Who’ve been the most impactful Premier League summer buys?

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It’s been a heck of a season for Premier League transfer buys, and that includes a bevy of intra-league purchases.

So who’ve been the best imports? Probably a safe bet to set some parameters.

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We won’t count players like Aaron Mooy, who’s Huddersfield Town purchase was formalized after a loan, or those who returned from loan like Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen or Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere.

We’ll also opt against a couple Chelsea loanees signings, if just to whittle our list. Ruben Loftus-Cheek was magnificent before a long-term injury at Palace, and Kurt Zouma probably just sits beyond the Top Ten.

Mainz loanee Jonas Lossl of Huddersfield Town fits the bill, too. And for injuries: Who knows how high  Benjamin Mendy would’ve surged up this list?

Stats culled from WhoScored and Squawka.

Honorable mention – Antonio Rudiger, Mario Lemina, Richarlison, Alexandre Lacazette, Mat Ryan, Bernardo Silva, Steve MounieKyle Walker, Alvaro Morata, Florian Lejeune.

10. Jordan Pickford, Everton — Under siege at Sunderland for most of last season, Pickford probably expected smoother sailing than this: the Everton backstop has been forced into making the most saves in the Premier League (95). Fifty-four of those required him to dive. Only four teams have allowed more goals than Everton, which explains why some of you might be scratching your head at his inclusion.

9. James Tomkins, Crystal Palace — I thought the signing was silly, but Tomkins is nearly unrivaled in terms of interceptions per game in league play. Palace hasn’t been a defensive powerhouse, but his former club West Ham looks terrible since he moved across London.

8. Davinson Sanchez, Tottenham Hotspur – There have been bumps along the way — Sanchez is 21 — but he’s blessed with the speed to make up for his and others mistakes. A fine passer, Mauricio Pochettino should only further benefit from his career progression.

7. Ahmed Hegazi, West Bromwich Albion — Hegazi’s 2757 minutes played are the most amongst field players in the Premier League (though Alfie Mawson, Harry Maguire, Jack Cork, and Lewis Dunk could pass him by playing more than an hour in their match-in-hand).

6. Harry Maguire, Leicester City — The Foxes badly needed to lower the age of their center back corps, and can count their purchase of Maguire from Hull City as a coup. Perhaps no player other than Wilfred Ndidi has been as influential for Claude Puel‘s bunch.

5. Romelu Lukaku, Manchester United — Lukaku started dispelling myths about his production versus big teams when he was one of the lone stars in United’s Super Cup loss to Real Madrid. While he’s been up-and-down in terms of goals in said contests, his hold-up play and work ethic have been better than expected. His 21 key moments (14 goals, seven assists) are even with Roberto Firmino and trail only Mohamed Salah, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, and Leroy Sane. Anthony Martial is the closest United comparison, and he has 14. Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard have 12.

4. Pascal Gross, Brighton and Hove Albion — The Ingolstadt transfer’s promise was quickly realized, and he’s posted five goals and eight assists. On a team with the fourth-lowest goal total in the league, that’s impressive. The only players with more PL assists: De Bruyne, Sane, Dele, David Silva, Salah, Pogba. Gross also ranks third in the league in crosses per game.

3. Nemanja Matic, Manchester United — It’s hard to fin the numbers to meet the eye test, but Matic flat out makes his team better. Maybe it’s organization, maybe it’s toughness, but there’s little doubt United is better in the middle of the park while former club Chelsea has struggled to find the same form since he skipped town. Advantage: Mou.

2. Ederson, Manchester City — Look only to last season’s status of City net minders to know how important the sweeper-style passing keeper is to Pep Guardiola‘s side. The Brazilian has pushed himself into competition for the starting gig at one of the World Cup favorites.

1. Mohamed Salah, Liverpool —  There is no other answer here, and Harry Kane’s injury essentially gift wraps the Golden Boot to the Egyptian. There was a question as to whether he’d bring his Serie A flourish over to England, and that seems absurd now.

