Each of the four Premier League’s top teams last season, Manchester City, Chelsea, and United, appear to be in a good place heading into the 2021-22 season.
Manchester City broke their transfer record. Chelsea looks to be close to doing the same. Manchester United spent approximately $150 million on two of their most vulnerable positions.
Liverpool? They’re happy to have their best player back after a severe injury.
Each of the four Premier League’s top teams is in a good place heading into the 2021-22 campaign. This will be the first time that capacity crowds have seen the Premier League in 17 months.
For some time, England’s top division has been dominated by a “Big Six,” consisting of City, United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, Tottenham, Tottenham, and Arsenal. Leicester, a surprising champion in 2016 and fifth-place finisher in the previous two seasons, can justly argue that it should be a “Big Seven.”
Although the next season looks like a four-team race to win the title, there is a chance that things could change drastically if late movement occurs in the transfer window, which closes on 31 Aug.
The City made a bold statement by signing Jack Grealish at $139 million. However, it only strengthened a midfield team where Pep Guardiola had already enjoyed a lot of success. After Sergio Aguero’s departure after ten years, the champions need a striker, and they have one in particular.
Harry Kane would be more expensive than Grealish, potentially even more. The City seems willing to spend another British record amount if Tottenham negotiates. Guardiola says that this is not the case now, even though Kane appears eager to move.
The City would defeat their rivals if it happened — which is a huge “if” considering how difficult Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy negotiates. There would be no weakness. Even City’s second team can compete for a top-four spot.
The situation is as it is. England’s top teams are left with little hope because although Gabriel Jesus works hard, he doesn’t have the finishing ability to be a top-class striker.
The City has already seen Chelsea as a formidable rival, having won their three previous meetings. This culminated in a 1-0 win in the Champions League final in May.
After building Europe’s most robust defense with Jorginho and N’Golo Kaante, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is now focusing on adding an attacking player to his team. This looks like Romelu Lukaku. According to reports, the Belgia striker underwent a medical exam Monday in preparation for a club-record $135 million Inter Milan transfer.
Lukaku’s return from Chelsea to Stamford Bridge, where he played for the club between 2011-14, makes London a formidable title contender. It could give Tuchel as vital of a team as Guardiola. It comes after Chelsea spent nearly $300 million last offseason.
Last season, Tuchel was without a prolific striker. Lukaku would fix that.
Although Jadon Sancho’s signing was not surprising, United’s purchase of Raphael Varane, which is expected to cost around $50 million, had been anticipated. It was also remarkable how quick and painless the club completed the deals. This is a stark contrast to recent transfer windows at Old Trafford.
This is a sign of a more confident club about what it wants and has built a strong team under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He still hasn’t won any trophy since joining in 2018. United is just one defensive center midfielder away from being a title-winning team. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be successful this season.
Edinson Cavani, the striker, will need to stay fit. The forward with so much hope and expectation, Mason Greenwood may also need to keep his feet on the ground. Paul Pogba seems to be staying for another year, and Solskjaer hopes the midfielder can bring his international form with France to his club.
Last season, United finished second, 12 points behind City. United will be looking to close the gap.
Liverpool’s defense of their 2019-20 title could best be described as underwhelming. The team went from being champions by 19 points to trailing City 17 points home in third place — but there is one primary reason.
Virgil van Dijk was unable to play for Liverpool during the campaign due to a knee injury. This caps a season in which Jurgen Klopp suffered from one after another defensive injury. After a strong finish, it was considered a success that Liverpool managed to creep into the Champions League qualification positions.
Van Dijk is now back, but he may need to rest for a month before getting back to his full fitness. This will be a relief to Klopp, who signed Ibrahima Konate, a Leipzig native, to strengthen his defense. The biggest problem might be in the midfield.
Liverpool has lost Georginio Wijnaldum to Paris Saint-Germain, and he is still not available for replacement. This will put more pressure on Jordan Henderson (who started to get injured regularly) and Fabinho. Klopp will need Thiago Alcantara for a better season than his first. He struggled to adjust to the league’s pace.
However, you can still rely on the front four of Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota to score plenty of goals. Van Dijk is also likely to be at Anfield, taking on another title.
The top four other contenders
Expect Leicester to have another solid season, especially after Patson Daka has been signed. However, the team doesn’t have as much financial strength as the top four teams and will compete on domestic and European fronts.
Arsenal did not qualify for the European competition, as they failed for the first time since 1995. This should help Mikel Arteta’s team improve on their eighth-place finish, but getting back into the Champions League seems a daunting task, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will need to be more prolific.
It all depends on Kane staying or going. Man City will be able to attest to this.