Bjorn Engels

Premier League Preview: Aston Villa v. Everton

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Everton has a chance to break out of an early-season slump offensively with a trip to newly-promoted Aston Villa on Friday at Villa Park. (Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

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The Toffees have scored just one goal through the first two games of the season, thanks to the tricky winger Bernard, but Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and new signing Moise Kean off the bench haven’t delivered just yet. That could change though against a the defensive pair of Bjorn Engels and Tyrone Mings, which are still gaining chemistry.

Morgan Schneiderlin could make his return after missing last week with suspension and could partner with Andre Gomes in midfield. However, new signing Jean-Philippe Gbamin performed admirably for Marco Silva, and he could have some selection headaches already this early in the season.

For Dean Smith and Aston Villa, it’s another night game at home in Villa Park, and a chance to get the side’s first win. After a strong finish against Bournemouth, maybe it can take that momentum into Friday’s match against Everton.


Projected lineups

Aston Villa: Heaton; El Mohamady, Engels, Mings, Taylor; McGinn, Luiz, Grealish; Trezeguet, Wesley, Jota

Everton: Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne; Schneiderlin, Gomes; Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Iwobi; Calvert-Lewin.


What they’re saying

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith on his side’s attack so far: “Our most likely scorer at the moment looks like John McGinn, who has made some really deep runs into the opposition half. Saying that, Jack Grealish had a really good chance last weekend. Wesley has teed up Trezeguet for a good chance. Even Neil Taylor has had two chances. So we’re creating chances and we just have to start taking them now. I am sure they will come.”

Everton manager Marco Silva on his team’s defensive resiliency: “The feeling is really good when we finish a match and haven’t conceded a goal. It means we have worked together and are understanding the plans and our way of defending. It starts up front and all of them have to be proud because of the work they are doing. I am really proud of what we are achieving with our defensive organisation.”


Both teams have spent heavily in the offseason to upgrade their squad, but Aston Villa is still finding life difficult back in the Premier League. Everton, at least, still have a strong defensive core, and should be able to hold off the likes of Wesley and McGinn with his late runs into the box.

With another week of fitness in Richarlison and a chance for Alex Iwobi to play, either starting or off the bench, Everton has a chance to really brush past Aston Villa and make a statement. However, they’re clearly still a work in progress, so it will probably be another tight game. Everton 2-1 Aston Villa

Complete list of Premier League summer transfers

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
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Here are all the names that have moved into, out of, and between the clubs of the Premier League this season.

[ MORE: PL transfer grades ]


Arsenal

In
Gabriel Martinelli (Ituano) Undisclosed
Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid) Loan
William Saliba (Saint-Etienne) Undisclosed
Nicolas Pepe (Lille) Undisclosed
Kieran Tierney (Celtic) Undisclosed
David Luiz (Chelsea) Undisclosed

Out
Aaron Ramsey (Juventus) Free
Petr Cech (Retired)
Danny Welbeck (Watford) Free
Cohen Bramall (Colchester) Free
Charlie Gilmour (Norwich) Free
Stephan Lichtsteiner (Released)
Julio Pleguezuelo (Released) 
Jordi Osei-Tutu (Bochum) Loan
Daniel Ballard (Swindon Town) Loan 
David Ospina (Napoli) Undisclosed 
Vontae Daley-Campbell (Leicester) Undisclosed 
Ben Sheaf (Doncaster Rovers) Loan
William Saliba (Saint-Etienne) Loan
Xavier Amaechi (Hamburg) Undisclosed
Krystian Bielik (Derby County) Undisclosed
Takuma Asano (Partizan Belgrade) 
Laurent Koscielny (Bordeaux)
Carl Jenkinson (Nottingham Forest) Undisclosed
Dominic Thompson (Brentford) Undisclosed
Eddie Nketiah (Leeds United) Loan
Alex Iwobi (Everton) Undisclosed

Aston Villa

In
Jota (Birmingham) Undisclosed
Anwar El Ghazi (Lille) Undisclosed
Wesley (Club Brugge) Undisclosed
Kortney Hause (Wolves) Undisclosed
Matt Targett (Southampton) Undisclosed
Tyrone Mings (AFC Bournemouth) Undisclosed 
Ezri Konsa (Brentford) Undisclosed
Bjorn Engels (Stade Reims) Undisclosed
Trezeguet (Kasimpasa) Undisclosed
Douglas Luiz (Man City) Undisclosed
Tom Heaton (Burnley) Undisclosed 
Marvelous Nakamba (Club Brugge) Undisclosed 

