Premier League football is just around the corner with the new season set to kick off this weekend, with each of England’s leading sides daring to dream ahead of another fascinating season of top flight action.
The division’s opening fixtures will bring a host of new faces to the Premier League following an intriguing transfer window, and we’ve decided to look at some of the summer signings set to make their bows this weekend.
Here are five players we can’t wait to see make their Premier League debut this weekend:
Carlo Ancelotti’s pulling power has been emphasised with Everton’s capture of James Rodriguez from Real Madrid, the Colombia international arriving to add a sprinkling of stardust to a midfield lacking imagination last season.
Rodriguez has won a host of league titles during spells at Porto, Real and Bayern Munich, in addition to winning the World Cup’s Golden Boot following his starring performances in the tournament six years ago.
The playmaker may have endured a frustrating period of late but at 29-years-old has plenty left to give, whilst his global appeal has catapulted Everton into a wider consciousness with the announcement of Rodriguez’s signing emblazoned on billboards in New York, Miami and Bogota in addition to Merseyside.
#EFC estimate their marketing, social & PR activity for James signing reached in excess of 400m people within 48 hours of Colombian's announcement.
Includes activations in Times Square, Bogota, US & Liverpool pic.twitter.com/brNTI2N0N6
— Patrick Boyland (@Paddy_Boyland) September 9, 2020
Everton has become somewhat of a footballing graveyard for talent in recent years with several high-profile additions having seen their form nosedive since moving to Goodison Park, but hopes will be high that Rodriguez can buck that trend and be much more than another expensive misfit.
The club’s capture of Rodriguez is undoubtedly a coup, regardless of whether the signing of a player with silky style and boyband looks actually proves to be a success story. What is for sure, however, is it’s likely to be a fun ride, starting with a trip to Tottenham this weekend.
We could close our eyes and pick any one of Chelsea’s summer signings out of a hat to feature on this list of exciting debutants this weekend, but we’ve opted for Timo Werner as the player we are most looking forward to watching.
The Germany international has been a prolific presence in the Bundesliga for several seasons and arrives in the Premier League on the back of a career-best campaign, scoring 34 goals in all competitions for RB Leipzig last season and finished as runner-up for the division’s Golden Boot.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 4, 2020
Frank Lampard will be hoping Werner can add a clinical edge to his new-look side this season and the signs have been promising thus far, the 24-year-old scoring in a friendly draw at Brighton – ironically Chelsea’s opening opponents this weekend – and netting again whilst on international duty in the Nations League with Germany.
Werner boasts scintillating speed and his electric style will add a new dimension to the Chelsea attack, the forward expected to spearhead the club’s title charge and few would bet against the star opening his account at the Amex Stadium this weekend.
A decade on from a loan spell in English football with Bolton Wanderers, Rodrigo returns to the Premier League as Leeds’ club-record signing following the club’s long-awaited return to the top flight.
The Spain international has forged a successful career during spells at the likes of Benfica and Valencia, and will arrive with high hopes of hitting the ground running for the newly-promoted side.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) August 29, 2020
His signing is a significant coup for Leeds with the player linked with Barcelona as recently as January, and whilst he has never been a prolific forward his all-round qualities seem perfectly suited to ‘Bielsa Ball’.
Rodrigo is not a centre-forward who stations himself in the penalty area but rather a player who likes to drift around attacking areas, using his intelligent movement to get in behind defences and seemingly offering a perfect focal point for a fluid Leeds attack.
The 29-year-old and Leeds will face a baptism of fire with a trip to face champions Liverpool on Saturday, the perfect platform to announce their respective returns to the Premier League.
Gabriel Magalhaes was tracked by several leading clubs this summer with the likes of Napoli and Manchester United reportedly showing interest in the defender, but it was Arsenal who won the race to secure the signature of the highly-rated Brazilian.
Gabriel had starred at the heart of a Lille defence to attract attention from across the continent, with Arsenal spending £27m on the centre-back in a bid to end their defensive woes, a significant fee given the club’s financial limitations amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Arsenal for so long have mixed free-flowing football with a frustrating soft underbelly, the fragility of their backline proving all too predictable as their fortunes have faltered in recent seasons.
Mikel Arteta’s ambitions will be to lead the Gunners back into the Champions League places and the Spaniard will hope Gabriel is the man who can instil a new found solidity to his side, Arsenal having shown promising signs of increased resilience since the appointment of their former club captain.
The 22-year-old will need time, however, and having not played a competitive fixture since early March it remains to be seen whether Arteta will throw the summer signing in for the trip to Fulham this weekend.
Crystal Palace have been crying out for a youthful injection to an ever ageing side and the acquisition of Eberechi Eze looks like a shrewd signing.
The midfielder has regularly stolen the show at Queens Park Rangers since establishing himself in the club’s first-team, forging a reputation as one of the most exciting talents outside of the top flight following a stand-out 2019/20 season.
This is why Crystal Palace signed Eberechi Eze 🔥 pic.twitter.com/dMVe3Mmi40
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) August 28, 2020
Eze scored 14 league goals and provided a further eight assists last season, the 22-year-old a wonderful player to watch in full flight and possessing a creativity and x-factor that has been sorely lacking from the Crystal Palace side in recent seasons.
Many have speculated that Eze could be a replacement for Wilfried Zaha, but with the latter remaining at Selhurst Park to date, it presents the prospect of the duo dovetailing in a new-look attack alongside the maverick talents of Jordan Ayew.
The youngster will now handed an opportunity to play regularly at Premier League level and looks set to shine in his new surroundings with Roy Hodgson’s side, beginning with a home clash against Southampton this Saturday.