It’s been a good window for the North London club with six players signed in total. Nicolas Pepe was the blockbuster arrival and at £72 million he represents a significant investment. Arsenal lacked any real threat from out wide last season and relied far too heavily on star strikers Pierre Emerick Aubamayang and Alexandre Laccazette. With 22 goals last year Pepe should relieve some of the pressure on the strike partnership. Loan singing Dani Cellabos should go someway to replacing the dynamism that Arsenal lost with Aaron Ramsey’s departure after arriving from Real Madrid while Gabriel Martinelli is an exciting prospect out wide. The Gunners lost Laurent Koscielny after his infamous strike and replaced him with David Luiz of Chelsea while they also strengthened at left back with the signing of long term target Kieran Tierney. William Saliba, a £25 million signing from St. Ettienne will spend the season back on loan at the French club. Luiz is hardly the defender that many Arsenal fans were hoping for, even before Koscielny jumped ship to Bordeaux but the Brazilians ability on the ball and in the air could mean hes a fruitful investment while Kieran Tierney should be an instant improvement at left back once he returns from injury .
A transfer ban meant that Chelsea couldn’t add any new faces over the summer but they did make the Mateo Kovacic loan deal permanent and Cristian Pulisic joins having agreed to sign prior to the ban being implemented. In Frank Lampard, they have a very popular face and a Stamford Bridge legend but also a very inexperienced and unproven manager. He hardly pulled up any trees at Derby and while fans may be more charitable than they’re renowned for being due to his status at the club, his ruthless employer may not be so patient. It will likely be a summer of experimentation for Chelsea and young players such as Callum Hudson Odoi and Mason Mount may finally get their long awaited chance while Ruben Loftus Cheek is set to be an important player once he returns from a long term injury,.
It was a quiet transfer window for Jurgen Klopps men with just three new arrivals, two of which are under 18 and will have little impact on the first team in Sepp van den Berg and Harvey Elliot while the sole senior signing is Adrian, a free agent after leaving West Ham and will play back up to Alison. The Merseyside club finished just a point of Manchester City is a neck and neck title race and of course won the Champions League on that famous night in Madrid. It would be premature to make any negative judgement on a team that managed such a feat last year but with Manchester City powering forward with the signings of Rodri and Cancelo and both North London clubs strengthening considerably, Liverpool may yet live to regret not being more pro active. Saying that, the Reds are still strong favourites for second place and to act as City’s main threat to the title.
Pep Guardiola is entering his fourth year as Manchester City manager and hoping to be the first manager since Sir Alex Ferguson to win three Premier League titles in a row. A stupendous season ended with a tinge of disappointment with captain and stalwart Vincent Kompany announcing his decision to join Anderlecht as a player-manager. On the pitch, Kompany was a colossus and a hugely important player, off it he was an enigmatic leader and one of the faces of the new Manchester City. Just how much City will miss the big Belgian remains to be seen but City did show some signs of defensive frailty in the Community shield. John Stones hasn’t quite lived up to expectation and mistakes still plaque his game while Nicolas Otamendi can also be rash at times. Much of the pressure will likely shift to the Aymeric Laporte who proved himself to be a very reliable defender last season. Manchester City may well have gone some way to improving the shield in front defence with the £62 million arrival of Rodri taking some of the pressure of Fernandinho while Cancelo is an upgrade on Kyle Walker at right back and can also cover the left hand side.
Manchester United looked like a team transformed when Solskjear first took over in December but it did not take long for the Red Devils to return to the sort of performances and results fans have come to expect over the past few years. Ander Herrera, Mauraune Fellaini and Antonio Valencia all departed at the end of the season. United were in desperate need of something young and fresh. Enter Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan Bissaka and Daniel James. While none of these new signings will fill the Ander shaped hole in the center of midfield they do represent a shift in strategy away from hugely expensive foreign imports. At £80 million for Maguire, £45 million for Wan Bissaka and £15 million for James, it was not exactly a cheap Summer but it does at least show some long term planning. A slightly flattering 4-0 win at home to Chelsea on the opening day of the season was a good start but make no mistake, Manchester United will be fighting for top 4 this season and will need their new signings to be at their best.
After 2 transfer windows of not buying a single senior player Levy eventually decided to splash the cash this Summer with Giovanni Lo Celso, Tanguy Ndombele and Ryan Sessegnon all arriving for big fees. However, there is still a clear and obvious tension between owner Daniel Levy and manager Pocchetino and one does wander whether their relationship may eventually become too fractured to the extent that the managers position is untenable. Their squad should be good enough to secure another top 4 finish with NDombele in particular adding both technical ability and power to a midfield that lacked depth last season. A failure to sign Paulo Dybala on Transfer Deadline day took some of the shine off an otherwise excellent window, even if Eriksen does depart. Saying that, the Dane would be a massive loss should he depart for pastures new before the European deadline closes.