Not the world’s most imaginative title for this piece, but a simple concept: We will take a look at the signings each team has made in the Premier League and give our thoughts on how we feel they will get on.
So, without further stalling, on we go to the magic A.
Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker, Andre Santos, Chu Young Park, Joel Campbell, Alex Chamberlain, Gervinho, Carl Jenkinson.
Giles Sunu, Nicklas Bendtner [Loan], Henri Lansbury [Loan], Joey Campbell [Loan], Armand Traore, Samir Nasri, Emmanuel Eboue, Carlos Vela [Loan], Pedro Botelho [Loan], Cesc Fabregas, Kyle Bartley [Loan], Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, James Shea, Denilson [Loan], Gael Clicy, Mark Randall, Thomas Cruise, Jens Lehmann (Retired – again)
What do we think?
Some things are inevitable in this life, and one of them was the sale of Cesc to Barcelona, we have all heard more than enough about this transfer to last forever, but it was always coming, so really, why a replacement wasn’t brought in sooner is beyond belief. Maybe Wenger thought that Nasri would step up and become the new boss of the midfield, a nice theory, except he has jumped ship to City.
Also leaving for Manchester City was Clichy. The big departures from Arsenal are not the only reason they have started slow this season, a bunch of injuries never help but the Arsenal fans were quick to jump on the “All the best players have left, we need a new manager and players” bandwagon.
Signings in were inevitable, and there are mixed views on this. Per Mertesacker is arguably the only truly defensive player signed, Santos will be a good addition, but will be bombing forward a lot and may need to be hauled back occasionally. Arteta is a quality signing, probably Arsenal’s best bit of business, can he replace Cesc (sorry, last time, honest) is a question which can only be answered with a resounding “no”. But he will offer a lot of experience and class to the midfield and is definitely one to watch, after all, he is an excellent player and quite frankly the sort of player that should have been signed a few years ago.
On the “One to watch” camp, was the £12m spent on Alex Chamberlain from Southampton and the signing of Chu Young Park who has a very good record for South Korea and if he can adapt to life in the Premier League, the 26 year old could be a fan favourite.
I predict the Gunners to finish in 4th if they can keep their best players fit, otherwise 5th.
Alan Hutton, Jermaine Jenas [Loan], Charles N’Zogbia, Shay Given, Nathan Delfouneso [Loan Expired],
Jean Makoun [Loan], Luke Young, Jonathan Hogg, Andreas Weimann [Loan], Issiah Osbourne, Nigel Reo-Coker, Stewart Downing, Ashley Young, Brad Friedel, Harry Forrester, John Carew, Moustapha Salifou, Robert Pires
What do we think?
Villa have released a lot of very good players and don’t appear to have strengthened too much, losing the likes of Downing, Ashley Young, Brad Friedel and John Carew is going to be a hit to any team. Looking at who they have brought in, Shay Given stands out to be the best signing here, a goal keeper of this quality should not be sitting on any bench so it is great to finally see him back out there getting regular first team football.
The signing of N’Zogbia hasn’t set the team alight just yet but he should be a good player for Villa, and a good assist-er to Mr Darren Bent up top. The signing of Jenas could be one to watch as there is no doubting on his day, Jenas is a quality player. Overall I would have to say that Villa have come off weaker because of the transfer window, and as such personally I am tipping them to finish lower-mid table (around 14th).
Yakubu, Scott Dann, Simon Vukcevic, Radosav Petrovic, David Goodwillie, Myles Anderson
Keith Andrews [loan], Gavin Gunning [loan], Nikola Kalinic, Jake Kean [loan], Tom Hitchcock [loan], Jason Brown [loan], Benjani, Aaron Doran, Zurab Khizanishvili, Phil Jones, Maceo Rigters, Frank Fielding
What do we think?
There isn’t really a lot to say about Blackburn, massive name players were always linked with moving to the club, but these were merely “marquee attempts” of which they had about as much chance landing as I do becoming the first person to score an overhead kick on Mars. (And mine wouldn’t come off my shin..).
