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Premier League Signings of the Season XI including Declan Rice & Cole Palmer

The end of a Premier League season tends to bring about moments of reflection - a period to reminisce the teams and players who have lit up England's top flight over the past nine months.

The 2023/24 Premier League campaign has been particularly riveting, with the title race between Manchester City and Arsenal going down to the final day.

Both of Pep Guardiola's and Mikel Arteta's talent-laden squads were strengthened diligently last summer, as clubs up and down the division sought to prepare themselves for the season ahead in the transfer market.

We examine which new recruits have made the biggest impact in the Premier League this term by assembling our own 'New Signings XI', lining up in a 4-3-3 formation:

Premier League Final Day

GK: David Raya (Arsenal)

Eyebrows were raised last summer when Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta sought to bring in a new goalkeeper in the form of Brentford's David Raya to challenge Aaron Ramsdale as the team's number one stopper.

England international Ramsdale is a popular figure at the Emirates, with the need to replace him as the starting goalkeeper questioned, but over the course of this season Arteta has been proven right as the impressive Raya has made the spot his own.

Signed initially on loan with an option to buy from Brentford for £27m this summer, Raya has collected the Golden Glove award in his first season at Arsenal - keeping 16 clean sheets in the Premier League.

Aiding Arsenal's possession-oriented style of play with his assured distribution skills, Raya is an incredibly agile keeper with sharp reflexes.

RB: Tino Livramento (Newcastle)

Despite making just 12 Premier League appearances for Newcastle since a £40m transfer from Southampton last August, 21-year-old full-back Tino Livramento has already showcased his potential to develop into a big player for the future at St James' Park.

Forced to act as an understudy to Magpies skipper Kieran Trippier at right-back for large spells of his first season as a Newcastle player, Livramento has also displayed his ability to fill in at left-back with distinction.

Delivering commendable performances at Champions League level against opponents of the calibre of Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund and Milan, Livramento is a front-footed full-back who is both defensively astute and dynamic going forward.

CB: Pau Torres (Aston Villa)

Arriving at Aston Villa from Villarreal with a big reputation and sizeable £35m transfer fee, Spain international centre-back Pau Torres has added class and composure to the Villans' rearguard.

A player well known to Unai Emery from his time as manager of Villarreal, with the pair winning the Europa League together in 2021, Torres has been an integral part of a Villa side who have helped steer the club to Champions League qualification for the first time.

A tall and elegant ball-playing central defender, Torres' international and La Liga experience should make him readymade for Champions League level next term.

CB: Micky Van de Ven (Tottenham)

A relatively unknown figure on English shores when signed for a substantial £43m fee from Wolfsburg last summer, Dutch defender Micky Van de Ven has been a revelation in North London in his first season as a Tottenham player.

Completing a clean sweep of Spurs' Player of the Season awards, Netherlands international Van de Ven has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water, with his frightening speed and calmness on the ball marking him out as one of the best defenders in the Premier League this term.

Still only 23, Van de Ven appears to have the potential to grow into one of the top defenders on the continent should he continue to develop his game at his current rate.

LB: Josko Gvardiol (Man City)

Becoming one of the most expensive defenders in football history when signed for £77.6m from RB Leipzig last summer, Croatian Josko Gvardiol has grown into an integral member of Manchester City's trophy-chasing juggernaut.

Naturally a central defender, Croatia international Gvardiol has been utilised predominantly on the left-side of City's backline this season as part of Pep Guardiola's novel defensive structure in which centre-backs are often deployed as full-backs.

22-year-old Gvardiol's terrific ability on the ball has made him well suited to this left-back role in possession, with the Dinamo Zagreb youth product also emerging as a capable goalscorer - notching five goals in all competitions in his debut season in Manchester.

CM: Declan Rice (Arsenal)

Already an established England international, Declan Rice became Arsenal's record signing when transferring from West Ham for a £100m fee last summer.

With such a loft price tag comes big expectations, with some question marks lingering over Rice's capacity to take his game to the highest level, but any skepticism in the 25-year-old's ability has been unequivocally quashed over the course of a sensational debut campaign at the Emirates.

