A Premier League season full of twists and turns ended on Sunday, but the clubs will no doubt already be preparing for the start of the next campaign.
Managers will look to strengthen their teams in the transfer market and figures like David Moyes will be hoping for another successful window after his recruiting helped West Ham qualify for Europe.
But Moyes wasn’t the only one to make some astute signings in the 2020-2021 season.
Pep Guardiola brought in Ruben Dias, who transformed Manchester City’s defense, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to sign Edinson Cavani on a free transfer proved to be a success.
The season is now over, Sports messaging counts down the top 10 signings from the summer and January transfer windows of the most recent campaign.
David Moyes (left) and Pep Guardiola (right) signed important signings last season
10 – Ben Godfrey
Everton’s £ 25million summer signing established himself as a key part of Carlo Ancelotti’s team and was one of the most consistent performers.
Godfrey, naturally a center-back, started the season ahead of the right-back but was later moved to the left when Lucas Digne was injured in November.
The 23-year-old was dropped for the league game against Newcastle when Digne returned from injury, but the Toffees’ 2-0 loss quickly showed Ancelotti he had made a mistake. Godfrey went on to start all but one remaining fixture and was named the club’s Young Player of the Year.
The Euros will come too soon for him, but it’s only a matter of time before he starts knocking on Gareth Southgate’s door for an international call.
Ben Godfrey showed versatility playing in all positions of Everton’s defense
9 – Raphinha
The Brazilian joined Leeds from Ligue 1 club Rennes on deadline day and turned out to be a shrewd signing from Marcelo Bielsa.
Raphinha played left and right and at times took on a more central attacking role.
In 30 league games, the 24-year-old has contributed six goals and nine assists as he helped Leeds to finish ninth.
The £ 17million signing has fans excited with his electric performances and it is hoped that more will get the chance to watch him from the stands next season.
Winger Raphinha contributed six goals and nine assists as Leeds finished ninth in the table
8 – Emiliano Martinez
The Argentine joined Aston Villa after eight years at Arsenal and quickly proved he is more than capable of being the Premier League’s No.1 keeper.
Martinez kept 15 clean sheets for Dean Smith’s side, with only Ederson (19) and Edouard Mendy (16) ahead of him.
The keeper was also third for most saves with 142, behind Aaron Ramsdale (147) and Sam Johnstone (166).
Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez kept 15 clean sheets after his free transfer
7 – Ollie Watkins
More interesting recruiting from Villa saw them signing Ollie Watkins from championship club Brentford for £ 30million.
The striker lived up to the hefty price tag with 14 goals and five assists in his debut Premier League campaign.
Watkins missed only one game and played every minute of his 37 league appearances.
The 25-year-old’s form saw him win an appeal from England in March and he marked his international debut against San Marino with one goal.
Ollie Watkins scored 14 goals and provided five assists in his debut Premier League season
6 – Jesse Lingard
The midfielder has relaunched his career at West Ham with nine goals and four assists in 16 games since joining Manchester United on loan in January.
His performances helped earn the Hammers a place in the Europa League and also saw him recalled to the England squad in March.
It’s no surprise that David Moyes is desperate to make Lingard’s loan permanent this summer and there’s every reason to believe the midfielder will be tempted to stick around after five impressive months.
Jesse Lingard helped West Ham secure Europa League football after his January loan
5 – Vladimir Coufal
Another fantastic signing from Moyes and his team, who secured their recruiting spots in both transfer windows.
The Czech right-back’s £ 4million addition went under the radar in October, but he was one of the most notable performers.
The Hammers conceded 62 goals in the 2019-20 season and were embroiled in a relegation battle. Fast forward 12 months and that number has been reduced to 47, with the club finishing sixth and qualifying for the Europa League.
Coufal played an important role in the club’s transformation and contributed seven assists. The only defender to rack up more was West Ham teammate Aaron Cresswell, who had the advantage of taking turns.
Vladimir Coufal has been an important player for West Ham with seven assists from right-back
4 – Edinson Cavani
The Manchester United striker has proven he can still perform at the top and his free transfer has proven to be effective for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Cavani has managed 10 goals in the league and five more in the Europa League with six assists in all competitions.
The striker’s experience has been invaluable for young United players and they will have another season to learn from the Uruguayan after signing a year-long contract extension earlier this month.
His superb 40-yard goal against Fulham was a moment to remember and he could still end the campaign with a trophy.
Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani proved he can still cut him after his free transfer
3 – Edouard Mendy
The goalkeeper was a problem for Chelsea ahead of Mendy’s late arrival in September.
The Blues made several big name signings, but Mendy was arguably the most important. Only Ederson kept more of a clean sheet than the 29-year-old and the goalscorer was instrumental in helping his side secure a spot in the top four and the Champions League final.
Chelsea have conceded just 36 goals, 22 fewer than the 54 conceded in the 2019-20 campaign.
Kepa Arrizabalaga made three mistakes leading to goals in games for which Mendy was not available at the start of the season and the Blues defense seemed much more comfortable with the Senegal international behind them.
Edouard Mendy solved Chelsea goalkeeper crisis and collected 16 clean sheets
2 – Wesley Fofana
Little was known about the 20-year-old defender when he arrived at King Power Stadium in September, but he quickly showed people what it was about.
The center-back is strong in the air, can recover quickly, and is adaptable to a four-back or a three-back.
A few eyebrows may have been raised by its £ 36million price tag, but it could turn out to be a steal in a few years.
The youngster will only get better and is in one of the best clubs to continue learning his craft.
Wesley Fofana quickly showed the Premier League what it was all about after his £ 36million move
1 – Ruben Dias
At the top of the Premier League and at the top of our table, there is no doubt that Dias has been the most notable signing.
The center-back has been a rock at the back with Pep Guardiola’s side conceding less than one goal per game since joining and he has shown he is well worth the £ 62million paid by City in September .
His excellent reading of the game has kept Harry Kane, Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe at bay throughout the season.
The 23-year-old has already won the Premier League and the Carabao Cup but could add the Champions League to his collection of trophies this weekend.
Ruben Dias transformed Manchester City’s defense after his £ 62million transfer from Benfica
NO CHANCE TO MISS …
Joe Willock – The Arsenal lender has scored seven goals in seven games for Newcastle and helped them out of the relegation zone.
Diogo Jota – He likely would have scored more than nine goals had his season not been disrupted by injury and he was seriously missed during Liverpool’s difficult start to the year.
Thiago Silva – A fantastic free signing that helped bolster Chelsea’s elusive defense. Also added much needed experience to a young team.
Tomas Soucek – Lack of technicality because his loan transfer became permanent in summer. His 10 goals helped West Ham rise to the Europa League.
Eberechi Eze – Four goals and six assists in his first top-flight campaign before suffering a devastating injury to Achilles.