Erling Haaland, Casemiro and the 21 best Premier League signings of the 2022-23 season - ranked

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GOAL rates the best new arrivals of the campaign, taking into account performance, expectation and price. Look away now, Chelsea fans...

Premier League clubs spent a record £2.8 billion ($3.5m) on transfers across both windows in 2022-23 and most of the big-money signings (apart from those who joined Chelsea) have had a huge impact on a hugely eventful and entertaining season.

Manchester City's astute transfer business (leaving aside Kalvin Phillips) helped them win the title, but Arsenal were also shrewd in the market and their signings helped them push Pep Guardiola's side all the way.

Brighton's excellent dealings helped catapult them into Europe for the first time while Fulham, Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth made smart signings that helped keep them afloat in their first season back in the top flight.

Manchester United and Newcastle's new recruits also played big roles in their bids to finish in the top four and return to the Champions League.

GOAL rates the best transfers of the season, taking into account performance, expectation and price...

  1. Neto (Bournemouth, free)

    #21 Neto (Bournemouth, free)

    Bournemouth took something of a gamble by bringing in a goalkeeper who had been a back-up for most of his career. But the well-travelled Brazilian, who joined for free from Barcelona, has reignited his passion for football with the Cherries and has proved instrumental in them steering clear of the relegation zone.

    Neto began the season in a familiar position - on the bench. But he was made first-choice goalkeeper when Gary O'Neil succeeded Scott Parker as coach after the team had conceded 16 goals in three games, including the 9-0 thrashing by Liverpool. He quickly stopped the rot before a muscle injury in October forced him out until January, but when he returned to fitness, he was straight back in the team ahead of Mark Travers.

    His highlights include keeping a clean sheet against Liverpool, being the stand-out player in a crucial win at Wolves and making a double save against Leeds in the game which effectively guaranteed their safety.

  2. Ben Mee (Brentford, free)

    #20 Ben Mee (Brentford, free)

    Mee had been one of Burnley's most influential players in their long stay in the Premier League, and although Brentford had comfortably survived their first season in the top flight, the 33-year-old's experience has helped them kick on and earn their first top-10 finish.

    The 33-year-old's knack for winning duels and staying concentrated has helped Brentford keep 10 clean sheets while he has also contributed a lot in attack, scoring three times and providing two assists. Not bad for a free transfer, eh?

  3. Wilfried Gnonto (Leeds, £4m)
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    #19 Wilfried Gnonto (Leeds, £4m)

    The Italian teenager has enormous potential and Leeds snapped him up from FC Zurich for just £4 million on transfer deadline day. He has been in and out of the team, particularly since Jesse Marsch's departure, but he has shown his quality on a number of occasions.

    His volley in the FA Cup tie against Cardiff City was reminiscent of Paulo Di Canio, while he zipped his way through the Manchester United defence to score after only 55 seconds at Old Trafford. He has scored four goals and contributed four assists in his first season despite his limited first-team opportunities, and Leeds have a star of the future on their hands - if they can keep hold of him this summer.

  4. Christian Eriksen (Man Utd, free)
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    #18 Christian Eriksen (Man Utd, free)

    The Dane has given United an extra layer of class in the middle, forming a winning axis with Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes. His pin-point passes have launched many an attack, but overall he has given the team more control and balance.

    And he cost United nothing at all, joining as a free agent after rebuilding his career from the shock of his cardiac arrest on the pitch at Euro 2020 at Brentford having being released by Inter. The fact he has managed to return to the elite as an influential player for a club like United is truly remarkable.

  5. Romeo Lavia (Southampton, £10.5m)
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    #17 Romeo Lavia (Southampton, £10.5m)

    The Belgian has been one of the few green shoots from an otherwise dark season for Southampton. Schooled in the Manchester City academy, Lavia has brilliant technical ability and is adept at holding on to the ball under pressure. But his real asset is his ability to make accurate long passes, with both feet, allowing his team to switch play and launch counter-attacks.

    Southampton paid £10.5m to get Lavia from City, and now they have been relegated he is unlikely to remain with the Saints. But after exhibiting his quality in a hugely difficult campaign, they will have no shortage of offers for him, and the Championship-bound club should be able to make a handsome profit on the 19-year-old.

  6. Dwight McNeil (Everton, £20m)

    #16 Dwight McNeil (Everton, £20m)

    The English winger took a bit of time to bed in at Everton, but has come into his own after being reunited with his former Burnley manager, Sean Dyche. McNeil has struck five goals since March, including the winner against Brentford plus a double and an assist in the 5-1 rout of Brighton.

    The 22-year-old's surge in form helped give Everton a fighting chance of survival, and that alone pays back his £20mtransfer fee. The Toffees now have a real talent on their hands at the perfect stage of his career.