Being realistic they re-assessed the situation and the calibre of players they were actually capable of attracting, and went to league 2 the SPL. David Goodwillie is a hard worker at times but with a goal return of 27 goals in 119 appearances, as a striker you do have to wonder if he can cut it in the Premier League. To put it into perspective, he was sent out on loan to Scottish First Division Raith Rovers and managed 9 goals in 23 appearances. I will let you draw your own conclusions on this.
Petrovic is a defensive midfielder and looks like he should be a signing to get the fans excited, well, as excited as you can get over a defensive midfielder anyway, Champions League experience with Partizan, and 17 goals from 70 appearances (yes, that is VERY close to Goodwillie’s goals per game ratio).
My prediction is around 16th place and a very uneventful season.
David N’Gog, Gael Kakuta [loan], Dedryck Boyata [loan], Tuncay Sanli [loan], Tyrone Mears, Chris Eagles, Nigel-Reo-Coker, Darren Pratley
Joey O’Brien, Matthew Taylor, Danny Ward, Ali Al Habsi, Tamir Cohen, Jlloyd Samuel, Gavin McCann, Johan Elmander
What do we think?
Bolton are a team who have turned around their style of football in dramatic fashion, from the kick and chase style employed over previous years. Last season this got the best of up-until-then-highly-uninspiring Elmander and this saw him score arguably the best goal of the season where he seemed to stick the ball to his feet and pivot around a whole team in the penalty area before slotting it away, cool, calm and collected.
If Barcelona had played some of the football that Bolton played at times last season, we would never hear the last of it, I for one stood up and took notice and I hope this continues. N’Gog was never really allowed to shine at Liverpool, and actually I think this should be a good signing, getting some regular football would be a fantastic opportunity. Gael Kakuta also ranks up as one of the ones to watch this season, the loanee from Chelsea is hoping to be as good as Sturridge was last season.
Losing Ali Al Habsi to Wigan was probably inevitable, he became a huge hit between the sticks for Wigan and saved them multiple points throughout the course of the year.
I think that Bolton can have a good season, and I am going to stick my neck out and predict that they will finish around 10th.
Yossi Benayoun [loan], Patrick van Aanholt [loan], Gael Kakuta [loan], Ulises Davila [loan], Slobodan Rajkovic, Milan Lalkovic [loan], Ben Gordon [loan], Yuri Zhirkov, Thibaut Courtois [loan], Sam Walker [loan], Jack Cork, Jeffrey Bruma [loan], Michael Mancienne, Nemania Matic, Fabio Borini, Jacopo Sala, Danny Philiskirk, Carl Magnay, Michael Woods, Jan Sebek
What do we think?
Only a fool would completely rule out Chelsea, bringing in Juan Mata ahead of Arsenal and Liverpool was a fantastic purchase. Coming on for the last 20 minutes and scoring on his début, Mata has a bagful of flair and ability in his locker, a signing of this calibre injects some youth into an otherwise tired looking team. Rumour has it I nearly got a call up by AVB to take Torres’ place up front as I once scored a goal in the park.
The last second swoop for Raul Meireles is a strange piece of business, this would perhaps suggest that AVB has big shake-up plans for the midfield for the blues, it is hard to see him splashing out of Mata and Meireles if he wasn’t planning on using them as prominent figures.
Getting rid of Benayoun on loan could be a win win situation, Chelsea know he is a talented player, he just didn’t fit into the old Chelsea way, sending him to Arsenal not only helps the Gunners, but it will get Yossi match fit and ready to be inserted back into the Chelsea team when some of the players there are just simply too old.
Lakaku seems to be a striker in the mould of Drogba, the runs they make are similar, and the sheer power the youngster brings to the team is something that blues fans should be very excited about. 33 Goals in 73 appearances for Anderlecht is not to be frowned upon for someone as young as 18. Yes, 18, that’s a big unit of a lad for 18, I bet no-one stole his dinner money. Last year.
