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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

England's Top Sides Heavy on Imports

LONDON -- Overseas stars like J--rgen Klinsmann and Ilie Dumitrescu of Tottenham, Dan Petrescu of Sheffield Wednesday, and Stefan Schwarz of Arsenal, among others, are about to discover just what they have let themselves in for when the Premier League gets underway this weekend.


Much of the debate in England following the end of the World Cup and the signing of some of the biggest European stars is whether so many foreign imports playing in England is good for the Premier League.


This weekend the players concerned will find out whether coming to England has been good for them.


The transfers of Germany's Klinsmann and Romania's Dumitrescu were the biggest of the summer, simply because they were so unexpected. Although there seems little doubt that Tottenham will be improved as a result, the two players will find the 100-miles-per-hour blood-and-thrust soccer played in England very different from what they have most recently been used to in France and Romania.


Tottenham traveled to Sheffield Wednesday for its opening match Saturday which immediately brings Dumitrescu face to face with his Romanian World Cup colleague Petrescu.


Tottenham, which has been deducted six points by the English Football Association for financial irregularities, could well wipe out at least one of those points against a team of notoriously slow starters.


Tottenham's arch-rival Arsenal also invested heavily, signing Swede Stefan Schwarz from Benfica. The Gunners are expected to start with a win over Manchester City, which appears to be heading back into the choppy waters it successfully negotiated its way out of late last season.


Last week City surprisingly sold ?2 million ($3.09 million)-rated midfielder David Rocastle to Chelsea while Alan Kernaghan, signed for ?1.7 million ($2.62 million) from Middlesbrough just 10 months ago, has moved to first-division Bolton on loan.


Without a ball yet kicked in anger, City's fans have been protesting about manager Brian Horton, again questioning his judgement as they did for most of last season.


No such questions are being asked about the manager on the other side of Manchester. Alex Ferguson, beginning his seventh full season in charge at Old Trafford, should see his cup and league double-winner start with a win against Queens Park Rangers.


United proved when it beat Blackburn 2-0 last weekend to win the Charity Shield that it has lost none of its class and superiority and that it starts as favorite to win the title for the third straight year.