There are 25 players in each Premier League squad, but who will not only star for their respective clubs but also elevate themselves to the upper echelons of the league this season? With the Premier League campaign officially set to begin this week, we continue our look ahead to the upcoming campaign with an overview of the top players at each position across the league.
If there’s a theme so far in Bournemouth’s transfer business this summer, it’s shoring up the team’s defense.
Bournemouth announced on Monday that it had acquired holding midfielder Philip Billing on a permanent transfer from Huddersfield Town FC. According to the BBC, Bournemouth paid more than $18.3 million to sign Billing to a five-year contract.
Although he was relegated last season, Bournemouth clearly liked what it saw in Billing, who is also a Denmark Under-21 international. Now, the club will have a chance to pair Billing up in the middle of the park with Jefferson Lerma, which can allow players like David Brooks and Calum Wilson more space ahead on the field.
“I’m delighted to become an AFC Bournemouth player,” Billing said in a statement. “As soon as I heard of the club’s interest, there was never any doubt in my mind.
“It was an easy decision to make to come into a squad which is full of talented, international players and working with a manager of Eddie Howe’s quality.
“This is an exciting step forward for me and I can’t wait to get started.”
Billing becomes Bournemouth’s third signing of the summer, after defenders Lloyd Kelly and Jack Stacey. And while the club sold defender Tyrone Mings to Aston Villa, the reported $24.4 million received by Bournemouth more than paid for Billing.
Euro 2020 qualifying: Turkey stuns France, Finland earns upset, Croatia tops Wales
A few landmark results have begun to shape Euro 2020 qualifying in round three of the cycle.
Here is a rundown of all the results:
Turkey 2-0 France
The shock of the day came from Konya as first-half goals by Kaan Ayhan and Cengiz Under thwarted the reigning World Cup champs and put Turkey alone atop Group H. The France lineup that featured Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba, and Olivier Giroud fell completely flat, somehow held without a single shot on target on just four total efforts in a massively disappointing performance, although France remained in a solid position sitting second in the group.
Finland 2-0 Bosnia & Herzegovina
Another surprising result came in Tammerfors as Finland got a brace from Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki to pull into a solid position near the top of Group J. Bosnia will rue missed opportunities, only able to put one of its 11 shots on target, with Edin Dzeko missing a glorious opportunity with 13 minutes to go, heading over the bar on a chance he normally puts away. Bosnia & Herzegovina felt the absence of creative force Miralem Pjanic as he was suspended for a straight red card against Greece.
Croatia 2-1 Wales
The visitors put up a solid fight in Osijek, but Croatia was clinical where Wales was not as Ivan Perisic scored the decider after a Jamie Lawrence own-goal put the hosts in front. Bournemouth attacker David Brooks came off the bench to pull Wales a goal back and give them a chance, but otherwise the visitors were wasteful with six shots on target.
Belarus 0-2 Germany
Leroy Sane put Germany in front 12 minutes in and they never looked back, confirming the victory on a Marco Reus strike past the hour mark to keep pace with Northern Ireland in Group C. Sane bagged his fourth goal in his last five international appearances, while Reus finished off a beautiful ball into the box by Matthias Ginter that evaded a host of defenders on its way to the goalscorer. While the scoreline may not have reflected it, Germany dominated the game with 75% possession and a 783-214 passing advantage.
Belgium 3-0 Kazakhstan
Dries Mertens and Timothy Castagne both scored inside the opening 15 minutes, while Romelu Lukaku capped things off just after halftime as Belgium rolled in Brussels. The strong Belgian lineup was far too much at home, holding 70% possession and competing a massive 829 passes to Kazakhstan’s 311, racking up 13 corners and an enormous 12 shots on target out of 27 total efforts.
Greece 0-3 Italy
The visitors bagged a quickfire trio of goals through the middle of the first-half as Nicolo Barella, Lorenzo Insigne, and Leonardo Bonucci all found the back of the net before the break to stun Greece in Athens. Insigne’s was silky as the Napoli attacker skipped past a defender down the left flank, carrying the ball into the top corner of the box and unleashing a pinpoint curler that found the inside of the side netting.
It was a dominating performance by Italy, holding 70% possession and out-passing Greece a whopping 685-253, out-shooting the hosts 16-5 and cruising through the second half under little pressure.
Scotland 2-1 Cyprus
Scotland survived a scare in Glasgow, requiring an 89th minute Oliver Burke winner to take down island nation Cyprus. The 22-year-old scored his first international goal at the most opportune time, breaking the deadlock late to keep pace with Belgium and Russia near the top of Group I. Andy Robertson, fresh off his Champions League title, scored the opener on an absolute thunderbolt from outside the box, but he was cancelled out by Giannis Kousoulos in the 87th minute.
Iceland 1-0 Albania
Johann Berg Gudmundsson scored the game’s only goal 22 minutes in as Iceland downed a pesky Albania side in Reykjavik. Albania earned seven corners to Iceland’s 1, but couldn’t find the back of the net as they forced Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson into just two saves the whole way.
