Arsenal have come under much scrutiny recently, with the departures of Alex Song and Robin Van Persie leading to questions regarding the club’s ambition.
Arsene Wenger has gone some way to replacing the former of those players however, after completing a season-long loan deal for Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin.
Sahin had long been linked with a move to the Premier League, though his eventual destination was unclear, with Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United believed to be amongst those interested.
The Turkish international has now opted for the Gunners however, with the clubs agreeing an initial loan deal, with a view to a permanent move being completed after 12 months.
He is not the only Real Madrid player who will be spending a season in England though, with a former Premier League star ending a two-year exile from the division.
Ricardo Carvalho has made a return to the country where he was nurtured into one of the world’s finest central defenders, after signing a season-long loan arrangement with QPR.
Rangers boss Mark Hughes was understandably alarmed by his side’s crushing opening-day defeat to Swansea, in which they shipped five goals without reply.
His response has been to add the vastly experienced Carvalho to his ranks, in the hope that the 34-year-old former Chelsea man will add steel to his backline.
An ex-central defensive partner of John Terry, Carvalho enjoyed tremendous success with the Blues, with a trio of Premier League titles and FA Cups amongst his most prestigious accolades.
It may be another England centre-half Carvalho partners this season meanwhile, with Michael Dawson expected to seal a £5.5m Rs switch as Hughes aims to further shore up his defence.
Carvalho will welcome the chance to reunite with his international team-mate Jose Bosingwa too, whom he also operated alongside in Chelsea’s defence throughout his six-year tenure at the club.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.