The Summer transfer window gave perhaps, a few indications of the season to come. Arsenal had a scatter gun approach to recruitment. Aston Villa may have improved overall, despite selling their star player. Manchester United have gone big on historical winners whilst Liverpool preferred to sign what they have to longer deals, instead of investing in what they probably needed. Tottenham maintained an iron will in negotiations. Manchester City may have an issue in not replacing Sergio Aguero, and Chelsea have bought very sensibly from the top shelf.
Last summer saw Timo Werner arrive for a substantial sum, as a signing of high expectation. The reality was, they actually bought a wide forward instead of the centre forward they assumed they were getting. With Kai Havertz brought into the squad also, it proved a potentially spectacular addition that could well pay dividends for the next decade, given his ability to become world class. Ben Chilwell coming in for a heavy sum gave both good options and balance, and Tommy Tuchel arriving elevated the managerial level to world class, which soon enabled a Champions League triumph.
When the rumblings of Romelu Lukaku leaving Inter Milan began, Chelsea very quickly became the most obvious destination for the big Belgium striker. Having blended all the ingredients (under the tutelage of Antonio Conte), the transfer proved very expensive, but potentially transformative to a recently impotent forward line. The player represents what Chelsea probably needed, and his signing could well see him lead the scoring charts at the seasons end.
Lukaku is maybe the worlds best out and out striker. It’s a position that has been somewhat unpopular, since the emergence of the inside or wide forward and there are very few elite strikers around. The ultra powerful, massively bullish and very effective forward could be the missing ingredient in a very efficient, very well drilled and now fiercely dangerous outfit.
The Saúl Ñíguez deal was very much the icing on the cake for Tuchel, with the brilliant and multifunctional midfielder amazingly pushed to one side at Atletico Madrid. The year long loan will undoubtedly become permanent, with the Spaniard’s ability likely to force a must pick role for the blues. With a very tight and formidable backline, the lack of any elite defender seems negligible, as the group acts as a perfectly cohesive unit to shut out attacks at will.
This season will undoubtedly throw out many twists and turns, however as things stand, Chelsea have the upper hand after a strong window. If Manchester City had secured Harry Kane & Liverpool the midfielder & forward they needed, I probably would have stuck with those two as the prime candidates. The fact is those two have departed the transfer window without addressing areas of need, and Chelsea have. Whatever happens, the Premier League will be won by a world class manger, and the fact that all of these three teams have both that level of manager, and an array of elite and world class players between them is telling. This campaign could make for the best ever season as we close in on the 30th anniversary for the Premier League, and that’s something that the football watching world will be eager to see.