The English Premier League has been underway for a month now, with Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur getting off to fying starts. On the other hand, other ‘Big 6’ clubs like Manchester United and Chelsea have had had an underwhelming start to their campaign, as they both occupy mid-table spots.
While it often takes time for new signings to get acclimatized to their surroundings, which has been the case with Moises Caicedo and Mason Mount, some players have hit the ground running at their new clubs. Here’s a look at three such signings:
#1. James Maddison:
Tottenham Hotspur signed Maddison from Leicester City in a £40m deal. The English midfielder, who has been linked with a big move for several years, has been excellent in attacking midfield for Spurs. In four league matches so far, the 26-year-old has scored two goals and provided two assists.
Maddison tormented Manchester United from the inside-left channel during Tottenham’s 2-0 win at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium. He has combined really well with Son Heung-min so far, which has been one of the reasons behind Spurs’ solid start. Maddison also started for England in their recent European qualifier against Ukraine on account of his performances in the Premier League.
If Ange Postecoglou’s team are to capitalize on their good start that has earned them 10 points from four matches, the English midfielder will have to be in his element.
#2. Mateo Kovacic:
Kovacic has won it all with Real Madrid and Chelsea in his decade-long career, but it should not be a surprise if he wins more with Manchester City this season. Kovacic’s ability to play long passes has been a revelation this season, which allows him to play alongside Rodri as a deep-lying playmaker in City’s 4-3-2-1 formation.
Kovacic can play in a slightly more advanced role as well and has all the necessary attributes of a quality midfielder. He has already cemented his place in City’s starting eleven, which is no mean feat given the quality in their squad.
It remains to be seen whether Guardiola sticks with the 29-year-old once Kevin de Bruyne returns from injury. However, he has already justified his £25m price-tag with a string of impressive performances.
#3. Declan Rice:
Arsenal signed Rice for a club-record £105m from West Ham United. Since then, Rice has started all four of the Gunners’ leage matches and is already showing his class.
The 24-year-old scored the crucial second goal against Manchester United in Arsenal’s 3-1 win at the Emirates. His presence has also sidelined Thomas Partey, as Kai Havertz has been chosen to start as a central midfielder by Mikel Arteta in Arsenal’s 4-3-3 formation.
Rice’s assuring presence in defense and good distribution allow the Gunners to play on the front-foot. His performance has been in stark contrast with that of Caicedo, who was signed by Chelsea for a big amount as well. Arsenal supporters will hope that Rice will go from strength to strength at their club.