A record £1.4bn was spent on transfers in the 2019-2020 Premier League season with Bruno Fernandes and Raul Jimenez the success stories while Alex Iwobi and Nicolas Pepe struggled… here are the best and worst signings of another money-spinning campaign
- Premier League clubs splashed £1.4bn on signings in the 2019-2020 season
- Bruno Fernandes helped Manchester United secure Champions League football
- Raul Jimenez and Danny Ings flourished after making their loans permanent
- Alex Iwobi, Nicolas Pepe and Tanguy Ndombele had more difficult seasons
The longest-ever Premier League season finally came to an end on Sunday as Manchester United and Chelsea secured Champions League football while Watford and Bournemouth suffered relegation.
After a record breaking season of transfers with a combined spending of £1.4billion across the division, clubs are already looking to see who they can bring in to strengthen their squads ahead of the next campaign.
But they may want to take a lesson from some of the acquisitions that were made in the last two transfer windows.
The January signing of Bruno Fernandes helped propel Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side into the top four while Wolves’ summer purchase of Raul Jimenez ensured another top-seven finish.
Fernandes and Jimenez are the success stories of another money-spinning campaign, but what about the less successful new boys? Sportsmail takes a look at the ten best and worst signings of a crazy season.
Bruno Fernandes has been arguably the Premier League’s best signing in the 19-20 season
ALLAN SAINT-MAXIMIN – NEWCASTLE (16m)
There was more talk of Allan Saint-Maximin’s off-the-pitch antics than his potential on it when the Frenchman sealed a £16million move from Nice to Newcastle last summer.
His former manager Patrick Vieira said he had not yet understood that talent can only get him so far. And with just two assists and one goal in the first half of the season, it seemed the former Arsenal captain may have had a point.
But a winning goal against Southampton in the last game before the Premier League’s suspension signalled the winger was making progress.
It was after the restart when Saint-Maximin came to life, scoring in a dominant display against Sheffield United before grabbing three assists in the Magpies 4-1 demolition of Bournemouth.
While Steve Bruce has said there is ‘no chance’ of the 23-year-old leaving St James’, there has been reported interest from Arsenal and Napoli following the winger’s exciting displays.
The fee of £16million could prove to be a steal and with the potential of new owners, Saint-Maximin could be at the heart of Newcastle’s bid to challenge for the European places.
Allan Saint-Maximin’s impressive form has seen him linked with both Arsenal and Napoli
BRUNO FERNANDES – MANCHESTER UNITED (£68m)
Manchester United were six points off the top four when Bruno Fernandes joined the club at the end of the January transfer window.
Fast forward six months and United have secured Champions League football after finishing in third place.
Fernandes has been at the heart of the club’s impressive form since the turn of the year. The Red Devils are unbeaten in the League since the Portuguese star’s arrival and he has been instrumental in that run, with seven goals and seven assists.
The 25-year-old may have tired in the last few games of the season but he stepped up in the big moments, scoring a crucial penalty in the final day’s top four shoot-out with Leicester.
The midfielder has brought more creativity to Solskjaer’s side and Paul Pogba’s return to the first-team has given United fans glimpses of what they could see from the duo next season.
The impact of Fernandes makes him one of the signings of the season.
Bruno Fernandes’ arrival helped Manchester United qualify for Champions League football
DANNY INGS – SOUTHAMPTON (£20m)
Danny Ings joined Southampton permanently in the summer of 2019 after a successful loan spell in the previous campaign.
The £20million fee seemed steep at the time but the 28-year-old has more than repaid the sum the Saints handed over to Liverpool.
Few could have predicted the striker would finish the year as one of the leading scorers in the division, missing out on the Golden Boot by a single goal.
Southampton looked doomed after their 9-0 thrashing by Leicester in October and Ings was hauled off at HT with his side 4-0 down.
But with 22 league goals, the former Liverpool man helped lift Ralph Hasenhuttl’s away from relegation trouble with the club finishing the season in 11th place, 18 points clear of the bottom three.
Danny Ings finished one goal behind Golden Boot winner Jamie Vardy with 22 goals
DEAN HENDERSON – SHEFFIELD UNITED (LOAN)
After helping Sheffield United achieve promotion from the Championship last season, Dean Henderson returned to South Yorkshire for another loan spell with Chris Wilder’s side.
