EPL Predictions 2014: Summer Transfers Poised for Explosive Starts at New Clubs

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2014

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03: Bojan Krkic of Stoke City looks on during the pre season friendly match between Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City at Ewood Park on August 03, 2014 in Blackburn, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

The 2014-15 Premier League season is almost upon us, and it's that time of year when predictions and wonderment are at their most intense.

One of the most intriguing annual traditions is the foretelling of how players will fare in new settings, be it a simple trade of allegiances in the same division or a continental switch of massive proportions.

Either way, we're broken down some of those transfers who are set to begin their campaigns with a bang in Week One and with pressure mounting ahead of the new term.


Romelu Lukaku, Everton

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JULY 01:  Romelu Lukaku of Belgium celebrates scoring his team's second goal in extra time during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Belgium and the United States at Arena Fonte Nova on July 1, 2014 in Salvador, Br
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

He's back, but this time, it's permanent.

Admittedly, it's something of a cheat to predict that Romelu Lukaku will do well as a Toffee this season considering his 15 goals in 31 Premier League appearances while on loan at Goodison Park last season.

However, success isn't guaranteed following his £28 million move to Merseyside from Chelsea, although ESPN FC's Christopher Atkins feels his value may even rise at his new home:

The first challenge on the Belgian's agenda is a trip to the King Power Stadium, where he'll take on a Leicester City side that conceded just 43 goals during their promotion campaign.

However, Premier League veteran Matthew Upson is the only defensive addition to Nigel Pearson's squad so far this summer, and although the Foxes already won this fixture 1-0 in a July pre-season friendly, the tide is sure to turn with Lukaku involved.


Bojan, Stoke City

Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Hitting the ground running in the way the team will have been hoping for, new Stoke City signing Bojan has been in free-scoring form for the Potters in pre-season.

His three goals in four games makes him the club's most prolific player during their 2014-15 preparations, and the Spaniard's first test as a Premier League player will come from Aston Villa.

Sky Sports' Mark Holmes has made the early prediction that the Spaniard will be Mark Hughes' top scorer this season:

Paul Lambert's side are a hard outfit to judge at present, given that their 2013-14 campaign ended with a poor record of 61 goals conceded. However, a fit-again Jores Okore sitting alongside the World Cup marvel that is Ron Vlaar may make for a more solidified run this term.

That being said, the former Barca prodigy has long been tipped to do great things. There's every chance the Premier League might provide him with the stage on which to do so, and he could be the hero who blights the Villans.


Brown Ideye, West Brom

Brown Ideye's transfer to West Brom from Dynamo Kiev gives the aura of a transfer that could either go terrifically well for both player and club or end up looking like an extreme waste of £11 million.

The controversy of the transfer was engaged when manager Alan Irvine admitted he'd never seen the Nigerian play, per Sky Sports' Pete O'Rourke:

Ideye is a risk, in that he may not even be ready to play for the season opener against Sunderland, but should he be fit in time, he'll be going up against a new-look Black Cats defence that's still finding its feet as a unit.

Gus Poyet's men were far from the most-assured defence last season, and the departures at the Stadium of Light mean there could be leaky times ahead once again.

Ideye's last season in Ukraine wasn't great by any standards, netting just five goals in 19 league outings, but when at his best and free of distractions, the 25-year-old could be devastating.