It what must be the strangest transfer windows in recent memory because of Covid-19, the virus has shifted the timeline of the season and the transfer window. It has forced clubs to think creatively and while money is not as freely available as in windows gone by, some of the big clubs (mainly Chelsea) have still spent on procuring quality.
So we take a look at the best players joining the Premier League for the 2020/21 season and what they could potentially bring to the league.
Kai Havertz – £72m – Chelsea
Position: AMC, AMR, MC & FW
Chelsea’s biggest expensive signing of an impressive transfer window, what a statement of intent signing Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen especially after 21-year-old seems to have finally taken his game to the level expected of him. The multi-faceted German midfielder was at his prolific and creative best last season scoring 12 Bundesliga goals as well as six assists. Add four European goals and two assists and you can see Havertz has had so many potential suitors since making his debut at 17 four years ago. He is also an accomplished German international.
Haverts can play in multiple positions across the midfield and further forward. An elegant left-footed player with a surprisingly furious turn of pace; Haverts can pass incisively, dribble, shoot, assist and head the ball. He can tear teams apart in a variety of ways and his link-up play with Chelsea’s talented attackers is a mouth-watering prospect. A much needed creative spark in the Blues midfield.
James Rodríguez – £20m – Everton
Position: AMC, AML & AMR
This is a coup for Everton, a player with the profile of James does not often join the blue side of Merseyside, the Colombian’s arrival has definitely injected the club with optimism. Off the field, James has more Instagram followers than Manchester United, Liverpool and Cristiano Ronaldo so it’s a win-win for the Toffees.
The 29-year-old midfielder signed a two-year deal at Goodison Park after an underwhelming few years at Real Madrid and a loan spell at Bayern Munich. The former World Cup Golden Boot winner is now looking for a home to settle and make good on the promise he has shown in fits and spurts. His quality cannot be questioned and Ancelotti is probably the most ideal man to bring the best out of him as the two share a great working relationship having been together in Madrid and Munich.
Rodriguez football CV is something, he’s won winning three titles with Porto, two La Liga titles with Madrid and two Bundesliga titles with Bayern. He is also a two-time Champions League winner twice, a Europa League winner with Porto and of course the Golden Boot at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. For his country, James has been capped 76 times for scoring 21 goals.
Hakim Ziyech – £33.6m – Chelsea
Position: AMR & AMC
The Moroccan wizard’s transfer has taken a back seat as the German duo of Werner and Havertz take centre stage for now. But Ziyech’s acquisition could potentially be just as significant or even more so as the 27-year-old provides something different for Chelsea on attack. His creativity stems from a majestic but wicked left foot. When Ziyech cuts inside on to his left foot, he will shoot from distance effectively.
He is also expected to take over the set-piece duties for the Blues since Willian has joined Arsenal so the potential for assists is increased. The playmaker scored six goals and provided 12 assists for Ajax Amsterdam last season in the Eredivisie. Ziyech made a huge impression alongside a number of other Ajax teammates in their 2018/19 UEFA Champions League run while last season his also contributed two goals and four assists in Europe.
Ferran Torres – £24.5m – Manchester City
Position: AMR, FWR, FWL
Manchester City captured a supremely talented winger for a bargain considering he is just 20-years-old, he scored four goals and contributed five assists for the cash strapped Valencia in LaLiga last season. With Leroy Sane back in Germany, there could be opportunities for Torres to get some game time and continue his rapid growth.
Torres also improved his growing reputation in the UEFA Champions League, scoring twice and providing a further two assists over six matches. The versatile 20-year-old offers Man City options on both flanks and can contribute with a very good passing range while he can dazzle with the ball at his feet. It’s a massive season for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City after a disappointing season and Torres could provide something different which will help City in their quest for the title.
Donny van de Beek – £34.7m – Manchester United
Position: MC, DM and AM
The 23-year-old Dutchman has been United’s only signing so far but it could prove to be a shrewd one. Van de Beek is known for his ability to play in multiple midfield positions at a high level. For Ajax Amsterdam, he scored 28 goals and provided 21 assists in 91 league matches. That included eight goals and five assists last season in what was yet another productive and consistent season.
Van de Beek like many of Ajax’s current generation made a huge impression by winning the Eredivisie title in 2018/19 and reach the semi-finals of the Champions League by playing some outstanding and intricate football. His late ghosting runs into the box is a big feature of his game and his ability to score goals from midfield. He has also made nine appearances for the Netherlands.
Timo Werner – £47.5m – Chelsea
Position: FW, FWL & AMC
Werner produced 28 goals and eight assists for RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga in 2019/20, his best ever season to date. The versatile German can play out wide but is likely to occupy the lone forward role competing with Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud. What makes him stand out from the competition is his searing pace which saw him tear apart Bundesliga and Champions League defences in most productive season yet.
Like Havertz, Chelsea have acquired Werner in the best form of their life and it will be interesting to see how Chelsea deploy him as he is quick on the counter-attacks, a cool finisher but also has attributes such as strength and his hold up play. The potential for the Chelsea attack to cause mayhem with so much pace and technical quality must even excite the neutrals.