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A Virgil van Dijk or a Joelinton: Rating the record signings of every Premier League club

With Newcastle expected to flex their financial muscles this January, we rate just how well the 20 top-flight clubs have done when breaking the bank.

We have been told for years that the financial 'bubble will burst' in the Premier League, but it never has.

Indeed, any time the television revenues go up, transfer fees also shoot up.

With Newcastle set to splash the cash following their Saudi takeover and suggestions Manchester City may make another big-money bid for Harry Kane, Planet Sport looks at just how well Premier League club's record signings have fared.

Arsenal - Nicolas Pepe - £72million

It's fair to say that this one hasn't worked out. Well, it hasn't yet at least.

Pepe has been okay in fairness, but he just hasn't justified the size of the fee. Last year it was even reported that Arsenal were conducting an internal inquiry as to how they were persuaded to agree the deal.

Still, even though they definitely overpaid, at least they got a good player out of it.

Rating: 5/10

Aston Villa - Emi Buendia - £38million

Buendia had big shoes to fill following the departure of Jack Grealish. And having enjoyed success in a wide role at Norwich, it was probably a bit much to expect him to instantly transfer his Canaries form to the middle of the park.

Nevertheless, one goal and two assists is a poor return from a player who cost close to £50million.

The arrival of Steven Gerrard provides hope Buendia can finally kick-start his Villa Park career, with the new boss confident the Argentine will fit perfectly into his system. However, on the strength of his stint at Villa so far, he can only be classed as a massive failure.

Rating: 4/10

Brentford - Ivan Toney - £10million

Toney was the man who Brentford turned to when they needed to replace Aston Villa-bound Ollie Watkins, and it definitely looks like they got value there.

Indeed, Toney outscored Watkins in the Championship, hitting 33 goals in all competitions, including 31 in the league.

The striker has found the going much tougher in the Premier League with just four goals to his name. However, for the money they paid for him, Brentford have already had incredible value out of Toney.

Rating: 8/10

Brighton - Adam Webster - £20million

Webster is one of those players who doesn't sound very exciting, but rarely lets anyone down.

The centre-back has worked his way up to the Premier League, where he has become a crucial part of the Brighton spine.

He has suffered a couple of spells out with injury this term but of the ten games in which he has featured, Brighton have lost just two.

Rating: 6/10

Burnley - Ben Gibson - £15million

There is no way to sugarcoat it: Ben Gibson was a disastrous sighing for Burnley.
The Clarets barely got any games out of Gibson before packing him off back to the Championship with Norwich.
Burnley don't spend big money often, so it will have hurt them to have got this one so wrong.

Rating: 1/10

Chelsea - Kai Havertz - £75.8million

The German scored a Champions League final-winning goal to cap his first campaign in England, which is about as good as it gets.

However, you can't help feeling there is a lot more to come from Havertz.

Just two goals and two assists this campaign suggest it hasn't arrived yet and patient is starting to wear thin.

Rating: 6/10

Crystal Palace - Christian Benteke - £27million

On paper, this looked a really good signing for Palace. Benteke was leaving Liverpool after a frustrating spell for the Reds, but the Aston Villa form that earned him that move to Anfield was still fresh.

It started out well too, with the Belgian hitting 15 Premier League goals in his first season at Selhurst Park.

The following four years yielded just 16 more, though. It was enough to get him a new deal and this season has followed a similar pattern. The striker's campaign has threatened to ignite, most notably with four goals in five games across October and November. However, going into 2022 he remains stuck on four.

Rating: 3/10

Everton - Gylfi Sigurdsson - £45million

On the pitch, you'd have to say that Sigurdsson has probably just about justified his transfer fee, but only just.
The Icelandic midfielder has not been a standout performer, but he has been a consistent one over a sustained period of time.

You get the feeling he won't be Everton's record signing for long, and his time at Goodison Park looks to be coming to an end too.

Rating: 5/10

Leeds - Rodrigo - £27million

He arrived in England without much of a pre-season and struggled with injuries as a result, but his end-product wasn't anywhere near what had been expected.

This season, given a chance to sign due to the prolonged absence of Patrick Bamford, he has failed to step up
There have been reports he is unsettled and wants to return to Spain, and you sense Leeds would not stand in his way.

Rating: 2/10

Leicester - Youri Tielemans - £40million

The Foxes recruit brilliantly and Tielemans is a perfect example of that.

The Belgian is young, he's quality, still has untapped potential and yet is contributing right now as well.

In addition to his fine performances in the Premier League, Tielemans scored the winning goal in the FA Cup final as Leicester beat Chelsea at Wembley.

