IT has been reasonably quiet on the transfer front for two key reasons — the World Cup and a decision to close the transfer window in England three weeks early.
Premier League clubs agreed last year to end their transfer window tonight, the day before the Friday night (UK time) opener between Manchester United and Leicester City.
The moved is aimed at allowing clubs to start the season with settled squads, certain their players won’t be poached by other Premier League raiders once the season kicks off.
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However with Italy’s transfer window closing on August 18 and the window for France, Germany and Spain slamming shut on August 31, there is still the potential for Premier League players to be bought by clubs from those countries and unable to be replaced.
Last season more deals were completed by Premier League clubs in final 24 hours of transfer deadline day than in the final two weeks and there may be a similar flurry this year.
Despite all this there has still been a number of significant moves:
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 71.6m pounds($124m) from Athletic Bilbao
Chelsea have splashed out a new world-record fee for a goalkeeper to land the 23-year-old from Athletic Bilbao to replace Belgian stopper Thibaut Courtois, who is headed for Real Madrid.
Capped once by Spain, Arrizabalaga turned down an approach from Real to sign a new seven-and-a-half year deal with Athletic just a few months ago.
However his new contract contained the 71.6m pound buyout clause which Chelsea have met.
An outstanding shot-stopper, impressive with the ball at his feet and praised for radiating calm between the sticks at Bilbao, this is clearly still a huge move for both player and club and the youngster will have to adapt very quickly to life in the Premier League.
Jorginho: 50m pounds($86m) from Napoli — five years.
The Brazilian-born Italian is a significant capture for Chelsea because of the key role he plays in new coach Maurizio Sarri’s gameplan.
Jorginho was linked strongly with Manchester City but the PL champions pulled out of the deal when it became clear he would be following Sarri from Napoli to Chelsea, with talk Napoli steered him towards the London club.
Jorginho plays as a deep-lying midfielder in Sarri’s preferred 4-3-3 formation and is adept at breaking down opposition attacks and getting the ball moving quickly, including hitting long passes to his wide men and striker to enable them to get in behind defences.
His arrival will likely mean a new role for World Cup winner N’Golo Kante, with the Frenchman expected to play on the right of midfield in a more box-to-box role.
Mateo Kovacic – from Real Madrid – one year loan.
The Croatian World Cup star, 24, arrives at Stamford Bridge as part of the deal that saw goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois head to Real Madrid.
Kovacic is a beautifully balanced runner who is not dissimilar to former Brazilian star Kaka in his playing style.
More than happy running at and beating defenders, there is a feeling Kovacic, who has been at Real for three seasons after three years at Inter, it yet to fulfil the rich potential he showed as a youngster.
It will be interesting to see if Sarri can help him reach the next level.
Riyad Mahrez – 60m pounds ($104m) from Leiceister City – five years.
The club and player finally got the deal each craved when the Algerian made the move from Leicester in the summer, after a 50m pounds bid from City on the final day of the January transfer window was rejected.
A tricky goalscoring winger with a great eye for a pass, Mahrez scored 12 goals and had 10 assists in 34 games Premier League games for Leicester last season in which he was often deployed in a central playmaker role.
Mahrez will be a handy addition to City’s talent-laden squad but it will be interesting to see where he plays, with manager Pep Guardiola already well-served by wide men Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling and midfielders including Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Fernandinho. May have to get used to being used as an impact player although he clearly has the quality to challenge for a starting place.
Fred – 52m pounds ($90m) from Shakhtar Donetsk – five years.
An aggressive box-to-box player, the 25-year-old Brazilian is expected to slot into a Manchester United midfield also containing Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic.
Skilful, pacy and direct, the left-footed Brazilian causes havoc running at defences and also possesses a mean long range shot and free kick.
He also has a strong defensive game and was Shakthar’s top tackler last season.
Richarlison – 40m pounds ($70m) from Watford – five years.
The young Brazilian winger made a strong start to his Premier League career at Watford before his form tailed off under manager Marco Silva as both manager and player were linked to Everton.
Silva was duly installed as Everton manager in May after being sacked by the Hornets in January and he moved to bring the 21-year-old Richarlison, who he also signed for Watford, to the Merseyside club.
Richarlison will be aiming to produce form that will help Everton improve on its seventh-placed finish last season and also impress Brazil manager Tite.
Alisson – 67m pounds ($118m) from Roma – five years.
Liverpool have been the big club most active in the transfer market so far this summer and arguably the key signing has been the big Brazilian goalkeeper, a signal of intent the club is determined to move to the next level.
After signing Virgil van Dijk in to help shore up a leaky defence for 75m pounds (a world record for a defender), Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp appears to have slotted in the final piece of the defensive puzzle by landing 25-year-old Alisson, which was the world record fee for a keeper before Chelsea upped the ante with their 71.6m pounds signing of Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The Reds have been battling in the goalkeeping department for a number of years, with first Simon Mignolet and then Loris Karius not radiating confidence between the sticks.
Brazil’s No. 1 ahead of Manchester City’s excellent Ederson, Alisson is rated a world-class operator.
Fabinho – 45m pounds ($78m) from Monaco
A defensive midfield ‘destroyer’, Fabinho could be the No. 6 that Liverpool fans have been waiting for, perhaps since Argentine champion Javier Mascherano was at the club almost a decade ago.
Strong in the tackle, the rangy 24-year-old Brazilian is very comfortable with the ball at his feet and seems to always have time in possession, whether dribbling past players or picking out a pass.
Should provide an excellent foil for Liverpool’s attacking talents.
Naby Keita – 53 million pounds ($92m) from RB Leipzig – five years
After a persistent chase, Liverpool secured Guinea international Keita from German outfit RB Leipzig in August last year, but the terms of the deal meant he only arrived at Anfield this summer.
The 23-year-old midfielder is quick, inventive, direct and skilful but Reds manager Jurgen Klopp insists Keita is his own player and not a direct replacement for creative wizard Philippe Coutinho.
Xerdan Shaqiri – 13m pounds ($22.5m) from Stoke
Announced his arrival with a cracking bicycle kick goal in a 4-1 win over Manchester United in a friendly in Michigan.
The nuggety wide midfielder is generally seen as a strong addition to the Liverpool squad however the long-term injury to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could give the Swiss star the opportunity to nail down a first team place.
Lucas Torreira – 22m pounds ($38m) from Sampdoria
A key signing for the Gunners, Uruguayan defensive midfielder Torreira will patrol the back four and could provide the midfield muscle Arsenal has allegedly been lacking since the Patrick Vieira days.
Stephan Lichtsteiner – free from Juventus
The veteran Swiss was a serial winner with Juventus (seven Serie A titles) and as well as being a mentor to Hector Bellerin will be pushing hard to take the right back’s place in the Arsenal lineup.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos -18m ($31m) from Borussia Dortmund
Arsenal shipped 51 goals last season on the way to a sixth-placed finish and injecting some defensive steel is clearly a priority for new manager Unai Emery.
The Greek international, is tough in the tackle and can be expected to develop a strong partnership with Shkodran Mustafi at the heart of the Arsenal defence.
He was identified as a target by Arsenal’s head of recruitment Sven Mislintat before Emery joined the club and brings to three the number of ex-Dortmund players (Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang and Henrik Mikithariyan) brought to Arsenal by former Dortmund man Mislintat.
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Originally published as All the key Premier League transfers