As the Premier League season draws to a close and a new transfer window reopens, we decided to count down our top five transfers in the 2019/20 Premier League season. So who is our Premier League signing of the season?
Premier League signing of the season – Top 5
5. Allan Saint-Maximin
Newcastle’s left-winger cost just over £16m when they signed him from Nice last summer, less than half the fee paid for high profile flop Joelinton. Although Saint-Maximin flattered to deceive in some of his earlier games, his performances have become increasingly effective and devestating as the season has progressed.
The Geordies were tipped by many for relegation at the start of the season but, spearheaded by the power and pace of Saint-Maximin, they sit in 13th and have rarely looked in danger all season. He is third in the list of attempted dribbles in the Premier League this season (162) behind only Wilfried Zaha and Adama Traore and is also third for completed dribbles (105) behind the same pair.
With four assists and three goals in the league, his end product has increased as the season has wore on and, after a year getting used to the league, he could be dominant next season.
4. Aaron Wan-Bissaka
Following the path from Selhurst Park to Old Trafford that Wilfried Zaha took so unsuccessfully years earlier, another Palace academy product moved to the biggest of domestic stages with a huge price tag (£45m) hanging around his neck. Whereas Zaha struggled to make an impression during his spell at United though, Wan-Bissaka has fitted in seemlessly and looks as though he could be a fixture in the United defence for years to come.
It’s an unbelievably difficult time to be an English right-back with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker and Reece James making it arguably the most fiercely contested individual position in international football. That Wan-Bissaka is probably second in that queue behind possibly the world’s best in Alexander-Arnold, shows just how fantastic he’s been.
His 120 successful tackles (at the time of writing) are the most in the Premier League this season and his 96 crosses demonstrate that his attacking output has improved as the season has progressed. If not the Premier League signing of the season, probably the defensive signing of the season. Could Gareth Southgate find a way to shoehorn him and Trent into his England XI next summer?
3. Jordan Ayew
At one point this season Jordan Ayew would have been top of this list but he has been displaced by the late season exploits of the pair above him. Regardless, it has been a fantastic year for the Ghanaian forward who surely represents the best value for money return of any Premier League transfer this year.
Signed permanently from Swansea for just £2.5m last summer following a fairly ordinary loan spell, Ayew’s nine Premier League goals are five more than any other Palace player and represents just under a third of their overall total. He has scored more in the league than Roberto Firmino and Christian Pulisic with just one less than Alexandre Lacazette. Five of his goals have been game winners and, had Palace not claimed those extra ten points, they would be just one clear of Bournemouth.
Perhaps even more valuable than his goals though has been his work ethic. Ayew doesn’t stop running and wears his heart on his sleeve which has endeared him to the Crystal Palace faithful.
2. Danny Ings
Jamie Vardy, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. There ends the list of players who have scored more Premier League goals than Danny Ings’ 19 this season. The Southampton striker has smashed his previous best Premier League tally of 11 and must be cursing the postponement of Euro 2020, a tournament which he had firmly thrown his name in the hat for.
Under the management of Ralph Hasenhüttl, Ings has kept Southampton afloat during a season in which they spent long periods looking like relegation fodder by transforming himself into one of the most lethal strikers in the league.
“For 90-plus minutes today he is our opponent, but other than that he is always our friend at Liverpool. I am not even half-a-per-cent surprised to see what he does this season. Richly deserved, also. Today I hope he has an off day, but other than that his story this season really brings joy to those of us lucky enough to know him”
High praise indeed from a man who knows about top quality strikers.
1. Bruno Fernandes
His almost single-handed transformation of Manchester United from Premier League laughing stocks to the form team in the division, makes Bruno Fernandes our undisputed Premier League signing of the season.
Joining from Sporting Lisbon on the 29th January for a fee estimated to be just under £70m, Fernandes came with a big reputation and fans hoped that he would perform significantly better than other recent high profile signings such as Angel Di Maria and Alexis Sanchez.
Fernandes arrived with United seventh in the league, six points behind Chelsea in fourth and 14 points behind third placed Leicester. 11 league games later United are fifth, level on points with Leicester and four behind Chelsea with a game in hand.
They are unbeaten in the league since he joined, having won seven and drawn four, scoring 25 and conceding just six. Having taken 34 points from the 24 games before he joined at a rate of 1.4 per game, they have won 25 from 11 since which is 2.3 points per game on average.
It isn’t even just the level of Fernandes’ own performances, though they have been exceptional, that have been so impressive. His mere presence and attitude has galvanised every aspect of United and turned them into a team who look as though they could beat anyone. He has even stirred enthusiasm in Paul Pogba who looked very much on the way out of the club but will surely now stay.
Fernandes is the Premier League signing of the season and, if United can recruit well this summer, he could put them in the title picture next season.
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