10 best Premier League signings from Dias to Cavani

Ruben Dias transformed Manchester City, free transfer Edinson Cavani proved he can still cut it at the top while David Moyes got his recruitment spot on… the 10 best Premier League signings of the 2020-2021 season

  • David Moyes made some astute signings for West Ham in the 2020-2021 season 
  • Pep Guardiola also brought in some important additions including Ruben Dias
  • Edinson Cavani proved to be a fantastic free signing for Manchester United
  • Sportsmail picks out the top 10 signings from the most recent campaign 

A Premier League season full of twists and turns came to an end on Sunday but clubs will no doubt already be preparing for the start of the next campaign. 

Managers will be looking to strengthen their squads in the transfer market and the likes of David Moyes will be hoping for another successful window after his recruitment helped West Ham qualify for Europe.

But Moyes was not the only one to make some astute signings in the 2020-2021 season. 

Pep Guardiola brought in Ruben Dias, who transformed Manchester City’s defence, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to sign Edinson Cavani on a free transfer proved to be a success.

With the season now concluded, Sportsmail counts down the 10 best signings from the summer and January transfer windows in the most recent campaign.


David Moyes (left) and Pep Guardiola (right) made some important signings last season

Everton’s £25million summer signing has established himself as a key part of Carlo Ancelotti’s squad and was one of the most consistent performers.

Godfrey, naturally a centre back, started the season having to fill in at right back but was then moved across to the left when Lucas Digne picked up an injury in November.

The 23-year-old was dropped for the league game against Newcastle when Digne returned from injury but the Toffees’ 2-0 defeat quickly showed Ancelotti he had made a mistake. Godfrey subsequently started all but one of the remaining fixtures and was named as the club’s Young Player of the Year.

The Euros will come too soon for him but it is only a matter of time before he starts knocking on Gareth Southgate’s door for an international call-up. 

Ben Godfrey showed versatility as he played in every position across Everton’s defence

9 – Raphinha

The Brazilian joined Leeds from Ligue 1 club Rennes on deadline day and proved to be an astute signing by Marcelo Bielsa.

Raphinha has played on the left and right as well as occupying a more central attacking role on occasions. 

In 30 league games, the 24-year-old contributed six goals and nine assists as he helped Leeds to a ninth place finish.

The £17m signing has excited fans with his electric performances and it is hoped more will get the chance to watch him from the stands next season.

Winger Raphinha contributed six goals and nine assists as Leeds finished ninth in the table

8 – Emiliano Martinez 

The Argentine joined Aston Villa after eight years at Arsenal and quickly proved he is more than capable of being a No 1 goalkeeper in the Premier League.

Martinez kept 15 clean sheets for Dean Smith’s side, with only Ederson (19) and Edouard Mendy (16) ahead of him.

The keeper was also third for most saves with 142, behind Aaron Ramsdale (147) and Sam Johnstone (166).

Signing the 28-year-old on a free transfer was a fantastic piece of business by the Midlands club. 

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez kept 15 clean sheets following his free transfer

7 – Ollie Watkins

Some more good recruitment from Villa saw them sign Ollie Watkins from Championship club Brentford for £30m.

The striker has lived up to the hefty price tag with 14 goals and five assists in his first Premier League campaign.

Watkins only missed one game and played every minute of his 37 league appearances.

The 25-year-old’s form saw him earn an England call-up in March and he marked his international debut against San Marino with a goal.  

Ollie Watkins scored 14 goals and made five assists in his first Premier League season

6 – Jesse Lingard

The midfielder has reignited his career at West Ham with nine goals and four assists in 16 games since joining on loan from Manchester United in January.

His performances helped earn the Hammers a place in the Europa League and also saw him recalled to the England squad in March.

It’s no surprise David Moyes is desperate to make Lingard’s loan move permanent this summer and there is every reason to think the midfielder will be tempted to stay after an impressive five months.

Jesse Lingard helped West Ham secure Europa League football following his January loan

5 – Vladimir Coufal

Another fantastic signing by Moyes and his team, who got their recruitment spot on in both transfer windows. 

The £4m addition of the Czech right back went under the radar in October but he was one of the standout performers.

The Hammers conceded 62 goals in the 2019-2020 season and were involved in a relegation battle. Fast-forward 12 months and that number was reduced to 47 with the club finishing sixth and qualifying for the Europa League.

Coufal played a huge part in the club’s transformation and contributed seven assists. The only defender to rack up more was his West Ham team-mate Aaron Cresswell, who had the benefit of taking corners.

Vladimir Coufal has been an important player for West Ham with seven assists from right back

4 – Edinson Cavani

The Manchester United striker has proved he can still perform at the top and his free transfer proved effective for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Cavani managed 10 goals in the league and a further five in the Europa League with six assists in all competitions. 

The forward’s experience has been invaluable for United’s younger players and they will have another season to learn from the Uruguayan after he signed a one-year contract extension earlier this month.

His stunning 40-yard goal against Fulham was a memorable moment and he could still end the campaign with a trophy. 

Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani proved he can still cut it following his free transfer

3 – Edouard Mendy

Goalkeeper was a problem area for Chelsea before Mendy’s late arrival in  September.

The Blues made several big-name signings but Mendy was arguably the most important. Only Ederson kept more clean sheets than the 29-year-old and the shot-stopper played a vital part in helping his side secure a place in the top four and the Champions League final.

Chelsea conceded just 36 goals, 22 less than the 54 they conceded in the 2019-2020 campaign. 

Kepa Arrizabalaga made three errors leading to goals in the games that Mendy was unavailable for at the start of the season and the Blues defence have looked much more comfortable with the Senegal international behind them.

Edouard Mendy solved Chelsea’s goalkeeper crisis and picked up 16 clean sheets

2 – Wesley Fofana

Little was known about the 20-year-old defender when he arrived at the King Power Stadium in September, but he quickly showed people what he was all about.

The centre back is strong in the air, can recover quickly and is adaptable to a back four or a back three. 

A few eyebrows may have been raised by his £36m price tag but that may prove to be a bargain in a few years’ time.

The youngster is only going to get better and is at one of the best clubs to continue learning his trade.

Wesley Fofana quickly showed the Premier League what he was all about after his £36m move

1 – Ruben Dias 

Top of the Premier League and top of our chart, there’s no doubting that Dias was the standout signing.

The centre back has been a rock at the back with Pep Guardiola’s side conceding less than a goal a game since his arrival and he has shown he is well worth the £62m fee City paid in September.

His excellent reading of the game saw him keep the likes of Harry Kane, Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe at bay across the season.

The 23-year-old has already won the Premier League and the Carabao Cup but could add the Champions League to his trophy collection this weekend.

Ruben Dias transformed Manchester City’s defence following his £62m transfer from Benfica

UNLUCKY TO MISS OUT…

Joe Willock – The Arsenal loanee scored seven goals in seven games for Newcastle and helped them move clear of the relegation zone.

Diogo Jota – Would likely have scored more than nine goals had his season not been disrupted by injury and he was badly missed during Liverpool’s difficult start to the year.

Thiago Silva – A fantastic free signing who helped shore up Chelsea’s leaky defence. Also added much needed experience to a young squad. 

Tomas Soucek – Misses out on a technicality as his loan move became permanent in the summer. His 10 goals helped West Ham soar into the Europa League. 

Eberechi Eze – Four goals and six assists in his first top-flight campaign before picking up a devastating Achilles injury.




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