Norwegian football fever, Liverpool’s attacking rock and Chelsea’s new owner who is said to mix reality with video games – here are five faces to keep an eye on ahead of the Premier League season

The Premier League season is here again and in the top teams there are new profiles both on the pitch, on the bench and in the owner’s chair. Yle Sporten highlights five names ahead of the premiere weekend.

A soccer World Cup in Qatar in the middle of the season is already being felt. The top European leagues kick off earlier than usual and the Premier League is no exception.

In the league – as usual – lots of new, exciting names are found. Here are some of the hottest.

Erling Braut Haaland, Manchester City

That Norway’s football giant would choose the Premier League and Manchester’s light blue side was the expected step for one of the world’s most hyped players at the moment.

Manchester City paid 60 million euros to get the kid to the club where his father Alf-Inge played at the beginning of the millennium.

For the star son, his career has been a determined climb, one step at a time. Erling Haaland left his homeland and Molde as a teenage star, made an international breakthrough at Salzburg and proved his international class with 86 goals in 89 competitive games for Dortmund.

Before the next step, the 22-year-old is even childishly excited.

– I grew up in Norway and there it is the Premier League that applies above all else. Everyone watches the matches and has a favorite team, that’s the league that counts, says Haaland to Sky Sports.

Erling Haaland played a 90-minute game for the first time in five months in last weekend’s Community Shield. Coach Pep Guardiola wants to play down the immediate expectations.

Image: IMAGO/PRiME Media Images/All Over Press

But Haaland is not only brought in to be a poster name or because the newly rich club wants to be intimidated with its financial muscles. Despite the great success on the pitch, City have lacked a true spearhead – a nine that reliably spits out goals.

– I don’t know how many goals he will score and I don’t care. We neither lose nor win because of Erling. He has to be myself, says coach Pep Guardiola The daily newspaper.

– As a striker, I shouldn’t take too much stress. If you start thinking too much, you start doing things that you shouldn’t need, Haaland thinks himself.

It is clear, however, that the temperature in Premier League-crazy Norway has been turned up even further. TV 2’s expert Simen Stamsø-Møller cannot see the superstar failing.

– Haaland is a killer and we have seen that for many years, goes the justification.

Darwin Nunez, Liverpool

If there is anyone who can stop Guardiola from his fifth league title in six years, it is, as usual, Liverpool, who challenge the reigning champions with a renewed offensive.

The biggest name on the team’s transfer summary is found in the traffic out of the team. Sadio Mané became a world name under Jürgen Klopp’s leadership – now he is turning the page in his career in the form of a move to Bayern Munich.

– This is how it works. We cannot try to stick to the same law forever, says coach Klopp for the Daily Mail.

– We have had to make changes, and we accepted Sadio’s request to seek new challenges. This is because he spoke to us early enough during the summer.

Darwin Nunez celebrates with the Community Shield dent.
Darwin Nunez netted as Liverpool beat Man City in the Community Shield.

Image: IMAGO/Paul Marriott/All Over Press

Mané stuck – in came Darwin Nunez from Benfica. The Uruguayan is more of a center forward than the winger Mané, but a clear bet by Liverpool who invested 75 million euros on him, which is the most expensive PL signing of the summer.

Haaland is a chapter of his own, but 23-year-old Nunez also belongs to the category of striker that “everyone” wanted.

Last year there were 26 goals in 28 games in the Portuguese league. The weekend before the start of the league, Nunez outshine Haaland by netting in the Community Shield, which his Liverpool took home.

In fact, only Mo Salah has his given place in the starting eleven of what was once a feared star trio of the Egyptian, Mané and Roberto Firmino. Diogo Jota and Luiz Diaz have managed to steal the spotlight from the latter brass – and now a piece of Nunez comes into the same equation.

Todd Boehly, Chelsea

In West London, you don’t enter a new season with new background forces.

Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine finally forced out Roman Abramovich after nearly 20 years. American Todd Boehly paid roughly five billion euros for the deal.

