Five New Premier League Players to Look Out for This Season

Five New Premier League Players to Look Out for This Season

Friday, 17 August, 2018 - 08:15
A selection of new faces set to adorn the Premier League this season. Composite: Getty Images
London- Ed Aarons and Nick Ames
Jorginho (Chelsea)
If Antonio Conte became used to not getting his way with transfers, the signing of Jorginho felt like the perfect sweetener for his successor. The 26-year-old midfielder was confirmed on the same day as Maurizio Sarri, both arriving from Napoli, and it said plenty for his importance to the new manager’s plans that Manchester City were beaten to his signature.

Sarri hopes Jorginho will add some of the “pinch of quality” he thinks Chelsea’s midfield lacks. “He is very quick in the mind,” Sarri said of a player originally signed for Napoli by Rafael Benítez, and the idea is that he will move the ball around more sharply and quickly. Born in Imbituba, in the south of Brazil, Jorginho would carry out technical drills on the beach under the watchful eye of his mother, herself a good player, in his youth and moved to Verona as a 15-year-old. He pledged his international future to Italy in 2014 and it was, by coincidence, Conte who gave him his first senior call-up, although a competitive cap did not arrive until the ill-fated play-off with Sweden last November. Chelsea will hope he can galvanize them more quickly and the signs, given his influence on the outstanding Napoli team Sarri oversaw, are positive. Nick Ames

Lucas Torreira (Arsenal)
The Uruguay midfielder’s arrival was rubber-stamped just four days after his national team had exited the World Cup at the hands of France, the deal having essentially been a formality for weeks, and the feeling among long-term watchers is that he will prove well worth the wait.

Arsenal’s woes in the defensive midfield position are, by now, verging on second nature but Torreira comes with a reputation for providing something different. Firstly, and like some of the best operators in his role, you might hardly notice him: the 22-year-old is just 5ft 6in tall and, at the briefest of first glances, not the kind of dominant figure Arsenal have lacked. There is much more to Torreira, though. He possesses classic Uruguayan steel that belies his size and, crucially, shows exceptional positional discipline for someone so young. Last season he was stationed at the base of a diamond for Sampdoria, recycling possession and winning it back with alacrity. Torreira covers a huge amount of ground and has drawn comparisons in some quarters to N’Golo Kante. NA

Jean-Michaël Seri (Fulham)
A surprise addition to Slavisa Jokanovic’s squad given he was close to joining Barcelona this time last year, the Ivory Coast player will add energy and technical ability to Fulham’s midfield.

It has been a tough 12 months for Seri since he “exploded in anger” during a meeting with officials from Nice after they refused to accept an offer from Barça, with the 25-year-old struggling last term to replicate the form that made him one of Europe’s most sought-after midfielders in 2016-17. But with Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea also having turned down the opportunity to snap him up, Seri will be desperate to prove them wrong and could prove a shrewd acquisition that allows Jokanovic to get the best out of Ryan Sessegnon and Tom Cairney. Ed Aarons

Raúl Jiménez (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
If Wolves lacked anything during such a dominant 2017-18 campaign in the Championship then perhaps, a little strangely, it was a prolific striker. Whether Jiménez fits that mould remains to be seen but his season-long loan from Benfica – for a reported fee of €3m – was eye-catching and fell perfectly in line with the club’s existing transfer policy.

The Mexican centre-forward was not a regular starter for his parent club last season, scoring just eight times and showing his worth mainly as a substitute, and his four seasons in Europe – also taking in a spell with Atlético Madrid – have brought a mixed return. But at 6ft 2in, with excellent touch and mobility across the ground, he leads the line well and his attitude should go down nicely, too. In January 2017 he was on the verge of €50m move to China, masterminded by super agent Jorge Mendes, but turned it down because, in his words, “What I want is football glory more than money”. NA

Felipe Anderson (West Ham United)
Exotic arrivals at West Ham have generally been greeted by eye rolls rather than drum rolls in recent years but the buzz around Anderson is different. He certainly did not come cheaply, at a club record £36m from Lazio, but Mauricio Pellegrini is no bad judge of a player and talked up his “very natural and skilful ability, in the traditional style of Brazilian football” upon his arrival.

Anderson’s name had done the rounds for much of his five-year stint in Serie A – Manchester United were among those strongly linked in 2016 – and the cynical view might be that West Ham are exactly the club that would take an extravagant punt on a talent that has not always expressed itself consistently. But his ability has rarely been in much doubt: Anderson can operate across the front line or as more of a playmaker, with his dribbling skills in particular – he produced more dribbles per 90 minutes last season than anyone else in the Italian top flight – the stuff of countless YouTube compilations.NA


(The Guardian)

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