Football Boot on Flaming Ball

The Best 5 Transfers of the 2022/23 Premier League Season

The 2023/24 summer transfer window is about to close and there have been some huge deals already. There will no doubt be several more too in the final few days of what has already been a record-breaking summer window. It is too early to tell which signings will prove to be a success and which will have fans scratching their heads and owners lamenting their wasted millions.

However, we do now have a pretty good idea about what signings from last term (2022/23) have worked out well and which have flopped. Of course, even a year on it is arguably too early to make any definitive judgements. Some footballers take a long time to settle into their new clubs or adapt to the ideas of a different manager. Equally, over the years we have seen lots of players have a brilliant first campaign with a club, only to drift into obscurity.

Nonetheless, based on how they settled last year, and how they have got on so far in 2023/24, here are our top five signings from the 2022/23 season. Note that we are looking at players signed in both windows, not just the summer one and that our top five are listed in no particular order.

Erling Haaland

Date From To Fee
May 2022 Borussia Dortmund Manchester City £51m

It is safe to say that Erling Haaland was a very good signing. When a player breaks countless records and is a key contributor to their side winning their first Champions League, as part of a treble, we can be pretty confident that the manager, fans and owners will all be content, to say the least. The £51m fee always looked like a bargain, and although the total fee could reach more than £85m with add-ons and agent fees, even £150m would have been a bargain for the brilliant Norwegian.

He is probably worth closer to £200m now, though of course City will not be letting him go anytime soon. When Pep Guardiola’s men had a small wobble either side of the World Cup (and we mean wobble only by City standards – they still won five out of nine games, with two of their three losses coming against Liverpool and Man United), there were some suggesting that even though Haaland was scoring, he had made City less efficient overall.

Those doubters were silenced during the business end of the campaign as City and their muscular striker just kept getting better and better. The club won three trophies, whilst Haaland was crowned Premier League Player of the Season and Young Player of the Season, won the European Golden Show, Premier League Golden Boot and Man City Player of the Season. He was also the top scorer in the Nations League and Champions League, and was named the PFA Players’ Player of the Year, as well as making the PFA PL Team of the Year.

Chart That Shows Erling Haaland's Games, Goals and Assists for Manchester City During the 2022/23 Season

All told, he scored 52 goals in 53 games for City in his debut season, adding a further nine assists. Given his age, his relentless thirst for goals and success, and the fact that his club had previously been so used to playing without an out-and-out striker and so are still adapting to him as much as he is adapting to them, he will surely only get better. A scary thought for the rest of the Premier League and European rivals such as Real Madrid, PSG and Bayern Munich.

City will dare to dream of the quadruple in 2023/24 and whilst it is early days, Haaland has carried on where he left off. An initial haul of three goals in three league games suggests he could even break the record for most PL goals in a season. He smashed the previous high last term but will surely be targeting 40 league strikes this time around.


Date From To Fee
August 2022 Real Madrid Manchester United £60m

People baulked at the £60m, plus up to £10m in add-ons, that United paid for Brazilian midfielder Casemiro. Red Devils boss Erik ten Haag called his new player the “cement between the stones” but Graeme Souness argued that the five-time Champions League winner(!) was not a great player, but had simply played in some great sides. Others felt that at 30 he was too old and too slow.

And yet Ten Haag was proved right, as Casemiro was arguably United’s best player and helped them to two cup finals. They won the League Cup but lost the FA Cup final to City, whilst they finished third in the league, registering more points than they had since 2017/18 and their second-highest tally in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.

Chart That Shows Casemiro's Games, Goals and Assists for Manchester United During the 2022/23 Season

The Brazilian international was perceived by most as simply a defensive midfielder but he has proved to be so much more. A driven, humble player, he is a hugely experienced winner and he has raised standards at the club, on and off the pitch. What’s more, he has been a real threat going forward too and at the time of writing has eight goals and six assists from 54 games for the Red Devils. Time will tell how long he can sustain his brilliance but these days 30 is nowhere near as old as it was and he also has the intelligence to adapt his game if required.

Julio Enciso

Date From To Fee
June 2022 Libertad Brighton £10m

Enciso obviously does not have the profile of Haaland or Casemiro but many astute judges believe the young Paraguayan could be one of the very best in the world before too long. Graham Potter brought him to the south coast and the fee already looks like an absolute bargain. Brighton just seem to keep unearthing these players and their transfer business over the past five years has been incredible – and lucrative.

Chart That Shows Julio Enciso's Games, Goals and Assists for Brighton & Hove Albion During the 2022/23 Season

Enciso does not turn 20 until January 2024, made his international debut at the age of 17 and has two assists from two games this term for the Seagulls. He plays as a number 10 and managed seven goals and four assists last term from 30 games. However, he rarely started and played for just 1,461 minutes, making those stats even more impressive, especially for a youngster playing at a new club. Enciso is one to watch, but don’t be surprised to see him involved in a £100m+ transfer deal sometime soon.

Alexander Isak

Date From To Fee
August 2022 Real Sociedad Newcastle £63m

Newcastle’s transfer business since their Saudi takeover has, by and large, been superb and Isak is a great example of that. The Swedish striker cannot exactly be described as a bargain, with a fee of over £60m for a 22-year-old clearly being a lot of money. However, whilst injuries prevented him from playing quite as much as the Geordie faithful would have liked last term, they will have certainly liked what they saw.

Chart That Shows Alexander Isak's Games, Goals and Assists for Newcastle United During the 2022/23 Season

The former Borussia Dortmund man, who already has 40 international caps, is fast, skilful and capable of beating players. He has bagged two Premier League goals in the opening three games of the current season and managed 10 in 22 (league only) last term. His goals-per-minutes ratio was excellent too and there is clearly a lot more to come from the Swede.

Manuel Akanji

Date From To Fee
September 2022 Borussia Dortmund Manchester City £15m

Doing business when you are Man City is not easy because clubs will always demand slightly more cash. This makes the fact that Pep and co paid just £15m for Swiss defender Akanji loom like even more of a steal. The strong, powerful defender is versatile, has slotted straight into the Guardiola way of playing and, recently 28, is an experienced campaigner with over 50 international caps.

Chart That Shows Manuel Akanji's Games, Goals and Assists for Manchester City During the 2022/23 Season

For the money, Akanji has already proved superb value and the fact he played 11 times in the Champions League last term shows just how much his manager trusts and values him. Whilst Haaland and City’s attack receive a lot of the credit, it is unsung heroes like Akanji that helped them concede just five goals in their entire CL campaign.