The 2019/20 English Premier League Season (EPL) is under a month away where current holders Manchester City will be looking to winning an historic & club record three PL titles in a row. However, with pre-season still in its early stages and with the transfer market having being opened for few weeks, we take a look at the biggest deals to have been completed up to date.
1. Rodri (Atletico Madrid >>Manchester City)
The deep lying midfielder has been dubbed the “New Busquets” by the local media because of the playing similarities he shares with Barcelona defensive lynchpin, Sergio Busquets. At £62.6M, he becomes City’s most expensive outlay. The 23-year old Spanish youngster has grown in stature since being released by Atletico Madrid due to “lack of physical strength” in 2013.
However, following a 5-year spell at Villarreal, he returned to the club ahead of the 2018/19 season where he impressed last season. A strong, athletic, intelligent, a good passer & tackler of the ball, he looks set to play an important role for Pep’s men next season as energetic defensive midfielder, Fernandinho, turns 35 next season and central midfielder İlkay Gündoğan yet to signing a contract extension that will keep him at the club beyond 2020.
2. Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon >> Spurs)
The wait is over! After 74 weeks & 517 days, Spurs finally sign a player – Ndombele – an energetic old fashioned box-to-box midfielder who brings dynamism, power, technique & versatility to Spurs’ central midfield.
Following more impressive performances in the 2018/19 season for Lyon in the Ligue 1 and in the CL, particularly at the Etihad where they stunned PL champions City at home 3-2, as well as accomplished displays in the Round of 16 defeat to Barcelona, it’s safe to say Spurs have stolen a match on their European rivals by swooping for the 22-year old French player at a relatively cheap £55.5M, who was reportedly wanted by United, Juventus and Barcelona.
3.Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace >> United)
After weeks of discussions with Crystal Palace, Manchester United finally secure their prime target to fill their problematic right back slot. The 21-year old English youngster has already been tipped for big things having enjoyed a stellar campaign at Crystal Palace where he became one of the best right backs in the country and Palace’s player of the year.
The Congolese descent player brings in defensive solidity as well as youth to a frail United backline. With an initial £45M paid, he represents a reasonable coup for arguably the best right back outside the top 6 last season who led the charts for : most clearances (129), most tackles won (129), highest tackle success rate (94%), most take-ons completed (90) & most interceptions (84).
4. Mateo Kovačić (Real Madrid >> Chelsea)
The versatile midfielder spent last season on loan from Real Madrid where he won the Europa league with Chelsea, who decided they have seen enough of him to offer him a permanent five-year contract. The Croatian, a central midfielder by trade, but also capable of playing as a defensive midfielder or central attacking midfielder adds experience and versatility to Chelsea’s midfield. The decision to splash £40.2M on the former Inter Milan man may have been influenced greatly by the looming transfer ban, as well as, the departure of key man Eden Hazard, as Chelsea look to challenge for the title once again under new manager Frank Lampard with a mixture of youth & experience.
5. Youri Tielemans (Monaco >> Leicester City)
The former Anderlecht youngster sealed his permanent return to Leicester City, where he spent the second half of last season on loan from Monaco by signing a four-year contract.
A dynamic attacking midfielder, he was impressive during his six months stint in which he scored 3 goals and provided 4 assists in 13 appearances. At £40M, he becomes Leicester City’s club record signing and if performances of last season are to go by, he represents a descent outlay for a player rumored to be on United’s radar should, as widely circulated in the media in recent weeks, world cup winning midfielder Paul Pogba decides to jump ship this summer.