EPL Transfer Rumors: 10 Players Who Could Set the League Alight
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The English Premier League, arguably the most competitive league in the world, is undoubtedly the most entertaining of the lot.
With players of notable caliber in nearly every team and every position already, one can't help but drool when presented with the prospect of a further influx of foreign talent. Essentially, a move like this would be an English fan's ultimate dream, as the amount of quality, and consequently style of play would improve.
Here is a list of 10 players that could, if they were to cross the divide into the league, potentially set the league alight. These players have been further divided into potential teams that could employ their services to full effect.
Check out the slideshow to see which 10 players could potentially set the English Premier League alight!
Fernando Llorente to Liverpool
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Though supporters of most clubs generally don't tend to agree on every notion, word coming from all corners of Anfield suggests the Liverpool faithful are growing increasingly frustrated with Andy Carroll's subpar performances.
Fernando Llorente then would help rectify some of those shortcomings. Towering at 6' 5", the giant Spanish striker—boasting an impressive scoring record for a player from a "small club"—could provide the much needed target-man touch in the final third for the Reds.
Despite enduring one injury-plagued season in 2005, Llorente's general health record is pretty impressive, meaning he probably won't struggle with fitness as Andy Carroll continually seems to.
In moments of dire straits, where the game seems to either be heading towards a stale draw or shock loss, Liverpool could also throw in both Llorente and Carroll together and continually launch crosses into the box.
Though it may not be pretty, a team that could potentially be chasing the English Premier League title always needs a Plan B. Fernando Llorente might just be Liverpool's.
Eden Hazard to Arsenal
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Lille's Belgian attacking-midfielder Eden Hazard, only 20, is one of the most talked about and hyped up youngsters in world football.
He's also extremely skillful onthe ball, a possessor of great vision and a neat finish. It's safe to say a club with the addition of Eden Hazard automatically looks like a lot stronger team. At the very least, they will look stronger on paper, as he's been described as having a playing style "mixed" between Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Quite a compliment if you ask me.
Hazard has enough talent to slot into literally any of the "big" English clubs, though Arsene Wenger seems to be a long term admirer of the Belgian starlet. Besides providing invaluable cover for the first team in the initial learning stages, Hazard could prove the perfect player with bags of explosiveness that Andrey Arshavin seems unable, or unwilling, to provide these days.
He's definitely one of a few players in world football that can turn a game on it's head. Don't discount his ability to tear up league defenses either.
Neymar to Chelsea
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Ignore the fact that Santos forward Neymar is only 19. The Brazilian striker, despite having never played in Europe so far, is already considered one of world football's most hottest properties.
His flair, coupled with his obvious ability to score goals, is something that's made the world stop and take notice. Chelsea, Real Madrid and even AC Milan have been linked to this versatile striker, as he looks set to join football's elite group of great players.
With Chelsea's Didier Drogba seeming to fall out of favour under new manager Andres Villas-Boas, Neymar might provide that perfect lethality up front that the other strikers seem to lack. Bearing all the typical attacking flair of most Brazilians, the Santos' forward might just help curb whatever attacking potency Chelsea seem to be currently lacking.
Giorgio Chilellini to Manchester United or Manchester City
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Juventus' reliable defender Giorgio Chiellini has gone on to establish himself as one of the top defenders in world football over the years. Though not gifted with natural speed, the Italian is one of those ball-winning-uncompromising defenders that seem to give attackers a run for their money. And at 27 years of age, he's the sort of player that already has loads of experience under his belt that can still perform for years to come.
The question remains though; where could he fit in?
It's no secret that Manchester City's weakness lies in their defence. With Kolo Toure already facing extended time on the sideline due to a drug ban, it seems Juventus' Giorgio Chiellini would be of interest to Roberto Mancini.
Manchester United on the other hand have shown defensive frailties as of late. With Rio Ferdinand's dip in form, it seems Phil Jones, despite already being vastly talented, is having to cope with more than he can handle so early on in his Old Trafford career. Chiellini would provide the perfect partner for the ever-reliable Nemanja Vidic, as Sir Alex Ferguson looks to once again reestablish an uncompromising partnership at the back.
Ignazio Abate to Manchester United
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Ignazio Abate, AC Milan's versatile defender, capable of playing on either side of the defense, is a defender Sir Alex Ferguson would do well to look at.
Given Manchester United's horrid full back situation, in which players such as Antonio Valencia (a natural winger) are being made to play out of position, investing in a defender that can fill in all over the backline would be a genuine asset.
He is renowned for his quick sprints down the right wing and accurate crosses—another plus point for a Manchester United team whose game relies heavily on wing play. His speed would also prove an asset, as the Red Devils like to break in numbers, essentially meaning pace is required for defenders to be able to track back from well within the opponents' half, as well as make darting runs into opposition territory.
