Meet the new boys: 15 foreign Premier League arrivals you need to know about
Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa)
A physical, dynamic and energetic midfielder, Gueye was one of the stars of Rene Girard’s Lille outfit over the last two seasons. While he is capable of playing as a holder in front of the back four, the 25-year-old is likely to assume a box-to-box role for Tim Sherwood’s side, with Ashley Westwood and Carlos Sanchez both preferring to be the deepest player in the engine room.
Fabian Delph’s eventual decision to join Manchester City left Villa fans feeling betrayed and disappointed, but the arrival of Gueye could help soothe the pain in the claret-and-blue half of Birmingham.
Gueye has made no secret of the idea he plans to use Villa as a stepping stone to land himself a future move to a ‘big club’. Such comments may not endear him to the club’s supporters, but the Senegal international has the ability to win them over with his displays on the pitch.
Shinji Okazaki (Leicester)
Skip to 3:08 for Shinji's skills (and later, goal)
Judging by what has gone before in Leicester's 131-year history, it's a rare occurrence for them to sign players with around a one-in-two goalscoring ratio at international level. In capturing Japan striker Okazaki (43 goals in 93 appearances for his country) from Mainz, though, that is exactly what the Foxes have done.
Twelve strikes in 2014/15, and 15 the year before are further proof of his prolificacy, but Okazaki is far from just a fox in the box; he's a non-stop runner who will willingly lead his team’s pressing from the front. The 29-year-old’s sheer persistence regularly leads to lost causes being overturned and chances created.
Leicester’s incredible late-season revival last term was memorable for the dynamism and high tempo of their play, a style best embodied by the ultra-energetic Jamie Vardy. If Claudio Ranieri plans to use a similar template this term, Okazaki will fit right in.