Fri. Sep 18th, 2020

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Micah Richards picks his top 10 Premier League signings of the summer 

6 min read

It’s been a short pre-season but that hasn’t stopped the Premier League big guns spending their cash to bolster squads ahead of the new campaign.  

Chelsea have led the way with a spending spree of over £200million, while others have focused on specific areas that needed strengthening. 

Sportsmail’s MICAH RICHARDS picks out his top 10 – in no particular order – most eye-catching transfers of the summer window so far.  

1. TIMO WERNER (£48m, RB Leipzig to Chelsea)

Chelsea have made a big investment but they are going to be rewarded with goals — and lots of them.

Werner is not an old-fashioned No 9 so do not expect to see him lead the line like Didier Drogba did at Stamford Bridge.

My hope is that Frank Lampard has Werner running in and causing havoc from the left.

He isn’t a winger, by any means, but I watched him a lot in the Champions League drifting in off the flank and he really did some damage from there. He is fast and powerful and will be competing for the Golden Boot.

Chelsea have spent big on Timo Werner (right) but have bought themselves a proven scorer

Chelsea have spent big on Timo Werner (right) but have bought themselves a proven scorer

Chelsea have spent big on Timo Werner (right) but have bought themselves a proven scorer 

2. DONNY VAN DE BEEK (£35m, Ajax to Man United) 

My research tells me that since 2018 he has won a huge number of penalties, so teams coming up against Manchester United will be worried and I suspect Bruno Fernandes, who takes their spot kicks, will be absolutely buzzing!

Van de Beek is a wonderful player. He has so much skill and is very comfortable on the ball.

I’ve got to give United a lot of credit for how they did that deal to bring him in from Ajax. There was hardly any whisper of it and then — Bam, there he is at Old Trafford! It looks like an excellent piece of business.

Dutch midfielder Donny van der Beek gets to know his new surroundings at Man United

Dutch midfielder Donny van der Beek gets to know his new surroundings at Man United

Dutch midfielder Donny van der Beek gets to know his new surroundings at Man United 

3. HAKIM ZIYECH (£36m, Ajax to Chelsea) 

I always wondered when he would get a big move. His name has been going around for a few years and each time I saw him playing in Europe for Ajax, it was clear there was a player of great potential.

Keep your eye on what he does, he always wants to get forward.

The word I would use to describe him is ‘fearless’. He is not a wide-man who wants to do lots of tricks and show off, he just wants to attack — and then attack again.

If Chelsea are going to be title contenders, Ziyech is going to be one of their main men.

Hakim Ziyech - a 'fearless' player who loves to get forward - is a terrific buy for Chelsea

Hakim Ziyech - a 'fearless' player who loves to get forward - is a terrific buy for Chelsea

Hakim Ziyech – a ‘fearless’ player who loves to get forward – is a terrific buy for Chelsea

4. ABDOULAYE DOUCOURE (£20m, Watford to Everton) 

It would be wrong for me to say that Everton have signed him on the back of a brilliant season for Watford. That wasn’t the case. He certainly did not reach the levels that had previously been expected of him, as Watford were relegated.

However, he is exactly what Everton need. They have got midfielders, like Andre Gomes, who are beautiful on the eye but they need someone to protect the defence. He will do that. It feels like Everton have made a statement this summer and I’m fascinated to see how they get on.

Abdoulaye Doucoure completed his move to Everton from relegated Watford in a £20m deal

Abdoulaye Doucoure completed his move to Everton from relegated Watford in a £20m deal

Abdoulaye Doucoure completed his move to Everton from relegated Watford in a £20m deal

5. NATHAN AKE (£40m, Bournemouth to Man City) 

He had been on City’s radar for a long time. Pep Guardiola really likes him and would have tried to sign him 12 months ago had the transfer fee been right.

He sees Ake as someone who can play in central defence, left back and maybe even as a holding central midfielder. What interests me most is how he will cope with the demands of being at City. Yes, he has played big games for the Netherlands but the demands on him are going to be so different.

I just wonder how he will play alongside Aymeric Laporte, as two left-footed central defenders never seem to work.