Starting all but one of Arsenal's Premier League matches as the Gunners have pushed Pep Guardiola's Man City all the way in the title race, Rice has been imperious - operating primarily as a box-to-box midfielder who seeks to dominate matches.

Previously perceived as more of a withdrawn midfielder, Rice's attacking output has been impressive in his first campaign as an Arsenal player - contributing seven goals and 10 assists in all competitions.

CM: Alexis Mac Allister (Liverpool)

Although a World Cup winner with Argentina, a transfer from Brighton to Liverpool represented a big step up for Alexis Mac Allister last summer.

Any increase in pressure has been taken in Mac Allister's stride in his first season at Anfield, however, with the South American a pivotal figure as Liverpool maintained a Premier League title challenge for the majority of the campaign.

A versatile player who has spent large spells of his first season at Liverpool filling in as a defensive midfielder, Mac Allister has proved a snip at just £35m for the Reds.

CM: Ross Barkley (Luton Town)

A largely forgotten figure in English football this time last year whilst out on loan from Chelsea at Ligue 1 outfit Nice, Ross Barkley made a surprising move to newly-promoted Luton Town as a free agent ahead of the 2023/24 season.

Almost universally written off as inevitable relegation fodder at the beginning of the campaign, the fact Luton are yet to have been officially relegated ahead of the final day of the season is a testament to the efforts of Rob Edwards' side.

At the heart of Luton's valiant attempt to stay afloat in the top flight has been the reborn Ross Barkley, with the previously injury-plagued midfielder making 32 Premier League appearances this season - scoring five goals and contributing four assists.

Inspiring Luton to victories over established Premier League sides such as Newcastle and Brighton, Barkley's form this term is likely to ensure he commands significant interest from a range of top-flight clubs this summer.

RW: Cole Palmer (Chelsea)

Although recognised as a promising young talent with a lot of potential, nobody could have foreseen the impact Cole Palmer would make in his first season at Chelsea following his £46m transfer from Manchester City.

Almost carrying a newly-assembled Chelsea team on his back under Mauricio Pochettino, Palmer has racked up 40 goal contributions and counting in his first season at Stamford Bridge.

An elegant attacking midfielder who plays the game in an effortless manner, Palmer is both an expert facilitator and deadeye finisher in the final third.

Palmer has been that good that Pep Guardiola's decision to let him go could go down as one of the biggest missteps in the legendary Catalan's managerial career.

ST: Kai Havertz (Arsenal)

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta's decision to part with £65m to bring Chelsea forward Kai Havertz across London was met by derision by the majority of rival football supporters up and down the country.

Previously regarded as one of the top prospects in Europe whilst on the books of Bayer Leverkusen, Havertz largely flattered to deceive in his three years as a Chelsea player, despite netting the winner for the Blues against Man City in the Champions League final in 2021.

How Havertz would fit in at Arsenal was almost universally doubted, but the 24-year-old has continued to improve as his debut season with the Gunners has progressed - with even his most vociferous critics likely to have been silenced as the German has developed into a key figure in Arteta's side's title bid.

Contributing 19 Premier League goal involvements, Havertz has emerged as a comparable figure to that of Roberto Firmino at the height of Liverpool's success under Jurgen Klopp as a pressing, facilitating forward, and the Germany international has certainly vindicated Arteta's bold decision to bring him to the club.

LW: Mohammed Kudus (West Ham)

West Ham's £38m capture of Mohammed Kudus from Ajax last summer was widely heralded a coup, and the Ghanaian has more than lived up to expectations at the London Stadium.

Having caught the eye on the biggest stage at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar - scoring two goals in the group stages for Ghana - Kudus was already recognised as a player with vast potential.

At West Ham he has showcased his quality as part of a dynamic forward line, forming one-third of a dazzling attacking trio alongside the talismanic Jarrod Bowen and Brazil international Lucas Paqueta.

Kudus' move to West Ham appeared a potential stepping stone to bigger and better things last summer, and his performances in claret and blue - with 13 Premier League goal involvements to his name - have certainly added to the feeling he is a player capable of landing another big transfer move.

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