Ruben Dias and Ebere Eze are stars in the making, Willian has been a flop… and the jury’s still out on Gareth Bale and Donny van de Beek! As January fast approaches, who were winners and losers in the last transfer window?
- Winter transfer window is fast approaching for the Premier League and beyond
- It’s time to take a look back at the last window to look at the winners and losers
- From each 20 Premier League clubs, we rate every signing of the summer
- The jury is still out on the likes of Gareth Bale and Adam Lallana after their moves
Despite it feeling as though the last transfer window has only just shut, clubs will soon be able to do business once more as January fast approaches.
Before the New Year rolls around and Premier League sides start to get out their chequebooks once more it, it is time to take a look at how the players signed in the previous window are faring so far.
Rating them as a hit, miss or jury’s out, Sportsmail goes through each first-team arrival at each team to see how they’re getting on…
Gareth Bale is one of 93 arrivals in the last window, and they’ve all been rated by Sportsmail
Hit: Thomas Partey, Gabriel
Miss: Willian, Runar Alex Runarsson
It has been a topsy-turvy start to the campaign for Arsenal, and their new signings have also been a mixture of good and bad. Thomas Partey was the marquee arrival and he has excelled in the middle of midfield, albeit less than the club would have liked given his struggles with injury.
Gabriel has given Mikel Arteta’s side some steel at centre back, and put himself in the fans’ good books this week by taking to social media to apologise for the club’s poor form. He looks to be a great addition both on and off the pitch.
Willian, meanwhile, has struggled to adapt to life at the Emirates after joining from Chelsea. He has been given a starring role, but is yet to produce to the level that is expected of him.
Substitute goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson had only played in the Europa League until his horror show against Manchester City, and he absolutely doesn’t look to be at the top level. Any injury to Bernd Leno means the club might find themselves in even more trouble than they’re in currently.
Thomas Partey has shown glimpses of his obvious quality since arriving at Arsenal in October
Willian has plenty of Premier League experience but hasn’t added much at the Emirates yet
Hit: Ollie Watkins, Emiliano Martinez, Matty Cash, Ross Barkley
Jury’s out: Bertrand Traore
It has been an impressive start to the season for Villa, and it needed to be after their hefty summer spending. Only one player hasn’t really fully hit the ground running, with Bertrand Traore only managing four starts in the Premier League. He netted his first goal against West Brom last week, but at £16.5m he has plenty of work to do in the coming months.
Elsewhere, Ollie Watkins got off to a flyer with a hat-trick against Liverpool and a brace against Arsenal. He’s had a quiet few weeks of late, but he certainly looks up to the Premier League challenge. Emiliano Martinez, meanwhile, has shown Arsenal that they were mad to let him leave with a string of excellent performances.
Matty Cash has been a mainstay in the defence after his arrival from Nottingham Forest, while Ross Barkley’s loan spell from Chelsea has also gone well. He’s currently injured, but the first couple of months of the season saw him link up brilliantly with Jack Grealish, and he’ll be an integral part of the team going forward.
Emiliano Martinez is proving that Arsenal made a mistake in letting him leave for Aston Villa
Bertrand Traore has only managed two Premier League starts and has struggled to adapt
Hit: Joel Veltman
Jury’s out: Adam Lallana
Brighton signed six players in the summer transfer window, but loaned the four most expensive – Jakub Moder, Michal Karbownik, Andi Zeqiri and Jan Paul van Hecke – out for the season to gain more experience.
Therefore, only Ajax’s Joel Veltman and Liverpool’s Adam Lallana arrived through the door at the training ground. Veltman endured a slow start, only making his debut in October, but he has played in each of the club’s last seven league games and is slowly making more of an impact. While the club’s results haven’t been great, he seems to be settling in nicely to his role in defence.
Lallana, meanwhile, recently picked up an injury against his former side Liverpool and has struggled so far to get a good run in the team. While he has shown glimpses of his star quality, and his experience has been invaluable, it is difficult to make a valid assessment just yet of whether he has been an astute signing or not.