Rating: 7/10

Liverpool - Virgil van Dijk - £75million

When Liverpool agreed to pay Southampton such a huge fee for Van Dijk, there were certainly plenty of raised eyebrows.

That has almost been forgotten, because if you had to choose one player who turned Liverpool from a top team to a Premier League-winning team, it was the Dutchman.

The fact he missed a large chunk of last season and Liverpool struggled so much without him just highlighted further what a superb signing he has been.

Rating: 9/10

Manchester City - Jack Grealish - £100million

The Jack Grealish deal always seemed a strange one from City's point of view when it was a striker, and more specifically, Harry Kane, they were crying out for.

He's created more headlines for nights out than he has for match-winning performances but it's still early in his City spell.
And it's not as if City aren't a better team for having Grealish in their squad - they're seven points clear at the top of the Premier League for heaven's sake.

Rating: 6/10

Manchester United - Paul Pogba - £89.3million

Where on earth do you start with Paul Pogba? He has to be the most enigmatic player we have seen in recent years.

Pogba probably is a £90million quality asset in the modern market, although his commercial value is included in that. He hasn't justified the fee on the pitch though.

Add into the fact that Man Utd even had to buy him back after initially losing him for nothing, and you'd struggle to argue that Pogba has been anything more than a moderate success at Old Trafford.

Rating: 6/10

Newcastle - Joelinton - £40million

Mike Ashley was a well-known skinflint, but when he did release the purse strings a little and it's spent on Joelinton, it becomes easier to understand why he didn't do it more often.

Joelinton has simply not delivered for Newcastle and it's far from a secret.

The Brazilian has contributed just seven Premier League goals in 87 matches, so he can't even say he hasn't had a fair crack of the whip.

Rating: 1/10

Norwich - Milot Rashica - £9.4million

He's a fan favourite and he's been praised for his ball-carrying ability by manager Dean Smith who said he has goals in him.

Unlocking them is proving to be a problem, however, with the Kosovan yet to get off the mark in ten appearances for the Canaries.

Will probably be a star of their 2022/23 Championship-winning campaign.

Rating: 3/10

Southampton - Danny Ings - £20million

When Ings moved from Burnley to Liverpool, you feared he would be a small fish in a big Anfield pond. An anterior cruciate ligament injury early in his Liverpool career didn't help, but as expected Ings found opportunities limited.

He rediscovered his best form at Southampton, though, where he scored 41 goals in three seasons.

Made a surprise £25million move to Aston Villa in the summer so he even made Saints money as well.

Rating: 8/10

Tottenham - Tanguy Ndombele - £53.7million

Spurs have slipped down the Premier League pecking order simply because they have had too many transfer failures, and Ndombele is definitely on that list.

Tottenham's transfer policy, which often restricts them to signing players with potential resale value, is highly conducive to risk, and Ndombele never looked a very safe bet.

He has not been a total flop, it should be stressed. The Frenchman has played 89 times for the club, although he has never looked a £53million player. 

Looks to be on his way out in January after starting just one of Spurs' last eight games. 

Rating: 3/10

Watford - Ismaila Sarr - £40million

Sarr looked like he could be a potential star in the Premier League when he first joined Watford, and he was quickly linked with an even bigger-money move away.
That looked even more likely after the Hornets were relegated, but they did brilliantly to hang onto him in the Championship.

It was a decision which paid dividends as they were immediately promoted back to the top flight.

Transfer rumours resurfaced this season after five goals in 12 games but a knee ligament injury has put his campaign on hold.

Rating: 6/10

West Ham - Sebastien Haller - £45million

If we are honest, signing players from the Eredivisie for huge money has rarely worked out well for Premier League clubs.
This one wasn't quite Alfonso Alves territory, but 10 goals in 48 Premier League appearances didn't exactly scream 'success' either.

West Ham decided to cut their losses on the Frenchman, with Ajax giving them half their money back. Naturally, he went right back to banging in the goals in the Netherlands.

Rating: 3/10

Wolves - Fabio Silva - £35.6million

This one is a very tough one to judge. If we are honest, there was a strong 'rush it through before Brexit' feel to the signing, with Wolves knowing the youngster would be out of their reach once work permit rules came into effect for European players.

Fabio Silva is only 19 still, and he has four Premier League goals to his name despite his limited opportunities.

As of right now, though, you'd have to say he is not delivering the value you'd want for a record signing.

And there is a thought that his development might be better served away from Molineux.

Rating: 2/10

READ MORE: Frustrated and unhappy, is Cristiano Ronaldo on his way out of Manchester United?

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