Best Premier League signings of the summer, including Man United, Liverpool, and Aston Villa stars

8 Oct

The Premier League has paused for it’s second international break so now is the perfect time to assess some of the new signings in the division.

Having seen eight matches so far, we can safely say some of the business done has been excellent and some of it has been mystifying.

Rodri has had a decent start to his City career
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There are always winners and losers in the transfer market as not every club can keep hold of their best players and also sign improvements.

So who do talkSPORT.com believe has been the ten best signings so far? Find out below…


10. Neal Maupay (Brighton)

Maupay was brilliant for Brentford in the Championship last season and he has shown no signs he is struggling to adapt to the Premier League.

The Frenchman has three goals to his name so far this campaign and at 23 years old he could be a mainstay up front for Brighton for many years to come.

Brighton new boy Maupay has had a good start to the season
Getty Images - Getty

9. Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa)

Mings was a revelation for Villa for the second-half of last season and he has proven to be a real leader in the side since his move from Bournemouth in the summer.

His good form has earned him an England call-up, and he retained his place in Gareth Southgate’s side as the Three Lions prepare to take on the Czech Republic and Bulgaria in the coming weeks.

8. Daniel James (Manchester United)

James has had a solid start to the season despite Man United going through their worst patch of form for decades.

The Welshman has netted three goals already – including two stunners –  and is the only genuine threat in the Red Devils’ attack force this season.

James has been a shining light in a dire United season
Getty Images - Getty

7. Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea)

Kovacic was Chelsea’s only signing of the summer due to their transfer ban as he was already registered to the club following his loan move from Real Madrid in 2018.

The Croat has come into his own under Frank Lampard, impressing with his surging runs from midfield and dribbling ability in the early stages of the campaign.

6. Raul Jimenez (Wolves)

This signing has gone under the radar because it was agreed in January but what a coup for Wolves it was nonetheless.

The Mexican forward was one of the best strikers in the league last season and he is continuing to be a handful up top this term, with his latest display against City a masterclass in hold-up play as he teed up Adama Traore twice to stun the Etihad.

5. Youri Tielemans (Leicester)

Tielemans was superb for the Foxes in the second-half of last season and he has picked up where he left off this campaign.

Despite recording just a solitary goal and assist this season, he is essential to everything Leicester do, with his ability on the ball in the midfield one of the reasons why they are having such a stellar campaign.

Tielemans has picked up where he left off last season
Getty Images - Getty

4. Rodri (Manchester City)

Rodri has had a couple dodgy moments in recent weeks but on the whole he has looked an assured presence in City’s midfield, dictating the transition from defence to attack.

At just 24 years old, he is the natural successor to Fernandinho and you sense the more he works with Guardiola, the better he will get as he grows more accustomed to the Spaniard’s system.

3. Adrian (Liverpool)

If someone said last season that Adrian would be one of the best signings of the 2019/20 Premier League campaigns, you’d think they were taking the p***.

But the Spanish stopper, despite making a few blunders, has proved to be a handy replacement for Alisson after the Brazilian picked up an injury against Norwich within minutes of the season starting.

Adrian has deputised in goal for Alisson in recent weeks
Getty Images - Getty

2. Wesley Moraes (Aston Villa)

Wesley has not struggled to adapt to the pace of the Premier League and his double on the weekend served as evidence for that.

The Brazilian has made a great start to life in the Premier League and looks to be a real force in attack for Villa – he perhaps just needs to add a little consistency to his game but this will come as the likes of Jack Grealish get used to his style.

1. Sebastien Haller (West Ham)

Haller had a difficult start to life at the London Stadium but he has really come into his own in recent matches, with his four goals in seven appearances representing a great return for the Hammers.

He always seems be in the right position at the right time, and that was clear for all to see when he was on hand to slot home against Crystal Palace on the weekend.

Haller is a real threat up front for the Hammers
Getty Images - Getty

The most expensive Premier League summer transfers rated so far, including Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea stars

5 Sep

The Premier League has paused for the international break so now is the perfect time to assess the early-season form of some of the new signings in the division.

Having seen four matches so far, we can safely say some of the business done has been excellent and some of it has been mystifying.

Ndombele was brought to Spurs from Lyon earlier this summer for £55million
Getty Images - Getty

There are always winners and losers in the transfer market as not every club can keep hold of their best players and also sign improvements.

So who do talkSPORT.com believe has been the best signings so far? Find out below…


15. Ismaila Sarr (Stade Rennais – Watford) – £27m

After a summer spent at the African Cup of Nations with Senegal, it is understandable that it has been a slow start for Sarr at Vicarage Road.

