The Premier League returns in three weeks’ time with some new protagonists to keep an eye on.
A shortened transfer window means teams have been busier than normal at this stage of the summer and it is not just the big clubs who have made eye-catching signings.
Here we run the rule over five of the most high-profile new arrivals.
The mascot is not the only ‘Fred the Red’ at Old Trafford anymore after Manchester United bolstered their central-midfield department with a Brazilian international from Shakhtar Donetsk.
Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic were signed by Jose Mourinho in the previous two summers and Fred may hold the key to consistently getting the best out of the World Cup-winning Frenchman. Mourinho requires steel, energy and tactical nous from his midfielders and United will need Fred to fit the bill if they are to mount a title challenge.Jorginho
Chelsea turned to Napoli for both their new manager – Maurizio Sarri – and their star summer signing – Jorginho. The latter was strongly linked with champions Manchester City but he will feature in the Premier League wearing a darker shade of blue.
The Italy international is already well versed in Sarri’s system and will be key to implementing his tactics in London. With N’Golo Kante also in the engine room, Chelsea will hope they can once more build a midfield capable of winning a title.Felipe Anderson
West Ham have been one of the busiest clubs in this summer’s window after appointing former Premier League title winner Manuel Pellegrini to their managerial post. Jack Wilshere’s move from Arsenal is intriguing and Ukraine international Andriy Yarmolenko has the potential to light up the division, but Brazilian Anderson is their new club-record signing from Lazio.
The Hammers have pulled off major coups in signing South Americans previously – see Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano – and it will be fascinating to see how Anderson gets on in the capital.Jean-Michael Seri
Having been linked with Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, it was somewhat of a surprise to see play-off winners Fulham land 26-year-old Ivory Coast international Seri from Nice. The Cottagers announced the signing with a graphic which read ‘Serious’ and, given those rumoured to be interested, the midfielder’s acquisition must be seen as a statement of intent.Rui Patricio
Fulham were not the only promoted club to make a signing that made the rest of the Premier League take notice as Wolves swooped for Portugal international Patricio. The goalkeeper, his country’s first-choice stopper at the 2018 World Cup, was part of the Euro 2016-winning team and has over 70 international caps.
Few expect Wolves to struggle with the step up given their dominance last term and the finances behind them. With Patricio now on board, maybe qualifying for Europe is not even beyond the realms of possibility.
As soon as Mauricio Pochettino issued an apparent ultimatum to chairman Daniel Levy at the end of last season there was always a sense that this would be a defining summer for Tottenham.
Pochettino went off script after delivering a third successive top-three finish and told Levy to “be brave and take risks” in order for Spurs to take the next step and challenge for trophies both in England and Europe.
Levy appeared to listen and quickly tied the Argentinian down to a new five-year deal, rebuffing interest from Real Madrid, and followed it up with a bumper salary cap-breaking new contract for Harry Kane, with Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen also expected to sign on soon.
But as the summer went on, it was events 1,500 miles away at the World Cup in Russia that could yet have the biggest impact on how Spurs fare this season.
As a marker to the quality of the squad that Pochettino has assembled in north London, there were nine Spurs players involved in the entirety of the World Cup, with five England players, three Belgians and Hugh Lloris of France in Russia until the end.
And what sort of effect that will have is an intriguing prospect.
Initially, it will throw Pochettino’s pre-season plans into disarray as the nine players are unlikely to return to the club much before their last friendly with Girona on August 4 and how refreshed they will be when the new season kicks off a week later remains to be seen.
But the possible benefits of a successful summer for those players are a more appealing prospect, particularly for the five England players that caught the imagination of the country.
Kane, Kieran Trippier, Alli, Eric Dier and Danny Rose returned from Russia heroes and that experience of a successful tournament could help them kick on domestically.
Not that Kane has much improving to do, having hit 25, 29 and 30 goals in his last three Premier League seasons and he will again be the favourite for the Golden Boot.
In terms of those risks Pochettino asked Levy to take, they have yet to materialise in the transfer market at least.
With the window shutting 48 hours before the campaign starts, Spurs, as has become tradition, look set to have to do their business late on.
They will need some additional firepower to supplement Kane, another centre-back, if, as expected, Toby Alderweireld leaves, while Rose and midfielder Mousa Dembele have also been told they can move on, so replacements might need to be found for them.
Another factor for Spurs to contend with is their move into their new stadium, which will happen in September after a one-off Wembley return and a run of away games.
How they adapt to their new surroundings, and whether they can avoid a bumpy settling in period, will be one of the key factors in how their season pans out.