Top 3 And Flop 3 Signings Of The Season
With less than 2 months of the season left,
I’m going to take a look at the Top 3 signings of the season,
and the “Flop 3”, the worst signings of the season.
3rd: James Maddison (Leicester City)
Many may consider this to be a little left field,
but for me James Maddison has had a fantastic break through year at Leicester.
I remember on the opening day of the season at Old Trafford,
it was easily forgotten after United won the game,
but Leicester were fantastic during the first half and
Maddison was at the heart of everything.
Terrific first touch, quick feet, very spatially aware,
and his free kicks (whether shooting or crossing)
are up there with the best the Premier League has to offer in my opinion!
Maddison has scored 6 with 6 assists so far this season,
which have included a couple of very impressive free kicks,
like the one away at Burnley recently.
All in all it’s a reasonable return for a midfielder,
especially considering Leicester have endured a tricky campaign with Claude Puel being sacked more recently.
The Foxes fans will no doubt be very happy with Maddison,
and be hoping he can kick on again next season.
2nd: Alisson Becker (Liverpool)
Well, after the Champions League Final failings of Karius last season,
it was obvious Juergen Klopp had to dive head first in to the transfer market
for a new Keeper during the summer.
His choice, Alisson from Roma for what was for a very short time the World Record fee for a Goalkeeper.
After a tidy World Cup for Brazil, Alisson brought his confidence
with him to the Premier League and adapted extremely quickly.
Good with his hands, and super confident with his feet,
the Liverpool fans took to their new man very early.
The Brazilian number one so far has 17 Clean Sheets,
which sees him on his way to winning the Golden Gloves during his debut
Premier League season. How much that is down to the fantastic Virgil Van Dijk in-front of him is certainly up for debate!
There have been a couple of mistakes he will look to eradicate,
the one at Anfield against United earlier on in season being an example.
But all in all the Anfield faithful will be very happy with Allisson,
and won’t be too desperate to recall Karius from his loan spell anytime soon.
1st: Raúl Jiménez (Wolves)
Many of you might be raising your eyebrows as to why I’ve chosen Jiménez
as my signing of the season over Alisson. But I think Jiménez is one of the
most underrated players in the Premier League at the moment.
Quick, strong and clinical, he’s been a revelation in a Wolves side which
has been the surprise package in the Premier League this season,
despite the quality they brought in during the Summer.
The Mexican has 12 goals and 7 assists so far, with his partnership with
Diogo Jota blossoming more and more as the season goes on.
His impact on the Wolves team goes beyond goals too, his hold up play and
strength when the ball is in and around him is exceptional.
The only downside for Wolves is that Jiménez is only on loan from Benfica,
meaning that his performances of late are bound to have put him in the shop window.
And with Chelsea and Spurs both on the market for Strikers as well as other
clubs across Europe, the 28 year old will be a man in demand this summer.
It’ll be a big coop if he ends up back at Molineux next season.
3rd: Jack Wilshere (West Ham United)
I feel a little bit harsh with this one, as Wilshere has been injured
for a huge chunk of the season. That being said, this is exactly what
Wilshere and West Ham didn’t want to happen, and what many predicted would.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually a huge Wilshere fan, and I was desperately
disappointed he didn’t make the World Cup squad last summer after a
consistent run of games for Arsenal at the back end of last season.
But Wilshere has only managed 5 Premier League appearances this season,
losing 4 out of 5 of them in the process. Wilshere has yet to make an
appearance in any competition in 2019, which I’m sure he’ll be very frustrated with.
For the record I really hope Wilshere can turn things around,
and be a regular in this West Ham side. But you wonder if Jack
can ever get the best of his injuries and reach the potential we all know he has.
2nd: Stephan Lichtsteiner (Arsenal)
Even back in the summer, I thought this was a strange move
for both club and player. But figured if he was intended for backup
for Hector Bellerin, it’s good experience to have available to have at your disposal.
In truth, Unai Emery has probably been forced in to playing Lichtsteiner
in games where he’d rather have had Bellerin available, but Lichtsteiner
hasn’t covered himself in any glory either. In the 12 appearances the Swiss
international has made in the Premier League, the Gunners have only kept 2 clean sheets,
and conceding 21 goals in the process.
I can recall a particularly bad performance at Anfield, where Arsenal were hammered 5-1.
With Ainsley Maitland-Niles playing well in the Right-Back position more recently,
and Bellerin due to return next season, I’d be surprised if Lichtsteiner
was still at the club come August. At 35, I think this move came a little too late in his career.
1st: Fred (Manchester United)
Well, I think this one speaks for itself when I tell you that Fred cost
an estimated £53 million pounds from Shakhtar Donetsk, and currently struggling to get anywhere near the United 11.
Fred was brought in by Jose Mourinho in the Summer and struggled
to impress in early games. I can recall particularly poor displays
away at Brighton and at Old Trafford against Spurs in the opening few games,
where United lost both. The Brazilian was sloppy in posession, outfought physically,
and often caught out positionally as well. His form certainly wasn’t what the United fans wanted
to see when you consider the club was in a very bad patch towards the end of Mourinho’s reign.
Even since the introduction of Solskjaer, things haven’t improved for the Fred,
who had featured just 5 times under the new United boss, with youngsters like McTominay
and Pereira seeing more game time. During a rare start last time out against Arsenal,
he conceded a second half penalty at the Emirates which lead to the Gunners second goal.
His performance was pretty poor as well.
It’s safe to say it’s certainly not been the fairytale either Fred or
the United fans expected this far, but the Brazilian is only 26,
so he certainly has time on his side to turn things around next season.