Several people were expecting the Blades to struggle in their first season back in the top flight since 2007 but the Yorkshire club finished ninth, just missing out on a spot in Europe.
As one of the lower scoring sides in the top half, their ability to keep clean sheets proved crucial.
Henderson has made the step-up to the top flight with ease. The young shot-stopper kept 13 clean sheets, the fourth highest in the division and only three less than Golden Glove winner Ederson.
With David de Gea struggling for form, some believe Henderson should be brought back to Old Trafford to challenge for the No 1 spot but the goalkeeper could head back to South Yorkshire for another season if he is not guaranteed first-team football.
Dean Henderson kept 13 clean sheets in an impressive debut season in the Premier League
GABRIEL MARTINELLI – ARSENAL (£6m)
After arriving in North London from Brazilian side Ituano in July 2019, Gabriel Martinelli was rewarded with a new long-term deal earlier this month after an impressive debut season with the Gunners.
Before picking up a serious knee injury in training, the 19-year-old had scored 10 goals and made four assists in 26 appearances across all competitions.
Mikel Arteta expects the youngster to be out of action until at least the end of 2020 but the Brazilian has already shown the huge potential he has.
The forward has a hugely promising future at the Emirates and could prove to be a bargain at £6million.
Gabriel Martinelli managed 10 goals and four assists in 26 games across all competitions
GARY CAHILL – CRYSTAL PALACE (FREE)
After seven years at Chelsea, Gary Cahill joined Crystal Palace on a free transfer last summer and has been a solid addition for the Eagles.
He and boss Roy Hodgson managed to put those bad memories of England’s leaky defence at Euro 2016 behind them with the centre back helping guide the club to another mid-table finish.
The 34-year-old has brought experience and leadership to the Palace side and his performances have been more impressive when you consider the little football he played for Chelsea in the 2018-2019 season.
The Eagles have looked weaker at the back when Cahill has not been available and Hodgson will be hoping the defender can recover from the hamstring injury he picked up against his former side in time for the start of the 2020-2021 campaign.
Gary Cahill brought experience to the Crystal Palace defence after joining on a free transfer
ISMAILA SARR – WATFORD (£30m)
There could be several clubs joining the queue to sign Watford’s Ismaila Sarr after Watford’s relegation to the Championship.
The 22-year-old took some time to adapt to English football but quickly became one of the most important players for the Hornets as they battled to stay in the top flight.
The winger scored five times in the league and made four assists, playing a starring role as Watford ended Liverpool’s unbeaten run in February.
And the Reds are said to be keeping an eye on the Senegal international who is good friends with Sadio Mane.
The winger also caught Gary Neville’s eye in the Hornet’s 3-1 defeat by West Ham with the Sky Sports pundit describing him as a ‘big, big talent’. Neville suggested Manchester United should also be looking at the youngster as a potential alternative to Jadon Sancho.
Watford’s relegation means Sarr is likely to depart but they will look to receive a big fee from any potential suitors.
Ismalia Sarr was Watford’s standout player despite suffering relegation to the Championship
JORDAN AYEW – CRYSTAL PALACE (£2.5m)
After scoring just one league goal during a season-long loan with the Eagles in the 2018-2019 campaign, few would have expected the striker to finish the year as the club’s top scorer.
But Ayew has been more clinical during his second spell in South London, netting nine times for Roy Hodgson’s side.
Only Norwich City, who finished bottom, scored fewer goals in the last season than Palace with Ayew’s contributions picking up crucial points to keep the club safe from falling into relegation trouble.
Wilfried Zaha is second in Palace’s scoring charts with a tally of four, indicating just how reliant Hodgson’s side have been on the Frenchman.
The 28-year-old has proved to be good value for money and will hope those around him may chip in with a few more goals next season.
Jordan Ayew finished the season as Crystal Palace’s top scorer with an impressive nine goals
RAUL JIMENEZ – WOLVES (£30m)
His second season in the Premier League and first as a permanent Wolves player has been just as successful for Raul Jimenez.
