The 2017 Ghana Premier League campaign is underway, but which of the division’s key contenders did the best business during the offseason, and who is best placed to mount a title challenge this term?
Reigning champions Wa All Stars maintained the core of their team with only Ishmael Ganiu, Atta Kofi Yeboah and Armando Mohammed leaving for different challenges. However, grapevine sources suggest that the first-choice goalkeeper Richard Ofori, currently having a trial with Cape Town City FC in South Africa, may not return after impressing the PSL club's technical team.
While other clubs were making jaw-dropping signings to complement their squads, the Northern Blues brought in players from the lower-tier clubs with the exception of Rashid Seidu, who arrived from AS Douanes in Niger.
Solomon Aboagye, David Sandan Abagna, Mario Sarpong, Nana Addai Aduku, Eric Oppong, Seidu Mumuni, Edmund A. Mensah, Seth Amoateng, Jeffrey Degor and Emmanuel Arko Mensah have all been handed a big opportunity to showcase their talents, but can they step up?
Although head coach Enos Adipah insists they will live up to the expectations, his squad looks inadequately reinforced considering they will have to combine their maiden participation in the Caf Champions League with the local duties.
They may not be able to retain the league trophy with the talent they’ve brought into the side, and Adipah may be left to regret his unambitious offseason.
Aduana Stars, who lost the title chase to Wa All Stars, weren't busy despite losing influential striker Yahaya Mohammed and defender Yakubu Mohammed. New arrivals are Tanko Mohammed, Cephas Awunor, Bright Nsiah and Iddrisu Yahaya.
Ashanti Gold, by contrast, were the busiest among all the 16 clubs.
After losing goalkeeper Fatau Dauda, captain Eric Opoku, Awudu Nafiu, Yakubu Mohammed and the Nuhu brothers, the Miners brought in 16 new players to strengthen their side, with a few expected to join the youth team.
Notably, their incomings include 2015 goals king Kofi Owusu, who joined from Egyptian side Al Aswan.
The rest are experienced striker Conney Idan, Sammed Ibrahim, Magnus Ebo-Duncan, Roland Amouzou, Joseph Gordon, Ibrahim Lukman, Eric Buabeng, Yakubu Wadudu and Prince Owusu.
Next are rejuvenated Asante Kotoko.
The Porcupine Warriors' transfer business under the new administration has been conducted with a cool efficiency, and new manager Zdravko Logarusic has began to forge an iron-tough team spirit as well as trying to restore the optimism of the supporters. Can he also blow away the cobwebs of the David Duncan era, where the fallen giants were nearly relegated for the first time?
Techiman City's prodigy Baba Mahama finally completed the much-publicised transfer. Prince Acquah and Isaac Quansah both arrived from Heart of Lions, while Kwame Boahene joined from Medeama. Following the departure of Dauda Mohammed to Anderlecht, Yakubu Mohammed and Abass Mohammed have been brought in as free agents.
Kotoko have also bolstered their midfield with Ashittey Ollenu from rivals Hearts, while Awudu Nafiu and Seth Opare have augmented the side as well.
Logarusic has always been unfortunate when it comes to winning trophies. He is yet to lift a major trophy throughout his career, and will hope whatever he touches this time around turns to gold.
FA Cup winners Bechem United have made the biggest signings ever in the club's history.
Captain Issah 'Sinkala' Adamu and Yaw Mensah parted ways with the Hunters after almost a decade at club, but their biggest loss was striker Abednego Tetteh, who joined Al Hilal in Sudan. He was crucial as they annexed the FA Cup, and also scored 12 goals in the league in order to help the club achieve their best-ever finish - seventh on the log last season.
New manager Vincenzo Alberto Annese, who replaced Manuel Zacharias, saw a side that needed a revamp due to their participation in the Caf Confederation Cup alongside the league, and has gone out and successfully signed the majority of his transfer targets.
Abdul Bashiru, Emmanuel Osei Carlos and Daniel Egyin are the latest to come in, adding to the likes of Amed 'Simba' Toure and Akoto Danso to create a new look for the campaign.
It will take some time for the Bechem players to adapt to the style of play their new manager wants, but they will be a force to reckon with when they do finally gel.
Hearts of Oak survived relegation on final day two seasons ago thanks to the head-to-head rule, but they were able to move nine places up to finish in the top four last campaign.
However, in their bid to win the title this season, the club are still without a head coach and the only major arrivals so far are Malik Akowuah and Joshua Otoo, signed from Medeama and Armenian side Gandzasar Kapan respectively.
Anthony Nimo Asamoah and Daniel Kodie have also joined from Liberty Professionals as well as Bright Luqman from Ebusua Dwarfs, but the supporters wanted high-profile players to at least match their rivals Kotoko.
The transfer of Ibrahim Alhassan from Inter Allies seems to have stalled amid a power shift behind the scenes, but the arrival of Kouame Kouassi from Youssoufia Berechid in Morocco can be classified as a better replacement.
Will the new faces be enough to launch a title-winning campaign? The jury’s out!
Medeama looked a depleted side after goalkeepers Daniel Agyei and Muntari Tagoe as well Abass Mohammed, Enoch Atta Agyei and Malik Akowuah left following their incredible run in the Caf Confederation Cup last season.
However, the club have been able to bring on board equally good replacements.
Latif Salifu from Ivorian champions AS Tanda, adding to Kotoko trio of Theophilus Nyame, Bennett Ofori and goalkeeper Eric Ofori Antwi.
The new faces should be enough to fire the Yellow and Mauves to a top four finish.