£5m-plus summer transfers you’d forgotten already

Diogo Dalot (Manchester United) – £17m
Called it at the time and calling it now: This feels like an odd signing. Dalot had only played seven senior games for Porto when it emerged that Manchester United had agreed to pay £17m for his services. Given that Jose Mourinho is about to enter a crucial third season where he needs significant silverware to avoid his reputation taking a kicking, spending that sort of money on a 19-year-old seemed remarkably un-Mourinho.

And then came the weirder news, with Mourinho admitting that Dalot had been signed with a knee injury that would keep him out until at least September. That means a young player at a new club in a new country is going to miss the entirety of pre-season and be expected to hit the ground running. It’s a ludicrously tough ask.

There’s no doubt that Dalot is rated highly, mind. “With his potential, character and personality, he can go as far as he wants. I would love to see him as one of the best in the world in a few years’ time,” ex-Porto teammate Miguel Layun said in February, and he knows a thing or two about attacking full-backs. The question is whether Mourinho is around to see the best of Dalot.

David Brooks (Bournemouth) – £12m
You can find ten different examples for the Premier League transfer market being a little sodding ridiculous, but Bournemouth spending £12m on a young Championship player who isn’t even guaranteed to get into their first team is a pretty good one. Brooks was Player of the Tournament at the Toulon tournament for England in 2017 and promptly declared (and played) for Wales, but fell slightly short of expectation at Sheffield United last season. “I’ve come here to play and hopefully I can make an impression in the coming weeks, cement my place within the group and try and get some game time during the season,” said Brooks after becoming the third most expensive signing in Bournemouth’s history. You’d bloody hope so, Dave.

But Brooks is a strange one, an attacking midfielder-cum-forward and Bournemouth’s only summer signing so far in precisely the position in which they are well-equipped. Josh King was brilliant as an attacking central midfielder last season, while Ryan Fraser, Junior Stanislas and Jordon Ibe can all play out wide. Brooks’ task is to force a regular place ahead of those four.

This is also a gamble. Having left Manchester City’s academy in 2014, Brooks has reached the age of 21 having started only nine Football League matches. It may take him time to settle in.

Bernardo (Brighton) – £9m
There are Brighton season ticket holders who have forgotten the names of some of their summer signings. Leon Balogun joined on a free from Mainz, Percy Tau as a striker from Mamelodi Sundowns, David Button from Fulham for £5m, Florin Andone signed for £6m from Deportivo and Yves Bissouma was signed last week for a club-record fee. You’d probably forgotten at least four of those things happened. But Brighton have also signed a Brazilian left-back for £9m who finished second and sixth in the Bundesliga over the last two seasons. Welcome Bernardo, who I had absolutely no idea was now a Premier League player.

Bernardo has been part of the Red Bull network for a few years, starting at RB Brasil in 2014 before moving to Europe to Red Bull Salzburg, where he won the league title. By 2016 he was ready to make the step to RB Leipzig, where he started 36 league games in two seasons. Still only 23, this looks a bloody excellent signing if Bernardo can settle in English football.

Bobby Reid (Cardiff City) – £10m
It has been quite the rise for Bobby Reid, a product of Bristol City’s academy who had scored ten career league goals before the start of last season – only six of those were at Championship level. Then in 2017/18 Reid suddenly found his touch, playing as an auxiliary forward and establishing himself as the third top scorer in the Championship. That led to Cardiff paying £10m for him as early as June 28. The pressure is on Reid to continue that goalscoring run in his first ever top-flight season. Cardiff’s top scorer in their 2017/18 promotion season was Callum Paterson with 10; Neil Warnock needs more firepower if Cardiff are going to have a hope of survival.

Can Reid be the answer? Perhaps (and he can also play as an attacking midfielder if necessary). But it’s a huge ask for a player who has enjoyed a single season of second-tier success. Warnock would be advised to sign another striker just in case.

Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City) – £18m
There have been a number of coups by Premier League clubs already this summer. Liverpool signing Alisson is a fine effort given his reputation, as is Wolves landing Rui Patricio (albeit with some Jorge Mendes-shaped help). If Brighton can get a deal for Iranian Alireza Jahanbakhsh over the line, that would be another.

But nothing rivals Leicester’s signing of Ricardo Pereira, a 24-year-old attacking full-back with some serious pedigree. Pereira started six Champions League games for Porto last season and also started Portugal’s last-16 World Cup tie against Uruguay. Leicester beat off reported interest from Tottenham and Juventus to land their man.

The deciding factor was Claude Puel, somehow still Leicester manager despite seemingly being on the verge of leaving for almost the entirety of his spell. Pereira was loaned out to Nice by Porto for two seasons earlier in his career, where he played under Puel. Conclusion No. 1: He’s an upgrade on Danny Simpson.

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