PREMIER LEAGUE 2017-18: 5 key players signed in offseason
LONDON (AP) — Here’s a look at five offseason signings to watch in the upcoming Premier League season:
Alexandre Lacazette says he followed Arsenal as a child because of Thierry Henry.
If the 26-year-old striker can be as prolific as his fellow Frenchman, the club-record 60 million euros ($68 million) spent on signing him from Lyon will be worth it.
Lacazette, who scored a personal best 28 league goals last season, netted 129 overall for Lyon after coming through the youth academy and making his debut during the 2009-10 campaign.
His impact could be crucial as Arsenal attempts to return to the Champions League after missing out on qualification for the first time in 20 years.
After sealing a return to the Premier League with Liverpool, Mohamed Salah is hoping to become the latest player to prove Chelsea wrong.
The 25-year-old Egypt winger arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2014, but he rarely played during an uninspiring year before being loaned out to Fiorentina and eventually sold to Roma last year.
However, 15 goals and 11 assists in Serie A last season persuaded Liverpool to break its club record by paying 42 million euros ($49 million) for him.
Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku have both excelled in the Premier League after being let go by Chelsea.
At Liverpool, Salah will have competition from Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge to make the starting lineup.
Not for the first time in his career, Alvaro Morata was not the first choice.
Manchester United beat Chelsea to the signing of Romelu Lukaku — and the London club had to turn to Morata.
Despite not being his primary target, Morata, who began his career at Real Madrid, is a player that Chelsea manager Antonio should be able to rely on for goals.
The 24-year-old Spain international helped Juventus reached the Champions League final in 2015 under Conte. His performances persuaded Madrid to re-sign him last year.
Madrid regained the Spanish league title and retained the Champions League, but Morata’s 20 goals were not enough to convince his hometown club to keep him.
The 1.88-meter (6-foot-2) Morata has a powerful physique and the Premier League should provide the perfect setting to prove that he can be the main man up front.
Benjamin Mendy is the most expensive member of the most expensive defense ever assembled in world soccer at Manchester City.
If the France full back lines up alongside new goalkeeper Ederson, right back recruit Kyle Walker, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi, the club will have a back-five worth nearly 200 million pounds ($260 million).
The 23-year-old Mendy only joined Monaco from Marseille a year ago, but his impact as the club won the domestic title and reached the Champions League semifinals ensured that Europe’s elite came knocking.
He had four assists in seven Champions League appearances last season.
There will be some familiarity in Manchester for Mendy, with former Monaco teammate Bernardo Silva making the same switch at the beginning of the offseason.
“Chicharito” is back in the Premier League with West Ham.
The diminutive striker, whose nickname translates as “Little Pea,” scored 59 goals for Manchester United from 2010-14 before being loaned out to Real Madrid and then sold to Bayer Leverkusen in 2015.
Hernandez scored 39 goals in 76 appearances during his time in Germany, leading West Ham manager Slaven Bilic to call upon the Mexican to reinvigorate the Hammers.
Bilic will now have the option of employing Andy Carroll alongside Hernandez, with the arrival of forward Marko Arnautovic from Stoke also helping out the attack.
More AP Premier League: https://apnews.com/tag/PremierLeague