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Rating last season’s summer deadline day signings: Cavani, Partey, Raphinha...

A number of signings were made on the final day of the 2020/21 summer transfer window, but how did they all fare in their debut seasons?

A late start to the 2020/21 season caused transfer deadline day to be pushed back to October 5.

However, despite summer having transitioned into autumn, there was still no lack of last-minute drama as clubs typically left it late to do their bidding.

Premier League giants Manchester United and Arsenal were among those who couldnt resist another dip into the market, while Fulham were also seeking reinforcements after their poor start to the season.

Now as we steel ourselves for another frenzied day of transfer activity, we look back on those summer deadline day moves and rate whether late turned out to be great.

Edinson Cavani - 7/10

PSG - Manchester United

Fee: Free

Edinson Cavani, Manchester United, Old Trafford, Premier LEague

After offloading Alexis Sanchez, Chris Smalling and Odion Ighalo last summer and only completing the £35million signing of Ajax's Donny van de Beek, Manchester United headed into the final day still in need of strengthening.

Repeated links to Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho dominated the headlines, but as we now know, United were made to wait for their man, and it was instead Edinson Cavani who was snapped up by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

With United's young trio of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood seen as too inexperienced to single-handedly lead the line, the Red Devils hoped Cavani's experience would benefit the dressing room.

However, the Uruguayan striker proved he was far more than some ageing mentor, ending the season with 10 goals in 26 appearances.

His leadership and attacking nous often proved crucial in games, particularly his late brace against Southampton which, alongside Bruno Fernandes' goal, helped rescue three points after United trailed 2-0.

The 34-year-old was always intended to be a short-term addition to the squad as United's other forwards matured, but his impact led to him re-signing with the club for a further year.

Alex Telles - 2/10

Porto - Manchester United

Fee: £13million

Alex Telles, Manchester United, transfer, deadline day

Another of United's deadline day signings was Brazilian left-back Alex Telles, who completed his move to Old Trafford from Porto.

The rumours of his move circled for weeks, but after it was eventually completed on the last day, the general consensus was that United had completed a smart bit of business for one of Europe's best left-backs.

However, the Brazilian suffered with COVID-19 and injuries and was never really able to piece together a consistent run of games.

To add to his lack of playing time, Telles' arrival seemed to push Luke Shaw into sixth gear, with the Englishman going on to produce his best ever season for club, and for country.

You could say the signing worked as United got a world-class left-back out of it. The only trouble is, it wasn't Telles.

Thomas Partey - 5/10

Atletico Madrid - Arsenal

Fee: £45million

Thomas Partey, Arsenal, Premier League, transfer, deadline day

As Mikel Arteta approached his first full season in charge of Arsenal, Gunners fans anticipated a large summer rebuild. But come deadline day the only major signing had been Brazilian centre-back Gabriel.

After finishing eighth in 2019/20, however, Arsenal were in dire need of further signings to help them climb the table.

Their big-money move came in the final few hours of the window, as the north London side raided Atletico Madrid for £45million defensive midfielder Thomas Partey.

Brought in to stiffen Arsenal's flimsy midfield, much was expected of Partey.

The Ghanaian midfielder made his debut as a substitute in a 1-0 loss to Manchester City, but was named in the starting line-up in the following games against Leicester City and Manchester United.

Against the Foxes, Arsenal again suffered a 1-0 loss, but on their visit to Old Trafford, managed a 1-0 win, with Partey standing out after controlling the midfield.

His start in the Premier League looked extremely bright, but a subsequent injury in the 3-0 loss to Aston Villa ruled him out for weeks. On his return, against north London rivals, Tottenham, Partey was again substituted off at half-time due to injury.

Despite a stop-start introduction, he strung together a number of games towards the end of the season to take his tally up to 24 in the Premier League.

Clearly a promising prospect, Partey has shown his ability to control a game, but after an injury-ravaged debut season, Arsenal fans will be hoping to see much more of him in 2021/22.

Raphinha - 8/10

Stade Rennais - Leeds United

Fee: £17million

Raphinha, Leeds United, Premier League, deadline day

Defenders Diego Llorente and Robin Koch added defensive depth to nely promoted Leeds, but with the attack also needing bolstering, Leeds went to the last day in pursuit of their man.

