In the 2017-18 Premier League season, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side ran away winners comfortably in the end, 19 points ahead of arch-rivals Manchester United. While the champions are the favorites to retain the title in the 2018-19 season, their rivals have strengthened and will give the Cityzens a run for their money.
Not only have the top 6 added quality players to their team, teams like West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers have brought in some of the best players from the around the world. Before the start of the season, let’s have a look at the 5 new signings we need to watch out for in the Premier League this season.
1. Lucas Torreira (Arsenal)
Uruguayan midfielder Lucas Torreira signed with Arsenal (£26.4m transfer fee) after the World Cup, where he had impressed in a deep-lying role for the South American country.
Torreira had a great World Cup where he showed the qualities that put him on the shortlist of several top clubs across Europe: tenacity, speed and a good tackler. These are the qualities that Arsenal has been missing for over a decade and is one of the major reasons behind the criticism of former manager Arsene Wenger’s sides in the last 10 years.
While he is no Patrick Vieira, the former Sampdoria man can cover ground and is a reliable hand in midfield. The diminutive midfielder could gel well with Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka in the centre of midfield for the Gunners this year.
2. Max Meyer (Crystal Palace)
The transfer of Max Meyer to Crystal Palace caught everyone by surprise. Meyer, who was touted to move to some of the biggest clubs in Europe, ended at Palace, who was in a relegation battle last year.
The German attacking midfielder has great technique, pace and can dribble at speed - qualities in a player who is destined to play for the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Manchester City.
Meyer’s contract at Schalke expired in June this year, and with possible transfer moves falling through, the 22-year-old had to settle for the London club.
While the statement of intent by the Palace board is exciting, it remains to be seen if they can hold on to him if he puts in good performances. The Premier League is better off with a player of his class, and this author is eager to watch him play this season!
3. Naby Keita (Liverpool)
Liverpool and RB Leipzig had announced last August that Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita would move to the English club in the 2018 summer transfer window after Liverpool agreed to pay Keita’s release clause of £48 million.
Keita is similar to France’s World Cup-winning midfielder N'Golo Kanté but attacks more than the Chelsea midfielder, moving swiftly from one box to the other. The Liverpool midfielder also has a great passing range and scores consistently, scoring 9 goals in all competitions for the German club last year.
The Guinean will start the season alongside another summer signing, Fabinho, who was signed from the French club, AS Monaco. Exciting times ahead for Liverpool fans!
4. Felipe Anderson (West Ham United)
West Ham United have given new manager Manuel Pellegrini a huge transfer chest, and the former Manchester City manager has signed 7 players, including former Arsenal player Jack Wilshere, centre back Issa Diop, Borussia Dortmund’s Andriy Yarmolenko and club record signing, Felipe Anderson. Anderson was bought for £36 million and is an ambitious signing for The Hammers, who will look to play exciting football under Pellegrini.
The Brazilian attacker can play in multiple positions; wide on the flanks, as an attacking midfielder behind the striker, as a centre-forward or a midfielder. He is one of the quickest players in Europe, is good with both feet, can create chances and score as well.
Anderson was signed from Italian club Lazio, where his form had dithered last season but he still found the net on 7 occasions and made 9 assists in all competitions. The attacker is probably the most exciting signing of the season in the Premier League and if he can turn on the Samba magic, West Ham United will have a great season.
5. Richarlison (Everton)
Like West Ham United, Everton too has a new manager in Marco Silva. The former Watford and Hull City manager has discarded a few players, including English striker Wayne Rooney and brought in 21-year-old Brazilian winger Richarlison, as well as Barcelona’s Lucas Digne.
The former is an exciting talent, who showed what he’s capable of in his debut Premier League season last year for Watford, who was managed by Silva.
The Brazilian, who was signed for a whopping £35 million, has pace and tricks in abundance and can chip in with the goals too. And with better quality players at Everton, he is bound to have more opportunities and the freedom to excite Premier League fans.