With the start of the new Premier League season less than two days away, we cast our eye at seven foreign Premier League transfers that are certain to boost their respective team’s chances in pursuit of the ultimate honor in English football – the Premier League title.
- Matteo Darmian: Torino (ITA) to Manchester United; £12.7 million
Though Manchester United fans will try and not overburden the young shoulders of Darmian with huge expectations, he could prove to be a shrewd swoop for the Old Trafford outfit in their race for the Premier League title. Having already proved his mettle in Seria A with Torino, Darmian will be itching to showcase his potential to the world now, and what better place to do it than Manchester United and the Premier League. Former Azzurri centre-back Marco Materazzi reckons Matteo Darmian is the “best wing-back in Italy”, and though only time will tell us if Darmian is as good, such economical and well-scouted signings often tend to surprise the most.
- Georginio Wijnaldum, PSV Eindhoven (NED) to Newcastle United; £14.5 million
Having escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth, Newcastle fans were unrelenting in their demand for quality signings during the summer. And now owner Mike Ashley seems to have finally complied with their wishes for the first time in many years, making Dutch player Georginio Wijnaldum Newcastle’s third most expensive signing after Michael Owen and Alan Shearer. An assured goal-scorer, Wijnaldum will bring more to the Premier League than just goals. Known for his vision and ambidexterity, the Premier League could have its next star in the form of this young Feyenoord academy product.
- Memphis Depay, PSV Eindhoven (NED) to Manchester United; £25 million
Nurtured by Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal at the international level, Memphis Depay has rejoined forces with his old boss after inspiring PSV Eindhoven to the Eredivisie title after a magnificent 22-goal haul last season. Though young and therefore relatively inexperienced, his pace and strength could prove to be huge attributes in the Premier League, and at 22, Depay is just beginning to get into his stride. Do not be surprised if he is one of Premier League’s leading stars in the years to follow.
- Roberto Firmino, Hoffenheim (GER) to Liverpool; £29 million
Perhaps the most underrated player of all the high-profile Premier League arrivals, Firminho will have the added benefit of not having to bear too many expectations on his shoulders. Being united with his Brazilian team-mate Coutinho, Firmino could prove to be a better signing for Liverpool than most people expect him to be. With an almost new-look attacking line-up being at Brendan Rodgers’ disposal, it will be interesting to see how Firmino fits with Benteke and Sturridge in the side. But make no mistake, at 23, Firmino has his best years ahead, and if he can adapt to the pace and strength of the Premier League, he can well go on to prove his detractors wrong in the coming seasons.
- Aleksandar Mitrovic, Anderlecht (BEL) to Newcastle United; £13 million
It was a tough choice to place Mitrovic in front of players like Bastian Schweinsteiger as one of the potential stars of the next Premier League campaign, but considering his price and reputation, Mitrovic’s physical toughness could prove a huge asset for him in the Premier League. Boasting an impressive ratio of a goal every two games for Anderlecht, Mitrovic’s bruising, direct style could help Newcastle United find the goals they so desperately lacked last season.
- Juanmi, Malaga (ESP) to Southampton; Undisclosed
A relative unknown in England, Juan Miguel Jiménez López, very much like Firmino, does not come with a huge baggage on his shoulders. Having broken into the Spanish national team at the age of 22, Juanmi could well prove to be another feather in Southampton’s impressive transfer-cap. A creative attacking player, Juanmi has a bag of skills up his sleeve, and if he can overcome the initial Premier League fetters, there could be no stopping this young player from developing into Premier League’s next stars. For the time being, however, boss Ronald Koeman will hope he could help Southampton keep their place at the top end of the Premier League table.
- Andre Ayew, Marseille (FRA) to Swansea City; Free
The 25-year-old Ghana international arrived at the Liberty Stadium for free after being released by former club Marseille. A versatile attacking player, Ayew can slot in anywhere among the front three, and his physical presence will add much to Gary Monk’s side, who are already known for their passing football. Even though not boasting a magnificent goal scoring record, Ayew’s movements and physical presence will bring much to the Premier League. Having already won BBC African Player of the Year award, Ayew could be a fantastic new addition to Swansea, and having come for free, he is an absolute steal for the Premier League.
Which other foreign stars do you think will make it big in the Premier League this season? Do you think Schweinsteiger, or even Jordan Ayew should have made the cut? And which players would you still like to see in the Premier League? Comment below with your suggestions.
[Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images]