The summer signings to look out for in the Premier League this weekend
The money men Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho, Aston Villa’s new speedster Leon Bailey and Norwich loan star Billy Gilmour – the summer signings to look out for in the Premier League this weekend
- With the Premier League season upon us, there are some new talents to watch
- As ever, the 20 clubs have worked hard to rejig their squads for the campaign
- Huge signings such as Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho want to make a fast start
- And there are some surprise signings too such as Leon Baily who could impress
The golden period of time before a new Premier League season when expectation and optimism blend together is almost at an end.
One of the great unknowns for every team is how their new additions will bed in and there are plenty of fresh faces this term.
All 20 sides have reshuffled the pack and fans are hoping their marquee signings, under the radar buys and clever loan deals will all come off.
So, with that in mind, which transfer treasures should you keep an eye out for this weekend?
Jack Grealish is among the players looking to impress fans of their new club
BIG MONEY DEALS
JACK GREALISH –
Aston Villa to Manchester City: £100million
The £100million man is a peacock in football boots and loves the big stage so his price tag is likely to be worn more like one of his hairbands than a millstone.
He is almost certain to play a part, if not start, for Manchester City in their opener against Tottenham on Sunday.
Grealish is box office to watch and can carry the ball unlike anyone else in Pep Guardiola’s star-studded side so it will be fascinating to see how he fits in.
In and around the box is usually where the Englishman is most effective but his manager has spoken about using him in a number of roles.
It will be fascinating to see how he is deployed and fantasy football players will no doubt be keeping a close eye on the former Aston Villa skipper.
Jack Grealish made his debut in the Community Shield when he came off the bench
BEN WHITE –
Brighton to Arsenal: £50m
The classy centre-back cost a pretty penny for the Gunners so Mikel Arteta must like what he’s seen from the former Brighton man.
The 23-year-old will be the lynchpin for Arsenal at the back and if he goes well, they could exceed the limited expectations most have for them.
White impressed Gareth Southgate sufficiently in training to make the squad for the Euros and it will be interesting to see how adeptly he steps up as the main man.
Friday night against a newly promoted side with plenty of attacking verve in Brentford will be an early clue as to how White and Arsenal might go this season.
Ben White has been Arsenal’s biggest signing of the summer and is under pressure to deliver
JADON SANCHO –
Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United: £73m
This man could light up the Premier League this season. Many who followed him closely in the Bundesliga were astonished by his lack of game time in the Euros.
He will be front and centre now and impossible to ignore on the right flank for United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted that he will throw him straight in for his debut against Leeds at Old Trafford this weekend and he should have plenty of space against Marcelo Bielsea’s attacking team.
Sancho will take on greater responsibility with Marcus Rashford out of action and one aspect of his play to look out for is his workrate in tracking back.
Fortunately, Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a pillar at right back but it is an area of Sancho’s game that could come under the microscope.
Jadon Sancho could make his Manchester United debut in the tricky game against Leeds
RB Leipzig to Liverpool – £36m
The scars of last season’s injury crisis at centre-back still linger for the Reds but they have signed another colossus in Konate.
His pre-season displays have impressed in particular for his range of passing and smooth quality of the ball in a not dissimilar manner to Virgil van Dijk.
It will be fascinating to see if that combination is the one Jurgen Klopp opts for as his first choice with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip fighting hard for a place.
Norwich will not be an easy proposition at Carrow Road in Saturday’s late kick-off but the Frenchman has shown he is more than capable if called on.
Liverpool’s lack of transfer activity has been a source of frustration for their fans but in Konate they might just have another gem.
Ibrahima Konate is elegant despite his size and power and could play against Norwich
Atalanta to Tottenham for – £43m
Expensive central defenders seems to have been the order of the day in this transfer window.
Serie A is known for its uncompromising men at the back and Romero was voted the best of them for Atalanta last term in a team that loves to attack.
Spurs fans will hope the Argentine can be the rock at the back to replace Toby Alderweireld and he is something of a coup for the team who looked in disarray for much of the summer.
The north London club appear to have settled down well under Nuno Espirito Santo and while their fortunes will be dictated by Harry Kane’s future to a large degree, a stingy defence with Romero in situ could see them into a top four spot few believe they will manage.
First up for Spurs is the City game but it may well come too soon for their new man as he is fresh in the door and still not fully fit after a knock in the Copa America final win against Brazil.
Christian Romero has an outside chance of playing Manchester City this weekend
Southampton to Aston Villa: £30m
If ever there was a signing to soften the Grealish blow, this was it for Villa. Ings could have stayed another season at Southampton as the main man and aimed for a top six club as a free agent but he evidently believes Villa are going places.
A fee of £30m for a proven goalscorer of Ings’ quality is brilliant business, especially for a club trying to fill the attacking void left by Grealish, albeit in a different position.
Whether Ings plays in a duo with Ollie Watkins or they rotate will be an interesting quandary for Dean Smith but he has some real weapons now.
