Dissecting how the big signings have fared to date
Every time the Premier League season rolls around, there is a keen interest from fans and pundits alike as to how big-name acquisitions and transfers will fare at their new club. There have been some standout performers through the first seven weeks of the 2022/23 season – and others who have had a slow start.
Read on as take a look how five of the most newsworthy signings in the pre-season are travelling at the conclusion of September’s fixtures.
It’s not an easy transition to leave as talented a team and as proficient a system that exists at Manchester City – and you’re seeing some of those growing pains early on with Raheem Sterling at Stamford Bridge. When Sterling announced he would be signing with Chelsea earlier this year, many admired his desire to establish himself as a number one option at a fellow top six club.
With Chelsea currently sitting in seventh spot in the table (at the time of writing), his form on the pitch has been somewhat of a mixed bag. From a statistical perspective, he has done relatively well with three goals and an assist in six appearances – however – there have been periods in games throughout this season where his involvement and impact has been lacking.
It’s still very early in the season however, and with the addition of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and new manager Graham Potter at Chelsea, they have the potential to be changes that help Sterling’s consistency moving forward.
Boasting a wealth of experience at both a domestic and international level, Manchester United’s signing of Denmark’s Christian Eriksen has proven to be incredibly beneficial. While Eriksen’s major statistics such as goals and assists aren’t eye-popping figures, it’s the one-percenters that have some going as far to draw comparisons between he and United legend Paul Scholes.
In his six appearances for the Red Devils in the Premier League, the Dane has taken some time to find his footing and settle into his role at Old Trafford – which is to be expected given he is less than 18 months removed from suffering a cardiac arrest in a Euro 2020 match against Finland. His performance this season against league leaders Arsenal was particularly impressive, recording a 76% pass accuracy that included 11 final third passes, three long balls completed and one assist.
His involvement on the defensive end was just as important, aiding his back four on a number of occasions en route to a 3-1 victory at the Theatre of Dreams. As he continues to get back to full fitness, he will continue to be one of the major keys if United are to secure a Champions League spot.
The most notable acquisition this season was undoubtedly 22-year-old striker Erling Haaland. Having already established himself as one of the best forwards in the sport during his time with Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, there was plenty of pressure on the Norwegian to produce for reigning champions Manchester City.
He has delivered in spades, notching up 11 goals in the Premier League and a further three in the Champions League group stages. If he can keep up this form for the remainder of 2022/23, he has a real chance of surpassing Mohamed Salah’s record of 32 goals in a Premier League season. For those looking at bets for football, Haaland is a short favourite at 1/4 to take out the Premier League Golden Boot this season.
After losing Aubameyang last season due to internal dressing room issues, Arsenal were in dire need of a significant threat upfront. Jesus has given them that, scoring four goals and recording three assists in his seven starts. His form has helped lift the Gunners to the top of the table – and if they’re going to compete with a side like Manchester City for the Premier League, he can’t afford to have any lapses in form over the coming months.
When Liverpool lost star forward Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich, fans were hoping they would be receiving somewhat of a like-for-like when they acquired Benfica’s Darwin Nunez. However, that hasn’t quite materialised as of yet, with the Uruguayan only having played three games. Nunez kicked off his Premier League career well, scoring and assisting on debut in just 39 minutes off the bench.
However, after a poor performance against Crystal Palace which culminated in the Uruguayan receiving a red card, he has only suited up on one more occasion for Liverpool – struggling in a 0-0 draw against Everton.