With the premier league clubs completing a total of 80 signings within a month of the new transfer season, we take a look at how some of the new as well as existing players have put an impressive performances during their respective pre-season matches.
Having seen quite a bit of the pre-season games, we have taken a look at some of the Players who will shine next season after impressive Pre-Season performances
With Newcastle United winning two and ending up on the losing side of two pre-season games, there were multiple reasons for joy and worries for new boss Steve McClaren.
The performance of Rolando Aarons, would have given McClaren plenty to cheer about. After having an impressive 2014-15 pre-season, much was expected from young Aarons. But after featuring in 4 matches and looking decisive in each performance, Aarons returned from England U-20 duty with a hamstring injury. The injury later aggravated and led to Aarons being sidelined for majority of the season.
After another impressive start to the 2015-16 pre-season (Aarons was declared man of the match in a losing cause against Portland Timbers), Newcastle United fans will be hoping that he can continue this form and gel with new signings Alexander Mitrovic and Georgio Wijnaldum who have proved themselves to be attacking threats in their respective previous leagues.
Take a look at Aaron’s overhead goal in his man of the match winning performance:
Most will say that Aston Villa have done some smart business during this transfer season. Although their previous captain’s dramatic U-turn and Liverpool triggering Christian Benteke’s release clause have created a major dent on the quality in their squad.
Despite that, Villa have gone on to procure one of last season’s most impressive young fullback Jordan Amavi and doing smart business in terms of Scott Sinclair, Micah Richards and Idrissa Gueye seem to show that their transfer strategy might well be right on track.
Villa reached FA Cup final last season and with new star Jack Grealish emerging on the scene, Midlands club expect to enjoy a better season under Tim Sherwood.
Up until now, one of their veteran striker seems to be stealing the show during this pre-season. Although 28 years of age, Gabriel Agbonlahor seems to have been at Villa since forever, and rightly so because he has stuck with Aston Villa since he came through their youth ranks.
Agbonlahor gave an energetic performance in the 0-0 draw against Braga, coming very close to scoring within the half hour mark by hitting the upright. He looked dangerous throughout the 45 minutes he was on the pitch. In the next match against Swindon, he again came up with the goods and produced an assist to let Scott Sinclair complete an easy finish.
With still quite a bit of footballing left in him, maybe this season could be the one where Agbonlahor finally silences his critics who have been re-iterating since long that he never managed to live up to his potential.
West Ham United
After looking to threaten for a spot among the top 4 initially during last season and later fizzing out, West Ham look to challenge for a better finish this time around under new boss Slaven Bilic. With as many signings as the number of players they released/sold, West Ham United have been having a very busy pre-season with competitive matches along with friendlies.
They have already played 2 legs against Andorran side Lusitanos and one leg against Birkirkara (with the next leg to be played later today) as a part of qualifying rounds for UEFA Europa league. Among the 6 competitive and friendly matches that West Ham have played, their squad has been thoroughly rotated to ensure that no injuries occur before important games.
Two player stood out for West Ham – Mauro Zarate, who has always been in the news surrounded by controversies and new recruit Dimitri Payet, whose services were procured from Marseille for around 12 million pounds.
After being fined two weeks of wages during his loan stint at QPR last season for throwing tantrums, Zarate was labelled a flop with just 4 appearances under his belt and no noteworthy contribution.In the first leg match against Lusitanos with Bilic watching from the stands, Zarate seemed to be more lively than ever, seemingly to impress the new boss.
His close control and intelligent movement made him rather stand out from the rest. He went past three Lusitanos players with childlike ease and lobbed the ball towards Sakho to register an assist and help break the deadlock. He was rested for the second leg match but started against Birkirkara.
Payet’s 2 goals and an assist display for the Hammers:
The most energetic player on the pitch in that fixture initially, Zarate seemed to tire out as the match progressed. Although he lacked the temperament of a top professional, his moments of brilliance were enough to convince that he is among the West Ham players to look out for next season.
Payet seemed to have a rather dream debut, scoring two goals (out of which one was a well executed free kick) and delivering the cross that was deflected in for an own goal which turned out to be the winner. He was the star performer in the match against Southend United and the West Ham faithful will be expecting nothing less when the season starts.
Image Credit: getty
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