Russia 9-0 San Marino
Zenit St. Petersburg striker Artem Dyzuba scored four as Russia blasted hapless San Marino in Saransk, with two more from Fedor Smolov. The win jumps Russia past Belgium into first in Group I with two wins out of its first three qualifiers.
Estonia 1-2 Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland needed a late comeback to top Estonia on the road as Sheffield United striker Connor Washington leveled the score in the 77th minute and Josh Magennis provided the winner three minutes later. Both players came off the bench to score, with Bolton striker Magennis skillfully turning a Jordan Jones cross in under heavy pressure in front of net. Estonia was up for the task for much of the game, with Konstantin Vassiljev’s 25th minute goal providing the tally that Northern Ireland just inched around to climb atop Group C with three wins from three.
Azerbaijan 1-3 Hungary
Hungary moved to the top of Group E after a dominating performance in Baku led by a brace from RB Leipzig defender Willi Orban.
Moldova 1-0 Andorra
Moldova survived nearly half the match a man down as the hosts earned their first points of Euro 2020 qualification behind an eighth-minute goal from 31-year-old defender Igor Armas which they protected the rest of the way. Despite just 35% possession, Andorra ripped off 12 shots, but only found the target with one in the loss.
Below we take a look at the top new arrivals from the entire campaign.
Raul Jimenez: Top goalscorer for Wolves as the Mexican striker made his loan move permanent and was a revelation in the Premier League. Proper target forward.
Alisson: Helped improve Liverpool defensively and is set to be their number one for a long time. A few dodgy moments with his feet, but Jurgen Klopp wants him to take risks.
David Brooks: Bournemouth’s Welsh winger was simply superb in his debut PL campaign. Not much was expected when he arrived from Sheffield United but he added goals and assists and his pace is scary.
Sokratis: The Greek defender has been a rock for Arsenal and even though they have still had defensive issues, Sokratis has tried to hold things together as best as he can.
Lukasz Fabianski: Under the radar signing last summer, but Fabianski has excelled at West Ham with a string of fine displays. Solid, reliable goalkeeper.
Lucas Digne: Emerged as one of the best left backs in the Premier League, the Frenchman has got better and better since his move from Barcelona. Very dangerous going forward.
James Maddison: Fantastic young talent who is fearless on the ball and created the most chances in the league. Will be key to Leicester’s hopes of European qualification in the coming years.
Lucas Torreira: A fans favorite at Arsenal already, he and Matteo Guendouzi have added extra bite to their engine room. The Uruguayan midfielder has class on the ball and wins it back so quickly. Exactly what the Gunners needed.
Gerard Deulofeu: His loan move from Barca was made permanent last summer and Deulofeu has scored some stunning goals. He drifts off the left wing with ease and is so tough to mark. He’s form was vital in Watford’s impressive season.
Richarlison: Started and ended the season really well. Had a dip in the middle, but the Brazilian is still extremely young. At his best playing off the flank and is already being linked with a big move after a really good first season at Everton.
Joao Moutinho: One of a host of new names at Wolves who excelled in their first season in England, Moutinho was calm on the ball and his set piece deliveries set up so many chances. Oozed class all season.
Ryan Babel: Arrived at Fulham in January and is set to leave in the summer, the Dutch winger was a real bright spot for the Cottagers but couldn’t help them stay in the Premier League. Can be a key contributor elsewhere in the Premier League.
Ricardo Periera: The Portuguese right back has been a revelation for Leicester and adds a real attacking threat down the flank. Good business, once again, from the Foxes.
Fabinho: Took him a while to get going, but once the penny dropped he was a key player in Liverpool’s midfielder. Defensively sound and comfortable on the ball, he is now loved by Klopp.
Fabian Schar: Very solid first season in England for the Swiss defender, who also scored a stunning goal. Newcastle got themselves a bargain.
Ben Foster: One of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League. Watford snagged him from West Brom last season and Foster produced so many crucial stops.
Felipe Anderson: Arrived from Lazio for big money but proved his quality at various stages of the season. A bit up and down, but has the potential to be one of the best wingers in Europe.
Rui Patricio: The Portuguese national team goalkeeper look at home in the PL and used all of his experience in their fine season.
Youri Tielemans: Arrived in January from Monaco and has been sublime in central midfield. Leicester may struggle to sign him permanently after his fine displays.
Andre Gomes: See above. Arrived from Barcelona on loan and Gomes’ quality on the ball and surprising strength mean he is a perfect fit for the PL. Huge clubs are lining up to sign him, but the Toffees are trying their best to keep him at Goodison.
Victor Camarasa: One of Cardiff’s best players, the Spaniard scored some great goals and was a driving force from midfield. Has quality and not afraid to roll up his sleeves. If Real Betis do not want him back, plenty of PL clubs will look to sign him this summer.
Kurt Zouma: In the second half of the season he really kicked on and the Chelsea defender has finally put his horrible luck with injuries behind him. Everton are keen to sign him permanently, but with Chelsea’s transfer ban they may not let him go.
Salomon Rondon: What a signing he has proven to be. Arrived on loan from West Brom last summer and the Venezuelan striker knits Newcastle’s attack together. Such a handful for opposition defenses. Newcastle may not have the cash to splash on Rondon this summer.