The new Premier League season is fast approaching, with all the heavy-hitters starting to flex their muscles in preseason either on the field or in the transfer market.
Here’s three things we have learned so far:
1) A man’s word doesn’t mean much
Fabian Delph delighted Aston Villa fans when he issued a strongly-worded statement indicating he had no intention of leaving the Midlands outfit, instead preferring to “set the record straight” over talk of his switch to Manchester City. Less than a week later he was posing for photos holding up the new sky blue shirt he’ll be playing in.
According to Delph, Micah Richards’ strong opinion on the merits of moving to the Etihad club helped him change his mind, which is sure to help share the scorn Villa fans will be holding for the midfielder now that he has deserted them.
2) Schneiderlin hits the ground running for Manchester United
With the dual capture of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin, many wondered whether Louis Van Gaal had overmanned his Manchester United midfield for the coming season.
The Frenchman, lured from Southampton for £25m is far less heralded than his new German teammate and could, it was assumed, struggle to make a mark on the Red Devils’ first team.
After 45 minutes of his debut in a pre-season friendly against Club America, Schneiderlin obliterated that theory.
A display of tackling, passing, creative runs and an eye for goal resulted in the former Saint scoring the only goal of the game and showing Van Gaal exactly how he can be used in a campaign in which the Dutchman is 11/2 to win the Premier League.
3) Liverpool’s striker obsession shows no signs of abating
Danny Ings has arrived to join Daniel Sturridge, Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli as Brendan Rodgers’ strikeforce for the coming season, with Roberto Firmino adding a considerable eye for goal from the number 10 position.
It shows just how abject the Reds were infront of goal last term that the Northern Irishman is still keen to add further firepower.
Having sold Raheem Sterling to Man City for £49m, Liverpool are looking to reinvest most of that sum into Aston Villa brute Christian Benteke by triggering his release clause.
Perhaps the former Swansea tactician can come up with a formation that will allow all six attackers to take the field together.
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