However, Hornets fans caught a glimpse of his quality after he netted a beauty against Coventry in the Carabao Cup and he is sure to have many more chances to prove his worth.

Sarr will need time to adapt to the Premier League
Getty Images - Getty

14. Joao Cancelo (Juventus – Manchester City) – £60m

Cancelo missed pre-season and therefore Pep Guardiola has been reluctant to hand him a first start as he gears up his fitness for the Premier league.

The Portuguese has looked assured off the bench and the full-back will surely become a first-team regular after the international break.

13. Ayoze Perez (Newcastle – Leicester) – £30m

Perez started in the opening three matches of the season but struggled to make an impact in the side and was subsequently dropped by Brendan Rodgers for the match against Bournemouth on the weekend.

Competition has never hurt anyone and the ex-Newcastle striker will have to prove his worth to his boss in the coming weeks to get back into the side.

Perez has struggled to make an impact so far for Leicester
Getty Images - Getty

12. Pablo Fornals (Villarreal – West Ham) – £25m

Fornals will need time to adjust to the Premier League and it looks like the more he plays the more he is adjusting to the tempo of the English game.

He had a run out in the Carabao Cup and scored against Newport County but will be looking to break into the first-team in the league in the coming weeks.

11. Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon to Tottenham) – £55m

Ndombele had a good start in the Lilywhite shirt after netting his side’s equaliser against Aston Villa with a beauty of a strike.

However, injury has forced him out in recent weeks but he will be looking to continue his solid start after the international break.

10. Nicolas Pepe (Lille to Arsenal) – £72m

Arsenal’s club record signing has looked dangerous at times and is proving to be a real handful for defences.

The Ivorian just needs a goal to kick start his his Gunners career and so far he hasn’t shown composure in front of goal but he has plenty of skill.

Pepe has shown signs of promise in the early stages of his Arsenal career
Getty

9. Joelinton (Hoffenheim – Newcastle) – £40m

Newcastle had a difficult start to the campaign and the Brazilian struggled to make an impact as they were dominated by Arsenal and Norwich, but he has now seemingly come into his own.

Against Spurs he was a constant menace up front, holding the ball well and making direct, effective runs, reaping the rewards of his efforts with a goal.

8. Alex Iwobi – (Arsenal – Everton) £28m

The ex-Gunner has looked dangerous for the Toffees whenever he has been called upon and he scored his first goal for the club over the weekend against Wolves in an impressive performance.

He will now be hoping to kick on and have his best season in the Premier League to date.

Iwobi netted hist first goal for Everton on the weekend
Getty Images - Getty

7. Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid to Chelsea) – £40m

Kovacic was Chelsea’s only signing of the summer due to their transfer ban as he was already registered to the club following his loan move from Real Madrid in 2018.

The Croat has started this season very well, impressing with his surging runs from midfield and dribbling ability.

6. Rodri (Atletico Madrid to Manchester City) – £63m

Rodri has had a couple dodgy moments but on the whole he has looked an assured presence in the midfield when called upon by Guardiola.

At just 24 years old, he is the natural successor to Fernandinho and you sense he will be mightily impressive in the role given what we have seen of his technical ability so far.

Rodri is seen as the heir to Fernandinho
AFP or licensors

5. Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace to Manchester United) – £50m

Wan-Bissaka looks unbeatable in one-on-one situations but the Man United defence is still leaking goals due to the midfield being overrun.

Solskjaer needs to find cover for the back four as they are more than capable than defending well but just need more protection higher up the pitch.

4. Harry Maguire (Leicester to Manchester United) – £85m

Maguire had a brilliant debut performance against Chelsea but results have turned sour since then.

He will undoubtedly prove to be a good acquisition for the club but as previously mentioned, Solskjaer needs to sort out his midfield otherwise the defence are left with too much to do.

Maguire will eventually become a great signing for United
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3. Raul Jimenez  (Benfica – Wolves)  – £34m

This signing has gone under the radar because it was agreed in January but what a coup for Wolves it is nonetheless.

Jimenez was one of the best strikers in the league last season and he is continuing to prove a handful up top this term, having scored his first of the campaign against Everton on the weekend.

2. Youri Tielemans (Monaco – Leicester) – £40m

Despite impressing in each match so far, Tielemans only got off the mark in the 3-1 win over Bournemouth over the weekend.

The Belgium international was a revelation for the Foxes in the second half of last season and he has picked up where he left off this campaign.