The striker netted 26 times in all competitions and made 10 assists. Wolves maintained a serious Champions League challenge until the final few weeks of the season, ending the campaign in seventh.
Jimenez has been clinical in front of goal once again and has also helped the club make the last-16 of the Europa League.
The 29-year-old’s impressive form has seen him linked with Manchester United and Juventus but Wolves will be desperate to keep hold of their star man in order to push for an even higher finish next season.
Raul Jimenez netted 26 times in all competitions and also made 10 assists for his side
TOMAS SOUCEK – WEST HAM (£15m)
West Ham confirmed they had signed Tomas Soucek permanently last week after the midfielder’s impressive spell on loan from Slavia Prague.
Soucek joined the Hammers on a temporary basis in January with the club paying a £4million loan fee before taking up the option to sign him permanently at the end of the season.
The 25-year-old arrived with the London side deep in relegation trouble. Only goal difference was keeping David Moyes’ team out of the bottom three at the end of January but the manager used the winter window wisely to strengthen his squad.
Soucek fitted into the Hammers’ midfield alongside Declan Rice and Mark Noble and scored crucial goals in victories against Chelsea and Watford to help keep the club in the top flight.
At the age of 25, the Czech Republic international has time to get even better.
Tomas Soucek scored important goals against Chelsea and Watford to help keep his side up
ALEX IWOBI – EVERTON (£35m)
Arsenal were initially reluctant to part with Alex Iwobi, rejecting Everton’s first offer of £30million before they eventually accepted a bid of £35million.
The midfielder came through the ranks at the Gunners and was highly thought of but found it difficult to live up to his potential.
It has been a similar story at Everton with the 24-year-old registering one Premier League goal and a goal and assist against Lincoln City in the Carabao Cup.
The Nigerian international still has time to come good but needs to work out his best position if he wants to be part of Carlo Ancelotti’s future plans.
The Toffees boss hooked the midfielder off at half-time in his side’s 1-0 defeat to Spurs which summed up his disappointing debut season in a blue shirt.
Alex Iwobi scored one league goal after joining Everton from Arsenal for a fee of £30million
DAVID LUIZ – ARSENAL (£7million)
Fans just never feel safe when David Luiz’s name is on the team-sheet.
Capable of producing assured performances, the defender is never too far from a howler or red card.
The centre back was meant to provide experience and a sense of calm to the Arsenal defence but his presence has more often than not caused panic.
Many thought his brief cameo against Manchester City would signal the end of his career at the Emirates after he was at fault for the first goal before getting sent off and giving a penalty away. Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville certainly didn’t see him having a future in the Premier League after that horror show.
But the defender is apparently a popular figure among the younger players and Mikel Arteta seemed happy to keep him at the club with the Brazilian signing a one-year contract extension in June.
Arsenal’s David Luiz is never too far from making a costly mistake or picking up a red card
DANNY DRINKWATER – ASTON VILLA AND BURNLEY (LOAN)
To have just six appearances despite playing for two different clubs in one season is disappointing to say the least.
Danny Drinkwater joined Burnley on loan from Chelsea at the start of the season but injury troubles meant he played just two games before returning to the Blues in January.
Aston Villa took a chance on the former Premier League winner but he could only manage four appearances for the Midlands club. He was also told to leave the club’s training ground in March after an altercation with Jota.
He has two years left to run on his Chelsea contract and no doubt Frank Lampard will look to find him another loan move with the midfielder’s high wages presenting a stumbling block for clubs interested in a permanent deal.
Danny Drinkwater managed just four appearances for Aston Villa and two for Burnley
FABIAN DELPH – EVERTON (£10m)
Everton didn’t have the best summer transfer window but they’ve not been helped by many of their signings picking up injuries.
Fabian Delph arrived at Goodison Park after playing under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City but the former England international has struggled to get a run of games for the Toffees.
The club were hoping the 29-year-old would make more than 16 league appearances when they paid City a fee of £10million last summer and he has not been able to have the desired impact.
It’s been a frustrating season for Delph and Everton who will be hoping their recruitment will improve ahead of the new season.
