Chelsea is currently well ahead in the race to this season’s Premier League title. They lead Tottenham Hotspur by a whopping 10 points, and the blues also have a healthy goal difference of +36 at the moment.
With 12 or 13 games to go for most teams in this season, the fight to finish in the top four standings has come down to five teams – Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United, who are all around the 50-point mark.
As usual, all the big teams carried out some big buys in the summer transfer window (9 June - 31 August) in 2016. And Manchester United who scalped the biggest buy – Paul Pogba for £89 million, is languishing in the sixth place at the moment.
As we move into the last phase of the league, The Quint takes a look at how the top seven buys of Premier League in the transfer window last year, have fared in this season so far.
1. Paul Pogba – £89 Million
Paul Pogba returned to Manchester United from Juventus after four years, for a record fee of £89 million. He became the most expensive player in the world, beating Gareth Bale, who was bought for £85.3 million by Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013.
However, the midfielder, who has appeared in 24 out of 25 matches in this Premier League season, has managed to find the net only four times in the tournament.
But he has recorded a shooting accuracy rate of 33 percent, and managed to create six big chances so far. And he has assisted thrice in the tournament as well.
He may not have put the Premier League on fire, but he has been quietly playing his part for Manchester United in this season so far.
2. John Stones – £47.5 Million
John Stones became the second most expensive defender in the world when he moved from Everton to Manchester City for £47.5 million. David Luiz, who was bought for £50 million by Paris Saint-Germain from Chelsea in 2014, is the most expensive defender in the world.
Manchester City, more or less, have been in the top four standings throughout the Premier League season, and are currently placed in the third place with 52 points. And Stones has played a big part in City’s success.
Out of the 22 goals conceded by the team, only three have been conceded because of an error by John Stones.
Stones has a tackle success rate of 80 percent and has committed only four fouls in the season.
3. Leroy Sane – £37 Million
Leroy Sane, who is regarded as one of the best young talents, joined Manchester City from Schalke for a whopping £37 million. City’s manager Pep Guardiola struck a five-year deal with the 21-year-old in August last year.
Unfortunately, Sane has not been able to get his career at Manchester City going at full flow as he has has been dealing with a right hamstring injury.
He had to wait until September to make his debut for Manchester City, and got injured again after scoring his first goal in the match against Arsenal in December.
In the 13 matches that he has played, Sane has assisted once and scored two goals. And he has created three big chances.
4. Shkodran Mustafi – £35 Million
Shkodran Mustafi moved to Arsenal from Valencia for £35 million in 2016. The 24-year-old, who has appeared in 18 Premier League matches this season, has also been struggling with injury troubles.
He has been part of five clean sheet games for Arsenal and has recorded a tackle success rate of 83 percent.
Mustafi was out of action for three weeks because of a hamstring injury he sustained during the match against Stoke City in December.
5. Granit Xhaka – £35 Million
Granit Xhaka, who was bought by Arsenal from Monchengladbach for £35 million, hasn’t been up to the mark for the Gunners this season. The midfielder has played 19 matches in this season and managed to score only one goal and has not created a big chance at all. On top of that, he has received two red cards as well.
After receiving the second red card, Xhaka was suspended for four Premier League matches. He lunged onto Burnley midfielder Steven Defour, when Arsenal was leading 1-0 in the match in January.
6. Sadio Mane – £34 million
Senegal’s Sadio Mane has been a very effective inclusion in the Liverpool side. The 24-year-old midfielder was bought from Southampton for £34 million.
Liverpool have struggled whenever Mane has missed a game for Liverpool this season. With his excellent speed, he puts the opposition’s defense under pressure and creates a lot of chances for the team.
Mane has scored 11 goals and assisted four times in the season. He has also created three big chances in the tournament.
7. David Luiz – £34 million
After he was sold by Chelsea for a huge amount of £50 million to Paris Saint-Germain in 2014, he returned to Chelsea from Paris Saint-Germain for an amount of £34 million last year.
Luiz’s return to Chelsea has been fantastic for him and his team. The defender hasn’t contributed to any goal scored against his team in the season and has also been part of 12 clean sheet games for Chelsea. He also has a goal to his name and has created one big chance in 22 matches.