Yet another season of the English Premier League is here and there is a rather interesting twist this time around. The summer transfer window is now officially shut for English clubs with the August 9 deadline now behind us.
While newly promoted sides like Fulham and Wolves made some headline worthy moves this summer, traditional powerhouses like Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea have also strengthened considerably and look well prepared for the new season ahead. Others like Manchester United and Tottenham have left their supporters asking for more but will certainly be forces to reckon with.
Here, we list down the top five among all the Premier League new signings made this summer:
1. Naby Keita (RB Leipzig to Liverpool)
While the deal to bring in Naby Keita was signed last summer, Liverpool fans will finally be able to watch an all-action midfielder at Anfield this season. The Reds have shelled out a whopping £52.75 million to sign the 23-year-old Guinea captain and will expect him to form a power-packed midfield trio alongside Jordan Henderson and fellow new signing Fabinho.
Keita has been one of the best players in the Bundesliga over the last two seasons, while playing for an impressive RB Leipzig side. The 23-year-old perfectly fits the bill for a combative box to box midfielder, as he is excellent both defensively and on the attack. His ability to tackle and intercept the ball will be especially useful for Liverpool as teams try to beat their counter-pressing approach.
For Liverpool to excel this season, Keita will need to hit the ground running and for a player who grew up playing matches while dodging cars on the streets of Conakry, the rough-and-tumble of the Premier League is unlikely to be intimidating.
2. Jorginho (Napoli to Chelsea)
Jorginho has followed coach Maurizio Sarri from Napoli to Chelsea this summer and the duo would be hoping to reprise what they did in the Serie A last season as they mounted the first serious title challenge to Juventus in almost half a decade. The 26-year-old, who was born in Brazil but has since gone on to represent Italy at the international level, plays as a deep lying midfielder and is an excellent passer of the ball with an equally impressive vision.
Napoli’s ‘Sarriball’ style of play was lauded and recognized across the globe last year and the 26-year-old dynamo was at the heart of it. While almost every other player in that Napoli system were replaceable, one that was not was Jorginho. Given the fact that Sarri is a manager who likes to play a very specific system and style of play, Jorginho will have a big role to play if Chelsea are to mount a serious title challenge and return to Champions League places this term.
Arguably, Chelsea already have the world’s best defensive midfielder in N’Golo Kante and in Jorginho, they have acquired a passing maestro who can help redistribute the play and help break down teams with through balls. A job which Cesc Fabregas carried out with aplomb in his peak.
3. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City to Manchester City)
The architect of Leicester City’s fairy-tale title win two years ago, Riyad Mahrez finally sealed his dream move to Pep Guardiola‘s Manchester City in a club record £60 million deal that could well rise to £75 million with add-ons and other clauses. While City haven’t made too much noise this summer, securing Mahrez will ensure that their impressive juggernaut will now look even more menacing.
The Algerian has been one of the better players in the Premier League ever since he arrived on English shores but his personal best came in the 2015/16 season, where he contributed 17 goals and 11 assists to become the first ever African star to win the PFA Player of the Year award.
At City, Mahrez will have to tussle it out with the likes of Raheem Sterling to make it to the first 11. But Guardiola will know that when he does call upon the 27-year old, he will be sending out a player who has the ability to influence or change the course of a game on his own accord.
4. Alisson Becker (AS Roma to Liverpool)
While Chelsea’s £71.6 million splurge to sign Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao gives him the tag of being the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, it is Liverpool’s capture of Alisson from AS Roma for an equally staggering fee of £66.9 million which deserves a place in this list.
The club’s supporters have had to bear the pain of watching highly mediocre goalkeepers manning their goal for a long time but can finally take a deep sigh of relief knowing that they will now have a reliable head between the sticks this season. Alisson’s price tag is indeed a bit questionable but makes sense given the fact that both Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius have cost Liverpool plenty of points and games, including the big Champions League final in May.
5. Jean Michel Seri (Nice to Fulham)
After some eye-catching performances for Nice in Ligue 1, Jean Michel Seri attracted significant interest from the likes of Barcelona but ended up staying in France after the end of 2016/17 campaign. This summer, he caused quite a stir by agreeing to move to Premier League newcomers Fulham who shelled out a club-record fee for his services.
Despite a slightly underwhelming 2017/18 season for Nice, Fulham’s capture of Seri can be described as a massive coup for a club which is making its come back to the big league after a gap of four long years. With the Ivorian as their midfield anchor, the Cottagers and their manager Slavisa Jokanovic will certainly have high hopes for the upcoming season.
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