Joel Veltman is slowly starting to make more of an impact after making his debut in October
Adam Lallana has struggled with injury and the jury is out on whether he was a good signing
Miss: Dale Stephens
It was a quiet window to say the least for Sean Dyche and Burnley, as they brought in two players – a £1m arrival in Dale Stephens from Brighton and Will Norris, a third-choice goalkeeper from Wolves who is yet to pull on the Clarets strip.
Stephens has played a part in just three Burnley games, and has struggled with an injury that has kept him out of the first-team picture. In the three matches he has played, Burnley have a 100 per cent defeat record.
It wasn’t a particularly mouthwatering signing in the first place, and it’s fair to say that as of yet he’s not made any impact at all at Turf Moor. Happy place? Not yet.
Dale Stephens (centre right) has played a part in just three Burnley league games since arriving
Hit: Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech, Edouard Mendy, Thiago Silva
Jury’s out: Kai Havertz
Chelsea’s £250m summer spend took all the headlines, and therefore it’s been all eyes on Stamford Bridge to see how they fare. Results on the pitch have been up and down, but most of their new signings have taken to the league really well.
Timo Werner has received perhaps the most hype, and apart from a couple of anonymous performances he has been at the heart of Chelsea’s attack. Hakim Ziyech has struggled with injuries and is back out again now, but every time he has taken to the pitch he’s impressed.
In the defence, Edouard Mendy didn’t have to do much to better Kepa Arrizabalaga, but he’s slotted in brilliantly, and Ben Chilwell at left back has perhaps been the most astute of their signings. He looks as though he’ll be a mainstay for years to come.
At the heart of the back-line, Thiago Silva arrived not being able to speak a word of English, but his experience has provided some much-needed steel at the back.
The last of the signings to discuss is Kai Havertz, and it’s been anything but plain sailing for the most expensive arrival. Costing £89m, the pressure on his shoulders has been huge and he is yet to adapt. Given that he has had a nasty bout of Covid-19 and is very young, the jury is still out on him.
Timo Werner looks to be a brilliant player and will likely be a mainstay for years to come
Kai Havertz has struggled in the Premier League but after having Covid, you can’t write him off
Hit: Eberechi Eze, Nathaniel Clyne
Miss: Michy Batshuayi
Jury’s out: Jack Butland, Nathan Ferguson
Crystal Palace have started the season well, and that is largely down to the influence of new star Ebere Eze. Signed from QPR, the attacker has shone for the Eagles after breaking into the team and looks to be going to the very top.
Nathaniel Clyne, meanwhile, ended his Liverpool nightmare to join up with his boyhood club and has become a mainstay at right back, performing really well. For Michy Batshuayi, though, it has been a struggle. He is yet to get a run in the team, and his return to Selhurst has coincided with Christian Benteke getting himself back into the starting XI.
Jack Butland and Nathan Ferguson could go either way. The former is acting as back-up to the brilliant Vicente Guaita, while Ferguson arrived injured from West Brom and is still working his way back to full fitness.
Ebere Eze is a star in the making and is already making waves at Crystal Palace this season
Michy Batshuayi is at Selhurst Park for the second time but hasn’t made an impact at all yet
Hit: Ben Godfrey, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Allan, James Rodriguez
Jury’s out: Niels Nkounkou, Robin Olsen
Ben Godfrey was an expensive purchase at £30m, but he’s already played at centre back, left back and right back and has excelled in all three. He was superb in the club’s recent win against Chelsea. Abdoulaye Doucoure has shown plenty of energy and has been a brilliant box-to-box midfielder.
Allan has been probably Everton’s best signing from the previous window. He breaks up play, loves a tackle, and is now starting to do more with the ball too. Much was made of Rodriguez’s arrival, and he was superb in the Toffees’ winning run and sees things other players don’t. His injury record is a worry, though.
