Football News

11 signings from the 2022 Premier League summer transfer window you completely forgot about

By Ben Green

11 signings from the 2022 Premier League summer transfer window you completely forgot about

Published: 17:19, 9 January 2023

The Premier League’s 2022 summer transfer window now seems like an age away, but deadline day on September 1 was only four months ago.

A lot has changed in that time — and not just in the Premier League. Argentina are now world champions — following their success at the winter World Cup — Cristiano Ronaldo is playing his football in Saudi Arabia, and Gerard Pique has retired from the sport, hanging up his boots in November.

With so much taking place in such a short amount of time, it’s easy to forget what exactly transpired during the swirling summer months of unbridled conjecture, drawn-out transfer sagas and daily deals. The collective amnesia is exacerbated all the more by new signings who haven’t actually featured that much.

For every Erling Haaland, there’s a Flynn Downes: one who has made a tangible impression on their new side, and another who has retreated to anonymity, yet to get going for whatever reason. With that, we have recounted the other forgotten men of the 2022 Premier League summer transfer window below.

Loris Karius

From: Free agent

To: Newcastle

Drafted in to function as back-up to Nick Pope for the well-heeled Tyneside club following Martin Dubravka’s temporary move to Manchester United, Loris Karius was never expected to leave a lasting impression on St. James’ Park. The 29-year-old has since left Newcastle following Dubravka’s return from Old Trafford, carrying out his cushy sinecure on the sidelines with little fuss and a grand total of zero appearances. From once starting a Champions League final to embracing a bit-part role for Newcastle, it’s safe to say Karius’ trajectory hasn’t exactly retained the lofty heights from his early-career promise.

Kalvin Phillips

From: Leeds United

To: Manchester City

Kalvin Phillips’ midfield partnership with Declan Rice at Euro 2020 was the foundation upon which Gareth Southgate built his England team around. For Leeds United, the influential midfield conductor pulled the strings for Marcelo Bielsa, with every transition passing through him. It is no wonder then that Pep Guardiola had few inhibitions carrying £42m to Elland Road for his services in the summer. However, his impact thus far has prove more reticent than revolutionary.

It’s certainly not an easy task trying to break into a squad of world-class talent in nearly every position, but Phillips’ early-City struggles have been negatively augmented by a persistent shoulder injury, and recent question marks over his weight — a notion put forward by Guardiola himself following the World Cup. The City boss has since back-pedalled, claiming: “He [Phillips] has the perfect body now – so sexy”.

Overly-enthusiastic compliments aside, what Phillips could really do with is some more game time, so far racking up just five minutes in the Premier League.

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Diego Carlos

From: Sevilla

To: Aston Villa

Diego Carlos’ centre-back partnership with Jules Kounde was the bedrock of Sevilla’s 2020 Europa League-winning success. Under Julen Lopetegui, the Brazilian centre-half established himself as one of the most hard-hitting and assertive defenders on the block. As such, it came as a shock when Aston Villa confirmed his signature in the summer for £26m. A shrewd piece of transfer activity from Steven Gerrard — it’s a shame the former manager never actually got a chance to use him. The 29-year-old suffered an ACL rupture during pre-season and looks set to miss the entire campaign.

Arthur Melo

From: Juventus

To: Liverpool

Talent has been thick on the ground at Gremio over the years, and when a young metronomic tempo-setter in the mould of Arthur Melo was rising through the ranks, it looked as though the latest Brazilian jewell had surfaced. Barcelona naturally nudged their way to the front of the queue for his signature, with many expecting him to pick up the mantle left by Xavi in 2015. The current Barca boss even sung from that same hymn sheet at the time: “Arthur can mark an era at Barcelona.”

However, after two seasons at the Camp Nou, and not really making a Xavi-like impression, Arthur swapped Catalonia for Turin, where he would once again show flashes of genius without being able to consistently shine. His loan move to Liverpool in the summer, though, looked savvy business for everyone involved. Here, Jurgen Klopp could continue to transition away from his once-reliable counter-pressing set-up to a more possession-based game, built around elite ball players like Thiago and Arthur.

