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Premier League: Five best transfers of the season so far

James Shearman
Declan Rice, Arsenal, 2023/24
© ProShots

The 2023-24 Premier League season is now at the halfway mark, making it a good time to judge how the summer signings have been performing.

While some could take years to come to fruition, or simply never will, others have certainly hit the ground running.

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Whether it be scoring goals or keeping clean sheets, the following five players have excelled thus far.

Guglielmo Vicario – Empoli to Tottenham (€19m)

Replacing a club legend is never easy, but Vicario has made light work of taking over from Hugo Lloris at Tottenham.

The Italian arrived after just two full seasons in topflight football, with Empoli in Serie A, but has not found Premier League football difficult at all.

The 27-year-old’s job is made harder by Spurs’ high line, too, showcased best in the 4-1 defeat to Chelsea.

The Blues could have scored 10 had it not been for Vicario’s shot-stopping and sweeping in that game.

Declan Rice – West Ham to Arsenal (€117m)

It is almost impossible to live up to expectations when you sign for over €100m, but that has not been an issue for Declan Rice since joining Arsenal.

Declan Rice
© ProShots – Declan Rice

Having been excellent for West Ham in recent seasons, Rice is now winning the plaudits that he arguably always deserved.

The midfielder possesses a rare combination of technical and physical ability, as well as the leadership and winning mentality that could take Arsenal to the title.

James Ward-Prowse – Southampton to West Ham (€35m)

Despite Rice being a crucial player for West Ham, most notably leading them to a Europa Conference League trophy, he has barely been missed at the London Stadium.

That is a testament to how impressive Ward-Prowse‘s start to life at his new club has been.

Southampton’s relegation last season was through no fault of his own and he is proving that to be true now.

Three goals and five assists, often a result of world-class set piece deliveries, only go some of the way to demonstrating how influential he has been.

James Maddison – Leicester to Tottenham (€46m)

Tottenham’s €46m signing of Maddison will not only go down as one of the signings of the summer, but one of the best bargains too.

Maddison was already a very good player, but working with Ange Postecoglou has taken him to another level.

The English playmaker had been nothing short of fantastic prior to his unfortunate ankle injury.

With three goals and five assists in 11 games, he and Heung-Min Son have together been able to fill the void left by Harry Kane.

James Maddison
© ProShots – James Maddison

Pau Torres – Villarreal to Aston Villa (€33m)

Pau Torres might be a surprising inclusion to this list, though he is a thoroughly deserving one nonetheless.

Unai Emery’s Aston Villa have been the surprise package of the season so far and their defensive solidity has been a key factor.

Playing as both a left-back and centre-back, Torres’ ball-playing ability is a huge asset to his side, while he has also taken no time to adjust to the pace and power of the Premier League from a defensive point of view.

Villa’s 3-2 defeat to Manchester United, in his absence, illustrates his importance to the team better than any statistics could.

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