The jury is still out on Niels Nkounkou. He’s put in some brilliant displays in the Carabao Cup but is yet to do it in the Premier League. He hasn’t had a look-in recently despite Lucas Digne’s injury, and we’re yet to see much of him. It’s much the same for Robin Olsen too, who is behind an improved Jordan Pickford in the pecking order.
Much was made of James Rodriguez’s arrival, and he sees things that his team-mates don’t
The jury is still out on Niels Nkounkou, who hasn’t been given much of a chance in the league
Hit: Antonee Robinson, Mario Lemina, Alphonse Areola, Ola Aina, Ademola Lookman, Joachim Andersen, Tosin Adarabioyo
Jury’s out: Kenny Tete, Ruben Loftus-Cheek
To sum up how much business Fulham did in the transfer window, eight of their starting XI against Liverpool earlier this month are new signings. And the fact that they nicked a draw against the champions perhaps shows how well they’re doing.
In fact, none of the new names can go down as flops. Antonee Robinson was man of the match against the Reds and has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water. Mario Lemina arrived from Southampton and has made an assured start in the centre of midfield, while Alphonse Areola has played every game in goal and has looked really impressive.
Ola Aina, meanwhile, already has a goal of the month award on his shelf at home, while Ademola Lookman has two goals and two assists. Joachim Andersen is the steel at the heart of the defence – despite a disappointing red card last week – and Tosin Adarabioyo alongside him has also been very solid.
Kenny Tete has played twice in the Premier League but has suffered an injury and is closing in on his first-team return. There’s plenty of excitement surrounding him but he’s yet to make his mark on the side. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, meanwhile, could well be the most naturally talented player in the entire squad, but he’s yet to properly find his feet at Fulham. There’s plenty of improvement to be had from him.
PSG loanee Alphonse Areola has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water at Fulham
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is so naturally talented but hasn’t yet hit the ground running at Fulham
Hit: Raphinha, Robin Koch, Illan Meslier
Jury’s out: Rodrigo, Diego Llorente
Although it could be argued that two goals in the Premier League so far could constitute a ‘miss’, there are other circumstances that mean the jury’s still out on former Valencia star Rodrigo. He was just getting settled in England before being hit by Covid, and is only now getting back into the swing of things, and he managed to net against Newcastle recently.
Much the same can be said of Diego Llorente, a £20m arrival from Real Sociedad. He has only played once in the Premier League due to injury, and is still not back after picking up another knock.
Raphinha, Robin Koch and Illan Meslier, meanwhile, have all proved astute signings by Marcelo Bielsa and they’ve been major players in Leeds’ first few months back in the top flight. Koch has just suffered a serious injury that will keep him out for three months, but up until that point he had been brilliant at the heart of the defence.
Illan Meslier, despite being just 20, already looks to be an assured Premier League keeper
Rodrigo scored against Newcastle but due to a coronavirus battle is yet to cement his place
Hit: Wesley Fofana, Timothy Castagne
Jury’s out: Cengiz Under
Wesley Fofana’s £36m arrival from St Etienne meant that there was plenty of pressure on his shoulders, but he has excelled in his early months in England. He has started 10 matches for the Foxes in the Premier League, and is seemingly getting better as the weeks go by.
Timothy Castagne missed the entirety of November and most of December, only returning this week, but he has to go in the ‘hit’ column after his brilliant start at Leicester.
The jury is still out on Cengiz Under, who is still working his way into Brendan Rodgers’ plans. The boss said recently that ‘we have a player of quality there’ but as of yet he has only properly featured in the Europa League, mostly coming off the bench in the Premier League.
Wesley Fofana (left) is now a mainstay in the Leicester team after arriving in a £36m deal
Cengiz Under has mainly come off the bench in the Premier League while he settles in
Jury’s out: Thiago Alcantara, Kostas Tsimikas
In Jota, Liverpool have finally got some reliable back up to their front three. They wanted Timo Werner but Jota now looks like the better option. He has pace, he works hard, is good in front of goal, and has plenty of Premier League experience.
