Ajax

Top Signing Per Club: M-W

The transfer window has now closed and the Premier League sides will have to make do with what they have until January. Here @0riginalfooty takes a look at the top signing made by each club whose name begins between M and W.

Manchester City
Fernando (FC Porto, undisclosed). Fernando was signed to bolster City’s options in midfield and has slotted seamlessly into the side thus far. He is a strong and powerful midfielder who will do the dirty work in midfield to allow Manuel Pellegrini’s attacking options more freedom so they can maximise the damage they inflict on the opposition.
Other notable signings: Willy Caballero (Malaga, undisclosed), Eliaquim Mangala (FC Porto, £32m), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal, free).

Manchester United
Angel di Maria (Real Madrid, £59.7m). Louis van Gaal has smashed the British transfer record by acquiring the services of Argentine winger di Maria. Di Maria was influential in Real Madrid’s Champions League victory last season and was a key member of the Argentina side that reached the World Cup final. United have signed a world class player and one that has the ability to turn their fortunes around.
Other notable signings: Daley Blind (Ajax, £14m), Radamel Falcao (AS Monaco, loan), Ander Herrera (Athletic Bilbao, £29m), Marcos Rojo (Sporting Lisbon, £16m), Luke Shaw (Southampton, £27m).

Newcastle United
Jack Colback (Sunderland, free). Sunderland fans were furious that Jack Colback was allowed to move to their bitter rivals for no fee. Sunderland’s loss is Newcastle’s gain and Colback should play a big role at the heart of their midfield. He was recently called up to the England squad and, although he had to leave the squad with an injury, has a bright future in front of him.
Other notable signings: Remy Cabella (Montpellier, undisclosed), Karl Darlow (Nottingham Forest, undisclosed), Facundo Ferreyra (Shakhtar Donetsk, loan), Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord, undisclosed), Siem de Jong (Ajax, undisclosed), Jamaal Lascelles (Nottingham Forest, undisclosed), Ayoze Perez (Tenerife, undisclosed), Emmanuel Riviere (AS Monaco, undisclosed).

QPR
Steven Caulker (Cardiff, £8m). QPR manager Harry Redknapp has been keen to add solidity to his back line this summer and highly rated English centre-back Steven Caulker fits the bill perfectly. QPR kept their first clean sheet of the season in their last match against Sunderland and there were encouraging signs that the Caulker-Ferdinand partnership is ready to blossom.
Other notable signings: Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United, free), Leroy Fer (Norwich City, £8m), Mauricio Isla (Juventus, loan), Alex McCarthy (Reading, undisclosed), Jordan Mutch (Cardiff City, £6m), Jack Robinson (Liverpool, undisclosed).

Southampton
Fraser Forster (Celtic, £10m). A lot of the focus of Southampton’s summer spending has been on replacing the key players who left for pastures new. There are question marks over how successful their recruitment drive has been, however, one position they have certainly strengthened is in goal. Forster is a top young goalkeeper who has the potential to challenge Joe Hart for the England goalkeeping jersey and represents a major coup for The Saints.
Other notable signings: Toby Alderweireld (Atletico Madrid, loan) Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea, loan), Florin Gardos (FC Steaua Bucharest, £6m), Shane Long (Hull City, £12m), Sadio Mane (Red Bull Salzburg, £10m), Graziano Pelle (Feyenoord, undisclosed), Dusan Tadic (FC Twente, £10.9m).

Stoke City
Victor Moses (Chelsea, loan). Mark Hughes has largely spent the summer bolstering his attacking options and Victor Moses represents a good piece of business for The Potters. After an uninspiring loan move at Liverpool, he will be keen to get back on track with Stoke and rediscover the form that made him heralded as a highly rated prospect.
Other notable signings: Oussama Assaidi (Liverpool, loan), Phil Bardsley (Sunderland, free), Bojan (Barcelona, £3m), Mame Biram Diouf (Hannover 96, free), Steve Sidwell (Fulham, free).

Sunderland
Jack Rodwell (Manchester City, free). Rodwell’s career may have stalled at Manchester City but The Black Cats have pulled off a major coup in landing him. He is a tall combative midfielder but has rediscovered the attacking side to his game that was evident in his goal against Manchester United. Sunderland fans can expect Rodwell to really kick on and become a key player for them.
Other notable signings: Patrick van Aanholt (Chelsea, undisclosed), Ricardo Alvarez (Inter Milan, loan), Will Buckley (Brighton and Hove Albion, £2.5m), Sebastian Coates (Liverpool, loan), Jordi Gomez (Wigan Athletic, free), Billy Jones (West Bromwich Albion, free), Costel Pantilimon (Manchester City, free), Santiago Vergini (Estudiantes, loan).

