September 20, 2020

PREMIER LEAGUE 2020-21: Rodriguez, Havertz among signings

A look at some of the most high-profile new signings across the Premier League ahead of the new season starting Saturday:


The fact the Colombia playmaker is still best known for that incredible volley he scored at the 2014 World Cup signals two things: that it was a strike of the highest quality, but also that he has failed to kick on since then. So, six years later — at 29, maybe the prime of his career — James finds himself at a midtable English team and again relying on coaching great Carlo Ancelotti to get the best out of him. After all, it was Ancelotti who signed him for Madrid in 2014 but also at Bayern Munich on loan in 2017. Now, they are both at Everton, a team without a trophy since 1995 and living in the shadow of neighbour Liverpool, the recently crowned Premier League champion. Has James got the motivation to help lift Everton from the mediocrity of a 12th-place finish last season and revive his own career? Can he adapt to the rigors of the Premier League? One thing is for sure, he’s one of the most exciting arrivals ever at Goodison Park.


The most expensive signing of the offseason at a fee rising to $92 million, Havertz might also be the most interesting. At 21, the forward is one of the biggest talents in Germany and is making a brave move to continue his development outside his own country. Lampard should know a goalscoring midfielder when he sees one — after all, he is one of the greatest England has produced — and in Havertz, he has a versatile player with proven pedigree already. Havertz is the youngest player to reach 100 Bundesliga appearances and scored 36 goals in four seasons with Bayer Leverkusen in the German league. At his best just behind the striker, Havertz finished last season as Leverkusen’s center forward, linking up play with his deft touch but also scoring goals. With Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech making up Chelsea’s likely attack, Havertz won’t be short of quality around him.

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DONNY VAN DE BEEK (Manchester United)

Van de Beek is the latest star of Ajax’s thrilling run to the 2018-19 Champions League semifinal to leave the Dutch club, but is he a player United really needs? Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appeared to find a good balance in central midfield in the second half of last season, with January signing Bruno Fernandes as the No. 10 ahead of a ball-player in fit-again Paul Pogba and a more defensive anchorman in Nemanja Matic. Where a box-to-box midfielder like Van de Beek fits in is open to question, with Solskjaer maybe set to use the 23-year-old Netherlands international as a back-up ahead of the likes of Fred and Scott McTominay. United, after all, struggled for real quality outside its starting XI last season. In Van de Beek’s favor is his ability to score goals — 40 in his last three seasons — and …read more

Source:: Houston Sports


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