Preferred Formation: 4–3–3
Edouard Mendy; Nelson Semedo, Thiago Silva, Ruben Dias, Alex Telles; Thiago Alcantara, Donny van de Beek, Kai Havertz; James Rodriguez, Timo Werner, Edinson Cavani.
Goalkeeper — Edouard Mendy (Chelsea)
With Kepa massively struggling for form between the sticks, Chelsea was expected to make a signing in this department. In came Edouard Mendy, the Senegalese international from French side Rennes. He looked assured with the gloves in the 4–0 London Derby victory over Crystal Palace, and Chelsea fans would be hoping he’s a significant upgrade on Kepa.
Right-back — Nelson Semedo (Wolves)
It was a tough call for this one between Nelson Semedo and Matt Doherty, the former incidentally replacing Doherty at Wolves, who in turn made the move to Jose Mourinho’s Spurs. But Semedo, who moved from Barcelona, does look like an upgrade on Doherty, all in all. His experience of playing with the boys at Camp Nou will come in handy as Wolves push for a European seat yet again.
Centre-back — Thiago Silva (Chelsea)
The statement defensive signing of this transfer season, Chelsea pulled off somewhat of a coup bringing in the experienced Brazilian from PSG. Chelsea has been on the lookout for a leader at the back since the heydays of John Terry and Gary Cahill, and with the acquisition of Silva, have achieved it. The free agent is going to prove invaluable for Frank Lampard this season, and beyond.
Centre-back — Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
Pep Guardiola and defensive signings in Manchester City is a natural occurrence, and this silly season proved to be no different. Nathan Ake was signed first and then came in Ruben Dias from Benfica. Pep can have no more excuses for his leaky defense, with Aymeric Laporte also an option at the back.
Left-back — Alex Telles (Manchester United)
Very few full-backs in world football currently boast the attacking numbers like that of Brazilian Alex Telles. He scored an impressive 21 goals for Porto, and that was enough for Manchester United to lure him on Deadline Day. A quick, strong asset, he will be expected to provide strong competition to mainstay Luke Shaw.
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Centre-Midfield — Thiago Alcantara (Liverpool)
Reigning champions Liverpool have a quality midfield, and yet it got a massive upgrade with the signing of former Barcelona and Bayern Munich player Thiago Alcantara. Alcantara has won it all in Spain and Germany, and now has his sights set on England. Jurgen Klopp sees a future leader in the Spaniard, something that is expected to materialise.
Centre-Midfield — Donny van de Beek (Manchester United)
Manchester United are spoilt for options in midfield — Nemanja Matic, Fred, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, Bruno Fernandes — but that did not stop them from acquiring yet another midfield gem in Dutchman Donny van de Beek. Fittingly, United legend Edwin van der Sar facilitated the transfer from Ajax. Now it is up to Donny to prove his mettle like all the other Dutch players have over the years at United, the last one being Daley Blind.
Playmaker — Kai Havertz (Chelsea)
An unknown entity even a couple of seasons back, Kai Havertz has burst on to the European football scene with aplomb. He was the marquee player at Bayer Leverkusen in Germany and is expected to repeat his performances at Chelsea. He has had a slow start in London, mostly down to the physical nature of the Premier League, but there is no doubt Havertz will come good as the season progresses.
Right-forward — James Rodriguez (Everton)
An incredible talent, no doubt, but somehow the Columbian couldn’t justify it enough at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. He’s been brought in by Carlo Ancelotti at Everton as a statement signing, the pair having worked together previously at the aforementioned clubs. From what we have seen so far in the league, James is arguably the best signing of this transfer window, with his performances making Everton an early ‘dark horse’ favourites for the title.
Left-forward — Timo Werner (Chelsea)
German youngster Timo Werner is a superstar-in-the-making of English, and potentially European football. He has the speed and physicality required to excel in the Premier League, and although he has struggled for goals so far, has looked menacing when making those mazy runs at defenders from the left-wing. It wouldn’t be a surprise if we see a goal-plundering machine in the form of Werner post the international break.
Striker — Edinson Cavani (Manchester United)
Edinson Cavani, like Radamel Falcao a few years back, is a Deadline Day signing for Manchester United. But fans would be hoping Cavani has a stint at England more like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and not like Falcao, who failed both at Manchester United and Chelsea. With United desperately needing cover for the inconsistent Anthony Martial, it would be interesting to see who Cavani emulates — Zlatan or Falcao.