Tielemans impressed during his brief loan spell at Leicester last season
Getty Images - Getty

1. Sebastien Haller (Eintracht Frankurt – West Ham) – £35m

Haller had a difficult start to life at the London Stadium but in the last two games he has really come into his own.

He seems be in the right position at the right time constantly, and having netted twice from close range against Watford and against Norwich – West Ham have seemingly signed a real dime in the Frenchman.

Haller found the net again for West Ham against Norwich
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LIVE on talkSPORT

Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week

  • Germany vs Netherlands (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • MK Dons vs AFC Wimbledon (Saturday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Sunderland vs Burton Albion (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • England vs Bulgaria (Saturday, 5pm) – talkSPORT

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action.

We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever.

The most expensive Premier League summer transfers rated so far, including Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea stars

5 Sep

The Premier League has paused for the international break so now is the perfect time to assess the early-season form of some of the new signings in the division.

Having seen four matches so far, we can safely say some of the business done has been excellent and some of it has been mystifying.

Ndombele was brought to Spurs from Lyon earlier this summer for £55million
Getty Images - Getty

There are always winners and losers in the transfer market as not every club can keep hold of their best players and also sign improvements.

So who do talkSPORT.com believe has been the best signings so far? Find out below…


15. Ismaila Sarr (Stade Rennais – Watford) – £27m

After a summer spent at the African Cup of Nations with Senegal, it is understandable that it has been a slow start for Sarr at Vicarage Road.

However, Hornets fans caught a glimpse of his quality after he netted a beauty against Coventry in the Carabao Cup and he is sure to have many more chances to prove his worth.

Sarr will need time to adapt to the Premier League
Getty Images - Getty

14. Joao Cancelo (Juventus – Manchester City) – £60m

Cancelo missed pre-season and therefore Pep Guardiola has been reluctant to hand him a first start as he gears up his fitness for the Premier league.

The Portuguese has looked assured off the bench and the full-back will surely become a first-team regular after the international break.

13. Ayoze Perez (Newcastle – Leicester) – £30m

Perez started in the opening three matches of the season but struggled to make an impact in the side and was subsequently dropped by Brendan Rodgers for the match against Bournemouth on the weekend.

Competition has never hurt anyone and the ex-Newcastle striker will have to prove his worth to his boss in the coming weeks to get back into the side.

Perez has struggled to make an impact so far for Leicester
Getty Images - Getty

12. Pablo Fornals (Villarreal – West Ham) – £25m

Fornals will need time to adjust to the Premier League and it looks like the more he plays the more he is adjusting to the tempo of the English game.

He had a run out in the Carabao Cup and scored against Newport County but will be looking to break into the first-team in the league in the coming weeks.

11. Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon to Tottenham) – £55m

Ndombele had a good start in the Lilywhite shirt after netting his side’s equaliser against Aston Villa with a beauty of a strike.

However, injury has forced him out in recent weeks but he will be looking to continue his solid start after the international break.

10. Nicolas Pepe (Lille to Arsenal) – £72m

Arsenal’s club record signing has looked dangerous at times and is proving to be a real handful for defences.

The Ivorian just needs a goal to kick start his his Gunners career and so far he hasn’t shown composure in front of goal but he has plenty of skill.

Pepe has shown signs of promise in the early stages of his Arsenal career
Getty

9. Joelinton (Hoffenheim – Newcastle) – £40m

Newcastle had a difficult start to the campaign and the Brazilian struggled to make an impact as they were dominated by Arsenal and Norwich, but he has now seemingly come into his own.

Against Spurs he was a constant menace up front, holding the ball well and making direct, effective runs, reaping the rewards of his efforts with a goal.

8. Alex Iwobi – (Arsenal – Everton) £28m

The ex-Gunner has looked dangerous for the Toffees whenever he has been called upon and he scored his first goal for the club over the weekend against Wolves in an impressive performance.

He will now be hoping to kick on and have his best season in the Premier League to date.

Iwobi netted hist first goal for Everton on the weekend
Getty

7. Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid to Chelsea) – £40m

Kovacic was Chelsea’s only signing of the summer due to their transfer ban as he was already registered to the club following his loan move from Real Madrid in 2018.

The Croat has started this season very well, impressing with his surging runs from midfield and dribbling ability.

6. Rodri (Atletico Madrid to Manchester City) – £63m

Rodri has had a couple dodgy moments but on the whole he has looked an assured presence in the midfield when called upon by Guardiola.

