There are arguably six teams who have a realistic chance of winning the Premier League title, though one has to always add the caveat that after Leicester City’s triumph two years ago, anything is possible.
Realistically though, there are six of them out there that can do it; Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United. All of them will have winning the Premier League as their ultimate objective for this year, even if their realistic goals are perhaps more likely to be top four finishes.
As you may have noticed of course, however, six do not go into one. To quote a wise man “There can only be one”.
All of the teams have been using this transfer window in order to strengthen their squads with one aim in mind, winning the league. The question then is: Who, if any of them, have made the kind of recruits that can make us say that they are are looking in good shape for glory?
By the way, I’m well aware that the transfer window hasn’t yet closed, and that things can still change. I’m just expressing this opinion on what they’ve done so far.
The first place to start is obviously the champions. If you look merely at the ins and outs that have so far happened, then you’ll see that they’ve significantly strengthened in bringing in Antonio Rudiger, Alvaro Morata and Tiemoué Bakayoko.
However, it appears as though the latter two have been brought in to replace two of last season’s title winners, in Nemanja Matic, who has now signed for Manchester United and Diego Costa (seemingly on the way out to…somewhere).
There, therefore, must be some doubt as to whether these players will represent an upgrade, with Costa’s goals in particular, being something that they will need to replace, if, indeed, the striker is leaving. If Morata is not up to scratch, then questions may arise as to their title-winning ability.
Last year’s runner-up, Tottenham Hotspur, have, as I’m sure a number of their fans won’t hesitate to remind you, spent no money so far this summer. But they’ve not really weakened themselves either.
Even if Kyle Walker has left for big money, they have a perfectly adequate replacement in Kieran Trippier already at the club, and someone who knows what Mauricio Pochettino will expect from him. Everyone else is still there, and this stability is a strength.
“We are a little bit behind but working hard to sign some players who can help us and bring some energy, and make us more competitive.” -Mauricio Pochettino on Spurs’ transfer activity.
However, this is still a team that hasn’t won anything, and there is a perhaps a feeling that a signing is required to make that extra step. This may be a winger, or someone who provides a different kind of attacking threat to what they already have, or even a number of players to improve squad depth as a whole. There is, of course, still time for just such a signing to happen.
When it comes to Manchester City, there would probably have to be a few questions asked if, having spent over £200 million already, that they’re not in a position to win the league now.
As has been pointed out elsewhere, they’ve spent more on their defence than many small nations do. Last year, they were often fantastic in attack and shambolic at the back, so in truth a great deal of work had to be done to make amends.
One would think then that they’ve now addressed this, but as it is, there’s a lot of wait and see involved, especially with new goalkeeper Ederson Moraes. Their full backs, in particular Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy, will be an improvement on what was there before, though whether they are used as inverted full backs by Pep Guardiola is another question.
The addition of Bernardo Silva to the creative unit is also a fantastic addition that will add further attacking threat and variety to an already potent side.
If these signings do come off, though, then we’re possibly looking at the favourites going into the new league season, such is their strength in other areas of the pitch.
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