Premier League: Top Three Signings of 2016-2017
March 11, 2017
Filed under Sports
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The Premier League has reached its final third of the season, with Chelsea taking the league by storm. Despite the seemingly one-horse race for the title, other teams have shown quality moments at times and in many instances they have their new signings to thank for those moments. Let’s look at the top 3 signings so far:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Despite coming under high scrutiny at times already this season – not least due to a run of six games without a goal earlier in the campaign – Ibrahimovic’s recent form has silenced any critics. A total of 15 Premier League goals is now the fifth most behind goal scoring machines like Harry Kane or Romelo Lukaku while also accounting for almost 50% of Manchester United’s goal tally this season. His hold up play has also been a real asset to Jose Mourinho, and while the Swede is yet to register an assist in the Premier League, only one team-mate has created more chances this season. “Dare to Zlatan” has shown the world that despite already being 35, he is still a menace to any defenders even in a notoriously physical league like the EPL.
N’golo Kante: If this year is anything to go by for Chelsea, the secret to success is N’Golo Kante. The Frenchman, having been central in a very literal sense to Leicester’s remarkable triumph last season, earned a big money move to Chelsea and has adapted to his new surroundings with the same ease that saw him become a Premier League star in his first season in England. While averages for both tackles and interceptions have understandably dropped given Chelsea’s differing approach to that of the Foxes, 3.1 tackles and 2.8 interceptions per game are both top marks for the Blues. Moreover, the 25-year old has completed the second most passes in the top flight. Being coupled with a fellow defensive rock like Nemanja Matic has helped shared defensive loads for the Frenchman, making the Chelsea backline more solidified than ever.
Sadio Mane: There was a reason that Liverpool had to bring Sadio back straight from AFCON (Africa Cup of Nation) on a helicopter: that was how crucial the Senegalese man has been to The Kop. Explosive pace, amazing stamina and relentless desire to win are what make the pacey winger such a huge asset to Klopp’s “gegenpressing” system. Wing-backs are terrified whenever they have to face this man and managers would do well to make sure their wingers track back because whenever Sadio Mane is one on one with a defender, the result is clear. 12 goals and 5 assists after 23 games, Mane has proven that a step-up from Southampton is no issue and, even better, he is only 24!