Chelsea: Hazard, Marin or Oscar - who will have the greatest impact at the Bridge?
Roman Abramovich has once again proved that money talks. The Russian billionaire has given Roberto Di Matteo the power to snap up some of the game's top, top players and the Blues look ready to make a sustained challenge for all honours this season.
Hazard, Marin and Oscar have all arrived at the Bridge this summer and the arrival of these men signal the start of a new era at Chelsea. These are not Chelsea signings from days gone by. The main differences being their age, their set of skills and the fact that more than money, ambitions of the club they are about to join mattered to them.
They has all inspected the facilities closely, had assurances from the owner and the manager and most importantly they all have something to prove.
Chelsea have shelled out more than £50 million for Hazard, Marin, Hazard's brother and Brazilian Oscar, but who will have the greatest impact at the Bridge?
1. Eden Hazard
Previous Club: Lille
Ambition: To show to the world that he is truly an upcoming superstar and can live up to his potential.
Season preview: I guess this is a sure shot superhit kind of guy. The way he takes on defenders is sublime. Instead of just whizzing past them (like Messi) he tries to embarrass them with his superb dribbling skills and close control (more like Ronaldo and Neymar). His first touch is superb and his accuracy with his crosses and passes, even those which he had completed by the skill move "Rabona", is commendable. Imagine a guy passing the ball 45-feet ahead perfectly to the striker with a Rabona. Defenders in the EPL are screwed if he can reproduce those at Chelsea!
Hazard has always been ambitious and his skills pulled up the mediocre-ish club of Lille to the heights of glory in the French league winning several accolades in the process. And all this at the age of 21! He was only convinced to join Chelsea due to persuasive skills of Ambramovich and seeing the historic Champions League win at Munich on May 19.
2. Marko Marin
Previous Club: Werder Bremen
Ambition: To prove that he actually is the "German Messi" and get out of the shadows of the likes of Ozil, Gotze and Khedira.
Season preview: This guy has nothing to lose and all the reasons to succeed. The way he played in pre-season can be a sign of things to come. This player has an ambition, does not have much pressure to succeed and clearly shows potential. If he stays injury free this season and cements a first XI place, there may just be another superstar in the making.
Previous Club: RC Lens
Price: £500,000 to 1m
Ambition: Be a world class player
Season preview: Unfortunately, Thorgan seems to be a binge signing and has nowhere near the amount of potential that his brother Eden has. He seems to be a reserve staple and some appearances here and there for the first XI, other than that it seems unlikely. He is quite young, so development is highly possible and if he can do that, he may become a good - very good kind of player.
4. Oscar dos Santos
Previous Club: Internacional
Ambition: Prove that he is not one of those Brazilian also rans and can be a true heir to the number 10 jersey.
Season preview: With Mikel faltering, any above average performance may just guarantee himself a starting place and if he can become as potent in his tackling as he is up front, he might be irreplaceable. He is coming in on the back of strong performances in the Olympics and just needs to handle the pressure better. His versatility may also be to his advantage and in case of Mata and Hazard's absence, he may take the matter in his own hands.
But who will make the greatest impression on you?
Calling all Cheslea fans: Who do you think will make the biggest impact at Stamford Bridge this season? Will Hazard live up to his star billing or will the German Marin become the main magician? And what about Oscar? Whatever your view, we's love to hear from you.