Written by David Robinson
Premier League money is at an all time high with plenty of big deals already being completed with well over a month still left in the transfer window. From a financial point of view, staying in the league is essential while the clubs who regularly challenge for the title are having to make some key additions following a dismal attempt in the league last season. With all the cash being splashed about, you would expect the English clubs to put on a better showing in Europe however it seems that prices are becoming incredibly inflated. I judge the top 10 most expensive deals so far and give my verdict on whether it looks like a transfer that is value for money.
Sadio Mane – Fee: reported £34 million – Southampton to Liverpool
The most expensive fee of the summer so far, on what appears to be an extortionate fee payed by Liverpool. There is no doubting Mane has quality, the 24 year old is at a good age and is exactly the type of player that Jurgen Klopp loves to have in his setup. However he will have to build on his time at the Saints to replicate the fee and install more consistency in his game. The Senegalese forward will look to at least match his record of 11 league goals last season to show his worth. I believe this could be a good deal for Liverpool despite the large fee as Mane has proven to be a match winner while he can be yet another creative force in the side but has the pace the Reds may have lacked in certain areas so it can provide them with another threat. However I do think Liverpool have over payed for Mane’s services.
Michy Batshuayi – Fee: £33 million – Marseille to Chelsea
17 league goals last season for Marseille, the 22 year old is another expensive transfer to arrive at Stamford Bridge. This has a similar feel to when fellow Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku arrived however Batshuayi will be hoping things turn out differently at the London club. The transition from the French League could be a tough one but he should provide ready made competition for Diego Costa who is injury prone and suffered from poor form last season. This is a player that is more likely to stretch defences which could prove useful for Chelsea. Without knowing a great deal on the player, I have my suspicions on this deal. Will the 22 year old get regular game time? Will he be able to adjust? Only time will tell.
Eric Bailly – Fee: region of £30 million – Villareal to Manchester United
An awful lot of money for a central defender, Manchester United knew they would have to invest to build a side under Mourinho who could compete at the top. Despite being 22, the pressure will be on to perform instantly. Mourinho now has a defender who is certainly accomplished physically but answers as to whether he can perform at Manchester United to a high standard will have to be seen. He already has good levels of experience in La Liga so this could be a signing of value for money should Bailly hit the ground running and considering his age, he could be a big part of the club for years to come.
Granit Xhaka – Fee: region of £30 million – Borussia Monchengladbach to Arsenal
The type of midfielder Arsenal fans have been crying out for. Xhaka looked impressive at Euro 2016 with Switzerland and should certainly add more qualities in the Arsenal midfield. A player that has both attacking and defensive capabilities is something that can provide more balance to the Gunners. While they have paid a large fee, in today’s market it could prove to be a good acquisition with the central midfielder just 23 years of age. I believe Xhaka can have a big say in Arsenal’s season.
Henrikh Mkhitarayan – Fee: around £26.3 million – Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United
Voted the Bundesliga players’ player of the season last campaign and recording an impressive 15 assists this looks an excellent deal for Manchester United. The Armenian wide man can provide the Red Devils with more quality in the final third that was clearly lacking last season. A proven player is exactly what is needed at Old Trafford and the former Dortmund man should be playing his best football now at 27 years old. Mkhitarayan definitely is an improvement on what United have got so this should be a very good bit of business which should move the club forwards.
Ilkay Gundogan – Fee: Reported £20 million – Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City
For me this has the potential to be one of the signings of the summer. Gundogan will provide the Citizens with a bit more bite that wasn’t always there last season and has proven quality with Manchester United also a well know admirer of the player. The German international has proven pedigree so looks a quality addition in a position where Manchester City could do with strengthening. On the other hand he has a torrid time with injuries in recent years notably missing the World Cup and Euro 2016 through injury. The deal could almost hinge on Gundogan being fit. With a squad that was plagued with injuries last season, this deal could backfire should the 25 year old be a regular on the treatment table instead of on the pitch.
Vincent Janssen – Fee: £18.5 million – AZ Alkmaar to Tottenham Hotspur
27 goals in 34 league appearances is some record however arriving from the Dutch league means question marks will have to be answered. The 22 year old will provide some competition for Harry Kane and this should booster the Spurs squad which could prove vital over the whole season. Janssen is a Dutch international who will bring similar qualities to White Hart Lane. For me, this is a deal with half an eye on the future but for a fee of nearly £20 million, Pochettino will be wanting contributions this season whether that remains from the bench, remains to be seen. On paper, this could be a shrewd signing.
Ahmed Musa – Fee: £16 million – CSKA Moscow to Leicester City
A player that will have to adapt from Russian football, Leicester have broken their transfer record to bring Musa to the King Power Stadium. Bringing in another striker could be important with European football now to handle, Musa is meant to be very quick which will suit Leicester’s counter attacking football. The 23 year old had a decent goal scoring record for CSKA Moscow and will now want to provide another option for Ranieri in the final third. A lot of money has been spent on this forward and bringing in a player from the Russian League could prove to be a risk that ends badly.
Jordon Ibe – £15 million – Liverpool to Bournemouth
A large fee paid for Bournemouth which I’m sure would have raised a few eyebrows with the English winger struggling to make a big impact at Liverpool. However this deal has a lot of potential and there is a lot of logic behind it. With Matt Ritchie being sold for £12 million, Ibe will effectively be a like for like replacement and at just 20 years old, the value for money aspect could work out exceptionally well. On the other hand, Bournemouth are going to need Ibe to perform this season from the wing. He is still quite a raw player but should be well coached by Eddie Howe. The Cherries have put a lot of faith in the youngster so it could go either way. For the time being it looks like Bournemouth have over spent but it could easily turn out to be a cracking transfer.
Nolito – Fee: £13.8 million – Celta Vigo to Manchester City
Featured for Spain at Euro 2016, this shows that Manchester City have signed a proven player. The former Celta Vigo man can provide more risk to Manchester City’s game and provide another option in the attacking third with Sterling failing to deliver consistently from the left hand side. The Spaniard can square up defenders and stretch the pitch which could prove useful for a side who are likely to have a lot of possession this season. This looks a smart deal and this should certainly boost Pep Guardiola’s squad.
Who has done the best business in the transfer window so far? Let us know in the comments below!