Out
Albert Adomah (Released)
Mark Bunn (Released)
Ritchie De Laet (Released)
Tommy Elphick (Huddersfield Town)
Alan Hutton (Released)
Mile Jedinak (Released)
Ross McCormack
Micah Richards (Released)
Glenn Whelan (Released)
Gary Gardner (Birmingham) Undisclosed 
Matija Sarkic (Livingston) Loan 
Jake Doyle-Hayes (Cheltenham Town) Loan 
Andre Green (Preston North End) Loan
Rushian Hepburn-Murphy (Tranmere Rovers) Loan
Scott Hogan (Stoke City) Loan
Birkir Bjarnason (Released)
James Bree (Luton Town) Loan

AFC Bournemouth

In
Lloyd Kelly (Bristol City)
Jack Stacey (Luton Town) Undisclosed
Philip Billing (Huddersfield Town) Undisclosed 
Arnaut Danjuma (Club Brugge) Undisclosed 
Harry Wilson (Liverpool) Loan

Out
Marc Pugh (Released)
Mikael Ndjoli (Gillingham) Loan
Emerson Hyndman (Atlanta United) Loan
Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) Undisclosed
Connor Mahoney (Millwall) Undisclosed
Lys Mousset (Sheffield United) Undisclosed
Brad Smith (Seattle Sounders) Loan 
Sam Surridge (Swansea City) Loan 
Harry Arter (Fulham) Loan

Brighton & Hove Albion

In
Matt Clarke (Portsmouth) Undisclosed
Leandro Trossard (Genk) Undisclosed
Taylor Richards (Man City) Undisclosed
Lewis Freestone (Unattached) Free
Adam Webster (Bristol City) Undisclosed
Neal Maupay (Brentford) Undisclosed
Romaric Yapi (PSG) Undisclosed
Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town) Loan

Out
Bruno (Retired)
Will Collar (Hamilton Academical) Undisclosed
Alexis MacAllister (Boca Juniors) Loan
Ben White (Leeds United) Loan
Ales Mateju (Brescia Calcio) Undisclosed 
Leo Ostigard (FC St Pauli) Loan 
Anthony Knockaert (Fulham) Loan
Christian Walton (Blackburn) Loan
Jayson Molumby (Millwall) Loan
Robert Sanchez (Rochdale) Loan
Jan Mlakar (QPR) Loan
Viktor Gyokeres (St Pauli) Loan
Percy Tau (Club Brugge) Loan
Markus Suttner (Fortuna Dusseldorf) Undisclosed
Matt Clarke (Derby County) Loan

Burnley

In
Erik Pieters (Stoke City) Undisclosed
Joel Senior (Curzon Ashton) Undisclosed
Jay Rodriguez (West Bromwich Albion) Undisclosed 
Ryan Cooney (Bury) Undisclosed
Adan Phillips (Free)
Bailey Peacock-Farrell (Leeds United) Undisclosed
Danny Drinkwater (Chelsea) Loan

Out
Jon Walters (Retired)
Stephen Ward (Stoke) Free 
Anders Lindegaard (Released)
Peter Crouch (Released) Retired
Mark Howarth (Released)
Tom Heaton (Aston Villa) Undisclosed
Nahki Wells (QPR) Loan

