The season is at a point where assessments can be made about players and teams. Of course there is still ample time left and things may take change drastically, but we take a look at which players are the early contenders for the “signing of the season” tag.
Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur)
Tottenham fought very hard to ensure the Belgian ended up at White Hart Lane instead of St Mary’s. The £11.5 million summer signing has been incredibly important to the side’s impressive form this season. The fact that only Manchester United (9) have conceded fewer Premier League goals this season than Spurs (11) only illustrates this fact. He has become a mainstay in the side and has played every single minute of the Premier League so far. The former Atletico player has wowed the fans as he has proved to be a threat on the other side of the pitch as well already having scored 2 goals. Will he be the signing of the season? Get the best odds at Guts live football odds.
Virgil van Dijk (Southampton)
It was quite a blow for Southampton when they lost out on Alderweireld, but it all turned out for the best as Koeman was successful in getting van Dijk to the club (uncannily for £11.5m). The Dutchman had been linked with a move to the Premier League in the past few windows with Arsenal known to be especially interested. He seems to be really enjoying his football at the moment and even went on to say he has learnt more in England already than he did in 2 years in Scotland. The 24-year-old’s aerial ability along with his impressive command on the ball are two of most striking features of his game.
Dimitri Payet (West Ham United)
The Frenchman has suffered from an unfortunate injury at the hands of Everton’s James McCarthy which has ruled him out for three months. However, Payet has already made an overwhelming impact at proceedings at Upton Park. The Frenchman was brought from Marseille in slightly controversial circumstances. Payet was meant to extend his contract at the French club, but financial reasons meant the club had to part ways with their most successful player from last season. Payet lived up to expectations and scored five goals and grabbed three assists in 12 league matches before he got injured. The 28-year-old has averaged an incredible 4.1 key passes every 90 minutes. Some sections of the West Ham fans have called him their most influential signing since Paolo Di Canio. Everyone associated with the Hammers would only be hoping for the Frenchman to make a swift and successful recovery and help the side out in the business end of the season.
Andre Ayew (Swansea City)
Signed for free from Marseille, Swansea City really did smart business here. The Ghana international seamlessly adjusted to life in England and has become Swansea’s main man at the moment. The 25-year-old has scored six goals and grabbed an assist in the Premier League so far. To put it in context, he has directly been involved in half the goals in the team. Much like former teammate Dimitri Payet, his immediate influence on his new team can absolutely not be understated. Swansea’s form has dipped recently and the fans will be hoping Ayew can play a part in propelling them back to winning ways
Robbie Brady (Norwich City)
The 23-year-old signed for newly promoted Norwich City for a reported fee of £7 million from Hull City. Brady has been exceptional for the Canaries this season. The Irishman can play in different positions but has mostly been utilised as a left-back by Alex Neil. Brady has perhaps been overlooked by players in bigger teams but he has been a real star for Norwich this season. His pace, quality on the ball, along with his biggest strength- threat from the flanks – have ensured. Not only is he a threat offensively, he doesn’t forget his defensive duties and averages 3.5 tackles every 90 minutes along with 1.8 successful interceptions. Clearly indispensable in the Norwich team, Brady has played every minute in the Premier League. There is absolutely no reason why he can’t be picked up by a bigger team in the next summer if he continues playing like this. Brady has definitely been one of the signings of the season, and a rather underrated one at that.
N’Golo Kante (Leicester City)
It is rather unfortunate for Kante individually that his brilliance this season has been completely overshadowed by that of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez. However, Kante has been influential in the Foxes’ wonderful form that sees them astonishingly sit on top of the table, 13 games into the season. The midfielder was bought for £5.6 million from Caen in the summer. After the season he enjoyed with the Ligue 1 club, it wasn’t surprising to see him earn a move abroad. Last season, he made 14 more tackles than any other player (176) along with scoring twice and assisting five goals. He is a box-to-box player but has been performing a deeper role for Leicester in the company of Danny Drinkwater. He has been crucial in the middle of the park for Ranieri’s side and has formed a buzzing partnership with Drinkwater. The Frenchman averages an incredible 5.3 successful tackles and 5.6 successful interceptions every 90 minutes. His defensive positioning is particularly remarkable and he ensures in breaking up the opposition’s attack and dominating the heart of the pitch. Kante has been exceptional this season and if not for Vardy’s explosive form, he would have been mentioned more by now.