Declan Rice

The 2023/2024 season is in its final stages and most major leagues across Europe have crowned various teams Champions. Although the Spanish league has just one match week left, Real Madrid have already claimed their 36th League title.

Players all over Europe have tried to be in their best form all season, some may have been rather unfortunate with injuries and a lot of other players have had a lot of settling down to do in their new clubs after a busy transfer window last summer. 

Let’s take a quick review of the entire campaign and assess the players who have proven to be the best signings of the season. In Europe’s Top 5 leagues, here are some of the best signings on account of their performances and stats in no particular order.

Declan Rice

The 25-year-old has been astounding in his first season at the Emirates Stadium after a busy transfer window saw him move to Mikel Arteta’s side of London from West Ham. In July 2023, Rice signed for Arsenal on a long-term contract for a reported club-record transfer fee of an initial £100 million, potentially rising by £5 million in add-ons, making him the most expensive English player. 

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The midfielder has since justified his inclusion as he’s been a powerhouse in their midfield replacing Granit Xhaka who left at the beginning of the new campaign. Rice, who has featured in every Premier League game for the Gunners with only one substitute appearance, undoubtedly helped bolster their chances in the title race this season.

The defensive midfielder has made a total of  44 interceptions, 83 tackles and 178 recoveries. He has won 156 duels and 39 aerial battles, making 34 fouls in the process and getting booked only five times.

He has also been alive to his attacking duties providing seven goals with eight assists, his best-ever Premier League return.

Despite his best efforts, he might have to wait until next season before a chance to lift any major silverware with Arsenal following Manchester City’s 3-1 win against West Ham on the final day. 

Cole Palmer

cole palmer

Having joined Chelsea from Manchester City for £40 million, with £2.5 million in add-ons, Palmer has been one of the best signings of the season unarguably. The 22-year-old joined Manchester City at the age of eight and came through the club’s academy but opted to move on in search of regular game time. 

After providing 22 league goals and 11 assists – the most goal contributions in the league – the young midfielder has proven that his decision to leave the Cityzens was the best for him as he has now become one of the most important players at his new club. 

Palmer has been nothing short of fantastic this term and easily blended into the West London club as he became a fan favourite. Throughout the season, the England International put up tremendous performances to help Chelsea return from their ailing form and clinch a spot for European qualification next season.

A fantastic breakthrough campaign saw the young forward pick up numerous awards along the way, including the Premier League Young Player of The Season, Goal of the Month, Player of The Month as well as multiple Man of The Match awards.

Hopefully, Palmer can continue his amazing form in the seasons to come.

Jude Bellingham

The Englishman has made such a colossal impact that makes one forget there were a few eyebrows raised when Real Madrid paid the €103 million transfer fee it cost to sign him from Borussia Dortmund last summer.

The young midfielder has proven critics wrong and shown why his transfer fee and market value are not just hype. Jude Bellingham celebrated his status as one of the hottest properties in European football with goals in his first four UEFA Champions League games for the Spanish side.

Already considered one of the best midfielders in the world despite his young age, he is known for his technical abilities, vision and finishing. He has also thrived in the number 10 and false 9 positions in Carlo Ancelotti’s diamond midfield. In other words, he’s a proper attacking midfielder who has an eye for goal and would easily fit into any top team around the world.

This season, the 20-year-old has already scored 23 goals in all competitions for the Spanish giants and is currently behind only Artem Dovbyk (21) and Alexander Sorloth (23) in the race for the Golden Boot.

Bellingham is already a top nominee for this year’s Ballon d’Or award alongside his teammate, Vinicius Junior after clinching their 36th league title and booking a spot in the Champions League final vs Dortmund.

However, a successful EURO 2024 campaign might just give him an edge over the Brazilian.

Harry Kane

After leaving Tottenham Hotspur in search of silverware during the summer, Kane has enjoyed a sensational debut campaign in Germany on a personal level but he has still failed to lift any trophy with Bayern Munich. 

The striker scored a total of 44 goals and 12 assists in all competitions this season for the Bavarians but would be feeling rather unfortunate to see that his said aim wasn’t reached.

Harry Kane
DORTMUND, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 04: Harry Kane of Bayern Munich celebrates after scoring the team’s fourth goal during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern München at Signal Iduna Park on November 04, 2023 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

For the first time in 11 years, Bayern Munich failed to win the Bundesliga as they were beaten to it by Bayer Leverkusen. The Germans have also crashed out of the Champions League after their 2-1 loss to Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu and they exited the DFB Pokal in the second round against third-tier club Saarbrucken.

Not only have the Bavarians failed to win the league, but they were also unable to finish second in the league after a 4-2 loss away at Hoffenheim on the final day saw them drop to third position, meaning they won’t compete for the German Supercup.

Harry Kane’s wait for a first career trophy goes on following his £100 million move to Germany. If he can replicate his performances in a title-winning effort next term and the team find their usual amazing winning form, maybe the 30-year-old would have luck shine on his side.

Victor Boniface

The Nigerian International who joined Bayer Leverkusen in July from Belgian Club Union Saint-Gilliose for just over €20 million has had top-notch performances all season. The Real Sapphire academy product needed little time to adapt to his new German home, scoring goals for fun in local and continental competitions.

The 23-year-old whose only Bundesliga experience has been with Leverkusen played 23 matches in the league of which he won 18 games. He scored a total of 14 goals and nine assists in their title-winning campaign in which the Xabi Alonso-led side won its first-ever Bundesliga title and did it grand style without losing a match. Die Werkself became the first-ever German side to have an invincible season and although Boniface was injured at some point in the campaign, he was a really integral part of the team’s success.

Whether or not the Nigerian Marksman will remain at the club remains to be seen as bids will certainly be coming in during the transfer window.

All that remains for the 2023/2034 campaign to officially end is the UEFA Competition’s finals at the end of the month and at the beginning of the next. 

Next season promises to be truly exciting and even more competitive as newly promoted teams will try their best to stay in the major leagues and clubs will fight to be crowned champions.

Player movements are highly expected and some big names like Kylian Mbappe are part of this summer’s transfer saga. We’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed and see what this wind of transfers bring.


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