Five Premier League new boys to watch out for this season
There has been an influx of exciting talent into the Premier League so far this closed season. Here’s five to keep an eye on when it all kicks off on Saturday.
Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United)
A double winner in Germany last season, Shinji Kagawa arrives with a pretty good international reputation already. The 23-year-old attacking midfielder cost United €22million but with the Old Trafford faithful crying out for a creative midfield force last term, the Japanese international could be just the man.
Not only will Kagawa’s passing skills be a boon for the likes of Wayne Rooney, the midfielder should also chip in with his fair share of goals. None of the Red Devil's midfielders hit double figures in the league last year – the nearest was Nani with 8 – so more from that area will be vital if United are to catch their cross-town rivals.
Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
The man with a name built for headline writers is an exciting purchase, and not just for hard-pressed sub-editors. A two-time French Player of the Year, the Belgian midfielder arrives from Lille with a price tag rumoured to be close to €40million.
His transfer was protracted and not helped by teasing tweets from the 21-year-old but Roberto Di Matteo must be hoping he now knuckles down and shows his undoubted ability.
Some have compared Hazard to Cristiano Ronaldo and while that may be a little too high a compliment at this point, Hazard has the speed of foot, and thought, to trouble any defence. His Community Shield debut wasn’t much (see below for his lowlight) but once he settles, he could be a real star in England.
Fabio Borini (Liverpool)
The first big signing of the Brendan Rodgers era is a player who is no stranger to English football. Borini has played for Chelsea and Swansea, albeit briefly, in his short career but it was his exploits at Bologna that earned him a move to Anfield.
Nine goals in 24 appearances in Serie A last term prompted Rodgers to splash a reported €13.3m on the 21-year-old. The Italian has already started to repay that fee with a Europa League goal against Gomel.
How he will fit in with Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez will be intriguing but with the Uruguayan only managing 11 league goals and the English striker just four last term, double figures from Borini is a must this term.
Santi Cazorla (Arsenal)
Following summer after summer of big name talent exiting Arsenal (and with Robin van Persie still odds on to do likewise) this closed season was a bit brighter for Gooners. Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski look like smart buys but it is Spaniard Santi Cazorla that could set the Premier League alight.
Financial meltdown at Malaga allowed Arsene Wenger to pick up the two-time European champion for around €18m and he could be a bargain at that price. Brilliant with both feet, he has the potential to be an assist machine at the Emirates and on the evidence of his pre-season showings, Cazorla fills the hole left by former captain Cesc Fabregas, possessing similar vision and timing.
Last summer Michel Vorm arrived at Swansea to zero fanfare and by the end of the season he was lauded as one of the best keepers in the Premier League. Have the Welsh club pulled the same trick again this term, with another bargain buy?
Yet another attacking midfielder in our list, the Spaniard Michu was very highly regarded by observers of La Liga. At 26, and costing just over €2m, many are already predicting he is the steal of the summer. At 6”1’ the former Oviedo, Celta Vigo and Rayo Vallecano player should have no problems with the extra physicality of the English game and as the below video shows, he is a pretty decent finisher. He might be just the man for a Fantasy Football squad too.
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