It’s almost time, the 2017/18 Premier League season is nearly upon us. The summer transfer window will soon draw to a close and managers will be put to the test in one of the world’s most challenging leagues.
How will Chelsea fare in their attempt to retain the title? Will Lukaku provide Manchester United with the spark they need to challenge for the Premier League crown once more?
As transfer spending continues to break records across Europe, we take a look at how the season could shape up.
Reigning champions Chelsea have already spent in excess of £140m this summer with the captures of Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Antonio Rudiger. With John Terry leaving the club after 19 years in Chelsea’s first team squad, £34m Rudiger has big shoes to fill in defence after signing from Italians AS Roma.
Midfielder Bakayoko will be looking to cement his place in the team alongside N’Golo Kante while former Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata will be tasked with providing the goals to fire Antonio Conte’s side towards back to back titles.
Tottenham Hotspur have been sensational for two seasons, and have recently announced themselves as genuine title contenders for the first time in recent history.
This season sees Spurs leave White Hart Lane for their temporary home at Wembley for all league and cup matches in a move which could make or break their hopes of pushing for another title race.
With a disappointing recent record at Wembley in the Champions League, Mauricio Pochettino’s side will be looking to hit the ground running in the Premier League. They kick off with a trip to face Newcastle United and then welcome Chelsea to Wembley.
With no new signings at Spurs while teams around them continue to strengthen it is difficult to see how they will be able to better their second place finish from last season.
Big spending City are desperate to transform their patchy domestic and poor European form into silverware both at home and on the continent this year.
While their rivals have been spending big in the final third of the pitch this summer, Pep Guardiola has prioritised strengthening in the defensive areas. Kyle Walker (Spurs), Danilo (Real Madrid) and Mendy (AS Monaco) have arrived at the Etihad for a combined total of over £120million, whilst the ever dependable Kolorov and Zabaleta have been shown the exit door.
Joe Hart’s loan move to West Ham alongside Willy Caballero joining Chelsea left a void in goal. That void has been filled by Brazilian
Ederson, who joined City in a £35m move from Portuguese side Benfica this summer.
There have been a number of comings and goings at Anfield this summer, including the capture of Mo Salah from AS Roma for £39m who is handed a second chance to impress in the Premier League after a spell at Chelsea. Top of Liverpool’s hitlist remains Naby Keita – but RB Leipzig are reluctant to part ways with the £70m rated 22 year-old.
Andy Robertson has signed on at Anfield to challenge James Milner and Alberto Moreno for the left-back berth. The Scotland international’s abilities in both attack and defence could prove to be a valuable asset throughout the season.
Jurgen Klopp’s biggest task of the summer is undoubtedly hanging onto Phillippe Coutinho, who along with Roberto Firmino, was exceptional last season. With Neymar’s recent move to PSG from Barcelona it appears that this task may just be too hard for Klopp and the Liverpool board – with a huge transfer fee to play with, Barcelona will fancy their chances of prying Coutinho away from Merseyside.
Keeping the Brazilian at Anfield would be a huge step in securing another top four finish this season, but sadly for Liverpool fans this looks unlikely now.
The Europa League victory may have added some shine, but 2016-17 was a largely disappointing season for the Red Devils in the Premier League. With talismanic Wayne Rooney gone and Zlatan’s future in doubt, big signings were desperately needed this summer.
A man who fits that bill perfectly is Romelu Lukaku. The striker joined from Everton in a deal worth more than £75m and the Belgian certainly knows where the goals are.
Jose Mourinho knows his side need to improve on their sixth place finish in the Premier League last term. The addition of Nemanja Matic to the United midfield could prove to be the perfect counter-balance which allows Paul Pogba to reach his creative best.
An undoubtedly disappointing season for Arsenal last year culminated in masses of speculation surrounding the future of manager Arsene Wenger.
After failing to secure Champions League football for the first time in 20 years, Wenger now finds himself battling to hold onto star players, such as Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
If either of those two do go, incoming Alexandre Lacazette, signed from French side Lyon for £46.5m, will be under huge pressure from Wenger and the Arsenal fans to hit the ground running and find the back of the net.
With the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea spending heavily this summer it is going to be a tough ask for Arsenal to reclaim their place in the top four at the first time of asking.
Elsewhere in the league, it will be interesting to see how much of a challenge Everton can mount in the Premier League and domestic cup competitions this season. A number of significant signings including Wayne Rooney, Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane and Davy Klaassen will mean the Toffees are hoping to improve on their seventh place finish last term.
West Ham United have shown some serious intent with the additions of Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez to their squad for the new season. With over £40m spent, Hammers fans will be hoping for an improvement on their 11th place finish last year.
New boys Newcastle, Huddersfield and Brighton and Hove Albion will be focussing on Premier League survival first and foremost, but they will all be hoping to make their mark on the league in the same way that the likes of Bournemouth have done in recent years.
What’s for sure is that this season is set to be one of the most hotly contested in recent years, and we’ll be there every step of the way!