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Five Premier League players who will be like new signings next season

Injuries and suspensions decimated the seasons of several Premier League players last season, each of whom will be been to put 2023-24 behind them.

The summer provides a chance to regain rhythm and fitness ahead of the new campaign, as clubs prepare to welcome back long-term absentees.

While much of the focus of the summer will be on new arrivals, these five names will be like new signings to their sides after missing much of the previous campaign.

We look at five Premier League players who will be ‘like a new signing’ next season.

Jurrien Timber (Arsenal)

Jurrien Timber’s start at Arsenal could hardly have been worse. A summer arrival from Ajax, the Dutch defender impressed in pre-season and an encouraging performance in the Community Shield win over Manchester City suggested the Gunners had made a shrewd signing.

However, disaster struck. On the opening weekend of the Premier League campaign, Timber sustained an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury to his right knee when tackling Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson. He missed almost the entire 2023-24 season, returning to feature for just 21 minutes against Everton on the final weekend.

Comfortable across the backline and in possession, Timber’s return will be a huge boost for Arsenal as the Gunners look to win the title next season after back-to-back runners-up finishes. The 22-year-old led the Eredivisie for touches, pass completion (91.7%), progressive carrying distance and passes into the final third for Ajax in 2022-23.

Emiliano Buendia (Aston Villa)

Emiliano Buendia missed the entire 2023-24 season for Aston Villa after suffering an ACL injury just days before the club’s season opener at Newcastle.

The Argentine watched on from the sidelines as Aston Villa secured a top-four finish and Champions League qualification and will add much-needed depth to Unai Emery’s squad ahead of their campaign in Europe’s top competition next season.

Villa began to run out of steam during the run-in, including a disappointing Europa Conference League semi-final defeat to Olympiacos. Added bodies will be welcomed by Emery, particularly given Buendia’s ability to operate across several advanced roles.

Tyrone Mings will also return to bolster the club’s defensive options. The centre-back missed 281 days of the campaign after suffering an ACL injury at Newcastle on the opening weekend of the season.

Rico Henry (Brentford)

Rico Henry has been out of action since September with an ACL injury and Brentford badly missed the all-action presence of the full-back. The 26-year-old had been backed for an England call-up after an impressive 2022-23 season but saw his campaign curtailed prematurely last time out.

Henry’s absence was felt as Brentford battled against the drop, while the defender will no doubt be left with a sense of what might have been given England’s lack of left-backs ahead of Euro 2024. Luke Shaw is the only recognised left-back in Gareth Southgate’s squad and travels to the tournament having not played in the Premier League since February.

Christopher Nkunku (Chelsea)

Chelsea have broken records with their spending in recent transfer windows and invested more than £400m on recruits last summer. Arguably the most anticipated arrival was Christopher Nkunku, who ended the previous season as the Bundesliga’s top scorer and scored 58 goals across his final two seasons at RB Leipzig.

However, Nkunku suffered a knee injury in pre-season that required surgery and did not debut for the West Londoners until Christmas Eve.

The France international then suffered a hamstring issue in February and ended his maiden campaign in the Premier League with just two starts. A return of three goals highlights his quality when available and Chelsea will hope he can leave his fitness issues behind, with the prospect of Nkunku linking up with Cole Palmer an exciting one next season.

Sandro Tonali (Newcastle)

Newcastle spent big to sign Sandro Tonali from AC Milan last summer and the midfielder excelled on debut in the 5-1 thrashing of Aston Villa at St James’ Park last August. A goalscoring bow and all-action performance increased excitement in the North East but off-field issues saw Newcastle without the Italian for much of the campaign.

In October, Tonali was handed a ten-month worldwide ban for breaching Italian gambling regulations during his time in Milan, before an FA charge arrived for placing further bets on football after signing for Newcastle. He will be free to resume his career in late August when the 24-year-old can reset and relaunch his time in the Premier League.

Read – Five Pep Guardiola proteges in charge of top clubs next season

See more – Five England eligible players representing other nations at Euro 2024

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