  7. Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest, £17.5m)

    #15 Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest, £17.5m)

    Any team new to the top flight needs reliable goalscorers if they want to have a chance of staying up, and Nottingham Forest are fortunate to have had two in Brennan Johnson and Awoniyi. The Nigerian has proved to be one of the most important of Forest's 30 signings since getting promoted, as he has scored nine Premier League goals, and nearly all of them have helped his team earn points.

    He opened his account by scoring the only goal against West Ham in Forest's first home game back in the top flight; struck the winner against Liverpool; and scored twice in both the 4-3 victory over Southampton and in the 2-2 draw at Chelsea.

    To cap his brilliant first campaign, he got the only goal against Arsenal to guarantee Forest's survival. In total, his goals have been worth 11 points to Forest, his contribution invaluable in them avoiding relegation.

  8. Nick Pope (Newcastle, £10m)
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    #14 Nick Pope (Newcastle, £10m)

    Pope had been a colossal force for Burnley and a big reason why they stayed in the top flight for so long. And since joining Newcastle for a bargain £10m, he has made a seamless transition from a team used to fighting relegation to one trying to gatecrash the top four.

    Only Ederson has conceded fewer goals than the England international among 'keepers who have started throughout the season, and for a long time Newcastle had the best defence in the league until Manchester City caught up. He has also kept out three penalties out of five spot-kicks faced, his saves worth five points to Eddie Howe's side.

  9. Joao Palhinha (Fulham, £20m)

    #13 Joao Palhinha (Fulham, £20m)

    The Portugal midfielder has embraced English football fans' love of a tackle and has been throwing himself into challenges all season, becoming a fan favourite at Fulham. Palhinha leads the Premier League for number of tackles, more than 50 ahead of his nearest challenger Moises Caicedo, and his hunger for winning the ball back has been a real asset for Marco Silva's side.

    A key component of Sporting CP's first title win in 19 years in 2021 and a regular in the Portugal national side, Palhinha brought a wealth of experience to the newly-promoted Cottagers, and his combative style of play has been one of the key factors in the team's outstanding return to the top flight.

  10. Willian (Fulham, free)

    #12 Willian (Fulham, free)

    When Willian ended his contract at Arsenal two years early after a solitary miserable campaign in north London, it looked like his career in Europe was over. But Fulham recognised that a brilliant player does not become bad overnight, and after letting him train with them over the summer, they took a no-risk move in signing him as a free agent.

    It was one of the smartest moves in the transfer window. The former Chelsea winger has been revitalised back in west London, scoring five goals and providing five assists in Marco Silva's side's outstanding first season back in the Premier League.

  11. Julian Alvarez (Man City, £14m)

    #11 Julian Alvarez (Man City, £14m)

    You have to hand it to Man City's South American scouting network for seeing that Alvarez's brilliant performances for River Plate could be replicated in the Premier League, allowing them to snap up this driven, versatile forward for only £14m.

    Alvarez has not had it easy in trying to hold down a first-team place in the same team as Erling Haaland, and he has had to patiently wait his turn. But almost every time he has played, he has made a tangible impact. In terms of goals per minutes played across the league, he trails only Haaland.

  12. Alexander Isak (Newcastle, £63m)

    #10 Alexander Isak (Newcastle, £63m)

    Isak had to deal with the burden of being Newcastle's record signing and then the misfortune to suffer a serious muscle injury so soon after his arrival from Real Sociedad, ruling him out until January. But the fleet-footed Sweden forward has justified the hype around him since returning, dazzling opposition defences with his sleek dribbling and proving highly effective for Eddie Howe's side.

    His tally of 10 goals from only 14 starts is a fantastic showing for his first season in England, and if he can stay fit, he is bound to produce even more in 2023-24, making Newcastle a formidable attacking team as well as one of the best defensive units.

  13. Casemiro (Manchester United, £60m)
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    #9 Casemiro (Manchester United, £60m)

    After Manchester United lost their opening two games of the season against Brighton and Brentford, it was clear Erik ten Hag needed a real enforcer to prevent his tenure with the Red Devils turning into a disaster. Step forward Casemiro, a five-time Champions League winner and Brazil regular, who, while watching the shock 4-0 defeat at Brentford, cheekily told his agent he would fix United's problems.

    The Brazilian has added power and commitment to a lightweight midfield, acting as a formidable shield for United's defence and providing plenty of ammunition for the attack. He has also brought his lust for winning to the dressing room, setting the standard for the rest of the squad after a dismal previous season. He was hugely influential in the Carabao Cup win and celebrated as if it were a league title. No wonder United fans love him so much.

  14. Manuel Akanji (Manchester City, £15m)
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    #8 Manuel Akanji (Manchester City, £15m)

    City did some truly wonderful business with Borussia Dortmund last year. Erling Haaland might have hogged the attention, but Akanji has proven to be a highly astute signing. The Swiss defender quickly usurped Aymeric Laporte in the centre-back pecking order and showed himself to be the ideal defender for Pep Guardiola: technically brilliant, athletic and able to follow instructions to the letter.

