Last season we witnessed a brilliant Premier League season, with drama down to the final day providing for outstanding viewing. With the Premier League currently being the best league in the world it is no surprise the quality of the teams seems to be growing each year and given the revenue the league is currently bringing in, its no wonder teams have money to spend, I will look at the big clubs in the league and look at what they have currently done and what they need to do looking at the upcoming season.
Liverpool was outstanding last season, fighting on all fronts and were incredibly close to cementing themselves as the greatest English side of all time. They have already brought in Uruguayan goal machine Darwin Nunez for 100 million euros to hopefully replace Sadio Mane in Liverpool’s attack. With Liverpool it’s difficult to improve the team they already have, but modern football for the top teams is a squad game given the number of games on the calendar, especially considering the winter world cup this year. Another midfielder would be ideally what Liverpool want but with reports circulating that they are going to wait a year to sign Jude Bellingham, a marquee midfield signing seems unlikely. However, the signings of Fabio Carvalho and Calvin Ramsey from Fulham and Aberdeen respectively provides excitement for the future and given how Klopp’s transfers have been near enough perfect the 3 signings that have been made should allow Liverpool to fight on all fronts once again.
8/10 so far- a marquee midfield signing would make it perfect.
For Manchester City in theory the signing of Erling Haaland is the perfect signing, a 30 goal a season striker on top of this incredible team should surely fire them to the Champions League trophy as that is what success is for Man City now as they have proven they can win the Premier League without a striker. Its like when Juventus signed Higuain in 2016, they expected him to fire them to the Champions League trophy, however given they lost the final, the transfer is now looked back on as a failure even though Higuaín was very good. Haaland is an interesting signing in my opinion, given his injury record and the case study of Chelsea signing Lukaku as European Champions and being forced to change the way they play and it being for the worst. However, Pep is the best coach around and even though he probably would have gone for Harry Kane if Tottenham didn’t qualify for the Champions League, I fully expect Haaland to score 20 premier league goals, however it comes down to if they can finally win the Champions League to determine the success of the transfer. Elsewhere the heavy reports around Marc Cucurella signifying Pep finally wanting a left footed left back would make City’s full back depth the best in world football and the reports surrounding Kalvin Phillips being brought in to replace Fernandinho would worry me slightly given his injury record, however he is a player who Pep would excel with given Phillips massive improvement under Bielsa. Keeping Bernardo Silva is vital given his importance to the team and the likely departures of Sterling and Jesus will be big losses but the signings of Haaland and Alvarez and the probable improvement of Jack Grealish means City’s squad is still the best in the League and they should retain the Premier League, but success if measured on if they win the Champions League.
9/10 Signing Haaland, Alvarez and most likely Cucurella and Phillips as well as losing Sterling and Jesus means City’s squad is continually improving and enter the new season as favourites for all the major trophies.
Chelsea is in the most unstable place they have been in since the pre Abramovich era, the new ownership and the way what has happened off the pitch damaged Chelsea’s season in the 2nd half. Losing big players like Rudiger and the Lukaku situation escalating leaves Chelsea in a situation where a major rebuild is needed. Players like Christensen, Azpilicueta, Alonso, Saul, Barkley and Lukaku leaving means the new ownership have a major job on their hands. Connor Gallagher coming back from his loan deal and the potential signing of Declan Rice means their midfield is elite, however losing the majority of their defence, and what is left of the defence ageing means new centre backs are vital, the signing of Jules Kounde from Sevilla would be ideal however reports have gone cold and with Pau Torres likely going to Tottenham Chelsea are left in a difficult situation. Raheem Sterling looks to be joining the blues and that would be a brilliant singing and solves their winger issues and guarantees 15 Premier League goals a season. Tuchel realistically needs 2 centre backs, a winger and a striker and so far, it only looks like Sterling is coming in, Robert Lewandowski would be perfect for Chelsea as a short-term solution to ease in the new ownership, but Chelsea have to act quick or they will allow Tottenham to overtake them as the 3rd best team in England.
4/10 so far- losing some dead wood is good, however likely letting Kounde slip, failing to make headway on Rice and failing to keep Rudiger while only currently working on the Sterling deal is poor, Chelsea needs a big few months.
