Friday 18 August 2017 / 01:38 AM

TRANSFER TARGETS WHO COULD CHANGE THE PREMIER LEAGUE

As usual there is plenty of rumoured movement as the Premier League’s silly season gets into full swing, with daily reports linking England’s biggest clubs to a host of international names.

Commentary Box Sports looks at five transfer targets from outside of England which could change the Premier League next season.

Alexandre Lacazette (Current club: Lyon. Rumoured Premier League pursuers: Arsenal)

With 28 goals in as many Ligue 1 starts for Lyon last season, it’s little wonder Lacazette is commanding plenty of attention from Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger, who also has a long history of bringing French players to the club.

The 26-year-old won’t come cheap, with the North London side reportedly being quoted a fee of £48.7 million plus £10.6 million in add-ons to sign Lacazette this summer.

With the Gunners having scored the fewest goals of any top-five Premier League team last year, at an average of two per game, it looks like Lacazette would be a worthwhile investment.

Key 2016/17 league stats:
Appearances: 28
Goals: 28
Assists: 3
Shots on target: 48/85

James Rodriguez (Current club: Real Madrid. Rumoured Premier League pursuers: Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal)

After arriving at Real Madrid on a big money move from Monaco in the summer of 2014, following a star showing at that year’s FIFA World Cup, Rodriguez’s stocks have plummeted in recent times.

He made only 20 appearances in all competitions for the La Liga heavyweights last season, while his style simply didn’t match the plan of coach Zinedine Zidane, who left the Colombian out of his squad completely for last month’s Champions League final.

A technically gifted midfielder, who has a proven track record of scoring goals on the international stage, Rodriguez is being looked at by several top-flight European clubs and would add something to any of the three Premier League outfits he is rumoured to be linked with.

Manchester United appear the team who could benefit most from his services, given they managed only 54 goals in 38 matches last year, with Rodriguez almost certain to be able to boost their dour attack.

Key 2016/17 league stats:
Goals: 8
Pass completion rate: 89%

Mohamed Salah (Current club: Roma. Rumoured Premier League pursuers: Liverpool)

Two years ago Salah left Chelsea as a failed Premier League experiment, making just seven starts and 13 appearances in total for the English heavyweights.

But fast forward to current day and Salah is a different player who appears primed for a return to the competition, evident by his 15 goals and 13 assists for Roma in 31 Italian Serie A matches.

A winger with world-class pace, Salah’s former manager, Murat Yakin, once said that he “could compete in a race” with Usain Bolt.

His ball skills and evasive play down the flanks would complement fellow speedster and current Liverpool man Sadio Mane, and such is the promise Salah possess, Liverpool may be willing to break their transfer record fee of £35m for the 24-year-old Egyptian.

Key 2016/17 league stats:
Appearances: 31
Goals: 15
Assists: 13
Shots on target: 48/85

Alvaro Morata (Current club: Real Madrid. Rumoured Premier League pursuers: Manchester United, Chelsea)

One of the finest striking prospects in Europe right now, at 24 Morata should still have the best form of his career to come and looks a good fit for the Premier League.

The Spanish national team player has proven himself in the Serie A with Juventus and has performed well at Real Madrid despite being unable to get past Karim Benzema for a starting spot.

His 15 goals in only 14 starts last season is an attractive stat, and Morata’s first control and finishing ability are obvious boasts.

Having agreed to terms with Manchester United personally – although the transfer fee is yet to be approved by Real Madrid – Morata is rumoured to be set to earn around £373,000-a-week.

Key 2016/17 league stats:
Appearances: 31
Goals: 15
Assists: 13
Shots on target: 48/85

Kylian Mbappe (Current club: Monaco. Rumoured Premier League pursuers: Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool)

Mbappe oozes potential and is already a French international, but at just 18 years of age signing him would be a massive gamble for a big-name Premier League club.

The striker comes off a stellar campaign for Monaco in Ligue 1, scoring 15 goals and setting up another eight, while he also experienced success against Europe’s best, scoring six goals in nine Champions League appearances.

United have history with this type of deal, having shelled out the biggest deal ever for a teenage player in order to get Anthony Martial, also a Monaco player at the time, to Old Trafford in 2015, while Arsenal could likely guarantee Mbappe a starting spot in their 11 each week.

A long-term investment who could also make an immediate impact with his speed and lethal execution on goal, but with a rumoured fee of £114m hanging around his neck, Mbappe will have club accountants sweating bullets if a move does come to fruition.

Key 2016/17 league stats:
Appearances: 29
Goals: 15
Assists: 8
Shots on target: 36/53

[YouTube – ScoutNationHD]

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About the author

Corey Rosser

One of CBS’s newest contributors, Te Aroha product Corey is the New Zealand correspondent for NRL.com, the editor for the excellent new site Kiwi League Central, and a guru of the local Auckland rugby league scene.

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