The recent transfer window has easily been the most frantic window of all time. The record was broken with the signing of Paul Pogba to Manchester United and there was still some other big money moves in the summer, like Benteke to Crystal Palace and John Stones to Manchester City. But instead of just listing them, I’ll be counting down the best Premier League signings as of November 2016, good chance there will be another list in a few months time, depending on any player who has made a difference. The way I’ll be judging these transfers is what they add to the team they’re joining and if the club that signed the player has done good business in the market.
5. Steven Defour – Anderlecht to Burnley (£8m)
Any team that gets promoted are instantly relegation candidates and that’s just the reality of it. Any team that get promoted have to make sure they have a lot of depth, because the premier league is tiresome league. Players don’t get that winter break the La liga players and the Bundesliga get. They need a goalscorer. Proof of that can be seen with Sunderland last season. Without Defoe, they wouldn’t of got out of that bottom 3 at any point during the season. Villa got relegated because they didn’t have that 10+ goalscorer, to score those important goals in big games. Burnley have that with Andre Gray and Sam Vokes. But they can’t score goals without the right service, and that’s what Steven Defour gives you. I was very impressed when I saw Burnley bag the Belgium for only £8m. What a bargain! Defour adds that quality every team needs, someone who can make something out of nothing, who can bring the ball into the opponent’s half and give those strikers the chances they need to win games. The first moment I saw of the midfielder was an assist to Andre Gray against Liverpool. I just sat there thinking “that is exactly what they need.” I’m not sure if he keep it up all season, but early signs show he can do it.
4. Ilkay Gundogan – Borrusia Dortmund to Manchester City (£21m)
This was the first big transfer of the window, and what a way to start. Gundogan is a class player and City got him for a bargain, they just have to hope they can’t keep him fit. He has been great player for Dortmumd for a few seasons now, and it was a big money move we were all waiting for. He gives Pep everything he wants from midfielder, calm, composed, intelligent and a great attacking threat. I never used to think of Gundogan as a massive attacking threat but after seeing him recently for City, I’m pretty surprised. He has this ability to come out of no where to give support for the likes of Sterling and Aguero. But there is a problem with the German, and that is his injuries. He’s pretty similar to other City players like Aguero and Silva, quality on their day, but at some point will be injured. If Pep can sort out his injury problems, then Gundogan will be one of the best midfielders in the league.
3. Ashley Williams – Swansea City to Everton (£12m)
Ashley Williams is easily one of the best leaders, and defenders, in the league. He was one big reason why Swansea have stayed up over the last few seasons, and why Wales went as far as they did in the Euros in France. He gives you a voice, a presence, someone who will carry the weaker players when needed. Every team needs a player like him, especially Everton. The toffees last season were so poor in the back. Conceeding 55 goals all together. Much of that blame can be put on Roberto Martinez. It seemed as if he had no idea how to organise a defence. Everton were very solid under David Moyes, but it seemed Martinez sacrifices a solid back line for an entertaining style of play. They were great to watch, but there is no point in scoring plenty if you’re gonna conceed even more. Those kind of decisions got Martinez sacked, and now under Koeman, Everton are still entertaining and are even keeping clean sheets, and Williams can take a lot of credit for it.
2. Sadio Mane – Southampton to Liverpool (£35m)
I was one of those people who did question Sadio Mane’s move to Anfield. The main reason for that being his inconsistency, he was a great player to watch at Southampton, but he lacked consistency. He’d score two goals in a game and then go 5 games without scoring again, but it seems like Jurgen Klopp has got the best out of the former Southampton man. Mane has became everything Liverpool needed last season, someone who’s first thought was run forward and cause some problems for the defenders. Mane has been in great form, scoring 6 and assisting 2 so far this season and if he keeps it up, he’ll be in the team of the season for sure. Liverpool’s front three have became the most deadly front three in Europe because of their speed and intensity, and Liverpool fans can be thankful to Klopp bringing in the right man to change that.
Eric Bailly – Villarreal to Manchester United (£30m)
Idrissa Gueye – Aston Villa to Everton (£7.1m)
Joel Matip – Schalke FC to Liverpool (Free)
Shkodran Mustafi – Valencia to Arsenal (£35m)
Nathan Redmond – Norwich to Southampton (£10m)
1. N’golo Kante – Leicester City to Chelsea (£32m)
Who else? Who else could possibly be a better signing than N’golo Kante to Chelsea, he would what some people refer to as a title winning signing, and I can’t agree more. Kante gives you what any title contender needs, consistency, an engine and someone to do that dirty work. Last season proved that some of those Chelsea players can’t be relied on, and they needed someone who can always be relied on. Kante was the meaning of consistency last season, playing in almost every game last season for Leicester, only missing one game from injury, and doing all the dirty work needed so Leicester could counter the opposition and help them win the league. Conte signing the French man must of made Chelsea fans wonder who Jose Mourinho was. He fits into Conte’s system so well because of his ability to go unnoticed, Kante can be like a ghost on the pitch, taking the ball off the opposition without them even realising. Not only did Chelsea sign the best midfielder from last season, they also got him pretty cheap for what they are getting. If Chelsea spent up to £50m for him, no one would of batted an eye. He is that good.