At just 24 years old, he is the natural successor to Fernandinho and you sense he will be mightily impressive in the role given what we have seen of his technical ability so far.

Rodri is seen as the heir to Fernandinho
AFP or licensors

5. Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace to Manchester United) – £50m

Wan-Bissaka looks unbeatable in one-on-one situations but the Man United defence is still leaking goals due to the midfield being overrun.

Solskjaer needs to find cover for the back four as they are more than capable than defending well but just need more protection higher up the pitch.

4. Harry Maguire (Leicester to Manchester United) – £85m

Maguire had a brilliant debut performance against Chelsea but results have turned sour since then.

He will undoubtedly prove to be a good acquisition for the club but as previously mentioned, Solskjaer needs to sort out his midfield otherwise the defence are left with too much to do.

Maguire will eventually become a great signing for United
AFP or licensors

3. Raul Jimenez  (Benfica – Wolves)  – £34m

This signing has gone under the radar because it was agreed in January but what a coup for Wolves it is nonetheless.

Jimenez was one of the best strikers in the league last season and he is continuing to prove a handful up top this term, having scored his first of the campaign against Everton on the weekend.

2. Youri Tielemans (Monaco – Leicester) – £40m

Despite impressing in each match so far, Tielemans only got off the mark in the 3-1 win over Bournemouth over the weekend.

The Belgium international was a revelation for the Foxes in the second half of last season and he has picked up where he left off this campaign.

Tielemans impressed during his brief loan spell at Leicester last season
Getty Images - Getty

1. Sebastien Haller (Eintracht Frankurt – West Ham) – £35m

Haller had a difficult start to life at the London Stadium but in the last two games he has really come into his own.

He seems be in the right position at the right time constantly, and having netted twice from close range against Watford and against Norwich – West Ham have seemingly signed a real dime in the Frenchman.

Haller found the net again for West Ham against Norwich
AFP or licensors

LIVE on talkSPORT

Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week

  • Germany vs Netherlands (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • MK Dons vs AFC Wimbledon (Saturday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Sunderland vs Burton Albion (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • England vs Bulgaria (Saturday, 5pm) – talkSPORT

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action.

We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever.

The best value for money Premier League goalscorer, including Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Paul Pogba

20 Aug

It’s no secret just how lucrative football can be but by the same token it’s a very costly business too.

Clubs are expected to break the bank in order to show they have ambition these days and even then success is not guaranteed.

Manchester United spent £86million to re-sign Paul Pogba but he’s still not won over all fans
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The best players get the best wages but what they do on the pitch pays for itself, right?

Well talkSPORT.com has been given access to brilliant data from livefootballtickets.com to reveal which players are the best value for money in terms of the goals they scored last season.

But before we see how much the top 15 Premier League scorers’ goals in 2018/19 are worth, let’s take a look at the top 15 scorers from last season, how many league goals they scored last season as well as their estimated annual salary using data from spotrac.com.

Premier League's top 15 scorers 2018/19

=10. Gylfi Sigurdsson (13 goals) – Estimated annual salary: £5.2m

=10. Paul Pogba (13 goals) – Estimated annual salary: £15.08m

=10. Glenn Murray (13 goals) – Estimated annual salary: £1.56m

=10. Alexandre Lacazette (13 goals) – Estimated annual salary: £9.47m

=10. Raul Jimenez (13 goals) – Estimated annual salary: £2.13m

=10. Richarlison (13 goals) – Estimated annual salary: £4.68m

9. Callum Wilson (14 goals) – Estimated annual salary: £2.08m

8. Eden Hazard (16 goals) – Estimated annual salary: £11.7m

=6. Raheem Sterling (17 goals) – Estimated annual salary: £9.36m

=6. Harry Kane (17 goals) – Estimated annual salary: £10.4m

5. Jamie Vardy (18 goals) – Estimated annual salary: £7.28m

4. Sergio Aguero (21 goals) – Estimated annual salary: £13m

=1. Mohamed Salah (22 goals) – Estimated annual salary: £10.4m

=1. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (22 goals) – Estimated annual salary: £10.4m

=1. Sadio Mane (22 goals) – Estimated annual salary: £5.2m

So now we know how much the English top flight’s top 15 scorers from last season are being paid, let’s take a look at how much each player’s goal is worth by dividing their estimated annual salaries by the number of goals they scored.

And these certainly made for some interesting results.

