Premier League clubs have once again flexed their financial muscle in the race for the world’s best talent ahead of Friday’s kick-off in the 2022/23 season.
AFP Sport looks at five of the summer’s biggest signings who made an impact.
Erling Holland (Manchester City)
City filled their need for a central striker, and secured one of the world’s most sought-after players to do so, after beating off competition from across Europe for Erling Holland.
The Norwegian’s £51 million ($63 million) buyout clause from Borussia Dortmund was a bargain but the reported five-year deal, including agents’ fees and wages, will reportedly set City back £190 million.
Holland may have had a debut to forget as he practically missed an open goal in City’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool in the Community Shield on Saturday.
But Pep Guardiola has warned his side’s title challengers that “the goals will come”.
Holland scored 86 goals in 89 games for Dortmund and although he was signed as the final piece to propel Guardiola’s men into the Champions League, his arrival helped the champions to a fifth league title in six years. Made a favorite.
Darwin Nunes (Liverpool)
Unlike Haaland, Nunez made the best start to his Liverpool career by scoring and winning a penalty against City in the Community Shield.
The Reds have relied on the Uruguayan to round out their attacking options following Sadio Mane’s departure to Bayern Munich.
Nunes’ initial fee from Benfica ($77 million) was 75-million euros, but that fee could rise to 100 million euros depending on his success at Anfield.
Luis Diaz is expected to replace Mane on the left side of Liverpool’s front three and Nunes has ruled out Roberto Firmino.
His aerial presence offers Jurgen Klopp’s men a different focal point in attack, but it may take some time for the Reds to adjust.
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Lisandro Martinez (Man Utd)
Much of the discussion about United’s only big-money signing revolves around how his 5ft 9in (1.8m) presence will cope with the rigors of the Premier League.
The Argentine is famous for United’s new manager Erik ten Hag, who signed Martinez for Ajax.
A transfer fee of £57 million suggests that Ten Hague sees Martinez as a regular starter at Old Trafford, but it remains to be seen in what position.
Martinez played at centre-back, left-back and center midfield during his time with the Dutch champions.
Ten Hague usually uses him in the center of his defence, which will put United captain Harry Maguire’s position at risk, with French World Cup winner Raphael Varane also in contention to start at centre-back.
Raheem Sterling (Chelsea)
A key player in City’s first two Premier League titles under Pep Guardiola, Sterling gradually found himself out of favor at the Etihad with the arrival of Jack Grealish and the emergence of Phil Foden.
Still a key part of England manager Gareth Southgate’s plans in a World Cup year, Sterling has moved south to become the face of Chelsea’s new era.
The 27-year-old was the Blues’ first signing since Todd Bohly’s consortium bought the club from Roman Abramovich.
Chelsea badly need a goalscorer if they are to compete with City and Liverpool for the title and Sterling is the most likely member of Thomas Tuchel’s squad to hit 20 goals.
He hit that mark in three consecutive seasons between 2017 and 2020 and will have the guaranteed minutes he didn’t get under Guardiola the last two years to hit that number again.
Gabriel Jesus (Arms)
Jesus was another victim of the wealth of attacking talent at City as the Brazilian hopes to restart his career at the Emirates ahead of the World Cup.
Despite winning seven major trophies at the Etihad, Jesus has never been the successor to Sergio Aguero City hoped to buy him six years ago.
After the departures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal were in dire need of a striker.
Jesus has already thrilled Gunners fans after scoring seven times in pre-season, including wins against Chelsea and Sevilla.
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