The Early Sub: Attacking Arrivals, Who’s the Best Signing of the Premier League?

With a highly competitive Premier League that features the likes of 6 teams who carry the expectations of winning the league every season. Each of them (except for Tottenham) have spent an absurd amounts of money on an attacker to bring them the goals that’ll capture them a Premier League. I’ll compare each of the top 6 (and Everton’s Wayne Rooney), big money attacker and tell you who’ll be the most effective for their side. Tell me what you think in the comments or tweet at me with who you think will be the best signing in the Premier League.

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Chelsea- Alvaro Morata (Pending, 75 million Euro deal)

In what seemed like a never ending carousel for the services of Alvaro Morata, Chelsea have finally dropped the demanded cash to Los Blancos for the young Spaniard. The deal hasn’t been finalized but the reports from B/R suggest that the 75 million Euro asking price set by Real Madrid, Chelsea have paid up. Morata has been linked by the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Juventus and Milan all summer. Chelsea dropping the cash is a welcome sight as it seemed the Blues were going to be shut out of a big name striker with Costa shown the door, and Lukaku choosing Manchester. Chelsea also turned to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but Dortmund have recently announced that he’s staying in the Bundesliga. Morata and Belotti seemed like the final options and it seems that Chelsea got to Morata first. Chelsea will now have no fear of letting Costa go off to his “triumphant” homecoming to Atletico Madrid. Costa leaves winning the Premier League twice with Chelsea, but Morata has loads of experience as well winning league titles in Italy and in Spain with Juventus and Real Madrid. Morata was bought back to the Spanish Capital from Juventus last summer, but he was criminally underused. Zinedine Zidane preferred Karim Benzema, but he attempted to fit Morata in the lineup when he could. Morata would make 22 appearances as a substitute for Madrid, while only making 18 starts, and still scoring a cool 20 goals in all competitions. As well as chipping in with 5 assists and earning himself a Man of the Match award against Leganes. At Chelsea, he’ll be the main man as Michy Batshuayi may find himself on the bench once again. Chelsea have checked off almost everything in preparation for their title defense. A striker, a midfielder, and a center back to add depth to the side as they get ready for the Champions League. Chelsea will look a little different this time around but the new pieces will mesh with the same old pieces that got them a title this past season. Hazard, Willian/Pedro, flanking Morata. Alonso and Moses on the wings with Bakayoko and Kante in the middle. Rudiger, Luiz and Azpilicueta are the three in the back with Courtois in goal. Sounds like a decent XI to me. But with the limited chances that he’s received whilst at Juventus and Real Madrid. It’s going to be difficult how the Spaniard adapts to the Premier League. He could end up being a fine striker for the Blues but it’s a different game on the isles. He’ll finally get his chance as a first choice striker and it comes at the defending champions of the Premier League. He’s a great striker, and a great choice for Chelsea. His development has no ceiling with Antonio Conte, but he’s still the 6th best player on this list. 6th.

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Manchester United- Romelu Lukaku (84.6 million Euros)

The 6th most expensive flat fee in the history of football, Lukaku makes his move to Old Trafford as he snubs a Chelsea return for glory in Manchester. This was absolutely the biggest move Manchester United have made this summer, and it’ll probably be the biggest signing United’s going to make this summer. An absolute predator in the penalty box, Lukaku spearheaded the Everton attack by himself this past season and led the Toffees to a 7th place finish. The Big Belgian has always expressed his desire to play Champions League football and he’s going to get his chance with United, who secured their spot in Europe’s premier competition by winning the Europa League. Lukaku was perhaps the finest striker in all the land last season, with 26 goals in 39 appearances in all competitions. He returns to the manager who sold him in the first place, Jose Mourinho, who’ll look to clean up his attack that missed the most chances in the Premier League last season. It won’t be easy to fill the Zlatan Ibrahimovic sized hole, but Lukaku will be the man to go above and beyond that expectation. A terrific holder of the ball, Lukaku will be the perfect hold up man for Mourinho’s attack. His skill on the ball and awareness to pick out a key pass will make him dangerous with all the toys that United have at their disposal. He’s also a threat in the air as Lukaku wins 3.7 aerial duels per game with of course, most of them happening in the box. He’s a wonderful addition to the club and he’ll prove to the doubters just how much class he possesses as one of Europe’s most skillful and powerful strikers. Absolutely one of the finest strikers in Europe. He came at a very steep price, and returns to the manager who exiled him in the first place. 3rd

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Arsenal- Alexandre Lacazette (52.4 million Euros)

