Ranking each Premier League Massive Six membership’s report signing after Pepe leaves Arsenal


Arsenal‘s all-time report signing has left the membership after lower than three years this week — for this season, at the very least — with Nicolas Pepe leaving the Premier League membership to affix Ligue 1 aspect OGC Good on mortgage.

Pepe, 27, has moved to Good after not making a single look for the Gunners to date this time period. The membership have been left to want their wayward winger nicely as they introduced the information on Thursday, shortly earlier than he was introduced to his new followers on the Allianz Riviera stadium earlier than Good’s UEFA Convention League playoff second leg towards Maccabi Tel-Aviv.

The Ivory Coast worldwide arrived on the Emirates in August 2019, becoming a member of from Lille in a hefty £72 million switch price. He confirmed sporadic flashes of the expertise that satisfied the Gunners to spend that quantity on him, however for essentially the most half he was a mannequin of irritating inconsistency that finally price him his place within the first workforce.

He might have departed for pastures new, however Pepe stays some of the costly signings in Premier League historical past and one among many cautionary tales in terms of the league’s largest golf equipment breaking their very own switch information.

Here is a take a look at the most important signings made by every of the Massive Six within the Premier League — Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur — their excessive and low factors at these golf equipment and a rankings out of 10 for his or her total contribution.

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Arsenal: Nicolas Pepe (£72m from Lille, August 2019)

Fast, mild on his ft and extremely direct, Pepe appeared like an ideal match for Arsenal when he signed from Lille in the summertime of 2019. The winger had scored 22 targets the earlier marketing campaign and completed as high scorer in Ligue 1 as Lille completed second in 2018-19.

Provided that solely two members of the Gunners’ squad had scored greater than six league targets that very same season, the hope was that Pepe would alleviate among the burden on strike partnership Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. Nonetheless, whereas momentary glints of promise have been sufficient to maintain the gang on aspect, he proved largely underwhelming from the off at Arsenal, scoring simply 5 league targets and registering six assists in 31 video games in his debut season.

With Mikel Arteta taking up as supervisor halfway by that debut season, things picked up for Pepe in 2020-21 when he scored 10 league targets and completed with 16 targets in all competitions.

That temporary upswing did not final as 2021-22 noticed the winger pitch in with only one league purpose and two assists in 20 video games underneath Arteta, with the emergence of younger attacking abilities like Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli resulting in Pepe’s slide into the fringes.

Excessive: Defying an unimpressive begin to his Arsenal profession to complete as second highest goal-scorer in his second season.

Low: Being ignored of the workforce completely for all three of Arsenal’s opening video games of the 2022-23 season.

Ranking: 4/10

Chelsea: Romelu Lukaku (£97.5m from Inter Milan, August 2021)

The second-most costly signing in Premier League historical past, Lukaku’s prodigal return to Chelsea final summer season after firing Inter to the Serie A title was greeted by a wave of fanfare however quickly turned bitter after the Belgian’s type hit all-time low round 5 video games in.

The striker struggled to become familiar with coach Thomas Tuchel’s three-pronged attacking strategy and, after sharing his frustration in a TV interview again in Italy, he fell to date out of favour that the German most well-liked to play central midfielders up entrance fairly than his membership’s report signing.

All in all, Lukaku performed 26 occasions within the Premier League in 2021-22, scoring simply eight targets in a poor marketing campaign that additionally noticed him embark upon a 10-game league run throughout which he failed to search out the again of the online.

Lower than a yr since his grand return to Stamford Bridge, the beleaguered Belgium worldwide has already been shuttled again to Inter, rejoining the Serie A aspect on a season-long mortgage deal final month.

Excessive: Scoring against Arsenal on his second debut for Chelsea, then twice in a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa on his return to Stamford Bridge two video games later.

Low: Failing to attain a single Premier League purpose between Dec. 29 and Could 7, a brutally lengthy fallow run of 129 days with out notching a league purpose.

Ranking: 2/10

Darwin Nunez‘s switch from Benfica may break Liverpool’s current report ought to the Uruguay striker set off sufficient clauses to push his switch price to £85m, however in the intervening time the honour nonetheless belongs to Van Dijk.

The Dutchman had confirmed himself within the Premier League with Southampton earlier than the Reds took the plunge, solely to see the classy centre-back go from power to power as an integral a part of their famously steadfast again line.

Van Dijk’s arrival coincided with some of the profitable intervals in Liverpool’s historical past with six main honours received together with the Champions League in 2018-19 — the yr by which the defender was topped UEFA Males’s Participant of the 12 months, PFA Gamers’ Participant of the 12 months and Premier League Participant of the Season. And he still hasn’t lost a league game at Anfield.

