5 players to watch – Premier League
The premier league will start this weekend and the summer transfer window closed already, the first of the big 5-competitions in Europe. In this blog SciSports describes the most interesting transfers in the Premier League from the perspective of the SciSkill Index.
1. Issa Diop (Toulouse FC > West Ham United FC)
Before Felipe Anderson of Lazio was signed, West Ham contracted central defender Issa Diop for a club record fee of €25m from Toulouse FC. The France Under-21 international made 95 appearances for Toulouse and was a starter in 34 Ligue 1-games last season. Diop captained the French side for the first time in April 2017 before being appointed as club captain in October of that year. The 21-year-old defender is the player with the highest SciSkill Potential score (111) in the squad of West Ham. It is worth mentioning that the top 3 of high potentials at West Ham consists three new signings: Issa Diop, but also Jack Wilshere (110) and Felipe Anderson (108).
2. Bernardo (RB Leipzig > Brighton & Hove Albion)
The left-/right back already was a high potential when he joined RB Leipzig’s satellite club RB Salzburg in the summer of 2016. From that moment, Bernardo’s SciSkill (Potential) was on the rise. He moved to Germany after only half a year of football in Austria. Unfortunately Bernardo didn’t succeed to be a regular starter for RB Leipzig in the last two Bundesliga-seasons. However, Brighton recognized his potential and contracted the 23-year-old Brazilian for four seasons. Bernardo is the player with the highest SciSkill Potential score (111) at Brighton right now and is expected a starting XI this season.
3. Adama Traoré (Middlesbrough FC > Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Adama Traoré entered 158 1-vs-1 dribbles more than any other player in the Championship last season. The youth product of FC Barcelona is known as the king of the dribble, but also provided ten assists and scored five goals for Middlesbrough last season. Wolverhampton Wanderers has paid €20m for Traoré to show his skills on a higher level in the Premier League. The 22-year old winger is also based on the SciSkill an interesting player to follow next season. In the squad of Wolverhampton, only the Portuguese talents Diogo Jota and Rúben Neves and new signing Jonny Castro have a higher SciSkill Potential than Traoré (100).
4. Jean Michaël Seri (OGC Nice > Fulham FC)
It was all set for Jean Michaël Seri to join FC Barcelona, and then, Paulinho joined the Spanish giants last season. Seri stayed at OGC Nice in the French Ligue 1. He performed quite good with two goals and seven assists. Moreover, only two players gave more passes per 90 minutes than Seri last season, while he also belonged to the best players in terms of passes to the final third. The 27-year old midfielder surprisingly became the most expensive signing in the history of Fulham, with a transfer free of €30m, instead of moving to a club of the likes of Napoli and Borussia Dortmund. Seri belongs with a Sciskill of 86 to the three players with the highest SciSkill in the squad of Fulham.
5. Max Meyer (FC Schalke 04 > Crystal Palace FC)
Max Meyer was hailed as the next wonderkid from Germany. It took a while when he landed at a new club after his out of contract period at Schalke. Last season, only one player won more often possession in the middle third than Meyer in the Bundesliga. Moreover, the 22-year-old midfielder had the most accurate passing of all players from Schalke 04. In terms of SciSkill, Max Meyer is currently the player at Crystal Place with the highest SciSkill (108). Furthermore, of all U23-players in the Premier League, Meyer belongs to the top fifteen players with the highest Potential score (134). We are curious to see if Max Meyer can fulfil his high potential in England.