There is no doubt that Thiago is a world-class player – he showed it against Chelsea and Everton – but he hasn’t played for a long time. He could be decisive in the second half of the season when he gets fit, but for now the jury is out.
That same jury is out for Tsimikas, too. He had coronavirus and then an injury so has barely played. He is also a back-up to Robertson, which is a difficult scenario to be in… the former Hull man is brilliant and was dirt-cheap – and Tsimikas will always be judged against that.
Diogo Jota is flying high and is proving to be a goalscoring back-up to Liverpool’s front three
Thiago Alcantara is a world-class player but the jury is out until he recovers from his injuries
Hit: Ruben Dias, Ferran Torres
Jury’s out: Nathan Ake
Manchester City have endured a tough start to the season, but Ruben Dias has been a shining light at the heart of the defence. Now a mainstay in Pep Guardiola’s problem position, he looks to be getting better and better and has a huge future ahead of him.
Their other summer centre back signing, meanwhile, has had a more difficult welcome to life in Manchester. Costing £40m from Bournemouth, Nathan Ake has had an injury, only starting four times in the Premier League, including a tough return to the team in the draw against West Brom earlier this month. It’s too early to call him a ‘miss’, but he has plenty of work to do to prove himself.
Ferran Torres’, meanwhile, is arguably one of the signings of the summer. At just £37m, he could easily be classed as a bargain and will be vital for City going forward.
Ruben Dias has slotted into Pep Guardiola’s problem position at centre back for Man City
Nathan Ake, though, has plenty of work to prove himself in the same position as Dias
Hit: Alex Telles
Jury’s out: Donny van de Beek, Edinson Cavani
Although Alex Telles hasn’t played much, he certainly looks to be an upgrade on Luke Shaw in the left back position. He was excellent against PSG – the first time around – and is already the best crosser in the team.
The jury is out on Donny van de Beek despite his less-than-assured start, purely because he hasn’t yet played enough football. He has the potential to be a star and has the quality needed, shown in short glimpses When Paul Pogba leaves, as is expected, he will have a better chance of success.
Edinson Cavani still has much to prove, as well. He looks like he can score plenty of goals in the Premier League but will need more game-time. In particular, he really impressed in the comeback win against Southampton.
Alex Telles is already the best crosser of a ball in Manchester United’s team since his arrival
Donny van de Beek has had very little game-time and may be hoping that Paul Pogba leaves
Hit: Callum Wilson, Jamal Lewis
Miss: Jeff Hendrick
Jury’s out: Ryan Fraser
Having already struck eight goals in 12 games, Callum Wilson is – perhaps unsurprisingly – flying high at St James’ Park. He was Bournemouth’s best player before his arrival, and now it could easily be claimed that he’s Newcastle’s too.
Jamal Lewis has also been a mainstay since his arrival, and despite a couple of below-par performances he’s really impressed. He’s still very young and has an extremely bright future ahead of him.
Much was spoken about Ryan Fraser’s arrival on a free transfer, but he has been struck down by injury in his opening few months and has only made two Premier League starts, so the jury is still out there.
Jeff Hendrick, though, endured a disastrous start to the season and fell out of Steve Bruce’s first-choice starting XI. That said, he netted against Leeds earlier this month, but even that was in a 5-2 defeat. His signing was met with an underwhelming response by the fans and he’s done little to change their minds so far.
Callum Wilson was brilliant at Bournemouth and has already impressed at Newcastle
Jeff Hendrick did score against Leeds this month but his signing was underwhelming for fans
Miss: Aaron Ramsdale, Max Lowe, Oliver Burke
Jury’s out: Rhian Brewster, Jayden Bogle, Ethan Ampadu
Well, well, well… fair to say it’s been the start from hell for Sheffield United and Chris Wilder. They were the surprise package last season but this time around have managed just two points in 14 matches.
Aaron Ramsdale, an £18.5m signing from Bournemouth, hasn’t kept a clean sheet all season, while both Oliver Burke and Max Lowe have played regularly but have been slammed by supporters for their below-par performances. Of course, with the team in dire straits perhaps those opinions are harsher than they would be otherwise.
