No Nunez or Richarlison; Our Summer XI Premier League signing


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There is no room for Darwin Nunez, Richarlison, James Tarkowski, Fabio Vieira or even Christian Eriksen in our Premier League Signing of the Summer XI. And that alone says a lot about the quality of new players on their way to a pitch near you.

Gavin Bazunu – Southampton, £12million

Sam Johnstone on a free look at a case inspired by Crystal Palace. And, in Dean Henderson, Nottingham Forest appear to have found an upgrade on fan favorite Brice Samba.

But, considering potential, longevity and sheer raw talent, Ireland international Bazunu feels like one of the best pound-for-pound signings made by any Premier League club this summer.

At just 20, Bazunu could be Southampton’s number one not just next season but for years to come.

Rasmus Kristensen – Leeds United, £10m

10 goals, eight assists; These are the kind of numbers that many forwards would be proud to call their own. But Kristensen is not a striker. The 25-year-old Dane puts the “wing” back. His explosive acceleration and all-action approach should make him an immediate fan favorite at Elland Road.

Kalidou Koulibaly – Chelsea, £33m

In 2018, Carlo Ancelotti described his then-stalwart Napoli as the best centre-half in world football. A footballer worthy of a 150 million euro prize.

Koulibaly is a few years older these days, and not quite so flawless, but a defender of his experience and us still looks a bargain at £33 million. The post-Antonio Rudiger era suddenly looks a bit brighter for Chelsea.

Diego Carlos – Aston Villa, £26million

Aston Villa are used to achieving the unexpected. Take Diego Carlos for example. The granite-carved centre-back looked ready for Newcastle United before Villa snatched him right under Eddie Howe’s nose, completing a transfer no one saw coming in a quick double.

One of the best centre-halves in Europe over the past two years, Carlos represents a colossal blow for a side that finished a modest 14e last season.

Sven Botman – Newcastle United, £35m

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Who said left-sided defenders were hard to find? Manchester United bought Lisandro Martinez from Ajax, Tottenham landed Clement Lenglet and West Ham paid £27million for Nayef Aguerd.

Newcastle, meanwhile, hope Botman is worth it. The Dutchman’s impeccable performances as Lille stole the Ligue 1 crown in charge of PSG in 2021 suggests a £35million investment will be repaid with interest.

Ivan Perisic – Tottenham Hotspur, free transfer

As Brentford signed one of Serie A’s most exciting youngsters from Bologna, Aaron Hickey, Spurs have gone to Italy in search of a man at the other end of his career. At 33, Perisic is the oldest player in this XI.

But the evergreen Croatian only gets better with age. Perisic was arguably the cream of a talented culture at Inter Milan last season and seems perfectly suited to Antonio Conte’s wing-back system.

Yves Bissouma – Tottenham Hotspur, £25m

For the past two seasons, it almost looked like Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s name was printed in magic marker on the Tottenham Hotspur squad sheet. But with the arrival of Bissouma from Brighton, one of the Premier League‘s ever present will be looking nervously over his shoulder.

Is there something that the Malian master cannot do?

Boubacar Kamara – Aston Villa, free transfer

Notable mentions must go to Joao Palhinha (Fulham), Cheick Doucoure (Palace), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Marc Roca and Tyler Adams (both Leeds United).

But if Kamara’s utterly exquisite performance in Villa’s 1-0 friendly win over Leeds Down Under is anything to behold, the France international should already make room on his chimney for the ‘Bon marché de the year” of this season.

Gabriel Jesus – Arsenal, £45m

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If Mikel Arteta had a reliable goalscorer on his books, would Arsenal be a Champions League side right now? Alexandre Lacazette, for all his work off the ball, proved to be more of a hindrance than a help as the Gunners missed the Promised Land.

Gabriel Jesus, then, feels like that isn’t the final piece of Arteta’s jigsaw, then certainly the kind of signing that can turn a fifth-place team into fourth. Or even higher, perhaps, given how Jesus exploded out of the blocks in preseason.

Erling Haaland – Manchester City, £51m

What can we say about Manchester City’s new number nine, Erling Haaland, that hasn’t been said yet? Sometimes it’s best to let the numbers do the talking.

In his last 132 games for club and country, Haaland has touched the net 134 times. Imagine the mass production potential of this goal-scoring machine when he shares a pitch with Kevin de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish.

A daunting prospect indeed.

Rahim Sterling – Chelsea, £47.5m

Given that Richarlison is far from guaranteed a place in Spurs’ starting XI – he has Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Dejan Kulusevski for company, after all – Chelsea’s new number 17 gets the nod instead.

Sterling can remain a somewhat divisive presence despite his enviable trophy collection and goalscoring return. But, on paper at least, he is a major improvement over Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic at Chelsea.

Signing of the Summer XI

In other news, Stranger than Lambert: ‘Really good’ ace has to be Liverpool’s weirdest signing – Our View

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