The 12 best and worst Premier League transfers in 2021, including Arsenal duo and Liverpool flop | Football | sport
The last two transfer windows have sparked various upheavals in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many clubs resorting to loan deals to cut spending. Yet while some spent little, others spent big – though it may not have paid off. Express Sport takes a look at the best and worst transfers of 2021.
Aaron Ramsdale at Arsenal: B +
Many laughed when Arsenal spent Â£ 24million on Ramsdale, especially with Bernd Leno already in their ranks.
After suffering two successive relegations with Bournemouth and Sheffield United respectively, Ramsdale looked set to be seen as a curse given Arsenal were down in the league at the start of September.
Yet his exceptional performances and superb saves have already propelled him into Arsenal folklore.
Martin Odegaard at Arsenal: B-
Odegaard initially joined Arsenal on loan last January and has recorded just one goal and two assists in 17 league games.
Yet after making his move permanent for Â£ 34million, Odegaard came to life – recording four goals and three assists in the same number of games.
And at just 23, he already looks like a good deal.
Jesse Lingard at West Ham: A
Lingard was sidelined by United at the start of the 2020/21 season, making just three appearances – none in the Premier League or the Champions League – with his career in tatters at Old Trafford.
A West Ham loan signaled under David Moyes, where he found new life with nine goals and five assists in just 15 games for the Hammers.
His form helped them enter the Europa League, where they remain for the time being, learning of their fate at the end of February.
Maxwel Cornet at Burnley: A-
Cornet arrived in Burnley as the first major foreign importation of the Clarets since Steven Defour in 2016.
He burst onto the Lancashire scene and scored five goals in just nine Premier League games as the Clarets racked up four games in hand against their relegation rivals.
Had it not been for his goals, Sean Dyche’s men would have had only eight points, the last in the standings.
Conor Gallagher at Crystal Palace: a
What more could Gallagher have done to endear himself to the faithful of the palace?
The winner and an assist at Manchester City, a brace away from London rivals West Ham and a spectacular brace against Everton earned him a call-up to England.
They will surely be sad when he leaves to join Chelsea at the end of his loan.
Joe Willock in Newcastle: A +
Willock was loaned to Newcastle at a time when they were in the Premier League pits.
The Magpies were 16th and would have been in the relegation zone in recent years if the bottom three hadn’t been so poor.
Seven straight games with a goal of the London-born talent – in which Newcastle only lost once when he scored – propelled them to 12th place, before a Â£ 25million move follow this summer.
Tino Livramento in Southampton: B +
Livramento was an unknown parent when he joined Southampton for Â£ 5.5million from Chelsea this summer.
He hadn’t played a single minute for the Blues and hadn’t had a single loan spell during his time at Stamford Bridge – raising eyebrows when Southampton threw him into the Premier League’s deep end.
But his superb offensive performances – despite Southampton’s position in the league – proved the skeptics wrong.
Josh King at Everton: D-
King joined Everton in January as a substitute for Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison for the remainder of the season.
No start, 11 under-appearances, no goals and no assists awaited the Norwegian before his release.
And to put salt in the wounds, he scored a hat-trick for Watford against Everton this season in a 5-2 win. Ouch.
Ben Davies at Liverpool: F
Davies was set to join Celtic in a cut-price deal before joining Liverpool in January.
He didn’t make a single appearance for the Reds before joining Sheffield United on loan.
And with three and a half years remaining on his contract, it remains to be seen where his career will end.
Willian Jose to the Wolves: D
Jose joined Wolves as a temporary replacement for Raul Jimenez with the Mexican with a fractured skull.
The Brazilian failed to flatter when he was loaned out by Real Sociedad, scoring just one goal in the 1-0 win over Sheffield United – who finished last in the league.
And with Wolves winning just six of the 19 games Jose has played, the Black Country will be happy to see him behind them.
Saul Niguez at Chelsea: E
This is probably the biggest shock of all the failed transfers this season.
Saul had already been a star at Atletico Madrid ahead of his Â£ 4million loan transfer to Stamford Bridge this summer, with big things expected from the Spaniard.
But just 161 Premier League minutes and no goals or assists saw the Blues waste money on world-class talent.
Danny Rose in Watford: D-
Rose’s stay at Tottenham came to an end over the summer, where he moved to Watford on a free transfer.
The Hornets have won four games and one draw in their 17 so far this season.
Yet Rose was only part of one of those wins and the draw – against the league’s two worst teams, Norwich and Newcastle.
His poor form shows that it is no coincidence that Watford’s impressive wins over Aston Villa, Everton and Manchester United came without him in the squad.