Jayden Bogle cost £5.5m but is yet to even make it into a Premier League squad, so it’s tough to judge his progress, while Rhian Brewster is also yet to fully get off the mark, spending most of his time on the bench. Ethan Ampadu also falls into the ‘jury’s out’ column, given that he’s yet to get a proper run in the side. He’s mixed and matched between defensive midfield and centre back, plugging holes for his boss.
Aaron Ramsdale hasn’t kept a clean sheet all season since his arrival at Sheffield United
Rhian Brewster has been warming the bench for Chris Wilder’s side waiting for his opportunity
Hit: Kyle Walker-Peters, Theo Walcott
Jury’s out: Ibrahima Diallo, Mohammed Salisu
It seems like Tottenham have let an absolute gem go in Kyle Walker-Peters, who has played every minute of Southampton’s 14 Premier League games, and is a vital part of the reason they’re sitting pretty right up the top. £12m looks an absolute steal.
There was, of course, a certain romance in Theo Walcott heading back to the south coast on loan this season, but he’s proven to also be a valuable addition to the team. Both in the dressing room and on the pitch, he’s added plenty, scoring, assisting and featuring regularly in the side’s excellent start. His goal against old side Arsenal earlier this month was a particular highlight.
It’s been difficult for both Mohammed Salisu and Ibrahima Diallo to make an impact yet. Both young, and costing £10.9m and £13.6m respectively, they are clearly talented players, but with Saints playing so well it’s perhaps understandable that Ralph Hasenhuttl has been reluctant to throw them in at the deep end.
Theo Walcott’s goal against his old side Arsenal was perhaps the stand-out moment for him
Mohammed Salisu has struggled to find his way into an in-form Southampton side so far
Hit: Sergio Reguilon, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
Jury’s out: Matt Doherty, Joe Rodon, Joe Hart, Gareth Bale, Carlos Vinicius
Let’s start with the positives. Sergio Reguilon and his constant energy have helped transform Spurs’ full-back options from a solid but safe Ben Davies. He is a little lightweight but could be a world beater if he can bulk up – and Spurs can keep Real Madrid from poaching him back.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg endured a slow start but has been credited with helping to transform Spurs’ mentality into potential title challengers. Mourinho views him as captain material on the pitch and is one of the first names on the team sheet, so he too is a definite hit.
The plan was for Matt Doherty to come in and usurp the error-prone Aurier and add some thrust at right back, however Aurier has seemingly won that selection battle with a string of strong performances to leave Doherty feeding off Europa League crumbs. His hard running style should suit Tottenham’s counter attack but it seems for now, he’ll have to wait.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has provided some much-needed steel in the middle of Spurs’ midfield
The jury is also out on Joe Rodon, which may seem a tad harsh given his fine performances as a stand-in for the injured Toby Alderweireld. Expectations were low for this season anyway, but it’s too early to say the young defender from Swansea is a sure-fire hit. He’ll no doubt make mistakes, as he did when he almost gifted Olivier Giroud a late winner in the goalless draw against Chelsea.
Gareth Bale was the one the fans wanted. There was an open spot in the first team on the right side alongside Harry Kane and Heung-min Son for him to step into and form one of the best attacking units in the Premier League. But here we are, in December, and he has started one Premier League game.
Mourinho has said he will play when he gets ‘more confidence’ in his fitness and ability to play regularly. It’s fair to say Spurs fans were hoping for more than a few nice touches in the Europa League when they gathered outside the club’s training ground to welcome him home. Hopefully a goal in the EFL Cup last week might kick-start his second coming.
The other two signings are Joe Hart and Carlos Vinicius, and the jury is out on both of those. Hart doesn’t have anything to prove, but he won’t be more than a back-up, while Vinicius needs more time until we see if he’s worth his salt.