Chelsea

In
Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid) Undisclosed

Out
Gary Cahill (Crystal Palace) Free
Fankaty Dabo (Coventry City) Free
Rob Green (Retired)
Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) Undisclosed
Todd Kane (Released)
Ola Aina (Torino) Undisclosed
Nathan Baxter (Ross County) Loan
Richard Nartey (Burton Albion) Loan
Jay Dasilva (Bristol City) Undisclosed
Eduardo (Released)
Kyle Scott (Released)
Tomas Kalas (Bristol City) Undisclosed 
Mario Pasalic (Atalanta) Loan 
Charly Musonda (Vitesse Arnhem) Loan 
Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid) Undisclosed
Nathan (Atletico Mineiro) Loan 
Daishawn Redan (Hertha Berlin) Loan
Ethan Ampadu (RB Leipzig) Loan
Jake Clarke-Salter (Birmingham City) Loan
Matt Miazga (Reading) Loan
Lewis Baker (Fortuna Dusseldorf) Loan
Kasey Palmer (Bristol City) Undisclosed
Dujon Sterling (Wigan Athletic) Loan
Conor Gallagher (Charlton Athletic) Loan 
Jacob Maddox (Tranmere Rovers) Loan
Trevoh Chalobah (Huddersfield Town) Loan
Danny Drinkwater (Burnley) Loan
Josh Grant (Plymouth) Loan
Izzy Brown (Luton Town) Loan

Crystal Palace

In
Stephen Henderson (Free) 
Jordan Ayew (Swansea City) Undisclosed
Gary Cahill (Unattached) Free 
Victor Camarasa (Real Betis) Loan 
James McCarthy (Everton) Undisclosed

Out
Jason Puncheon (Released)
Julian Speroni (Released) 
Bakary Sako (Denizlispor) Free
Ollie O’Dwyer (Aldershot) Free
Joseph Hungbo (Released)
Tyler Brown (Released)
Levi Lumeka (Varzim) Undisclosed
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Man Utd) Undisclosed
Alexander Sorloth (Trabzonspor) Loan 
Pape Souare (Troyes) Free

Everton

In 
Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield Town) Free
Andre Gomes (Barcelona) £22m 
Fabian Delph (Man City) Undisclosed
Jean-Philippe Gbamin (Mainz) Undisclosed 
Moise Kean (Juventus) Undisclosed
Djibril Sidibe (Monaco) Loan
Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) Undisclosed

Out
Phil Jagielka (Sheffield Utd) Free
Ashley Williams (Released)
Harry Charsley (Released)
Boris Mathis (Released)
Mateusz Hewelt (Released)
Shayne Lavery (Released)
Jack Kiersey (Released)
Danny Bramall (Released)
Joe Hilton (Released)
Chris Renshaw (Released)
Jonjoe Kenny (Schalke) Loan
Nikola Vlasic (CSKA Moscow) Undisclosed
Sandro Ramirez (Real Valladolid) Loan
Brendan Galloway (Luton Town) Free
Korede Adedoyin (Hamilton Academical) Loan
Kieran Dowell (Derby) Loan
Joao Virginia (Reading) Loan
Luke Garbutt (Ipswich) Loan 
Antonee Robinson (Wigan) Undisclosed 
Josh Bowler (Hull) Loan 
Ademola Lookman (RB Leipzig) Undisclosed 
Idrissa Gueye (Paris Saint-Germain) Undisclosed
Joe Williams (Wigan Athletic) Undisclosed
Nathan Broadhead (Burton Albion) Loan 
James McCarthy (Crystal Palace) Undisclosed
Matthew Pennington (Hull City) Loan

Leicester City

In 
James Justin (Luton Town) Undisclosed
Ayoze Perez (Newcastle United) Undisclosed 
Vontae Daley-Campbell (Arsenal) Undisclosed 
George Hirst (OH Leuvens) Undisclosed 
Ali Reghba (Bohemians) Undisclosed
Youri Tielemans (Monaco) Undisclosed
Mitchell Clark (Free)

Out
Shinji Okazaki (Malaga) Free
Danny Simpson (Released)
Daniel Iversen (Rotherham United) Loan
Elliot Moore (Oxford United) Undisclosed
Josh Knight (Peterborough United) Loan
Ryan Loft (Carlisle United) Loan
Harry Maguire (Man Utd) Undisclosed
Layton Ndukwu (Southend United) Loan
Callum Elder (Hull City) Undisclosed

Liverpool

In 
Sepp van den Berg (PEC Zwolle) Undisclosed
Harvey Elliott (Fulham) Undisclosed
Adrian (Unattached) Free

