Premier League 2018/19: Arsenal's Torreira among top five signings so far

Matt Jones - Editor 08:04 14/11/2018
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The 2018/19 Premier League season is around a third of the way complete, which is plenty of time for teams to establish a rhythm and new arrivals to bed in to their new surroundings.

Champions Manchester City lead the way and will be the team to beat it seems, but Chelsea and Liverpool are snapping at their heels.

As ever, a raft of signing were made in the summer, but which ones are shining bright in the early part of the season?

Here, we pick our five best signings of the Premier League season so far.

RICHARLISON (Everton, £35m)

Richarlison

Amid an influx of stars at Goodison Park this past summer, there were more than a few concerns among Toffees fans that they were signing a player whose form last season could be described as sticky at best.

Richarlison was an unheralded Brazilian when he arrived on the scene at Watford, but soon had Hornets supporters buzzing with a roaring start to life at Vicarage Road – netting five goals in his opening 12 Premier League games. Then, he failed to ripple the net again that season, despite playing every one of the 38 games.

However, he has already surpassed that mark in just 10 games for his new club, while the 21-year-old has also made his Brazil debut – scoring twice in his first four caps.

His form has drawn praise from Brazilian World Cup winner and ex-Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva, who says his compatriot gives the Selecao a different option to anything they’ve had before.

FELIPE ANDERSON (West Ham, £36m)

Ipswich Town v West Ham United - Pre-Season Friendly

Another club who recruited heavily in the summer were the Hammers, and they certainly needed to after a demoralising 2017/18 campaign which saw them flirt with relegation and draw the ire of an angry fanbase.

The acquisition of Brazilian midfielder Felipe Anderson was seen as a coup, considering his links to Manchester United among other elite clubs in previous years – although a troubled past with regards to injuries, fitness and attitude were seen as stumbling blocks to him becoming a world-class player.

He has been one of West Ham’s standout players this season though, even amidst a testing start, and the 25-year-old’s second half equaliser at Huddersfield on the weekend was his fourth strike of the season, and third in two games.

The all-action midfielder is contributing at both ends of the pitch. His 1.8 dribbles on average per game is the third most in the league, while his 33 tackles is joint ninth highest among players.

LUCAS TORREIRA (Arsenal, £26.4m)

0911 Lucas Torreira

In a World Cup year, Arsenal completed a superb bit of business by snapping up the sought after young Uruguayan for a relatively modest fee – especially after he had starred for his country at the tournament in Russia.

The tenacious Torreira was seen as the kind of no-nonsense midfielder the club has long been craving, especially with a new era emerging at the Emirates with Unai Emery replacing the iconic Arsene Wenger.

The Gunners remain a work in progress but Torreria is proving to be a revelation with his industry and energy in the heart of the engine room following his arrival from Sampdoria driving the team on.

The 22-year-old is a livewire and is sound defensively, while also possessing impressive attacking attributes. His 89.5 pass success rate places him 14th overall among Premier League players.

No Arsenal player is fouled more on average than Torreira’s 2.3 fouls drawn per game. He is the sixth most fouled player in the league.

DAVID BROOKS (Bournemouth, £11.5m)

David Brooks

When someone of Ryan Giggs’ calibre says it would have been a “disaster” had Brooks ended up choosing England over Wales, you know you’re dealing with a talented player.

The Warrington-born attacking midfielder, 21, was named best player at the 2017 Toulon Tournament, the prestigious Under-20 competition in France which he helped England win.

Brooks, who qualifies for Wales through his Llangollen-born mother, said he had always intended to represent the Dragons at senior level though and he has become an established part of Giggs’ squad.

Following a breakout year in the Championship last term, he was snapped up by Bournemouth for £11.5m this summer, and he has impressed in making the step-up at a Cherries side bristling with young British talent, being orchestrated by the ambitious Eddie Howe.

Brooks has already bagged three Premier League goals this season as Bournemouth sit sixth, and the lively forward is always looking to fashion chances and link the play; only Chelsea’s Jorginho has played more through balls than his eight.

JAMES MADDISON (Leicester City, £20m)

Leicester City v Huddersfield Town - Premier League

Another player making a mockery of the gulf in class between England’s top and second tier is Leicester midfielder James Maddison – who is proving to be a revelation for the flamboyant Foxes.

Eyebrows were raised when £20 million was thrown Norwich City’s way to bring the attacking midfielder to the King Power Stadium, but he has found the Premier League to his liking, with three goals in eight league appearances so far for 10th-placed Leicester.

Maddison’s stats are mightily impressive. He is the Foxes’ joint top scorer this season, alongside striker Jamie Vardy.

He makes 2.4 key passes per game on average, which is enough to place him sixth best in the Premier League and among such illustrious company as Man City maestro David Silva and enigmatic Chelsea schemer Eden Hazard. His 26 in total place him seventh.

He is fouled 2.6 times per game – only Wilfried Zaha and Hazard are targeted more.

He has been capped four times at U21 level for England, was called into the senior squad for October’s friendly with Spain, and a first senior cap can’t be too far away.

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