English Premier League: from Haaland to Jesus, five signings to watch as the new season gets under way
- Premier League clubs have again splashed the cash this summer, with Manchester City and Liverpool leading the way
- But the money invested does not always pay dividends, here are some of the players worth watching this season
Premier League clubs have flexed their financial muscle once more in the race for the world’s best talent ahead of Friday’s kick-off to the 2022-23 season.
Manchester City and Liverpool, two teams who have become perennial title contenders in recent years, have made big splashes in the transfer market, while Manchester United have again struggled to cause even a ripple.
With the title seemingly destined for either Anfield or the Etihad Stadium, we take a look at five summer signings who could make an impact over the course of the season.
City have addressed their need for a central striker, and got one of the most highly sought after players in the world to do so, after beating off competition from around Europe for Erling Haaland.
The Norwegian’s buyout clause from Borussia Dortmund was a bargain at £51 million (US$63 million) but the reported signing-on fee, agents fees and wages over the course of a five-year contract will reportedly set City back £190 millon.
Haaland may have had a debut to forget as he missed practically an open goal in City’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool in the Community Shield last weekend.
But Pep Guardiola warned his side’s challengers for the title “the goals will come”.
Haaland scored 86 goals in 89 games for Dortmund and although he has been signed as the final piece to get Guardiola’s men over the line in the Champions League, his arrival makes the champions favourites for a fifth league title in six years.
In contrast to Haaland, Darwin Nunez had the perfect start to his Liverpool career by scoring and winning a penalty against City in the Community Shield.
The Reds have banked on the Uruguayan to evolve their attacking options after the departure of Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich.
Nunez cost an initial €75 million from Benfica (US$77 million), but that fee could rise to €100 million depending on his success at Anfield.
Luis Diaz is expected to take the place of Mane on the left of Liverpool’s front three with Nunez phasing out Roberto Firmino.
His aerial presence offers Jurgen Klopp’s men a different focal point in attack, but it could take some time for the Reds to adjust.
Much of the debate over United’s only big money signing, Lisandro Martinez, has surrounded on how his diminutive 5ft 9in (1.8m) presence will cope with the rigours of the Premier League.
The Argentine is well-known to new United manager Erik ten Hag, who signed Martinez for Ajax.
A £57 million transfer fee suggests Ten Hag sees Martinez as a regular starter at Old Trafford, but it remains to be seen in what position.
Martinez played at centre-back, left-back and centre midfield during his time with the Dutch champions.
Ten Hag used him most commonly at the heart of his defence, which would put United captain Harry Maguire’s position under threat, with French World Cup winner Raphael Varane also competing to start at centre-back.
A key player in City’s first two Premier League title triumphs under Pep Guardiola, Raheem Sterling found himself slowly edged out at the Etihad by the arrival of Jack Grealish and the emergence of Phil Foden.
Still a vital part of England manager Gareth Southgate’s plans in a World Cup year, Sterling has moved south to become the face of Chelsea’s new era.
The 27-year-old was the Blues’ first signing since Todd Boehly’s consortium bought the club from Roman Abramovich.
Chelsea badly need a goalscorer if they are to compete with City and Liverpool for the title and Sterling is the most likely member of Thomas Tuchel’s squad to get 20 goals.
He hit that mark three seasons in a row between 2017 and 2020 and will have the guaranteed minutes he did not get under Guardiola in the past two years to reach that tally once more.
Jesus was another victim of the wealth of attacking talent at City as the Brazilian hopes to relaunch his career at the Emirates ahead of the World Cup.
Despite winning seven major trophies at the Etihad, Jesus never became the successor to Sergio Aguero City hoped they were buying six years ago.
Arsenal badly needed a striker after the departures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
Jesus already has the Gunners fans excited after scoring seven times in preseason, including in the thrashing of Chelsea and Sevilla.