Which Nations will thrive in the upcoming Premier League season?
The diverse nature of the Premier League means regular viewers get to admire some of the most prestigious players from across the globe. Such is the state of the often underwhelming English talent this can be seen as a substantial relief despite the effect it may have on the national team. Just 3 of the transfers completed so far by top flight clubs this summer have involved English players, a telling sign of the times.
The 2012-2013 season saw players from 58 countries contributing to a total goal tally of 1,016 with the upcoming season promising much the same.
It came as little shock to find Spain topping the best of the rest with 78 goals last campaign. The star studded Spanish companionship included the likes of Juan Mata, Michu and Fernando Torres, all accomplished goalscorers in their own right. Expect the Spanish goalscoring prowess to improve in the 2013-2014 with the added influence of Roberto Soldado of Tottenham and Alvaro Negredo of Manchester City. Both of whom are set to light up the Premier League, potentially providing 20+ league goals each for their respected teams in the push for the top 4. Another Manchester City new boy Jesus Navas may well find himself as the fitting piece in Pellegrini’s bid for success, with his electric pace and quick fit set to give many wing backs a nightmare or two.
Whilst the Spanish goal threat was always expected the emergence of a young, exciting Belgium outfit really took the League by storm last season. The likes of Romelu Lukaku and Christian Benteke bagged goals for fun whilst Eden Hazard and Moussa Dembele sparked inspiration from midfield. In defence the ever impressive Vincent Kompany was joined by and often outshone by fellow Belgian Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham who himself provided 4 of his Countries 68 Premier League goals. With the world cup around the corner it is likely these players will excite us ever more in the new season, backed up by Spurs recruit Nacer Chadli, who himself appears an exciting prospect for the White Hart Lane faithful.
The arrival of Paulinho to the North London club could also prove to be a telling signing. The Brazilian international helped Premier league regulars Oscar and David Luiz to a stunning Confederations Cup win over the summer for the refreshingly Brazil side.
With a Brazilian spine to the team, the returning Jose Mourinho could take his Chelsea side all the way next term thanks to ever improving Ramires Oscar and co. Young Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool appeared a steal in the current market at 8.5 million last January for the reds who will look to him to provide similar impact throughout the 2013-14 season. The Brazilian influence has often been insignificant however the current batch will certainly sparkle in the run up to their own World Cup.
Other South American influences are also hard to ignore. The list of superstars range from City’s Argentinian duo Sergio Aguero and Pablo Zabaleta to Uruguay’s tenacious Gaston Ramirez and Luis Suarez. Expect Aguero to return to his best this season with competition for place heating up. His relatively poor goal tally of 12 last term (11 shy of his 23 in 2011-12) summed up a disappointing and injury hit season, however many are tipping him for the accolade of top goalscorer this time out. The future of Luis Suarez is still cloudy but we can rest assured that wherever he is, he will perform.
Elsewhere French supporters will be hopeful of Ben Arfa’s return to form within a Newcastle team whose management is vying for even more French signatures. A rise up the table for them will no doubt coincide with star French performances, the likes of Yohan Cabaye will look to regain the control he commanded over games just the season before. The potential arrival of Gomis will only add to ‘little France’ as Alan Pardew hopes familiarity reaps success. Fellow Tyne and Wear outfit Sunderland have had a big summer of movement as Paulo Di Canio looks to implement his stamp on the team. The signing of Jozy Altidore from AZ Alkmaar maintains a healthy American contingent in the top flight as Clint Dempsey goes the other way to Seattle Sounders. Other US soccer stars include Tim Howard and Brad Freidel who will both provide stellar performances despite being in the twilight of their long careers. Another Sunderland coup is Italian winger Emanuele Giaccherini who will look to provide width and intelligence in tandem with Adam Johnson. The high profile departure of Mario Balotelli has left a gaping Italian hole in the Premier League which has been relatively bare in recent times.
For those of us still hopeful of English talent, impressive outings from Southampton’s Left Back Luke Shaw and former Saint Theo Walcott may transpire, with both looking to build on last seasons success. Other top displays may come from Alex Ox-lade Chamberlain and a certain Jack Wilshere, combing in the gunners midfield. Wilshere has continually been looked at as the answer to both Arsenal and the whole Nations problems. The pressure pressure upon him is certainly not misplaced, his guile and commitment could be a sight to warm English hearts this coming calender year. Elsewhere expect new England member Ricky Lambert to equal or improve upon his 15 goal Premier League debut season whilst youngsters Raheem Sterlinng of Liverpool and Wilfred Zaha of Manchester United face a telling season, both such exciting talents.
The statistics do show that a total of 298 goals were scored by 84 English players last term, proving it isn’t all doom and gloom within the home of football.
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