Premier League Transfer Grades How Are The Summers 10 Biggest Signings Getting On
Ah, the January transfer window. A time for the optimistic among us to look forward to seeing your club strengthen ahead of the second-half of the season ahead of that title-push/relegation fight/mid-table cruise.
And the season”s midpoint also gives us the perfect opportunity to assess and take stock of the previous window”s wheeling and dealing.
We”ve run the rule over the ten biggest transfers from last summer to see just how they”re getting on at their new clubs.
LIVE: Follow the latest rumours, gossip and done deals here
Angel Di Maria (£59.7m)
The Argentine”s move to Manchester United from Real Madrid smashed the British transfer record, and ensured Louis van Gaal had made his first marquee signing.
After making his eagerly-awaited debut in a drab 0-0 at the glamorous Turf Moor, Di Maria opened his account against QPR in a 4-0 rout at Old Trafford. A delightful chip in the next game against Leicester continued his impressive start before scoring again in a 2-1 win over Everton.
A hamstring injury kept the ex-Real man out of action for nigh on a month at the end of 2013 although he did return to score against Yeovil in the FA Cup.
Still a lot to do to justify his huge price tag but Di Maria does seem to be adjusting to the English game. You”d expect him to improve alongside more big-name recruits too. B
GettyYet to take flight? Angel Di Maria has shown signs of his obvious pedigree
Alexis Sanchez (£35m)
The stand-out performer in the Premier League so far, Alexis Sanchez well and truly hit the ground running after leaving Barcelona.
A brace against Stoke on Sunday took the Chilean”s tally to a staggering 12 goals in 20 Premier League matches, with a couple more in the FA Cup and Champions League too.
While Arsenal have been faltering, Sanchez has been excellent and you have to wonder how far adrift they would be without him.
Worryingly for defenders, he looks like he could get even better and Arsenal will surely have to secure Champions League football to keep hold of him. A*
Clive RoseRed-hot: The Chilean has been Arsenal”s key player this term
20 Appearances 12 Goals 7 Assists Premier League only
Alexis Sanchez goals for Arsenal
Premier League only
Eliaquim Mangala (£32m)
At the other end of the spectrum is Manchester City defender Mangala, who has had a torrid start to life in England.
The Frenchman was chucked in at the deep end by Manuel Pellegrini in the clash with Chelsea, and looked a long way off the pace.
His displays improved somewhat in the absence of Vincent Kompany with Pellegrini keeping faith – as he probably has to with that price tag – but his ability on the ball leaves a lot to be desired.
Against Everton on Saturday, Mangala couldn”t live with Romelu Lukaku and he isn”t the first striker to have a field day against him. An awful lot to prove. D
GettyStruggles: Eliaquim Mangala has yet to justify his price tag
Diego Costa (£32m)
Jose Mourinho knew exactly what he wanted in the summer – a goalscorer. And Diego Costa is just that.
The Spanish hitman continued where he left off with Atletico Madrid, scoring on his debut against Burnley before three in the next two matches against Leicester and Everton.
A hat-trick in the win over Swansea took Costa”s tally to seven in his first four games as Chelsea went clear at the top of the Premier League.
They may no longer be runaway leaders but Costa”s form hasn”t waned, taking his tally to 15 in 18 games against Newcastle on Saturday.
Strong, bullish and physically imposing, the 26-year-old is a nightmare for defenders and appears to be made for the Premier League. A
Action ImagesCosta fortune: The Spaniard has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water
READ MORE: Proof that spending BIG in January works… unless you”re David Moyes
Cesc Fabregas (£30m)
While there were originally doubts over how Costa would settle, his international colleague was never going to have such problems.
The Premier League had missed Cesc Fabregas but after just 20 minutes of his debut against Burnley, he was well and truly back.
A delightful first-time pass to Andre Schurrle ensured the Spaniard”s first assist of the season. Since then, he has added another 13 – and counting.
Questions have been and will continue to be asked of his ability in a deeper role alongside Nemanja Matic, especially against the big teams, but Fabregas” influence at Stamford Bridge cannot be underestimated.
If Chelsea do win the league this season, they”ll owe a lot to him. A
Mike HewittAssist king: Cesc Fabregas is enjoying life back in England
Ander Herrera (£29m)
Louis van Gaal”s first signing at Old Trafford, Herrera is has been steady without yet catching fire.
A series of injury woes have restricted the Spaniard to just 12 appearances for the Red Devils- five of which have come from the bench – so he”s not had too many opportunities.
Van Gaal”s decision to deploy Wayne Rooney in a deeper midfield role have limited those even further and Herrera looks set for a battle with Juan Mata for a place in the starting line-up.
Right now, his countryman appears to offer a bit more, especially in front of goal, but the 25-year-old will improve. C-
Matthew PetersLimited: Ander Herrera has struggled with injuries so far at Old Trafford
Romelu Lukaku (£28m)
After Lukaku shone on loan at Goodison Park last season, Roberto Martinez and Everton fended off interest from Europe”s big boys to land him permanently.
£28million is a lot of money – especially for Everton – and in reality, the deal hasn”t paid off.
The Belgian struggled for form and fitness after returning from the World Cup and was even dropped over the festive period with Arouna Kone preferred.
That spell on the bench appears to have paid off though with his best two displays of the season coming in recent clashes with West Ham and Manchester City.
Lukaku won”t be happy with his tally of just eight goals in all competitions but Everton have been equally disappointing. 2015 needs to be better for club and player. C+
GettyTurned a corner? Lukaku appears to be recovering following a slow start
Luke Shaw (£27m)
Another United summer recruit. Another whose progress has been damaged by ongoing injury problems.
Teenager Shaw fetched £27million when he made the move to Old Trafford but it would be safe to say, his new club are yet to see the best from him in his 10 appearances to date.
Often deployed in a left wing-back role, Shaw has shown he is more than capable when defending but Louis van Gaal will expect more at the other end of the field.
While Shaw was out, Ashley Young was moved out of position into the left-back”s regular slot. In reality, he impressed more than the Southampton man.
He has a long way to go to justify his hefty price tag. C
Action ImagesA Shaw thing? It”s early days for the former Southampton man
Adam Lallana (£25m)
Like Shaw, Lallana left the south coast for the north west in the summer to join Liverpool in a big-money deal.
The England midfielder was made to wait for his Reds debut after injury problems, finally featuring in the defeat to Aston Villa at the end of September.
Lallana”s indifferent form matched that of his club for the first couple of months of the campaign but he has played a key role in their revival.
The win over Swansea at the end of December saw the 26-year-old turn in his best performance for Brendan Rodgers” men and more of the same will be expected for the remainder of the season.
With Daniel Sturridge set to return from injury, Lallana may find his position under threat and he needs to make himself indispensible. B+
Clive BrunskillMore to come: Adam Lallana was hitting form before his latest injury setback
Dejan Lovren (£20m)
When Liverpool shelled out £20million for one of Southampton”s key players last season, it looked like a no-brainer. The commanding Croatian looked like an obvious upgrade on the departing Daniel Agger that would shore up the Reds as they looked to build on last season”s near miss in the title race.
Ain”t hindsight a funny thing though?
The Reds” defence was a shambles earlier in the season, when the mere suggestion of a set piece would lead to a goal and more often than not, it would be Lovren”s fault. So much so that Brendan Rodgers has to go back to the drawing board and bring Kolo Toure back to the fray – which led to an almost instant upturn in results. E
John PowellExpense: Dejan Lovren is still to justify his £20million transfer fee
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