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.

[ MORE: Alonso, Pedro have Morata’s back ]

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.

Four uncapped players named in Southgate’s England squad

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Gareth Southgate has decided to take a look at some up and coming names in his final training camp with friendlies before the 2018 World Cup.

Burnley pair James Tarkowski and Nick Pope, Swansea City’s Alfie Mawson and Bournemouth’s Lewis Cook were all named on Thursday to Gareth Southgate’s 27-man squad set to meet up at St. George’s Park next week. England visits the Amsterdam Arena to face the Netherlands on March 23 before returning home to Wembley Stadium to take on Italy on March 27. Perhaps coincidentally, though both historical powers, neither the Netherlands or Italy will be at the 2018 World Cup, making these interesting games from a preparation approach.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

There have been plenty of calls for Southgate to give the likes of Mawson, Pope and Tarkowski a look, while Lewis Cook has excelled with Bournemouth this season and looks to make the jump after appearing numerous times for the Three Lions at youth level.

There are plenty of veterans in this squad as well. West Ham’s Joe Hart, coming off a rough performance at club level, earned a call-up, and the likes of Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson, Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere have more than 30 caps each to their name.

Coming off a two-goal performance in the Premier League for Manchester United, Marcus Rashford makes the squad as a forward along with Danny Welbeck and Jamie Vardy.

Notable absences include the injured Harry Kane, Gary Cahill, Chris Smalling and Jermain Defoe, as Southgate looks to test his fringe players on who will make the plane to Russia.

PL roundup: Man Utd best Liverpool; Newcastle safe?

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Get caught up on all seven Premier League fixtures from Saturday…

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Manchester United 2-1 LiverpoolFULL RECAP

It wasn’t pretty — is it ever with Jose Mourinho? — but Man United rode a pair of early Marcus Rashford goals to all three points and reclamation of the steering wheel in the race for second place. Rashford scored after 14 and 24 minutes, at which point United gladly handed over the vast majority of possession (Liverpool finished with 68 percent, at Old Trafford), but the Red Devils held firm outside of Eric Bailly‘s own goal in the 66th minute. With eight games still to play, United lead Liverpool by five points (Tottenham Hotspur could get back to within four with a win on Sunday).

Chelsea 2-1 Crystal PalaceFULL RECAP

Antonio Conte‘s Chelsea snapped a two-game losing skid with a narrow home victory over Crystal Palace, courtesy of a slow roller from Willian and a Martin Kelly own goal inside the first 32 minutes at Stamford Bridge. Patrick Van Aanholt brought the visitors back to 2-1 in the 90th minute, the Blues held on to win for just the second time in six PL outings. They trail Tottenham by two points, having already played one more game than Spurs.

West Ham United 0-3 BurnleyFULL RECAP

West Ham’s season has gone from bad, to worse, to this has to be the worst it can get, right? Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat to seventh-place Burnley saw the London Stadium devolve into a set of truly ugly scenes, as fan violence and protests became the main storyline. Chris Wood scored twice in the second half, to go with another goal from Ashley Barnes, all in the span of 15 second-half minutes.

Newcastle United 3-0 SouthamptonFULL RECAP

Back in August — and September, and October, and probably November, too — Newcastle United seemed a surefire lock for relegation from the PL. Fast-forward to early March, and Rafa Benitez has somehow — masterfully — managed to guide the Magpies to 13th place in the league table, a full five points clear of 18th place. Southampton, on the other hand, are just one place and one point clear of the drop zone after a brace from Kenedy and a third from Matt Ritchie dropped Saints to four games without a win on Saturday.

West Bromwich Albion 1-4 Leicester CityFULL RECAP

West Brom aren’t likely to realize the same rescue from relegation that Newcastle have enjoyed, as Alan Pardew‘s side currently sits bottom of the league, eight points away from safety, after another humiliating defeat at home, this time to eighth-place Leicester. Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, Kelechi Iheanacho and Vicente Iborra got the goals after Salomon Rondon had put the Baggies 1-0 up after eight minutes.

Everton 2-0 Brighton & Hove AlbionFULL RECAP

Speaking of sides who managed to rebound after a torrid start to the season, Everton have reclaimed their (apparent) birthright as a top-half side following Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Brighton. Gaetan Bong put the Seagulls behind with an own goal on the hour mark, followed by an insurance goal for the Toffees courtesy of Cenk Tosun.

Huddersfield Town 0-0 Swansea CityFULL RECAP

15th-place Huddersfield and 14th-place Swansea played to perhaps the most lopsided 0-0 draw in the history of soccer after Jordan Ayew was sent off in the 11th minute.

Sunday’s PL schedule

Arsenal vs. Watford — 9:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com
Bournemouth vs. Tottenham Hotspur — 12 p.m. ET, on NBCSports.com

Monday’s PL schedule

Stoke City vs. Manchester City — 4 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

VIDEO: Fan violence, protests engulfs West Ham defeat

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Ugly scenes played out at the London Stadium on Saturday as West Ham United lost to Burnley 3-0 in the Premier League and are now just three points above the bottom three.

