This past summer, there was a significant amount of transfer activity with plenty of big-money moves being completed; the likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappé, and Ousmane Dembélé. But there are summer signings that have initially surprised everyone by performing better than expectations suggested they would.
5. Maximilian Philipp –Borussia Dortmund
Maximilian Philipp agreed to a five-year deal with Dortmund after BVB reached a rumored €20m deal with fellow Bundesliga side Freiburg for his signature. Replacing Dembélé was never going to be an easy task, though Philipp has thus far been a revelation for his new side this term.
4. Mariano Díaz –Lyon
Alexandre Lacazette’s move to Arsenal meant the Ligue 1 side needed attacking reinforcements; ex-Real Madrid’s reserve striker, essentially third-choice, has impressed while settling into unfamiliar surroundings this season. He’s already scored nine league goals and created two assists in 12 appearances for Lyon.
3. Sead Kolasinac –Arsenal
Despite a forgettable start to the 17/18 campaign, Kolasinac has been one of the Gunners’ few bright sparks and continues to impress. Consistently performing well, Kolasinac has quickly asserted himself as a fan favorite in north London and Wenger’s decision to rival other suitors for his signature has ultimately paid off.
2. Simone Zaza –Valencia
Simone Zaza was on a season-long loan spell with Valencia the last term and his displays were average at best. However, Juventus inserted a compulsory purchase within the deal regardless of the Italian’s performances; saying he has repaid their faith in him to date, is an understatement.
With nine goals in eleven La Liga appearances this term, Zaza exceeded early expectations with recent goalscoring form; surpassing the likes of Luis Suárez and Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the division’s best.
1. Paulinho –Barcelona
There was outrage among many as to how the Brazilian, who struggled for consistency at Tottenham could cope with the demands of one of the world’s best sides. Not even a single shirt adorning Paulinho’s name was sold from the club’s official store on the day of his presentation.
But now on, the 30-year-old has gone a long way to proving his critics wrong. He the Barca provides midfield with physicality and energy that they’ve missed for long; he has also popped up with important goals and formed a good understanding with Lionel Messi.