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Rating the 10 Biggest EPL Transfers of the 2020 Summer Window

| October 13, 2020 11:49 am PDT
Biggest EPL Transfers of 2020

Due to the global situation, nobody was quite sure how the summer transfer window would pan out this year. There was a sense that the current economic uncertainty would prevent Premier League clubs from spending big.

But as it turned out, that wasn’t the case.

Chelsea was the biggest spender in the EPL, forking out over £200m on five permanent signings. Unsurprisingly, Manchester City didn’t hold back, either, spending almost £150m on seven players.

Gareth Bale is back at Tottenham, James Rodriguez joined Everton, and Liverpool managed to lure Thiago away from Bayern Munich. But who was involved in the biggest transfers of the summer?

In this post, I look at the 10 most lucrative EPL deals of the 2020 summer transfer window and share my thoughts on how each player will fare for their new club in the Premier League.

Kai Havertz – Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea (£72m)

In recent years, Bayern Munich has snapped up just about every top Bundesliga prodigy. It feels like the other teams in the German top division have become feeder clubs for the Bavarian giant, yet Chelsea managed to beat Bayern to the signature of Germany’s hottest young talent in September.

Yes, the Blues had to pay a hefty price. But ask anyone who has watched Kai Havertz play, and they will tell you that he is worth every bit of his £72m transfer fee.

The versatile forward notched up ten goals and five assists in his final 16 league games for Bayer Leverkusen, confirming that he was ready to move to an elite club. But having previously become the youngest player to reach 50 and 100 Bundesliga appearances, Chelsea – and the rest of the soccer world – already knew that Havertz was destined for greatness.

At the end of the day, pretty much every top manager in Europe would have been extremely happy to build their team around the 21-year-old for years to come. However, due to the current economic situation, Chelsea was the only realistic destination for Havertz.

Frank Lampard’s young side still has a lot to learn, but Havertz is mature beyond his years. I’m confident that Germany’s golden boy will shine in the EPL.

Ruben Dias – Benfica to Manchester City (£61.2m)

I can’t say I’m surprised that Manchester City has once again spent a ludicrous amount of money on a defender. After all, John Stones (£50m), Kyle Walker (£47m), Benjamin Mendy (£51m), Aymeric Laporte (£58.5), and Joao Cancelo (£58.5) have all joined Pep Guardiola’s side for huge fees in recent years.

It is no secret that Man City has struggled defensively since Vincent Kompany left the club at the end of the 2018/19 season. But is Ruben Dias the man who can finally fill the void?

Following Bournemouth’s relegation from the Premier League, the Cityzens moved quickly to acquire the services of Nathan Ake. However, they left it very late to seal the Dias deal. And after paying a club-record fee to Benfica, it feels like somewhat of a panic buy.

There is no denying that Dias is a solid center-back, and at just 23, the Portuguese still has plenty of time to develop. But right now, I can’t see him fixing Man City’s glaring defensive issues.

Timo Werner – RB Leipzig to Chelsea (£47.7m)

It felt like Timo Werner was destined to join Liverpool. The German forward was continuously linked with a move to the Anfield, but after the Reds refused to meet Werner’s release clause, Chelsea swooped in.

In my opinion, Liverpool’s loss is definitely Chelsea’s gain.

Over the past couple of years, Werner has established himself as one of the most complete forwards in the European game. His electric pace, clever movement, and clinical finishing have seen him score and create goals at a frighteningly consistent rate.

Having racked up 95 goals and 40 assists in 159 appearances for RB Leipzig, Werner is clearly a special player. He took his game to another level under the guidance of Julian Nagelsmann, and he is now ready to take the Premier League by storm.

The 24-year-old started each of Chelsea’s opening four EPL games this season, and although he failed to get on the scoresheet, his class was clear for all to see. There is no doubt in my mind that Werner will be a huge hit in the EPL.

Ben Chilwell – Leicester to Chelsea (£45.2m)

Is Ben Chilwell really worth £45m?

Don’t get me wrong, I think Chilwell is a decent player. He impressed at Leicester for a number of years and has even managed to make the England left-back spot his own. But I don’t think anyone can deny that £45m seems very excessive.

We all know that English youngsters cost more. With the Premier League’s regulations regarding homegrown players, top-quality English talent is at a premium. Still, I’m sure the Blues could have picked up a far better left-back for a similar price.

The addition of Chilwell undoubtedly strengthens Chelsea’s squad. Marcos Alonso and Emerson have not been good enough, so the 23-year-old will almost certainly be Lampard’s first-choice left-back for the foreseeable future.

However, in the grand scheme of things, Chilwell’s move from Leicester to Chelsea doesn’t make sense to me.

Thomas Partey – Atletico Madrid to Arsenal (£45m)

Arsenal has been crying out for world-class defensive midfielder for as long as I can remember. Patrick Vieira was immense for the Gunners across the late 90s and early 2000s, with Gilberto Silva taking the reins towards the end of the decade. But since then, Arsenal’s midfield has lacked the tenacity required to win the Premier League.

But fear not, Gunners supporters! He may not be at the level of Vieira or Silva just yet, but Thomas Partey is arguably the missing piece of Arsenal’s midfield puzzle.

With over 150 La Liga appearances under his belt, the experienced Ghanaian will be an invaluable addition to a relatively young Arsenal team. The combative midfielder is best known for his tackling and his ability to protect the backline, although he also has an eye for a pass and a long-range shot.

