Three new faces with much to prove

Three new faces with much to prove

JAMES RODRIGUEZ (EVERTON, COLOMBIA)

James won the Golden Boot award at the 2014 World Cup but his stock has fallen to such an extent that he will try to reignite his career at Everton, rather than a Champions League club.

If anyone can get a tune out of the 29-year-old playmaker, it is Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti, who first took him to Real Madrid and also signed him on loan at Bayern Munich.

After some of the sterile football served up by Everton last season, the £12 million (S$21.24 million) James linking up with fellow new signings Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan should at least give the fans something to feel hopeful about.

FABIO SILVA (WOLVES, PORTUGAL)

He turned 18 only in July yet Wolves paid a club-record fee for the young attacker who has caught the eye of Europe’s elite.

The £35 million fee might look a bit high for a player who has scored three goals in only 21 senior appearances for Porto but in Nuno Espirito Santo, he has the ideal manager to flourish under.

The Portugal Under-19 international, who should serve as competition for Mexico striker Raul Jimenez, has already been touted as the “new Cristiano Ronaldo”, and is said to be equally comfortable in the air as he is on his feet.

OLLIE WATKINS (ASTON VILLA, ENGLAND)

Watkins is the most expensive player ever signed from the Championship, and his record in the second tier is nothing to be sniffed at.

He netted 26 goals to finish as the competition’s joint-top scorer, helping Brentford to reach the play-off final last season before losing to promoted Fulham.

The 24-year-old has never played in the top flight and while his £28 million transfer fee has raised eyebrows, the striker can prove the doubters wrong if he can steer Villa away from a relegation battle.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE