football

TRANSFER WATCH: The Best And Worst Signings Of The Transfer Window so far

October 06, 2017

- Grant Whittington

Romelu Lukaku

Grade: A*

First Term Report: Faultless – a model of consistency.

The £75m forked out for the Belgian international appears to be money well spent with the former Everton frontman tapping home late on in Saturday’s 4-0 drubbing of Crystal Palace to join club legend Andy Cole as the only United player to score seven goals in his first seven Premier League appearances for the Red Devils.

Lukaku’s relentless streak in front of goal has given Jose Mourinho’s side power and purpose in place of the ponderousness and profligacy that damaged their campaign last time out. Only Sergio Aguero has found the target more times in England’s top-flight since 2012 and it is this consistency that has made Lukaku an instant hero with the red half of Manchester.

Alvaro Morata

Grade: A

First Term Report: Hungry, hard-working and deadly in front of goal.

Antonio Conte’s faith in the Spaniard has paid dividends with the goal-getter finding the back of net six times in their seven league encounters this season. By giving Morata the chance of a run of games, Conte has been rewarded with a string of superb displays by the 24-year-old – most notably his fine hat-trick at the Britannia Stadium.

There was never any doubting Morata’s unquestionable talent, but his sublime movement and unerring eye for goal has seen him take the Premier League by storm. Will hope to settle at Stamford Bridge for many years now that it appears he has put down some stern roots after yo-yo-ing between Real Madrid and Juventus.

Davinson Sanchez

Grade: B+

 First Term Report: An impressive start – looks the real deal.

The Columbian international already looks very much at home in a Tottenham shirt with his raw physical and rapid qualities a perfect fit for Mauricio Pochettino’s style of play. Having two other ex-Ajax centre-backs in the shape of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen either side of him has helped make his transition to the Premier League even smoother.

Saturday’s 0-3 romp at Huddersfield saw Spurs register their third clean sheet in fourth games and there is no doubting that the tough-tackling centre-back will continue fighting hard to help his new side win the Premier League title.

Ederson

Grade: B+

First Term Report: Brave and dependable with a positive attitude.

Has not conceded a goal since a 2-1 Premier League victory over Bournemouth at the back end of August. His stunning start to life at the Etihad is in stark contrast to that of Claudio Bravo, who is now playing second fiddle to the Brazilian shot-stopper after a debut season in Manchester tainted by a chain of high-profile errors.

Pep Guardiola was prepared to pay a British record fee of £35m for a goalkeeper to secure the services of the 24-year-old and has been rewarded with a reliable figure between the sticks, possessing intelligent decision-making and accurate distribution.

Alexandre Lacazette

 Grade: C

 First Term Report: Sparkled in places, but still adapting to his new environment.

Four goals in seven matches is nothing to hide from, but it is still clear the former Lyon striker is trying to find his feet in North London. Arsene Wenger’s decision to frequently substitute the club-record signing and even bench him for the 4-0 thrashing at Anfield will do little for his confidence.

Lacazette was replaced with 20 minutes remaining in yesterday’s victory over Brighton as well as their previous home game whilst sitting on a hat-trick against West Brom. Oozes quality from his first touch to his ability to find space, but must prove to his manager that he is indispensible.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Grade: F

First Term Report: Requires regular opportunities in order to fulfil his potential.

Has failed to hit the ground running since his switch to Anfield with his career and development stalling significantly during his tenure at Arsenal. Ironically, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s arrival followed after Liverpool’s thumping of his former club, but his first start for Jurgen Klopp’s men against Leicester City in the Carabao Cup was nothing short of a disaster.

Needs a consistent run in the team as well as a settled position, but may struggle to nail down a regular starting berth in his preferred central midfield role. Still well off the pace and like his team needs to kick on before it’s too late.

Gylfi Sigurdsson  

Grade: D

First Term Report: An extremely slow start by his standards

Has yet to shine since his club-record move from Swansea with his creative flair yet to make an impact. The Icelandic star marked his first Europa League appearance for the club with a stunning lob against Hajdik Split, but this has not been the catalyst for more memorable moments – in six games so far, he is yet to register a goal or assist.

Will hope to recapture the form he showed at the Liberty Stadium last season in which he contributed nine goals and 13 assists and ranked seventh in the Premier League for chances created.

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