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Last Updated: Monday, 14 August 2006, 09:41 GMT 10:41 UK
Premiership ones to watch

By Saj Chowdhury

The Premiership will again have an exciting array of established talent on display this season.

Players like Wayne Rooney, Thierry Henry, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are all familiar faces - but who are the new players to look out for?

BBC Sport picks out 10 new signings that could have an impact on this Premiership campaign.

DIMITAR BERBATOV (Tottenham)

Dimitar Berbatov

If his pre-season form is anything to go by, then Spurs can look forward to goals galore from the Bulgarian hitman.

Without Egypt striker Mido, the north London side were short of a big target-man, but Berbatov appears to be an ideal replacement.

The 25-year-old frontman has a fierce strike and is also adept in bringing others into play by using his 6ft 2in frame to shield and release.

At 10m, he is the most expensive non-World Cup player to have signed for a Premiership club this summer.

BENNI MCCARTHY (Blackburn)

Benni McCarthy

McCarthy had been linked with a move to the Premiership for a number of years, with Everton and West Ham just two of the clubs thought to have tried to sign the South Africa striker.

But it was Blackburn boss Mark Hughes who stole in ahead of the other suitors to land the 28-year-old.

McCarthy has all the arsenal and experience to vie for the crown of Premiership's top scorer.

His goals fired Porto to league titles and the 2004 Champions League under the guidance of Jose Mourinho, who signed him.

During that season's competition, he also scored two goals to help knock out Manchester United at the second-round stage.

SALOMON KALOU (Chelsea)

Salomon Kalou

Kalou's arrival at Chelsea was largely overshadowed by the signings of footballing royalty Michael Ballack and Andriy Shevchenko.

However, it is widely thought the 20-year-old Ivorian could prove not only to be the best of the new bunch, but possibly Mourinho's shrewdest move in the transfer market.

Kalou, who failed to gain Dutch nationality while at Feyenoord, is a tricky forward in similar vein to Thierry Henry, with the ability to cut in from the wing.

During his three seasons at the Eredivisie giants, he scored 35 goals in 68 matches.

If he repeats that ratio in the Premiership, the Stamford Bridge faithful may have a new favourite.

GABRIEL PALETTA (Liverpool)

Gabriel Paletta

An Argentine central defender, but not a household name. Well, not yet anyway.

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez paid 2m to Atletico Banfield for the under-20 international and has likened him to current Argentina stopper Roberto Ayala.

The comparison is a lot to live up to, but Paletta was part of the Argentina class of 2005 that won the Fifa World Youth Championship - a team that also included Lionel Messi.

Benitez will be hoping the 6ft 2in 20-year-old takes notes from the defensive masterclasses given by Sami Hyypia and Jamie Carragher, although he has already done enough to suggest he will not need many lessons.

BERNARDO CORRADI (Manchester City)

Bernardo Corradi

Striker Corradi has been somewhat of a journeyman, having played at five clubs and been loaned out to another three.

After beginning his career at Cagliari, Corradi went on to play for Lazio, Valencia and on loan at Parma, where he scored 10 goals last season.

Although not a prolific strike-rate, it was enough to attract the attention of Manchester City boss Stuart Pearce.

Pearce will be hoping to get more than 10 goals out of a striker who has yet to pass that mark in any one season.

The 30-year-old has impressed in pre-season but will have to fight off the likes of Georgios Samaras and Darius Vassell for a place in City's attack.

JOLEON LESCOTT (Everton)

Joleon Lescott

In Joleon Lescott, Everton boss David Moyes has one of the brightest talents in British football.

At the age of 23, the central defender had already played over 200 games for Wolves, so that experience coupled with his youth makes him a likely starter next season.

Lescott has already had a taste of the Premiership - albeit bittersweet. Having led Wolves to promotion in 2003, he suffered an injury that ruled him out for their one and only season in the top flight.

The England under-21 international will be hoping for better fortune this time round.

GABRIEL ZAKUANI (Fulham)

Gabriel Zakuani

Fulham paid Leyton Orient 1m for their 20-year-old centre-back.

Zakuani, who has risen through the ranks at Brisbane Road, probably came to the attention of Fulham manager Chris Coleman when he starred for the O's in their 2-1 FA Cup defeat of the Cottagers last January.

Things went well for the defender last season, making his debut for DR Congo against Guinea in August before helping his side to promotion following their heroic Cup exploits.

Fulham's backline in recent seasons has not been as stingy as it used to be, and Zakuani may just be the tonic Coleman's side need.

TOMAS ROSICKY (Arsenal)

Tomas Rosicky

Arsenal signed Czech international Tomas Rosicky before the World Cup and he gave the Gunners fans a taste of things to come during the competition.

One of the goals of the tournament came from the boot of the 25-year-old midfielder during the 3-0 win over United States.

His busy and unpredictable style of play will not need much tweaking in Arsene Wenger's cavalier team.

Rosicky has also found himself with the number seven shirt, once worn by Robert Pires.

If the Czech star continues to move up the gears, then fans will soon be asking "Robert who?"

SEOL KI-HYEON (Reading)

Seol Ki-Hyeon

Will Reading stay up? That might depend on how this South Korea international performs.

The Royals know all about Seol having come up against the forward on a couple of occasions last season.

The 27-year-old is tall and pacy but never scored as many goals as perhaps was expected from him during the two years he was at Wolves.

Because of this, he may be asked to play on the wing to support the more prolific strikeforce of Dave Kitson and Leroy Lita.

Another small worry for Reading boss Steve Coppell was that Seol did not start for the Koreans at the recent World Cup, having underperformed during the warm-up matches.

DENNY LANDZAAT (Wigan)

Denny Landzaat

Some of us would have caught a glimpse of Landzaat at the World Cup, with the midfielder making a handful of substitute appearances in Germany.

The 30-year-old has been a slow climber up the Dutch football ladder, having learnt his trade at Ajax before moving on to MVV Maastricht, Willem II and eventually AZ Alkmaar.

The reputation of Alkmaar was already on the rise when Landzaat arrived there three years ago, but the Dutch side surprised a lot of people by coming second to PSV Eindhoven last season.

Wigan boss Paul Jewell will be hoping the versatile midfielder's valuable experience will rub off on his side as they look to build on last year's commendable Premiership debut.



SEE ALSO
Premiership club-by-club guide
14 Aug 06 |  Premier League
The sack race
14 Aug 06 |  Premier League


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