As the 2023/24 Football Season draws to a thrilling close, it’s the perfect moment to look back on the standout transfers that have shaped the game.

And it would be remiss of us not to balance things out by looking at ten of the season’s worst transfers, too.

So we will bring you two lists, one for the best transfers of the season, and another for the worst.

All of which should whet your appetite for the forthcoming European Finals, FA Cup Final and of course Euro 2024 in the summer. And then what will likely be a very busy summer of transfers.

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Let’s start by looking at the ten best transfers of the season, which I have listed in order of the best value deal.

Best Transfers

10 Best Transfers of the 2023/24 Football Season

Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid) – £88.5m

With add-ons, this fee could well eclipse £120m, but given how Bellingham has started his career in Madrid, it still looks like a bargain. The England midfielder has been Real Madrid’s top scorer this season, from a midfield role. He has developed into one of the best all-round midfielders in the world and is still improving. Real fans must be salivating at the prospect of teaming Vinicius Junior with Jude Bellingham and the incoming Kylian Mbappe next season.

Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur to Bayern Munich) – £86m

The England captain bid farewell to Tottenham to move to Germany and a crack at the Bundesliga and Champions League. Unfortunately for Kane, major trophies still eluded him, with Bayern eliminated in the semi-final stage of the Champions League and well beaten to the top spot in the Bundesliga by Bayer Leverkusen. Personally, for Kane, it has been an incredible season with 44 goals in 45 games for FC Hollywood.

Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton & Hove Albion to Liverpool) – £34m

Jurgen Klopp promised to rebuild his midfield this season at Liverpool, and Alexis Mac Allister has been the success story of that. The Argentinean World Cup Winner took a little while to show his quality in a red shirt but has been arguably Liverpool’s best player since December. At just £34 million, the Reds got an absolute bargain from Brighton last summer.

Cole Palmer (Manchester City to Chelsea) – £45m

Speaking of bargains, the £45m Chelsea paid to Manchester City for youngster Cole Palmer was viewed as a bit of a risk. Now, it looks like the bargain of the season. The former City man has been the star attraction at big-spending Chelsea, scoring 24 goals in 42 games and is into double figures for assists too. There is a case for this being the best signing of last summer despite Chelsea’s poor season.

Declan Rice (West Ham to Arsenal) – £105m

Declan Rice was identified early on by Mikel Arteta as the man Arsenal needed to add backbone, dynamism and energy to the midfield. The England man cost a lot of money but has been worth every penny of the fee Arsenal spent on him. Along with Phil Foden and Rodri, he has been one of the most consistently excellent performers in the Premier League this season.

Alex Grimaldo (Benfica to Bayer Leverkusen) – Free

Xabi Alonso snapped up the Spanish left back on a free from Benfica in the summer and he has turned into the best value purchase of the year. He has provided countless assists AND hit double figures for goals for Leverkusen this season. He has been a huge part of their unbeaten campaign and looks a sure-fire certainty to make Spain’s squad for the Euro 2024 championship in the summer.

Ross Barkley (Free Agent to Luton Town) – Free

Luton may swiftly return to the Championship following an exciting but unsuccessful season in the Premier League, but Ross Barkley likely won’t be going with them. The ex-Everton and Chelsea man was thought to be on the scrapheap last summer. Luton took a chance on him by offering him a deal, and Barkley responded with his best Premier League season since he was a youngster at Everton. He will certainly be on his way to a Premier League team this summer.

Dominik Szoboszlai (Red Bull Leipzig to Liverpool) – £54m

Liverpool’s midfield rebuild started with the signing of Szoboszlai from Leipzig, and the Hungarian midfielder proved a shrewd buy. He started the season in superb form, but injury and a loss of form did derail his performances a little in the second half of the campaign. Even so, enough evidence suggests that the £54m Liverpool spent was great value for money.

Josko Gvardiol (Red Bull Leipzig to Manchester City) – £77m

It took Josko Gvardiol a little while to get into the groove at Manchester City, but he has shone in the second half of the season. Of late, he has also weighed in with plenty of goals too, with five in his last seven games. After a slow start, the £77m City paid Leipzig to secure his signature last summer looks like money well spent.

Premier League Matchday 18
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10 Worst Transfers of the 2023/24 Football Season

Sandro Tonali (AC Milan to Newcastle Utd) – £60m

Tonali started very brightly for Newcastle, scoring on his debut. However, his start was derailed by a lengthy suspension due to betting illegally on football matches. A ban from all football has forced the Italian midfielder to attend rehab and miss the vast majority of the season.

Moses Caicedo (Brighton to Chelsea) – £105m

Chelsea snapped up Caicedo under Liverpool’s nose last summer. But it cost the London side a pretty penny to land him, and the Ecuadorian midfielder has only shown glimpses of the effervescent energy he brought to Brighton. There have been better performances lately, but his early season form was woeful and certainly not on par with other players who moved for similar money.

Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea to Real Madrid) – Loan

When Thibaut Courtois suffered a potentially season-ending injury in pre-season, it was obvious Real Madrid would need a keeper. Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga came on loan to save the day. Only he didn’t. He made 19 starts for Real before being usurped by long-term backup Andriy Lunin, and he has spent most of the season warming the Real bench.

Neymar (Paris St. Germain to Al Hilal) – £86.3m

It is a little harsh to rule this as a poor transfer, given that Neymar was injured very early on after his move to Saudi Arabia, but there were already rumours that his antics were starting to wear thin on his teammates and that he wanted a transfer back to Europe, or back to Brazil. Whether those stories were true or not, remains to be seen.

Mason Mount (Chelsea to Manchester United) – £55m

On the face of it, this looked like a solid deal for Manchester United, and Mount started the season in decent form for the Red Devils. However, an injury-hit campaign followed that good start, with Mount never able to fully recover from his injuries to contribute much during the rest of what has been a desperately disappointing campaign for United.

Romeo Lavia (Southampton to Chelsea) – £53m

Chelsea pipped Liverpool once again to the Saints young midfielder last summer. However, after an injury-hit campaign in which Lavia barely featured, Liverpool fans may feel their team dodged a bullet with this transfer. Lavia may come good at Chelsea next season as he still has time on his side.

Christopher Nkunku (Red Bull Leipzig to Chelsea) – £52m

Nkunku isn’t on this list because of poor form, but simply because of his injury record. He started the season injured, returned, was injured again, returned and then was injured yet again. This stop-start season did not help him settle. Nkunku will come good, but he will look back on his debut season with Chelsea as one to forget.

Matheus Nunes (Wolves to Manchester City) – £53m

When Matheus Nunes effectively downed tools at Wolves to force through a move to Manchester City, he got his wish. However, he featured just 28 times this season for City in the league and has yet to score a goal for his new team.

Ryan Gravenberch (Bayern Munich to Liverpool) – £34m

Gravenberch has shown some nice touches and glimpses of his quality at Liverpool, but not nearly enough to suggest he will step in to become a key contributor. A lack of playing time and signing late on in pre-season won’t have helped him settle, but his performances for the Reds this season have been underwhelming.

Jordan Henderson (Liverpool to Al Ettifaq) – Free

Jordan Henderson’s move to join Steven Gerrard at Al Ettifaq was controversial from the start. However, the ex-Liverpool captain couldn’t settle in Saudi Arabia and was allowed to leave the club after barely a few months to join Ajax.