The Premier League returns in three weeks’ time with some new protagonists to keep an eye on.
A shortened transfer window means teams have been busier than normal at this stage of the summer and it is not just the big clubs who have made eye-catching signings.
Here Football Paradise runs the rule over five of the most high-profile new arrivals.
The mascot is not the only ‘Fred the Red’ at Old Trafford anymore after Manchester United bolstered their central-midfield department with a Brazilian international from Shakhtar Donetsk. Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic were signed by Jose Mourinho in the previous two summers and Fred may hold the key to consistently getting the best out of the World Cup-winning Frenchman. Mourinho requires steel, energy and tactical nous from his midfielders and United will need Fred to fit the bill if they are to mount a title challenge.
Chelsea turned to Napoli for both their new manager – Maurizio Sarri – and their star summer signing – Jorginho. The latter was strongly linked with champions Manchester City but he will feature in the Premier League wearing a darker shade of blue. The Italy international is already well versed in Sarri’s system and will be key to implementing his tactics in London. With N’Golo Kante also in the engine room, Chelsea will hope they can once more build a midfield capable of winning a title.
West Ham have been one of the busiest clubs in this summer’s window after appointing former Premier League title winner Manuel Pellegrini to their managerial post. Jack Wilshere’s move from Arsenal is intriguing and Ukraine international Andriy Yarmolenko has the potential to light up the division, but Brazilian Anderson is their new club-record signing from Lazio. The Hammers have pulled off major coups in signing South Americans previously – see Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano – and it will be fascinating to see how Anderson gets on in the capital.
Having been linked with Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, it was somewhat of a surprise to see play-off winners Fulham land 26-year-old Ivory Coast international Seri from Nice. The Cottagers announced the signing with a graphic which read ‘Serious’ and, given those rumoured to be interested, the midfielder’s acquisition must be seen as a statement of intent.
Fulham were not the only promoted club to make a signing that made the rest of the Premier League take notice as Wolves swooped for Portugal international Patricio. The goalkeeper, his country’s first-choice stopper at the 2018 World Cup, was part of the Euro 2016-winning team and has over 70 international caps. Few expect Wolves to struggle with the step up given their dominance last term and the finances behind them. With Patricio now on board, maybe qualifying for Europe is not even beyond the realms of possibility.