Now that the transfer window has closed and the Premier League season has started, here’s a look at 12 new signings that fans should look out for this season.
Naby Keita arrived at Liverpool for around £55 million with a growing reputation from his time in Germany. He was RB Leipzig’s star player over the last two seasons and led them to second place in the Bundesliga in the 2016-2017 season. He has played three games for Liverpool so far and has looked the real deal. Passing, Dribbling, Close Control, Vision, Energy, he has it all. Keep an eye out for him as he has all the attributes to be the Premier League Player of the Year this season.
Lucas Torreira joined Arsenal from Italian side Sampdoria for a fee in the region of £26 million. The Uruguayan international is a tough-tackling central midfield player, with excellent positioning as well as being an astute passer of the ball. He has only shown glimpses of his ability in three substitute appearances so far. But as the season goes on expect to see him get better and better. He will be Arsenal’s Player of the Year. You heard it here first.
Max Meyer was once the golden boy of German football when he made his debut as a 17-year-old for Schake. But after an impressive start to his career, his development has somewhat stalled over the past 2-3 years with other starlets to come out of Schake’s academy such as Thilo Kehrer, Leroy Sane and Leon Goretzka outshining him and earning big moves to European giants PSG, Manchester City and Bayern Munich respectively. However, in moving on a free transfer to Crystal Palace, who have an underrated squad with star quality in Wilfried Zaha, he can prove why he was so highly-rated in Germany as a teenager.
Kepa joined Chelsea for a world record transfer fee for a goalkeeper of £72 million. This places huge pressure on a player who was only Athletic Bilbao’s number 1 for two years. But Chelsea signed him for a reason. He is a very talented goalkeeper who is a great shot stopper and is good with his feet – which is crucial for any top goalkeeper playing at the highest level.. It will be very interesting to see whether he can cope with the pressure and expectation this transfer fee places upon him. Will he be the next David De Gea or the next Manuel Almunia? By the end of this season, we will find out.
Jean Michael Seri
Jean Michael Seri, was linked with every top club over the past three seasons from Barcelona to Arsenal. So it was very surprising when Fulham announced his signing for around £25 million. He excelled at Nice becoming their key player and was known in France for being a great passer from his deep-lying midfield role. For Fulham for them to do well this season, he will have to adapt quickly to the Premier League and bring his passing ability with him. He really could be a star for Fulham but if they struggle this season, there will be no shortage of headlines saying he’s a flop. Let’s see what happens.
Jefferson Lerma, proved his credentials during a solid World Cup for Colombia. He had been playing well for Spanish side Levante for three years prior to his £25 million club-record transfer to Bournemouth. A defensive midfielder by trade, his style of play is not too dissimilar to Lucas Torreira. He is an aggressive midfield workaholic who can get around the pitch and win the ball effectively. Bournemouth will be expecting a lot from him this season and his style does suit the Premier League perfectly. But Bournemouth like to play possession football which he is not used to. So we will see whether he can fit into their team or whether he would have been better moving to a more defensive-minded Premier League outfit.
Fred sparkled for Ukrainian side Shahktar Donetsk after he was moved from a wide position to a central deep-lying playmaker role, two seasons ago. His performances last season convinced Manchester United to splash out £52 million on him. In theory, he should fit in seamlessly at United. He has great passing ability, wonderful technique, is a capable tackler and has energy to burn. But in his two performances so far he has struggled badly, particularly in the defeat last weekend at Brighton. So will he adjust to United’s playing style and the Premier League or will he be yet another South American flop at United following on from Radamel Falcao, Angel Di Maria, Diego Forlan, Anderson and Kleberson? Who knows?
Yerry Mina is what many English pundits would describe as typical English centre-back. He is very tall standing at around 6ft5, dominant in aerial duels, aggressive in his tackling and is effective as a penalty box defender. This is why Everton splashed out £28 million to acquire his services from Barcelona. He should be a very good signing for Everton because his attributes are well suited to Premier League football. There is little chance he will be a dud instead its likely he will be Everton’s best defender. As the season progresses we will see if this is the case.
Ricardo Pereira joined Leicester for a fee of £25 million from Portuguese giants Porto after impressing last season for Porto and before that on loan at French side Nice for two years. The right-back has already represented Portugal at international level and was part of their World Cup squad. He developed a name for himself as a box-to-box full-back that is adept both defensively and offensively. It remains to be seen whether he can translate the form he showed in France and Portugal in the Premier League. If he does a move to one of the top 6 Premier League sides is inevitable.
Mohamed Elyounoussi caught the eye for former club Basel last season in the Champions League. His performances in the Champions League persuaded Southampton to fork out £17 million for him this summer. Elyounoussi is a fascinating young player. He is an attacking midfielder who can create and score goals. He has impressive stats in both departments, contributing double figures in both over the last three seasons for Basel. If his form for Basel is anything to go by Southampton could have a great player on their hands. His performances this season will tell us whether those stats were because of his ability or because the standard of opposition was lower. We will find out soon enough.
Issa Diop joined West Ham for around £21 million from French side Toulouse. Such was his impact on the pitch as well as his leadership and presence in the Toulouse changing room he was made captain at 20 years old. West Ham will be hoping that he can have a similar impact too. It’s too early to know whether he will be a success at West Ham as he is still young, only 21, especially for a centre-back. The performances he puts in this season will give us an indication if he has the ability to make the step up from being a good Ligue 1 defender with bundles of potential to a great Premier League defender.
Adama Traore will be known to most Premier League followers, as he played for both Middlesbrough and Aston Villa in the Premier League. He has always been electric when he gets the ball – one of the best dribblers you’ll ever see. But his excellent performances in the Championship with Middlesbrough last season saw him improve markedly in terms of his passing, finishing and most importantly his decision-making. At £18 million Wolves have grabbed themselves a bargain and considering he is still only 22 years old, he could develop into one of the world’s best wingers. If he plays anywhere near his potential this season, and the signs are good with two great cameos against Everton and Manchester City, he will be the most exciting player to watch in the Premier League. Mark my words.