james maddison

Six of the best signings from last summer’s transfer window

The Premier League has seen a comparatively quiet transfer window this summer, compared to the free-spending we have become accustomed to in recent seasons.

Despite the likes of Manchester City, Newcastle, Leicester and West Ham having all broken their transfer-records, with the closure of the window fast approaching spending is significantly down from last season’s £1.24bn splurge.

We’ve decided to look back at some of the movers from the 2018 window, with six of the best signings from last summer’s transfer window…

James Maddison

Having been a shining light for Norwich in the Championship, Leicester decided to spend £20m on the young midfielder in the hope he could perform to a similar level in the top flight.

The 22-year-old adapted seamlessly to life in the Premier League, scoring seven goals and creating more chances than any player in Europe’s top five leagues.

Blessed with superb technique and a fine set-piece taker, Maddison is likely to be the creative hub which Brendan Rodgers’ new-look Leicester team is built around, whilst a senior international debut should not be too far away having been called up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad last season.

Maddison was heavily linked with a move away earlier in the summer, his value thought to have tripled after an impressive debut season with the Foxes.

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Liverpool’s goalkeeping woes had been well documented, and following Loris Karius’ horror-show in the 2018 Champions League final, the club’s search for a new number one was accelerated.

Brazilian international Alisson was identified as the man to solve their issues in goal, with the Roma shot-stopper joining in a then world-record deal.

The expensive outlay raised eyebrows, though the 26-year-old instantly brought presence and confidence to a Liverpool backline which delivered the Premier League’s best defensive record.

In a fine debut season, Alisson would win the Premier League’s Golden Glove having amassed a league-high 21 clean sheets, before helping Jurgen Klopp’s side to Europe’s biggest prize with Champions League success in June.

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Raul Jimenez

Wolves’ ambitious project saw them return to the Premier League following a six-year absence, with Benfica forward Jimenez signing on a season-long loan to bolster their attacking options.

Jimenez would go on to become one of the signings of the season, firing 13 league goals and providing a further eight assists as Wolves finished seventh upon their return to the top flight.

The Mexican’s performances saw the Midlands club take up the option to sign the 28-year-old on a permanent deal, and Jimenez will again play a crucial role next season as Wolves embark on their first venture in Europe since 1981 after securing Europe League qualification.

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Joao Moutinho

Another addition to bolster Wolves after their promotion campaign, experienced Portuguese international Moutinho arrived at Molineuax for just £5m from French side Monaco.

Capped 116-times for Portugal, the midfielder brought composure and quality to the Wolves side, helping dictate play alongside compatriot Ruben Neves.

Moutinho has become the heartbeat of the Wolves side, a deft technician in the midfield who helps to make his side tick.

The 32-year-old chipped in with one goal and eight Premier League assists, playing a key role as Nuno Espirito’s side finished the season in seventh.

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Fabian Schar

Prior to smashing the club’s long-standing transfer-record twice in the past seven months, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley had been reluctant to splash the cash freely in recent seasons.

The club have had to make do with shopping in the bargain basement, though recently departed manager Rafael Benitez struck gold with the signing of Swiss defender Schar last summer.

Following Deportivo La Coruna’s relegation from La Liga, Newcastle capitalised on a £3m release clause in the centre-back’s contract to bring him to Tyneside.

That fee has looked like a shrewd investment, with Schar proving himself as a more than capable ball-playing defender. The Switzerland international also chipped in with four league goals, including a stunning 30-yard strike against Burnley.

In the ever-increasing world of football transfer fees, Newcastle’s £3m investment seems like a steal.

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Lucas Digne

Having found opportunities restricted at Spanish giants Barcelona, Everton brought the French full-back to Goodison Park for a fee of £18m last summer.

Digne instantly showed his credentials as the long-term replacement for Leighton Baines, scoring four goals and providing a further four assists, as well as winning a host of the club’s individual end of season awards.

The 26-year-old was named as the club’s Player of the Year as voted for by the supporters, whilst he also shared the Player’s Player award with midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye.

Possessing superb delivery and a threat from set-pieces, Digne has all the attributes to become one of the Premier League’s finest full-backs.

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