Relegation rivals react to big day at the bottom

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It was another big day at the bottom of the Premier League table.

Crystal Palace moved out of relegation zone with a win at relegation rivals Huddersfield, while Stoke City suffered a damaging defeat at home to Everton in the snow and Bournemouth fought back late on to seal a dramatic win against basement boys West Brom.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings

Below is a look at the contrasting emotions of the relegation rivals after Saturday’s three early games in the Premier League.

West Brom led 1-0 at Bournemouth but Alan Pardew‘s side conceded two late goals from outside the box to lose 2-1 and they’re now 10 points from safety with seven games to go. The Baggies are all but certain of being relegated.

“It is just tough for us, we have had one of those seasons when nothing has gone right for us. The players have worked so hard, it is hard to look them in the eye when they haven’t got anything for it. They are walking out of here injured animals because they didn’t deserve it,” Pardew said. “We are not getting the results and that is the business we are in. I have to take responsibility for that. It is more and more difficult [to stay up] as the games tick by. It is just galling. It was a really committed effort to get something.”

Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace won 2-0 at Huddersfield to move out of of the bottom three as the Eagles ended a run of seven games without a win. Wilfried Zaha‘s return made a big difference and Hodgson believes the away win at Huddersfield was a big moment in their season.

“It is vitally important. All the points teams get down near the bottom are vitally appoint. We have had a difficult run of games and not got any points but to get something here at least puts us back in some sort of equilibrium,” Hodgson said. “I don’t think I have ever had a feeling we are on a slide. We are getting players back to fitness and our squad is looking like what it was when we were getting results.”

Everton moved onto the magic 40-point marker after winning at 10-man Stoke City and Sam Allardyce believes they’re now safe from relegation and he can start planning for next season as Cenk Tosun made it four goals in his last three games.

“Under the circumstances we are extremely pleased. Considering the elements both teams competed with today they’ve given everything – even Stoke after they went down to 10 men,” Allardyce said. “It looked a bit iffy for us again but Cenk popped up with a super goal and that’s why we bought him. It’s paid dividends for us and it puts us on the 40-point mark, and even though mathematically we are not safe I don’t think anyone can catch us now and we can start to prepare for next season.”

Huddersfield boss David Wagner didn’t seem too worried about his team moving just two points above the relegation zone with seven games to go and other teams have games in hand around them.

“Credit to Crystal Palace; they deserved this win. We were below par, particularly with the ball. There’s no doubt about our attitude and effort – we fought – but in ball possession, we were not good enough,” Wagner said. “We were two steps too late today. It’s important how you manage defeats and a disappointment like today. The good thing is that we know what we have done wrong and what we need to put right.”

Stoke City manager Paul Lambert didn’t have any complaints about Charlie Adam being sent off in the first half of their defeat against Everton.

The Potters now have an incredibly tough run of games coming up and time is running out as they second from bottom in the PL table.

“I couldn’t ask more for the effort. We had 10-men for most of the game and got ourselves back into it. It’s a disappointing result but effort, I couldn’t have asked for anymore,” Lambert added.

Stoke City 1-2 Everton: Tosun delivers

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  • Tosun has 4 goals in 3 games
  • Charlie Adam sent off for Stoke in first half
  • Stoke remain in bottom three

Everton beat 10-man Stoke City 2-1 at a snowy bet365 Stadium on Saturday as Cenk Tosun scored twice in the second half to secure just a second away win in 24 Premier League games for the Toffees.

Sam Allardyce‘s side were given a helping hand as Charlie Adam was sent off in the first half but Stoke battled hard and equalized through Erik-Choupo Moting.

Yet the Toffees secured the win to move into ninth place on 40 points, while Stoke stay in 19th on 27 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

The first big chance of the game arrived for Everton as Tom Davies lost Charlie Adam from a set piece but headed Wayne Rooney‘s cross way over.