The next French striker to come under the wing of Manager Arsene Wenger. Arsenal spent over 50 million Euros to sign the excellent striker from Lyon. Full of pace and always finding space for himself in the box, Lacazette is a great all around option for Arsenal up top. His ability on the ball creates space in the final third that can be used to play wonderful passes with his teammates, or to be able to blast a shot on goal. Will be a fun target for Ozil to look for as his blistering pace makes for dangerous direct runs toward goal. 37 goals in 45 appearances in all competitions for Lyon shows his talent for finding the net as he looks to replicate those numbers in North London. He’s another Thierry Henry when it comes to his style of play, not sure if he’ll create the moments of brilliance that Henry engraved into Arsenal’s history. But he could be the most dangerous striker under Wenger’s possession since Robin Van Persie. Sanchez can now be pushed back out onto the left wing with Ozil flanking Lacazette on the right. This statement by the Gunners prove that they’re prepared to splash the cash to get back to the top. This is going to be a crucial year with the North London club being the only team in the top 6 of the Premier League to not feature in the Champions League this season. This is going to be Wenger’s first year at Arsenal where he doesn’t have the Champions League to account for. He’s going to need his big signings like Lacazette to perform next season in order for Arsenal to return to the Champions League. They’ll need more attacking threats like the Frenchman if they want to climb over their London rivals Tottenham and Chelsea who finished top 2 of the League. There’s a lot of ground to make up on the red side of North London, but the purchase of Lacazette must have made Gooner fans be a bit more at ease, knowing their club still maintain their prestige and spending power. Lacazette could be the final piece in the puzzle to lift Arsenal above and beyond once again. The final piece that could lift Arsenal towards a title.  Arsenal signed the finest player of this transfer market in the Premier League. 1st

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Manchester City- Bernardo Silva (50 million Euros)

One of Monaco’s starlets last season. Pep Guardiola has invested 50 million Euros into the 22 year old Portuguese winger, another skillful young attacker that could fit perfectly into his mold. 10 goals and 10 assists in 54 appearances in all competitions is an impressive number. Plenty of participation from a creative winger looking to create chances. Silva would rather play off of teammates with quick, short passes on the ground, which is the exact thing that Guardiola preaches at his sides. Tiki taka, quick and short passes out of the back is his philosophy and that’s Silva’s game. It’s a match made in heaven that can really take City to the next level if he performs at the highest of his potential. City are in possession of so much, young and skillful attackers with pace who take direct approaches at the goal. This young trident has the potential to leave Europe’s finest defenses in the dust and to develop into one of the finest attacks we’ve ever seen. Silva, Jesus, and Sane is the lineup for City, and the one they’ll be looking at going forward. With De Bruyne and Silva feeding them balls from the middle of the field, the way Iniesta and Xavi would for Barcelona, is the sort of team Guardiola is trying to create. Creativity and positivity from the Blue side of Manchester, technique and movement, keeping the defense flat footed. Watch Barcelona during Pep’s reign, or Bayern during his reign, or even the Spanish National Team from 2008 to 2012. It’s the quick interplay between teammates that opens up channels for brilliant balls from the middle of the park. That beautiful style of football that calls for awareness, and the patience to carefully pass the ball amongst each other until a run from the front breaks the defense open. Silva possesses that eye for the pass, while also having the eye for a knifing run to open up play, the young winger has it all. He even made a direct impression on Manchester City last year in the Round of 16 of the Champions League. In Monaco’s triumph over the Citizens, Silva recorded an assist during the 2nd leg in Monaco. His assist set up Kylian Mbappe’s early 8th minute goal over Guardiola’s side as Monaco went on to net two more to win 3-1 and advance on away goals. He’s such a skillful winger, but wasn’t really highlighted on Monaco’s run in the Champions League, but the sky is the limit for him when he’s in Guardiola’s hand. 5th.

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Liverpool- Mohamed Salah (42 million Euros)

What a signing Liverpool got themselves here. The pace, and the skill just goes up for the Reds here as that’s what Salah has. He makes his return to the Premier League after being exiled being Mourinho at Chelsea in 2014. He’s been glittering at Roma ever since (except for a brief and successful stint at Fiorentina in between), regularly playing in Europe and competing for titles but just falling short to Juventus. Sounds familiar to Liverpool’s situation, a true glittering team that produces some of the most beautiful you’ll ever see, but continue to fall short at obtaining their goals (except for 2005). Maybe this signing was a match made in heaven, and Salah is meant to win a title with Liverpool. The Egyptian was an absolute sensation for Roma last season, appearing in 41 games in all competitions and netting 19 goals and 12 assists. So skillful on the ball, Salah is sublime when in possession, and looks for quick, short passes to play with teammates. He connected at a blistering pace with Edin Dzeko and together they scored the most goals in Serie A. Salah now looks to take his skill to England where a brilliant trident are already waiting in the wings. It’ll be interesting to see if Jurgen Klopp manages to find a way to get all 4 of his attacking weapons (Coutinho, Mane, Firmino, and Salah) on the field at the same time. I would suspect he would play Coutinho under Firmino as more of an attacking number 10 with Mane on the left and Salah on the right. Jordan Henderson and Emre Can would more then likely fill the other two spots in the midfield for Liverpool. Klopp would still look to incorporate Lallana and Wijnaldum into the lineup and surely they’ll get their opportunities with injuries and Champions League football comping up for the Reds. But there are always casualties when a side reloads on talent. Liverpool have their hands on one of Africa’s brightest talents as he looks to wreak havoc on the Premier League that had just shown him the door, three years ago. Could this take Liverpool over the top and towards a Premier League title? Well sure, but they’ll probably still need Virgil Van Dijk and a goalkeeper to win the league. I’m so excited to see this guy play in England, coming from my favorite side in Italy, Roma. A fine signing for Liverpool. We’ll see if he’ll have a bigger impact then Lukaku, Kane or Lacazette. I don’t know. 4th.

