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EPL 2016/17: Five Signings Likely to Cause Major Upsets in Top Flight

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The summer transfer window provides clubs all over the world an avenue to bolster their squads in a bid to address weaknesses and improve team functionality.

Even in the most powerful of squads, there is always room to accommodate new players that can make the team marginally better than they previously were.

This article looks at some of the players who will make the most difference at their new clubs.

1 Ngolo Kante (Chelsea)

Chelsea’s midfield as the rest of the team, looked utterly shambolic last season, as they struggled to stamp their authority on games.

Nemanja Matic, whose screening presence provided the platform for Cesc Fabregas to do his magic, looked leggy and out of his depth, allowing opponents a free run at his defenders.

The new Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has taken steps to address that with the signing of the best holding midfielder in the League last season, Frenchman Ngolo Kante, who led the League in tackles and interceptions.

The Kante-Cesc midfield will enable the defensively suspect Fabregas to go about his playmaking duties, knowing that Kante is more than capable of sweeping and doing the grunt work behind him.

2 Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United)

The imbalance of the Manchester United squad was apparent, as they played almost the entire season without a proper right winger, having failed properly to replace Angel Di Maria and Adnan Janujaz.

Juan Mata did a job there for a while but lacks the speed and dribbling ability to succeed properly in that role. Jese Lingard also did well as a stopgap solution but was wildly inconsistent.

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The purchase of Mkhitaryan gives Mourinho a right wing player who is capable of going past players, shooting with both feet, and tracking back, the last of which is imperative to Jose Mourinho. Should Memphis Depay find his pre-Manchester United form, the trio of Depay-Rooney-Mkhitaryan could be right up there with the most functional in the league.

3 Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea)

Chelsea in the last decade, have had a vast array of misfiring forwards, examples of which are Fernando Torres, Mateja Kezman, Andriy Schevchenko, etc.

But they took that list a notch last season, with Loic Remy, Alexander Pato and Radamel Falcao who together contributed almost nothing to the cause.

Even Diego Costa, instrumental to their title win the previous season, contributed only 16 goals in all competitions. The arrival of powerful Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi, who is coming off a 23 goal season for Olympic Marseille should massively improve the Chelsea frontline.

His powerful build, athleticism, physique and willingness to run into channels should see him get on the end of a lot of chances created by the likes of Hazard, Fabregas and Willian.

4 Granit Xhaka (Arsenal)

Arsenal’s most functional midfield pairing last season, Coquelin and Cazorla had a dynamic flaw. The former couldn’t dictate tempo and the latter is a defensive liability, meaning the team had two players doing the job of one.

The signing of Xhaka should see all that change as he combines the technical ability of Cazorla, with the defensive know-how of Coquelin. Xhaka can be combined with almost all of Arsenal’s current midfielders without having the team suffer defensively or going forward.

5 Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United)

Manchester United’s top scorer last season was Anthony Martial with 17 goals in all competitions from the wings, as they struggled for options up top. Wayne Rooney’s days as a centre-forward are clearly over, meaning they had to rely on 18-year-old Marcus Rashford, who in his defence, has a limitless amount of potential.

The arrival of Swedish striker Ibrahimovic changes everything for Manchester United, in that they have a proven goal scorer, who can bring others into play, one who will mentor the likes of Martial and Rashford, and most importantly, one who can produce a goal out of nothing. This single signing should restore the fear factor to Manchester United, and make Old Trafford a place of nightmares for opposition defenders

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