EPL Week 1: Five Things We Learned

Sport360 staff 05:09 15/08/2016
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Starring role: Fernandinho.

The first weekend of the Premier League season is over and supporters have been watching closely to see what we can learn even at this early stage about the campaign ahead.

Sport360 picks out five of the week’s most interesting talking points.

Fernandinho set for central role

Pep Guardiola loves to enhance players’ roles beyond what they’re traditionally used to. Against Sunderland, Fernandinho was ostensibly a deep-lying midfielder but often operated as a third centre-back. No player had more touches (112) or made more passes (97). Expect him to have a huge season.

Rooney and Ibrahimovic too slow and steady

Jose Mourinho’s United are playing at a far quicker tempo than under Louis van Gaal yet too many moves against Bournemouth broke down, or slowed significantly, when the ball landed at Rooney or Ibrahimovic’s feet, due to their obvious lack of pace. If Mourinho wants to foster a faster brand of football, something will soon have to give.

Andy King is not N’Golo Kante

Leicester had a number of issues at Hull, not least the speed at which they transitioned from defence to attack. An overlooked part of N’Golo Kante’s game was how quickly he moved the ball forward. Andy King showed little against the Tigers to imply he can fill that void but Nampalys Mendy’s biggest strength is his passing.

Idrissa Gueye gives Everton much-needed muscle

In a similar thread to the previous point, Everton may have found themselves their own version of Kante as Idrissa Gueye was simply everywhere against Spurs.

His passing unfussy but accurate, his tackling well-timed and there were some notable bursts forward as well. At £9m he could end up proving the steal of the season.

Salomon Rondon an under-the-radar striking star

Maybe it’s because of the club he plays for but Salomon Rondon’s strong physique, aerial presence and determined attitude makes him perfect as a Premier League targetman. There are some rough edges around the West Brom striker but against Palace he scored his third goal in his last three league games.

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