Out
Alberto Moreno (Villarreal) Free
Daniel Sturridge (Released)
Connor Randall (Released)
Adam Bogdan (Released)
Sheyi Ojo (Rangers) Loan
Rafael Camacho (Sporting)
Marko Grujic (Hertha BSC) Loan
Danny Ings (Southampton) Undisclosed
Allan Rodrigues de Souza (Fluminense) Loan 
Kamil Grabara (Huddersfield Town) Loan
Ben Woodburn (Oxford United) Loan
Rhys Williams (Kidderminster Harriers) Loan
Simon Mignolet (Club Brugge) Undisclosed 
Taiwo Awoniyi (Mainz) Loan
Liam Millar (Kilmarnock) Loan 
Harry Wilson (AFC Bournemouth) Loan
Nathaniel Phillips (Stuttgart) Loan 
George Johnston (Feyenoord) Undisclosed
Ovie Ejaria (Reading) Loan

Manchester City

In
Angelino (PSV Eindhoven) Undisclosed
Rodri (Atletico Madrid) Undisclosed 
Joao Cancelo (Juventus) Undisclosed 
Scott Carson (Derby County) Loan

Out
Vincent Kompany (Anderlecht) Free
Patrick Roberts (Norwich City) Loan
Tom Dele-Bashiru (Watford) Free
Aaron Nemane (Released)
Jack Harrison (Leeds United) Loan
Aro Muric (Nottingham Forest) Loan
Zack Steffen (Fortuna Dusseldorf) Loan 
Fabian Delph (Everton) Undisclosed 
Philippe Sandler (Anderlecht) Loan
Taylor Richards (Brighton) Undisclosed
Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa) Undisclosed
Yangel Herrera (Granada) Loan
Tosin Adarabioyo (Blackburn Rovers) Loan 
Danilo (Juventus) Undisclosed 

Manchester United

In
Daniel James (Swansea City) Undisclosed
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace) Undisclosed
Harry Maguire (Leicester City) Undisclosed

Out
Ander Herrera (PSG) Free 
Antonio Valencia (Released)
Matthew Olosunde (Released)
James Wilson (Released)
Regan Poole (Released)
Kieran O'Hara (Burton Albion) Loan
Dean Henderson (Sheffield United) Loan
Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan) Undisclosed 

Newcastle United

In
Joelinton (Hoffenheim) Undisclosed
Kyle Scott (Unattached) Free
Jake Turner (Bolton Wanderers) Undisclosed
Jetro Willems (Eintracht Frankfurt) Loan
Allan Saint-Maximin (Nice) Undisclosed
Emil Krafth (Amiens) Undisclosed
Andy Carroll (Free) 

Out
Mohamed Diame (Released) 
Cal Roberts (Released) 
Josef Yarney (Released)
Tyrique Bartlett (Released)
Dan Barlaser (Rotherham United) Loan
Ayoze Perez (Leicester City) Undisclosed
Joselu (Alaves) Undisclosed
Liam Gibson (Grimsby Town) Loan
Freddie Woodman (Swansea City) Loan
Nathan Harker (Blyth Spartans) Loan
Jacob Murphy (Sheffield Wednesday) Loan

Norwich City

In 
Patrick Roberts (Man City) Loan
Daniel Adshead (Rochdale) Undisclosed
Josip Drmic (Borussia Monchengladbach) Free 
Archie Mair (Aberdeen) Undisclosed
Rob Nizet (Anderlecht) Undisclosed
Rocky Bushiri (K.V. Oostende) Undisclosed 
Aidan Fitzpatrick (Partick Thistle) Undisclosed 
Ralf Fahrmann (Schalke) Undisclosed
Charlie Gilmour (Arsenal) Free
Sam Byram (West Ham) Undisclosed
Reece McAlear (Motherwell) Undisclosed
Ibrahim Amadou (Sevilla) Loan

Out 
Carlton Morris (Rotherham United) Loan
Mason Bloomfield (Crawley Town) Loan
Ciaren Jones (Eastbourne Borough) Loan
Josh Coley (Dunfermline Athletic) Loan
Marcel Franke (Hannover 96) Undisclosed
Sean Raggett (Portsmouth) Loan
Nelson Oliveira (AEK Athens)
Savvas Mourgos (Dordrecht) Loan
James Husband (Blackpool) Loan
Ben Marshall (Released) 
Rocky Bushiri (Blackpool) Loan
Diallang Jaiyesimi (Swindon Town) Loan
Aston Oxborough (Wealdstone) Loan

