Published On: Mon, May 14th, 2018

Best and worst transfers of the Premier League season

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With the huge transfer kitties in Premier League football, clubs overseas are able to hold their English rivals ransom, draining every last bit of change from their weighty pockets. That makes steals in the window more impressive, and bad deals more common.

Here, theScore picks out the five best pieces of business in the 2017-18 season, followed by five transfers that would be enough to leave even the most fervent shoppers with an immeasurably high temperature.

The best

Mohamed Salah: He was going to be good – Salah had scored 15 and assisted 11 over Roma‘s 2016-17 Serie A season – but no one anticipated just how well he would seize his second chance in the Premier League. The £36.9-million signing thrived on the right-hand side of Jurgen Klopp’s thrilling triumvirate, turning defenders into blabbering wrecks as they were constantly dizzied and tied up by his searing pace and fluid footwork. He set a new record for goals in a 38-game Premier League season with 32 strikes.

Pascal Gross: The £3-million mark was broken in British football when Ian Rush moved from Liverpool to Juventus in 1987. Thirty years later, Brighton & Hove Albion parted with that tiny sum to bring in arguably the most important signing of the top-flight term. Gross already topped the Bundesliga charts for key passes despite being relegated with Ingolstadt in the prior campaign, and quickly took the mantle of the Seagulls’ creative fulcrum.

Ederson: Pep Guardiola wasn’t going to make the same mistake again. Following Claudio Bravo‘s awful debut season in English football, Manchester City stumped up around £34.9 million to nab Ederson from Benfica. He seamlessly slotted into the squad, while establishing himself as the first genuine sweeper-keeper who could be taken seriously in the country’s game. It’s not just short passing from Ederson, though, as he can smash goal kicks to the edge of his opposite number’s 18-yard box.

Marko Arnautovic: It initially looked like a disaster: another hapless frontman signing by the West Ham United hierarchy, and one which may contribute to the club’s descent into the Championship. But then, David Moyes had the £25-million Austrian purring, and Arnautovic was the hardest-working and most prolific player on the Hammers’ books. Without the ex-Stoke City man, West Ham may have been readying for nearby trips to Millwall and Brentford.

Andrew Robertson: Considering the quality of his cameos, it was a mystery why Robertson hadn’t usurped Alberto Moreno in the first half of the season. When he was finally given a run in the team, the young Scot never looked back. His hard running ensured he’s a hit with the Anfield faithful, and he can unleash devilish deliveries with his left trotter. £8 million for Robertson? That’s a proper bargain.

The worst

Tiemoue Bakayoko: We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Chelsea‘s midfield recruitment. But while Danny Drinkwater and Ross Barkley hardly had a chance to show what they can do, Bakayoko had plenty, and ends the season looking like a £40-million rip-off. The most puzzling thing was that his former Monaco teammate Fabinho may have been available, and he’s clearly a better player and more suited to Antonio Conte’s system.

Davy Klaassen: It’s easy to feel sorry for Klaassen. He’s been the prominent fall guy for Ronald Koeman’s absent-minded splurge in last summer’s transfer window, and his case hasn’t been helped by Sam Allardyce’s disparaging comments since. The €27-million midfielder didn’t weigh in with a goal or assist all season, but is being afforded patience from a decent chunk of Everton‘s support.

Jermain Defoe: The 35-year-old didn’t cost anything, but he could represent an ugly fissure in Bournemouth‘s wage budget for a further two years. The success of Eddie Howe’s Cherries has been built on intelligent tactics and strong team spirit, but the latter is in danger when the highest-paid player in the dressing room is one of the least productive.

Kevin Wimmer: Remember him? The portly, erstwhile footballer cost £18 million, a sum that was parted with upon the insistence of Mark Hughes. Stoke needs to cut its losses on the former Tottenham Hotspur benchwarmer following relegation; he’s destined to list alongside Saido Berahino and Wilson Palacios as the club’s worst signings in the Premier League era.

Guido Carrillo: Why did the Southampton boardroom think this was a good idea? £19.1 million for a striker that barely played for two seasons and didn’t possess a noteworthy scoring record in either Argentina or France. The January arrival was destined to be a flop. Carrillo played just seven Premier League minutes since Hughes was hired in mid-March, and was clearly not trusted in the Saints’ successful battle against relegation.

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