Nathan Ake, signed from Bournemouth, gets to know his new surroundings at Man City

Nathan Ake, signed from Bournemouth, gets to know his new surroundings at Man City

Nathan Ake, signed from Bournemouth, gets to know his new surroundings at Man City

6. JOE HART (Free to Tottenham) 

Yes, he might be one of my very good friends. Yes, we had some brilliant times playing together at Manchester City. But he gets on this list because I know how hard he has worked to get himself physically right for this challenge. He is in impeccable condition.

Joe knows he has gone to Tottenham as No 2 but given the amount of games they will play, there will be opportunities for him to put pressure on Hugo Lloris. This is a chance to preserve his legacy, to remind people why he was England No 1.

He has given himself the best possible chance to do so.

Joe Hart has the opportunity to preserve his legacy after the keeper moved to Tottenham

Joe Hart has the opportunity to preserve his legacy after the keeper moved to Tottenham

Joe Hart has the opportunity to preserve his legacy after the keeper moved to Tottenham

7. BEN CHILWELL (£50m, Leicester to Chelsea) 

Chelsea have dominated the transfer window so it should be no surprise that they have dominated this top 10.

The way Frank Lampard wants to play, with high-pressing and intensity, England’s first-choice left back will be absolutely ideal.

If Chelsea get on the front foot in games, Chilwell — with his energy and ability to keep scampering forward to deliver brilliant crosses — will be crucial. I thought they ran out of steam towards the end of last season so these new additions will certainly recharge them.

Ben Chilwell, who has signed for Chelsea from Leicester, will offer his new club lots of energy

Ben Chilwell, who has signed for Chelsea from Leicester, will offer his new club lots of energy

Ben Chilwell, who has signed for Chelsea from Leicester, will offer his new club lots of energy 

8. EBERECHI EZE (£16m, QPR to Crystal Palace) 

He was on a lot of people’s radar last season and I liked him more and more each time I watched him play. 

With some wingers, they seem more interested in trying nutmegs and doing tricks but, as I mentioned with Hakim Ziyech, you can see him demanding the ball to get forward. 

Eze is tricky. He receives passes on the half-turn. That always gives defenders the feeling they can tackle him but he is skilful and quite strong for a little lad. 

Dictating the pace of a game in the Premier League, however, is different from doing it in the Championship. Can he step up to the challenge?

Crystal Palace new boy Eberechi Eze is an exciting addition to the Premier League ranks

Crystal Palace new boy Eberechi Eze is an exciting addition to the Premier League ranks

Crystal Palace new boy Eberechi Eze is an exciting addition to the Premier League ranks

9. RODRIGO (£27m, Valencia to Leeds) 

The best thing about this signing is the message it sent out. We are back. The economy has changed since Leeds last broke their transfer record for Rio Ferdinand in 2000 but the fact the club were prepared to shatter it again for the first time in 20 years is a statement of intent. 

I’ve been to Elland Road 10 to 15 times since Marcelo Bielsa has been manager and the place feels as if it is alive again. I’m a local lad so I’m over the moon to see them back in the Premier League.

They play superb football and with the chances they create, Rodrigo should score plenty of goals.

Leeds United have made a statement signing by paying £27m for Valencia striker Rodrigo

Leeds United have made a statement signing by paying £27m for Valencia striker Rodrigo

Leeds United have made a statement signing by paying £27m for Valencia striker Rodrigo

10. MATT DOHERTY (£15m, Wolves to Spurs) 

This deal has to be included because there will not be a better value for money signing in this window. £15million?!

You struggle to get kids who have barely played a game for £20m now, so to land a Republic of Ireland international for that price is outstanding business.

I really hope Jose Mourinho plays 3-4-3 or 3-5-2, as Doherty will excel in those systems as a wing-back.

He is a good right back, but the more dynamic formation gives him the licence to get forward. Every time I watched Wolves, he stood out. Tottenham have got a steal.

Matt Doherty could well prove a real bargain after Spurs signed him from Wolves for £15m

Matt Doherty could well prove a real bargain after Spurs signed him from Wolves for £15m

Matt Doherty could well prove a real bargain after Spurs signed him from Wolves for £15m

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