For the most part, this summer’s Premier League transfers have a few games under their belt. Even though the transfer window is still open, fans have a glimpse of what the season can hold.
With new arrivals to the Premier League and major names flipping for major clubs inside the league, anticipation mounts as the league nears.
Ahead of the season kicking off, clubs spent nearly $1.4 billion on expenditures for summer’s Premier League transfers. Remember, that number can still go up. The transfer window officially closes September 1. With five games played until that point, clubs may be in the market for emergency signings.
Regardless, here is how the biggest spenders in the Premier League shape up with their arrivals and departures.
The impact of summer’s Premier League transfers
The defending champions
Manchester City won the Premier League in four of the last five campaigns. Pep Guardiola went to beef up that squad with a number of additions. Highlighting those is Erling Haaland, joined by Kalvin Phillips and Julian Alvarez.
To clear out space for these arrivals, Raheem Sterling was one of the key losses for the Sky Blues. The England international spent seven seasons at the Etihad, amassing 131 goals during that tenure. In fact, Sterling ranks second in the club’s all-time scoring charts.
Perhaps it was that absence that provided a lackluster display from Manchester City in its first competitive game with this new lineup. An underwhelming display in the Community Shield yielded a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Liverpool. Although Julian Alvarez featured on the scoresheet, Haaland looked somewhat out of place.
Of course, it is a new team for the Norwegian, and his goal-scoring prowess is among the best in the world. That being said, he needs to develop quickly into the side to bring Manchester City continued success in the league.
Liverpool not the same without Mané
While Manchester City’s new star striker struggled, Liverpool’s put the game to bed in added time. Darwin Núñez scored Liverpool’s third in the Community Shield triumph. Plus, he seemed a consistent threat upon entering as a substitute in the 59th minute.
Despite the impressive win, Liverpool likely misses the speed and creativeness of Sadio Mané in its front three. Few can mimic the sense of danger and power in front of goal provided by the Senegalese.
If anything, Liverpool lacks true, effective depth, especially compared to its biggest title rivals, Manchester City. A striker in Núñez can prove to be difficult to contain. Coming as a major-money signing to Liverpool carries lofted expectations of immediate success. With Anfield expecting production, the Uruguayan could be the catalyst for bigger success than last season.
Chelsea performed well in the summer’s Premier League transfers. The aforementioned Raheem Sterling is a keen addition. Plus, the long-awaited arrival of Kalidou Koulibaly is a welcome sight. Yet, this transfer seems more necessary than years past due to the outgoing Antonio Rüdiger to Real Madrid.
Last season, Chelsea failed to keep up with Manchester City and Liverpool, as those two ran away with the title race. By Thomas Tuchel’s own admission, his side is not quite there to be on their tails for this season.
Even then, the return of a number of loanees shapes up well. Connor Gallagher thrived a season ago at Crystal Palace. Moreover, Emerson Palmieri, Billy Gilmour and Michy Batshuayi provide depth across the pitch. This could prove pivotal given the already-present injuries at Stamford Bridge.
North London Clubs to join the party
The Gunners’ adjustments shape up for the side’s best season in recent years. Former Manchester City pair Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko are proven at their positions in the Premier League. Fabio Viera comes over from Porto to provide creativity in the midfield.
The preseason friendlies demonstrated the potential of Arsenal this season. A 4-0 win against Chelsea preceded a 6-0 demolition of Sevilla. Gabriel Jesus has seven goals in the slew of summer friendlies. Of course, these are just friendlies, not actual competitions. Yet, it is a positive sign, at the very least for confidence’s sake, in the prelude to the actual season.
Tottenham prevented Arsenal from playing in this season’s UEFA Champions League. Now, Spurs looks poised to challenge even higher than its fourth-placed finish. In fact, some of Tottenham’s signings seem under the radar compared to the other top-six challengers. Ivan Perisic thrived under Antonio Conte at Inter. He fills in at the Conte’s patented wingback role well. Yvan Bissouma is a strong midfield option. Then, Richarlison provides Conte with another option of Premier-League-proven talent at the top. He can play alongside Harry Kane, or be one of the league’s best options off the bench.
In any case, Antonio Conte created an enthusiasm around Tottenham. Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min are also still here, looking to dominate the league’s golden boot race.
Manchester United, Leeds and Villa
Other clubs, such as Manchester United, enjoyed their fair share of a summer spending spree. New manager Erik ten Hag brought in some talent in Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez. However, the Red Devils find themselves in a difficult period. The continued uncertainty in the Cristiano Ronaldo saga casts a shadow over any true excitement for the season. Undoubtedly, United have much to figure out. Generally speaking, that is not a recipe for success, particularly given the anticipation at its top-six rivals.
Two major clubs in terms of following to keep an eye on are Leeds United and Aston Villa. Leeds’ new heavy American influence could re-elevate the side. Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams join Jesse Marsch at Elland Road after successful stints in the Red Bull organization at Salzburg and Leipzig. Last season, it was a struggle to maintain survival in the league, and it appeared like another challenge with the departure of Raphinha to Barcelona. However, the acquisition of Marc Roca and Luis Sinisterra shape up to be good business for The Whites.
On the other hand, Aston Villa took care of its summer Premier League transfers early on. Locking in Philippe Coutinho to a permanent deal opened the doors for Boubacar Kamara, Diego Carlos and Ludwig Augustinsson. These three solidify the lower half of Steven Gerrard’s squad.
Given the arrivals, it would not be unheard of to see both Leeds and Villa compete for a top-half finish, if things go right.
PHOTO: James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images
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