Jonny Evans to Leicester
Evans had been linked with a move away from West Brom in each of the last three transfer windows, but the Baggies’ relegation to the Championship meant an exit was inevitable this summer – particularly as the defender had just 12 months left to run on his contract.
Robert Huth’s departure and the declining form of Wes Morgan meant centre-back was an area Leicester needed to strengthen before next season. Snapping up a player of Evans’ experience and ability for just £3.5m represents a brilliant deal.
Rui Patricio to Wolves
Wolves have wasted little time in preparing their squad for the Premier League, signing a player apiece from Porto (Willy Boly), Benfica (Raul Jimenez) and Patricio (Sporting CP) before the end of June. Jorge Mendes’s influence on such acquisitions is clear, but Wolves fans will be delighted to have landed such an experienced goalkeeper just a couple of months after their return to the top flight.
Patricio, Portugal’s first-choice goalkeeper at the World Cup, was one of several Sporting stars to terminate his own contract this summer, allowing him to join the West Midlanders on a free transfer. The 6ft 2in glovesman has signed a four-year deal at Molineux.
Benik Afobe to Stoke (loan)
FourFourTwo would wager that you’ve been so wrapped up in the World Cup that you missed both of Afobe’s summer moves. First, the striker returned to Wolves from Bournemouth having already enjoyed two separate spells at Molineux, before almost immediately being loaned out to Championship side Stoke.
Even more confusingly, the Potters have an obligation to purchase the 25-year-old for around £12m in January, when his six-month loan deal comes to an end. Wolves are thought to have paid £10m for the ex-Arsenal man, which essentially means they’ve gone to an awful lot of trouble for £2m profit.
Ramadan Sobhi to Huddersfield
Stoke had five representatives in Russia at the start of the World Cup in Jack Butland, Mame Biram Diouf, Xherdan Shaqiri, Badou Ndiaye and new boy Oghenekaro Etebo. Sobhi is no longer a team-mate of the quintet, however, having agreed a deal to join Huddersfield on the eve of the tournament.
The winger was unable to help Egypt pick up a point in Russia, but he will be determined to make his mark at the John Smith’s Stadium in 2018/19. Huddersfield struggled for goals last time out and will expect Sobhi to contribute towards both the creation and conversion of chances as they seek to avoid second-season syndrome.
Lukasz Fabianski to West Ham
Fabianski was always unlikely to go down to the Championship with Swansea, who probably would have been relegated far earlier had the Polish shot-stopper not performed heroics between the sticks. The ex-Arsenal man has been one of the division’s most consistent goalkeepers in recent years and represents an upgrade on Joe Hart, who has returned to Manchester City.
West Ham, who have also signed defensive duo Issa Diop and Ryan Fredericks, paid £7m for Fabianski’s services, with the 33-year-old putting pen to paper on a deal which expires in 2021.
Emre Can to Juventus
This transfer has been on the cards for some time now, with Can’s refusal to sign a new contract at Liverpool paving the way for his exit on a free transfer this summer. Juventus, who have signed the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba, Sami Khedira and Dani Alves for nothing in recent years, have handed the Germany international a four-year deal as they seek to bolster their midfield options ahead of 2018/19.
Liverpool, for their part, have already made additions in the engine room, acquiring Fabinho from Monaco and Naby Keita from RB Leipzig.
Vicente Guaita to Crystal Palace
Palace were chasing Getafe goalkeeper Guaita for much of the January transfer window but were unable to get a deal over the line. They did, however, agree a pre-contract with the soon-to-be free agent, who officially becomes an Eagle on July 1.
Curiously, Guaita has continued to be linked with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid despite having already agreed terms with Palace, who could still sell the Spaniard for a profit. That’s unlikely to happen, though, so we can expect to see the 31-year-old challenging Wayne Hennessey for the No.1 jersey at Selhurst Park next term.
Santi Cazorla to Villarreal?
There were fears that Cazorla may never play professional football again after a hellish few years, with injury limiting the Spanish schemer to just 23 Premier League appearances in the last three seasons – and none at all in 2017/18.
His exit from Arsenal was confirmed in May, but Cazorla’s career may not be over just yet after former employers Villarreal invited him to spend pre-season with the Yellow Submarine. The midfielder, who came through the youth ranks at El Madrigal and made 228 first-team appearances for the club, could yet earn a contract if he’s able to prove his fitness.
Stuart Armstrong to Southampton
Southampton have been frequent shoppers in Glasgow in recent times, with Armstrong following the path laid by Fraser Forster, Victor Wanyama and Virgil van Dijk in swapping Celtic Park for St Mary’s. The midfielder has signed a four-year deal on the south coast, with Saints exchanging £7m for his services.
Armstrong won four Premiership titles, two Scottish Cups and two Scottish League Cups after joining the Bhoys from Dundee United in 2015. Southampton boss Mark Hughes cited his desire to “add a greater goal threat to the team” as one of the key reasons for signing the 26-year-old.
Joao Carvalho, Diogo Goncalves to Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis seems to have signalled his intent a year after taking control at the City Ground, splashing out a club-record fee of £13.2m for Carvalho and landing former Benfica team-mate Goncalves on a season-long loan with an option to buy.
Both 21-year-olds – Portugal U21 internationals – are represented by super-agent Jorge Mendes, who was influential in Wolves’ promotion to the Premier League last term. Forest fans will no doubt be excited by the ambition their club is showing in the transfer market as they seek a return to the top tier after a 20-year absence.
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