The transfer window has slammed shut on the Premier League and all eyes will now be on the big kick-off, with Manchester United and Leicester City getting us under way on Friday night.
It’s been a manic summer in terms of money flying around as teams look to strengthen and even though it was a fairly busy final day on Thursday, there were no jaw-dropping moves from the likes of United or Tottenham.
Here we assess the top five fees paid out by Premier League clubs this summer.
KEPA ARRIZABALAGA – ATHLETIC BILBAO TO CHELSEA £71.6m
Be honest, did anyone see the eye-watering amount Liverpool paid to prise Alisson away from Rome being eclipsed, in the same window?
And for a 23-year-old talent not many people outside Spain will have heard about. Chelsea were resigned to losing Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid and exhausted their options with the respective clubs of Jan Oblak, Kevin Trapp and Jordan Pickford all turning away their advances, so were in desperate need of a new No1.
And even with the fact they’ve had to hand over a shuddering world record fee for Arrizabalaga, it’s better than giving the gloves to Willy Caballero or Rob Green for the entire season.
ALISSON – ROMA TO LIVERPOOL £65m
Liverpool’s handing over of a record transfer fee for a goalkeeper doesn’t look quite so insane now. And whatever costs are involved, the No1 position is one that has been screaming out for attention at Anfield for a good few years now.
Simon Mignolet’s arrival raised eyebrows back in 2013 having allowed far too many questions to be raised following a series of howlers at Sunderland, and Loris Karius will probably never recover from his nightmarish pair of Champions League final blunders.
Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp need to win. And in order to do that, solid foundations are required. Alisson is that.
RIYAD MAHREZ – LEICESTER CITY TO MANCHESTER CITY £60m
A further sign of the times in modern-day football when a bit-part – although a supremely talented one – player is your club’s record signing and the 20th most expensive player of all time.
This deal was close to happening in January and makes massive sense – perhaps not in financial terms but certainly in squad terms – for City.
There wasn’t much wrong with the Premier League champions last season but you should always add even when you’re on top, and the Algerian winger offers pace, craft and goals, and adds depth, class and competition for Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva.
NABY KEITA – RB LEIPZIG TO LIVERPOOL £52.8m
Liverpool have had a brilliant summer and are now well placed to challenge City for the Premier League title this season.
Ignore the fee for Keita – and Alisson – we are living in a buyers’ market, and while Manchester United and Tottenham have either been frustrated or dug their heels in by the exuberant fees floating around, the Reds have been rampant.
For all their pretty football, Klopp knows it is substance, not style, he needs to deliver, and that means trophies. Keita is N’Golo Kante 2.0 and will add energy and enterprise, not to mention goals, to the Anfield engine room.
JORGINHO – NAPOLI TO CHELSEA £50.4m
Don’t be fooled by his naïve and nervy display in the insipid Community Shield defeat to Manchester City, this guy can play.
No other player in Serie A averaged more passes per game than his 96.9 during 2017/18.
His 49 key passes was 31st overall in Italy and his 1.5 per game was fifth most for former club Napoli, while only Allan and Mario Rui posted better figures than his 1.9 tackles per game.
With Kante sniping around by the side of him and Mateo Kovacic brought in on loan from Real Madrid, Chelsea’s midfield suddenly looks like it could cause chaos.