It feels like Mikel Arteta is building something special in North London. The Spaniard seems to be steering the club in the right direction, and Partey looks set to become the core of Areta’s revolution.

Nathan Ake – Bournemouth to Manchester City (£40.8m)

Nathan Ake has always been a good player. But is he a great player? I’m not so sure.

The Netherlands international constantly stood out in a weak Bournemouth backline. In fact, he was arguably the Cherries’ best player for the four years he was at the Vitality Stadium. However, it is important to remember that the gulf between Bournemouth and Man City is vast.

Ake failed to break into Chelsea’s first team as a youngster, with the center-back spending multiple seasons out on loan in the early stages of his career. He finally found a home on the south coast, but following last season’s relegation from the EPL, it was inevitable that Ake would leave Bournemouth.

In my eyes, the 25-year-old is better suited to a mid-table side. Ake has already proved that he can be the star man for a lesser team in the Premier League, but I can see him struggling to make the grade at the Etihad.

Ake is not the first center-back that Guardiola has signed for big money, and he probably won’t be the last. Still, the hefty price tag is likely to weigh heavily on the Dutchman.

Diogo Jota – Wolves to Liverpool (£40.2m)

Any realistic Wolves fan would have been expecting one or two high-profile departures from the club this year. The rise of players such as Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore meant the Wanderers were always going to face a battle to hold onto their prized assets.

Having said that, I don’t think too many people could have predicted that Diogo Jota would be the man to leave Molineux.

Jota’s switch to Liverpool shocked everyone. But if you think about it, the move makes perfect sense. Not only will the hard-working forward score goals, but his relentless work-rate also makes him the perfect fit for Jurgen Klopp’s intense pressing approach.

The Reds’ famed front three – Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino – make up one of the very best forward lines on the planet. Yet there has been very little competition for places over the past couple of seasons. The arrival of Jota will surely make Liverpool’s forwards up their game, and that can only be a good thing for the team.

Jota marked his EPL debut for Liverpool with a volley in a 3-1 victory over Arsenal. Check it out below.

Fabio Silva – Porto to Wolves (£36m)

Jota’s move to Anfield allowed Wolves to spend a club-record fee on Fabio Silva. The 18-year-old had only made 21 appearances in all competitions for Porto, bagging three goals and two assists. But Nuno Espirito Santo had clearly seen enough of Silva to fork out £36m on the wunderkind.

Aged 17 years and 22 days, Silva became the youngest player to represent Porto in a league game. The forward only made one Primeira Liga start, with a further 11 substitute appearances yielding just a single goal. So, is he ready for the Premier League?

Lately, Wolves have gained a glowing reputation for their astute recruitment. The club has developed countless youngsters in recent years, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Silva turns out to be a world-class player.

Wolves are obviously planning for the future with this signing, although Silva will be eager to prove that he can already challenge for a place in the starting line-up.

Hakim Ziyech – Ajax to Chelsea (£36m)

Chelsea narrowly missed out on acquiring Hakim Ziyech in January, with the club announcing the signing of the Moroccan in February, just days after the winter transfer window had slammed shut. Ziyech stayed with Ajax for the remainder of the previous campaign, but he is now ready to make his mark on the English top flight.

The supremely talented winger has consistently posted crazy numbers over the past few years. He notched up 21 goals and 24 assists in all competitions in 2018/19 before contributing 29 goal involvements last term.

In all honesty, I’m surprised Ajax was able to keep hold of Ziyech for so long. He played a pivotal role in the club’s run to the Champions League semi-finals two seasons ago, but while fellow heroes Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong earned big-money moves, Ziyech remained in Amsterdam.

The competition for places at Chelsea is now fierce, with Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odio, Havertz, and Werner all bidding for a spot in Lampard’s side. But if Ziyech can replicate the same form he showed throughout his time with Ajax, I can see him nailing down a place in the Blues’ starting XI.

Donny van de Beek – Ajax to Manchester United (£35.1m)

Unfortunately for Ajax, they lost another star player in the form of Donny van de Beek. The midfielder racked up 41 goals and 34 assists in 175 games for the Dutch giant, so it goes without saying that he will be sorely missed by Ajax.

But while his former teammate Ziyech looks set to thrive at Chelsea, I just can’t see how van de Beek is going to fit in at Manchester Utd.

Make no mistake, van de Beek is a phenomenal player. But he is not what the Red Devils need right now. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side clearly has defensive issues, yet the Man Utd board has failed to address the team’s main problem area.

Solskjaer favors the 4-2-3-1 formation, with Bruno Fernandes playing just behind the striker and two holding midfielders – usually Nemanja Matic and Paul Pobga – screening the back four. Yet van de Beek is most effective in an advanced role, and there is no way he is going to displace Fernandes.

After missing out on Jadon Sancho, Man Utd was desperate to make a big-name signing. But considering the team’s defensive frailties, I don’t think van de Beek was a sensible option.


The health crisis clearly didn’t affect the majority of Premier League clubs during the summer transfer window.

Leicester’s new center-back Wesley Fofana almost featured in this post following his £31.5m switch from Saint-Etienne. Other big-money deals include Rodrigo (Valencia to Leeds), Nelson Semedo (Barcelona to Wolves), and Sergio Reguilon (Real Madrid to Tottenham), who all moved for £27m.

Feel free to discuss your favorite EPL signings of the season in the comments section below. Also, check out our soccer picks section for free tips and predictions for a wide range of global leagues.

Ben Morris
Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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