Excessive: Successful historic Premier League and Champions League titles underneath Jurgen Klopp within the area of simply two seasons.

Low: Sustaining a nasty cruciate ligament damage within the Merseyside derby towards Everton in October 2020 that saved the Dutchman out of motion till the next July, lacking 45 video games in whole because the Reds may solely muster a third-place league end.

Ranking: 10/10

Manchester Metropolis: Jack Grealish (£100m from Aston Villa, August 2021)

Grealish turned the most costly Premier league signing in historical past when he left boyhood membership Aston Villa with a purpose to be a part of the ranks at Manchester Metropolis final summer season. Regardless of the extraordinary price ticket, the 26-year-old England worldwide has discovered alternatives considerably restricted since then, making simply 23 league begins for Metropolis underneath Pep Guardiola and chipping in with three targets and as many assists.

It is early days however Grealish has began the 2022-23 season in a lot the identical vein, taking part in 90 minutes in Metropolis’s opener towards West Ham United, then simply 45 minutes towards newly-promoted Bournemouth earlier than being ignored of the 3-3 draw towards Newcastle United altogether (although a minor damage was later cited as the explanation).

The sprightly winger has been respectable in patches however nonetheless has much more to do earlier than he convinces anyone that he is of the calibre to command a triple-figure switch price.



Jack Grealish jokes that Pep Guardiola signed him for Man Metropolis after he acquired the higher of Kyle Walker when he nonetheless performed for Aston Villa.

Excessive: He scored on each his Champions League and residential Premier League debuts for Metropolis final season, however his most memorable contribution is likely to be his starring role in the club’s title celebrations.

Low: It will need to have stung to be England’s most costly participant ever, and solely come off the bench within the second leg of a Champions League semifinal towards Real Madrid after which see them dramatically win the tie in further time.

Ranking: 6/10

Manchester United: Paul Pogba (£89.3m from Juventus, August 2016)

In one of many first main transfers to command its personal big-budget social media marketing campaign, Pogba returned to Manchester United from Juventus in the summertime of 2016 in a daring and brash PR whirlwind soundtracked by Stormzy.

That was probably the loudest reception the France midfielder acquired throughout his second stint at Outdated Trafford following what was then a world-record switch, with inconsistent performances and a brash persona contributing to him rapidly being made one among a number of scapegoats for the membership’s low ebb. Six seasons got here and went at United with Pogba failing to win over his doubters although after all there was a smattering of stirring virtuoso cameos that have been sufficient to persuade a few of his enduring high quality.

Along with his contract operating down final season, it was determined that it could be finest for all events that the 29-year-old World Cup-winner made a quiet exit, and certain sufficient he returned to Juventus on a free switch in July, instantly after which he tore a meniscus in coaching and located himself dominated out for 2 months.

Excessive: Scoring against Ajax in the Europa League final to raise the trophy underneath Jose Mourinho in 2016-17, thus capping off a double cup-winning season.

Low: Pogba’s abject performance against Liverpool in October 2021 that should absolutely go down as his worst evening in a United shirt. After his aspect had conceded 4 targets within the first half, the midfielder got here on at half-time however didn’t make any impression in any way as Liverpool quickly powered to a 5-0 lead. Simply to rub additional salt into the wound, Pogba was then despatched off for a two-footed lunge on Naby Keita with an hour performed at Outdated Trafford.

Ranking: 5/10

Tottenham Hotspur: Tanguy Ndombele (£60m from Lyon, July 2019)

Richarlison will develop into Tottenham’s report signing as soon as the membership find yourself paying all of the add-ons bundled into the Brazilian ahead’s switch from Everton, however till then Ndombele stays Spurs most costly arrival.

Out of favour underneath virtually each supervisor he performed underneath, Ndombele made simply 63 Premier League appearances in his three years on the membership, scoring six targets. Certainly, the French midfielder discovered his inclusion restricted to simply three begins in all competitions after Antonio Conte was put in as head coach in November 2021.

Able to precision distribution, wonderful ball retention and barnstorming breaks from the center of the pitch, Ndombele simply wasn’t capable of function with sufficient consistency to persuade any of the 5 managers he performed underneath at Spurs of his skill. It is maybe little shock that the 25-year-old was allowed to affix Napoli on a season-long mortgage deal simply over every week in the past.

Excessive: It is arduous to look past his brilliantly unorthodox wonder goal towards Sheffield United.

Low: Failing to earn a single minute on the pitch for Spurs within the Premier League from Boxing Day 2021 onwards.

Ranking: 3/10

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