They might earn millions of pounds, but underneath, they’re just people like you and me - but which ones seem the most pleasant?
James Richardson, presenter of The Totally Football show and all-round podcasting legend, has met a fair few footballers in his time, from the no-nonsense tough-tackling lads in the lower leagues, to the rarefied members of the Azzurri during his time as presenter of Football Italia in the halcyon days of the ‘90s.
So who better to ask to discover the five incoming Premier players who - forgetting all the bling and the bluster - just seem like pleasant chaps.
Take it away James…
1. Lucas Torreira
Joining: Arsenal (£45m)
“A lot of people will have spotted him in the World Cup as one of the players who saw Uruguay through to the quarter- finals. He’s tiny, but so is Kanté – and I think he could have a similar impact in midfield. What’s great about him is that he’s so down to earth.”
2. Alisson Becker
Joining: Liverpool (£66.8m)
“He looks sensational. David Preece called him ‘the best looking footballer in the world’. He also passed up the opportunity to take the No1 shirt out of respect to Loris Karius. He’s calm too, you never see him lose his temper.”
3. Rui Patricio
Joining: Wolverhampton (£16m)
“Patricio was at Sporting Lisbon at the end of last season when the club president verbally attacked the players, and the fans literally attacked them. It was a fraught exit. He was thrown to the wolves, now he’s joining the Wolves!”
4. Naby Keita
Joining: Liverpool (£52.75m)
“Until he was 16, all he’d done was play street football, so it’s incredible that he’s performing at this level. He’s really down to earth, he speaks to his parents every day. It’s sweet to see such a humble young man with such huge potential.”
5. Alireza Jahanbakhsh
Joining: Brighton (£17m)
“The most expensive Iranian player of all time. Having an Iranian at Brighton is a mark of how diverse the league is. He has a lovely smile, too.”