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Rating the impact of the five most expensive Premier League summer transfers

English football once again led the rest of Europe for spending last summer, as Premier League clubs flexed their financial might to secure a host of exciting additions.

Premier League clubs spent more than £2billion in the transfer market last summer, a figure more than the rest of Europe’s top five leagues combined.

After six months of adaptation to the Premier League, we’ve decided to look at how the five most expensive summer transfers have fared so far. All fees include the total potential package with add-ons.

5. Alexander Isak – Real Sociedad to Newcastle (£63m)

Newcastle’s summer spend appeared to be rather modest until the capture of Alexander Isak, as the Magpies dipped into their owner’s considerable pockets to sign the Swedish forward.

Isak became the most expensive player in the club’s history after completing a move from Real Sociedad, for a fee which could reach £63m including add-ons.

The fee eclipsed the £40m figure that took Joelinton from Hoffenheim to St James’ Park in 2019 and Isak made an immediate impact with a fine goal on debut at Liverpool. The 23-year-old’s early performances demonstrated the talent which had made him a sought-after figure, having scored 44 goals in 132 appearances across four seasons at Sociedad.

A centre-forward with height, mobility and fleet footwork, Isak scored twice in three games before a muscular injury ruled him out for four months and 13 games. He returned during the FA Cup defeat at Sheffield Wednesday last weekend and has set his sights on firing high-flying Newcastle to a top-four finish.

“That would be great, that would be incredible for the club,” Isak said on Champions League football.

“That is too far ahead to look at. We must go one game at a time and then go for the three points each week. We will see how it looks as we get closer to the end.

“It was frustrating to be injured. When you come to a new club, you can’t really be out. But it helped a lot, personally, that the team has done so well and won most of the games. That helped and gives you more room to focus on your own recovery.”

Rating: Too soon to judge

4. Casemiro – Real Madrid to Manchester United (£70m)

Manchester United’s midfield malaise has been a well-documented topic in recent seasons and the Red Devils sought to end their engine room woes with a statement signing last summer.

In came Casemiro from Real Madrid, with the five-time Champions League winner representing a sizeable coup for Erik ten Hag and his recruitment team. The Brazil international had been a crucial figure in the Spanish side’s modern success, forming an iconic midfield trio with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric at the Bernabeu.

Questions were asked about the wisdom of such a fee and lengthy contract for a footballer who will turn 31 next month, but Casemiro has proven a superb signing to date. After a brief adaptation to the division, the midfielder has stamped his authority on the Man United side during an upturn in results in recent weeks.

It’s now eight straight wins in all competitions for the Red Devils, who are on course to secure a Champions League return. Casemiro has been at the heart of that run, providing a combative and calming presence. His ability in possession – often overlooked alongside Kroos and Modric at Real Madrid – has come to the fore and on the early evidence he appears to still have several seasons left at the top level.

Rating: 9/10

3. Wesley Fofana – Leicester to Chelsea (£75m)

Chelsea were the leading spenders in the Premier League last summer as new owner Todd Boehly sought to make an impression.

The most expensive arrival was the addition of Wesley Fofana from Leicester, as the Blues secured a big-money deal for the defender after a protracted pursuit. The fee could rise to a figure of £75m, one that would make Fofana the joint-second most expensive defender in history, behind another ex-Leicester centre-back in Harry Maguire (£80m).

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Fofana fits the profile of player that Chelsea have sought to add in recent windows as the club target emerging talent with room to develop. He was named as Leicester’s Young Player of the Season during an impressive debut season as the Foxes won the FA Cup in 2020/21, before a broken leg disrupted his campaign last term.

This season has proven a similar story so far, with the 22-year-old having made just four league appearances due to knee issues. He has not featured since October.

Rating: Too soon to judge

2. Darwin Nunez – Benfica to Liverpool (£85m)

It’s been impossible to ignore the noise surrounding Darwin Nunez this season, with the forward having polarised opinion since signing for Liverpool.

Nunez joined the Reds in a deal worth an initial £64m from Benfica last summer, though the figure could swell to a club-record £85m if performance related add-ons are met.

It’s been a mixed bag for the 23-year-old to date, who has combined flashes of formidable forward play with a profligate streak in the final third. Nunez is a chance magnet and leads the Premier League this season for shots and shots on target per 90 minutes this season, while only Erling Haaland has a higher xG per 90.

A return of ten goals from 15 starts – at an average of a goal every 142 minutes – is encouraging at this stage of his development, but it’s a total that could, and should, be considerably higher.

The social media trolls have targeted the Uruguayan this season with Dominos Pizza among those to have taken swipe at Nunez. For all the jibes, the potential is clear with Nunez a blend of raw pace and power. Jurgen Klopp’s task will be polishing a rough diamond into the finished article.

Rating: 7/10

1. Antony – Ajax to Manchester United (£86m)

The most expensive signing of the summer transfer window was completed on deadline day, as Manchester United announced the arrival of Antony from Ajax.

Erik ten Hag sanctioned an £86m deal to reunite with the winger, who had shone in Amsterdam since his arrival from Sao Paulo. Brought in to address the club’s problem position on the right flank, he arrived with a burgeoning reputation having scored 12 goals during Ajax’s title-winning season under Ten Hag in 2021/22.

He marked his debut for the Red Devils with a goal against Arsenal, but the best of Antony has not been seen on a consistent basis. The tricks and flicks make fine highlight reels, though more is expected of a player who has commanded the second-highest fee in the club’s history.

The Brazilian has five goals in 15 appearances across all competitions, but has failed to provide a single assist. Even in the absence of Jadon Sancho, he has failed to really stamp his authority on the team and command an automatic role. Ten Hag will demand more from a player already well-versed in his methods.

Rating: 6/10

Read – Remembering Gareth Bale’s phenomenal 2012/13 Premier League season

Read Also – Iconic Performances: The memorable night in the San Siro when Bale announced his genius

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