The new season of the Premier League will bring familiar favorites, a return to the elite after twenty years for a former champion, and new hopes for a return to the top of the most trophy-winning club.
In recent seasons, the story of the Premier League has become the rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester City. Pep Guardiola's side has won four of the last five league titles, only one went to Liverpool.
Both teams made changes in their squads for the new season, and the big surprise is the fact that Manchester City earned more money than they spent for the first time. The difference is significant, revenue from the sale of players jumped to £133m, while £90m was spent. The impression is that the Citizens decided to get rid of players who were no longer in their plans, and they found a willing buyer in Arsenal, who brought two of those – Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko.
City strengthened two key positions, in the attack by bringing in Erling Haaland, and in midfield where Kalvin Phillips will command an important role.
After six successful years, Sadio Mané left Anfield. Liverpool reacted quickly by bringing in Darwin Núñez from Benfica for a club-record £71m.
Jurgen Klopp made only a minor adjustment in attack, Núñez is a different type of player compared to Mané, a central striker whose primary objective is to score goals.
The most important thing for Liverpool is that Mohamed Salah has finally signed a new contract and will spend the best years of his career at Anfield.
Man City: Erling Haaland, Kalvin Phillips
Liverpool: Darwin Nunez
New Chelsea owner Todd Boehly spend £155m on three key reinforcements – Raheem Sterling Kalidou Koulibaly and Marco Cucurella.
Attention should be paid to Arsenal, who after a long time finally spent money in the transfer window, bringing in the players that coach Mikel Arteta was looking for. Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and Fabio Vieira represent great optimism for the fans and hope for the fight for the title, something that has not happened at the Emirates for a long time.
Tottenham first resolved the issue of coach Antonio Conte's stay and then set about bringing in the players the Italian wanted. The most expensive player brought in was Richarlison, but the most important could be Ivan Perisic. The Croatian veteran arrived for free from Inter, where he played successfully under Conte's leadership. His fantastic physical predispositions, as well as the ability to cover the entire left side of the field, make him a key option for the Spurs team.
Manchester United frustrated their fans for a long time without bringing a single new player. Finally, Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen, and Lisandro Martinez arrived, but the main target remains Frenkie de Jong who does not want to leave Barcelona even though the Spanish club has already accepted an offer of £70m.
Alarmingly, United doesn't seem to have a plan B in case de Jong doesn't make it to Old Trafford.
Another important problem is the status of Cristiano Ronaldo, who only recently joined the team, and for weeks he has been trying to force a move to one of the clubs that will play in the Champions League. It seems United has decided to trust most of the players from last season.
Man Utd: Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia, Christien Eriksen
Chelsea: Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly
Arsenal: Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fabio Vieira
Tottenham: Richarlison, Yves Bisouma, Ivan Perisic
There is limited number of teams vying to fight for the Champions League places, but looking at the positions that lead to the Europa and the Conference League, respectively, clubs like West Ham and Newcastle will be in the fight, and Leicester also has aspirations in that direction, even though it is the only club that has not brought in a new player so far.
A lot of attention will be directed towards Newcastle, who got new owners a few months ago, but contrary to expectations, they are spending sparingly and budgeted in the current transfer window.
Nottingham Forest, which returned to the Premier League after twenty years, has big ambitions. The intention is to keep that status, and for this purpose, as many as 12 new players were brought in, so the team will have almost an entirely new team in the new season.
Newcastle: Sven Botman, Matt target, Nick Pope
Nottingham Forest: Taiwo Awoniyi, Neco Williams, Orel Mangala
West Ham: Gianluca Scamecca, Nayef Aguerd
The Premier League is increasingly getting a big difference in quality, especially when looking at the top and bottom of the table. Before the start of the season, one can conclude who will fight for the title, who will be close to that fight, and who will live in the vacuum between 8th and 18th position. However, some find it difficult to keep up with the teams from the middle of the table.
Speculating about the relegation battle, the usual suspects are Bournemouth, Fulham, Everton, and Brentford.
Everton narrowly avoided relegation to the Championship last season, and their ambitions in the new year have been drastically lowered. Richarlison was sold, and only James Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil were brought in for which compensation was not paid. The club is in serious financial trouble and the fight for survival will be extremely difficult.
Fulham, it seems, always has to be ready to fight for survival in the top division. They spend according to their means, and that is often not enough to stay in the Premier League. Bournemouth spent even less, only Marcus Tavernier was brought in from Middlesbrough, the club's management believes in a team that won promotion to the Premier League, but that could be a problem because of the quality of the Premier League is far ahead of the Championship.
Brentford is an isolated case here, it is a club that operates in a specific analytical way and that is how they bring in players. They spent £29m on Aaron Hickey and Keane Lewis-Potter but are without Christian Eriksen who moved to Manchester United.
Fulham: JoaoPalhinhia, Kevin Mbabu, Bernd Leno
Brentford: Aaron Hickey, Keane Lewis-Potter
Bournemouth: Marcus Tavernier