    Akanji has excelled in the middle of a back four, back three and more recently as a left-back while Nathan Ake has been injured. He has been so strong that City have barely noticed the absence of the Dutchman, who has been one of their most important defenders this season. To top it all, Akanji only cost City £15m. That's five Harry Maguires with plenty of spare change.

  15. Pervis Estupinan (Brighton, £15m)

    #7 Pervis Estupinan (Brighton, £15m)

    Some eyebrows were raised when Estupinan left last season's Champions League semi-finalists Villarreal to join Brighton, but the Ecuadorian will have no regrets after a stunning first season in England.

    He has been one of the many stars of Brighton's remarkable campaign and truly started to excel after the World Cup. Since January, he has contributed seven assists and scored a fine first goal in the thumping of Arsenal. He is set to return to European football with Brighton, one of many success stories of the Seagulls' outstanding recruitment programme.

  16. Andreas Pereira (Fulham, £10m)
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    #6 Andreas Pereira (Fulham, £10m)

    One phone call from Marco Silva was enough to convince Pereira to return to the Premier League after an enjoyable loan spell back in Brazil with Flamengo. The midfielder has proved a perfect fit for Fulham since his £10m move from Manchester United, picking up the baton left by the departing Fabio Carvalho as the team's most creative player

    He has struck up a fine relationship with Aleksandar Mitrovic on the pitch and contributed four goals and six assists for Silva's side before suffering a season-ending injury against Manchester City. It was a cruel end to a fantastic campaign in which he proved he could cut it in England's top-flight after all. United's loss has been Fulham's gain.

  17. Lisandro Martinez (Man Utd, £56m)

    #5 Lisandro Martinez (Man Utd, £56m)

    The diminutive Argentine was mocked by the likes of Jamie Carragher when he arrived in the Premier League and many thought United were mad to spend so much on a player who looked like he could struggle physically. But Martinez's calmness on the ball and ability to thread passes into attack from his own area has more than made up for his lack of height.

    He has transformed United into a team that love to have the ball, and his importance to Erik ten Hag's side has been underlined by how they have suffered since he fractured his metatarsal in mid-April.

  18. Oleksandr Zinchenko (Arsenal, £32m)

    #4 Oleksandr Zinchenko (Arsenal, £32m)

    The Ukrainian has dominated almost all areas of the pitch for Arsenal. The inverted left-back has given Mikel Arteta's side an extra presence in midfield as well as being a real attacking threat. And he has stepped up in the big games. Take the Gunners' wins over Manchester United and Tottenham earlier this year, when he had more touches than any other player, made the most passes and won the most duels.

    As well as bringing quality and intelligence, Zinchenko has brought the winning mentality he honed at City to north London. At the start of the season, his team-mates laughed when he suggested they could be title contenders. Even though Arsenal couldn't get over the line, they have had their best season in a decade and Zinchenko's influence is a big reason for that.

  19. Sven Botman (Newcastle, £35m)
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    #3 Sven Botman (Newcastle, £35m)

    Newcastle were trying to sign Dutch defender Botman as early as in January 2022, but they had to wait until last summer to finally get a £35m deal done with Lille. It was sure worth the wait. Botman’s huge physical presence meant Newcastle were guaranteed to win most aerial duels while his confidence on the ball has allowed Eddie Howe’s side to launch quick counters.

    He has formed a formidable partnership with Fabian Schar, making Newcastle the best defence in the league for most of the season until Man City caught up with them in May.

  20. Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal, £45m)
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    #2 Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal, £45m)

    Despite a prolific record, the Brazilian never quite convinced Pep Guardiola he should be a regular for Man City. But he has slotted straight into the system of Mikel Arteta, Guardiola's former assistant coach, and spearheaded Arsenal's unlikely title challenge before it fizzled out.

    Gabriel Jesus has scored 10 goals and provided five assists in his first season for the Gunners, despite missing three months after picking up an injury at the World Cup. But most of all he has been a focal point who has allowed the rest of his team-mates to shine, holding the ball up superbly and dovetailing to devastating effect with Bukayo Saka and compatriot Gabriel Martinelli.

  21. Erling Haaland (Manchester City, £51m)
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    #1 Erling Haaland (Manchester City, £51m)

    Haaland averaged more than a goal per game in Norway, Austria and Germany but no one expected him to keep that rate up in England. In fact, he has managed to improve on it with his most prolific season ever, destroying all Premier League records on his way to scoring 36 goals, and 52 in all competitions.

    Haaland has also made a mockery of those who suggested that City might be a weaker team overall with him as they had to rethink their whole playing style after often playing without a classic striker in the previous two seasons. They have just clinched the league title and are on track to become the first English team to win the treble in 24 years.

    And although Haaland's salary is huge, City only paid £51m to get him. That's 25 percent less than Liverpool paid for Darwin Nunez.