The R18bn Premiership cash splash
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.
STAR SIGNING Swansea player Andre Ayew, who scored on debut, continues to find the back of the net