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Rodri, Manchester City from Atletico Madrid

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Rodri celebrates winning the FA Community Shield on Aug 4, 2019.DAVID KLEIN/Reuters

Rodri is a towering defensive midfielder (6-foot-3) often compared to the best in the world at that position, Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets. Considering that he comes to a squad that doesn’t need him to do anything other than what he’s good at – win and then distribute the ball – and the fact that he is a computer-generated dream for a manager such as Pep Guardiola, may be the bargain of the summer at a whopping US$100-million.

Nicolas Pépé, Arsenal from Lille

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Nicolas Pépé is a late-bloomer, with just one great season to his credit. But his ceiling is unlimited.Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

It’s been a long time since the Premier League’s most frustrating club took a real chance. Pépé qualifies. The 24-year-old Ivorian forward is a late-bloomer, with just one great season to his credit in France’s Ligue 1. But his ceiling is unlimited. He cost US$115-million this summer – a record for Arsenal. He could be worth nearly twice as much in a year.

Joao Cancelo, Manchester City from Juventus

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Portuguese defender Joao Cancelo can play the game any which way at any pace.OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images

Why will City win the Premier League this year (and possibly several more to follow)? Because only it would spend US$95-million on a player who arrives as bench strength. Cancelo is one of those cultured continental fullbacks who can play the game any which way at any pace. The Portuguese player’s reputation so preceded him that it was said the man he arrives to back up, Kyle Walker, asked to be transferred once he heard about the deal.

Joelinton, Newcastle from Hoffenheim

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Joelinton's a do-it-all striker who lacks in any particular strength, but does everything well.CRAIG BROUGH/Reuters

Germany’s Bundesliga has become the world’s best developmental league. The two most intriguing young players in the game – England’s Jadon Sancho and Germany’s Kai Havertz – have bypassed bigger clubs to learn their trade there. Joelinton, a Brazilian, would count as a sleeper agent among that group. A do-it-all striker who lacks in any particular strength, but does everything well. Considering that he will be the focus of every Newcastle attack, he could surprise among the EPL’s top scorers.

Tanguy Ndombele, Spurs from Lyon

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French midfielder Tanguy Ndombele could end up being the star of this group.GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

After taking a year off in the transfer market and paying the price for it, Spurs jumped in two-footed this year. They brought in Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon for big money, and narrowly missed out on Paulo Dybala. Their biggest splash is Ndombele, a complete midfielder in the mould of Michael Essien or Paul Pogba. The Frenchman has a reputation for switching off during games which is reflected in his cut-rate price – a measly US$88-million. But now working for the best young manager in the game, Mauricio Pochettino, Ndombele could end up being the star of this group.

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