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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 August 2007, 06:20 GMT 07:20 UK
Premier League's top 10
By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer

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

Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba, Steven Gerrard and Cesc Fabregas will all play significant roles as Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal battle for the Premier League title.

But there has also been an influx of exciting newcomers as clubs jockey for position and the big prizes on offer.

BBC Sport picks out 10 Premier League stars that could have an impact in the top flight during the 2007-2008 campaign.

FERNANDO TORRES (Liverpool)

torres

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has made a symbolic signing in landing Torres in a record 26m deal.

The 23-year-old Spanish international is earmarked as the man who will make the difference between Liverpool being also-rans or serious title challengers - whether he or Benitez like it or not.

Powerful, confident and a goalscorer, Torres has everything in his make-up to be a major Premier League success after finally being prised away from Atletico Madrid.

Liverpool must hope he does not possess the same failings as his Spanish predecessor Fernando Morientes, who could not cope with the combative element of English football.

EDUARDO DA SILVA (Arsenal)

dasilva

In many respects, a classic Arsene Wenger signing - but not the high-profile figure many would have expected to replace Thierry Henry.

However, Wenger's vast network of scouts and contacts believe the 24-year-old, of Brazilian descent but a Croatia international, has the quality to be a hit in the Premier League.

606: DEBATE

Primarily a striker, Wenger has also been impressed by his pace and willingness to work for the team - and he showed his qualities with a goal against England in a Euro 2008 qualifier.

Wenger may be taking a gamble on a player with no Premier League experience but who would bet against the Gunners boss producing another gem.

DAVID NUGENT (Portsmouth)

nugent

Harry Redknapp likes a flutter - and he went where others feared to tread when he paid Preston 6m for David Nugent.

Nugent was holding out for a move to boyhood heroes Everton but boss David Moyes was not to be tempted above 4m, with rumours suggesting there were questions about being short of pace and the lack of a prolific goalscoring record.

Sunderland were in - then out - of the race, leaving the field clear for Redknapp to capture the striker, who scored on his England debut last season.

Nugent's progress will be keenly tracked by many wondering if the 22-year-old can cut it in the Premier League.

If he does, there will be red faces all round, particularly at Goodison Park.

FLORENT MALOUDA (Chelsea)

malouda

Coveted by Liverpool and claimed by Chelsea - Florent Malouda's arrival from Lyon is a testimony to Jose Mourinho's determination to give his side added width.

Last season's French player of the year will add quality and fit in with Chelsea's team ethic.

Malouda will provide flair as well as industry and has proved himself a top performer for club and country.

He is Chelsea's major purchase of a relatively low-key summer but will be worth every penny if the Premier League title returns to Stamford Bridge.

YOUNES KABOUL (Tottenham Hotspur)

kaboul

Tottenham boss Martin Jol landed the France Under-21 captain ahead of Roma and Inter Milan.

The 21-year-old arrives from Auxerre with glowing references and a reputation for pace, power, strength in the air and good ability on the ball - in other words, everything.

He will have to force his way past Michael Dawson and Ledley King but good judges suggest he may have the ability to do that - and proved his bravery when losing a few teeth in a pre-season friendly.

Kaboul may find the Premier League is a culture shock but he has the confidence to make a genuine impact at White Hart Lane.

ROLANDO BIANCHI (Manchester City)

bianchi

Sven-Goran Eriksson's first signing was last season's surprise package in Serie A, scoring 18 goals for Reggina.

Now the 24-year-old former Italy Under-21 striker must make the leap to the Premier League and, at 8.8m, Eriksson has gambled a sizeable chunk of his transfer fund on Bianchi's ability to make the transition.

He has already been on target in pre-season but is very much an unknown quantity in England.

City fans will hope he does not follow in the footsteps of miserable failures Bernardo Corradi and Georgios Samaras.

NANI (Manchester United)

nani

Nani follows in the footsteps of fellow countryman Cristiano Ronaldo, with United boss Sir Alex Ferguson plucking another gem from Sporting Lisbon in the shape of this gifted 20-year-old.

Portugal legend Paulo Sousa was lavish in his praise, claiming that Nani and Ronaldo can be the best players in the world over the next five to 10 years.

Nani is a predominantly left-sided attacker, with versatility, pace and power. Ferguson's long-term aim may be to utilise the pair on each wing as Ryan Giggs reaches the twilight of his career.

Ferguson has brought Ronaldo to maturity brilliantly and if he does the same with Nani, the Premier League will be home to a glorious talent.

STEVEN PIENAAR (Everton)

pienaar

Everton have secured 25-year-old Pienaar on a season-long loan deal to boost their squad as they try to build on last season's sixth place.

And it will be intriguing to see if a player who established a reputation as one of the game's finest young talents can restore a reputation damaged by an unsuccessful spell at Borussia Dortmund.

The slight figure of the skilful South African will also have to cope with the more physical style of the Premier League.

But Pienaar, who can play in either wide or central attacking roles, was a big success at Ajax and Everton manager David Moyes will be hoping a change of scenery from the Bundesliga will re-ignite his career.

CARLOS EDWARDS (Sunderland)

edwards

Sunderland boss Roy Keane wasted little time in snapping up Edwards from Luton when the transfer window opened in January.

It was soon apparent why as Edwards paid back his 1.5m fee several times over in only four months, with some outstanding performances.

Even more eye-catching were his two stunning winners from long range against Southampton and Burnley that helped seal promotion for the Black Cats.

The 28-year-old former Wrexham winger has no Premiership experience but impressed for Trinidad and Tobago at the 2006 World Cup and with his combination of pace, strength and ability he should take the step up to the Premier League in his stride.

ROQUE SANTA CRUZ (Blackburn)

santa cruz

Blackburn boss Mark Hughes feels he has pulled off a real coup in landing Santa Cruz from Bayern Munich - but there is an element of risk that makes it an intriguing move.

Hughes wants the 25-year-old Paraguayan international striker to add aerial threat to the Blackburn attack after he was pushed down the pecking order at Bayern following the summer arrivals of Miroslav Klose and Luca Toni.

But he has never been a prolific goalscorer - 31 goals in 155 appearances for Bayern - so will he muscle his way into an attack already boasting Benni McCarthy, Jason Roberts, Matt Derbyshire and new recruit Maceo Rigters?

SEE ALSO
Alan Hansen's column
08 Aug 07 |  Premier League
The point of pre-season
08 Aug 07 |  Football
Lawro's Premier League guide
07 Aug 07 |  Premier League
The sack race
07 Aug 07 |  Premier League
Premier League's community goals
07 Aug 07 |  Premier League
Premier League ins and outs
07 Aug 07 |  Premier League
How to watch football this season
02 Aug 07 |  Football
Summer transfer photos part one
01 Jul 07 |  Football
Summer transfer photos part two
03 Jul 07 |  Football
Summer transfer photos part three
06 Aug 07 |  Football


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