The new Premier League season is almost here, and with it, a chance. For Manchester City: to defend their title. For a couple of others: to fight City for said title. For a few more: to fight for European football in the 2023/24 season. And for the rest, to secure their spot in the league for another season.
All 20 teams have been strengthening themselves (or at least trying to) in the transfer window. And today, I will be looking at those signings and picking out 8 of them that I really think will be worth keeping an eye on during the season. In making this list, I have forced myself to pick a maximum of 1 new player per team, while please be aware that this is correct as of 27ᵗʰ July, though I may do a second list once the transfer window closes picking up any new signings. *Crosses fingers and hopes United sign Frenkie de Jong and hold onto Ronaldo*
I’ll start this off with the one loan signing on this list. Henderson had an incredible 2019/20 season with Sheffield United and broke into the Manchester United XI the next season, putting himself on Gareth Southgate’s radar. But a return to form for David de Gea saw him only make 3 appearances last season. With de Gea holding the starting spot, Henderson has been given the chance to go back out on loan this season to newly-promoted Nottingham Forest, and will be hoping for a repeat of his exploits with Sheffield United, with a strong start to the season potentially earning him a spot on the plane to Qatar.
This is a very interesting signing, with the Brazilian leaving Everton for Spurs. He has impressed in some poor teams, so in theory becoming part of a strike team that contains Son Heung-min and Harry Kane, who could perhaps now drop into a slightly deeper position where his range of passing can be utilised. However, at a reported £60m, Richarison seems a very expensive signing, especially when you look at some of the other forwards who are on this list, and he can also be a little hot-headed at times, which could cause trouble if Spurs have some issues.
At 19 years old, Southampton’s signing from Bordeaux feels like a risk. Southampton struggled for goals last season, with their top scorer being James Ward-Prowse, with 11 in all competitions. Is Mara going to be the answer to that? Granted he is still young so should be improving by the year, but with just 12 goals in 50 professional appearances, is he really going to be the answer, especially considering that he will have to get used to a new team and an arguably more difficult league. Could develop into a great player over the next few years, but will be interesting to see what chances he gets this year and how quickly he adapts.
I talked earlier about Dean Henderson’s loan to Forest giving him the chance to push for a spot in England’s World Cup squad. Well if we assume that Jordan Pickford and Aaron Ramsdale are the top 2 choices, Henderson is likely competing with Nick Pope for the final spot. Pope shot onto the scene years ago now when Tom Heaton got injured, and though he has continued to play well, Burnley’s form kept him far too busy and eventually saw them relegated. Now having moved to a Newcastle team that has been on the up since the Mike Ashley era ended, this looks like a great chance for Pope to remind everyone of his quality an help secure the Magpies in the top half of the table.
Manchester United’s defence has been a mess in recent year, not helped by the form of Captain Calamity Harry Maguire, while the signing of Raphaël Varane did not quite go as expected as he struggled with injuries. With other options not overly reliable, Martínez could be a huge signing. Coming fro Ajax, you can imagine that he is a player Erik ten Hag knows a lot about if he feels confident to shell out £57m for him, but if he can start making United more secure at the back and reducing David de Gea’s workload, then he’ll be worth every penny.
The big signing of the summer. After a couple of seasons of Manchester City largely playing without a recognised striker, they have signed the 22-year-old Norwegian to lead their line. If he can quickly adapt to the league (coming from the Bundesliga, Ithink this is more likely than from La Liga or Ligue 1) then I expect to see him taking the City attack to a new level as they once again have a focal point in front of goal. Signed for a reported £51.2m, it won’t take long for him to start paying Pep Guardiola back with goals.
Was linked with Arsenal a few years ago but stayed with Burnley and saw the team decline and eventually get relegated. Now he moves to Everton looking to remind everyone why he was in and around the England squad 4 years ago, while at 29 he is still in his prime for a centreback and can help the Toffees fight back from an awful season that saw then just avoid relegation and get back to the top half of the table.
I could have picked either of the players who have made the move from the Etihad to the Emirates (or to sound much cheaper, from Manchester to London), but Jesus just beats out Zinchenko here. The Brazilian will finally get the chance to lead the line, while his ability to play out wider keeps the fluidity up front that highlighted the young Arsenal attack last season. At £45m he feels a much better signing that rivals Spurs have got with Richarlison, can he prove it by helping propel Arsenal into a title fight?
Which new signings are you keeping an eye on?
Thanks for reading.