A summer which has been dominated by transfer sagas involving the likes of Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez dominate the headlines. As Tottenham splash the cash and Arsenal fail to spend other clubs such as Norwich have significantly improved their squads. With the deadline fast approaching, here are five players to keep an eye on for the remainder of the season.
WILFRIED BONY – SWANSEA - £12M FROM VITESSE
Wilfried Bony is the man that Swansea have recruited to lower the burden on 22 goal star striker Michu. Buying players from the Eredivisie can sometimes prove to be a risk; as former Premier League side Middlesborough learnt the hard way after seeing the £12m signing Afonso Alves flop in England. However, Bony has already found his goal scoring touch for the Swans, bagging four goals in five games and seems to have established an understanding with his Spanish team-mate. Bony fits easily into Michael Laudrup’s setup at the Liberty Stadium with instinctive finishing and a strong work rate. Being the target man of the attack allows Michu to be in his preferred role sitting behind the striker and Bony gives them an explosive option in the air. Bony could prove to be a 20 goal striker and help Swansea become a real force this campaign.
PAULINHO – TOTTENHAM - £17M FROM CORINTHIANS
Paulinho was recruited for a sum of £17m from Brazilian side Corinthians with Andre Villas-Boas installing some Brazilian class into an already star studded midfield. With Scott Parker departing to Fulham, Paulinho is the ideal replacement. He won the Bronze Ball at the Confederations Cup as he led Brazil to victory on home turf. He is set to be the lynchpin of their midfield as they host the upcoming World Cup. He is a strong, hard-working box to box midfielder with a knack for scoring goals. Argentine legend, Juan Roman Riquelme, likened Paulinho to Frank Lampard but his style is more like Yaya Toure of Manchester City. Paulinho is set for a bright future and could become one of the Premier League’s best central midfielders.
JESUS NAVAS – MANCHESTER CITY - £14M FROM SEVILLA
Jesus Navas was Manchester City’s first big name signing of the summer as Manuel Pellegrini strengthened his squad ahead of his first season in English football. Signed for around £14m from Sevilla, he was a one club man before his move to Manchester. He was reportedly homesick which could have been a problem for City but thanks to his brother who plays for Bury FC has helped in settle. He has electric pace and with new signings Fernandinho, Steven Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo he adds to an impressive attacking outlet. Pellegrini has been keen to implement his attacking football at the Etihad Stadium and Navas is the perfect addition to his squad. The Spanish winger has astonishing agility and has the ability to turn defenders inside out. One area of his game that is lacking is his finishing. Although he doesn’t score as much as his side would want, he gets many assists to compensate. If he can improve his goal scoring abilities, Navas could become one of the most devastating midfielders in the world.
LUIS ALBERTO – LIVERPOOL - £6M FROM SEVILLA
Luis Alberto added another Luis to Liverpool’s ranks with his Uruguayan team-mate now set to stay at Anfield. Alberto left Spain for Merseyside for a fee of around £6m following Iago Aspas in swapping La Liga for the Premier League. Alberto struggled for opportunities for Sevilla and failed to make an impact in their B side. He was loaned to Barcelona B and his spell went better than either
club could imagine. Barca found a new talisman as Alberto operated as their ‘false nine’ forming a good partnership with Everton’s new loanee, Gerard Deulofeu. He bagged 11 goals for the Catalan club and picked up a further 18 assists. Alberto shows great vision and technical ability and Barca were prepared to make his move permanent but due to their over booked forward line, they declined. Liverpool were quick to pounce in the versatile forward who can operate through the middle, on either wing or in a slightly deeper role. Barcelona’s loss and can be Liverpool’s gain as the player likened to Juan Mata promises to have a big future on Merseyside.
GERARD DEULOFEU – EVERTON – LOAN FROM BARCELONA
New Everton manager Roberto Martinez clinched the signature of one of Europe’s hottest prospect, a prospect that could possibly be the man to fill Lionel Messi’s boots at Barcelona. Barcelona are aware of the potential that their young Spaniard possesses and are confident that former player Martinez can bring the best out of their prodigy. For Everton, it is a win – win situation. They gain a dangerous wide man with an eye for goal without digging into the club’s little transfer funds. Deulofeu will be keen to justify the hype surrounding him with some stellar performances for the Toffees. If Martinez can give him game time, Deulofeu could potentially be the signing of the season.