After a two-and-a-half month break, the Premier League returns to our screens this weekend.
There is little more exciting than the beginning of a new season. After a summer of transfer business, no one really knows what to expect from any team.
Being the richest domestic league in the world, it’s no surprise that the Premier League often dominates the spending charts. This summer has been no exception, with the 20 clubs racking up a bill of over £1 billion.
Here are five new signings to watch this season.
Joining for a cost of over £100 million, Declan Rice comes to Arsenal as the club’s record signing. He’s undoubtedly a capable player, but the price tag raised more than a few eyebrows.
As a ball-winner, Rice is one of the best around. Last season, he was among the highest in the league for tackles and interceptions. But will this be enough to justify his enormous fee? Or will he need to add more strings to his bow?
Only time will tell whether he is worth the fee, but there are few players under more pressure than the Englishman. All eyes will be on him to see if he can deliver.
Last year, Manchester United weren’t far off a complete team. They had a solid backline, strong central midfielders, and productive output from Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes. The main thing missing was a top-level striker.
Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen proved too expensive, so the Red Devils turned to Atalanta’s Rasmus Hojlund. The Dane is the youngest and cheapest of the three, but also the least proven.
Hojlund has been brought in as a long-term option – it’s not the end of the world if he doesn’t hit the ground running. But that won’t stop the critics if he makes a slow start.
After years of neglect, Liverpool’s midfield is finally getting a revamp. Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have all departed, making way for a collection of youngsters and new signings.
The standout from their new-look midfield is Hungarian playmaker Dominik Szoboszlai. He comes in from RB Leipzig for an estimated £60m fee – the club’s third-most costly signing ever.
Jurgen Klopp has often favoured industrious midfielders over mavericks. Szoboszlai very much fits into the second category. With stellar talent and a rocket of a right foot, he should be fun to watch.
The appointment of Unai Emery at Aston Villa brought about an incredible upturn in form.
Since his appointment at Villa Park, only four sides have picked up more Premier League points. Now they enter the new season in high spirits, off the back of qualifying for Europe.
This summer, the Midlands outfit have given us plenty of reason to believe they can be competitive again. They have brought in three highly-rated new players without losing anyone of major significance.
The most exciting of the new arrivals is winger Moussa Diaby. The France international recorded 22 goals and 20 assists in his last two Bundesliga seasons with Bayer Leverkusen. And, at just 24, there could be plenty more to come.
Brighton and Hove Albion arguably their greatest-ever campaign last term. They achieved a club-record sixth-placed finish and qualified for Europe for the first time in their history.
This has given them a fair bit of extra money to play with, and they’ve opened their wallets for Watford star Joao Pedro. The Brazilian has set the Seagulls back £30m, making him the club’s record transfer.
The 21-year-old still has a long way to go to prove himself at the top level. But Brighton’s recent track record in the market is exceptional – we can have faith that he will deliver.
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