Spurs trio, City duo, Liverpool and Arsenal new boys in Prem’s best new signing XI

Ian Watson
Manchester City winger Jeremy Doku, Tottenham goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario, and Liverpool midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai.
Jeremy Doku, Guglielmo Vicario, and Dominik Szoboszlai have made fine starts to life in the Premier League.

Tottenham are the most heavily-represented side in this Prem XI of best new signings, with Liverpool and Arsenal each contributing a midfielder while Sheffield United offer a forward…


GK: Guglielmo Vicario  (Tottenham)
We begin with a mea culpa. We criticised Spurs for not simply paying what it might take to sign David Raya from Brentford. Turns out the cheap option was a very fine choice indeed. The Italian has been outstanding in a crowded field of impressive Tottenham performers, making important saves and keeping his sh*t together while playing behind the highest line in organised sport. Jamie Carragher went a bit OTT in saying he’d ‘never seen anything like that’ after watching Vicario serve as sweeper keeper but that doesn’t detract from a hugely impressive start at Spurs.


RB: Tino Livramento (Newcastle)
We’re scraping somewhat for a full-back and perhaps we haven’t seen much of Livramento yet, but the glimpses we have had of the Newcastle youngster look very promising indeed. The 20-year-old seems to have recovered well from the knee injury that saw him miss all but the last two games of last season with Southampton – that, we assume, being the reason Newcastle were able to pick up the highly-rated full-back without much competition. Livramento was arguably Eddie Howe’s best player in the defeat at Dortmund.


CB: Micky van de Ven (Tottenham)
We’re about to see just how important the Netherlands defender has become to Spurs in the short time since he signed from Wolfsburg in the summer. Amid all the daftness in the the defeat to Chelsea, Van de Ven’s hamstring twang, which was heard across the capital, could have the most long-lasting consequence of a truly batsh*t evening. Van de Ven’s pace, as well as his composure in possession, is crucial to Ange Postecoglou’s game-plan, so the manager needs his centre-back fit as soon as possibly. But hamstrings cannot be rushed.


CB: Pau Torres (Aston Villa)
The Spain defender eased into the Premier League but we are now starting to see why the centre-back was such a coup for Villa in the summer. The biggest clubs were being linked with Torres before Unai Emery convinced the 26-year-old to follow him from Villarreal to Villa Park. Even on a rare off day for Villa, Torres was still very impressive in the defeat to Nottingham Forest.


LB: Josko Gvardiol (Manchester City)
The Croatia defender was signed as a centre-back but all but two of his first 11 games for Pep Guardiola have come as a left-back. On the team-sheet at least. Very often you’ll find Gvardiol tucked in and up, where he has showcased his quality on the ball, receiving on the half-turn and playing forward. “He has settled perfectly,” said Guardiola, who is not easy to impress. Ask Kalvin Phillips.


CM: Declan Rice (Arsenal)
You don’t always get what you pay for in the Premier League but Rice was close to a sure thing for Arsenal. So his form at the base of Mikel Arteta’s midfield comes as no surprise. It helps that his quality is highlighted even more in his absence, with Jorginho and Fabio Vieira both poor stand-ins for the England star. Arteta will almost certainly have to seek an adequate partner and stand-in during January.


CM: Dominik Szoboszlai (Liverpool)
Liverpool fans tend to fall hard but it is easy to see why they are so smitten with Szoboszlai. In an age where midfielders must seemingly pick a speciality, the Hungary star, signed from RB Leipzig, is an old-school box-to-boxer, combining iron lungs with a creative flair. Only three players have created more chances so far this season.


AM: James Maddison (Tottenham)
One of that trio being Maddison, who trails only Kieran Tripper in the battle for the creative crown. Though he leads the way by some distance in another metric after settling seamlessly into life at Spurs. Again, Postecoglou needs to hope and prey that the injury sustained against Chelsea isn’t as serious as it might be.

James Maddison celebrates goal for Tottenham vs Fuham.

RW: Cole Palmer (Chelsea)
Many scoffed when Chelsea paid £45million for a Manchester City stand-in, but Mauricio Pochettino – or whoever at Stamford Bridge sanctioned the deal – knew what he was doing. Palmer’s move is turning out to be one of those that works out for all parties, with the versatile forward impressing in every position across the front line. An England call-up can’t be far away.


LW: Jeremy Doku (Manchester City)
“Who’s going to play more? It’s who performs better,” said Guardiola when questioned last month about his preference for Jack Grealish or Doku on City’s left. At the moment, Grealish can’t argue with watching from the sidelines while Doku makes the Premier League appear a piece a p*ss. Four assists and a goal against Bournemouth was the culmination of a series of hugely impressive performances since arriving from Rennes.


CF: Cameron Archer (Sheffield United)
Manchester United fans would have hoped for Rasmus Hojlund to fill this spot and while the Dane has done okay since signing from Atalanta, no Premier League goals highlights plenty of room for improvement. Archer has had to forage on scraps for Sheffield United after his move from Villa, but he has still scored twice for the rock-bottom Blades.

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