15. Paul Pogba – Each goal worth: £1,160,000

Paul Pogba’s goals came at the biggest cost of the top 15 scorers last season
Getty

14. Eden Hazard – Each goal worth: £731,250

13. Alexandre Lacazette – Each goal worth: £728,252

12. Sergio Aguero – Each goal worth: £619,048

11. Harry Kane – Each goal worth: £611, 765

Harry Kane has been Tottenham’s top scorer in the Premier League every season since 2014/15
getty

10. Raheem Sterling – Each goal worth: £550,588

=8. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Each goal worth: £472,727

=8. Mohamed Salah – Each goal worth: £472,727

7. Jamie Vardy – Each goal worth: £404,444

6. Gylfi Sigurdsson – Each goal worth: £400,000

Gylfi Sigurdsson scored 13 league goals last season but each strike is reasonably good value for money
getty images - getty

5. Richarlison – Each goal worth: £360,000

4. Sadio Mane – Each goal worth: £236,364

3. Raul Jimenez – Each goal worth: £164,000

2. Callum Wilson – Each goal worth: £148,571

1. Glenn Murray – Each goal worth: £120,000

Veteran striker Glenn Murray, 35, had the best goal value last season
getty

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action.

We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever.

Wolves vs Manchester United team news: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer drops Paul Pogba hint as Daniel James gets first start

19 Aug

Manchester United travel to Molineux on Monday night to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers in the last remaining fixture from the second round of Premier League action.

The Red Devils made a perfect start to the campaign as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men recorded an emphatic 4-0 win over Chelsea at Old Trafford.

For Wolves, a 1-1 draw against Leicester City away from home was a positive start, but Nuno Espirito Santo will want to build on that.

Nuno Espirito Santo bested Ole Gunnar Solskjaer twice at Molineux last season
Getty Images - Getty

Confirmed teams

Wolves XI: Patricio, Doherty, Bennett, Coady (C), Boly, Jonny, Neves, Moutinho, Dendoncker, Jimenez, Jota

Man United XI: De Gea (C), Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw, Pogba, McTominay, Rashford, Lingard, James, Martial

Wolves were undefeated in three matches against Manchester United in all competitions last season and are aiming to win three consecutive meetings for the first time since 1980.

United have lost more Premier League away games at Wolves than they have won and are without a victory in their last four Premier League away games, their worst run since a seven-game streak between April and November 2014.

Monday night fixtures have brought about contrasting results for both sides, with Wolves having never won a Premier League game on a Monday night from five previous attempts.

Meanwhile, United have won 68% of their Premier League games played on a Monday, which is the highest on a specific day of the week for any team (who have played a minimum of 10 games on that day).

Solskjaer led United to a 4-0 win on the opening weekend of the seasonOle Gunnar Solskjaer admitted his side would go into the fixture with a quiet confidence against a side who took 16 points off the Premier League’s top six.

“Wolves are a hard team to break down. They defend deep and they don’t give you a lot space.

“But our form, our attitude and the mood of course after a win is great, so we go into Monday’s game confident.”

The Baby-Faced Assassin is also confident Paul Pogba will remain at the club beyond the end of the transfer window, despite speculation linking him with an Old Trafford exit.

Unlike fellow wantaway star Romelu Lukaku, Pogba knuckled down during pre-season and provided two assists in the 4-0 win over Chelsea in United’s Premier League opener.

Paul Pogba starred for United against Chelsea
Getty Images - Getty

The midfielder was naturally upbeat after that victory but talk swirled once more when he also admitted “there’s always that question mark” about his future.

“You always put question marks around Paul,” United boss Solskjaer said when those comments were put to him ahead of Monday’s trip.

“I don’t think it’s odd saying enjoy playing, I have fun with my team-mates, I enjoy what I’m doing, I love my job and enjoy the game.

“Of course, that sentence with the question mark about him, there’s always question marks about Paul.

“There’s not one press conference that I’ve not answered a question about Paul Pogba. Eighty per cent of what he said was that he enjoyed that game and his time here.”

Raul Jimenez scores twice as Wolves dominate Pyunik 4-0 in Armenia to put Premier League side within touching distance of Europa League Play-Off spot

8 Aug

Wolves are closing in on a Europa League Play-Off spot with a comprehensive 4-0 win in the qualifying third round first leg against Pyunik.

Matt Doherty’s opener, a double from Raul Jimenez and Ruben Neves’ late penalty made it an easy evening in Armenia for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, who begin their Premier League campaign on Sunday.

They will look to complete the job next Thursday in the second leg at Molineux and move into a play-off against Torino or Shakhtyor.

