The English premier league remains arguably the best and most followed in modern-day football. Featuring loads of upsets, nervy moments, and immense talent, the 22/23 season has quite been worth the preceding hype. Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal continues to cement their strong lead in top spot matchday after matchday.
The summer window saw a lot of transfers home and abroad. West-London giants Chelsea spent a whooping £251.09 pounds as they acquired the services of Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Marc Cucurella amongst others. Manchester United made mega-money moves for Brazilian duo Antony and Casemiro to key into Erik Ten Hag’s project. Manchester City and Liverpool brought in young forwards Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez respectively.
An ensuing conversation as the season runs to an end is which of the numerous players brought in has actually been the most impactful. This piece takes a look at some of such players.
Erling Braut Haaland
The Norwegian starlet followed in the footsteps of his father who played for Leeds United by securing a move to defending league champions Manchester City. City let Sterling and Gabriel Jesus leave in the off-season as a consequence of this transfer and Erling surely has not disappointed by putting the ball in the back of the net 27 times in 23 starts, going on to add further assists. He surely is on course to break Mohamed Salah’s most goals scored in a single league season (32). Though eyebrows have been raised on how City have added to change their gameplay to accommodate Haaland. Joao Cancelo is one of those negatively affected while Rico Lewis has seen increased game time on the other hand.
Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Axel Tuanzebe, Paddy McNair, Eric Bailly, and Chris Smalling are but a few of the defensive contingent Manchester United have employed as they look to fill the boots of the iconic Vidic-Ferdinand duo. Coming short on each occasion, the Argentinian international traded Amsterdam for Manchester just like his manager. The 5ft9 butcher has gone on to prove doubters who raised flags on his ability to play center back in the premier league with such a diminutive stature. His killer mentality alongside Raphael Varane’s experience has completely revamped the Manchester United backline and established the basis for Erik’s tricky reds.
The English shot-stopper had hardly put a foot wrong all season till he picked up a clumsy red card as he tried to sweep up an Alisson Becker power kick headed for Mohamed Salah. The suspension ruled him out of the Carabao cup final against Manchester United.
Pope joined the Tyneside outfit from relegated Burnley in the off-season and leads the clean-sheet unit of the league with 12 shutouts. He has also racked up 54 saves and kept out 50% of the penalties he has faced. His time-wasting antics is quite critical to Newcastle United’s style of play and has rattled managers like Erik Ten Hag and Jurgen Klopp particularly.
“Those who know me know that I chase a ball like a plate of food” – Casemiro.
When the Brazilian international decided to join Manchester United in the summer, you certainly wouldn’t be in the wrong if you assumed it was just his pension plan after a career well done at Real Madrid.
Taking on the iconic jersey no 18 of the Red Devils, he has become more than the Old Trafford faithful bargained for. Sitting at the base of midfield, he is the engine of this new-look Manchester United outfit. Bringing his no-nonsense approach to English football, he has risen to be a fan favorite and led Manchester United to their first silverware in 6 years.
Gabriel Fernando Jesus
Convinced by former Manchester City assistant coach Mikel Arteta to join him in North-London, Gabriel made that move closely followed by Oleksandr Zinchenko. Jesus instantly slotted into the Arsenal XI, providing way more than Alexander Lacazette who left in the summer.
Gabby Jesus has gone on to strengthen the argument on hard-working strikers. Just like prime Roberto Firmino, he has shown a topman should not just be a goalscorer. A modern-day striker needs to be intelligent, good with the ball at feet, and most importantly read the game. Part of the Arsenal FC captaincy fold despite joining in the summer demonstrates just how much of an influence he has been.
Signings of the season XI
GK – Nick Pope(NEW). DEFs – Sven Botman(NEW), Ben Mee(BRE), Lisandro Martinez (MUN), Oleksandr Zinchenko (ARS). MFs – Christian Eriksen(MUN), Carlos Casimiro (MUN), Joao Palhinha (FUL), Andreas Perreira(FUL). FWDs – Gabriel Jesus (ARS), Erling Haaland (MCI). Subs – Dean Henderson, Manuel Akanji, Ivan Perisic, Amadou Onana, Darwin Nunez.
Worst Signings Xi