It wasn’t much longer than a month, but the wait is almost ending. English football has returned a little before the two-week stop for the national teams commitments, with the Community Shield (which Arsenal won against Liverpool), but right now it’s the 2020/21 Premier League that’s ready to take off. The starting shot will be taken next Saturday morning with a match between Fulham and Arsenal.
A NOT SO MUCH EXCITING MARKET SO FAR…
If the economic crisis associated with the consequences of the appearance of the new coronavirus pandemic has not exactly shaken the finances of some clubs around the world (say, for example, Benfica in Portugal…), in England this is not the case.
Considered in the previous seasons as the championship that moves the biggest amounts in transfers flow, either in entrances or departures (but especially in the investment made to strengthen their teams), the Premier League is not having a very busy market so far – it is important to remember, however, that the limit for transfers only expires in October.
If we exclude Chelsea (see below) from the equation, only six transfers in the top-10 of the highest amounts invested exceed the 30 million euros – and there is a Portuguese player in the 5th place of that ranking.
Fábio Silva, who moved from FC Porto to Wolverhampton for 40 million euros, automatically entered the gallery of one of the most expensive players in the English league in this transfer market.
Excluding the signings made by Chelsea, the young Portuguese striker was even the second most expensive player in this market in England so far.
Nathan Aké (hired by Manchester City from Bournemouth for 45.3 million euros), Donny van de Beek (who moved from Ajax to Manchester United for 39 million), Giovanni Lo Celso (for whom Tottenham offered 32 million to Bétis to secure his pass for good), Ollie Watkins (top scorer in the Championship last season at the service of Brentford who cost 30. 8 million to the wealthy Aston Villa) and Rodrigo (Spanish international who went to Leeds, from Valencia, for 30 million) close the top-10 (without the “blues” reinforcements).
…WITH THE EXCEPTION OF CHELSEA, WHO HAS ALREADY SPENT OVER 200 MILLION EUROS
Prohibited from hiring in the market a year ago due to a penalty imposed by FIFA, Chelsea has been the club worldwide that has invested the most, in order to give Frank Lampard raw material to be able to meddle – almost mandatory, such is the level of the bar – in the title run along with Liverpool and Manchester City.
Kai Havertz is the name of the moment in England. After a long soap opera, the young German midfielder really left Bayer Leverkusen to head to Stamford Bridge, for a sum of 80 million euros, with another 20 for objectives to be added.
But it wasn’t just Leverkusen’s wonder boy who left the Bundesliga to head to Chelsea. Also Timo Werner, Germanic international scorer, left the RB Leipzig in order to join the London club, for a sum of around 53 million.
Ben Chilwell, left-back who spent the last seasons at Leicester City, was fished in the domestic market, for 50.2 million. This large investment list is completed with the acquisition of Hakim Ziyech, Moroccan international who left Ajax for 40 million.
At zero cost, but no less important, it is necessary to mention the hiring of Thiago Silva. At 35 years of age, the Brazilian international center back left PSG to reinforce Frank Lampard’s defense axis, one of their gaps in the last season.
PREMIER LEAGUE’S “POWER RANKING”
According to Bet365 odds, Manchester City is again the main favorite to become the English champions, with odds around 1.80, followed by Liverpool (3.00), Chelsea (10.00) and Manchester United (15.00).
In the fight for the European competitions qualifying positions like Champions League and Europa League, the main candidates will be, in my opinion, Tottenham, Leicester City, Wolverhampton, Arsenal and Everton.
However, judging by the Bet365 quotations for the 2020/21 Premier League winner, the newly promoted Leeds, let by Marcelo Bielsa, could also be in the race.
The predictably most complicated task in the battle against relegation, will naturally involve the newly promoted West Bromwich and Fulham, who should be closely followed by teams such as Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Burnley, Brighton, West Ham, Sheffield United and Newcastle.
We are only missing Southampton, who are kind of a doubt, such was the ability they showed in the second half of the last season, conceding them some peace of mind, contrasting with a very poor first half.
TOP GOAL SCORERS CONTENDERS
Still according to odds provided by Bet365, newcomer Timo Werner (10.00) is only fifth in the list of contenders for the individual title of Best Goal Scorer for the English championship in 2020/21.
At the top of the odds, there is curiously one attacking player who’s not even a root striker: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah at 6.00. Following the Egyptian is Harry Kane, from Tottenham, at 6.50, closely followed by Pierre-Émerick Aubameyang, from Arsenal, at 7.00. The Top-5 is also composed by Sergio Agüero, experienced forward from Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.