Swansea
Gylfi Sigurdsson (Spurs, undisclosed). Sigurdsson has been one of the stars of the Premier League season so far and has played a large part in guiding Swansea towards the top of the table. Swansea fans will expect more of the same from a man who looks to be enjoying his football again after an indifferent spell at Spurs.
Other notable signings: Tom Carroll (Spurs, loan), Marvin Emnes (Middlesbrough, undisclosed), Lukasz Fabianski, Federico Fernandez (Napoli, undisclosed), Bafetimbi Gomis (Lyon, free), Raheem Hanley (Blackburn Rovers, undisclosed), Stephen Kingsley (Falkirk, undisclosed), Jefferson Montero (Morelia, undisclosed).

Tottenham Hotspur
Eric Dier (Sporting Lisbon, £4m). Spurs haven’t splashed too much cash this window as Mauricio Pochettino has been briefed to bring the best out of the players already at the club. However, the signing of Eric Dier looks to be an excellent piece of business. Not only is he solid at the back, he is also a threat going forward and already has two league goals this season. He is still a young prospect and will be a major asset to Spurs in the future.
Other notable signings: Ben Davies (Swansea, £10m), Federico Fazio (Sevilla, undisclosed), Benjamin Stambouli (Montpellier, £4.7m), Michel Vorm (Swansea, £5m), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC, undisclosed).

West Bromwich Albion
Joleon Lescott (Manchester City, free). It’s been a summer of change for West Brom. The Baggies have brought in more new faces than any other side in the Premier League as they hope to draw a line under last season. Their most impressive signing is that of Joleon Lescott. Lescott has vast amounts of Premier League experience as well as playing international football and in the Champions League. Once fully fit, he will be a vital part of West Brom’s plans to stay in the division.
Other notable signings: Chris Baird (Burnley, free), Sebastian Blanco (Metalist Kharkiv, undisclosed), Jason Davidson (Heracles Almelo, undisclosed), Cristian Gamboa (Rosenborg, undisclosed), Craig Gardner (Sunderland, free), Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kiev, £10m), Sebastien Pocognoli (Hannover 96, undisclosed), Georgios Samaras (Celtic, free), Andre Wisdom (Liverpool, loan)

West Ham United
Alex Song (Barcelona, loan). Sam Allardyce has been told he must bring style rather than just substance to Upton Park and he has brought in some exciting attacking prospects to do just that. However, The Hammers’ most high profile signing is Alex Song who has joined on loan from Catalan giants Barcelona. The former Arsenal man is a quality defensive midfielder who has an excellent range of passing and will drastically improve the quality of the London club’s midfield.
Other notable signings: Aaron Cresswell (Ipswich Town, undisclosed), Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal, loan), Cheikhou Kouyate (Anderlecht, undisclosed), Diego Poyet (Charlton Athletic, free), Diafra Sakho (Metz, undisclosed), Enner Valencia (Pachuca, £12m), Mauro Zarate (Velez Sarsfield, undisclosed).

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Premier League Preview: Southampton

There are only 3 weeks to wait ‘til the start of the Premier League. Over the next few weeks @0riginalfooty will preview the new season, take a look at each team and offer our predictions as to where each side will finish. Here we take a look at Southampton.

Southampton enjoyed a very successful last season under manager Mauricio Pochettino and finished 8th in the Premier League. All looked well at St Mary’s until this summer when a mass exodus took place. Pochettino has departed, joining Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur, and key players Lallana, Shaw, Lovren and Lambert followed him out of the door with Rodriguez and Schneiderlin set to leave the club too. Bright prospect Calum Chambers has also left for Arsenal. Suddenly, Southampton look like a side in free-fall and will be battling for relegation rather than pushing for a place in Europe.

The Manager
Ronald Koeman enjoyed a glittering playing career for the likes of Barcelona and Ajax, scoring over 200 goals which is remarkable for a defender. He has since turned his attention to management and has had spells with Ajax, Benfica and Valencia, to name but a few. He has been relatively successful in his time as a manager, winning the Eredivisie on several occasions and the Copa Del Rey. The Premier League represents a new challenge for the Dutchman.

