Premier League talking points

Leicester City's Caglar Soyuncu in action against Wolverhampton Wanderers' Raul Jimenez during their Premier League at King Power Stadium in Leicester, on Aug 11, 2019.
Leicester City's Caglar Soyuncu in action against Wolverhampton Wanderers' Raul Jimenez during their Premier League at King Power Stadium in Leicester, on Aug 11, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

1. SOYUNCU WILL GET CHANCE TO EARN STARTING SPOT

Faced with little time before the closure of the transfer window after selling Harry Maguire, and with every team knowing they had £80 million (S$134 million) in their pockets, Leicester were unable to buy a new central defender before the start of the season.

That means Turkey international Caglar Soyuncu, signed for £19 million last year from Freiburg, will get a chance to claim a regular place.

Although he is not as powerful in the air as Maguire, the Turk made a good enough start to the season to earn acclaim from his teammates and manager Brendan Rodgers after their goal-less draw with Wolves.

2. PALACE FANS LEAVE DOOR OPEN FOR ZAHA

The warm reception afforded to want-away Wilfried Zaha when he came off the bench against Everton at home on Saturday not only went down well with the Ivory Coast forward, who expressed his thanks on Twitter, but also with manager Roy Hodgson.

Zaha had submitted a transfer request and been sent home from training after the Eagles blocked a transfer to Goodison Park, and Hodgson had feared the worst for the player when he was introduced at Selhurst Park.

But that was not the case and Hodgson will now hope that the club can draw a line under the saga, as they need their best player pulling in the same direction.

3. WATFORD YET TO AWAKE FROM LAST TERM'S SLUMBER

When Watford lost seven of their final 11 Premier League games last term, it seemed reasonable enough to cite their run to the FA Cup final, and insulation from the relegation zone, as the major factors behind their slump.

None of that applies to their confused, sluggish performance against Brighton though and Javi Gracia was right to offer no excuses afterwards.

However, the biggest concern might be that their dip actually began around March and the Hornets should be wary that the price of sliding backwards is usually exorbitant.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2019, with the headline 'Premier League talking points'. Print Edition | Subscribe