‘The Italian Job’ Spurs have started the window brilliantly, Perisic on a free for 2 years, a proven top player who can play either wing back or wing who has won everything in his career is a great start. Signing Forster as a backup goalkeeper is a very good move given, he’s Premier League Proven. Bissouma for 25 million is one of the signings of the summer given how much he has impressed at Brighton and how he is ready to take the next step. Antonio Conte is one of the best managers in the world and with Kane and Son you have 2 of the 5 best players in the league. Reports saying Tottenham will sign Djed Spence, Pau Torres, Christian Eriksen and one of Richarlison or Raphinha are incredibly positive and if they secure players for those positions there is no reason Spurs can’t overtake Chelsea and establish themselves once again in the Champions League. It is vital however that the squad is made smaller players like Winks, Lo Celso, Ndombele, Bergjwin and one of the full backs need to be moved on.
7/10 – So far started the window brilliantly and have shown major intent, if they can secure the deals, they are apparently close to and trim the squad a 10/10 window is possible.
Interesting start to the window for Arsenal, bringing in Viera is a solid start and making major strides in signing Gabriel Jesus and Raphinha, who both would be great signings. However, letting Bissouma slip through their fingers to Spurs, missing out on Tielemans and only getting Viera over the line makes it feel slightly underwhelming. Arteta has done a great job in galvanising the spirit of Arsenal and making Arsenal a young team that plays great football and adding the two Brazilian’s mentioned is incredibly exciting. If Arsenal can offload players like Lacazette and potentially bringing in some higher quality defensive depth I believe it will allow them to fight on multiple fronts. However, I believe failing to get top 4 last season will leave them falling behind Tottenham. Arsenal haven’t and probably can’t attract the players needed to overturn the gap that qualifying for the Champions League has gave Tottenham. Assuming Jesus and Raphinha come they have improved their squad however the gap to Tottenham and Chelsea hasn’t really been closed.
5/10 so far- with Jesus and Raphinha it will be an 8/10 window, but the failure to significantly close the gap on Tottenham could leave them disappointed come May.
Quite simply a disgrace of a window so far, letting the players run out of contract leave is a good start, but likely spending £70million on Frenkie De Jong on 300,000 a week when outside of the Champions League is a major risk that I don’t believe is worth taking when the majority of the squad needs to be re built. Failing to secure the Timber deal is a major dissapointment and likely singing Anthony, a right winger for around £50 million, a year after signing Sancho is questionable, Christian Eriksen is someone they are interested in which would be intelligent and brilliant, however the player has failed to be convinced by the club and is looking at Tottenham or remaining at Brentford. Manchester United have an overblown squad of players they can’t get rid off due to the fact they pay ludicrous wages Martial, Rashford, Jones, Wan Bissaka, Henderson and Baily are all players they want to let go but can’t meaning they can’t rebuild the squad. Manchester United are still paying for the massive mistakes made in previous years and are facing a major rebuild.
2/10- so far failing to get any transfers over the line and failing to sell any dead wood means Manchester United continue to fall behind. 2 midfielders (one being defensive), a centre back and another striker are essential to avoid a disastrous window.
Even though not one of the big 6 it would almost be rude to not talk about the richest club in the world. It’s been surprisingly quiet up north so far, as Newcastle hope to avoid paying a ‘Newcastle Tax’ as the owners call it. Matt Targets loan move has been made permanent which is a good move as he was incredibly consistent during his loan spell, a very good price of £12million for a Premier League proven full back. The signing of Nike Pope is becoming closer to completion and at £10million it’s a steal, especially considering Manchester United wouldn’t budge on the asking price for Dean Henderson. Sven Botman has become increasingly difficult and is looking like it won’t happen so the club will be forced to look at new targets. The Hugo Ekitike saga has dragged and even though its edging closer to completion it’s a gamble for the club given the fee and how young the player is.
5/10 so far- sensible transfers in Targett and most likely Pope, however failing to land a marquee signing and how long the duration of some of the transfer sagas have been it can’t be above a 5/10 currently, but major potential to grown depending on what happens.
Overall Liverpool doing the majority of their business before the start of pre-season gives them an advantage over the rest of the league, similar can be said about City who are trying to do the same. Tottenham have started well and hope to continue securing their priority targets in what is a major summer for the club. Arsenal has a plan that they are sticking to, but will it be enough? Chelsea have focussed on outgoings but really need to start bringing players in to avoid falling behind. Manchester United have had a disastrous window so far and could be in serious trouble if it continues.