Premier League clubs have once again embarked on a summer scramble for fresh talent as they look to improve their squads ahead of the division’s kick off, with the opening weekend of the 2020/21 campaign now less than two week’s away.
Chelsea’s expensive summer outlay has taken plenty of headlines and the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham have made notable additions, whilst the newly-promoted sides have also made headway in their bid to build squads capable of securing top-flight consolidation.
Ahead of the league’s opening weekend we’ve decided to look at some of the most interesting signings of the summer window so far, here are six Premier League transfers we’ve been intrigued by:
Thiago Silva (Chelsea)
Chelsea have made a statement of intent ahead of next season with seemingly one of the most impressive summer transfer windows of recent years, the arrivals of Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell raising optimism the west London side can challenge next term.
Amongst the arrivals has also included the free transfer addition of former Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva, the experienced Brazil international arriving to strengthen a backline that conceded more goals than any side in the division’s top half last season.
Silva is a player of undisputed class and has been one of the world’s best over the past decade, but the centre-back will turn 36 next month and heads into a new league after eight trophy-laden seasons in France.
… introducing: Thiago Silva. 😍pic.twitter.com/qcGneDPhRT
— Goal (@goal) August 28, 2020
Chelsea supporters will point to the Brazilian’s imperious form during PSG’s run to last season’s Champions League final, however, the weekly rigours of the Premier League are somewhat more demanding than the Parisian’s annual procession to the Ligue 1 title.
Silva’s signing could prove a masterstroke to a defence crying out for leadership and class, or another example of a world-class talent arriving in English football just a little too late.
Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace)
One of the stand-out stars of the Championship season, Eberechi Eze’s performances for Queens Park Rangers have landed the youngster a money-spinning move to the Premier League.
The England U21 international arrives at Crystal Palace on the back of a breakthrough season in the second tier, the 22-year-old having established himself as one of the most exciting talents outside of the top flight.
This is why Crystal Palace signed Eberechi Eze 🔥 pic.twitter.com/dMVe3Mmi40
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) August 28, 2020
Eze ranked third in the Championship for attempted dribbles last season and is a brilliantly entertaining player to watch with the ball at his feet, gliding past opposition challenges and providing a cutting edge in dangerous positions, scoring 14 goals and providing a further eight assists last season.
Roy Hodgson will hope that the £16m summer signing – alongside teenager Nathan Ferguson – can provide an ageing Palace side with a youthful injection, whilst his creativity will be essential to the Eagles regardless of the future of the talismanic Wilfried Zaha.
Palace fans will hope Zaha remains at Selhurst Park beyond the summer and form a fine understanding with the similarly scintillating Eze, a player whose meteoric rise is set to continue with regular football at Premier League level.
Donny van de Beek (Manchester United)
Manchester United have finally made a breakthrough in a frustrating summer transfer window with the impending arrival of Donny van de Beek from Ajax, the Netherlands international earning a move to the Premier League after several successful seasons with the Amsterdam outfit.
Van de Beek has risen through the ranks at Ajax’s famed academy to forge a reputation as one of the best midfielders outside of Europe’s major leagues, playing his part in the club’s domestic double and run to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2018/19.
The 23-year-old will arrive in Manchester with undoubted pedigree and his talents are evidenced by a return of double figures for goals in each of the past three seasons, but his role in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s new-look side appears unclear amid a wealth of competition for midfield places.
United currently have both Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes as midfielders who thrive best once the shackles are removed, with the prospect of a Van de Beek-Pogba double pivot at the base of the midfield offering limited defensive protection given their natural attacking instincts.
Fernandes will remain as the club’s creative hub in an advanced position, raising initial questions over the signing of Van de Beek given the Red Devils’ glaring weaknesses in other areas of the side.
Matt Doherty (Tottenham)
Jose Mourinho has opted for proven Premier League performers this summer as his rebuild of Tottenham continues, signing Southampton midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and former England number one Joe Hart alongside Wolves’ rampaging right-back Matt Doherty.
Doherty has flourished since Wolves’ return to the Premier League two seasons ago, his forward forays a trademark of the side’s success with only Liverpool duo Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson having been directly involved in more goals amongst defenders in that time.
The Ireland international has largely played as an advanced wing-back given Wolves’ preference for three central defenders, however, allowing the 28-year-old greater freedom to attack than he is likely to receive in north London.
OFFICIAL: Spurs sign Matt Doherty ⚪
Doherty and Trent are the only two players in the top-scoring and top-assisting defenders lists for the last two seasons 💪 pic.twitter.com/xS56TO7Oyn
— B/R Football (@brfootball) August 30, 2020
Mourinho often deploys a back four and his pragmatic style is in contrast to Doherty’s free-spirited forward runs, raising questions over whether the Dubliner’s defensive game will prove good enough for his new manager’s famed demands.
Spurs did, however, allow Serge Aurier to push high up the pitch last season with the right-back ranking top amongst the club’s players in terms of touches and passes in the final third, statistics which raise optimism that the attacking Doherty can prove a significant upgrade on the inconsistent Ivorian.
The presence of the more conservative Ben Davies on the opposite flank may also allow Doherty to play his natural game, the Welshman comfortable tucking inside having often played as a central defender for both club and country.
Joel Veltman (Brighton)
Brighton are helping to build on a promising first season under Graham Potter next season and have moved swiftly and efficiently to strengthen their side during the off-season, securing the signing of Adam Lallana on a free transfer from Liverpool and a £900,000 deal for Ajax’s Joel Veltman.
That latter transfer could prove to be a bargain buy with Veltman arriving in the Premier League with a wealth of experience, winning three league titles with Ajax and earning 22 caps for the Netherlands national side.
Veltman was strongly linked with moves to some of the Premier League’s leading sides earlier in his career before ultimately remaining with Ajax, spending his entire career with the Amsterdam side to date and being included in the Eredivisie Team of the Year in three consecutive campaigns between 2014 and 2016.
Injury problems, including a cruciate knee ligament, have hindered his progress in recent years but his acquisition still looks a sensible move for Brighton, the Dutch defender comfortable both centrally and at right-back and possessing the ball-playing skills to thrive under Potter’s preferred style.
Veltman registered an impressive 88.9% pass completion rate during his 19 appearances in the Eredivisie last season, the fifth highest figure across the entire division.
Leeds are finally back in the big time after an absence of 16 years, Marcelo Bielsa guiding the club to the Championship title last season to earn a long-awaited promotion to the Premier League.
The Argentine has moved quickly to strengthen his side including splashing a club-record fee on forward Rodrigo Moreno from Valencia, the Spain international moving to Elland Road for a fee of £27m – the highest fee ever paid by a newly-promoted club – to bolster the club’s attacking options.
The 29-year-old spent a brief stint in English football on loan at Bolton Wanderers a decade ago, but returns to the Premier League as a fully-fledged international and a player seemingly perfectly suited to ‘Bielsa ball’.
Rodrigo has the flexibility to play in a variety of positions across the forward line and whilst hardly prolific in his career to date, is a complete and modern attacker capable of drifting into dangerous areas.
The fluidity of Leeds’ system could well bring out the best in a player who has scored eight times in 22 appearances for Spain, Rodrigo eclipsing Rio Ferdinand as the club’s record signing some 20 years after the defender’s arrival from West Ham.