This summer’s transfer window has blown hot and cold so far with a number of clubs in the world having already purchased players who can spearhead their team to glory next season.
Paul Pogba’s ongoing saga aside, Brazilian striker Hulk has been one of the most eye-catching transfers to date – leaving Zenit St Petersburg for Shanghai SIPG for the not-so-insignificant fee of £45 million.
Middlesbrough, meanwhile, have been one of the busiest teams in the English top flight as they prepare for their return to the Premier League.
Here are five signings who will aid their teams in either escaping the drop, qualifying for Europe or, better still, winning the title!
Deep-lying playmaker Granit Xhaka became Arsenal’s first signing of the summer when he joined the club on a long-term contract in May. Most Gooners are declaring that the Swiss holding midfielder is the man to solve their previous problems. Xhaka made it into the Bundesliga Team of the Season for his tough tackling, long passing and dogged determination and these are three skills Arsenal have been crying out for. This could be the season where they get their hands on the title.
Next season, Welshman Joe Allen can look forward to many cold Tuesday nights in Stoke. He’s left Anfield to don the red and white of the Potters as he aims to get them into the Europa League, the next step up from mid table. Allen fended off many football legends to make it into the Euro 2016 Team of the Tournament, even Gareth Bale. His range of passing and reading of the game is world class and will help the Potters as they seek success.
Simply, the man has won everything at club level. His leadership and skills will change José Mourinho’s men into champions. He’s a natural-born finisher and last season Man United were spread thinly in that position until Marcus Rashford stepped up to the plate. Goals win you divisions and this man brings bucket loads of goals; therefore, he will be a great signing for the Red Devils.
What a season N’Golo Kante has had, between collecting a Premier League medal and reaching the European Championship final. Kante covers every blade of grass on a pitch and also racked up the most interceptions in the league last year thanks to his relentless energy. Last year Chelsea looked ragged and slow in central midfield with a lack of desire, and Kante will change this in a heartbeat. He should play in front of Antonio Conte’s back three offering protection as well as boosting their midfield in the process.
Whenever a side is promoted into the Premier League, they always need to have a good striker to have any hope of survival. Boro have done this through the signing of former Manchester City attacker Alvaro Negredo on loan. The Spanish striker brings a wealth of experience and an eye for a goal. If Middlesbrough stay up, then it’ll be down to the goals of their new frontman who is, without doubt, one of the marquee signings this summer so far.
Patrick Perry, Pundit Arena