Sheffield United

In
Luke Freeman (QPR) Undisclosed
Phil Jagielka (Everton) Free
Callum Robinson (Preston) Undisclosed
Ravel Morrison Free
Lys Mousset (AFC Bournemouth) Undisclosed
Ben Osborn (Nottingham Forest) Undisclosed
Dean Henderson (Manchester United) Loan
Oli McBurnie (Swansea City) Undisclosed
Michael Verrips (Free)

Out 
Paul Coutts (Released)
Martin Cranie (Released)
Conor Washington (Released)
Daniel Lafferty (Released)
Caolan Lavery (Released)
Nathan Thomas (Gillingham) Loan
Rhys Norrington-Davies (Rochdale) Loan 
Jake Eastwood (Scunthorpe) Loan 
Oliver Greaves (Barrow AFC) Loan
Tyler Smith (Bristol Rovers) Loan
Nathan Thomas (Carlisle United) Loan
Regan Slater (Scunthorpe United) Loan
Ched Evans (Fleetwood Town) Undisclosed
Mark Duffy (Stoke City) Loan

Southampton

In
Moussa Djenepo (Standard Liege) Undisclosed
Che Adams (Birmingham City) Undisclosed
Danny Ings (Liverpool) Undisclosed
Tommy Scott (Yeovil Town) Undisclosed

Out
Steven Davis (Rangers) Free
Matt Targett (Aston Villa) Undisclosed
Alfie Jones (Gillingham) Loan
Jack Rose (Walsall) Loan
Kingsley Latham (Havant and Waterlooville) Loan
Alex Cull (Totton) Loan
Harry Hamblin (Bath City) Loan
Jordy Clasie (AZ Alkmaar) Undisclosed
Tyreke Johnson (Woking) Loan 
Josh Sims (New York Red Bulls) Loan 
Charlie Austin (West Brom) Undisclosed
Harrison Reed (Fulham) Loan

Tottenham Hotspur

In
Kion Etete (Notts County) Undisclosed
Jack Clarke (Leeds) Undisclosed
Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon) Undisclosed
Giovani Lo Celso (Real Betis) Loan 
Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham) Undisclosed 

Out 
Michel Vorm (Released)
Dylan Duncan (Released)
Charlie Freeman (Released)
Tom Glover (Released)
Connor Ogilvie (Released)
Jamie Reynolds (Released)
Luke Amos (QPR) Loan
Jack Clarke (Leeds) Loan 
Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid)
Vincent Janssen (Monterrey) Undisclosed 
Cameron Carter-Vickers (Stoke) Loan
Josh Onomah (Fulham) Undisclosed

Watford

In 
Bayli Spencer-Adams (Free)
Craig Dawson (West Brom) Undisclosed
Tom Dele-Bashiru (Free)
Mason Barrett (West Ham) Undisclosed
Callum Whelan (Free) 
Danny Welbeck (Free) 
Ismaila Sarr (Rennes) Undisclosed 

Out
Obbi Oulare (Standard Liege) Undisclosed
Miguel Britos (Released)
Tommie Hoban (Released)
Jerome Sinclair (Venlo) Loan 
Michael Folivi (AFC Wimbledon) Loan 
Marc Navarro (Leganes) Loan
Ben Wilmot (Swansea City) Loan
Alex Jakubiak (Gillingham) Loan
Dodi Lukebakio (Hertha BSC) Undisclosed

West Ham United

In
Roberto (Espanyol) Free
David Martin (Millwall) Free
Pablo Fornals (Villarreal) Undisclosed
Sebastien Haller (Eintracht Frankfurt) Undisclosed
Goncalo Cardoso (Boavista) Undisclosed 
Albian Ajeti (FC Basel) Undisclosed

Out 
Adrian (Liverpool) Free
Andy Carroll (Newcastle) Free
Samir Nasri (Released)
Toni Martinez (Released)
Moses Makasi (Released) 
Lucas Perez (Alaves) Undisclosed
Noha Sylvestre (Released)
Vashon Neufville (Released)
Josh Pask (Coventry City) Free
Edimilson Fernandes (Mainz) Undisclosed
Nathan Trott (AFC Wimbledon) Loan 
Martin Samuelsen (FK Haugesund) Loan
Marko Arnautovic (Shanghai SIPG) Undisclosed
Sam Byram (Norwich City) Undisclosed 
Pedro Obiang (Sassuolo) Undisclosed
Marcus Browne (Middlesbrough) Undisclosed
Jordan Hugill (QPR) Loan
Reece Oxford (Augsburg) Undisclosed
Mason Barrett (Watford) Undisclosed
Josh Cullen (Charlton Athletic) Loan
Grady Diangana (West Brom) Loan

