When the Premier League resumes in August, it will mark the beginning of a new era for many of the top clubs. New managers are taking charge at numerous clubs, with Antonio Conte joining Chelsea after impressing at Euro 2016 with his tactical nous for the Italian national side – as well as being a success previously at Juventus.
One of the most intriguing battles will take place in Manchester, where Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho renew their rivalry from their time in Spain at City and United respectively. The new television rights deal also comes into play, which will result in the unprecedented prospect of occasional matches on a Friday night slot. However, most strikingly it has meant that all clubs in the league will have massively increased funds for transfers.
It has already been apparent that clubs are prepared to spend big, with Manchester United leading the way by signing Eric Bailly from Villarreal for around £30m, whilst also adding Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to their ranks as Mourinho looks to win the club’s first league title since 2013, which was under Sir Alex Ferguson. Paul Pogba has been mooted with a return to the club for a world record fee, which would solve the lack of energy in their midfield.
Other major players linked with the Premier League include Alexandre Lacazzete, the French forward who plays for Lyon. Arsenal are reported to be considering a big-money bid for the pacey forward who has been prolific in recent seasons. He would also ease the burden on Olivier Giroud.
As well as Manchester United, other clubs have flexed their financial muscle and spent big this summer. Crystal Palace have surprisingly spent big fees on players like Andros Townsend from Newcastle United and Steve Mandanda from Marseille, whilst they have been linked with a big bid for Christian Benteke who plays for Liverpool but is unwanted by manager Jurgen Klopp.
Arsenal started their business earlier than last summer and signed Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach in order to add some bite to their midfield. He could be a key player to watch in the Premier League, and if Jack Wilshere can remain fit then they could provide one of the most exciting partnerships for many years. If Arsene Wenger’s side can become consistent throughout the season, then it could be their year as many rivals are in transition.