Alisson Becker, Felipe Anderson and Rui Patricio are just some of the players who could make a huge difference for their new teams upon joining this summer.
Felipe Anderson (Lazio to West Ham)
West Ham suffered through a tumultuous season and the club was in need of an overhaul. The unhappy fans must feel encouraged by The Hammers’ activity this off-season. The defensive issues have been dealt with (Lukasz Fabianski, Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena and Ryan Fredericks) and the midfield has been strengthened (Jack Wilshere, Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson). The transfer window is not closed yet, so there could be more moves on the horizon, but the signing of Felipe Anderson, one of Serie A’s best players over the last few years has to be satisfying. Between him and Manuel Lanzini, West Ham has two extremely gifted technicians who should help Manuel Pellegrini’s team bounce back.
Alisson Becker (Roma to Liverpool)
Defense has been Liverpool’s Achilles’ heel for the past few years. Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson brought some stability last season, but the vulnerability was exposed in the Champions League final. Loris Karius’ howlers cost The Merseyside Reds dearly, so when this off-season came around, there was an obvious need which had to be addressed. Alisson Becker was pricy (€62.5 million – world record for a goalkeeper), but with him Liverpool eliminates its most glaring weakness.
Rui Patricio (free transfer to Wolverhampton)
Portugal’s No.1 suddenly became available on the market following the attack on Sporting Lisbon’s training ground by unhappy fans at the end of last season. He, along with six teammates, quit the club. Wolverhampton’s manager Nuno Espirito Santo already had a large contingent of Portuguese fellow countrymen on the roster and Rui Patricio became one of them after agreeing to join the newly-promoted club on a free transfer. The 30-year-old brings invaluable experience to the squad. Having him on goal is a huge boost for Wolves’ chances of not only remaining a part of the Premier League, but also competing for a European spot.
Jonny Evans (West Bromwich to Leicester)
Evans was a wanted man both last summer and during the January transfer window. Everyone, from Manchester City, to Chelsea, to Arsenal were interested in the experienced center back, yet none of them managed to convince WBA to give him up. The club dropped to a lower tier and Leicester profited, scooping the €15 million rated defender for a remarkably low €4 million. He and Harry Maguire now make up one of the strongest center back duos in England. Teams will have a difficult time breaking down The Foxes this season.
James Maddison (Norwich to Leicester)
Maddison created 124 chances in the Championship, more than anyone else in the league. The 21-year-old used to be a prodigious talent and was Norwich’s best player last season. Leicester bought him to take over Riyad Mahrez’s spot in the starting lineup and people might be surprised by what he can do. Don’t sleep on this team. Claude Puel’s squad might be weakened, but it’s not worse.
Jean Michael Seri (Nice to Fulham)
Seri was one of the most highly touted defensive midfielders in Europe over the last couple of years, with clubs from around the continent chasing his signature. The fact that newly-promoted Fulham managed to grab him is shocking. As a career move, it is perfect. Seri will get to play every day, much like N’Golo Kante did when he came over from Ligue 1 and will be an essential piece in Slavisa Jokanovic’s attempt to make the jump to a higher level a successful one.
Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia M’Gladbach to Southampton)
Southampton really struggled defensively without Virgil van Dijk, so bringing a quality center back to play alongside the ever-improving Maya Yoshida was a priority for Mark Hughes’ Saints. Jannik Vestergaard is not a famous name, but the towering Dane has been an everyday Bundesliga player since 2015. He’ll bring some much needed stability to Southampton’s defense and will be key in their renewed confidence after a disappointing 2017/18 campaign.