TV money this, TV money that. It’s all we seem to hear these days in relation to the English Premier League. Normally by early July we’ve heard about blockbuster signing after blockbuster signing.
This time last season Liverpool had secured Fabinho for £40 million, Naby Keita’s transfer was agreed a year prior but he arrived for £48 million in 2018. Manchester agreed a £52 million deal for Fred in June last year and spent a further £19 million on Diogo Dalot. Arsenal had acquired Bernd Leno for £19 million.
On the other hand, Chelsea didn’t do any business until the middle of July, Man City only completed one major signing in Mahrez and let’s not forget that Spurs didn’t sign a single player. So is it right to say that this summer has been quieter than last up until this point?
First and foremost Spurs have made not one, but two signings. Sure Jack Clarke (£13m) is going back to Leeds on loan but we aren’t really interested in that. Spurs broke their transfer record by a long way as they added Tanguy Ndombele to their ranks for £55 million. Ndombele was probably the best midfield talent available so this is huge.
Manchester United signed Aaron Wan Bissaka, a player whose defensive stats leap off the page for £50 million and speed demon Daniel James for £18 million as well. Due to their impending transfer ban, Chelsea agreed a deal for Christian Pulisic which has come into effect for £58 million and last season’s loanee Matteo Kovacic’s move has become permanent after Chelsea found a transfer ban loophole allowing them to spend £40 million. Bringing up the rear are Arsenal who spent a whopping £6 million on Gabriel Martinelli (who?).
In reality the window has pretty much mirrored last year’s, with the exception of Man City and Liverpool doing less business, though we expect that to pick up, especially in City’s case as they look to replace Fernandinho with Rodri. The Citizens are battling with Man United to be the Manchester club who crazily make Harry Maguire the most expensive defender in history.
Bruno Fernandes to United is the saga that we’re all bored of. If Spurs sell Eriksen you can expect Lo Celso to come in and maybe they’ll finally get an able backup for Harry Kane. Arsenal need to find money from somewhere to fund Wilfried Zaha and at least one central defender. You’d expect Liverpool to do something but no one is sure of what that is, just yet.
So yes, it’s been quiet, but the window usually is at this time. Things should really heat up next week as the ridiculous English transfer window deadline (a whole 3 weeks before any other league in Europe) kicks in. With Man City and Liverpool likely doing business but not very much, who is best positioned to win the Premier League?
Well, Man City (-150) and Liverpool (+250) have short odds to win it next year, which makes it tempting to back a Big 6 team with long odds, like Tottenham (+1200), Man United (+1800), or Arsenal (+2500). But all three played dreadfully down the stretch last season, and both the final table and the end-of-season goal differentials indicate there’s a huge gap between City/Liverpool and the rest.
If you are considering an underdog like Tottenham prior to the season, these rankings have all the reputable sites based on needs such as quick payouts and mobile availability. There is better value betting on a team like Wolves (+600), but they’ve not done much business (which is a bit confusing) or Everton who made Andre Gomes transfer permanent (+600) to break into the top-six. Both finished with positive goal differentials and played much better in the second half of the season. Leicester have just made a baffling bid of £30 million for Ayoze Perez and with uncertainty around the future of Maguire and their ability to bring back Tielemans it might be a good idea to hold off on them for now.
Who is going to make the biggest splash this summer and whose transfers will push them further up the table? Have your say in the comments and on twitter @under_thecosh