Pitchside

Top 10 biggest Premier League deals of the summer

Pitchside

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In our final top 10 before the start of the new season, we look at the biggest deals by Premier League clubs this season, by value.

[TOP 10: YOUNGSTERS WHO COULD BREAK THROUGH]

[TOP 10 BIGGEST RISKS OF THE TRANSFER WINDOW]

[TOP 10 BIGGEST BARGAINS OF THE TRANSFER WINDOW]

[TOP 10 MOST EXCITING SUMMER SIGNINGS]

1. Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona to Arsenal, £35m)

World Cup star Sanchez, 25, was a stand-out for Chile this summer, and – given he usually plays behind or wide of the strikers – has an excellent record for club and country, scoring one in three and creating countless more. Quick, skilful, determined and highly professional, he had his best season at Barcelona but – with Lionel Messi fully fit – was likely to play second fiddle again. A coup for the Gunners, his price seems cheap when you consider James Rodriguez and Luis Suarez cost around twice as much.

2. Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid to Chelsea, £32m)

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The Brazil-born Spain striker had a woeful World Cup, but was arguably rushed back into action too soon after picking up some injuries late in Atletico Madrid’s Liga winning campaign. Big, strong, quick and very aggressive, he is the missing link for Jose Mourinho’s team – the Didier Drogba, if you will. Drogba also returned to Stamford Bridge and Mourinho will hope he can help mould Costa into the number nine he has been missing.

3. Eliaquim Mangala (Porto to Manchester City, £32m)

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There is some debate as to how much Mangala actually cost. All we know for certain is that Porto received £24.3m for their 56.67% share of the defender. If the stake held by a third party named Doyen Sports was valued at the same level, the total fee paid would have been £43m. However, all sources are sticking to the line that Mangala actually cost £32m. Either way, City have signed an incredibly talented 23-year-old who was a unused substitute for France at the World Cup finals. Mangala is a dominant centre-back who, given time, should prove to be the long-term partner for Vincent Kompany.

4. Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona to Chelsea, £30m)

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Everyone thought Cesc would return to Arsenal but, it seems, he didn’t fancy dating his ex again - or maybe the ex didn't fancy him. We all know about his passing, positioning and playmaking, and while there is a concern that he’s not the player he was, £30m seems decent for an experienced World Cup winner. He may not have been what Barca were looking for – asked to play in a more advanced position than he naturally prefers – but he did score a goal every three matches and created even more.

5. Ander Herrera (Athletic Bilbao to Manchester United, £29m)

United have lacked a creative spark, even criticised for their pedestrian midfield play when they were winning titles under Sir Alex Ferguson. Marouane Fellaini failed dismally last season, while Juan Mata and Shinji Kagawa struggled to shine under David Moyes’ medieval tactics. Ander (pictured below left) was a target last summer, but arguably dodged a bullet there and now has the brief to dictate the play from the middle. Has looked a good signing in pre-season, but he does appear to have been a touch overpriced.

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6. Luke Shaw (Southampton to Manchester United, £30m)

Mourinho said the terms to sign the 18-year-old England left-back would have “killed” Chelsea, such were the inflated fee and wages of around £100k per week. Shaw (above right) is undeniably a fantastic prospect, but it seems a shade rash to spend so much on a kid who – by his own admission – lacked fitness when he arrived at Old Trafford. The departures of Patrice Evra and Alex Buttner made left-back a priority, but Louis van Gaal prefers wing-backs in a 3-5-2, so it could ultimately prove a disaster.

7. Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea to Everton, £28m)

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One of the coups of the window, as Lukaku was widely expected to move to one of Europe’s bigger clubs after excellent seasons for club and country. Shone on loan at Everton last term, he looks the complete package: tall, strong, quick, a good finisher and an intelligent lad. Only 21, the one concern is his work-rate, but he has the potential to be one of the best strikers in Europe.

8. Adam Lallana (Southampton to Liverpool, £25m)

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Liverpool were flush following the £75m sale of Luis Suarez, and so far Lallana is their biggest transfer. A fine technician with a calm and confidence on the ball we don’t normally associate with English players, he was disappointingly underused at the World Cup, and has since picked up an injury. The Reds paid a shade over the odds because of the English premium, but he is tried-and-tested in the Premier League and should be an exciting addition once fit.

9. Dejan Lovren (Southampton to Liverpool, £20m)

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The Reds have engaged in something of a raid on poor Saints, buying three of their star players (including Rickie Lambert). Lovren was outstanding last season, but it was his first campaign at this level, and he didn’t always convince at Lyon. A commanding centre-back with outstanding leadership skills, the odds are that this is a good signing, but it remains to be seen how he copes with the pressure of a big club. Likely to take the place of Daniel Agger, who looks set to leave Anfield.

10. Lazar Markovic (Benfica to Liverpool, £20m)

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The 20-year-old Serbia winger is one of the outstanding young talents in European football, but this will represent a step up in quality of competition following his spells at Benfica and boyhood club Partizan. Quick, tricky and with an eye for goal, Chelsea wanted to sign him a few years ago but their interest cooled and he moved to Portugal. The deal means he will compete for wide places with Raheem Sterling and Lallana. All Liverpool need now is a striker...

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