Signing watch: How are the new boys to Premier League doing so far?
October 16, 2017
Nothing can compare to the frenetic and breathtaking intensity of the Premier League. History has illustrated that many of football’s biggest stars have struggled to adapt to its ferocious pace and have merely floundered after dipping their toes in the water of England’s top-flight.
Following on from our early examination of the hits and flops of the transfer window so far, we take a look at the Premier League debutants that have taken to English football like a duck to the water, along with those who are still trying to find their feet in this relentless division.
Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid To Chelsea)
The Spaniard has proved to be a great addition at Stamford Bridge amid an alarmingly mixed transfer window for the reigning champions. Morata has adapted superbly to the Premier League with opponents unable to quell the red-hot form which has seen him notch seven times in eight appearances for the Blues prior to the hamstring injury he picked up in their defeat against fellow title contenders Manchester City.
However, the former Real Madrid and Juventus star has handed his new employers a boost by revealing that he will be in contention for Chelsea’s Champions League clash against Roma on Wednesday.
Davinson Sanchez (Ajax To Tottenham Hotspur)
The £42m signing from Ajax has proved to be a colossus at the heart of the Spurs rearguard with four sheets in their last five league matches games, conceding just two goals in the process. The Colombian powerhouse was reportedly wanted by Barcelona and Real Madrid and in the 21-year-old; Spurs have made an investment in a player capable of becoming a world-class star.
Playing at the heart of a formidable defensive trio alongside fellow former Ajax Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, Sanchez has made four interceptions, 27 clearances and two blocks in his six Premier League starts thus far.
Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon To Arsenal)
A dramatic Premier League opener in a seven-goal thriller against Leicester City saw the Frenchman score just two minutes into his debut. With four goals in eight appearances for his new club, Lacazette’s start has been a positive one with his positioning in the final third and technical prowess making him a different proposition for Premier League defenders.
Despite his electrifying introduction, there are concerns that the 26-year-old may be too lightweight for the physical element of England’s top division – acclimatising to this facet remains his biggest challenge. At a total of £52million, Lacazette represents the priciest outlay of any Arsenal purchase in their entire history and with the huge price tag comes weighty expectations.
Renato Sanches (Bayern Munich To Swansea City)
It has been a rapid fall from grace for the 20-year-old who 12 months ago stood alone as the most eagerly coveted teenage talent in world football. A string of crushing midfield displays in the centre of the park inspired a previously below par Benfica side to the Portuguese title and paved the way for a big-money transfer to German giants Bayern Munich.
Afters struggling to adapt to his new surroundings at the Allianz Arena, the Bavarians decided Sanches would be better off gaining first-team experience on loan and Swansea City manager Paul Clement used his contacts to pull off a shock season-long deal.
The Portuguese wonderkid is yet to shine at the Liberty Stadium after several tepid and underwhelming performances, but it is surely only a matter of time before we see the very best of the man that was voted best young player of the tournament in Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph.
Steve Mounie (Montpellier to Huddersfield Town)
The club’s record-signing from Montpellier became an instant hit in West Yorkshire after his debut double helped his new side to an outstanding 0-3 win at Crystal Palace on the opening day of the campaign. The Beninese international has failed to add to his tally since his memorable unveiling, but his physical presence and sharp turn of speed make him a perfect fit for Premier League football.
At just 23 years old, Mounie is only going to improve and his all-action style of play has already elicited parallels with Chelsea legend Didier Drogba.
Mario Lemina (Juventus To Southampton)
Southampton broke their own transfer record to secure the services of Lemina from Juventus for a cool £18m from Juventus. Strong, hard-working and reliable in possession, the Gabonese international currently boasts a passing accuracy of 90% and looks set to form an integral part of Mauricio Pellegrino’s midfield.
Like the Saints he has been steady and very rarely spectacular, but Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger may end up regretting his decision to pass up on the opportunity to add Lemina’s steely resolve to the Gunners flaky squad.
Grzegorz Kyrchowiak (Paris Saint-Germain To West Bromich Albion)
The loan signing of the Polish midfielder from PSG certainly whetted the appetite of all those connected at the Hawthorns with his versatility meaning he can also be deployed at centre-back. Faded badly on his debut against Brighton after an impressive opening 30 minutes, but manager Tony Pulis may well have snatched a bargain with this deal.
Twice a Europa League winner with Sevilla and a key component of his country’s historic Euro 2016 campaign, Krychowiak represents a major upgrade in the centre of the park for West Brom, but he is still yet to produce his best form.