Premier League clubs smashed the summer spending record for a sixth consecutive year after splashing out £1.4billion during the months of July and August.

The incredible amount was boosted by the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United, who all spent heavily on marquee signings.

Alexandre Lacazette, Alvaro Morata and Romelu Lukaku collectively cost in surplus of £180million to three of the Premier League’s leading clubs.

All three have enjoyed mixed seasons with their respective clubs and have earned both criticism and praise for their performances to-date.

But who has proven to be the most successful signing out of Lacazette, Morata and Lukaku?

Here talkSPORT gather the evidence and attempt to definitively answer the question on whether Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United bought duds or studs. 

Value for money

Arsenal secured the services of Lacazette from Lyon for a reported £53million fee. The French international was brought in with the hope he could become the leading striker the Gunners have craved since the departure of Robin van Persie.

The 26-year-old has steadily impressed during his first season in the Premier League and has contributed eight goals and four assists for the north Londoners in domestic action. Statistically, Arsenal have paid £4.4million for each goal that Lacazette has either scored himself or created for his teammates.

Chelsea knew they had to land a big name striker given Diego Costa’s irreparable relationship with boss Antonio Conte. And while many expected Lukaku to return to Stamford Bridge, the Blues opted to purchase Real Madrid’s Morata for £58million.

The Spaniard flourished immediately in west London by scoring three goals in his opening four games and appeared to be a perfect fit for the Premier League. Statistically, Chelsea have paid £4.1m for each goal that Morata has either scored himself or created for his teammates.

Manchester United shocked the football world when they called off their summer-long pursuit of Morata to snatch Lukaku away from the clutches of title rivals Chelsea. Jose Mourinho was reunited with the striker he deemed surplus to requirements when he was manager at Stamford Bridge.

Lukaku enjoyed a dream start to life with the Red Devils as he bagged seven goals in his opening seven league games. Statistically, United have paid £5.4m for each goal that Lukaku has scored himself or created for his teammates. 

Importance to team

Lacazette is undoubtedly an integral part of Arsene Wenger’s side and is amongst a collection of five Gunners players who have played the most domestic minutes this season.

Olivier Giroud has largely had to accept a place on the substitute’s bench as he has watched his international teammate earn consistent starts. Lacazette’s pace and fluid link play compliments the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil perfectly, and brings a level of incisive attacking play that Giroud simply can’t offer.

Filling the boots of the departed Diego Costa was always going to be difficult and it is fair to say Morata has yet to convince everyone he can fully flourish in the Premier League.

Morata possesses a number of attributes that have caused opposition defences plenty of issues this season. But the 25-year-old has looked short on confidence of late after a barren spell in front of goal, and appears to be finding it hard to shake off his critics.

Lukaku is arguably the most important player to his team out of this selection. Mourinho’s style of play at Old Trafford relies upon a target man, such as Lukaku, and the aging Zlatan Ibrahimovic appears to no longer represent a viable alternative to the Belgian.

However, Lukaku has endured a barren spell of his own in front of goal this season. The £75m man endured a rough patch when he managed a solitary goal across nine league games. 

Long-term future

Lacazette signed a five-year deal when he joined in the summer and would expect to stay for the duration of his contract in north London.

Arsenal are in a rebuilding process having missed out on Champions League football for the first time in 20 years last season. Lacazette’s arrival was something of a coup for the Gunners and are likely to envisage the 26-year-old playing a key part in their bid to challenge for the biggest trophies, once again.

Morata was enticed to Stamford Bridge by his former manager Conte, who worked with the Spanish striker during their time together at Juventus.

The 25-year-old worryingly gave an interview declaring his intentions of moving back to Italy or Spain in the coming years, which he later insisted was mistranslated. Conte’s uncertain future at the club will leave Morata feeling uneasy and he may push for an early exit if the Blues’ next boss is not to his liking.

Lukaku would appear to have the greatest expected longevity to perform at the highest level in the Premier League.

The Belgian’s scoring record in English football’s top-flight is something to be admired, having scored 95 times in 207 appearances with four different teams collectively. Lukaku, 24, also has time on his side and would expect to play a key role with or without the presence of Jose Mourinho.


Manchester United spent significantly more than Arsenal and Chelsea in their quest to find the perfect striker in the summer transfer window.

All three players have similar returns in terms of goals and assists, but it is the importance and longevity of Romelu Lukaku to his team, which leads us to believe he will continue to be the best signing.