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Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt
Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt

George Pitts gives his verdict on each of the top ten big-money transfers of the summer so far - find out who has got the best deal.


10. Aaron Wan-Bissaka - £45m

  • Crystal Palace - Manchester United
Manchester United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka
Manchester United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The 21-year-old became the club's fifth-largest signing when they forked out £45m up front to Crystal Palace, with around £5m in add-ons.

The summer departure of Antonio Valencia saw United in desperate need of a quality right-back and Wan-Bissaka proved to have all those credentials in his first full season in the Eagles' squad, making 46 appearances.

"He is one of the best upcoming defenders in the Premier League," United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said after confirming the deal.

"He has the right work ethic, talent and mentality to play for Manchester United and he fits exactly the type of player that we are looking to bring into the squad to help us improve and push on further."

Verdict: United's fee may look incredibly high for a player with just one full senior campaign under his belt, but English players come at a premium and in Wan-Bissaka they are investing in a player with bags of potential. His debut for the Red Devils in their pre-season win over in Australia in Perth had plenty of positive signs - he performed his defensive duties well, linked up particularly well with Paul Pogba and got forward well to give them that extra width, even laying on an assist for Mason Greenwood. United are still in desperate need of central defenders, to name but a few, so ticking a right-back off their shopping list early was a good move. With Wan-Bisakka potentially filling the position for the next eight or nine years at least, his fee could soon look like good business. 7/10


9. Tanguy Ndombele - £55.5m

  • Lyon - Tottenham
Tanguy Ndombele
Tanguy Ndombele in action for Lyon

After failing to sign a first-team player in two successive transfer windows, Spurs opened their chequebook in style by signing two players in one day. Like London buses...

First it was Jack Clarke from Leeds for £10million, then hours later they smashed their transfer record - previously for the purchase of Davinson Sanchez in 2017 - by forking out £55.5m for Ndombele.

The 22-year-old Frenchman, who has been compared to Michael Essien and N'Golo Kante for his style and engine in the centre of midfield.

Spurs have plenty of attacking flair and, while Moussa Sissoko has grown into his role in the middle of the park, they have missed an influential midfield man who can dictate play and do the running since the departure of Mousa Dembele.

Ndombele knows how to do 'everything in the middle' and 'powerful and technical', according to France boss Didier Deschamps.

Verdict: Another player whose fee seemed high considering few on these shores will have heard of him 12 months ago. But he impressed in the Champions League with Lyon and on the international stage with France, so the guy clearly has potential. It will be interesting to see how he fits into Mauricio Pochettino's side - whether he plays along Harry Winks, who will sit deep and allow NDombele to do the running, or whether he is deployed a little further forward. He is certainly an upgrade on what the Champions League finalists have currently got and to see them spending this sort of money while rivals Arsenal can barely afford a similar fee shows how the club is going from strength to strength and heading in the right direction. 8/10


8. Luka Jovic - £57.7m

  • Eintract Frankfurt - Real Madrid
Real Madrid's Luka Jovic
Real Madrid's Luka Jovic

Eintracht Frankfurt turned Jovic's loan move permanent for around £10.5m shortly before they were able to sell him straight to Real Madrid for just over five times more. Unbelievable business from the German side, who enjoyed a run to the semi-finals of the Europa League thanks to some of Jovic's strikes.

The Serbian is just 21 years old but he showed maturity in his performances leading the line for Frankfurt last season, scoring 27 and assisting seven in 48 appearances.

Verdict: Real Madrid have splashed the cash this summer and it will be intriguing to see how Jovic fits in at the Bernabeu - whether he will move ahead of Karim Benzema in the pecking order for central strikers. Jovic looked to have it all last season - strength, pace and good feet - which shows why a number of Europe's top clubs were after his signature. His rate of scoring with every 4.4 shots in the Bundesliga is impressive and he should slot into the picture well in the long run, it may just take a little longer with the current competition in mind. 7/10


7. Rodri - £62.6m

  • Atletico Madrid - Man City
Manchester City have signed Spain midfielder Rodri
Manchester City signed Spain midfielder Rodri

Fernandinho has not even left City yet, but the influential Brazilian midfielder is not getting any younger.

At 34 years of age, Pep Guardiola's side have started planning for life without him and Rodri is seen as the ideal man to fill his shoes.

The 23-year-old Spain midfielder impressed for Atletico Madrid in a central defensive role and he will only get better under the tutelage of Guardiola and it is no wonder they paid a club-record sum for his services.

Verdict: When Fernandinho has been absent in recent years for City, it has been noticeable, so he needed an adequate replacement sooner rather than later. Rodri can be just that. Comfortable on the ball and defensive-minded, he can provide that link between the back line and creative players by dictating play and pulling strings. The fee shows how much faith City have in him and very rarely do you see them get it wrong when signing cheques with such large sums. The question is, can he improve them to the level which can finally help them to success in the Champions League? 9/10


6. Frenkie de Jong - £65.3m

  • Ajax - Barcelona
Frenkie De Jong signed for Barcelona from Ajax
Frenkie De Jong signed for Barcelona from Ajax

Ajax's success in the Champions League last term came as a surprise to many, with thanks to a mixture of bargain buys and gems from their famed academy. De Jong was a mixture of both, joining the Dutch giants from Willem II at 18 before continuing his trajectory and the 22-year-old was soon attracting interest from Europe's biggest clubs.

He admitted recently that his career plan was originally to go to Arsenal and then Barcelona, but the midfielder skipped his stop in north London to head straight to the Catalan giants.

