Alex Scott (Bristol City to Bournemouth, £25m)
The highly-rated teenager is not expected to feature for the Cherries until September, a knee problem ruling him out for the short-term, but that’s okay because the Guernsey-born midfielder was not signed to make an instant impact and directly influence Bournemouth’s Premier League odds.
Instead, here is a rare example of the big picture being prioritised, with the hope being that Scott can develop into a pivotal creative talent for the South Coast club for the next decade.
To be clear, last season’s Young Player of the Year in the Championship has all the attributes to torment the very best defences from the get-go. It’s mainly potential that has been bought though, and the 19-year-old has a lot of it.
Kevin Schade (Freiburg to Brentford, £22m)
The German winger initially joined the Bees last January on loan and impressed enough to secure a permanent deal.
Pacey, tricky, and blessed with quick feet that can keep up with an inventive mind, the 21-year-old has already caught the eye with a sumptuous finish against Crystal Palace. Likely there will be much more to come from a full international who can play anywhere across the front three.
Brentford have an outstanding track record in sourcing brilliant fare who have been overlooked by others. They may have done just that again.
Jefferson Lerma (Bournemouth to Crystal Palace, free)
He may have picked up the most yellow cards in the top-flight since making his bow in 2018, but bringing in a midfielder so tenacious and effective on a free was a no-brainer for the Eagles, especially with James McArthur and Luka Milivojevic leaving.
The Colombian’s 49 successful tackles last term, not to mention a 82% pass completion rate, went a long way to securing Bournemouth’s safety and his combative traits will be a huge plus for a Palace side that will be up against it for much of 2023/24.
Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton to Liverpool, £35m)
The World Cup winner’s fee will ultimately jump up sharply once add-ons are factored in but even at the full whack of £55m it still represents a great purchase for the Reds who were in urgent need of his services.
Having sold or released the bulk of their midfield over the summer, Liverpool’s overhaul began with their recruitment of Mac Allister whose box-to-boxing was right up there with the very best last year.
Indeed, of any Premier League player who made more than 1000 minutes he was the only one to average 2+ shots, 2+ tackles and 50+ passes per 90.
James Maddison (Leicester to Spurs, £40m)
Maddison has dominated the football transfer odds market for the past couple of years, with repeated links to Manchester United and Arsenal, but in the event it was Spurs who stumped up the cash and even at this early juncture they’re no doubt glad they did.
A long overdue successor to Christian Eriksen, the England international has immediately enlivened a side that was notably short of adventure and ingenuity. In this regard he is the perfect fit for the front-foot, progressive football that new boss Ange Postecoglou espouses.
Just three games in and the former Leicester schemer has already contributed a goal and two assists.
By Ste Tudor