The Premier League season is fast approaching. These guys have never been in the top flight and we can’t wait. We are very excited to see Raphael Varane, but we limited ourselves to one per club.
10) Rico Henry (Brentford)
“You still love your own children,” said Brentford boss Thomas Frank. “He’s one of my 25 sons on my team. Of course, I absolutely love him.
Southampton was among a number of Premier League clubs linked with a £ 15million move for Henry before it was confirmed that Brentford would be in the top flight for the coming season. He was arguably the best left-back in the championship over the past two seasons and seeing how he and the Bees in general fare in the top flight makes us thrill.
9) Valentino Livramento (Southampton)
The 18-year-old considers Southampton a “strong Premier League club”, having made the decision to leave Chelsea, where he has been since the age of nine. Livramento was highly regarded by the coaching staff at Stamford Bridge, but naturally continued on to the first team blocked by the towering figure of Reece James.
As a right winger who played in a four-back and midfield in his time with the Blues academy, he offers Ralph Hasenhuttl versatility as well as excellent technical ability. Like Tariq Lamptey, he could be another good deal for the Chelsea full-back.
8) Albert Sambi Lokonga (Arsenal)
It will be fascinating to see how much Arteta trusts Lokonga. He places great faith in Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka, but in that crucial role as a deeper midfielder, with Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey competing, Arteta could play it safe early on.
He has all the attributes to excel in the Premier League, but it’s a huge step forward for someone who has played two full seasons in the Belgian league and has no experience of European football to speak of. Arsenal have bought at least seven midfielders to fill the Patrick Vieira void and none of them have so far come close. Lokonga could be the man, but then we said the same about Lucas Torreira.
7) Trincao (Wolves)
Trincao and Pedro Neto have been friends since they were children. Both are from a small town in northern Portugal, both played for the home side and were both chosen by Braga.
“They are two amazing players, I have no doubts about that,” said their former Braga coach. “But Wolves sign a different type of player. Pedro Neto is a very direct transition player. Trincao is more of a player who wants to have the ball. He’s not that fast or intense but I think he has a little more magic. Wolves could be a lot of fun.
6) Léon Bailey (Aston Villa)
Replacing a football club’s most valuable asset, which went through the academy to become the club’s captain and become its best player, who was cherished until he was reprimanded, is not an enviable position. Bailey isn’t Jack Grealish, but beyond the obvious bleeding, the point is that he’s so different from himself that he’s unlikely to have to bear the burden of such a comparison.
He is one of many young forwards plying their trade in Europe who have bypassed the Premier League transfer rumor block. Think of Thomas Lemar or a Dembélé. He could join Anwar El Ghazi, Trezeguet and Bertrand Traoré in the Aston Villa a lot of winger stakes, but could just as easily be a notch or two ahead of them.
5) Marc Guéhi (Crystal Palace)
Crystal Palace and Patrick Vieira have quite the transfer window. Conor Gallagher arrived on loan from Chelsea, while Michael Olise, Joachim Andersen, Remi Matthews, Jacob Montes and Marc Guehi have all joined for good. Andersen and Guehi looks like a great center-back partnership on paper.
They are both good with the ball and the Dane’s height matches well with Guehi’s foot float, speed of thought and dribbling ability. It’s a little odd that Chelsea have allowed another very talented defender to lift the sticks, but the buyout clause negates some of the potential regrets they know all too well.
Marc Guéhi made 84 of the 88 passes he attempted today
– Crystal Palace FC (@CPFC) August 7, 2021
4) Ibrahima Konaté (Liverpool)
“I’m tall, strong and I can’t say I’m that technical.” Contrary to Konate’s own statement, which evokes visions of a non-league center-back going through people and sabotaging the ball out of play, Liverpool signed a very talented footballer.
Given their struggles in this area last season, the slight concern for the Reds will be that they have signed another center-back who hasn’t played much football. He has missed 45 games in the last two seasons in four different periods for RB Leipzig, including three for the same injury. But his signing gives Jurgen Klopp a wealth of defense that should be able to cope with even the most unfortunate circumstances.
3) Bryan Gil (Tottenham)
“He came with something wild, indomitable,” recalls Seville youth coordinator Agustín López Páez, “and we never wanted to take that away from him.”
Gil has been compared to Luis Figo, Angel Di Maria, Joaquin and Ringo Starr. “The Beatle of Barbate” is a throwback – a dribbling left winger; the kind of player who could very quickly become very popular in North London.
This cult hero status is often reserved for players who are more fun than efficient, but his stock in Spain is already high with the 20-year-old widely expected to become a vital cog in the Spanish national team going forward, alongside du like Pedri and Ansu Fati.
2) Patson Daka (Leicester City)
“I don’t know how to get upset! Even when I’m upset, I find myself smiling. I love to smile, even for no reason. We already love the Zambian football prodigy. Former striking partner Erling Haaland took over from the Norwegian as the main man when he left for Borussia Dortmund. He has scored 51 goals in 42 league starts over the past two seasons for RB Salzburg.
He made a cameo appearance in the Community Shield, didn’t do much but elicited a particularly insightful co-comment from Lee Dixon. “Fast, isn’t it?” Following incoming shots.
1) Jadon Sancho (Manchester United)
The frustration over the time it took to move to Old Trafford no doubt dampened the excitement somewhat, but it really shouldn’t. Manchester United have signed one of the best wingers in European football, who could be at the club for more than a decade. His numbers are extraordinary, but above all, he is fascinating.
There will be countless references from geneticists in the weeks and months to come on how his DNA matches the club profile. Either they’re compatible and United ignored their genetic makeup for a very long time (which is a possibility), or this time-honored thing worthy of the name is a bunch of nonsense. Sancho is nothing like all the players Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has. Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial are all wing scorers; Sancho is a winger with an eye for a goal, but two eyes for the pass.