Mamadou Sakho to Chelsea
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The fact that at the age of 21, Mamadou Sakho has already gone on to establish himself as PSG's captain, all the while making 100-plus appearances for the club, is quite indicative of the quality of the player himself.
Mamadou Sakho is tall, imposing and surprisingly quick for a big man—a plus point for any Chelsea defender nowadays, as revolutionary manager Andres Villas-Boas likes to deploy a defensive high line in most games. He is known for his leadership on the pitch, his tireless engine and hard tackling tendencies.
In all, a player that could fit in seamlessly all across Chelsea's backline when players such as John Terry are out injured or lacking in form or confidence (like right now). Eventually, he's the sort of defender that could take up the leadership mantle in the Chelsea side when Terry does eventually decide to hand up his boots.
Cezar Azpilicueta to Arsenal
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Marseille's Cezar Azpilicueta is undoubtedly an unknown to most English fans. But ask any avid La Liga or French Ligue 1 observer and you're likely to get a positive appraisal of this young right back.
Azpilicueta made his debut at the tender age of 18 when still plying his trade with former club Osasuna. In 2010, he completed a move to Ligue 1 giants Marseille. He's known for his pace, skill and versatility (he started his career as a midfielder). He also boasts an impressive skillset going forward, as he can whip in a pinpoint cross.
Azpilicueta would be a breath of fresh air for Arsenal and its fans, especially in the wake of yet another injury crisis at the club. His ability to slot in on the left side, a true testament to the player's versatile nature, or on either flanks makes him a genuine asset to any Premier League club.
Stevan Jovetic to Liverpool
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Montenegrin winger-turn-striker Steven Jovetic currently plies his trade in Italy with Fiorentina, where he's managed to become a fan favourite by way of some very impressive displays for the Viola.
Ironically enough, this even includes a goal scored against Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League group stage in 2009, in a game that Fiorentina went on to win 2-0.
Jovetic would prove to be an asset for Liverpool in their hunt for the English Premier League crown for several reasons. He's extremely versatile, as he can operate on both flanks as well as behind the main striker, or as the primary target man himself.
He can deliver both a killer ball, and a pinpoint cross into the box—an obvious and much needed plus point for the Red's, as they still seem unable to use their £35 million target man, Andy Carroll, efficiently.
Riccardo Montolivo to Manchester United or Arsenal
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There have probably been very few moments over Riccardo Montolivo's career when his commitment to the Viola was in question. With a contract approaching its expiry date, and with no sign of putting pen to paper, however, the time for departure seems to be approaching fast for the versatile Italian midfielder.
Riccardo Montolivo would provide any club vying for his service with that much needed burst of creativity from the midfield. His general vision and knack for playing the killer ball, coupled with his ability to get himself on the scoresheet, have put him high on many of the top European club's wish lists.
Considering Manchester United's recent creative woes woes, coupled with the fact that the legendary playmaker Paul Scholes' replacement is yet to arrive at Old Trafford, it's safe to say Montolivo would be graciously welcomed by the Old Trafford faithful.
Montolivo's ability on the ball and in playing a pass would undoubtedly prove to be an asset to Arsenal as well. He's the sort of player that can play the "quick passing game," essentially meaning he'd slot right into the Arsenal side. And considering the timing of his potential transfer (next summer after Mikel Arteta's 30th birthday), as well as the fact that he may come free, it seems a move Arsene Wenger would be foolish to pass up on.
Toni Kroos to Liverpool
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A similar sort of player to Riccardo Montolivo, Toni Kroos possesses both sublime vision, admirable dribbling skills and an impressive eye for goal.
The German midfielder has found opportunities hard to come by at Bayern Munich, making a potential transfer to the Reds more plausible. He's found himself competing with the likes of Thomas Muller, Frank Ribery and Arjen Robben for the role as attacking midfielder.
Kroos, though would have an easier time fitting into Liverpool's starting XI, as far as the league lineup is concerned, as he too would be cup-tied for European clashes, having already featured Munich earlier in the campaign.
More importantly, his Bundesliga-winning experience during Bayern Munich's 2007-2008 campaign makes him a seasoned player at the age of just 21. His experience, then, would prove to be an asset during Liverpool's hunt for the English Premier League title.
Who's Your Top 10?
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Lists can be tough to draw up, as the writer's biases normally tend to flow into the article. Admittedly, the players on my list probably may not feature on yours, and vice versa.
So then, who makes your list of top 10 imports to the English Premier League that you think would set the league alight? Which players would you most like to see your team acquire?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below, or simply tweet/follow me @saqibddb (follow me and I'll follow you)
Thanks for reading!