Koeman enjoyed a stunning playing career

Koeman enjoyed a stunning playing career

Biggest Signing
This summer, Southampton have brought in two new faces; Graziano Pelle from Feyenoord and Dusan Tadic from FC Twente in deals worth a combined £20 million. Pelle will arguably be viewed as the bigger signing by Saints fans as he played under Koeman at Feyenoord for the past two seasons and scored 50 goals. They will hope that he can at least match the goal-scoring contributions of Rickie Lambert.

Can Pelle be an instant hit in the Premier League?

Can Pelle be an instant hit in the Premier League?

Who is tipped to join them?
Koeman has declared his interest in Villa captain Ron Vlaar as a potential replacement for the departing Dejan Lovren. Southampton are also rumoured to hold an interest in Danny Ings, Fraser Forster and Argentine full-back Marcos Rojo.

Koeman has expressed his desire to bring Vlaar to Southampton

Koeman has expressed his desire to bring Vlaar to Southampton

Who should they sign?
With so many key players departing, Koeman is in desperate need of several quality recruits. Vlaar would be a good replacement for Lovren and it may be possible to prise him away from the West Midlands club as he is entering the final year of his contract. If he is unavailable, however, then a move for Younes Kaboul or Michael Dawson could be an option as a makeweight in the Schneiderlin deal. Schneiderlin is tougher to replace. A move for Cardiff’s Gary Medel would be smart, although they would have to fend off interest from the likes of Inter Milan.

Medel would be a great capture for the Saints

Medel would be a great capture for the Saints

Key Player
James Ward-Prowse. Remarkably, the Southampton academy product has already made around 50 appearances for the Saints despite being only 19. He is a player with a very bright future ahead of him and this could be the season for him to step up to the plate, especially with so many of their key players departing.

This could be a big season for Southampton's academy product

This could be a big season for Southampton’s academy product

Prediction
Southampton have lost so many players that it’s hard to see them enjoying a season similar to the last campaign. Koeman has no Premier League experience and will undoubtedly take time to adjust to the rigorous demands. So too will his signings so far and the quicker they adapt to life in English football the better. I see this being a season of struggle for the Saints but believe they are able to survive, although it will be close. Expect Southampton to finish 17th.

Premier League Preview: Newcastle United

There are only 4 weeks to wait ‘til the start of the Premier League. Over the next few weeks @0riginalfooty will preview the new season, take a look at each team and offer our predictions as to where each side will finish. Here we take a look at Newcastle United.

Newcastle are a side with problems behind the scenes and the Geordie faithful have made it clear that they want owner Mike Ashley to sell the club. A 10th place finish may appear good on the face of it but Newcastle were flying high in the first half of the season before winning only 5 matches in the second half. They even only managed 1 draw so managed to lose 13 out of 19 matches, which is a terrible record. Pardew will be desperate for Newcastle to rediscover their best form and return to the top half of the table.

The Manager
Alan Pardew has been in charge of Newcastle since December 2010 and is the second longest-serving manager in the League. Pardew’s spell in charge of the Magpies has not been short of controversy. He has pushed an official, been involved in a verbal spat with Manuel Pellegrini and most recently head-butted David Meyler.

Alan Pardew has been at the centre of plenty of controversy in his time at St James' Park

Alan Pardew has been at the centre of plenty of controversy in his time at St James’ Park

Biggest Signing
Pardew has been quick to draft in reinforcements this summer in order to replace creative influence Yohan Cabaye, who departed for PSG in January, and top goal scorer Loic Remy whose loan spell has ended. Newcastle have brought in six new faces. The biggest signing of those is Remy Cabella who they have been pursuing from Montpellier the last few transfer windows. They were finally successful this time around and have paid a reported £12 million to land the attacking-midfielder. Jack Colback has been pinched from bitter rivals Sunderland on a free transfer, much to the fury of the Black Cats. Right-back Daryl Janmaat has been drafted in to replace Mathieu Debuchy who has moved to Arsenal, midfielder Siem De Jong has been signed from Ajax and strikers Emmanuel Riviere and Ayoze Perez have moved to Tyneside from Monaco and Tenerife respectively.

Remy Cabella is an exciting signing

Remy Cabella is an exciting signing

Who is tipped to join them?
The Magpies have been heavily linked with a move for Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon and are reported to be interested in Burnley striker Danny Ings. Andy Carroll has also been tipped to return to his home club from West Ham in a £12 million deal.

Will Andy Carroll return to Newcastle?