Nuno Espirito Santo is leading Wolves on a European tour
Getty Images - Getty

A 6,370-mile round-trip was not ideal for Wolves, but Doherty’s 29th-minute goal provided a nice tonic.

The defender was played in by Joao Moutinho and, in yards of space, he rolled home a cool finish into the far corner.

Diogo Jota missed the opportunity to make it two, but Jimenez made no mistake shortly before the break.

Jota made amends for his earlier miss by slipping the Mexican striker in and he produced an emphatic finish into the roof of the net.

The match, and probably the tie, was then made safe less than a minute after the restart.

Jota again was the provider, slipping in Jimenez who made no mistake when through one-on-one.

Jimenez’s chance to take the match ball home was denied by a header cleared off the line, but Wolves could not be prevented from scoring a fourth late on.

Neves made no mistake from the spot after Patrick Crutone was felled in stoppage time.

Premier League Golden Boot: Top 20 players, according to expected goals

13 May

The 2018/19 Premier League has come to an end and what a season it turned out to be with three stars sharing the prestigious Golden Boot.

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all scored 22 times across the campaign so they all get a trophy to take home.

Liverpool stars Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah share a Golden Boot

But were they really the best strikers, according to statistics? Using UnderStat.com’s expected goals model, we’ve seen that Manchester City were rightly crowned champions, pipping Liverpool to the title by just one point.

Here at talkSPORT.com we’re always keeping an eye on Understat.com to see how strikers are performing based on their xG season stats.

And they make for some interesting reading, pointing out the fact that perhaps some of the league’s most lethal marksman should have found the net more.

What is expected goals?

  • Expected goals (xG) is a statistic used to work out how many goals should be scored in a match.
  • Every single shot is awarded an xG value based on the difficulty of the attempt, with factors including distance from goal, type of shot and number of defenders present affecting the value.
  • The higher the xG of a particular shot, the more likely a goal should be scored from that shot.
  • The xG value of every shot in a game is then used to calculate the expected goals in a particular match.

20. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)

Games played: 33

Goals scored: 10

Expected goal tally: 11.81

19. Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal)

Games played: 35

Goals scored: 13

Expected goal tally: 12.03

18. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton)

Games played: 38

Goals scored: 13

Expected goal tally: 12.12

Sigurdsson has netted 13 times this season

17. Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Games played: 37

Goals scored: 15

Expected goal tally: 11.57

16. Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)

Games played: 29

Goals scored: 7

Expected goal tally: 12.62

15. Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)

Games played: 32

Goals scored: 12

Expected goal tally: 13.11

According to the stats, Lukaku should have netted one more goal

14. Ashley Barnes (Burnley)

Games played: 37

Goals scored: 12

Expected goal tally: 13.28

13. Joshua King (Bournemouth)

Games played: 35

Goals scored: 12

Expected goal tally: 13.55

12. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)

Games played: 34

Goals scored: 12

Expected goal tally: 13.74

Firmino netted 12 goals this season

11. Raul Jimenez (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Games played: 38

Goals scored: 13

Expected goal tally: 14.27

10. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham)

Games played: 37

Goals scored: 11

Expected goal tally: 15.45

9. Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

Games played: 35

Goals scored:13

Expected goal tally: 15.88

Pogba should have scored more goals according to the xG stats

8. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

Games played: 34

Goals scored: 17

Expected goal tally: 15.91

7. Callum Wilson (Bournemouth)

Games played: 30

Goals scored:14

Expected goal tally: 16.02

6. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)

Games played: 28

Goals scored: 17

Expected goal tally: 16.12

5. Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

Games played: 34

Goals scored: 22

Expected goal tally: 16.78

Mane surpassed his expected goals tally

4. Jamie Vardy (Leicester)

Games played: 33

Goals scored: 18

Expected goal tally: 19.12

3. Sergio Aguero (Man City)

Games played: 38

Goals scored: 21

Expected goal tally: 19.95

Aguero surpassed his expected goals tally

2. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Games played: 38

Goals scored: 22

Expected goal tally: 21.79

1. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)

Games played: 36

Goals scored: 22

Expected goal tally: 23.55

The 20 most creative players in the Premier League this season, according to stats

13 May

Chelsea star Eden Hazard was crowned the Premier League’s assist king for the 2018/19 season.

The Belgian superstar may have an uncertain future at Stamford Bridge but he’s put on a show this campaign with 15 assists.

