The 2022/23 season has come to an end. Man City are once again champions, Arsenal, Man Utd, and Newcastle will be playing Champions League Football next season, and it is the Championship for Leicester, Leeds, and Southampton.
With Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne in top form, it is no surprise to see City register their third League win in a row, but away from the so-called big five teams, there are a few clubs that have performed far better than expected.
There has also been a plethora of players from the less fancied teams that have shown themselves to be Premier League class. Some of the signings that were made last summer raised plenty of eyebrows at the time, but below are three players that have proved to be bargain buys for their new clubs.
Once considered to be the future between the sticks for Arsenal, he has had a brilliant season since joining Fulham for just £8 million. Fulham may be considered as complete outsiders at 500/1 in a popular football betting site to win the league next season, but with Leno having shored up a leaky defense, some improvements further up the field could see them cause some surprises along the way.
Leno moved to Arsenal for over £20 million back in 2018, and despite playing over 100 games for The Gunners, he was relegated to second-choice ‘keeper after the arrival of Aaron Ramsdale. Fulham, who had just been promoted back to the Premier League, were quick to take advantage of his experience, and they have been rewarded with some top performances from the German, including eight clean sheets.
At the age of 33, the opinion was that Ben Mee’s best years were behind him. That proved to be wrong, however, as the veteran defender rolled back the years with some epic defensive play for Brentford in their surprisingly successful season, having joined on a free transfer from Burnley.
Mee played a total of 36 games for his new club across the season and even registered three goals, all of which came at an important time for his team. It was at the other end of the pitch that Mee excelled, however, using all of his experience to block, tackle, and clear the ball, many times as Brentford finished in an impressive 9th position.
💪 Ben Mee has won more aerial duels (132) than any other Premier League player this season pic.twitter.com/k6RiqeFwJY— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 30, 2023
It may seem unusual that two goalkeepers feature here, but Nick Pope’s £12 million move from Burnley to Newcastle has to be considered one of the best bits of business done in the transfer window.
Pope has played a huge part in Newcastle’s return to the upper echelons of the Premier League season, with the England international having registered 14 clean sheets in total, helping his team qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 20 years.
Season review: Nick Pope 10/10— Magpie 24/7 (@Magpie24_7) May 29, 2023
What a brilliant season Nick Pope has had. For 10 million pounds. An absolute steal for us. Brilliant at passing out from the back. Made some excellent saves aswell. Definitely one of the signings of the season in the entire league. Fantastic… pic.twitter.com/NPQvi1sjyP
The three players above are just some of the signings from the bargain basement that have had impressive seasons. In an era where ridiculous transfer fees are being banded about, it goes to show that you don’t always need to break the bank to be successful.