However, the Brazilian has found playing time hard to come by, mainly due to injury, and Klopp has continued to have problems in the middle of the park. The club are not expected to entertain an option to make Arthur’s loan a permanent one in the summer.

Djed Spence

From: Middlesbrough

To: Tottenham

There was an air of excitement around Djed Spence’s signing in the summer for Spurs. Amid the high-profile recruits of Richarlison, Ivan Perisic, Clement Lenglet and Yves Bissouma, Spence was quietly plucked from North Yorkshire without too much noise. The 22-year-old was inspirational as Nottingham Forest secured promotion from the Championship last term, impressing on loan from fellow Championship club Middlesbrough, and he looked tailor-made for Antonio Conte’s set-up. An attack-minded, athletic wing-back, Spence has all the tools to flourish under Conte. And yet, he has been as quiet as a mouse so far in north London, with few signs of that changing.

Emmanuel Dennis

From: Watford

To: Nottingham Forest

For all the preposterous business pulled off by shopaholics Forest over the summer, Emmanuel Dennis looked like one of their tidier signings. The 25-year-old was a goal-getting fulcrum for Watford last season, and appeared hot property over the summer. Forest eventually won the tug-of-war for his signature for £20m, but with just three Premier League starts and only one goal, some at the City Ground will now be fearing they paid over the odds for a one-season wonder.

Chris Richards

From: Bayern Munich

To: Crystal Palace

It’s not often Crystal Palace cast their net to Bavaria for their summer shopping, but Patrick Vieira has been trying to blaze a few trails at Selhurst Park, and few could question the seemingly shrewd signing of Chris Richards from Bayern Munich. Other than the £18m signing of Cheick Doucoure, Palace appeared to adopt a cheese-paring policy over the summer, spending less than £10m on Richards’ services. The United States international, though, has seen his time in London blighted by injury problems, restricting him to just four Premier League games, none of which have come as a starter.

Sam Johnstone

From: West Bromwich Albion

To: Crystal Palace

In that same vein, Sam Johnstone hasn’t exactly set the world alight in south London. His dextrous showings for West Brom were enough to entice Southgate into handing him three caps for England in 2021, but it’s hard to see where his next outing for the Three Lions will come from, with the 29-year-old firmly playing second fiddle to Vicente Guaita at Palace.

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Kevin Mbabu

From: Wolfsburg

To: Fulham

The former Newcastle defender appears an archetypal full-back for Marco Silva’s press-heavy tactics, but the Switzerland international has struggled to displace Tete — with Bobby Decordova-Reid even preferred at right-back on occasion over Mbabu. The 27-year-old actually looked like one of the more sensible deals in the summer for any Premier League club, joining for a modest £6.4m and bringing bundles of experience and energy to the table, but Silva hasn’t seen enough to hand him a consistent starting berth.

Willy Boly

From: Wolves

To: Nottingham Forest

I suppose a natural by-product of making over 20 signings is that not all of them will come good; they could field two XIs with the signings they made. Willy Boly actually looked a half-decent signing for Cooper for under £5m from Wolves. The towering Ivory Coast international had four years of Premier League experience behind him and a CV that boasted clubs such as Porto, Braga and Auxerre. However, until recently, Boly was unfancied by Cooper, taking up a regular place on the bench as Scott McKenna and Steve Cook locked down the backline. However, the 31-year-old has since made the XI in the past four games, so signs of the winds changing.

Calvin Ramsay

From: Aberdeen

To: Liverpool

Pittodrie has been fecund soil for emerging talent in the club’s storied timeline. Paradoxical to Aberdeen’s colloquially-endowed moniker ‘The Grey City’, the homegrown talent has been shining brightly over the years — and many have gone on to play in England. Calvin Ramsay looked like the latest gem to hail from a fruitful conveyor belt, and he stormed the Scottish Premiership last term, picking up the SFWA Young Player of the Year award and a cap for Scotland as a result.

That prompted Liverpool to spend £4m on him and many were expecting him to be in and around the first-team given he registered nine assists at right-back for Aberdeen last term — numbers that no doubt alerted Klopp to his exploits. However, he has so far been afforded just three minutes in the Champions League and a single game against Derby in the EFL Cup. It looks as though he will have to bide his time.