Soccer

5 signings looking to make an impact in the new Premier League season

Sandro Tonali’s battling qualities will be appreciated by Newcastle fans this season. (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Sandro Tonali’s battling qualities will be appreciated by Newcastle fans this season. (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The Premier League transfer window has once again seen eye-watering amounts of money spent by clubs looking to improve their squads ahead of the new season.

With plenty of players settling into new surroundings, there will be intrigue as to who can make the quickest impact.

Here, the PA news agency picks five new signings to watch heading into the 2023-24 campaign.

Declan Rice – Arsenal

Arsenal had to spend a club-record £105million to land England midfielder Rice from London rivals West Ham.

The Gunners smashed their biggest-ever spend by over £32million as manager Mikel Arteta hopes Rice can prove a missing part of the jigsaw, with the aim to take Arsenal from runners-up to Premier League champions this season.

Rice, 24, left West Ham having lifted the Europa Conference League trophy in his final game as captain and – having established himself as a key player at the London Stadium – it will be interesting to see if he can continue to impress at the very top level.

Moussa Diaby – Aston Villa

Aston Villa’s Moussa Diaby (centre) has already shown he can find the back of the net in pre-season
Aston Villa’s Moussa Diaby (centre) has already shown he can find the back of the net in pre-season (John Raoux/AP)

Unai Emery turned Villa’s season around when he was appointed as Steven Gerrard’s replacement October.

Villa went from relegation candidates to European qualification under the Spaniard, who has now started to shape his squad for the fresh challenges.

Diaby will be a pivotal part of that process after the France winger signed from Bayer Leverkusen for a reported club-record fee of £51.9million – such intent to get their man means the 24-year-old will be under immediate pressure to deliver as Emery looks to build on his first year in charge.

Dominik Szoboszlai – Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp looked to overhaul his midfield after a disappointing season by Liverpool’s – and his own – high standards last season.

James Milner, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have all departed and Hungary international Szoboszlai is the big-money addition from RB Leipzig who will be expected to fill some of the void.

The 22-year-old cost a reported £60million and hit 20 goals in 91 games at Leipzig, including getting on the scoresheet in the 2023 DFB Pokal final victory.

Andre Onana – Manchester United

Erik ten Hag’s Old Trafford rebuild has continued this summer as the Dutchman aims to improve on a third-place finish and the Carabao Cup trophy collected in his first season.

The signing of goalkeeper Onana from Inter Milan is the most striking change as he replaces David De Gea – who left at the expiration of his contract – as United’s first-choice, reuniting with his old Ajax boss.

His ability to play out from the back is what Ten Hag is looking to add to his defence but, if his pre-season games are anything to go by, there could be gains and pains as he settles in.

Sandro Tonali – Newcastle

Sandro Tonali's battling qualities will be appreciated by Newcastle fans this season
Sandro Tonali’s battling qualities will be appreciated by Newcastle fans this season (Andrew Milligan/PA)

After sealing Champions League football for the first time in 20 years, many would have expected the deep pockets of the Saudi PIF see Eddie Howe splash the cash on plenty of new arrivals.

Instead, he has been selective with recruits and the £55million arrival of Italy international Tonali is the most eye-catching.

The 23-year-old defensive midfielder won the Serie A title with AC Milan in 2022 and he also has 14 senior caps in a competitive position, with Howe hoping he can improve the steel in his own side.