EPL Signings

Premier League signings of the season so far: Our football writers pick their top summer buys

Our writers pick out their signings of the season so far. Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumors with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.

Who has been the Premier League signing of the season so far?

Aaron Ramsdale, Arsenal

Arsenal: Aaron Ramsdale wants to be England No 1 by 2022 World Cup - The  Athletic

Aaron Ramsdale’s £30m arrival at Arsenal was met with widespread skepticism following back-to-back relegations with Sheffield United and Bournemouth but his doubters are quiet now. The 23-year-old has been outstanding since ousting Bernd Leno as Mikel Arteta’s first-choice goalkeeper, helping the Gunners turn their season around following the three-game losing streak which threatened to plunge the club into crisis back in August.

Since his debut, in a 1-0 win over Norwich later that month, he has kept eight clean sheets in 15 Premier League appearances – a total second to only Manchester City’s Ederson in the division.

There have been sensational saves – such as his acrobatic stop from James Maddison against Leicester in October – and dazzling passes too. Indeed, as well as providing a formidable last line of defense, Ramsdale has transformed Arsenal’s build-up play.

Conor Gallagher, Crystal Palace

Chelsea must find a way to include Conor Gallagher next season

With the new year fast approaching, Conor Gallagher can look back on a breakout 2021.

His summer loan move to Crystal Palace has continued to bring out the best of the midfielder. Those who have followed his career at Chelsea or in temporary spells at Charlton Athletic, Swansea, and then West Brom on loan will not be overly surprised.

The 21-year-old has shined in most games for Palace, and he tops the charts in most attacking areas. He ranks first in the squad for goals (six), assists (three), shots on target (14), and chances created (29).

While there is plenty of focus on his attacking play, he is not afraid to make those key tackles and contribute defensively. He is second in the Crystal Palace team for total tackles (44) and fifth for interceptions (13).

He is everywhere, all the time. It’s perfect for Crystal Palace, which has been crying out for youth and creativity in their midfield. He also seems to have that boundless 21-year-old energy, making him an overall nightmare for opponents.

Emmanuel Dennis, Watford

Watford's Emmanuel Dennis celebrates scoring the opening goal

It’s interesting that many of the most expensive or high-profile signings of the summer haven’t made it onto this list. Also, Emmanuel Dennis at Watford is another example of a smart piece of scouting. And a bargain buy that’s paying off.

The Nigerian only cost Watford £3.5m from Club Brugge, according to his agent, but with seven goals and five Premier League assists, only Mohamed Salah has more goal contributions so far this season. With key man Ismaila Sarr out injured, Dennis has stepped up.

Jose Sa, Wolves

Jose Sa: Wolves complete transfer for Olympiakos goalkeeper - The Athletic

Jose Sa arrived as an uncapped 28-year-old signed from Olympiacos to replace his highly-regarded compatriot Rui Patricio at Wolves. But the Portuguese goalkeeper has been a revelation at Molineux and must be regarded as one of the signings of the season.

Wolves have conceded only two goals in their last seven Premier League games. Also, one of those was a controversial penalty against Manchester City. They have the third-best defensive record in the competition and Sa deserves huge credit for his role in that.

Statistically, the expected-goals data suggests that he has prevented more goals than any other goalkeeper. Wolves have conceded only 14 but, on average, based on the type, location, and direction of the shots faced, Sa should have let in 18.4 goals.

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