Joseph Yobo [loan], Yakubu, Jermaine Beckford, Mikel Arteta, Shane Duffy [loan], James Vaughan, Kieran Agard, Hope Akpan, Iain Turner.
What do we think?
Oh dear. Worrying times. Football is a squad game even more than it has been in the past, and just looking at the numbers alone, 2 in and 9 out. When you look at the players that have left the club, Yakubu, admittedly not as consistent as everyone would like, is still a threat, Arteta is a player of amazing quality, Vaughan also a good good player. The transfer of Beckford is not one that surprised me in any way, I think if ever there was a striker that was perfectly suited to the Championship, it is Beckford. That is in no way disrespectful, he will be among the top scorers in the division this season after his step back down, but he is still young, and I think Everton gambled a bit on him, and it just didn’t pay off like they had hoped it would.
On the plus side, Drenthe has the potential to light up Everton’s season, the Real Madrid star has pace that you will find hard to believe which is always going to cause defenders problems, not only that, but he can play at the back as well. Oh well, that’s fixed the issues of not scoring enough goals…
Denis Stracqualursi signed from Argentinian team Tigres on a season long loan where he netted 21 times in 38 games, a pretty good return, and it will be interesting to see how he handles life in the premier league.
Predicted finish: 15th
Orlando Sa, Zdenek Grygera, Bryan Ruiz, Pajtim Kasami, Marcel Gecov, John Arne Riise
Rafik Halliche [loan], Keanu Marsh-Brown [loan], Lauri Dalla Valle [loan], Danny Hoesen [loan], David Stockdale [loan], Jonathan Greening, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Diomansy Kamara, Eddie Johnson, Matthew Saunders, Pascal Zuberbuhler, Zoltan Gera, John Pantsil
What do we think?
When you see signings of £10.6m, one of the last places you would look is Gillingham, and you would be right, it wasn’t the Gills, it was in fact Fulham. Also unexpected.
Signed from Twente, the Costa Rica International Bryan Ruiz has a fantastic touch and control ability, as far as all round attackers go, this man is the definition. Riise being signed up for his second crack at the Premiership whip brings more set piece abilities and a lot of experience to the back line. As far as players leaving goes, nothing major happened, which is good news considering a few clubs were sniffing around Dempsey.
Fulham can’t be too disheartened with their transfer activities and personally I think they will have an OK season, possibly finishing around 12th.
Craig Bellamy, Sebastian Coates, Jose Enrique, Stewart Downing, Alexander Doni, Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson
Christian Poulsen, Raul Meireles, David N’Gog, Joe Cole [loan], Philipp Degen, Emiliano Insua, Alberto Aquilani [loan], Sotirios Kyragiakos, Nabil El Zhar, Daniel Ayala, Milan Jovanovic, Thomas Ince, Martin Hansen, Peter Gulacsi [loan], Paul Konchesky, Dean Bouzanis, Stephen Darby [loan], Nikola Saric
What do we think?
To use the words “transition” in regards to Liverpool would be a huge underestimation. The one known as “King Kenny” has signed up every midfielder he could find since he took over, and as a result, not only do they have a lot of midfielders (sorry) they have a squad which looks very promising. Henderson was a signing which was frowned upon by a number of Liverpool fans, although looking back now it is hard to see why. Snapping up Jose Enrique was possibly the best bit of business conducted by the Reds, since .. er well Suarez, but that’s not the point. Liverpool have been crying out for a left back for a while now, and they have one, a really really good one at that. Charlie Adam and Downing add deliveries into the box as effective as UPS, if only they had a big forward to get on the end of them.. enter Andy Carroll. Just when Liverpool fans thought they were finished in the transfer windows, they welcome back Bellamy. I rate Bellamy, he will be a valuable addition to the squad after finding his time at Man City limited.
Prediction wise, Liverpool have the potential to reach 3rd, however, a few injuries at the back or up front, they might be in trouble.
This concludes the first part of this feature, our other writers will be taking over from here now, so stay tuned!