Home fans had planned a huge protest ahead of the game but most of the supporters’ groups called that off with reports stating the club had been negotiating with them during the week.

Yet when West Ham went 2-0 down early in the second half to Burnley, all hell broke loose.

Fans ran on the pitch, picked up the corner flag and one put it down in the middle of the pitch, while many supporters left their seats in order to protest against the ownership of the club under co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan.

The owners left the directors box as fans gathered nearby towards the end of the game as Burnley’s players brought young West Ham fans onto their bench to get them away from the awful scenes erupting around them.

Speaking after the game West Ham captain Mark Noble, who tried to push supporters off the pitch as the local lad remonstrated with them to stop, was brutally honest about the Hammers’ current plight.

“It’s well known fans haven’t been happy for a long time. The only way to squash that is to win games,” Noble said. “We should have been two up in the first half and as soon as we conceded, the atmosphere changed. The fans’ feelings took over. I’m a human being. I know I’m out on the pitch, under scrutiny, but if someone approaches me I will protect myself. So will a lot of other players. The crowd weren’t happy. No matter what happened today, it seemed they were planning something anyway.

“I wouldn’t say I felt in danger, but you never know in this world. I’m a West Ham fan and I’ve always protected the club. If someone approaches me, I’ll protect myself. It’s been like this for the past two seasons, since we moved to this stadium. Every time we lose we and the board get a lot of stick. It seemed today that the fans had had enough. They wanted to show their emotion. When fans come to the game with the hump, they know how to show their emotions.

“The atmosphere was horrible. We know a lot of it isn’t aimed at the players, but we have to be man enough to play in that atmosphere. I’m really hoping the fans have got it off their chest. They are a true, honest and passionate bunch of people. I’m hoping that they have had their outburst, because all that matters is staying in the Premier League. if they can help us get over the line, maybe we can sort it out in the summer.”

Noble’s manager, David Moyes, said he “wants the supporters behind us” and said the Hammers played well despite losing 3-0. This was West Ham’s third-straight PL defeat and their fourth in their last five outings.

“We want the supporters behind us, since I’ve been here they’ve been really good. But you can’t cross the line and come on the pitch. A lot of my players did well with the way they acted,” Moyes added.

The club has since issued a statement on the situation, saying the following.

Burnley’s striker Chris Wood, who came off the bench to add an assist and grab two goals in the final 30 minutes, had this to say when asked about the situation.

“What was going through my mind? Hopefully they wouldn’t stop the game. It’s a tough situation, I can sympathize with the fans,” Wood said. “They just want to see their team win. It’s tough for them at the moment but they need to stick with the players. You don’t want that to happen on the pitch, it creates problems and safety issues. We were fine, they were just voicing their frustration.”

No matter how bad the situation is off the pitch, there is simply no place for scenes like this in the photos below or the video above.

West Ham 0-3 Burnley: Ugly scenes as Hammers lose again

  • Fan violence, protests breaks out in second half among home supporters
  • Burnley’s first league win at West Ham since 1973
  • David Moyes has never beaten Sean Dyche in five meetings

West Ham United lost 3-0 at home to Burnley on Saturday as the Hammers’ awful season took another dramatic nosedive with their third-straight defeat.

After widespread fan protests were called off before the game, things were okay up until Burnley scored twice around the hour mark. Ashley Barnes scored the first and Chris Wood, who jumped off the bench to set up Barnes’ goal, scored two more to send the London Stadium into meltdown.

Fans ran on the pitch and supporters protested against co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan, as they left the directors box for a safer setting.

With the win Burnley remain in seventh and are just two points behind Arsenal who occupy sixth.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

The atmosphere was rather subdued in the first half as West Ham had more of the ball and the better chances but couldn’t break through against a stubborn Burnley outfit.

Marko Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini went close but were off target.

Late in the first half West Ham piled on the pressure but Nick Pope dealt with several corners comfortably as it ended goalless in the first 45 minutes.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

In the second half it all went very wrong, very quickly for the Hammers, in more ways than one.

Chris Wood jumped off the bench with 30 minutes and had a big impact as he teed up Barnes who smashed home the opener to put Burnley 1-0 up. That opening goal sparked violent scenes among the home fans as two supporters ran onto the pitch and Mark Noble get involved to try and stop them.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Moments later it was 2-0 to Burnley as Johann Berg Gudmondsson poked the ball across the area for Aaron Lennon to cross and Wood was there to tap home. A goal and an assist from Wood in a matter of a few minutes as West Ham’s fans continued their protests.

Nasty scenes played out late on at the London Stadium as the supporters vented their anger towards the board and owners, and things got worse as Wood scored another to make it 3-0 following a howler from Joe Hart.

With the defeat the Hammers are just three points above the drop zone and Moyes has yet another disastrous situation to manage.