10 great signings from the summer: João Palhinha has been Fulham's enforcer

2M6BKHR Joao Palhinha #26 of Fulham during the Premier League match Leicester City vs Fulham at King Power Stadium, Leicester, United Kingdom, 3rd January 2023 (Photo by Mark Cosgrove/News Images)

As we await the potential impact of the Premier League's newest signings made during the January transfer window, let's rewind back to last summer and gauge which signings made then can be considered an early success this season.

Only three Premier League clubs ended the summer window with a positive net spend, as overall fees paid stood at £1.9bn ($2.34bn) according to Deloitte. Interestingly, two of those three clubs ― Leicester and Brighton ― do not feature on this list whilst the other, Manchester City, kicks things off with their arrival from Borussia Dortmund.

Erling Haaland, Manchester City

The high-profile arrival of Haaland from the Bundesliga in the summer came with high expectations, as City were coming off back-to-back league triumphs. But the Norwegian goal machine hasn’t disappointed, scoring 25 goals in his first 19 Premier League games including four hat-tricks.

Haaland’s clinical finishing has earned him the best shooting grade among all players at 92.7 so far in the league, no other player has a grade above 90.0.

João Palhinha, Fulham

Palhinha has been key to Fulham’s success in the first half the season. The former Sporting Lisbon midfielder currently ranks as the top-graded player at his position in challenges at 84.8. He’s equally strong in our aerial duel metrics with a 54% win rate on 98 duels. Only Manchester City's Rodri (56.9%) and West Ham's Tomas Soucek (55.8%) have registered a higher rate while also competing in more challenges than Palhinha.

Tyler Adams, Leeds United

Adams has been a great signing in the centre of Jesse Marsch's midfield at Leeds United. He is the 10th-highest graded midfielder in the league when it comes to challenges, with a grade of 76.5.

Additionally, he has completed the most line-breaking passes (102) by any Leeds player this season and is tied-1st with Palhinha for dribbles defended among midfielders (21).

Bernd Leno, Fulham

The second Fulham player included on this list, Leno was another good move made by Fulham upon their return to the top flight. And a shrewd one at an initial cost of £4m from Arsenal, potentially rising to £8m ($10m). Only Brentford's David Raya (84) has saved more shots on target this season than Leno (80).

Casemiro, Manchester United

Casemiro has worked perfectly as a pivot in midfield for Manchester United, becoming a key component in Eric ten Hag turning around the club's fortunes. The Brazilian has attempted the most line-breaking passes (146) of any United player and ranks fourth among all midfielder in the league with a challenges won per-90 of 7.3, behind Soucek, Palhinha and Rodri.

Everton defender James Tarkowski
2MCW50R L-R Everton's James Tarkowski and West Ham United's Jarrod Bowen during English Premier League soccer match between West Ham United against Everton at

James Tarkowski, Everton

It has been a season of struggle so far for relegation-threatened Everton. Tarkowski is currently the highest-graded defender in challenges with a 92.9 grade, achieving above average performance in our challenges per-90 metrics specific to aerial duels (3.4/2.9 average), 50/50s (1.5/1.0), dribbles successfully defended (0.5/0.46).

Morgan Gibbs-White, Nottingham Forest

Gibbs-White has been Forest’s main creative threat since switching Molineux for the City Ground, leading the team with 4 assists and creating by far the most chances at 42 ― Brennan Johnson is second with 16.

His passing grade of 75.6 is the best for any Forest player, and he has been one of the most progressive attacking players in the league with his passes, with the fourth-most defensive line breaking passes (32) of any player. The average among all non-defenders to have played at least 500 minutes is 9.5.

Nick Pope, Newcastle United

Pope has the second best save percentage for shots on target faced at 81%. Whilst also a stat he should rightly share with the defenders in front of him, Pope and Newcastle have the most clean sheets in the Premier League this season with 12.

Andreas Pereira, Fulham

Fulham’s third entry is a player who has brought a creative edge to combine with the defensive prowess of Palhinha in midfield. Signed from Manchester United, Pereira leads the team in assists with 5 and has created more than double the amount of chances (52) as the next best Fulham player (Willian and Harrison Reed, both 20), ranking third in the league in that metric behind only Kevin De Bruyne (68) and Kieran Trippier (64).

Gabriel Jesus, Arsenal

Although suffered a serious knee injury at the World Cup in Qatar, Jesus was a key player prior to that in helping Arsenal reach their current position atop the Premier League. He has scored five goals and provided five assists in his first 14 games since making the £45m ($55m) switch from Manchester City.

Despite missing the last few games, Jesus has still recorded the most shots (55) by an Arsenal player and has a 79.7 shooting grade.

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