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The best and worst transfers of the summer window so far

We're roughly halfway through the 2023 summer transfer window with Europe's top five leagues all having to conclude their business by 11 p.m. GMT on Friday, September 1. Declan Rice has already become the most expensive English player ever after his $130 million switch from West Ham to Arsenal, and Jude Bellingham's $115 million transfer from Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid is the window's other piece of gargantuan business.

There's still plenty to come, culminating in Fabrizio Romano upping his daily cellphone screen time from 18 hours to 24 hours on deadline day, but we're going to select our early best and worst transfers 2023 based off nothing more than a good gut feeling.

Best and worst transfers summer window 2023 

Connor Fleming  

Best transfer: Kim Min-jae to Bayern Munich for $56 million

Why? It's probably a pretty trendy pick to label Bayern Munich as your Champions League favorite after their 27-0 preseason victory on Tuesday, but all of Europe should be concerned about their new defensive pairing of Matthijs de Ligt and Kim Min-jae. Kim was named Serie A's Best Defender last season during Napoli's march to the title, and he'll also add a new element to the attack with his ability to hit incisive long balls to Bayern's dangerous wide men.   

Worst transfer: Mason Mount to Manchester United for $72 million

Why? Everyone knows about the struggles every Chelsea attacker experienced last season, but only Kai Havertz and Raheem Sterling were handed more opportunities to turn it around than Mount. He cast aside his image as Frank Lampard's preferred child by excelling under Thomas Tuchel, but I don't think he's going to elevate Manchester United into the kind of team that mounts a genuine title challenge. Am I just being spiteful because he got so many more looks than Christian Pulisic? Maybe. 

David Moore

Best transfer: Christopher Nkunku to Chelsea for $67 million

Why? Everyone forgets about this transfer due to it being agreed and completed last year. Nkunku is a top player who will reignite Chelsea's attack and was kind of a steal for just $67 million. I'm shocked Chelsea didn't throw $80-$100 million at Leipzig. This, for me, is a player who will have the greatest impact at the best price. 

Worst transfer: Mason Mount to Manchester United for $72 million 

Why? Would you be thrilled if your club spent over $70 million on a player that scored three goals in 35 appearances last season? During the 2022-23 campaign, Mount averaged a goal every 729 minutes. Perhaps Erik ten Hag can bring out the best in Mount, but on paper this looks like the worst transfer of the summer. 

Luis Vidal

Best transfer: Jude Bellingham to Real Madrid for $115 million 

Why? Luka Modrić and Toni Kroos are getting old. Real Madrid knows it, and they've been adding pieces to their midfield in the hopes of continuing to dominate Europe. The previous arrivals of Eduardo Camavinga and Aurélien Tchouaméni are a testament to that goal. What can Bellingham add to the mix? The 20-year-old Englishman has the charisma and backbone that the French players seem to lack on the field. He inspires class and has the potential to be a generational star for Los Merengues.

Worst transfer: Kai Havertz to Arsenal for $84 million 

Why? Sure, Havertz is skillful, but soccer is not only about skills. I don't see the necessary grit to become an elite player, and the $84 million paid by Arsenal is for sure an exaggeration of his real value.

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