10 intriguing transfers you might have missed this summer
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.