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Noteworthy Additions to Watch for in Top 6 EPL Teams

Noteworthy Additions to Watch for in Top 6 EPL Teams

As the EPL kicked off yesterday night with a 2-1 Man United win, we thought it would be fitting to look at the additions for the top 6 English Premier League teams.

 

Manchester United

Fred. José Diogo Dalot Teixeira. Lee Grant.

The Red Devils were looking to improve last year’s team to match their rival Manchester City who topped the league table last year. They did that by adding offensive pieces to their already set defense.

While Lee Grant was a insurance keeper to solidify their bench, they added Fred and Diogo Dalot that provides versatility for Mourinho’s squad this upcoming season. 

Fred provides another creator at midfield, who is also aggressive on defence and a good fit Mourinho’s style of play, alongside Pogba and Sanchez. He could slot in at both CM and DM positions, which guarantees him a spot no matter what Mourinho’s tactics may be; parking the bus or attacking football.

Dalot is a young full-back who could play both on the left and right side, giving Mourinho another solid option beyond last season’s steady diet of Valencia and Young at full-back.

Both signings provide an additional boost, but would it be enough to take over Manchester? It would be an interesting watch for sure.

 

Manchester City

Riyad Mahrez. Philippe Sandler. Daniel Arzani.

Guardiola will look to maintain their standing at the top of the EPL’s table as their rivals take shots at them. They added two youngster in Arzani and Sandler, the former, at age 19, would probably be sent out on loan.

Low-key signing Sandler, 21, on the other hand is recovering from knee surgery and could also be sent out on loan as well after his recovery.

Both should eventually break into the team, but it probably wont be this season.

Their last addition in Mahrez is the one to note, who should be able to help maintain their stronghold of the EPL championship

Mahrez provides a dynamic player that could beat defenders in 1-on-1 situations to create something against tough defenses. It will be interesting to see how this fits into Guardiola’s current offensive flow, and if Mahrez is able to find a role within that, it would not be surprising to see them atop the table again.

Will they top the table for 2 years in a row? We will see.

 

Arsenal

Lucas Torreira. Stephan Lichtsteiner. Sokratis Papastathopoulos. Matteo Guendouzi. Bernd Leno.

After a disappointing 17/18 season that saw them placed 6th and miss out on countless trophies, the Gunners looked to improve their roster this offseason to turn their fortunes around. Under a new manager in Unai Emery (after Arsene Wenger’s exit), they signed a couple of players to do just that.

Bernd Leno will be the understudy of regular Petr Cech, the replacement for Ospina so to speak. Ospina’s unconvincing performance so far, should provide Leno the chance to become their keeper for the future. But until then, he should be behind Cech between Arsenal’s goal.

Arsenal’s biggest issue last season was on the other end. With Ozil, Aubameyang and Lacazette, they had no issues conjuring goals. Stopping them? That’s another issue.

With the new additions of Torreira, Lichtsteiner, Papastathopoulos and 19 year old Guendouzi, they seek to correct their horrendous defence this season.

Lichtsteiner should serve as a defensive leader and anchor given his wealth of experience. Given his age, he should be a short-term solution for the back-up RB. It also shows the Gunners looking to improve in the short-term as well.

Guendouzi is a relatively unknown youngster outside of France, but a promising young player for the future. A back-up option at midfield amidst the injuries to Ramsey and Xhaka, he could also start amidst their recovery. When he plays, he should provide another option on attack and sweep up balls before they threaten their defence.

Papastathopoulos is an aggressive centre-back, who is a decent defender that Arsenal should need amidst their defensive woes. However, he is often caught out of position on defence in his enthusiasm to pursue the ball, an interesting point to note this season.

Torreira, their top signing, should become a solid defensive playmaker and regular starter at midfield. A two-way threat and a definite improvement for Arsenal, his addition alongside a full season of Mkhitaryan should see their play improve for the upcoming EPL season.

Could the Gunners reclaim the Top 5 or even Top 3 positions? It’s possible.

 

Chelsea

Kepa Arrizabalaga. Jorginho. Mateo Kovacic. Robert Green.

With the conclusion of the Courtois and Hazard saga, Chelsea looked to regroup for the upcoming season.

38-year-old Green was signed as a back-up while Arrizabalaga would be the replacement for Courtois who bolted for Real Madrid, and the most expensive goalkeeper surpassing Liverpool’s Alisson.

Kovacic is a versatile two-way player who fits seamlessly into Sarri’s system and look to replace the lacklustre Fabregas this coming season. With sharp passing and efficient tackling, he is likely to become a regular at Stanford Bridge.

Jorginho is likely to become a regular beside Kante, as a midfield playmaker and defensive anchor. This addition allow Kante to push forward with the ball more often and possibly create chances for their frontline. A replica of the World Cup performance could see Kante’s stock soar.

Arrizabalaga is said to be a taller Iker Casillas, who has impressive reflexes and good ball control on his feet, which provides a great fit for new manager Sarri’s playing style. If replacing Courtois was the task, it seems like the Blues might have accomplished it.

Could the Blues replicate their 2016/17 success? Who knows.

 

Tottenham Spurs

Lionel Messi.

Just kidding, the Spurs were as inactive as me on a Sunday afternoon lazing in bed. Last season EPL’s 3rd best team have pursued Jack Grealish from Aston Villa, but were unable to agree on terms. Hence, there’s nothing to evaluate here.

Perhaps team chemistry could be their calling card this season.

 

Liverpool

Alisson Ramses Becker. Xherdan Shaqiri. Fabinho. Naby Keita.

Last season’s Champions League finalist will look to build on that momentum for the upcoming season, with hopes to replicate that performance in the EPL as well as the Champion’s League. With Salah coming into his own, Klopp made moves to help build a formidable team for the upcoming season.

Unlike the other teams, the Reds have added mostly regular players instead of bench options or youngsters to their squad this offseason.

Shaqiri should be the only back-up player signed in this group, who will play behind Liverpool’s front three of Salah, Mane and Firmino and solidify their bench. However, his versatility could also see him in the midfield from time to time as deemed fit by Klopp. 

Fabinho, a defensive midfielder, replaces Can (who left for Juventus) and may be a better fit. With good instincts on both sides of the field, he provides defensive insurance and support on offence as a wider midfield or a late option.

Keita, is a physical player for Klopp, who has drawn comparisons to the old Anfield legend Gerrard. With street ball background and physical presence, he should solidify the midfield for Liverpool for the upcoming season to support the monstrous front 3

Before Chelsea’s Kepa signing, Alisson was the most expensive goalkeeper. Alisson will look to replace last season’s disappointment Karius at the goal. Given the heat he faced for his performance in the Champions League finals, it was expected that Klopp looked to replace Karius with a pair of steadier hands.

Alisson, who was the best keeper in Serie A and top 3 in save rates last season (behind Oblak and De Gea), should provide just that.

Could Liverpool replicate last season’s Champion League success for this season? I would like to see Mo.

 

Side note: for Singaporean EPL fans out there, it should be interesting to watch Ben Davis at Fulham as well. (;

 

P.S. Are you a Liverpool fan? Get yourself a Liverpool Jersey here!


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