Alisson to Liverpool, Torreira to Arsenal and the Premier League signings of the season

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With the Premier League in the middle of its busy Christmas calendar, we take a look at the best transfers of the 2018-19 campaign so far

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    #10 Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Club - Chelsea)

    The second goalkeeper to break the world transfer record last summer and one who has helped Maurizio Sarri utterly transform the way Chelsea play. While Thibaut Courtois may be one of the world’s best shot-stoppers he simply cannot match the ability of Kepa Arrizabalaga in terms of what he does with the ball at his feet. It’s been reported that Sarri had his eyes on Kepa a long time before pitching up at Stamford Bridge and that foresight has paid off. He’s kept his fair share of shots out but it is his excellent distribution which stands out.

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    #9 James Maddison (Norwich City - Leicester City)

    Fans of many Premier League clubs had never even heard of James Maddison when Leicester City signed him from Norwich last summer. He had long been regarded as one of the Championship’s best attacking talents and has made the step up to the Premier League with astonishing ease. He looks right at home at this level, delivering goals and assists, as well as ranking highly in the chances created category. It won’t be long until he is a regular for England.

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    #8 Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion - Watford)

    Many tipped Watford for relegation following the departure of their best player Richarlison over the summer. But they won their first four games of the season to confound the critics with Ben Foster starring between the posts. He was voted West Bromwich Albion’s best player during their relegation campaign and remains a difference maker at Premier League level for Javi Gracia’s team.

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    #7 Danny Ings (Liverpool - Southampton)

    A striker who needed a move away from Liverpool in order to get his career back on track. He is back down south with Southampton, where he started out as a youth, and is flying in front of goal. The Saints have struggled, recently hiring Ralph Hasenhuttl to replace Mark Hughes and things are looking up after inflicting defeat on Arsenal. Ings got two that day and has seven in all in the Premier League. If Southampton are going to move in the right direction then his form is going to be key.

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    #6 Joao Moutinho (AS Monaco - Wolverhampton Wanderers)

    Wolves managed to pull off one of the transfer coups of the summer by luring the trophy-laden Portugal international Joao Moutinho to a newly-promoted team. At 32 and with more than a decade at the top level behind him, there were a few raised eyebrows as to just how the move would work out for the midfielder. He has won plaudits from Wolves fans and observers alike with his tenacity, passing ability and class on the ball.

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    #5 Andre Gomes (Barcelona - Everton)

    The Portugal international needed to take a step back and recover from what had been a chastening two seasons at Camp Nou with Barcelona. The move has done wonders for him. His reputation is well on track towards being restored and he has been among the best midfielders in the league so far this season. The loan fee Everton paid was rock bottom and he is very likely to move on a permanent deal next summer. The problem for Marco Silva is that he is capable of playing for teams a lot better than Everton.

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    #4 Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City - Liverpool)

    With the acquisitions of Gini Wijnaldum and Andrew Robertson in previous seasons, Liverpool have made a recent habit of signing some of the best talent relegated from the Premier League. Shaqiri fits that bill perfectly. Stoke City didn’t always see the best of him but he is excelling among a higher calibre of team-mate. The Swiss international has proven to be exactly the kind of signing that Jurgen Klopp needed, at once a replacement for Philippe Coutinho but also someone who can take the pressure off his overworked front three. The reported price tag of £13m was a steal for a player of his experience.

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    #3 Felipe Anderson (Lazio - West Ham United)

    There’s no higher praise from West Ham fans than a player earning comparisons with Dimitri Payet. But Brazilian playmaker Felipe Anderson has wasted no time in replacing the Frenchman in Hammers’ hearts. His classy, skill-laden first half of the season has been a joy to watch and has been one of the key reasons why West Ham have been so easy on the eye since turning the corner after a poor start. They will do well to hang onto the ex-Lazio man considering the level of performance he is currently giving. West Ham have been impressive in the market elsewhere too with Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop also doing well.

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    #2 Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria - Arsenal)

    The Arsenal midfield has been crying out for a bit of bite for a long time. In the unheralded Uruguayan, Unai Emery and his recruitment team have found it. This is a reconstructed Arsenal side and one which is being built with one eye on the future. Torreira is going to be a key player for the Gunners for many years, that is if they manage to hold on to him with the big clubs already circling. He had a very good World Cup but nothing in his form suggested the kind of revelatory season which was about to develop. A fine signing for such a snip of a price at a reported €30m.

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    #1 Alisson Becker (AS Roma - Liverpool)

    Expectation doesn’t come much higher when a player is signed for a world record fee but Alisson has proven to be worth every penny of his reported £66m transfer fee so far. His interventions against Napoli in the Champions League preserved Liverpool’s place in the competition but he has also been the pick of the bunch in league competition too. For so long Liverpool have suffered due to the lack of a high-class goalkeeper but those days are at an end. Alisson has been a massive difference maker.