With domestic football back in action, the Premier League landscape looks much the same. Manchester City is widely expected to capture another title, with Liverpool nipping at its heels; Manchester United and the London trio of Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham will be battling for the next two spots in the top four. And for the most part, the same batch of impact players will be shaping how the league ultimately plays out.
However, as consistent as things look right now, we know that the season will take some turns we don’t expect, in part thanks to some of the talented newcomers the English clubs have signed. Here we’re taking a look at five in particular who may make a significant impact.
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)
It will be partly thanks to the sheer size of American sports media, but even on his own merits, Christian Pulisic will be one of the most-watched newcomers in the EPL. Previously on loan in the Bundesliga, the young American is now ready to suit up for Chelsea, and some believe he can become an instant star. He’ll certainly have an opportunity, with Eden Hazard having left the Blues, and all evidence to date suggests that Pulisic will be able to score against the best teams in the world. He’ll have an unprecedented spotlight for an American player (the U.S. has never had a player in such a key role at such a big club), so there will be pressure. But if Chelsea winds up competing atop the league, it will likely be because Pulisic hit the ground running.
Nicolas Pépé (Arsenal)
Arsenal is entering league play in a somewhat uncertain position. For one thing, the Gunners are still being linked to some potential moves (which at this point may have to wait until winter). More to the point here though, Arsenal is also suddenly in need of offence. Despite having a dynamic scoring duo of Alexander Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, recent match results indicate that the team is struggling to put together much offense on the eve of the new season. Enter Nicolas Pépé. The 24-year-old from the Ivory Coast is one of the most talented newcomers in the EPL and will boost the aforementioned duo with significant offensive ability – potentially helping Arsenal to nip at the heels of the league favourites.
Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham Hotspur)
Tottenham didn’t have a whole lot to do to improve on its stellar 2018/19 play, and accordingly it didn’t make a huge splash. But French midfielder Tanguy Ndombele shouldn’t be overlooked. He’s not a potential star like Pulisic or Pépé, and he likely won’t be scoring much for the Spurs. But he represents yet another solid, sharing player who will keep Tottenham’s midfield competitive with the best of them. This team is aiming for stability, and the addition of Ndombele will help in that regard – potentially to the tune of legitimate contention.
Teemu Pukki (Norwich City)
Teemu Pukki isn’t new at Norwich City, but he’s new to the Premier League, so we’re including him here. And suffice it to say the Finnish national has a chance to be one of the league’s most exciting new scorers. Pukki had 29 goals in 43 appearances for Norwich last season, and while things will be more difficult after promotion, he’s going to be gunning for more. Pukki won’t impact the top of the standings, even if he scores 30 goals – but his talent alone gives Norwich City a legitimate chance to stay in the Premier League, which could mean a shake-up of the relegation zone.
Moise Kean (Everton)
Moise Kean is another player who probably won’t impact the top of the league standings in a meaningful way. But because he’s exactly what his new team needed, he’s worth a mention here. Everton had a fairly creative side last year, but no one to reliably finish even the best of opportunities. Kean, at 19, shows the ability to be the player who can finish, and there’s no reason for him not to get a chance right away for Everton. If he can make an impact Everton should remain solidly in the top 10, and there’s a chance Kean begins to look like a promising young scorer in the league.