Eden Hazard of Chelsea poses for a photo with the Playmaker award trophy

It was an impressive total, one ahead of Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser, and earned him the Playmaker award, which will no doubt be front and centre on his mantelpiece.

Hazard has plenty of competition in the English top-flight when it comes to incredible creative talents, with Christian Eriksen and Kevin De Bruyne amongst them. But was he really the best, according to advanced statistics?

Here at talkSPORT we’ve used UnderStat.com to check out which Premier League stars had the highest ‘Expected Assists’ for the campaign.

Expected assists (xA) definition

According to Opta, xA measures the likelihood that a given pass will become a goal assist.

It considers several factors including the type of pass, pass end-point and length of pass.

Adding up a player or team’s expected assists gives us an indication of how many assists a player of team should have had based on their build up and attacking play.

20. Willian (Chelsea)

Expected assists – 6.52

Assists – Six

19. Joao Moutinho (Wolves)

Expected assists – 6.53

Assists – Eight

18. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

Expected assists – 6.65

Assists – Two

17. Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal)

Expected assists – 6.74

Assists – Five

Arsenal’s left wing-back Kolasinac has weighed in with his fair share this campaign

16. Felipe Anderson (West Ham United)

Expected assists – 6.78

Assists –  Four

15. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton)

Expected assists – 6.79

Assists – Six

14. Raul Jimenez (Wolves)

Expected assists – 6.99

Assists – Seven

13. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

Expected assists – 7.22

Assists – 12

The young English ace has over-performed in terms of assists this season

12. Alex Iwobi (Arsenal)

Expected assists – 7.64

Assists – Six

11. Lucas Digne (Everton)

Expected assists – 7.71

Assists – Six

10. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur)

Expected assists – 7.88

Assists – 12

Eriksen has done far better than statistics believe he should have

9. James Maddison (Leicester City)

Expected assists – 7.94

Assists – Seven

8. Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)

Expected assists – 8.06

Assists – 11

Robertson, like Alexander-Arnold, has been a star for the Reds creatively

7. Leroy Sane (Manchester City)

Expected assists – 8.10

Assists – 10

6. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)

Expected assists – 8.63

Assists – Seven

5. David Silva (Manchester City)

Expected assists – 10.11

Assists – Eight

Silva remains one of the most creative Premier League players around

4. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Expected assists – 10.47

Assists – Eight

Salah hasn’t been as good as last year but his statistics are still impressive

3. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

Expected assists – 10.79

Assists – 10

It’s no wonder Sterling was named PFA Player of the Year

2. Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Expected assists – 11.57

Assists – 15

Hazard, according to stats, wasn’t the most creative player this season

1. Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth)

Expected assists – 16.18

Assists – 14

Fraser has excelled for the Cherries this season and could now be on the move

Best Premier League XI outside top six, including Wilfired Zaha and James Maddison

7 May

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer warned his Manchester United players other clubs will be looking to chase them next season.

The Red Devils will finish sixth if they fail to better Arsenal’s result on the final day of the 2018/19 campaign.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been solid for Crystal Palace this season

Solskjaer said: “You’ve got Leicester, Everton, Watford, probably Newcastle, you’ve got clubs that want to chase us. We have to make sure that we are the ones who chase those ahead of us.

“We have to make sure that we are getting closer and moving that way up the table and not looking over the shoulders because there are big clubs, good clubs wanting to chase that top six.”

So, who are the best players outside of the top six? talkSPORT take a look…

Goalkeeper – Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham)

Lukasz Fabianski has been a revelation at the London Stadium

Fabianski has been an ever-present in Manuel Pellegrini’s side since signing from Swansea last summer. The 34-year-old has been the busiest goalkeeper in the Premier League this season, making 140 saves. He has proven himself as a reliable top-flight No.1 since leaving Arsenal in 2014.

Right-back – Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace)

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is becoming a Premier League star

Wan-Bissaka, who won Crystal Palace’s Player of the Year award, has been one of the most consistent defenders in the Premier League this season.

Not many people would have blamed him for counting himself unlucky after being left out of Gareth Southgate’s England squad in March.

His form has alerted the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City, however, the 21-year-old recently revealed he will be a Crystal Palace player next term.

Centre-back – Harry Maguire (Leicester)

Harry Maguire has had another fine season for Leicester

Maguire was one of former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho’s transfer targets last summer.

The towering defender was able to take his 2018 World Cup form with England into this season – and has been a regular fixture at the back for Leicester. Maguire will be crucial to the Foxes’ chances of mounting a top-six push next season.