Boehly is already part owner of the baseball club LA Dodgers. He has started his new project at Chelsea rather ambitiously.

It cost almost 60 million euros to get Raheem Sterling from Manchester City. Napoli’s defender Kalidou Koulibaly cost 40 million euros, and was brought in to replace the central defenders who left, Anders Christensen and Antonio Rüdiger.

– Sterling was our top priority for the summer, revealed coach Thomas Tuchel earlier.

– He improves our squad significantly, and is exactly what we were looking for in terms of age, experience and style of play.

Cesar Azpilicueta hugs Todd Boehly.
Captain Cesar Azpilicueta was rumored to Barcelona, ​​but chose to extend with new owner Todd Boehly’s Chelsea.

Image: EPA-EFE/All Over Press

Overall, several players have been rumored both in and out of the club. Former Man United player and pundit Gary Neville has been open about his thoughts on the new owner.

– It seems that the American owner is playing Football Manager, Neville says, referring to the popular video game.

– He wanders around and the mood is a bit panicky.

Erik ten Hag, Manchester United

At Manchester United, they are once again looking towards a new chapter. Once again, the sleeping giant has changed coaches.

This is Erik ten Hag who will make Old Trafford dream big again. The hopes for Ajax’s former master coach are high, but it cannot be said that there has been a real major clean-up.

Of the new signings, ten Hag’s center back from Ajax, Lisandro Martinez, and especially Christian Eriksen stand out. On the other hand, ten Hag has not managed to attract his old midfield diamond Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona, ​​even though there have been rumors all summer.

Christian Eriksen next to Erik ten Hag.
Can Christian Eriksen make a difference to Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United?

Image: EPA-EFE/All Over Press

Cristiano Ronaldo remains at the club so far, but the Portuguese missed large parts of the pre-season.

– Cristiano Ronaldo is in our plans for next season. I look forward to working with him, ten Hag confirmed earlier in the summer.

Once Ronaldo was back in the game, ten Hag got to experience what it’s like to deal with one of the biggest football names on the planet. The substituted 37-year-old was one of the players who stormed out of the stadium before the friendly against Rayo Vallecano had even finished.

– I really do not accept this. This is unacceptable. For everyone, the coach decided for Dutch Viaplay.

Gabriel Jesus, Arsenal

It must be said that in north London there is an advantage for Tottenham ahead of this season as well. Spurs still have their stars, replenished in the front by Ivan Perisic and Yves Bissouma, among others, and may even become the team that can best challenge Man City and Liverpool at the top.

Rival Arsenal, on the other hand, have made a major star signing. Gabriel Jesus is a striker for the starting eleven, a player who is expected to be a savior for the “Gunners”.

– When you bring in a top player from a top club, who had extremely successful years, there are expectations, coach Mikel Arteta admits to AFP.

Arsenal celebrate goal.
Gabriel Jesus has already netted in front of his new home fans.

Image: Nigel Keene/ProSports/Shutterstock/All Over Press

Before the Arsenal job, the Spaniard was an assistant coach at Manchester City, from where Jesus was recruited for just over 50 million euros.

– The role that Gabi will have here will be very different to the one he had at his previous club.

Around him Jesus will have many talented players. Young talents such as Bukayo Saka, Martin Ødegaard, Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe shone during last year.

Of them, Ødegaard is another name that accelerates the Norwegian football fever. The former Real Madrid player serves as Arsenal’s captain this season.

– He is respected by everyone in the dressing room and liked by the fans, reasons Arteta.

The premiere round

Friday 5.8

22.00 Crystal Palace-Arsenal

Saturday 6.8

14.30 Fulham–Liverpool
17.00 Bournemouth-Aston Villa, Leeds-Wolves, Newcastle-Nottingham, Tottenham-Southampton
19.30 Everton-Chelsea

Sunday 7.8

16.00 Leicester-Brentford, Manchester United-Brighton
18.30 West Ham–Manchester City

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