Fabian Delph had a frustrating first season at Everton as he struggled to make his mark
JOELINTON – NEWCASTLE (£40m)
New strikers are always under pressure when they join the Premier League but £40million strikers have even more weight on their shoulders.
Joelinton got off to a good start by scoring Newcastle’s only goal in a 1-0 win over Tottenham at the start of the season but he had to wait until June for his next and only other Premier League goal against Sheffield United.
He got two more in the FA Cup against League One sides Rochdale and Oxford but it has been a difficult first season for the 23-year-old.
The forward is another who still has plenty of time to develop but with new owners potentially heading in, he could soon have some more competition up front
The £40million striker could only manage two goals in his first Premier League season
NICOLAS PEPE – ARSENAL (£72million)
Despite being linked with Wilfried Zaha for the majority of the summer window, Arsenal decided to splash the cash on Lille forward Nicolas Pepe, paying a fee in the region of £72million.
While five goals and six assists in the league is not the worst stats for a debut season, the Gunners were hoping for a more significant impact from their big-money signing.
There has been more optimism around the Emirates since Mikel Arteta took over from Unai Emery and there is a good chance the Spaniard may be able to get the best out of the Ivory Coast international next season.
Arsenal were hoping their £72million man would have a bigger impact at the Emirates
ROBERTO – WEST HAM (FREE)
There is always an air of panic around West Ham whenever Lukasz Fabianski gets injured.
The reliable shot-stopper has been an important player for the Hammers in recent seasons and until last summer he had a competent deputy in Adrian.
But his release saw Manuel Pellegrini bring in Spanish ‘keeper Roberto as No 2 and fears were realised when he had to take the reigns after Fabianski suffered a torn hip muscle in September
In came Roberto and while he did make some impressive stops, he also made several notable howlers, including fumbling the ball into his own net against Burnley.
In just eight appearances in the league and two in the Carabao Cup, the goalkeeper conceded 21 goals. Pellegrini insisted he still trusted the the shot-stopper after his errors but David Moyes did not share his confidence when he took over from the sacked boss in December.
David Martin was promoted to the first-team until Fabianski returned from injury. There is little chance Roberto will get near the Hammers starting XI any time soon, not until the Carabao Cup perhaps.
Roberto conceded 21 goals in just eight appearances in all competitions for West Ham
SEBASTIEN HALLER – WEST HAM (£45m)
At the other end of the West Ham line-up, record signing Sebastien Haller has endured a tricky first season in English football.
The Hammers paid £45m for the Frenchman last summer but he has returned just seven goals as the club battled relegation.
The 26-year-old scored just one goal after January and the club had to rely on Michail Antonio to find the net in the run-in.
The forward has also spent some time injured but there were high expectations when he arrived in East London. Moyes will be hoping he can develop a stronger link with Antonio and January signing Jarrod Bowen in the 2020-2021 campaign.
Sebastien Haller became West Ham’s record signing but could only managed seven goals
TANGUY NDOMBELE – TOTTENHAM (£65m)
A record signing when he joined Tottenham from Lyon, Tanguy Ndombele has so far been a disappointment for the North London side.
The midfielder was billed as the the crucial piece of the jigsaw when he joined Mauricio Pochettino’s side but he has cut a frustrated figure under Jose Mourinho.
While the Frenchman has shown glimpses of his potential, his commitment and desire to work hard for his team off the ball has often been questioned.
He may have only spent a year at Spurs but he has already been linked with a move away, with Barcelona being one of the clubs thought to be interested.
Whether the youngster can go on to flourish under Jose Mourinho remains to be seen but he featured just twice in the final eight games of the Premier League season.
Tanguy Ndombele endured a difficult debut campaign and is already linked with a move away
VICTOR CAMARASA – CRYSTAL PALACE (LOAN)
After being one of Cardiff’s standout players last season, Victor Camarasa looked an astute loan signing for Roy Hodgson’s side.
But he managed just one league and one cup appearance before returning to his parent club Real Betis. He was then moved on to Alaves in Januayr, where he managed one assist in 17 appearances.
A player who many people will have forgotten played in the Premier League this season. The less said about his six months at Selhurst Park, the better.
Victor Camarasa made one Carabao Cup appearance during his six-month loan spell at Palace
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