West Ham pair make Premier League top ten rookies of the season list


West Ham and Aston Villa are the only clubs to appear twice on a list of the Premier League’s top ten signing of the entire season.

10) Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)
There are six top-flight outfitters left who have not missed a minute in the Premier League for their respective clubs this season. Extend that to the rest of the five main European divisions and there is no ever-present non-goalkeeper in Serie A or La Liga, with four in the Bundesliga and one in League One. Ollie Watkins is the only striker among them.

An alternate reality likely would have sent Watkins lost on the Tottenham bench on a Carabao diet, but that timeline has led him squarely to the perfect home. Villa needed a reliable striker to convert the many chances created by Jack Grealish and the Brentford guy a thrived to the next level. Dean Smith’s top scorer last season finished with eight goals; The last England international has nine games to play to improve his current tally of 11.

9) Jesse Lingard (West Ham)
So far, none of the few permanent signings made during the January transfer window have had an immediate positive impact in the Premier League. The deals that paid dividends were loans, from impressive Martin Odegaard at Arsenal to Josh Maja scoring twice for Fulham, Ozan Kabak at Liverpool, Joe Willock and Takumi Minamino doing well with Newcastle and Southampton respectively and Okay Yokuslu avoiding determinism registered in West Brom. But the leader among the temporary fillings has been Jesse Lingard, whose career rebirth is already finished in West Ham.

Six goals and four assists is a phenomenal comeback. The inevitable discussion of whether that will be enough to force his return to Manchester United has already started, as has the backlash over his potential inclusion in England’s European Championship squad. Either way, it’s disrespectful to the 28-year-old, who could now appreciate the greener grass and bring that vibrant energy to a major international tournament.

8) Wesley Fofana (Leicester)
“It is an absolute dream to work with him every day. I am very lucky. I listen to everything he says. It’s not just about what’s on the pitch, he advises me on what to do in terms of nutrition, maintaining hydration and whatever is happening on the soccer field. . In terms of the game, he helped me a lot tactically and also in communication, although I speak in a language that I am not used to at the moment. I am truly grateful for everything he has done.

Fofana might be better off not fully committing to Kolo Touré’s advice regarding diet pills, as a completely random and meaningless example, but there is little better to teach the art defense of the Premier League as the Leicester First Team Coach. Fofana clearly took advantage of this influence to make this often difficult step seem seamless and effortless. His impact is arguably most evident when not playing: the 20-year-old has missed both appearances of his Europa League exit against Slavia Prague, as well as losses to West Ham and Arsenal this season. These Manchester United ties are inevitable, but it still feels like the consummate brilliance of the Frenchman at a young age in a tough league and a demanding position has been underestimated.

7) Callum Wilson (Newcastle)
Harry Kane has scored 37.3% of Tottenham’s Premier League goals this season. Next at the absolute ends of the spectrum are David McGoldrick and Mo Salah, with 35.3% of strikes from Sheffield United and Liverpool respectively. Dominic Calvert-Lewin then follows on 34.1% of Everton, before arriving at the reliable and deadly feet of Callum Wilson. He has been responsible for a third of Newcastle’s league goals this season, a proportion that has effectively kept them in the relegation battle when it could have been a total surrender without him.

Their shape since his absence due to injury certainly suggests it. Nine games, four draws, five losses and five goals without him underscore just how crucial Wilson has been in giving Newcastle a latent attacking threat, even at their worst and most unimaginative. Conversely, his ten goals ended in five wins and two draws. They would be – and have recently been – completely lost without him.

6) Tomas Soucek (West Ham)
This beautiful union may have started on loan in January 2020, but West Ham deserves credit for making the arrangement permanent for £ 15million in the summer, in the same way that a child should be too praised for to have done something incredibly obvious. It would have been hilarious not to activate the £ 15million option in their original deal for Tomas Soucek, but then you consider the club and the manager and it’s vaguely surprising that the Hammers didn’t try to offer double those fees for no reason. .