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Everton- Wayne Rooney (?)

Of course Wayne Rooney perhaps isn’t the best signing Everton’s made this summer (that would be Davy Klaassen), but he’s definitely been the highest profile for the Toffees. Besides, in my opinion, I believe Rooney still has plenty to give in the Premier League. Only at 31, sure he doesn’t play the way he did when was 25, but I couldn’t imagine that the England international would want to call it quits at 31. His blast of a goal in their pre season friendly proves that he isn’t quite finished just yet. It’s going to be interested how Ronald Koeman incorporates him into his plans. Everton are on a mission to disrupt the top 6 and to get Everton closer towards Champions League football. Many of his signings were evidence of his intentions to make Everton a true title chaser in England. Everton bringing Rooney back home, takes Rooney to a situation where a club is looking to reach the next level, and could be looking at him to lead them there. Acquired by the Toffees shortly after Man United ripped Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea’s grasp. His transfee fee has yet to be announced but I consider his signing to Everton as part of the Lukaku trade. 75 million pounds plus Rooney for Lukaku, and United took it. Rooney has been on the decline since 2015 with this season being his steepest dip in form of his career. Still managing to record 8 goals and 8 assists in 39 appearances for United in all competitions last season, Rooney was often off the pace of the game, giving away silly fouls and landing himself in the book often throughout the season. His tackling was poor, and his performance in front of goal just wasn’t good enough for a club like United. It may not even be good enough for Everton, because I’m not sure where Rooney would fit in this starting lineup. Unless Barkley leaves for Tottenham, Rooney won’t be able to fit into the Klaassen, Barkley, Idrissa Gueye midfield. Don’t think about sticking him up top either because he failed to perform in that role for United since 2015 and has been resorted as an attacking midfielder. His declining legs to give him the pace and power to lead the United line the way he used too and will need to stay near the middle of the park to be effective. Many question marks are raised for Rooney on this move, but the fact still remains that the former superstar could still make a difference for his boyhood club. The most high profile decline in recent history, takes itself back home to Everton. He can’t stack up to the class of these players anymore, but we’ll see if the former United Captain still has heroics up his sleeve. 7th.

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Tottenham- Harry Kane

Tottenham haven’t made any moves in the summer thus far but still pack a loaded XI as they proved to the top 6 last season. I thought since they haven’t made any moves, I’d compare these big signings to Spurs’ top gun, Harry Kane. The English striker has been an absolute sensation for Spurs since his arrival in 2014/2015. He’s shrugged off talk that he was a one year wonder and has even made Tottenham the top team in North London after finishing 2nd in the Premier League last season. The chosen one of Tottenham has aspirations to lift the title with the North London club and bringing their first top flight tile since 1961. A 3rd place and 2nd place finish respectively the past 2 years for Tottenham has asserted their place in England as one of the land’s premier teams. Boasting an absolute wonderful brand of football under Mauricio Pochettino, Spurs blend short and long passing wonderfully for some of England’s most brilliant attacks. Harry Kane in particular netted a staggering 35 goals in 38 games for Tottenham in all competitions and even chipping in with 7 assists. A killer finisher in and outside of the box. Harry Kane possesses plenty of skill with both of his feet as he’s proven to send in dangerous shots on net with his weaker foot as well as his stronger right foot. His dribbling ability allows for the Big Brit to gain just an inch of space in order to open up for a shot on net. His low, accurate shots that are often put on net with pace, always cause problems for even the finest keepers in the Premier League. He put on master class performances in the Premier League against West Brom, Stoke, and Hull where he put up hat tricks, as well as a 4 goal clinic against Leicester are just some of the dominant showings that he put on last season. Surely he’s proven to be one of England’s top strikers and one that here’s to stay (only being 23). This is the bar that is set in England. This man including others like Lukaku, Sanchez and Hazard are the standard in the Premier League. The very best that it has to offer, and what these signings have to live up too. Kane is one of several that sets the bar, and is the 2nd best player I’ve featured on this list. 2nd

 

 

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