Will Andy Carroll return to Newcastle?

Who should they sign?
Newcastle have generally moved pretty well in the transfer window and I’ll be surprised if there are too many more faces through the door. It seems they are still keen on bringing in at least one more striker as Loic Remy is set to move to Liverpool. Carroll would be a good signing, if he can remain fit, and would probably be keen on a return to his hometown.

Remy is expected to snub Newcastle in favour of Liverpool

Remy is expected to snub Newcastle in favour of Liverpool

Key Player
Fabricio Coloccini. Newcastle are in desperate need for their leaders on the pitch to steer them away from their terrible run of form at the end of last season. Coloccini is a big figure in the dressing room, an imposing character on the pitch and will be key to turning Newcastle’s fortunes around.

Coloccini is a big presence in the Newcastle dressing room

Coloccini is a big presence in the Newcastle dressing room

Prediction
This is a side that definitely won’t go down but they look a little lost without leading lights Cabaye and Remy in the picture. It remains to be seen how quickly they return to the form they are capable of and I think they will struggle to finish in the top half again this season. They should avoid a relegation battle, though. Expect Newcastle to finish 12th.

Premier League Preview: Manchester United

There are only 4 weeks to wait ‘til the start of the Premier League. Over the next few weeks @0riginalfooty will preview the new season, take a look at each team and offer our predictions as to where each side will finish. Here we take a look at Manchester United.

The last year has seen turbulent times for the red half of Manchester. Alex Ferguson departed and was replaced by the so called “Chosen One” David Moyes who endured one of United’s worst seasons in living memory. Moyes has since been sacked and replaced by Louis van Gaal who has just guided the Netherlands to third place in the World Cup. United fans are expecting a big response to last season’s failings and a top 4 place will be the minimum expectation.

The Manager
Louis van Gaal is a very experienced, well-respected and outspoken coach who has won league titles in Spain, the Netherlands and Germany. He is no stranger to managing a club having been in charge of Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich and he looks far more comfortable in this environment than David Moyes ever was.

Louis van Gaal is expected to be an instant his at Old Trafford

Louis van Gaal is expected to be an instant his at Old Trafford

Biggest Signing
United have already spent £56 million on two major signings: Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera. Herrera has been signed from Athletic Bilbao and will be a much-needed new option in the centre of the United midfield. Shaw has moved from Southampton and will replace Patrice Evra, who has completed a move to Juventus, as United’s first choice left-back.

Shaw has joined United for around £27 million

Shaw has joined United for around £27 million

Who is tipped to join them?
The list of players that are linked with United is probably longer than any other Premier Club this summer due to the huge shakeup expected under new management and the numerous weak spots in United’s squad. High profile midfielders such as Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba have been continually linked throughout the summer as the centre of the park has been highlighted as one of their weakest areas. United are also believed to be linked with winger Juan Cuadrado but face a battle with Bayern Munich and Barcelona to secure his services. Finally, Dutch centre-backs Ron Vlaar and Stefan de Vrij have been touted as possible replacements for the departed Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

Vidal has been heavily linked with United all summer

Vidal has been heavily linked with United all summer

Who should they sign?
Ed Woodward has claimed that United have a large amount of money to be spent on new players this summer and van Gaal will most probably need it all. Replacements for Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand must be near the top of van Gaal’s priority list, as the heart of United’s defence looks particularly weak with their departures. Another area that they appear short of quality is in the centre of midfield so it’s no surprise to see them linked with Vidal and Pogba. In reality, United are 5 players away from challenging for the title: two centre-backs, cover at left-back, a centre-midfielder and a winger. If they can complete the signings of all the players they are linked with, then they will be in a very strong position coming in to the new season.

van Gaal should make replacing Vidic his priority

van Gaal should make replacing Vidic his priority

Key Player
Robin van Persie. Van Persie endured a tough season in Manchester last time around, suffering through injury and loss of form. However, under van Gaal, who named van Persie his Dutch captain, he has felt much more at ease. United will be hopeful he can transfer the form he has shown at international level to club level and return to being one of the world’s deadliest strikers.

United fans will be desperate for van Persie to return to his best form

United fans will be desperate for van Persie to return to his best form

Prediction
I am expecting van Gaal to bring in several new players and to inspire United towards the summit of the table once more. There are many other strong sides at the top end of the table that should still finish above the Red Devils but a fourth place finish would represent good progress and a much desired return to the Champions League. Expect United to finish 4th.