Stoke reacted well in the snowy conditions after a slow start but then the game was turned in Everton’s favor.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Adam lost the ball and lunged into a tackle on Wayne Rooney which saw him handed a straight red card and deservedly so as he walked straight down the tunnel without complaining.

Stoke recovered well after going down to 10-men and were tough for Everton to break down.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

In the second half Everton took the lead as Tosun was found in the box by Idrissa Gueye‘s cross as Stoke thought they had cleared the danger but Tosun pounced to hammer home. 1-0.

Just when you thought Stoke would collapse, they equalized from a set piece situation. Choupo-Moting finished to send a record home crowd wild and make it 1-1.

Yet a topsy-turvy game took another twist late on as Theo Walcott‘s cross from the right found Tosun and his diving header beat Jack Butland who should have done better. Everton’s fans in the away end were delighted.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Dominic Calvert-Lewin was denied by Butland late on as Stoke tired but the Toffees had to settle for two goals as they took three points back to Merseyside with them.

Klopp “angry” at fixture time switches around UCL matches

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What’s five hours on a match day?

For Jurgen Klopp, the answer is a lot.

[ MORE: Liverpool “not the favorites” vs. City ]

While most were expecting to discuss Liverpool’s draw of Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals — and they got that, too — Klopp used part of his Friday press conference to complain about the shifting of the Premier League kickoff time between the two legs.

Klopp’s Liverpool will now contest the Merseyside Derby in the early match on April 7 instead of April 8, with the Manchester Derby staged five hours later.

Derbies and the UCL
April 4 – Liverpool vs. Manchester City
April 7 – Everton vs. Liverpool — 7:30 a.m. ET
April 7 – Manchester City vs. Manchester United — 12:30 p.m. ET
April 10 – Manchester City vs. Liverpool

This, of course, also gives Liverpool five more hours rest than Man City, but Klopp’s not going to let that get in the way of his narrative.

“I know countries where they cancel whole match days so teams can be in the best shape. We play Wednesday night against Manchester City and then play Everton at 1230 three days later. That’s not too cool but obviously we have to go the hard way, I am used to that.

“We play Wednesday night and then at 1230 means the players get up on Thursday and have lunch or breakfast and then we train and next day we are on second-day recovery and then you start at 1230.

“It is not perfect. We take it like it is but if I cannot be angry about something like that anymore and have to be politically correct and say nothing then I am dead because that doesn’t work.”

Moving the matches is interesting, but would only serve to congest both sides’ schedules at another time, so… Whatever, Jurgen. He’s one of the most colorful characters in the football world, so we’re happy he exists, but if these words were coming out of Jose Mourinho’s mouth the world would be frothing at his attitude.

Keeping in mind that derbies are derbies and both of these are fierce ones, maybe Pep Guardiola should mention that Klopp has to go against Sam Allardyce and Everton in between fixtures while Pep matches wits with Jose Mourinho with (probably) a chance to clinch the Premier League.

Everton hit hard as Sigurdsson out 6-8 weeks

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The knee injury Gylfi Sigurdsson suffered Saturday against Brighton and Hove Albion could cost him the season.

Sigurdsson is out 6-8 weeks, according to the team, and is a huge absence for the side despite his goal and assist numbers not reaching the standard he set at Swansea.

[ UCL: Who is the favorite? ]

The Icelandic 28-year-old midfielder has six goals and five assists for Everton in all competitions since making a $58 million move from Swansea City in the summer. He posted 10 goals and 13 assists in 40 matches for Swans last season.

According to the BBC, Sigurdsson’s brother says it’s a right knee joint injury. Six to eight weeks puts his return between April 21 and May 5.

Everton is a full 10 points clear of the drop zone, but has failed in a bid to claim a Top Seven space that seems there for the taking. Three points back of eighth place Leicester and six behind Burnley, the Sigurdsson injury will cost the Toffees in that bid for a potential European place.