Wolverhampton Wanderers

In
Raul Jimenez (Benfica) Undisclosed
Hong (Yeovil Town) Undisclosed
Raphael Nya (PSG) Undisclosed
Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht) Undisclosed
Tsun Dai (Oxford United) Undisclosed
Jesus Vallejo (Real Madrid) Loan
Patrick Cutrone (AC Milan) Undisclosed
Flavio Cristovao Free
Pedro Neto (Braga) Undisclosed
Bruno Jordao (Braga) Undisclosed
Renat Dadashov (Estoril) Undisclosed

Out 
Ethan Ebanks-Landell (Shrewsbury Town) Undisclosed
Michal Zyro (Released)
Carlos Heredia (Released)
Ben Goodliffe (Released)
Aaron Hayden (Released)
Diego Lattie (Released)
Enzo Sauvage (Released)
Christian Herc (Viktoria Plzen) Loan
Kortney Hause (Aston Villa) Undisclosed
Ryan Giles (Shrewsbury Town) Loan
Pedro Goncalves (FC Famalicao) Undisclosed
Joao Dias (FC Famalicao) Undisclosed
Helder Costa (Leeds) Loan
Ryan Leak (Burgos) Undisclosed
Ivan Cavaleiro (Fulham) Loan
Rafa Mir (Nottingham Forest) Loan
Will Norris (Ipswich Town) Loan
Niall Ennis (Doncaster Rovers) Loan
Cameron John (Doncaster Rovers) Loan
Renat Dadashov (Pacos de Ferreira) Loan
Bright Enobakhare (Wigan) Loan

Villa sign Heaton, Marvelous; Bournemouth add Danjuma

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Make that 12 summer signings for Aston Villa, who are having a splendid… sorry, Marvelous time in the transfer market.

Dean Smith’s side have signed goalkeeper Tom Heaton from Burnley for $10 million, while the wonderfully named midfielder Mavelous Nakamba has joined from Club Brugge.

Just marvelous. Okay, sorry, I’ll stop now.

Villa have named signed a brand new starting lineup this summer, and Smith needed to bring in this huge number of players due to a plethora of departures due to contracts ending and loan deals coming to an end. Villa have spent a remarkable $160 million on new players so far this summer. Here’s hoping this is not another Fulham-esque situation…

Speaking about his arrival at Villa Park, Heaton is delighted to bring his experience to a young Villa side.

“There’s momentum here – you could see that from afar. This club got the ball rolling last season and it turned into a huge success story in the second half of the campaign,” Heaton said. “To gain promotion was absolutely brilliant. It’s been a busy window so far – a lot of signings. But it needed to happen with a lot of players having also left the club. The majority of the signings are young, hungry and athletic. It’s a really exciting time for Aston Villa and I’m delighted to be a part of that. Hopefully, I’ll bring a bit of experience to it.”

Heaton should become Villa’s first-choice goalkeeper now, jumping ahead of Jed Steer in the pecking order. The England international will bring a steady head to a new-look and young defensive unit, and Villa have been on the hunt for a goalkeeper for some time. Deals for Neil Etheridge and Jack Butland proved troublesome so Villa turned their attention to Heaton.

As for Marvelous Nakamba, he joins for $13.3 million on a five-year deal and alongside Douglas Luiz he will battle with Jack Grealish, John McGinn and Conor Hourihane for a starting spot in midfield.

Nakamba, 25, will join his former Club Brugge teammates Wesley and Bjorn Engels at Villa.

“I’m looking forward to playing in the Premier League – and against the best players in the world in the Premier League. It’s the best league in the world. It’s always been a dream for me to play in the Premier League and to be competing against the best players in the world,” Nakamba said. “I will be trying my best, of course – and I will give everything. I give everything for the team every time. That’s who I am. I fight for the team. I care about helping the team. You will see that.”

