Forget Mount And Rice, Here Are This Transfer Windows' Hidden Gems

A Fox's new start, a legend's son and more
16:00, 05 Jul 2023

Mason Mount to Manchester United. Kai Havertz to Arsenal with Declan Rice about to join him. Dominik Szoboszlai to Liverpool. It’s only the first week of July and already the Premier League has seen some bumper business done. Inevitably though, some deals have flown under the radar. There has been plenty of astute purchases that have been buried under the deluge of news.

The Sportsman has decided to cut through the noise to highlight some of these less-discussed deals. Here are our hidden gems of the summer transfer window so far.


Youri Tielemans - Aston Villa

The midfielder departed Leicester City after the expiry of his contract, quickly signing up with the Villans. While Tielemans didn’t have his best season last term as the Foxes were relegated, he remains a player who has drawn interest from the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United in the past.

It is a testament to the efficiency Unai Emery has brought to Villa Park that this deal was wrapped up so quickly. Leicester’s 2021 FA Cup match-winner is still a player with incredible gifts. One of the division’s finest passers of a football, he can pull the strings as Villa look to compete on several fronts. 

The 1982 European Cup winners return to continental competition this season in the Europa Conference League. Tielemans, a 2022 semi-finalist in that competition with Leicester, will surely relish a return to the European stage.

Justin Kluivert - Bournemouth

Once-touted as one of Europe’s most promising youngsters, there’s a reason Kluivert won the 2017 Sjaak Swart award given to Ajax’s “Talent of the Future”. The son of the ex-Barcelona and Newcastle United legend Patrick, he hasn’t quite hit the heights expected of him. But there’s definitely a player in there, even if his true talent has only been glanced briefly at Roma and on loan at RB Leipzig.

Kluivert was on the brink of a move to Fulham last summer when he failed to secure a work permit. Arriving in the Premier League off a very impressive loan stint at Valencia, at the age of 24 this will be a crucial season for him. Kluivert comes to the Cherries approaching his prime. Now is the time for him to make good on that early promise and make an impact on the big stage.

Michael Obafemi - Burnley

While we are among those outlets who devoted column inches to another piece of Burnley business, less people are talking about the permanent signing of Obafemi from Swansea City. The Dubliner spent the second half of last season on loan at Turf Moor, netting twice in 12 games. Now the deal has been made permanent as Vincent Kompany’s men prepare for Premier League football.

The Republic of Ireland striker burst on the scene at Southampton, becoming the second-youngest debutant in their history aged 17 years and 199 days. In 2020, Obafemi made headlines with an added time goal to rescue a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United.

Still only 22 years old, Obafemi is back in the Premier League after two seasons in the second tier with the Swans. Obafemi joins having helped his side into the top tier. An important part of Kompany’s plans, he will be hoping to learn more from his coach and kick on as he approaches his prime years.

Mads Andersen - Luton Town

We have remarked on how Luton are conducting their business this summer, plundering the leagues below them rather than getting into a financial shootout for the biggest names. Andersen sums up that approach, coming in from League One play-off finalists Barnsley.

An experienced option at centre back, the Dane racked up 167 appearances at Oakwell. The majority of these came in the Championship, so he is used to playing at a higher level than the third tier. The Premier League is obviously a jump in quality all of its own.

Still only 25, this is something of a risk free deal. A cost-effective buy who will thrive in the event of the club’s relegation. But if he can raise his game and draw on his already-vast experience, Andersen could surprise a few and become a vital part of the survival push.

Dejan Kulusevski - Tottenham Hotspur

Why is a player who has played for Spurs for two seasons included here? Well it’s because the Juventus winger has only just made his move to London permanent. A very promising first half-season was followed by a slightly disappointing second. But that was as much down to multiple managers and a failing team than his own talents.

The 23-year-old Swede will come into even sharper focus should Harry Kane complete his rumoured move, possibly to Bayern Munich. The creative wide man will be charged with loading the bullets for whichever marksman fills Kane’s shooting boots.

Kulusevski is likely to be a large part of new manager Ange Postecoglou’s plans, or the club would not have signed off on his permanent transfer. It will be interesting to see if he can emerge as the star he hinted at being in his first campaign at the club.

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