Ranking the Premier League signings of the season | Premier League

10) Hassane Kamara, Watford

The Watford managerial merry-go-round has not quite worked out the way the Hornets had hoped. They are not mathematically down but it would take a miracle for Watford to close the 12-gap between themselves and safety with four games to go. Hassane Kamara, though, has been one bright spot in a difficult season. Despite only joining from Nice in January, the Ivorian ranks 18th for tackles and interceptions combined (106) in the Premier League this season, a metric topped by Brentford’s Christian Nørgaard (162). Kamara has stepped up from Ligue 1 to the Premier League admirably and would be a smart signing this summer for a newly promoted side or any club in need of a new left-back. Rating: 7.02

9) Bruno Guimaraes, Newcastle

While the Madrigals don’t talk about Bruno, the Magpies certainly do. Bruno Guimarães has elevated Newcastle’s midfield considerably following his January arrival from Lyon, offering Eddie Howe’s team plenty both on and off the ball. Only Callum Wilson (six) and Allan Saint-Maximin (five) have scored more league goals for Newcastle than Guimarães (four). On top of that, he is second in the Newcastle squad for both tackles and dribbles per 90 minutes this season. The 24-year-old has settled quickly and is the player Howe will look to build his side around when Newcastle go into the transfer window this summer. Rating: 7.06

8) Philippe Coutinho, Aston Villa

Aston Villa fans were in dreamland when Philippe Coutinho rocked up at Villa Park in January and he turned in a series of standout displays under Steven Gerrard. Coutinho’s performance levels have dipped after a bright start but, with four goals and three assists to his name, only Danny Ings (12) and Ollie Watkins (10) have been directly involved in more league goals than Coutinho. He has been a success but his plowing performances have matched Villa’s decline towards the end of the campaign. Rating: 7.08

7) Rodrigo Bentancur, Tottenham

Tottenham had a hectic January deadline day, with four players leaving and Rodrigo Bentancur one of two new arrivals. Spurs had lacked a progressive midfielder under Antonio Conte, but Bentancur has filled that void and then some. Only Harry Kane (69.2%) has a better long-ball accuracy than the Uruguayan (67.4%), who has slotted in seamlessly in north London. Rating: 7.10

Rodrigo Bentancur in action for Spurs.
Rodrigo Bentancur in action for Spurs. Photograph: Sebastian Frej/Getty Images

6) Jack Grealish, Manchester City

Manchester City fans might have expected a better return than two goals and two assists after Jack Grealish’s £100m move from Aston Villa, but he has not been as poor as some believe. Only Bruno Fernandes (2.1) and Grealish’s teammate Kevin De Bruyne (2) are making more key passes per game from open play than Grealish (1.9) in the Premier League this season. Opponents are still targeting Grealish, whose return of 2.2 fouls won per game is the fourth highest in the Premier League. A season of getting up to speed with Pep Guardiola’s demands will only work in the 26-year-old’s favor in the long run. Rating: 7.13

5) Conor Gallagher, Crystal Palace

Conor Gallagher has enjoyed a superb season on loan at Crystal Palace and plenty at Chelsea expect the England international to push for a regular spot at Stamford Bridge next term. After a stunning start, Gallagher’s form has dipped in the second half of the season, with the midfielder last scoring at Watford at the end of February. On the whole, though, the 22-year-old has excelled under Patrick Vieira. He is not afraid to put himself about, having committed the most fouls (58) in the Premier League, a trait that will sit well with Chelsea fans. Rating: 7.13

4) Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United

Manchester United fans were understandably excited about Cristiano Ronaldo’s return in the summer, even if it meant a change in their style of play. The 37-year-old is now making a late run for the golden boot. Only Mohamed Salah (22) and Son Heung-Min (19) have scored more league goals than Ronaldo (18) this season. He has scored nine of United’s last 11 goals. It has been another disappointing campaign for the team as a whole but, from a personal viewpoint, Ronaldo will be satisfied with his own performances as the club gear up for a new era under Erik ten Hag. Rating: 7.16

3) Dejan Kulusevski, Tottenham

Despite not making his full debut until Tottenham’s 3-2 win at Manchester City in mid-February, Dejan Kulusevski has registered more assists (eight) than any other Premier League player in 2022. The Swede has been an inspired addition to the Spurs squad, joining on loan from Juventus with an option to buy – an option Tottenham would be foolish to not take up. Kulusevski has proven himself to be the perfect foil for Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min in the Spurs frontline, rapidly winning over supporters having established himself as a key man in their pursuit of Champions League football. Rating: 7.19

Dejan Kulusevski in action against Manchester City.
Dejan Kulusevski in action against Manchester City. Photographer: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

2) Christian Eriksen, Brentford

One of the fairy tale stories of the season. Few could have foreseen Christian Eriksen having such a sustained impact for Brentford when his return was confirmed in January. Yet the Dane has readjusted to the rigors of Premier League football as though he never left for Inter in January 2020. Brentford have won five of the seven league games he has started this season compared to just six of the 28 he has not. Brentford would have been in a far more precarious position had Eriksen not joined. Clubs seemed wary of signing the 30-year-old when he left Inter, but he will be a man in demand this summer when his short-term contract in west London expires. Rating: 7.33

1) Luis Diaz, Liverpool

Rio Ferdinand believes Luis Díaz is the signing of the season and our ratings agree. The Colombian has slotted into Jürgen Klopp’s setup with such ease that it is hard to believe he has only been at the club for four months. The 25-year-old has been directly involved in five league goals across 10 outings, scoring three. His performance against Villarreal in the Champions League semi-final second leg summed up his season: he came on at half-time but was still the man of the match. If Liverpool go on to land the quadruple, Díaz’s influence will have been key. Rating: 7.41

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