Raheem Sterling (from Man City to Chelsea for €56.20m)
A Man City legend who has been a key player for 4 titles in the last 5 years. His inclusion on the list might seem obvious to some but there are a lot of people that still underrate Raheem. The open goal misses and the fail comps are to blame probably, but he remains one of the best forwards in the world with his elite off-ball movement and variety. He can effectively play across the front three (can go in and out on both wings as well) and is an xG cheat in all three positions.
Still only 27. Definitely a level raiser for Chelsea and a big loss for Man City.
Gabriel Jesus (from Man City to Arsenal for €52.20m)
Jesus has a very wide skillset that makes him effective with his back to goal, running in behind, or in wide areas. He can easily be deployed as a f9 or as a defense stretching 9. Great technical base, agility, quick feet, and most importantly great understanding of space (very effective in both dropping to pockets and running in behind).
Though the price tag isn’t small, Gabby’s inclusion in this list was a must for me because of who he is replacing in Arsenal. Gabby offers the same +1 in buildup that Laca (inconsistently) used to, but without sacrificing the normal 9 stuff like box movement, running in behind, and combativeness. And at 25, Jesus has his best years ahead of him. I expect his goalscoring numbers to get better as well with more responsibility. A very important and valuable get for Arteta.
Gavin Bazunu (from Man City to Southampton for €14.00m)
So’ton was another team that knocked Man City’s door this summer and they got an amazing deal out of it. Gavin Bazunu is an Irish keeper that is still only 20 years old. He embodies the modern gk profile. Very athletic, absurdly comfortable on the ball, and a proactive keeper with his sweeping and cross claiming abilities. He already has over 7k professional minutes in League One and cups. Has the potential to be the best gk in the world, and is most likely going to be considered in the 2nd tier of PL gks come the end of the season with the likes of Sanchez, Raya, etc. Lovely deal.
Keane Lewis-Potter (from Hull City to Brentford for €19.00m)
KLP is a 21 year old right-footed left winger. He had 19 G/A and 3k minutes in League One in the 20/21 season. Also, recorded 15 G/A and 4,140 minutes in the Championship last year.
What I love the most about KLP is the mastery in his movement (which has been a common theme in this article) and the variety in his finishing. 7 of his 25 goals in the last two seasons came from headers and 3 came from left-footed shots. He’s only 5'7" but he attacks crosses with great movement and timing so he is a genuine threat on the air. Has great out-to-in runs too. Think of Jota with technical security profile wise.
His fit with Brentford is also great. He joins Mbeumo as another forward that makes intelligent runs off of a great creator cf in Ivan Toney. That front three has geniune Europe level potential and I can’t wait to watch them.
Fabio Carvalho (from Fulham to Liverpool for €5.90m)
I couldn’t help but put Fabio in this list. I wrote a whole nother article (with a lot of clips) on him and his potential fit in Liverpool so I’ll keep this short.
A 19 year old versatile player that can play as an 8, 10, second striker, and on the wings currently. And, he also has very high potential as a f9. Has 18 G/A in 2.8k minutes in Championship which is a market that is still underutilized.
Movement, both-footedness, intensity, dribbling, and ballstriking. You name it, he has it. Incredible business by Liverpool.
Cheick Doucoure (from Lens to Crystal Palace for €21.30m)
Cheick (22) is a dm that is quite the presence in the central areas. His physical profile is great with 5'11" height and a very strong upper body. He uses his frame very well too, goes strongly into duels. His great understanding of angles and blind-side closeouts help him a lot in terms of tackling and intercepting ability.
Can carry the ball and at times displays decent passing range. He also sometimes makes forwards runs and doesn’t feel out of place when he ends up in the final 3rd. He favors his right foot very heavily though, and isn’t the greatest in tight spaces so he is limited on the ball. But, his natural feel for defending/positioning and his ability to carry makes him one of the best 6 prospects around. And, Palace have made yet another great decision by going in early for him. Young player that is going to improve them immediately and will have great resale value down the line.
