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Five Premier League summer transfers that have major questions marks

As with every transfer window, there are deals made by Premier League clubs that get us all excited, and there are some that make us go “huh?”

We’ve picked out a few transfers that we find a bit questionable and wonder whether they should have happened at all.

Five questionable Premier League summer transfers in 2023:

Kai Havertz – Chelsea to Arsenal, £65m

There is a supremely talented player inside Kai Havertz. We just haven’t seen it yet in England, beyond a few flashes here and there.

After being played out of position for the majority of his time at Chelsea, he made the move across London to join Arsenal where it was presumed that Mikel Arteta would have some genius plan to get the best out of him.

Instead, Havertz has been installed as a no.8 in midfield and has done… next to nothing? Sure, he brings a pretty strong passing game with him, which Arteta loves, but he has thus far looked like a spare part.

The German’s recent mishit right in front of goal against Manchester United spoke to his struggles and lack of confidence. There’s a decent chance he will come good, but for the money that the Gunners spent, it’s looking like a bit of a punt.

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Jonny Evans – Free transfer to Man Utd

In terms of sentimentality, we love this transfer. It’s genuinely great to see Jonny Evans back at Man United, the club where he broke through as a youngster and won a Premier League title.

Unfortunately, at 35-years-old, he’s past his best. It’s obvious why United brought him back. They need an experienced head to offer depth at the back. But it’s another thing having to rely on the Northern Ireland international in big games.

With Raphael Varane out injured and Lisandro Martinez having to come off against Arsenal with a knock, Evans and Harry Maguire had to join forces again like in their Leicester City days. Only they are nowhere near as good a partnership as they were back then and the Gunners secured a huge win late on.

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Aymeric Laporte – Man City to Al-Nassr (£23.6m)

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has a habit of discarding perfectly good footballers with little rhyme or reason, but who are we to judge a manager who has won everything there is in the club game?

Aymeric Laporte is the latest to experience the Catalan’s cold shoulder, making just 11 league starts last season. This summer he netted City a decent transfer fee when he moved to the Saudi Pro League.

What’s disappointing about this deal is that, at 29, the Spanish international still has so much to give at the highest level. It wasn’t that long ago that he was considered one of the finest defenders in England and crucial to his club’s success. It’s a real shame he didn’t stay in the Premier League or move to another big club in Europe.

 

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Raul Jimenez – Wolves to Fulham (£5m)

On the face, this was a perfectly acceptable piece of business by Fulham when the deal was announced. The Cottagers have struggled to find a suitable backup to Aleksandar Mitrovic over the years, and now they found an experienced Premier League pro in Raul Jimenez to fill that role, and for a small transfer fee.

Then Fulham sold Mitrovic to Al-Hilal and did nothing to replace him. There were links with a number of strikers, including former Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun, but nothing came to pass.

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Given Jimenez failed to find the net in the top flight last season, it leaves one wondering where the goals are going to come from – and what the plan even was in the transfer window.

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Nicolo Zaniolo – Galatasaray to Aston Villa (loan)

Aston Villa needed to sign a temporary replacement for Emi Buendia after he suffered an early season injury and they signed one in Nicolo Zaniolo. The Italian arrived on a season-long loan from Galatasaray for a sizeable loan fee.

As deals go, it’s fine, aside from two things. Firstly, Zaniolo is a very injury prone player, so depending on him week to week could be a real issue. Only last month he was out for a few weeks with a groin issue.

Secondly, the Turkish club have confirmed that there is a buy option to make the loan a permanent transfer for £34.3m next summer. The fact that Galatasaray themselves were willing to offload Zaniolo after buying him for £13m just last February should tell you that that is not value for money.

Perhaps Villa have no intention of activating the clause and only agreed to it so they could get the deal over the line. But as good as Zaniolo was in his early Roma days, surely there were more dependable players they could have signed on a temporary basis?

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