Premier League storylines to look out for: Gameweek 22

With the transfer window closed, it’s time to get back to the Premier League action.

Over £800m was spent by English sides in January, and now it’s time to see just how wise that spending spree was. There’ll be plenty of new faces on show in gameweek 22, which boasts some fascinating matchups.

Here are ten storylines to watch out for.

Mykhailo Mudryk

Chelsea are out for revenge / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Chelsea lost 2-1 to Fulham just a few weeks ago, but a lot has changed since then. About £300m worth of changes, to be precise.

The two London rivals will butt heads once again on Friday as Graham Potter brings his expensive Avengers – Mykhailo Mudryk, Noni Madueke and Enzo Fernandez – together for a shot at proving they are, in fact, better than Willian.

Expectations could hardly be higher.

Sean DycheSean Dyche

Dyche is back / LINDSEY PARNABY/GettyImages

With the bleep test results fresh in his memory, Sean Dyche returns to management on Saturday as he takes charge of a struggling Everton side.

The opponents? Oh, just runaway Premier League leaders Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta returns to his old stomping ground to take on a Toffees side who may have to play a £40m cheque from Newcastle on the left wing to make up for their lack of January signings.

James MaddisonJames Maddison

Maddison has been out injured / James Williamson – AMA/GettyImages

After James Maddison went down with a knee injury, Leicester went from a run of three wins in four games to four defeats on the bounce. That’s no coincidence.

The playmaker is being touted as a target for Manchester City these days, such is his creativity, and he’ll be desperate to rediscover the form that created those links in the first place.

His first potential victims are a high-flying Aston Villa side about to welcome their own influential midfielder, John McGinn, back from injury.

Nathan JonesNathan Jones

Do or die for Southampton / Robin Jones/GettyImages

The January transfer window is closed, meaning this is it for Southampton. This is the squad that will fight relegation. This group of players will decide the Saints’ fate.

Expensive additions Kamaldeen Sulemana and Paul Onuachu may not yet be available due to work permits and all the legal mumbo jumbo, which is hardly the news you want when you’re travelling to face Brentford.

Thomas Frank’s side are a different sort of animal at home and they’ll be smelling blood here.

Moises CaicedoMoises Caicedo

Caicedo is still at Brighton / Warren Little/GettyImages

Moises Caicedo ended the transfer window at home, having been granted time off following his fruitless request to leave Brighton.

Arsenal and Chelsea wanted the Ecuadorian, but Brighton weren’t budging and have now welcomed Caicedo back to training alongside the very same players he no longer wanted to team up with.

All eyes will be on how he performs against Bournemouth.

Christian EriksenChristian Eriksen

Eriksen is out injured / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Casemiro has earned plenty of praise for changing Man Utd’s fortunes this season, but we’re about to see just how influential Christian Eriksen has been as well.

The Dane is out on the sidelines for the foreseeable future, prompting United to bring in Marcel Sabitzer late in the transfer window. They’re big shoes to fill, and Erik ten Hag doesn’t have too many different ways to make up for Eriksen’s absence.

Crystal Palace, who brought in both Albert Sambi Lokonga and Naouirou Ahamada last month, will look to win this battle in midfield.

Toti GomesToti Gomes

Toti’s would-be winner was chalked off / Naomi Baker/GettyImages

Wolves perhaps should have beaten Liverpool in the FA Cup third round but were inexplicably let down by the absence of the correct camera angle for a tight VAR call.

The tie went to a replay which Liverpool just-about edged, but Wolves will still be seething with how things went down and will demand a positive result against a shaky Reds side on Saturday.

Expect even more VAR cameras to make sure nothing goes under the radar.

Bruno GuimaraesBruno Guimaraes

Guimaraes’ suspension starts now / Richard Sellers/GettyImages

Bruno Guimaraes has been sensational since joining Newcastle from Lyon 12 months ago, but the Magpies will be without their Brazilian maestro for the next three games after his red card in the Carabao Cup semi-final.

The last time Newcastle were without Guimaraes for an extended period of time, they drew with Wolves and Crystal Palace either side of losing to Liverpool.

Eddie Howe has to figure out a way to cope without Guimaraes when Newcastle take on West Ham in Saturday’s evening game.

Keylor NavasKeylor Navas

Navas is an enormous signing for Forest / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

Two bottom-half sides, Nottingham Forest and Leeds both continued to splash the cash in January. But whose business was best?

Among Forest’s bazillion signings were big names like Keylor Navas and Felipe, who bring a different, title-winning experience to the City Ground.

They’re up against a Leeds team who broke their transfer record to sign Georginio Rutter and they could match that output if they turn Weston McKennie’s loan permanent.

Pedro PorroPedro Porro

Porro is officially in the Premier League / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Most Manchester City fans probably don’t even know Pedro Porro was on the books at the Etihad between 2019 and 2022. They could get their first glimpse of the Spaniard when they take on Tottenham on Sunday.

Spurs chased Porro all month and finally got their man late in the window, and if he starts straight away, he’ll be attacking a City left-side that no longer boasts Joao Cancelo after his loan exit to Bayern Munich.

Time to see if both clubs knew what they were doing with their respective transfer decisions.

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