And it would still have been worth it. If and when West Ham decides to part ways with Soucek, they could do three times more than they paid and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him struggle elsewhere. The environment David Moyes cultivated in East London, the team ethic he instilled, was specifically designed to help players thrive. Soucek is the top scorer in the defensive midfielder of a Champions League qualified side and that novelty has long since dissipated to only show an incredibly efficient player who thrives in the perfect squad.

5) Raphinha (Leeds)
Some players are destined never to really settle down, moving from club to club as comfortably as they haunt their opponents and leaving tantalized and moron fans in their wake. Raphinha seems ready for this nomadic existence, much of her Leeds spell having already been spent peddle it to those familiar elite vultures. Considering the Brazilian stayed only one season and played exactly 28 league games for his last two clubs, it wouldn’t be a bomb if he left Elland Road this summer and deprived fans of the opportunity to see him live. .

It just reflects how excellent he was and how transferable his talents would be to a higher level. Raphinha is precisely the kind of player who would embrace an improvement in the quality of those around him, but Marcelo Bielsa and this slightly more limited squad were the perfect fit for an elite winger ready to graft. A cranky person might suggest that there are some unnecessary tips and tricks that could be fixed, but these imperfections help make Raphinha such a thrilling attraction.

4) Ben Godfrey (Everton)
Everton had an excellent summer transfer window. Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure have helped transform their central midfielder while the exceptional James Rodriguez has at times been a gift to watch. Yet their most effective and impressive signing was the relegated defenseman drafted by the Toffees only when their first apparent choice moved elsewhere. Ben Godfrey joined in early October but has the impression of being at Everton for ten years, as his maturity and tactical intelligence are great.

Carlo Ancelotti was left suitably impressed with his transition from a midfield ball player in a weak back line to a tough, versatile and cultured player with no noticeable weakness. Godfrey has been used right and left and in the middle of four defenses without any drop in performance. It takes talent and character, both of which he has in abundance.

Ben Godfrey celebrates

3) Diogo Jota (Liverpool)
Since high school, a signed Jota hadn’t been of such importance. The race is on for the Portuguese, who has scored eight Premier League goals despite starting seven games this season. Throw a Champions League hat-trick and six goals in five starts for the national side since joining Liverpool and Jota is running at mind-blowing levels of efficiency for club and country.

The initial reaction to his move was far from universally positive. Lots of eyebrows were raised and many laughed at the prospect of Liverpool spending around £ 7million or less on a Wolves player than Chelsea had imagined on Timo Werner. It was only in hindsight that this turned out to be an incredibly prescient change of goal, albeit entirely forced: Jota has a Premier League goal every 91.25 minutes in 2020/21; for Werner, this number is 427.2. Liverpool also never lost when he scored which is handy given the taste they have developed for it.

2) Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)
The coveted record for most Premier League clean sheets held by an Aston Villa goalkeeper in a single season is jointly held by two players: Brad Friedel in 2009/10 and Mark Bosnich in 1995/96. The two have managed 15 games, with Emiliano Martinez a behind and knowing he has ten games to establish a new scorer.

The 28-year-old has recently put a little thick on his post-Arsenal buyout history, but few could really blame him. Frustration at not being offered a regular first-team opportunity in north London gave way to determined anger when he was finally offered the chance, but Bernd Leno was always given the long-term gloves. Martinez turned that into a great performance as a foundation for Villa’s steadfast rearguard. No goalkeeper has a higher save percentage this campaign than his 75.4%; Brad and Mark should be enjoying their last days in the news.

1) Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
“It’s a difficult result but I’m not going to give up. I will find solutions so that the team is stable, ”said Pep Guardiola in September. Him and his players publicly lamented the approach that had beaten them, but privately the manager had already started to find a way to get Manchester City out of their last hole.

The “solution” to restore “stability” has been found in Ruben Dias, a £ 65million arrival from Benfica signed two days after the crushing home loss. In City’s 44 games since joining, the center-half has started 38 for a record W31 D5 L2 F80 A17, with 24 cleansheets. It took Guardiola longer than he should have to replace Vincent Kompany, but it’s better late than never.

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