The Most Over-priced Summer Transfers 2019 XI
GK - Zack Steffen – Columbus Crew to Man City £7.2m
One of the more unusual transfers of the summer, the Premier League champions paid over £7m for USA international goalkeeper Zack Steffen and then immediately loaned him out to Fortuna Dusseldorf in Germany.
There is every likelihood that Steffen will never play a match for Manchester City. Ederson is well and truly the number one keeper at the Etihad and will be for some time to come. They have Claudio Bravo as their number two this season and a very capable young stopper in Arijanet Muric out on loan to Nottingham Forest.
Steffen is a very decent keeper, but for someone who a club have no intention of picking, £7.2m has to be seen as over-priced.
DF – Tyrone Mings – Bournemouth to Aston Villa £20m
The defender was pretty good for Aston Villa in the Championship last season, important in their promotion campaign, but it is tough to justify Tyrone Mings costing £20m.
Bournemouth signed the 26-year-old in 2015 from Ipswich for £8m and never made it at the Cherries. In four years with the club he made 17 Premier League appearances as he failed to dislodge the likes of Steve Cook and Simon Francis in the first team.
With this in mind, it is an incredible piece of business that the south coast club have managed to more than double their money on a player that never looked good enough to get into their team. He is going to be a central figure in Villa’s fight for survival this season, and could prove to be a good signing, but £20m has to be too much money.
DF – Adam Webster – Bristol City to Brighton £20m
Brighton paying Bristol City £20m for a player is not something that seemed possible in the realms of reality just a few years ago but things have changed for the Seagulls, and in the transfer market. However, that whopping figure for a 24-year-old defender who has never played above the Championship is insane.
Webster has proved himself to be a very solid, capable and commanding centre-back at City and previously at Ipswich, but he has never been tested against the best. £20m for a reliable Championship centre-back is madness and especially when the partnership of Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy has been one of Brighton’s strong suits in the Premier League.
DF – Harry Maguire – Leicester to Man Utd £80m
Harry Maguire is a pretty good defender, but £80m for him is unquestionable madness. Manchester United broke the world record fee ever paid for a defender to bring in the 26-year-old from Leicester City and it is really difficult to justify that price tag.
The former Sheffield United and Hull defender made his name in England’s run to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2018, playing in a three-man defence, scoring a header in the quarter-finals and catching the eye with his runs out from the back. He has also been generally solid for Leicester, a steady mid-table side, since arriving in 2017. How he will command the United back line in a partnership with Victor Lindelof is yet to be seen.
He is better than United’s other centre-backs, he is good, but he is not the best defender in the world, so the world record price has to be over-priced.
DF - Matt Targett – Southampton to Aston Villa £14m
Aston Villa spent an awful lot of money this summer and a lot of it was on seemingly quite pedestrian players, Matt Targett for £14m fits into that category. The left-back arrived from Southampton with a bit of Premier League experience, he made 43 appearances in the top flight for the Saints since making his debut in 2014, but was never a regular in the side. Last season was his most prolific campaign, making 16 league appearances, but was still a squad player.
Southampton selling their reserve left-back for £14m and Aston Villa willing to pay that for a reserve left-back illustrates just how rich clubs are these days. Targett is not even going into the first team at Villa Park, with Neil Taylor holding onto the left-back slot. It is a lot of money for someone who will sit on the bench for much of the season.
MF - Mateo Kovacic – Real Madrid to Chelsea £40m
Chelsea were extremely limited this summer by their transfer ban, but were allowed to make their loan move for Mateo Kovacic permanent for a huge fee of £40m. Whether Frank Lampard would have done this without the ban is not clear, but it seems like a lot of money for a player who was pretty underwhelming last season.
The Croatian made 51 appearances in all competitions last campaign and didn’t score a single goal. It is not really his job, but that is slightly concerning. He basically just knocks the ball around in midfield, without adding a great deal in attack or defence. Chelsea have a lot of options in the middle of the park and Kovacic is not one of their better ones. £40m is far too much for a man who does not really add a lot.
MF – Nicolas Pepe – Lille to Arsenal £72m
Arsenal fans are getting very, very excited about Nicolas Pepe, but a club record fee of £72m looks like an enormous amount for a player that has had a couple of good seasons in France.
The forward is quick, tricky and can score goals – he netted 22 times in Ligue 1 last season – but he has never played outside of France, never even playing in European competition for Lille. He does have 15 caps for Ivory Coast, but having scored against the likes of Togo, Moldova and Rwanda, it is not an amazing addition to his CV.
Pepe could be a superstar, he is only 24 and will be given the opportunity to forge a lethal front three with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, but he is undoubtedly a gamble. An extremely expensive gamble.
MF - Ayoze Perez – Newcastle to Leicester £30m
This was an eye-catching move and a surprisingly huge amount of money forked out by Leicester for Newcastle’s versatile Spaniard. Perez has been a solid, if unspectacular performer for the Magpies since arriving from Tenerife in 2014. Mainly playing as a striker, he has scored 42 league goals in 179 appearances, an unremarkable return. However, he did have his best season last time out, netting 12 in the Premier League.
Perez isn’t going to oust Jamie Vardy from the striker’s role at Leicester, so he is likely to be playing behind the forward or out wide, so he is not going to beat that 12-goal mark from there.
He is decent, he’ll do an alright job for the Foxes, but he is not a lot more than a solid, lower-half Premier League player, who will not stand out compared to the likes of Youri Tielemans and James Maddison. £30m for the 26-year-old seems like an awful lot and Newcastle were happy to snap Leiester’s hand off for it.
MF - Alex Iwobi – Arsenal to Everton £28m
For a player that has never really convinced at Arsenal, the Gunners were happy to take an initial £28m, which could rise to as much as £34m, for Alex Iwobi. The 23-year-old works hard and has some good attributes, but his influence on games is pretty limited. For an attacking player he doesn’t contribute many goals or assists and, as such, has never earned himself a regular spot in the first team at the Emirates.
With a more prominent role in the Everton team, Iwobi might be able to exert his influence and show his skills more impressively. However, there is not a great deal of evidence that he can score a lot of goals or create a lot for others.
There is a lot of pressure on Iwobi to step up with the price tag he has come with. It is far from clear that he will be able to do that.
FW – Joelinton – Hoffenheim to Newcastle £40m
It is very unlike Newcastle to splash the cash in the Mike Ashley era, but they have done so on Brazilian forward Joelinton, breaking their transfer window and spending £40m on the Hoffenheim striker.
The imposing centre-forward is only 22-years-old and has a lot of potential, but he does not have an especially impressive record in professional football. The forward’s best return for a league season was eight goals in the Austrian Bundesliga for Rapid Wien in 2016-17. Last season for Hoffenheim, he netted seven goals in the Bundesliga. His career record stands at 36 in 135 appearances in all competitions.
He will have other jobs other than scoring goals, such as bringing Miguel Almiron into play, but for an inexperienced striker with a goal-scoring record like that, £40m is an enormous amount.
FW – Lys Mousset – Bournemouth to Sheffield United £10m
Not a huge amount of money in the current market, but £10m still seems like a hefty amount for a player who has not cut it in the Premier League since arriving in 2016.
Bournemouth signed the striker from Le Havre three years ago after one good season in Ligue 2. Since then he has scored five goals in 71 appearances across all competitions. By any forward’s standards that is a woeful return, and while a lot of those appearances have not been from the start, he has not proved he deserves a place in the starting XI.
Despite this under-performance, Sheffield United have stepped in to pay an inexplicable amount for his services. Bournemouth paid around £6m for him, so how they have made a profit on him is quite incredible.