10 Premier League signings you might have missed

Words: JJ Dunning & Ben Homewood
Images: Getty Images/ Tottenham Hotspur FC / Contributor  

Season 2016/17 is upon us. But who’s that new bloke in midfield for Southampton? Here’s our rundown of the signings you might have missed.

The first Match of the Day of the season always has a surprise in store.

Despite the 24hr rolling news coverage of who’s signed whom for how much, you’ll still tune in to BBC One at 10.40pm on Saturday and get a shock. “When the hell did Mane sign for Liverpool?” you’ll exclaim, to the ridicule of those present.

This summer, transfer news has been dominated by Paul Pogba’s protracted move to Manchester United. This has increased the likelihood of missing the other deals.

So, to save you from embarrassment, we’ve compiled a list of 10 under-the-radar signings who’ve snuck into the Premier League this summer.

Before you read the 10, can you name…

  • …the 27-goal Dutch International who’s signed for Spurs?
  • …the club who have literally bought Success?
  • …the new Leicester midfielder Claudio Ranieri is calling “a very nice boy”?

Vincent Janssen, striker, 22

© YouTube/EXCLUSIF

Club: Tottenham Hotspur

Nationality: Dutch

Transfer fee: £17m

Last season: 27 goals in 34 matches for AZ Alkmaar

“He has quality in the box and he’s a striker that likes to fight and work for the team. That is a perfect fit for us.”
Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham manager

After finishing as top scorer in the Eredivisie last season, this broad-chested Dutch poacher lashed in a penalty against England in a pre-Euro 2016 friendly at Wembley, helping his team to a 2-1 win. Even so, his arrival at White Hart Lane - ostensibly to provide cover and competition for Harry Kane - has hardly got tongues wagging. Any Spurs fans who’ve done their research will have witnessed strength and delicate touch that hint big Vince could be the new Ruud Van Nistelrooy (but left-footed and with Gary Lineker’s ears).

Isaac Success, striker, 20

© YouTube/FootyScoutHD

Club: Watford

Nationality: Nigerian

Transfer fee: £12.5m

Last season: 6 goals in 33 matches for Granada

“His style is made for the Premier League.”
Nduka Ugbade, Nigeria U-17 coach

What’s in a name? This season, Watford fans will be hoping the answer to that question is ‘Quite a lot’.

Record signing Isaac Success arrives from baking hot southern Spain primed to do some serious defender-bothering alongside Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney.

The young Nigerian is comfortable playing through the middle and on either wing, and although he allegedly missed a pre-season trip to Austria because he’d lost his passport, discipline-mad new Hornets manager Walter Mazzarri must be excited about his attacking prospects.

For his part, Isaac reckons he’ll do well at Vicarage Road: “The fans will want to see success. I’m Success.”

Sofiane Feghouli, winger, 26

© YouTube/Football Score

Club: West Ham United

Nationality: Algerian

Transfer fee: Free

Last season: 5 goals in 33 matches for Valencia

“He’s a top player, a top winger.”
Slaven Bilic, West Ham manager

Sofiane Feghouli joins West Ham as they make a big move to their new home, the Olympic Stadium.

He shouldn’t be fazed, though; six seasons at Valencia and 11 goals in 40 appearances for Algeria show the winger has plenty of experience.

Feghouli’s also used to making history; in Brazil in 2014 he scored his country’s first-ever goal at a World Cup. 

He looked a very decent prospect during that tournament and his trickery and pace should dovetail well with Dimitri Payet’s in a tasty-looking Hammers attack. 

Pierre-Emile Højberg, midfielder, 21

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© YouTube/BayernCompHD

Club: Southampton

Nationality: Danish

Transfer fee: £12.8m

Last season: 0 goals in 30 matches for Schalke (on loan from Bayern Munich)

“Pierre is an exciting young talent.”
Les Reed, Head of Football Development at Southampton

This 21-year-old from Copenhagen followed Pep Guardiola through the exit door at Bayern Munich this summer, but headed for the south coast instead of Manchester.

After his former manager tipped the holding midfielder as “the next Sergio Busquets”, things went sour between the pair and the player’s form dipped, resulting in loans at Augsburg and Schalke.

New Saints boss Claude Puel and Southampton should reap the benefits of a happy Højberg, whose passing and intelligence may well remind fans of Morgan Schneiderlin before he became an underwhelming waste of Manchester United’s money. They’ll be hoping they can hang onto him in a year’s time.

