Premier League Transfer Window Weekly Roundup: 7/18-7/24
by Nyle Farooqui
Djed Spence to Tottenham:
On July 19th, Tottenham announced that they signed 21 year old English rightback Djed Spence from Middlesborough for a £12.5m fee. According to James Olley of ESPN, it is with a further £6.5m in add-ons. £4 million relate to club performance with the remaining £2.5 triggered by being a part of England in the future. Djed Spence had a great season on loan with Nottingham Forest, helping the club get promoted to the Premier League. According to scoutedftbl, his strengths are straight-line speed, dribbling ability, and receiving the ball. He is great at having his body stay over the ball and taking light touches, this enables him to go in either direction (scoutedftbl). He is capable of having a good amount of patience when shifting the ball and looking for a good angle to open up (scoutedftbl). Spence is known to have good recovery pace, he is good at reading simple passes and having himself intervene with an opposition play. Scoutedfbtl highlights that the young right back is great in the air. Spence however needs to improve on his awareness on and off the ball, defensive positioning, and passing (scoutedftbl). This is Tottenham’s 6th signing of the transfer window. A good young signing for Tottenham’s side that provides more options for a squad that is looking to do big things this season. Spence comes in to Tottenham as a player with tremendous potential, being able to potentially help them now while also being a part of their long term plans.
Harry Toffolo to Nottingham Forest:
On July 20th, Nottingham Forest announced that they signed 26 year old English left back Harry Toffolo from Championship side Huddersfield. According to The Athletic, it is for a £5m fee. His contract will reportedly run until 2026. Toffolo had 6 goals and 7 assists in 45 matches for Huddersfield last season. According to Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper, Toffolo can play effectively from wide positions and still has room to develop as a player (Nottingham Forest). The left back will add depth to Nottingham in many positions. It will be interesting to see what Toffolo can do as he has proven to be one of the best fullbacks in the Championship over the past few years, can he have success in the Premier League?
Lewis O’Brien to Nottingham Forest:
On July 20th, Nottingham Forest announced that they signed 23 year old English midfielder Lewis O’Brien from Championship side Huddersfield for a £5m fee. He had 3 goals and 3 assists in 46 matches for Huddersfield last season. According to The Leeds Press, O’Brien is capable of picking up the ball in deep areas and making progression in play. He is a great dribbler as he can dribble down the line. O’Brien has the ability to break lines, it is hard for defenders to deal with him as he can ease past opponents (The Leeds Press). O’Brien is good at receiving the ball and then turning. O’Brien’s defensive work is solid (The Leeds Press). According to FBref, he had the 3rd most tackles won in the Championship last season with 59 tackles. It shows how much of a hard worker he is off the ball (The Leeds Press). O’Brien is a great signing from Nottingham as he is a player that will provide quality for them when they have the ball and he still has room to develop into even a better player.
Jesse Lingard to Nottingham Forest:
On July 21st, Nottingham Forest announced that they signed 29 year old English midfielder Jesse Lingard to a one year contract on a free transfer. He most recently played for Manchester United. According to Sam Wallace of The Telegraph, Lingard’s basic salary will be around £80,000 per week with bonuses potentially taking it to £120,000 a week. It is no surprise to see why West Ham did not resign Lingard because of his salary demands. This is a very expensive free transfer signing. With a salary like that, the expectation will be for Jesse Lingard to perform consistently well for Nottingham Forest. Lingard scored 2 goals in 20 appearances for Manchester United last season. Forest will be hoping that Lingard can have an impact on the field that is similar to his time at West Ham when he had 9 goals and 4 assists in 16 matches back in the 2020/21 season. Lingard is a player that will bring experience as an England international to Forest as they will be looking to escape relegation in the Premier League. There will be a lot of expectation put on Lingard’s shoulders and he will have to deliver. A gamble signing with how much Lingard’s basic salary is, but it shows Nottingham Forest’s ambition to make some noise in the Premier League this season.
Ben Mee to Brentford:
On July 22nd, Brentford announced that they signed 32 year old English defender Ben Mee from Championship side Burnley to a two year contract on a free transfer. Mee comes with plenty of Premier League experience which will be beneficial for Thomas Frank’s side. Brentford head coach Thomas Frank gave his thoughts on the new signing. He said, “I really love his defensive mindset; he knows how to defend the box, he knows how to block a shot and he knows how to win duels'' (Brentford FC). Frank additionally said that he brings great leadership and that he also has qualities such as being left-footed and an offensive threat on set-pieces. According to The Athletic, Brentford made the move for Mee after an injury to Ethan Pinnock. The 29 year old Jamaican defender will miss Brentford’s opening match against Leicester City after he suffered a knee injury. Additionally, 24 year old Norwegian defender Kristoffer Ajer will also miss Brentford’s opening match. A good signing for Brentford as Mee will provide experience and also depth to their defense, especially with key players out.
Oleksandr Zinchenko to Arsenal:
On July 22nd, Arsenal announced that they signed 25 year old Ukranian fullback Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City for an initial £30m fee, along with an additional £2m in achievable add-ons. According to The Athletic, it is a long-term deal that is believed to last until 2026. Zinchenko is a very versatile player. According to The Mastermind, he can play as a left back along with also being a midfielder. Zinchenko is capable of helping play progress centrally and can exploit half-spaces, he plays as a midfielder for Ukraine (The Mastermind). The Ukrainian talent can even play as a left wing-back, he played well in that position against Sweden in the Round of 16 during the 2020 UEFA Euro (The Mastermind). Zinchenko is a very intelligent player as he can receive the ball well and make a great pass to his teammates to help exploit the opposition defense (The Mastermind). When it comes to the best offensive fullbacks in the world, Zinchenko is one of the best. His 0.35 assists per 90 is notable in the top 1% of the best fullbacks in the world (The Mastermind). Zinchenko’s goal-creating actions (0.76 per 90), progressive passes (8.02), and progressive carries (9.30 per 90) also speak for themselves. Aside from his attacking qualities, Zinchenko is also solid defensively. According to Mastermind, he was dribbled past once per 90 last season. Zinchenko is not the biggest player, but is solid aerially with a 54.5% aerial win rate last season.
Zinchenko is a great signing for Arsenal. He comes in with plenty of experience because of his time with Man City and also gives Mikel Arteta’s many options for where he can be played because of both his defensive and offensive qualities.