The start of the Barclays Premier League 2016/17 season is looming, and as usual there’s no slowing down the torrent of transfer rumours. New season, new managers and new players. Big spenders Manchester City and Manchester United will be looking to reclaim their place at the top table, Arsenal need more strength to win trophies, and Leicester, Liverpool and Spurs will all be looking to bolster their backbone.
With Pep Guardiola taking the reins at City he’ll want to build a team that can play to his style, he’s already signed Oleksandr Zinchenko, llkay Gundogan, Aaron Mooy and Nolito. There are rumours that he’s lining up a new goalkeeper to replace Joe Hart, who did himself no favours with a very poor campaign for England in the Euros. There will be plenty of movement both in and out as Guardiola structures the team into something special.
With new manager Jose Mourinho taking over from Louis Van Gaal, we can expect a solid title push and a very strong United team. Mourinho attracts players to any club he managers and he’s got the budget to bring in some top names. The ‘Special One’ has already got soccer superstar Zlatan Ibrahimović and former Borussia Dortmund ace Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Armenia captain was the Bundesliga player of the season and scored 23 goals in all competitions and we all know what Zlatan can do. United have bulked out their defense with new signing Eric Bailly from Villarreal CF. There are also rumours of bringing back Paul Pogba for £100m too. United have the depth to reclaim the title this season and since winners Jose Mourinho and Zlatan Ibrahimović make a dream team, I’d say United are favorites for the new season.
Roman Abramovich is no stranger to chucking money at new signings, and new Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has already landed Michy Batshuayi from Marseille for 33m. The forward, who scored 23 goals for Marseille last season, had a good campaign with Belgium at the Euros. He’s a powerful, fast striker with a reputation as a fine finisher following spells in France and Belgium. Chelsea will be looking to rectify their poor season with more signings very much expected.
Claudio Ranieri will have a tough time keeping hold of some of his best players. Arsenal were chasing Vardy but the striker has said he’ll stick with Leicester for now. Ranieri needs a team that can compete in the Champions League so he’s bulked up his squad with the likes of Ahmed Musa from CSKA Moscow for £16m, the new recruit scored 54 goals in 168 games for CSKA Moscow and has scored 11 times in 58 appearances for Nigeria since making his debut in 2010. New signing Nampalys Mendy from Nice has played under Ranieri before at Monaco. However, the challenge for Leicester City will be keeping hold of Kanté, Schmeichel and Mahrez.
Arsene Wenger is known for not splashing the cash during the transfer window. He sticks to his guns, only bringing in one or two new names. He’s already signed Granit Xhaka and Borussia Monchengladbach and Japanese forward Takuma Asano from Sanfrecce Hiroshima. These players won’t have a big impact on Arsenals season, they need a world class striker and with the failed attempt to sign Jamie Vardy it looks like Wenger will turn his head towards Romelu Lukaku, Alexandre Lacazette or Alvaro Morata. Arsenal don’t look like title contenders and one or two new signings won’t change that.
Jurgen Klopp will be looking for a trophy in his first full season in charge. The German has already signed Sadio Mane from Southampton, and he has the potential to shine for the reds. Liverpool scored the second most goals out of any Premier League team when Klopp took over and with the prolific Mane joining it looks like Klopp is planning a goal fest. Klopp has also signed goalkeeper Loris Karius from FSV Mainz 05 and defender Joel Matip from Shalke to replace the outgoing Kolo Toure.
Mauricio Pochettino has only made one signing so far, with the tough tackling Victor Wanyama from Southampton. Spurs need a few more signings if they are going to compete with the top teams again. They could have won the title last season but threw it away at the very last hurdle. They will need more strength if they want to keep that Champions League place.
West Ham United
The Hammers have been one of the busiest clubs in the transfer window. Slaven Bilic has made a few changes to keep hold of last season’s push for a top-four finish. The Croatian has penned a deal with Toni Martinez from Valencia. The promising 18-year old Spanish forward looks like he’ll blossom into a world class striker. Norwegian midfielder Havard Nordtveit from Borussia Monchengladbach, young Portuguese striker Domingos Quina and Sofiane Feghouli from Valencia complete West Ham’s latest signings.
Newly promoted Middleborough are looking to make themselves at home in the Premier League. They have been busy, signing former Barcelona goalkeeper and 3-times Champions League winner Victor Valdes, Bernardo Espinosa from Sporting Gijon and Danish international Viktor Fischer from Ajax. Chelsea and Manchester United both wanted the 21-years-old’s signature back in 2012. The winger has 11 goals in 39 appearances for Ajax last season and will be a force in Middleborough’s return to the top flight.
Alan Pardew is another manager who has been busy. He’s already signed Andros Townsend from Newcastle for £13m, the winger is always good for a few goals and plenty of crosses in the box. James Tomkins from West Ham comes in at £10m and Steve Mandanda from Marseille has committed to the club. Pardew has released the likes of Chamakh, Adebayor and sold Dwight Gayle to Newcastle. Pardew will need to sign another striker; The Eagles were lacking goal scorers last season so an out-and-out striker will likely come in.
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