English Premier League: 2021 summer window and the lessons within - Manchester United, Manchester City or Chelsea?
|Cristiano Ronaldo is back and that means Manchester United are now title favorites, what else did we learn from the transfer window? (Photo credit: @manutd)
Talk about the league with the biggest appeal, the honey that draws the bees and the place to be for every showman, the English Premier League again as always led the way in terms of funds expended in the just concluded window, but who spent wisely and who didn’t?
Champions of Europe Chelsea had a fantastic summer and you have to laud the club for intelligent business operations as well as decisive and pragmatic on-field approach.
The only big spending for the Blues was the return of Romelu Lukaku but outgoings more than paid for whatever they handed Inter.
The outright sales of Fikayo Tomori to AC Milan, Tammy Abraham to AS Roma, Kurt Zouma to West Ham and loan deals for lots of academy graduates offered Chelsea more than they needed to bring back Lukaku and also reinforce midfield with Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid.
Who is going to stop Chelsea this season?
Manchester United had a better window of the two Manchester clubs, there’s been a long-standing need for a left-sided central defender with Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof both struggling when paired.
So United went all out to sign Raphael Varane from Real Madrid, that’s a statement.
Throughout last season’s transfer windows, United laboured in vain trying to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.
They finally found joy at a reported fee of €85m which fell way short of what the German side quoted for him last season, with him on the flanks, a lot is solved for the Red Devils.
And then, the big one landed at the tail end of the window, while there were feelers at first that Cristiano Ronaldo was headed for the Etihad, it all emerged later that the 5-time Ballon D’or winner was never going to sign for Pep Guardiola’s team, it was all a ploy to get United to buckle up.
With Ronaldo back at Old Trafford, that’s winning mentality at its peak, the pendulum is very much swinging in their favour and it will all be in the hands of Ole Gunnar Solksjaer to tinker the team to success come end of the season.
At the other end of Manchester, Jack Grealish was the only real addition to the City side and you look at their squad and wonder if they actually need more.
They do need a striker to replace the returns of Sergio Aguero who left at the end of last season as the best thing to happen to the club since forever.
City paid 100m GBP for Grealish and they can already see what he brings to the table.
He is a worthy addition to an already rich squad but with rivals also reinforcing adequately, City will not have it quite easy this season.
How about Liverpool?
Jurgen Klopp decided against going all out in the just concluded window and only the signing of Ibrahim Konate from RB Leipzig remains the only business they did but they were able to extend the contracts of six top members of their squad and that counts for something.
Mohammed Salah is rumoured to be asking for a mega €500k per week for him to extend, one can tell that the Liverpool board won’t sanction such and that will open the door for his exit in the summer.
He wins and the club wins as well but is that the end of their needs?
The Liverpool squad is ageing, Klopp has started integrating the likes of Harvey Elliot who has shown brilliantly so far, Curtis Jones and Neco Williams are also waiting in the wings but can the squad challenge adequately for the title?
Tottenham are currently on top of the league table with three wins in three, they have kept clean sheets in all and are looking like they want to compete.
But their biggest win so far is being able to keep Harry Kane who made it clear at first that he wants to leave.
The sum quoted for him was too outrageous for City to dare, the Cityzens did submit bids twice but Daniel Levy wasn’t easy to do business with.
Spurs also got Emerson Royale from Barcelona to bolster their right-back set up and Romero joined from Atalanta for CB needs, will they challenge truly?
There’s a certain Arsenal that is fast falling off the radar, of all the big names that were signed to the premier league this summer, none went to Arsenal and they still topped the list of summer spenders, Edu Gasper, their football director has asked for patience, but on paper, can they compete?
Arsenal brought back Martin Odegaard on a permanent basis from Real Madrid, signed Albert Sambi Lokonga on Thierry Henry’s recommendations from Anderlecht and added Ben White for a hefty fee to which the jury is out, a few other back ups and then Hector Bellerin left for Betis, what chances do they really have?
Arsenal beat the best of the rest?
Westham are on another level right now,
Leicester has proven to be a part of the mix of recent and a team like Wolves
may be struggling for now but they won’t fear Arsenal, there’s also the Rafael
Benitez factor at Everton… it’s a long season for Arsenal.