The Season Ticket
Part One | New Premier League arrivals to keep an eye on
The return of the Premier League is just two weeks away.
Most clubs have used the summer to strengthen ahead of what promises to be a fascinating 2019/20 campaign.
As we did last year, we profile a host of new arrivals to the division to keep an eye on.
This edition features Tanguy Ndombele, Rodri, Wesley Moraes, Joelinton, Pablo Fornals and Dani Ceballos.
Tanguy Ndombele (Spurs)
Tanguy Ndombele made an instant impact on his Spurs debut.
The France international set up a goal with virtually his first touch after coming off the bench in Spurs' preseason friendly against Juventus.
After last year's self-imposed transfer exile, it's no surprise that Spurs fans are excited about their new club-record £65 million signing.
Anyone who watched Manchester City's clashes against Lyon in the Champions League last season knows that Spurs' new midfielder has the potential to be a huge player for the club.
Spurs have been searching for a replacement for the influential Mousa Dembele, and Ndombele could certainly fill the Belgian's shoes. The 22-year-old is an energetic box-to-box midfielder with an eye for goal, and shone in the middle of the park for Mauricio Pochettino's side in the recent friendly win over Real Madrid.
Ndombele brings far more than physicality and athleticism; he provided seven assists last season for Lyon. He is a versatile midfielder and could suit a variety of formations under Pochettino.
Could the French midfielder be the man to take Spurs to the next level?
Rodri (Manchester City)
Manchester City have signed Rodri from Atletico Madrid in a club-record deal.
Pep Guardiola has signed Rodri as Fernandinho's eventual replacement after meeting the midfielder's £62.5m release clause.
The 23-year-old has been likened to Sergio Busquets, and is regarded as one of the world's best young midfielders.
“I can assure you we have an incredible holding midfielder for the years he is here," Pep said after an impressive performance from Rodri in preseason.
Operating at the base of midfield, Rodri reads the game superbly, and his distribution is excellent.
Rodri was the only player to make over 100 tackles in La Liga last season, and made the same amount of interceptions (41) as Fernandinho.
He made 1,756 passes in La Liga last season, with a pass accuracy of 91%.
Pass accuracy statistics can be somewhat misleading on occasions, but Rodri is not merely a player who plays safe, sideways passes.
His long-range passing is impressive, and he chipped in with three goals and one assist for Diego Simeone's Atletico last season.
"He can reach Busquets' level and maybe surpass it," Spain manager Luis Enrique said last year. "Who knows what limits he has?"
It remains to be seen whether Rodri serves as Fernandinho's understudy this season or slots straight into Pep's team, but the Premier League champions look to have made an already formidable squad even stronger.
City suffered in Fernandinho's absence last season, but the acquisition of Rodri is likely to prevent similar difficulties this season.
Wesley Moraes (Aston Villa)
Aston Villa have been extremely busy this summer.
At the time of writing, the newly promoted club have spent north of £100 million on 12 new signings.
Brazilian striker Wesley Moraes is one of the most intriguing arrivals to Villa Park this summer.
The 22-year-old has scored 30 goals over the past two seasons at Club Brugge, and Dean Smith has forked out £22 million for the talented forward.
Wesley made the perfect start to life in Birmingham, scoring twice on his debut in a preseason win over Walsall, and former Villa star Tony Cascarino has high hopes for the Brazilian.
“They’ve gone big on Wesley,” Cascarino said. “He’s lightning quick, he’ll be as quick as any player in the Premier League next season. He will hurt teams."
Goals are precious commodities for newly promoted teams, and Villa are likely to be reliant on Wesley's goals to keep them in the top flight.
Wesley marca seu primeiro gol com a camisa do Aston Villa! 👏🇧🇷ppic.twitter.com/eB3ZTcpmJz — PL Brasil (@plbrasil1) July 24, 2019
Joelinton has inherited Newcastle's famous number nine jersey.
The Magpies signed the 22-year-old striker for a club-record £40 million pounds from Hoffenheim earlier this summer.
Joelinton scored 11 goals in 35 appearances for the German club last season, but it his all-round play which impresses most.
The Brazilian forward has been compared to Roberto Firmino for his clever runs and industrious approach, and he's also good at holding the ball up and bringing others into the game.
He provided seven assists last season in the Bundesliga, and is good at stretching opposition defences.
He has shown early signs of forming a strong partnership with Miguel Almiron in preseason, and found the back of the net in Newcastle's 2-1 victory over Hibernian.
His hard-working attitude and selfless play is likely to make him a popular figure at St. James' Park, but his goals record could certainly improve.
Ayoze Perez, Joselu and Salomon Rondon have all left Newcastle the summer, so there will be pressure on Joelinton to make a big contribution to Steve Bruce's side.
#Joelinton First Goal in ⚫️⚪️#NUFC v #HIBS pic.twitter.com/fJP7Kl9HEY — NUFC U23+U18 Review (@NUFC_Youthteams) July 31, 2019
Pablo Fornals (West Ham)
What a bargain this could be for West Ham.
The Hammers snapped up Spanish playmaker Pablo Fornals from Villareal for £24m.
Fornals, 23, starred for Spain - scoring twice - as they won this summer's UEFA European U21 Championship finals.
He has been capped twice at senior level for Spain, and has made over 150 appearances in La Liga for Villareal.
Fornals possesses excellent vision, strong dribbling skills, and has the capacity to unlock defences with incisive passes.
He also has a tendency to score special goals, such as his wonderful 'Rabona' against Huesca last season.
Fornals earned favourable comparisons to his Villareal teammate Santi Cazorla last season, and scored a memorable winner against Real Madrid in the Spanish capital.
“The best signing this summer by far, I think has been Pablo Fornals," Sky Sports' Kaveh Solhekol raved.
"West Ham signed him for £24million from Villarreal. He creates chances, scores goals, has great technical ability. He’s even been described as the new Andres Iniesta in Spain."
The Irons will be aiming to improve on last season's 10th place finish, and Fornals is likely to be a key source of creativity in Manuel Pellegrini's team.
Dani Ceballos (Arsenal - loan)
Arsenal have signed midfielder Dani Ceballos on a one-year loan from Real Madrid.
Ceballos - who has won six senior international caps with Spain - has inherited Aaron Ramsey's number eight jersey at the Emirates.
He captained Spain to the aforementioned U21 Euros triumph, and was one of the standout players at the tournament.
He created more chances than any other player, and also completed the most dribbles.
The 22-year-old was included in the team of the tournament, and despite limited playing time at Madrid, remains a wonderful talent.
Ceballos joined Los Blancos in 2017 from Real Betis in a £15 million deal after starring at the U21 Euros, but made just nine starts in his first season at the Bernabéu.
His talent is obvious, but Ceballos' attitude and discipline has occasionally been called into question in the past, though his elevation to captain of the U21 national side suggests he has matured in recent years.
Unai Emery has reportedly guaranteed Ceballos substantial playing time at Arsenal, and the Spaniard is equipped to add much-needed creativity to the Gunners' midfield.
He can operate as a number ten or in a deeper midfield role, and he is superb at unlocking defences with powerful dribbles and eye-catching passes.
Like Fornals, he has the ability to shoot from distance, and is a player Arsenal fans will find extremely exciting to watch.
If Emery's men are to break into the top four this season, Ceballos' creativity will be crucial.