Fans will have been hoping to see more from marquee signing Gareth Bale than they have
Hit: Conor Gallagher
Miss: Karlan Grant, Branislav Ivanovic
Jury’s out: Grady Diangana, Matheus Pereira, Cedric Kipre, Callum Robinson
Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher has been a rare bright spark for West Brom this season. He’s put in a few man-of-the-match performances, has netted twice, and has played the full 90 minutes on 10 occasions so far.
It has definitely been a mixed bag for Grady Diangana, a player West Ham fans were devastated to sell in the last transfer window. He has yet to hit the ground running… some weeks he’s been well below-par, but then he puts in performances like the one against Manchester City earlier this month, and the potential is right there to see.
Karlan Grant, meanwhile, has struggled after his £15m move from Huddersfield. He was expected to bang in the goals, but so far has only netted against Brighton – one goal in 10 games, and only once has he completed 90 minutes. He needs to show more in the coming months. The same goes for Branislav Ivanovic, who at 36 was a bizarre signing in the last window. He looks slow, and his experience hasn’t been enough to get the Baggies higher than 19th in the table.
The jury is out on Matheus Pereira, who has had a mixed bag at West Brom. A highly creative player, he has been stunted slightly by the team’s lack of form, and he saw red in his last outing against Crystal Palace. On paper, the arrival of Sam Allardyce in the dugout does him no favours, but it’s too early to make a judgment.
Elsewhere, it’s difficult to put Cedric Kipre anywhere other than ‘Jury’s Out’ given his lack of a Premier League appearance, while Callum Robinson looks a really talented player but hasn’t quite got going yet. Filip Krovinovic also looks a solid squad player but hasn’t made much of a mark as of yet.
Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher (left) has looked impressive for West Brom this season
Much was expected of Grady Diangana when West Brom poached him from West Ham
Hit: Tomas Soucek, Vladimir Coufal
Miss: Craig Dawson
Jury’s out: Said Benrahma
West Ham have been flying under David Moyes so far this season, with Tomas Soucek perhaps the stand-out man in the team. The defensive midfielder has provided stability at the heart of the team, helping keep the ball out of the net and also putting it in the opponents’ on three occasions.
Vladimir Coufal only cost around £4m from Slavia Prague – arriving with Soucek – but already he has become a mainstay in the team and is performing admirably every week. They were certainly both very astute signings.
The jury is out on Said Benrahma though. His will he, won’t he transfer saga dragged out through the window and he arrived amid much excitement, but he’s yet to properly find his feet. The Brentford hero has only started two Premier League matches so far, coming off the bench in a further five.
Craig Dawson, meanwhile, has to go down as a flop. He signed from Watford as defensive cover, but has failed to even make a matchday squad. He is, though, getting game-time for the U21s in the Papa John’s Trophy. What was the point in signing him?
Both arriving from Slavia Prague, Tomas Soucek (left) and Vladimir Coufal have excelled
Said Benrahma was one of the best in the Championship last season but is still finding his feet
Hit: Fernando Marcal
Miss: Nelson Semedo
Jury’s out: Fabio Silva, Ki-Jana Hoever, Vitinha, Rayan Ait-Nouri
The biggest hit of Wolves’ summer signings is not £37m Nelson Semedo, or £35m Fabio Silva, but £1.8m ex-Lyon man Fernando Marcal. While many thought he would be brought in as back-up, he has performed really well since arriving and has earned himself a place in the club’s strongest starting XI.
Semedo, though, brought in from Barcelona, has really struggled and doesn’t look worth the money they paid. He’s played 12 games, so has had plenty of time to adapt, but still looks below-par.
Fabio Silva is still really young and has had very little time off the bench, so just like Rayan Ait-Nouri, Vitinha and Ki-Jana Hoever it is harsh to put them anywhere other than ‘Jury’s Out’.
Fernando Marcal is Wolves’ biggest hit, despite costing a fraction of some of his team-mates
Ex-Barcelona man Nelson Semedo, on the other hand, doesn’t look worthy of his £37m value
Share this article
Source: Read Full Article