Aaron Hickey (from Bologna to Brentford for €16.50m)
Aaron Hickey. An incredible young wb that can play on both sides if needed. Better on the left.
Incredibly both-footed. Can receive and pass at any angle you want basically. Looks like a midfielder at times (actually been deployed there before) with his incredible composure on the ball and ability to manipulate space. Great ballstriking with both feet too, especially for a wb.
He isn’t the best nor the worst in terms of defensive positioning. He has great recovery speed and has decent strength for his size. And, is good on the air for a wb.
As a lwb in a back 5, he fits the Brentford system very well. Thomas Frank uses his wingbacks as runners into the box from deep in some certain situations and Hickey fits that as well as a wb can. Lovely fit, lovely player.
Nayef Aguerd (from Rennes to West Ham United for €35.00m)
I was at first a bit hesitant to put Aguerd in this list because of the fee but I had to. At age 26, Aguerd is yet to play his best football and that should excite WHU fans a lot. Nayef only came to Europe at age 22 and struggled to get minutes with Dijon (just over 2k minutes in two seasons). But, two summers ago Rennes (one of the best run clubs in the world currently) came knocking and they put Aguerd in the first XI right away. And, Aguerd hasn’t looked back ever since.
Aguerd stands tall at 6'2" and uses his frame very well on the air where he dominates. Though he isn’t the fastest over long distances, he has great burst. He is very measured both in and out of possession so he isn’t always rushing out but when he does, his long legs prove very handy. He also has very good positioning, especially as a box defender.
On the ball, Aguerd is very adept. Carries the ball very comfortably when he has space in front of him and has an incredible passing range to spray long balls. Another thing I love about Aguerd, is how quickly he scans and finds the right pass to play after winning the ball. There have been many instances where he finds the free man with his next touch after an interception/tackle.
And, on top of all this he is a left footer. Incredible player.
Scott Twine (from MK Dons to Burnley for an undisclosed fee)
First non-PL move on the list comes with Twine to Burnley. Twine’s natural position is 10 but he’s been deployed mostly as a left forward in a 343 with MK Dons. He generally tucks inside and lets the lwb hold width on the left, and operates mostly in central areas and the left halfspace. Recorded 20 goals and 13 assists in 3.8k minutes in League One last year.
The first thing you notice when watching Twine is his elite ballstriking. A constant threat when cutting in and from set-pieces (corner-kicks and direct free-kicks). He has great power and variety in his ballstriking. Even though his weak foot isn’t the greatest, he doesn’t shy away from using his left foot when it’s beneficial to do so.
His control and touch isn’t the greatest in tight spaces but he carries with power when he has space and has the upper body strength to ride challenges. His eye for the final ball is quite good as well, scans very often and is quick with his thinking.
Another thing that I love, is Twine’s innovativeness. Doesn’t shy away from trying the unfamiliar and at times creates magic with some unorthodox touches. I fully expect him to make the jump to Championship with Burnley this season under Kompany.
Anel Ahmedhodzic (from Malmo to Sheffield United for €4.50m)
Ahmedhodzic is a relatively well known name in football twitter, but for good reason. The Bosnian international has actually moved to England before with Forest 7 years ago but couldn’t get any games. Moved back to his boyhood and impressed even the highest caliber clubs around Europe. But, he preferred to move clubs that will give him consistent first XI minutes with Bordeaux in the last January and now Sheffield this summer.
He stands even taller than Aguerd at 6'5" and he uses his frame very well. Good on the air but lacks aggression/intensity at times. Uses his long legs to cut out passes and execute some last second tackles. His frame can limit him him on his hips, so he sometimes struggle to turn quickly. Can suffer when a carrier is direct on 1v1s.
On the ball is where he seperates himself. His carrying and ballplaying abilities are great. Has great body control which opens up passing angles for him and has the range to find forwards directly. Can carry comfortably when he has space, and even under pressure at times. He also likes to get forward with underlapping runs at times which suits Sheffield’s back 3 to a tee.
With his premium modern profile, I fully expect Ahmedhodzic to make Sheffield a huge profit when he eventually moves to a bigger club down the line.