbers for goals (7) and assists (8), taking on set-piece responsibility for the North Londoners, without compromising on the ball-winning and defensive intelligence that made him so sought-after last summer.

Sure, he cost £105m, but he’s proven to be worth it. He’s made those around him better at the Emirates this season.

An honourable mention for Arsenal teammate Kai Havertz, who bounced back from early-season doubts to shine across the run-in. In the absence of a recognised and reliable centre-forward, the German led the line superbly for Arteta’s runners-up with intelligent movement, selfless work rate and, crucially, goals.

Cole Palmer (Chelsea)

When Cole Palmer expressed a desire to leave Manchester City last summer, it was expected the youngster would spend the season in the division’s lower reaches earning the first-team football he craved.

In swooped Chelsea, continuing their policy of snapping up any young talent the club can get their hands on, and hit the jackpot. Palmer has not just been a success story in a period of questionable recruitment for Chelsea, he’s been sensational.

The 22-year-old has ended the campaign with 22 goals and 11 assists, completing 2023-24 with more goal involvements than any other player in the Premier League, and is a shoo-in to travel with England to the European Championship.

More than the numbers, he has been brilliant to watch. There’s ice in the veins of Palmer, whose trademark ‘Cold’ Palmer celebration is more than fitting. From a hat-trick against Manchester United to a four-goal destruction of Everton, he’s been ludicrously good on occasion and a deserving winner of the Premier League’s Young Player of the Season award.

Adam Wharton (Crystal Palace)

Eberechi Eze. Michael Olise. Adam Wharton.

A list of players Crystal Palace have snapped up from the Championship who look set to earn the Eagles a massive windfall in the not-too-distant future.

Wharton signed from second-tier strugglers Blackburn in January and has looked effortlessly at home in the top tier. The 20-year-old has poise in possession, takes up intelligent positions, and has been an integral part of Palace’s red-hot run-in under Oliver Glasner.

Such has been his impact, Wharton has been mentioned as a wildcard for the England squad this summer while speculation over a big-money exit has already surfaced. The kid looks set for a bright future.

Ross Barkley (Luton)

The decline of Ross Barkley was perhaps summarised by a free transfer move to Luton Town last summer. Once touted as a Paul Gascoigne heir in the England midfield, Barkley never reached those heights despite 33 caps for the national team and had been on a downward trajectory since leaving Everton for Chelsea in 2018.

A short and underwhelming spell at Nice pre-dated his move to the newly promoted Hatters, who saw a chance to take in a top-level talent for no cost. The free transfer has been inspired, with Barkley’s renaissance in a deeper midfield role one of the stories of the Premier League season.

Some who have watched Barkley at Kenilworth Road this season have suggested the 30-year-old might just be the greatest to have worn Luton colours, such has been his level. Though the season ended in relegation, it’s unlikely Barkley will stick around. Aston Villa are pushing to take him from the Championship to the Champions League.

Micky van de Ven (Tottenham)

It’s hard to remember a more exciting defender in the Premier League. Micky van de Ven is a physical phenomenon and has been superb for Spurs since arriving from Wolfsburg. His ability to shift a 6ft 4in frame at rapid speed in pursuit of opposition attackers is remarkable, with the 23-year-old named Tottenham’s Player of the Season this month.

He set a new record for the fastest-ever speed by a Premier League player earlier in the campaign and combines that pace with good anticipation and confidence on the ball. He has all the ingredients to develop into one of the best around.

Read – Our Premier League end-of-season awards for 2023/24

See more – Our Premier League Team of the Season for 2023/24

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