While most of the transfer talk is all about the marquee signings at Old Trafford, plenty of other players have joined the Premier League in the hope to outshine the big guns. There is no doubt that Manchester United’s acquisitions, in particular, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimović, will be box office hits, but there are also some new boys that have the potential to do great things.
During last summer’s transfer window, fans and pundits were urging Arsene Wenger to strengthen in central midfield. He failed to bring anyone in and was dealt a crushing blow as Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin picked up injuries that left them sidelined for the entire season. Without enough depth in the squad, the Gunners were dangerously exposed in the middle of the park.
It seems as though the Frenchman has learned from his mistake, though, as he splashed the cash on a highly promising player this summer. Some think that Xhaka has the potential to be the best thing to happen to Arsenal’s midfield since Patrick Vieira and, in addition to possessing a number of quality attributes, he should provide solid cover for the defence that was lacking last term.
In recent years, Leicester City have made a habit of picking up relatively unknown players on the cheap and turning them into international superstars. This was, of course, the case with Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy, and N’Golo Kante, and the latter has already completed a big-money move to Chelsea. Their new striker looks as though he may have the potential to make a name for himself at the King Power Stadium as well.
Musa has devastating pace, a characteristic that will be vital when playing in this fast, counter-attacking team. He has already shown his blistering speed in pre-season and scored two excellent goals against Barcelona (see video above). With his ability to operate on the wings or up front, his versatility will be looked upon favourably by Claudio Ranieri, who will have to chop and change his team this season to cope with European commitments. If the Nigerian can form an alliance with Vardy the two of them could wreak havoc.
Every summer, Southampton lose key players, but they always seem to manage to find worthy replacements at reasonable prices. Enter Hojbjerg, a 20-year-old prospect from Bayern Munich for whom the Saints reportedly paid around £12million. Not a bad deal for a player that Pep Guardiola once dubbed as “the next Sergio Busquets.”
Although Guardiola made it clear that he rated the player, he never managed to break into the Bayern Munich team but made 30 appearances for Schalke 04 while on loan. The midfielder has also been capped 16 times for Denmark.
At 6ft tall, Hojbjerg has the strength to protect the defence in a holding midfield role, but he also possesses strong technical ability and can act as a key creator. He should be an exciting player to watch in the season ahead.
When the new campaign gets underway, be sure to keep an eye out for these fresh young talents. They all have a lot to offer.