Ings scored in his first game in pre-season and is likely to start against Watford on Saturday where he’ll fancy his chances of a debut strike.
Bayer Leverkusen to Aston Villa: £30m
Bailey’s exploits in the Bundesliga had him linked with some of Europe’s top sides so for Villa to snare him is another coup.
The rapid winger will add another dimension to their play and the Jamaican will be a welcome addition to the league.
He is not 100 per cent fit and still getting to know his new team-mates so Smith may opt to use him from the bench against Watford.
Regardless, the 24-year-old is capable of delivering some magic and is definitely a player to keep an eye on this season.
Leon Bailey is still finding his feet having been on international duty with Jamaica but Dean Smith could decide to start the rapid winger against Watford
Barcelona to Leeds: £12.7m
Perhaps Firpo would never have left Barcelona had it not been so pressing for the Spanish giants to shift players out to help alleviate their financial pain.
But Leeds are the beneficiaries and Firpo could prove to be one of the bargains of the season.
Bielsa, a man not easily won over, has been impressed with what he’s seen. ‘He is a player with a lot of personality who is technically very adept and physically very gifted,’ he told Sky Sports.
‘Those qualities helped him get a move to Barcelona and no player joins Barcelona unless they have great attributes.’
The Whites begin their campaign with a trip to Old Trafford so it will be a baptism of fire for the 24-year-old.
Junior Firpo will form part of Marcelo Bielsa’s hugely entertaining Leeds team
Chelsea to Norwich:
The diminutive Scot seems to be a perfect fit at Norwich. Daniel Farke’s side play attractive, passing football, he will walk into a starting role in midfield and should gain a full season of experience in the top flight.
Gilmour was brilliant when given the chance for Chelsea last season and showed his ability for Scotland against England at the Euros with a man of the match display.
He will have his work cut out on Saturday against Liverpool but picked up man of the match against them in the FA Cup last term so will not be intimidated.
Despite his small stature, his capacity to hold the ball and pick the right pass is likely to get Norwich out of some sticky situations this season.
Billy Gilmour could take this season on loan at Norwich as his big chance to shine
Manchester United to Aston Villa:
Yet another addition to the Villa squad. They have recruited so well and Tuanzebe still has plenty of admirers at Old Trafford who believe he will make the grade in Manchester.
He could have a tough job breaking up the dependable duo of Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa but will no doubt be given game time this season.
The surroundings are familiar for Tuanzebe having had two loan spells at the club between 2018 and 2019 and he should feel at home.
Axel Tuanzebe has joined Aston Villa on loan from Manchester United for the season
Barcelona to Wolves:
This seems a typical Wolves signing and may ultimately turn out to be a try-before-you buy type deal.
Trincao is a promising 21-year-old winger from Barcelona and self-professed entertainer who loves to take on a defender one-on-one.
He is close friends with Pedro Neto and is also a compatriot of Portuguese boss Bruno Lage so should settle in quickly if given the chance against Leicester.
Francisco Trincao (right) is looking to impress for Wolves against Leicester
UNDER THE RADAR
Celtic to Brentford: £13.5m
For all of Brentford’s attacking verve under Thomas Frank, it is vital that they keep clean sheets this season and Ajer is a key signing.
The 23-year-old gained plenty of experience, including in Europe, with Celtic and should be able to cope with the physicality of the Premier League.
Brentford’s ‘moneyball’ approach to signings is well documented and it would be no surprise at all if Ajer is quietly one of the best new additions.
First up for the Bees is a home game against Arsenal so Ajer and Co will be tested right from the off.
Kristoffer Ajer (right) is a key new addition for Brentford and they face Arsenal on Friday night
Werder Bremen to Norwich: £9.4m
The 24-year-old Kosovo forward joined from Bremen, who were relegated last season.
He can play across the front line and could step into Emiliano Buendia’s considerable shoes as a creative force for Norwich.
Rashica has played three full seasons in the Bundesliga and scored nine, eight and three goals so he is capable and Canaries fans will be hoping he can reach another level in England.
Norwich City signing Milot Rashica is versatile and has a tough start up against Liverpool
RB Salzburg to Leicester: £23m
A relatively high profile signing but one that may have slipped under the radar for some, particularly given Leicester’s options with Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho up front.
But Daka arrives with a phenomenal goalscoring record in Austria behind him, 34 in 42 appearances last season, and has all the qualities to be a huge hit.
His pace is blistering but there is more to the Zambian than pure speed. He has sharp instincts and times his runs well so could step into Vardy’s role if the 34-year-old is injured or needs a rest.
The last Salzburg striker to secure a big move was Erling Haaland… if Daka can replicate anywhere near his kind of success the Foxes will be sniffing out more silverware.
Leicester start their season at home to Wolves and he would endear himself to fans by registering a goal against the midlands rivals.
Patson Daka, pictured here with the Community Shield, could emerge as a star this season
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