The R18bn Premier­ship cash splash

CityPress - - Sport -

The new Premier League cam­paign is now in full swing and we’ve seen a num­ber of up­sets in the open­ing four fix­tures, as well as some eye­catch­ing per­for­mances by play­ers new to the com­pe­ti­tion.

Fol­low­ing a sum­mer of heavy in­vest­ment that saw English clubs spend a record-break­ing £870 mil­lion (R18.29 bil­lion) on player pur­chases, Eng­land’s top flight now ap­pears to be more com­pet­i­tive than ever.

This has been ev­i­dent from the first game, where Ar­se­nal suf­fered a shock 2-0 de­feat to West Ham United at the Emi­rates Sta­dium, while Chelsea were held to a 2-2 draw by Swansea at Stam­ford Bridge.

Manch­ester City ap­pear to have done some re­ally good busi­ness. Last year’s run­ners-up spent close to £150 mil­lion over the past month, bring­ing in Fabian Delph, Ra­heem Ster­ling, Ni­colás Ota­mendi and Kevin De Bruyne.

Chelsea, on the other hand, have made ques­tion­able pur­chases in the form of Radamel Fal­cao and Papy Djilo­bodji. How­ever, they did add some no­table qual­ity af­ter bring­ing in Pe­dro from Barcelona and Ghana in­ter­na­tional Baba Rah­man from Ger­man out­fit Augs­burg. Liver­pool spent big again, bring­ing in Chris­tian Ben­teke, James Mil­ner and Roberto Firmino. They will need to fire on all cylin­ders if they are to break into the top four and se­cure a Cham­pi­ons League place. Ar­se­nal’s sup­port­ers make for some of the most frus­trated fans in the league af­ter man­ager Arsène Wenger brought in just one new player, Petr Čech, from Chelsea.

Manch­ester United have also in­vested heav­ily. The ad­di­tion of 19year-old An­thony Mar­tial for an ini­tial fee of £36 mil­lion has done lit­tle to as­sure the club’s sup­port­ers the goals-for col­umn will not be a prob­lem this sea­son. How­ever, they have also made some shrewd ac­qui­si­tions, most no­tably at right back, where Mat­teo Darmian has put in some won­der­ful per­for­mances thus far.

While it is cur­rently too early to make an ac­cu­rate pre­dic­tion, Manch­ester City do look to be in im­pe­ri­ous form early on and are cur­rently the book­ies’ favourites for the ti­tle. Chelsea and Manch­ester United should se­cure Cham­pi­ons League football for next sea­son, while Ar­se­nal and Liver­pool face some stern op­po­si­tion in their bat­tle for the fourth Cham­pi­ons League berth.

PHOTO: STU FORSTER/GETTY IM­AGES

STAR SIGN­ING Swansea player An­dre Ayew, who scored on de­but, con­tin­ues to find the back of the net

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.