A deal was struck in January, but went through this summer and now he can fulfil his potential at one of the best teams in the world.

Former Netherlands midfielder Rafael van der Vaart once said of De Jong: "A huge talent, it’s crazy, de Jong is the best player in the Netherlands and with the ball at his feet, perhaps one of the better players in Europe."

Verdict: A big fee to shell out for a player from the Eridivisie, but De Jong also caught the eye in Ajax's Champions League run and showed glimpses as he made it onto the international stage. Barca have talent in abundance when you look at their midfield and attack, it remains to be seen how Ernesto Valverde will squeeze them all in and you would hope De Jong gets regular minutes rather than being stuck behind Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and co. in the pecking order. He is hungry and hopefully we see that on a regular basis in the near future. 7/10


5. Matthijs de Ligt - £67.5m

  • Ajax - Juventus
Matthijs de Ligt
Matthijs de Ligt

A deal on the brink of completion, Juve look to have beaten a number of interested clubs - such as Barcelona and Man United - to Matthijs De Ligt's signature.

The Dutchman is another player to emerge from Ajax's successful campaign in the Champions League, captaining the Eredivisie giants at just 19 years of age.

He is an old head on young shoulders and is now starring for Nations League finalists the Netherlands, scoring in their win over England in June.

Verdict: After seeing De Ligt play, it is no wonder there was so much interest in his services this summer. He has all the qualities to be one of the world's best centre-backs and his international partnership at the back with Virgil van Dijk has frightening potential. He is so much more mature than his age suggests and Man United should be kicking themselves for missing out on him. Juve will only be defensively stronger with him at the back and it is fascinating that he chose the Serie A club over Premier League or La Liga destinations. 10/10


4. Lucas Hernandez - £68m

  • Atletico Madrid - Bayern Munich
Lucas Hernandez: France international to join Bayern Munich in the summer
Lucas Hernandez: France international is joining Bayern Munich

Another deal announced before the summer transfer window was open, Bayern have forked out for the Frenchman.

Full-backs were never particularly expensive, but we are seeing the costs rise of late and Hernandez is a quality asset who has already tasted success with Atletico.

The 23-year-old's move to Germany was confirmed in March and he could occupy the left-back role for years to come.

Verdict: Again, a significant amount for a defender but Bayern are investing in his potential and he could solve their problems in this position for the next seven or eight seasons. A France international, he already has experience of playing at the top level and joins compatriot Benjamin Pavard in moving to the Allianz Arena. Considering Bayern's scouting network, it seems costly but they will have done their research and know just why he is worth nearly £70m. 7/10


3. Eden Hazard - £88.5m

  • Chelsea - Real Madrid
Eden Hazard signs for Real Madrid from Chelsea
Eden Hazard signs for Real Madrid from Chelsea

Madrid finally got their man.

Eden Hazard confirmed after Chelsea's Europa League win that it was 'time for a new challenge' and he goes from being the main man at Chelsea to the main man at an even bigger Euro giant in Real Madrid.

The winger scored 110 goals and assisted 92 in 352 appearances for the Blues and has consistently been their star player in the last few years, so it is no wonder Madrid came calling.

Verdict: Real Madrid needed a star man to replace the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo last summer and it was always a case of when, rather than if, for Hazard and Real Madrid. The Belgian is world class and deserving of the move and he can take La Liga by storm. With just a year left on his Chelsea deal, the price paid could prove to be a bargain - although it could rise to above £130m in time. At 28, they are looking more in the short term but he will be one of the first names on Zinedine Zidane's team sheet and a player worthy of donning the famous white shirt. 9/10


2. Antoine Griezmann - £107.6m

  • Atletico Madrid - Barcelona
Antoine Griezmann has signed for Barcelona
Antoine Griezmann has signed for Barcelona

A deal that was not straight forward but always on the cards, Antoine Griezmann finally got his wish and signed for Barcelona last week.

The French forward showed his capabilities for Atletico Madrid and world champions France, so a huge transfer was in the offing.

Griezmann had announced in May he would be leaving Atletico Madrid after spending five seasons in the Spanish capital.

Verdict: Like De Jong, it remains to be seen how exactly Griezmann will slot into Barcelona's set-up. He will undoubtedly be a big player for them, it just depends whether Lionel Messi will move from his central role for him. His ability in a number of positions, though, will stand him in good stead and he can fire Barca to Champions League success after losing two finals with Atletico. 9/10


1. Joao Felix – £113m

  • Benfica - Atletico Madrid
Joao Felix with the Nations League trophy
Joao Felix with the Nations League trophy

The 19-year-old only made his international debut for Portugal last August and scouts were already monitoring the Benfica man.

He scored 20 and assisted 11 in 43 appearances for his club last season and Atletico deemed him worth of becoming one of the most expensive ever transfers.

Again, they are investing in potential and Felix has shown fearless qualities that could take him to the very top.

Verdict: A somewhat surprising signing for a club of Atletico's stature, to fork out over £100m for one signing. They were clearly planning for life after Griezmann and bought a player with potential who was attracting Europe's top sides. From a marketing point of view, Atletico have already shifted a considerable amount of shirts with Felix's name on the back. He is one of a number of promising arrivals at the Wanda Metropolitano and has all the credentials to impress and possibly even go on to play for a Euro super giant in the future. 8/10


Transfer figures via The Guardian, odds via Sky Bet and correct as of 1530 BST on 17/07/19

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