The new Premier League campaign kicked off last evening with Arsenal travelling to Crystal Palace. However, the transferred business is still a ways off, and several clubs hope to finalise deals ahead of this weekend’s fixtures. Cristiano Ronaldo should be considered a perennial Gold Boot contender if he remains a Manchester United starter past the summer transfer window. Cristiano Ronaldo might be 37, but he is still more physical than most players and scored 18 league goals last season, second only to Golden Boot winners Mohamed Salah and Son.
To see just how powerful Pep Guardiola will be, think about how he is shipping away international stars of Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, and Oleksandr Zinchenko to create room for exciting new signings such as Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez, and Calvin Phillips. Fitness permitting, and with no World Cup adding to Mohamed Salah’s workload, Salah is expected to still end the new Premier League season as Liverpool’s leading goalscorer, but whether he is good enough to unseat the newly appointed No.9 at City is a different question altogether. For all of Haaland’s comparisons, Mohamed Salah may well end up sandwiched between Darwin Nunez and Liverpool’s prolific opening year, but 26 league goals for Benfica last season, and the confidence-boosting goal against City in the Community Shield, would suggest that the Uruguayan is ready to put in a fight.
Man Utd starts strong with some eye-catching football, but they wilt as the season goes on, missing out on UEFA Champions League football at the end of the campaign. Leeds to struggle without Raphinha and Calvin Phillips, whilst Brentford to try and get off the blocks as quickly as they did last season and may pull off the Sheffield United trick of sliding from the Premier League into a runners-up place in season two. Honestly, I do not think Haaland would significantly impact Premier League football because City is almost at their maximum as far as points are concerned.
Even with the acquisition of Fabio Vieira, the Belgian midfielder has remained a top priority for Mikel Arteta, and the Gunners are still interested in him. Following reports that Brendan Rodgers wants to recruit former Arsenal target Houssem Aouar, Foot Mercato in France suggests Leicester may be working up a successor for Tielemans. The Ivory Coast international has been named as David Moyes’ fifth addition of the summer after the Hammers triggered his buyout clause earlier this week. He signed a five-year contract. His registration was not complete in time for Sunday’s season-opening match between West Ham and defending champions Manchester City.