You know what’s fun? Ranking stuff. You know the only thing that generates football website traffic during a global pandemic? Still Premier League transfers, weirdly. You what we’re about to do? Course you do.
Using every single transfer listed by the Premier League website here (summer) and here (winter), with Andy Lonergan thrown in somewhere for good measure and to make it even, we are going to rank all 184 transfers this entire season from worst to best.
We will break it up into four parts for reasons, and everything from value to fee to how funny their name is will be taken into account. Prepare to get angry about how 145) can possibly be described as a better deal than 167).
184) Danny Drinkwater (Chelsea to Aston Villa)
Four appearances. A dreadful debut. A presumably inaccurate headbutt on a teammate. An adequate stand-in for John McGinn he was not.
183) Roberto (Espanyol to West Ham, free)
A signing so bad it was cited regularly with regards to the sacking of director of football Mario Husillos, who watched his boy concede 17 goals in eight games.
182) Victor Camarasa (Real Betis to Crystal Palace, loan)
At 25, he just proved too young for Roy. After a single substitute cameo of five minutes against Tottenham in September, Camarasa returned to La Liga with Alaves at the earliest opportunity.
181) Patrick Roberts (Manchester City to Norwich, loan)
“Who could have seen Todd Cantwell would step up as much as he has done?” asked Daniel Farke when ushering Roberts back out the door in January after 23 uninspiring Premier League minutes.
180) Danny Drinkwater (Chelsea to Burnley, loan)
There he is again. Drinkwater managed not to stick the nut on anyone at Turf Moor – who would dare with Sean Dyche lurking – but three-goals defeats in his two appearances against Manchester City and Sunderland do not reflect well.
179) Nabil Bentaleb (Schalke to Newcastle, loan)
Tim Sherwood must be devastated. He knows more than anyone that Bentaleb just wants to play like Andrea Pirlo.
178) Michel Vorm (unattached to Tottenham, free)
His only appearance saw Eric Dier try to escape through the stands out of embarrassment, with Louis van Gaal having nodded sagely during a penalty shootout. Liverpool were vindicated in picking Andy Lonergan instead.
177) Ryan Bennett (Wolves to Leicester, loan)
He has not even made the Leicester bench since joining. We’re bored of being told that Conor Coady supports Liverpool too, but there’s no need to move cities to try and escape it.
176) Joelinton (Hoffenheim to Newcastle, £40m)
Nicolas Otamendi, Jeff Hendrick, George Baldock, Yerry Mina. The list of players with more Premier League goals this season than a £40m striker is painfully long.
175) Borja Baston (Swansea to Aston Villa)
It sounds about right that a benched Championship striker would complete more tackles than he would attempt shots in his 16 Premier League minutes. One and zero, if you were wondering.
174) Hong (Yeovil to Wolves, undisclosed)
The closest Hong came to making the Wolves first team before moving to Croatia on loan was to make matchday squads in the EFL Trophy and Premier League 2. He did not make it off the bench at any point in either.
173) Bailey Peacock-Farrell (Leeds to Burnley, £2.5m)
Give NHS workers Sean Dyche’s annual transfer budget.
172) Che Adams (Birmingham to Southampton, £15m)
The man literally, completely unprompted, said “we want to win the league” and “there’s no reason why we can’t” in his first Southampton interview. A non-scoring £15m deadweight could be one of precious few obstacles.
171) Flavio Cristovao (Aves to Wolves, free)
He joined FC Juniors OÖ of the Austrian second division in February, so yeah.
170) Alex Iwobi (Arsenal to Everton, £35m)
To score just one goal in 18 Premier League games as a winger is impressive. But to not register a single assist at the same time is astonishing. We’re struggling to spot Arsenal’s “mistake”.
169) Jack Clarke (Leeds to Tottenham, £10m)
Tottenham were said to be ‘furious’ when it transpired that Leeds were not actually willing to help develop a talent that was no longer theirs. Clarke went the way of fellow Elland Road loanee Eddie Nketiah, making one 19-minute appearance before being packed up and shipped out to not play all that much more at QPR.
168) Josip Drmic (Borussia Monchengladbach to Norwich, free)
Some players are very good at tricking you into thinking you could have a decent stab at this Premier League lark.
167) Lewis Freestone (Peterborough to Brighton, free)
‘The Toffees came again, pouncing on another Brighton mistake,’ reads a line to a Premier League 2 match report from the Eastbourne Herald in September. ‘This time Lewis Freestone played a poor ball past Haydon Roberts and striker Gordon was quickest to react.’ And that really is typical Lewis Jay Freestone.
166) Albian Ajeti (Basel to West Ham, £8m)
He’s had as many managers as shots or key passes this season. His solitary win in 11 appearances was against Newport in the first gulp of the Carabao in August.
165) Myles Roberts (Reading to Watford, free)
164) Bruno Jordao (Lazio to Wolves, £8.3m)
That Jorge Mendes is a card.
163) Jake Turner (Bolton to Newcastle, free)
Not sure what this placing is based on. The poor fella even kept consecutive Premier League 2 clean sheets against Sunderland and Middlesbrough before the enforced break. Ignore us, mate. Rise above.
162) Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon to Tottenham, £53.7m)
The club-record “disgrace” has completed 90 Premier League minutes once since August. Ndombele’s slate needed cleaning more than anyone.
161) Richairo Zivkovic (Changchun Yatai to Sheffield United, loan)
Chris Wilder said that Zivkovic would provide “genuine pace” upon his arrival from China in January, but the forward has only been fast enough to make as much as an FA Cup bench thus far.
160) Jesus Vallejo (Wolves to Real Madrid, loan)
He came, he started one Premier League game which coincided with Wolves’ worst performance of the season in conceding five goals at home to Chelsea in September, he left for Granada in January when his loan was deferred. Jesus.
159) Callum Hulme (Bury to Leicester, free)
“You could tell he’s a bit off the pace, so we made the change,” said Leicester development coach Steve Beaglehole in January, having substituted midfielder Hulme at half-time of his first U23s game. He has not played since.
158) Archie Mair (Aberdeen to Norwich, undisclosed)
Sure, he is yet to keep a clean sheet 12 games into his Norwich U23 career. But he did get to watch Aston Villa thrash them 5-1 from a Premier League bench.
157) Rob Nizet (Anderlecht to Norwich, undisclosed)
The 17-year-old Belgian defender did, however, manage to keep out Reading U23s with Joe Rose between the sticks behind him in November. Have that.
156) Reece McAlear (Motherwell to Norwich, undisclosed)
Norwich really did sign loads of random players.
155) Rocky Bushiri (K.V. Oostende to Norwich, undisclosed)
“Nothing to do about it,” said centre-half Bushiri after Blackpool cancelled the remainder of his season-long loan in January. He is now at Sint-Truiden, most recently impressing in a goalless draw with European hopefuls Standard Liege.
154) Kevin Danso (Augsburg to Southampton, loan)
His penultimate Premier League game was against Leicester in October, when he was brought on at half-time with Saints 5-0 down and helped stem the tide.
153) Patrick Cutrone (AC Milan to Wolves, £16m)
We might’ve forgotten about him by November. A couple of months later, he was headed back to Italy on loan with Fiorentina after two goals in 12 Premier League games.
152) Bayli Spencer-Adams (Arsenal to Watford, free)
It is no badge of honour that his only two appearances for Watford at any level this season came in the 3-3 FA Cup draw with Tranmere and subsequent replay defeat in extra-time.
151) Adam Phillips (unattached to Burnley, free)
Four goals and three assists in 11 games on loan at League Two Morecambe is a fair return for a midfielder who, at 22, will be invisible to Sean Dyche for another couple of years.
150) Tommy Scott (Yeovil to Southampton, undisclosed)
He has conceded one goal in each of his Southampton U23 games, winning, drawing and losing one each. How pleasing.
149) Enzo Loiodice (Dijon to Wolves, loan)
Wolves have an option to sign the midfielder permanently for £1.6m this summer. He might need more than one Premier League 2 start to persuade them.
148) Aidan Fitzpatrick (Partick Thistle to Norwich, £350,000)
Norwich will be happy that Fitzpatrick did not fit Partick any longer. The teenager has been quietly impressive away from that beaming Firhill Stadium spotlight.
147) Darragh O’Connor (Wexford to Leicester, undisclosed)
He seems a lovely lad.
146) Stan Flaherty (Arsenal to Newcastle, free)
So does he. Let’s bring Stanleys back into fashion this decade. Especially attacking midfield ones.
145) Kyle Scott (unattached to Newcastle, free)
Will Steve Bruce be more impressed by the three FA Youth Cup winner’s medals or the international youth caps for three different countries?
144) Raphael Nya (PSG to Wolves, undisclosed)
Sitting bottom of the Premier League 2 was not part of the plan for a teenager who captained PSG to a UEFA Youth League wine win over Liverpool last season.
143) Daniel Adshead (Rochdale to Norwich, £300,000)
The Daily Mail suggested Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Barcelona were interested in midfielder Adshead last summer. Obviously Norwich won that race.
142) Moise Kean (Juventus to Everton, £30m)
It is to Kean’s credit that he has survived a Graeme Souness onslaught and a Duncan Ferguson sacrificial substitution in his first Premier League season. There have been glimmers of hope under Carlo Ancelotti that it might all work out. For that fee, you’d hope so.
141) Teddy Perkins (Burnley to Watford, free)
I am reliably informed that Watford did not sign the sixth episode of the second season of the American comedy-drama television series Atlanta, starring Donald Glover in whiteface. But you never know.
140) Lloyd Kelly (Bristol City to Bournemouth, £13m)
There are mitigating circumstances, namely a knee ligament injury picked up in pre-season that transitioned into a hamstring injury a matter of weeks into his return in November. Through no fault of his own he has played just once: a League Cup defeat to Burton.
139) Renat Dadashov (Estoril to Wolves, £450,000)
Turns out he was the poor bastard who scored twice for Wolves U23s in their narrative-laden3-2 defeat to Tottenham earlier this month.