Sunday, 2 September 2012

The Premier League's New Foreign Faces - A Guide

MaiconSo, finally it's over. After enduring months of speculation, days of haggling and an infuriating few hours of Jim White on Sky, we know the new foreign faces set to light up the Premier League.

And boy have the clubs traded in their millions for some gems. Major world stars like Maicon and Julio Cesar jetted in along with unknowns like Maya Yoshida and Christian Benteke.

All of them beaming a smile for the cameras and a promise of glory for their clubs.

But just who are this nomadic warriors? Here Footballstories gives you a complete run down of the Premier League rookies set to thrill you over the next nine months.
Maya Yoshida [VVV Venlo - Southampton] Undisclosed
Not quite what you would expect from a Japanese defender. Big and strong, he rarely loses out in the air but has pace and a clever defensive mind. Certain to be a starter at St Marys. He was a stand-out player in this summer's Olympics and is capable of taming Premier League strikers.
Chance of success 8

Esteban Granero [Real Madrid - QPR]
An artisan in the centre of the park, this guy has just won the title with Real Madrid. He played his part as well, racking up 28 appearances. He can run play from the heart of midfield or pop up behind the striker to tee up team-mates. Mark Hughes could barely believe his luck when Granero said yes to his plea of switching to Loftus Road.
Chance of success 9

Julio Cesar [Inter Milan - QPR] Undisclosed
Having seen Rob Green concede a hatful, Mark Hughes moved quickly to land a new first choice keeper and this guy is a peach of a buy. He has 64 caps for Brazil and a trophy cabinet full of silver from his time at Inter and he's only 32. He boasts five Serie A titles and can top that haul with a Champions League medal from 2010.
Chance of success 8

Emmanuel Mayuka [Young Boys Berne - Southampton]
Little known but this striker is capable of becoming Zambia's biggest star. Just 21 he is already an established player for his country and played his part in winning the 2012 African Nations Cup. A record of 32 goals in two seasons for his Swiss side suggested he could play in Europe. Most of his efforts came from balls over the top where he uses his pace to get away from defenders.
Chance of success 6

Nuri Sahin [Real Madrid - Liverpool] Loan              
Liverpool beat Arsenal to his capture and expect the Turkish international to line up alongside Joe Allen in a new look Anfield midfield. Tidy on the ball and able to find space in a packed area of the park, Sahin is perfect for Rodgers' new system at Liverpool.
Chance of success 7

Christian Benteke [Genk - Aston Villa] £7m
Big, powerful and a huge gamble for struggling Villa. His goal record in Belgium is enviable but whether the 21-year-old can convert that form to the Premier League remains up for debate.
Chance of success 4

Pablo Hernandez [Valencia - Swansea] £5.55m
A Spanish assist machine. The 27-year-old has been in outstanding form for Valencia and is certain to shine in Michael Laudrup's outfit. Has already scored at Old Trafford in the Champions League and looks a snip at the price.

Chance of success 8

Hugo Lloris [Lyon - Tottenham] £11.8m
AVB never hid his desire to bring in a new keeper despite having the decent Brad Friedel on his books. And Lloris' arrival shows the pulling power of the Premier League. The France international, 25, gave up a title shot at home to join the revolution at White Hart Lane. He has great reactions but is slender in build and could be bullied in England.

Chance of success 6
Maicon [Inter Milan - Manchester City] Undisclosed
Roberto Mancini knows all about the Brazilian, 31, having managed him for two seasons at Inter. Maicon is going to be used as a wing-back on the outside of City's three central defenders. Despite his age, he can still tear up and down the flank when fit and fans will be jumping out of their seats when 70-cap star gets on the ball.
Chance of success 5
Stephane Mbia [Marseille - QPR] Undisclosed
This imposing Cameroon international is equally at home destroying opponents attacks from a holding midfield role or gobbling up the ball as an effective central defender. Still only 26 but with a wealth of experience, he is going to add some much needed solidity to Mark Hughes' side.
Chance of success 6

Matija Nastasic [Fiorentina - Manchester City] £10m
The next Nemanja Vidic. Don't expect Nastasic to be thrown in at the deep end though. He is only 19 and played just 26 times for Fiorentina. This guy is more about potential and will be dropped in and out to gain experience whilst his 6ft 1in frame fills out.
Chance of success 5

Bryan Oviedo [FC Copenhagen - Everton] £5m
Manchester United were keeping tabs on this flying full-back earlier in the year. The Costa Rican, 22, loves to get down the wing and ping over crosses for his forwards. He was being eyed as a replacement in case Leighton Baines quit but is now going to compete for his shirt.
Chance of success 7

Gaston Ramirez [Bologna - Southampton] £14m
A simply stunning signing from Saints. The capture of the Uruguay international, 21, on a four-year deal sends out a huge message that Nigel Adkins' team means business. Ramirez was one of the stars for his country in the Olympics in a side that disappointed. He can play either side of an attacking three or in a support striker role and has star dust sprinkled on him.
Chance of success 6

Javi Garcia [Benfica - Manchester City] £16m
Having failed to persuade Daniele De Rossi to switch to City, Roberto Mancini headed off to Portugal to land Garcia, 25, to guard the space in front of his back four. Garcia brings Champions League experience and a god-given ability to sniff out danger. His presence allows Yaya Toure and wing-backs Maicon and Clichy to bomb on safe in the knowledge someone is holding the fold.
Chance of success 8

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