Manchester United's Fred, Chelsea's Jorginho among high-profile Premier League arrivals

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Man United spent over £50million to sign Brazilian midfielder Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk.

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.

Fred

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.

Fred has been brought in to strengthen United's midfield.

Fred has been brought in to strengthen United’s midfield. [Photo credit: @ManUtd/Twitter]

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.

Signing Jorginho was a coup for Chelsea. [Photo credit: @ChelseaFC/Twitter]

Signing Jorginho was a coup for Chelsea. [Photo credit: @ChelseaFC/Twitter]

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.

Anderson is the jewel of West Ham's recruitment drive. [Photo credit: @WestHamUtd/Twitter]

Anderson is the jewel of West Ham’s recruitment drive. [Photo credit: @WestHamUtd/Twitter]

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.

Seri was a stunning signing for Fulham. [Photo credit: @FulhamFC/Twitter]

Seri was a stunning signing for Fulham. [Photo credit: @FulhamFC/Twitter]

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.

Rui Patricio will bring a wealth of experience to Wolves.

Rui Patricio will bring a wealth of experience to Wolves.

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Maurizio Sarri has his hands full as he looks to lead Chelsea back to Premier League glory

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Maurizio Sarri has plenty of work to do to restore Chelsea to glory.

Maurizio Sarri clearly relishes a challenge, as that is exactly what he faces at Chelsea.

Crises are regular features of life at Cobham and Stamford Bridge, but the 59-year-old former Napoli boss has walked into the most difficult period of Roman Abramovich’s ownership of the Blues.

For Chelsea, Abramovich – owner since 2003 – and now Sarri, the challenges are numerous.
There is the Russian billionaire’s visa issues with the UK authorities; the decision to indefinitely postpone plans to rebuild Stamford Bridge in a project which would have cost over £1billion; and, the on-field competition from Manchester, London and Liverpool.
The Blues even struggled to deliver the fatal blow with Abramovich’s oft-wielded axe this summer, with Antonio Conte belatedly sacked on July 13 – 55 days after winning the FA Cup in his final match in charge and having started pre-season training.
Conte’s demands and moaning cost him his job, just a year after signing an improved contract in the wake of the Premier League title triumph.
Sarri, appointed a day after Conte’s departure was announced, will have to be a diplomat with both the Chelsea board and players uneasy at lurching from one mess to another.
Playmaker Eden Hazard has for some time been pondering extending the contract which runs until 2020.
After finishing third at the World Cup with Belgium, playing a leading role as captain, the 27-year-old hinted at his desire to join Real Madrid – a team seeking to rebuild after selling Cristiano Ronaldo.
Thibaut Courtois‘ future is also in doubt. The goalkeeper – Golden Glove winner at Russia 2018 – has just a year to run on his deal and has long been linked with a return to Madrid.
He spent three years with Atletico on loan from Chelsea. His children are in the Spanish capital too.
Chelsea may cash in on both players, but with the transfer window for Premier League clubs closing on August 9 – prior to the rest of Europe – the onus will be on early decisions and early deals.
The Blues have been circumspect in recent transfer windows, often making late moves. There is no time for dilly dallying now.
Should Hazard and/or Courtois depart, the need for high-quality replacements is obvious.
Winning the FA Cup could end up being Hazard's last act with Chelsea.

Winning the FA Cup could end up being Hazard’s last act with Chelsea.

Hazard has carried Chelsea at times in recent seasons; his stardust is not easily replaced.
There may be a high turnover of personnel, but do Chelsea and Abramovich have the appetite, or the means, to spend?
Sarri has shown his readiness to blend journeymen and youth in the past.
He may be more willing than previous Chelsea bosses to promote the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek to the first XI.
Perhaps the personnel changes will come from within. Maybe Tomas Kalas, Kurt Zouma, Michy Batshuayi and Marco van Ginkel will be among those finally given a chance to impress in the first-team squad.
Italy midfielder Jorginho has already signed for the Blues, following Sarri from Napoli. What does that mean for England international Danny Drinkwater, who endured a miserable first season following his move from Leicester?
Jorginho has arrived from Napoli along with Sarri.

Jorginho has arrived from Napoli along with Sarri.

Willian cut a forlorn figure at times last term. Maybe that was frustration with Conte, but the Brazilian has long been linked with being reunited with Jose Mourinho at Manchester United. Barcelona are rumoured to be interested too.
And World Cup winner N’Golo Kante continues to attract admirers at such a rate that Chelsea may have a decision to make about the France midfielder as well.
Whether Chelsea stick or twist regarding record signing Alvaro Morata will be intriguing. The £58million signing from Real Madrid has been linked with a move after a mixed first season at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have the challenge of playing in the Europa League on Thursdays. How will that impact on their domestic duties?
Chelsea are already playing catch-up after finishing fifth, 30 points behind runaway champions Manchester City last term.
Sarri needs to get to work quickly – and have the support of the club and the players. Otherwise, the Blues risk falling further off the pace.
And speculation that the Italian will be discarded will begin. For that is the way of life at Chelsea.

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Defining summer for Tottenham as club move into new stadium with expectations raised

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Tottenham are set to usher in a new era as they move into their reconstructed stadium.

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.

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