Peter Crouch (7)
Darren Fletcher (West Brom, free), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea, loan)
Marko Arnautovic (Stoke, £20m), Jonathan Walters (Burnley, £3m), Phil Bardsley (Burnley, £700k)
No matter the season, no matter the squad, no matter the opposition – Stoke will seemingly always finish around mid-table and fans will continue to enjoy Premier League football.
A lack of arrivals means an average squad is treading water and they could be caught, especially as their once-resiliant defence appears to be in decline.
Until his ACL in 2016, Kurt Zouma was the future of the Chelsea and France defence. Has a point to prove and will have an eye on Russia 2018.
Ahead of their 10th successive top-flight season the goal is to halt last season’s slide and rediscover their hard-to-beat mentality.
Lack goals, have lost one of their most creative players in Arnautovic and appear ripe for a relegation fight.
Dwight Gayle (23)
Jacob Murphy (Norwich, £12m), Christian Atsu (Chelsea, £6.2m), Florian Lejeune (Eibar, £8.7m), Javier Manquillo (Atletico Madrid, £4m), Mikel Merino (Borussia Dortmund, loan)
Lewis Gibson (Everton, £6m), Daryl Murphy (Nottingham Forest, £2m)
With Benitez at the helm, there should be real optimism they can soar to safety. In Dwight Gayle, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Jonjo Shelvey they possess experience and proven quality.
Benitez’s bond with the fans is sensational, but less than stable with thrifty chairman Mike Ashley, with their promotion campaign littered with arguments over financial backing.
Mikel Merino was among La Liga’s brightest talents just two seasons ago.
Newcastle are a big club and with Benitez in possession of talented players, fans will be hoping for a campaign without a relegation fight and even a push for the top 10.
The season is unlikely to pass without an Ashley/Benitez war of words which could derail progress. Likely to land safely in mid-table though, with their strikers firing them out of a relegation battle if one ensues.
Virgil van Dijk
Nathan Redmond (7)
Mario Lemina (Juventus, £18m), Jan Bednarek (Lech Poznan, £5.7m)
Jay Rodriguez (West Brom, £12m), Jason McCarthy (Barnsley (£200,000), Cuco Martina (Everton, free), Martin Caceres (Verona, free)
For the first time in many season, Saints have not – yet – lost a star name. New manager Pellegrino worked wonders at La Liga’s Alaves.
The absence of skipper Van Dijk, whether temporarily or permanently, casts a considerable shadow. Goalscoring issues have not been fixed and they have been poor in pre-season.
In the absence of any exciting incomings, the onus falls on the likes of Sofiane Boufal to belatedly live up to the enlivening reputation he earned at Lille before last summer’s arrival.
The revolving door of managers keeps spinning at Saints, yet their record of respectable finishes also continues.
The time when change catches up with Southampton seems at hand. If Manolo Gabbiadini does not attain consistency of finishing, a descent down the table awaits.