Ranked! The 10 best Premier League summer signings.

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The pandemic might have had a wide-sweeping impact on football – but it appears to be business as usual for top clubs in the transfer market.

From record-breaking transfer fees, to familiar faces making a return, to potential stars in the making, it’s been a typically big summer of comings and goings in the Premier League.

10. Ibrahima Konate – Liverpool

Liverpool saw their title defence collapse in 2020/21 as they were ravaged by injuries on a barely believable scale – and nowhere were the effects more profoundly felt than in defence, with Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez all missing the bulk of the campaign.

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It was no surprise, therefore, that the Reds’ first – and so far only – move this transfer window was to add depth at centre-back, activating Konate’s £36 million release clause at RB Leipzig.

While he’s yet to make his debut, the France U21 international should help ensure Jurgen Klopp doesn’t have to dig quite so deep in the event of another unprecedented injury crisis.

9. Joe Willock – Newcastle

Newcastle fans experienced that bittersweet feeling of catching feelings for a loan player last season, as Willock tore it up in his 14 appearances for Steve Bruce’s side – scoring in each of his final seven games – before returning to Arsenal.

The 22-year-old midfielder is all set to dazzle the St. James’ Park faithful again, though, having signed a six-year deal in the North East on the eve of the new campaign – becoming the Magpies’ first signing of the summer.

Two straight losses to start the season won’t have eased any pressure on Bruce, but this feels like a big win in the transfer market.

8. Ben White – Arsenal

Arsenal’s problems run deep and will take quite a lot of fixing, but some promising summer business is a start – and Ben White headlines the new arrivals at the Emirates.

One of the most promising young English centre-backs, the 23-year-old joined for a reported £50 million from Brighton, having truly broken through for the Seagulls last season.

White also made it into Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad, and he’ll no doubt be aiming to continue to impress the England boss as takes the biggest step of his career so far.

7. Emi Buendia – Aston Villa

Arguably the greatest player the Championship has ever seen, Buendia earned Norwich a club record fee when he moved to Villa.

And £38 million – as it’s been reported the deal could ultimately be worth – might just look a steal a few years down the line.

A prolific creator, the Argentine provided a league-high 16 assists as Norwich were crowned second tier champions last season – as well as chipping in with just the 15 goals…

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6. Leon Bailey – Aston Villa

Along with Buendia, Bailey ought to ensure that Villa aren’t hit catastrophically hard by the departure of Jack Grealish.

The Jamaica international enjoyed a fine few years with Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, and this move seems like the ideal opportunity for him to take things to the next level.

Able to operate on either side, the winger adds plenty of versatility to Dean Smith’s strong-looking attacking department.

5. Danny Ings – Aston Villa

And another! Despite the loss of their talisman, Villa have enjoyed one of their best transfer windows in a very long time – and they’ve just chucked a load more goals into their team in the form of Ings.

The 29-year-old found the back of the net 34 times in his last 67 games for Southampton and, if he stays fit, Villa look more than capable of supplying him with enough ammunition for another 20-goal campaign.

Oh, and the best part (unless you’re a Saints fan) is this signing came completely out of the blue – no speculation, no painfully dragged-out saga, a real throwback.

4. Raphael Varane – Manchester United

Has anyone ever edged closer to completing a move for longer than Varane? This one went on forever – but he was finally unveiled as a United player ahead of their opening day thrashing of Leeds.

The switch brought an end to a ten-year stay at Real Madrid for the French World Cup Winner, who is rightly held in high regard as one of the finest centre-halves in the game.

He’s yet to make his debut for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men, but it won’t be far off – and he should make himself a legend at Old Trafford in no time at all.

3. Jadon Sancho – Manchester United

In some ways, this saga went on even longer. United failed to meet Borussia Dortmund’s asking price for Sancho a year ago – although it was inevitable that they would be back in for the England winger.

And now the former Manchester City youngster has moved to the red half of Manchester – and, after a couple of substitute appearances to help him get up to speed, it shouldn’t be too long until he’s making serious waves in the Premier League.

Sancho made 104 Bundesliga appearances for Dortmund, averaging a goal or assist every 90 minutes. He just loves to be involved at the sharp end of the pitch, and 2021/22 has the potential to be a defining season for the 21-year-old from South London.

2. Romelu Lukaku – Chelsea

Chelsea needed a number nine – and they went and got a number nine, probably the best available without spending absolutely outrageous money (although £97.5 million is still a, er, reasonable amount).

Back at Stamford Bridge after seven years away, Lukaku wasted no time in (re)announcing himself to Blues fans, scoring the opening goal just 15 minutes into his second debut against Arsenal.

He already feels like the missing piece in Thomas Tuchel’s puzzle as Chelsea aim to follow up last season’s European glory with a first league title since 2017.

1. Jack Grealish – Manchester City

In terms of the number of new arrivals, it’s been a quiet summer on the transfer front for the champions, but this one made plenty of noise when it got over the line.

At £100 million, Grealish became the most expensive English player of all time, and it’s hard to doubt that he’ll be worth every penny to Pep Guardiola and City.

One of the Premier League’s brightest stars in the last couple of seasons, the playmaker for whom England fans clamoured so much at the Euros will get to strut his stuff for the finest team in the land.

If he wants to win trophies, he’s probably in the right place; City haven’t gone without silverware in one shape or another for four years.

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