Marten De Roon, midfielder, 25

Club: Middlesbrough

Nationality: Dutch

Transfer fee: £12m

Last season: 2 goals in 37 appearances for Atalanta

“When you’re young and have gone to a league like Serie A and impressed everyone in just one year - that shows me a lot.”
Aitor Karanka, Middlesbrough manager

Boro boss Aitor Karanka isn’t wrong. While hustling hard for Atalanta last season, this Dutch enforcer made more tackles than any other Serie A midfielder and earned not one but three nicknames, two of which were dog-based: ‘The Bulldog’, ‘The Wave-Breaker’ and ‘The Terrier’.

It’s safe to say De Roon - who’s not yet been fully capped by Holland - will add power and bite to Boro’s midfield.

It remains to be seen whether his bone-crunching tackling will earn him a spot in Teeside folklore alongside Juninho, Ravanelli, Emerson and… Woodgate?

Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, 25, winger 

© YouTube/Krustythe Snowman

Club: Burnley

Nationality: Icelandic

Transfer fee: Undisclosed

Last season: 6 goals in 40 matches for Charlton Athletic

“It helps to see a player in the European Championship with that kind of company and he did well there.”
Sean Dyche, Burnley manager

This Icelandic winger started every game for his country at Euro 2016 and shone in their 2-1 victory against those guys Roy Hodgson hired to do an impression of an international football team.

His arrival in the Premier League brings a welcome injection of the spirit and skill that made watching Iceland so joyous in France.

Signing for Burnley marks the end of a bumpy ride for Guðmundsson: aborted spells at Chelsea, Fulham and Coventry were followed by moves back home and to Holland, before he settled at Charlton Athletic in 2014. He stood out despite the Addicks’ relegation last season and provided 11 assists - the joint-highest tally in The Championship. 

Ahmed Musa, striker, 23

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© YouTube/CSKA4everVIDEOnews

Club: Leicester City

Nationality: Nigerian

Transfer fee: £16.6m

Last season: 17 goals in 40 games for CSKA Moscow

“He can bring his speed. It is important to have another airplane in our squad. Remember, we are the RAF.”
Claudio Ranieri, Leicester City manager

Ahmed Musa will provide the champions’ highly quotable manager plenty of ammunition next season.

Arriving in the midlands after his most prolific year yet for CSKA Moscow, the Nigerian’s eminent goal threat should bolster Leicester’s title defence.

As Nice Uncle Claudio says, his pace is rather lethal, which spells bad news for the league’s more cumbersome defenders. Enjoying your summer holiday, Mr. Terry?

Ramadan Sobhi, winger, 19

© YouTube/ScoutNationHD

Club: Stoke City

Nationality: Egyptian

Transfer fee: £6m

Last season: 6 goals in 34 appearances for Al Ahly

“It’s an exciting capture and he’s certainly an exciting young player.”
Mark Hughes, Stoke manager

Stoke’s newly-bearded manager is clearly overwhelmed by his new signing. Sobhi’s dribbling skills are so magical that they’ve caused his new boss to use the word ‘exciting’ twice in the same sentence.

The precocious talent infuriated his team’s fiercest rivals in  the 2015 Egyptian Super Cup by repeatedly dancing on the ball.

How Ryan Shawcross has reacted to this sort of thing in training isn’t recorded.

Lewis Cook, midfielder, 19

© YouTube/StyleLufc

Club: AFC Bournemouth

Nationality: English

Transfer fee: £6m

Last season: 2 goals in 37 appearances for Leeds United

“We’re pleased to be bringing one of the country’s brightest prospects to the club.”
Neill Blake, Bournemouth Chief Executive

By winning last season’s Football League Young Player Of The Year Award, Lewis Cook followed in the footsteps of Gareth Bale and Dele Alli.

2015-16 also saw the York-born midfielder score his first league goal for Leeds. Significantly, it was a total screamer that won him Goal Of The Season at the club’s Player Of The Year awards.

Unhurried, smooth and always able to pick out a pass, it’s no wonder Eddie Howe had been tracking the 19-year-old long before he made the move south in July. 

Nampalys Mendy, midfielder, 24

© YouTube/ScoutNationHD

Club: Leicester City

Nationality: French

Transfer fee: £10million (estimated)

Last season: 1 goal in 40 matches for Nice

“I think he can help us. His character is fantastic, a nice boy. He’s always laughing, working hard for the team, a very good boy.”
Claudio Ranieri, Leicester City manager

If Ranieri sounds like he knows his new defensive midfielder well, it’s because he does - Mendy made 32 appearances for him at Monaco in 2012-13.

The 24-year-old will replace N’Golo Kanté as Leicester’s midfield warrior, snapping at heels, breaking up play and freeing up space for his attacking teammates.

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08/2016 The Red Bulletin

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