These players have transitioned easily into their new surroundings and have started strong.
The 2021 summer transfer window had more buzz about it than any recent transfer window. The summer months saw some of the wildest transfers in the game, with many top footballers making moves to new clubs.
The activity was fervent and hooked everyone in every moment of the two months. The teams looked settled and strengthened. With the season two months in, the players have also had a fair run with their respective new clubs. Some have taken to life in their new environment like a duck to water, while others have created new memories at their old stomping ground.
Nonetheless, let’s look at the top 10 newly-signed footballers who have started well at their new clubs:
10. Leon Bailey
Leon Bailey moved to Aston Villa from Bayer Leverkusen. The Jamaican winger was in electrifying form last season for Leverkusen, with 18 goal contributions in 30 games in the Bundesliga.
Bailey scored and assisted on his home debut for the Villans inside just 20 minutes. He has played just 85 minutes of Premier League football, but has put up impressive numbers of 1.3 dribbles, 1 shot and 0.7 key passes per game.
Playing in an attacking system under Dean Smith will surely bring the best out of Bailey. The Jamaican will find the Premier League to his liking, considering his ferocious pace and attacking capability. Therefore, with more game-time, Bailey can sure make himself at home at Villa Park.
9. Aaron Ramsdale
Arsenal had a catastrophic start to the season, but have swiftly re-emerged with wins in three of their last four games. A chief reason for this has been Aaron Ramsdale.
The Sheffield United academy graduate joined the Gunners in the summer amid some skepticism. After all, Ramsdale was part of relegated teams in the previous two seasons in the Premier League. But, the goalkeeper has proven his critics wrong, with outstanding performances in each of Arsenal’s victories so far.
Ramsdale has kept clean sheets in three out of the four Premier League games he has played so far. His save percentage stands at a staggering 81.8%, higher than that of Alisson and Ederson in the Premier League! The Englishman has replaced first-choice keeper Bernd Leno and has become an inextricable part of Arsenal’s squad.
8. Conor Gallagher
Conor Gallagher is a promising player from Chelsea’s academy system. The midfielder joined Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace on loan this summer.
Gallagher has been an integral part of the side and has proven his worth with two goals and an assist in just five games. He is part of a young and exciting team, which once integrated well under Vieira’s possession-based system, is sure to exceed expectations this season.
7. Eduardo Camavinga
Eduardo Camavinga’s long summer of speculation finally ended with a dream switch to Real Madrid from Stade Rennais. The French prodigal talent has made himself at home among the swanky lights of the Spanish capital.
Camavinga marked his Real debut with a goal in a 5-2 thrashing against Celta Vigo. He followed it up by assisting Rodrygo’s winner in Madrid’s Champions League opener against Inter Milan. Eduardo Camavinga has brought freshness and energy to Madrid’s midfield. His addition along with Fede Valverde predicts a sparkling future for Real Madrid’s midfield and the team at large.
6. Hakan Calhanoglu
Calhanoglu made the sinful decision of switching from AC Milan to Inter in the summer. What’s worse, the Turkish international joined the Rossoneri’s fiercest rivals on a free transfer
What’s even worse? Calhanoglu has made a fantastic start for the defending Serie A champions, contributing a goal and two assists in just six Serie A matches.
The midfielder has formed a potent partnership with fellow new arrivals Edin Dzeko and Joaquin Correa (from Lazio) and Lautaro Martinez. The quartet have given a fantastic start to Inter’s new season. If they capitalize on this start and so does Hakan, Inter’s summer exodus of Romelu Lukaku, Achraf Hakimi and Antonio Conte and the ensued anguish could soon be a tale of the past.
5. Brahim Diaz
On the other hand, Brahim Diaz has helped AC Milan manage the exit of Calhanoglu. The nimble Spaniard joined on a second loan spell, this time for two more years from Real Madrid with an option to buy at the end of the loan period.
Diaz was a bright spot for Milan last season, but has gone one better so far this term. The 22-year old has already notched up three goals and an assist in six league games for Milan (highest in the squad). He has been a key reason for AC Milan’s strong start to the season (second in Serie A currently). Given he continues his strong start, Diaz could sure help Milan’s quest to go one better on their second-place finish last season.
4. Tammy Abraham
Another player who has started life well at Serie A has been Tammy Abraham. Abraham switched from Chelsea to AS Roma and has quickly become a pivotal part of the Giallorossi squad.
The Englishman has started superbly at Rome scoring six goal contributions in nine games across all competitions. This season, Abraham’s expected goals+assists ratio of 0.72/game is higher than that of any Chelsea forward.
Tammy’s xG rate of 3 is also higher than any of Chelsea’s forwards. The former Swansea City striker has also shown his defensive capabilities, succeeding in 71% of his tackles. Abraham can profit greatly from the expertise of Jose Mourinho. Provided he capitalizes on his form, he could soon turn himself into one of the continent’s most versatile forwards and lead Roma to further success.
3. Edin Dzeko
The experienced Bosnian has made a prolific start since moving to Inter Milan from Roma. Dzeko has smashed six goals in his first seven Serie A games for the Nerazzurri. He currently leads the race for the Capocannoniere, awarded to Serie A’s highest scorer.
Dzeko has filled the void left by Romelu Lukaku with great aplomb. He has struck up a fearsome partnership with Lautaro Martinez and has found great reward in Simone Inzaghi’s possession-based 3-5-2 system.
The veteran striker will look to continue his great form. But, his move to Inter is already looking like one of the most under-rated transfers of the summer.
2. Achraf Hakimi
Inter’s loss was Paris Saint-Germain’s gain, as the French giants splashed close to €60m for Achraf Hakimi. Hakimi’s performances so far have meant that the money has been well spent.
The high-flying Moroccan has set the stage alight at the Parc des Princes, with some electrifying performances so far. Hakimi has already scored thrice and setup two goals in just eight league games. His efforts have led PSG to the summit of Ligue 1 at the start of the league season. Therefore, among all of PSG’s star-studded additions, Hakimi’s is sure to be among the top with his longevity and value, provided he builds on his sensational start for Les Parisiens.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
Arguably the transfer of the summer, Cristiano Ronaldo made a sensational return to Manchester United from Juventus. He is one of the footballers, who has excelled at his new club.
Despite the side’s stop-start opening to the campaign, Ronaldo has continued to be a major source of goals. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has already scored five times in six matches in all competitions for the Red Devils. It includes a superb brace on his second United debut against Newcastle United in the Premier League and a late goal in a last-gasp thriller against Villarreal in the Champions League.
Therefore, despite returning to his proverbial ‘home’ after 12 years and closing on 37, Ronaldo has still shown shades of his prolific best.