Eventually, Leeds' £17million bid was enough to lure Raphinha to Elland Road from Stade Rennais, and the Brazilian was immediately considered part of Marcelo Bielsa's first-team plans.

After substitute appearances against Wolves and Aston Villa, Raphinha made his first start in a goalless draw with Arsenal, and quicky cemented his place in the starting line-up.

He opened his scoring account for the Yorkshire side just a few days after, netting the winner against Everton, and it proved to be the first of six goals in his debut campaign.

But other than goals, Raphinha brought a certain swagger and style to the Leeds side, and his direct running created havoc among opposition defences.

With an abundance of creative flair, the Brazilian winger registered nine assists, taking his goal involvements up to 15 in just 30 appearances.

Very much the dark horses of the 2020/21 season, Raphinha was a large part of Leeds' ninth-placed finish.

Ben Godfrey - 8/10

Norwich City - Everton

Fee: £20million

Ben Godfrey, Everton, Premier League, transfer, deadline day

Following  Carlo Ancelotti's arrival, there was a buzz of excitement around the blue half of Merseyside, and it was helped by a number of impressive incomings in the summer.

The acquisition of Real Madrid's James Rodriguez was the biggest talking point, but his signing was followed up by the addition of Napoli's Allan and Watford's Abdoulaye Doucoure.

However, the Toffees weren't done yet, and brought Norwich City's Ben Godfrey in on the final day of the window for a £20million fee.

In terms of debuts, it doesn't get much trickier for a new Everton player than being thrown head first into a Merseyside derby. However, for the hour he was on the pitch, Godfrey coped well as the fixture ended 2-2.

Unfortunately, Godfrey's progress stalled a few weeks in to the campaign after he suffered a hamstring injury against Newcastle United. 

The 23-year-old came back remarkably well, though, going on to pick up 11 clean sheets in 31 appearances.

After a rip-roaring start, the Toffees eventually limped to 10th place. However, their slide could not be pinned on Godfrey who went on to win the club's Young Player of the Year award.

Theo Walcott - 5/10

Everton - Southampton

On loan

Theo Walcott, Southampton, Everton, transfer, deadline day

Walcott joins a long and impressive list of players to have graduated from Southampton's academy and he returned there, aged 31, after being loaned out by Everton.

He linked up with fellow summer signings Kyle Walker-Peters and Ibrahima Diallo, adding experience to a relatively youthful Saints squad.

Registering an assist on his return in a 3-3 draw with Chelsea, life back at St Mary's started well for Walcott, and he continued to be a consistent part of the first team up until January.

But after suffering a hamstring injury in a 1-0 loss to Aston Villa, Walcott ended up missing nine consecutive games for the Saints (although he may be glad he missed the 9-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester United).

Eventually, the English winger returned, marking his comeback with an assist in a 3-2 win over Burnley.

The final few weeks saw Walcott's minutes limited, but he did enough to earn himself a permanent contract with the Saints for 2021/22.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek - 4/10

Chelsea - Fulham

On loan

Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Fulham, Premier League, loan, deadline day

After starting in Chelsea's league opener against Brighton, it seemed Loftus-Cheek had finally forced his way into the first-team picture at Stamford Bridge.

But three subsequent omissions from the squad suggested otherwise, and it was well and truly confirmed when he secured a loan move to Fulham on the final day of the window.

Fulham boss Scott Parker believed Loftus-Cheek's arrival, alongside the additions of Mario Lemina, Josh Maja, Joachim Andersen and Tosin Adarabioyo, would be enough to save the Cottagers from the drop.

However, despite Loftus-Cheek becoming a consistent presence at the heart of midfield, Fulham failed to bounce back from a torrid start, and continued to leak goals throughout the campaign.

Loftus-Cheek was deployed in a much more defensive position, and saw his attacking output limited, scoring only one goal and failing to register an assist.

Fulham finished 19th with only 26 points on the board.

And, after failing to retain their top-flight status, they also failed to retain Loftus-Cheek, who returned to Chelsea but still finds himself a long way from the starting XI.

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