The Zimbabwe international is a destructive force in central midfield and he will add a little bit of balance to Villa’s engine room given the mercurial attacking talents of Grealish and McGinn. Smith describes him as being “very mobile, very good in possession and he will fit in with our style of play.”


Bournemouth have also been busy in the transfer market as they signed Dutch winger Arnaut Danjuma.

The Dutch winger, 22, has signed from Club Brugge for a fee believed to be $15.7 million and the former PSV Eindhoven and NEC Nijmegen forward will excite Cherries fans.

“Arnaut is another outstanding addition to our squad and I’m delighted that he is an AFC Bournemouth player,” chief executive Neill Blake said. “This is someone we have been tracking for a number of years, who has all the attributes to become a key player for this team. Football is about entertainment and, as a technical, attack-minded player, I’m confident Arnaut will excite our fans and they will enjoy watching him.”

With Danjuma on board, questions will pop up about the future of Ryan Fraser. The Scottish winger has been a real force for Bournemouth over the last two seasons (he scored seven goals and added 14 assists last season) but has just one year left on his current contract. Fraser has been linked with the likes of Arsenal and it is easy to understand why, as only Eden Hazard provided more PL assists than him last season.

Eddie Howe has added young talent to his squad once again this summer with Lloyd Kelly, Jack Stacey and Phillip Billing also arriving.

Arsenal confirm Ceballos deal; Villa sign Douglas Luiz

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Arsenal have their man.

Dani Ceballos, 22, has joined the Gunners from Real Madrid on a season-long loan with the Spanish international midfielder a direct replacement for Aaron Ramsey.

So much so that Arsenal have even given Ceballos the No.8 jersey formerly worn by Ramsey.

Speaking about his arrival in the Premier League, Ceballos revealed that his compatriots Unai Emery and Hector Bellerin played a big part in him switching the Spanish capital for England’s capital city.

“I knew I had the confidence of the coach, which was very important for me from the start,” Ceballos explained. “I was aware of the responsibility that wearing this shirt entails and it was a tremendously proud moment when I decided to join Arsenal.”

This move is all well and good for Arsenal, but don’t they need to strengthen in other areas first?

Ceballos is a hugely talented attacking midfielder who is highly-rated in Spain (even if Zinedine Zidane isn’t a member of his fan club) but with Mesut Ozil, Alex Iwobi, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and youngsters like Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe around, this isn’t an area where they needed extra help.

Unless Unai Emery expects Callum Chambers to become the next Virgil Van Dijk (sorry, Callum, nothing personal) then Arsenal still have a huge hole to fill in central defense this summer. The main reason they didn’t finish in the top four last season was due to defensive issues and that doesn’t seem like changing anytime soon.


Another day, another new signing at Aston Villa.

Douglas Luiz, 21, has joined from Manchester City for a fee believed to be around $18.7 million as the Brazilian midfielder is Dean Smith’s 10th signing of the summer transfer window.

This addition takes Villa’s spending to almost $160 million this summer. Ka-ching.

Luiz has signed a five-year contract at Villa and after spending the last two seasons on loan at Girona following his move to Man City — City couldn’t get a work permit for Luiz so loaned him out to their sister club in Spain — the former Vasco da Gama man is ready to get rolling in the Premier League as he never made an appearance for City.

“I hope I can be a leader in the team,” Luiz said. “I hope I can help by bringing the ball out from the back and, although I don’t speak a lot of English, I hope I can help out by shouting orders from the back and live up to all the expectations as best as I can. I hope we have a great season and win a lot of games.

“Right now I’m confident in saying that, God willing, I can shine in the Premier League. So I hope I cannot just talk the talk but also walk the walk and that’s my main aim. I came here to learn but, more than anything, to dream big and to be a leader on the pitch.”

Luiz is a bullish defensive midfielder who will add to Smith’s options in the engine room alongside Conor Hourihane, Jack Grealish and John McGinn.

The Brazilian joins Trezeguet, Anwar Al Ghazi, Matt TargettTyrone Mings, Ezri Konza, JotaWesley, Kourtney Hause and Bjorn Engels as Villa’s new signing and they certainly aren’t missing about this summer.