11 Premier League summer signings that look like genuine bargains
Stuart Armstrong, Celtic to Southampton (£7m)
An integral figure in Celtic’s recent domination of Scottish football, Armstrong was snared away from Glasgow for just £7m in June. The midfielder – whose international debut last year was praised as the best that manager Gordon Strachan had ever seen for Scotland – scored 15 goals in 31 league games in 2016/17, before enduring an injury-hit season last time out.
Box-to-box operator Armstrong excels when driving forward with the ball at his feet and making things happen in the final third. He contributes to the defensive cause too, and at 26 still has plenty of time for further improvement.
Joao Moutinho, Monaco to Wolves (£5m)
It’s not too hard to work out why Jorge Mendes client Moutinho swapped Monaco for Molineux, but that doesn’t alter the fact that Wolves have landed themselves a real bargain. The 31-year-old will bring valuable experience to the newly promoted side, having played in the World Cup, European Championship and Champions League, as well as winning eight major trophies at club level.
His range of passing and composure in possession will also be hugely important for Wanderers as they embark on their first Premier League campaign since 2012. Moutinho’s midfield partnership with compatriot Ruben Neves has the potential to be the best outside the top six.
Lucas Perez, Arsenal to West Ham (£4m)
Only four clubs spent more than West Ham in the summer transfer window, with Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson among the big names tempted to the London Stadium from overseas. The Hammers have also done their fair share of trading within the capital, landing Ryan Fredericks and Jack Wilshere on free transfers from Fulham and Arsenal respectively.
Both Englishmen could easily have been included on this list, but capturing Perez for £4m is arguably more impressive than snapping up two out-of-contract players. The forward impressed in cup competitions for Arsenal following a £17m move from Deportivo, for whom Perez scored 17 league goals in 2015/16. Hammers will be hoping he can embrace the more frequent opportunities about to come his way.
Lucas Digne, Barcelona to Everton (£18m)
Digne was one of three players who swapped Barcelona for Everton this summer, with Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes also making the move to Goodison Park. Stuck behind Jordi Alba at left-back, Digne only started 22 La Liga matches during his time at the Camp Nou, but Toffees fans should be excited about his arrival.
The 25-year-old is approaching his prime and therefore represents excellent value for money at £18m. Digne is an all-round full-back who seems to enjoy making tackles as much as bombing down the flank, shone at PSG and Roma, and was part of France’s squad for the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016.
Xherdan Shaqiri, Stoke to Liverpool (£13m)
Stoke had no chance of holding on to Shaqiri following their relegation to the Championship last season, but it was a surprise that Liverpool didn’t face more competition for his signature. Indeed, although the Switzerland international is unlikely to start at Anfield when everyone’s fit, he’s a brilliant bargain at just £13m.
The 26-year-old occasionally struggled for consistency during his three seasons in the Potteries, but his combined 15 goals and assists in 2017/18 show the extent to which Stoke were reliant on him in the final third. Shaqiri is able to play anywhere across the frontline and improves Liverpool’s strength in depth at the top of the pitch.
Max Meyer, Schalke to Crystal Palace (free)
Schalke enjoyed a successful 2017/18 campaign under Domenico Tedesco, who converted former No.10 Meyer into a deep-lying midfielder. The German performed well in his new role, but the Schalke hierarchy refused to bow to his wage demands and the 22-year-old became a free agent at the end of June.
Previously linked with Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid, Meyer instead pitched up at Selhurst Park last month. The lack of concrete interest from Europe’s biggest clubs shows the midfielder hasn’t quite progressed as expected, but landing a talented young player with plenty of potential and resale value for no initial outlay is a terrific piece of business by Palace.
Marc Navarro, Espanyol to Watford (£3m)
Watford’s acquisition of Navarro may not have generated many headlines this window, but the defender is a snip at £3m – particularly as he was rumoured to have a £21.3m release clause in his contract. Formerly a member of Barcelona’s fabled La Masia academy, Navarro moved across town to Espanyol in 2011 and had been a member of the first-team squad for the last two seasons.
Able to play at right-back or centre-half, the 23-year-old was linked with a move to Liverpool last summer, so Watford have done well to bring him to Vicarage Road. He may not be an automatic starter right away, but Navarro won’t have to do much to justify his fee.