Centre-back – Conor Coady (Wolves)

Conor Coady has been an ever-present in Wolves’ defence

The former Liverpool trainee has been one of Wolves’ standout players in their first season back in the Premier League.

Playing every single minute of the Premier League season so far, Coady has helped them to an impressive seventh-placed finish.

The club captain will be playing Europa League football next season if Manchester City beat Watford in this month’s FA Cup final. Surely an England call-up is on the horizon?

Left-back – Lucas Digne (Everton)

Lucas Digne has a wicked cross on him

Digne has enjoyed a successful debut season in the Premier League, chipping in with four goals and assists each.

He has been part of a watertight Everton defence, which has kept eight clean sheets in ten games.

Only Liverpool (20), Manchester City (20) and Chelsea (15) have had more shutouts than Everton (14) this term.

Right-wing – Richarlison (Everton)

Richarlison is a fans’ favourite at Goodison Park

Similarly to his team-mate Digne, Richarlison has been one of Everton’s best players this term.

He has scored 14 goals since joining in a £50million deal from Watford last summer. The Brazil international has even been linked with a move to Barcelona following his goalscoring form. The 21-year-old will only get better with years to come.

Central midfield – Abdoulaye Doucoure (Watford)

Abdoulaye Doucoure is a workhorse in Watford’s midfield

Watford could find it hard to keep Doucoure this summer, especially after the Paris Saint-Germain target admitted he would leave Vicarage Road if the right club came calling.

He has had yet another fine season in the Premier League and is on course to help Watford finish in the top ten.

Central midfield – James Maddison (Leicester)

James Maddison will only get better with time

Signed for £22.5million from Norwich last year, that transfer fee seems like a bargain now. In his first season in the Premier League, Maddison has been directly involved in 14 goals, scoring and assisting seven each.

He has been deployed slightly deeper in midfield since Brendan Rodgers replaced Claude Puel in March, but has still been able to shine. He has been touted as a replacement for Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey, who will join Juventus on July 1.

Left-wing – Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)

Wilfried Zaha is constantly linked with a move away from Selhurst Park

Zaha is having his most lethal top-flight season, netting ten goals for Roy Hodgson’s men.

He has been so crucial to Palace preserving their Premier League status over the past five years. Despite signing a new five-year contract last August, reports claim Arsenal are interested in the winger.

Striker – Raul Jimenez (Wolves)

Raul Jimenez has endeared himself to Wolves fans

Wolves paid Benfica £30million to make Jimenez’s loan move permanent last month.

The Mexico international has scored 17 goals and registered seven assists in all competitions. He has arguably been one of the signings of the season. Jimenez has also struck up a deadly strike partnership with Diogo Jota.

Striker – Jamie Vardy (Leicester)

Jamie Vardy is regarded as one of the Premier League’s best strikers

Vardy has scored 18 goals in another prolific top-flight season for Leicester. At the age of 32, he is showing no signs of slowing down. He has netted 11 goals in his last 12 games in what has been an excellent end to the campaign.

Is this the best Premier League XI outside of the top six?

Raul Jimenez mask celebration labelled ‘disrespectful’ by Watford legend Luther Blissett

8 Apr

Luther Blissett blasted Wolves striker Raul Jimenez for his celebration during their FA Cup semi-final against Watford.

The Mexican put Wolves 2-0 up at Wembley with a well-taken goal on 62 minutes and to celebrate he sported an orange mask in front of his adoring fans.

Wolves appeared to have the game won when Jimenez (right) scored their second goal

However, the only thing that was left on Jimenez’s face by the end of the game was egg as Watford brought it back to 2-2 before winning the game 3-2 after extra-time.

It means the Hornets will face Manchester City in the final on May 18, while Wolves’ very good cup run – which saw them beat the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United – came to an abrupt end.

Jimenez after the game finished

Watford striker Troy Deeney mocked ‘loser’ Jimenez for his mask celebration after the game and Hornets legend Blissett, who played at Vicarage Road in three different spells for a combined total of 14 years, labelled it as ‘disrespectful’.

He then suggested the striker should consider a career change if he wants to act like a ‘cartoon character’.

Speaking on The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show, Blissett said: “Jimenez will be disappointed and embarrassed at the fact he did that celebration. It’s disrespectful.

“Wearing masks and stuff like that – leave that to the supporters.

“You, as a player, score your goals and you celebrate with your team-mates and the supporters around you and that’s where it should start and end.

“If you want to be a cartoon character or whatever then go and get yourself another job!”

Blissett was not impressed with Jimenez’s antics