By Preye Campbell
Nothing feels better than what you get when you realise that the English Premier League action is back!
In what has been categorised by many as a weird year, one thing that remains normal is the excitement that our favourite teams are about to take the central stage on our screens once again.
The 2020/21 English Premier League season will kick-off on Saturday, the 12th day in September 2020.
A virus-hit 2019/20 campaign halted the league-and all other football activities in March before things were returned to normalcy in May.
‘Normalcy’ actually means that fans are not allowed to watch games in stadia and various safety precautions must be performed before, during, and after every sporting event. So far so good, the new season is set to start that way.
Still, with the return of the Premier League comes the major focus of football’s talking point and the impact of the virus has not completely rubbed off the beauty of the league. That said, an unusual transfer window has served as the fuel to what is expected to be a super season. London giants Chelsea have flexed their financial muscle in the transfer market a little too well. The recent agreement with French Ligue 1 goalkeeper, Edouard Mendy is the latest in the line of jaw-breaking deals for Frank Lampard’s men. The Blues have already acquired Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Malang Sarr and German prodigy Kai Havertz to their ranks, showing that the Stamford Bridge outfit are already issuing a warning to the big guns ahead of the next season.
While Chelsea may have had the best of this transfer window, other clubs in the ‘big six’ and those outside it- noticeably Everton- have made good deals as well to serve us with the best of football.
Noticeable in that regard is the red-half of North London. Arsenal look like a club ready to come out of the shadows for the first time since 2004 and under manager Mikel Arteta, hope hangs in the air at the Emirates stadium. The Gunners won the FA Cup and the Community Shield trophies within the space of a month and have been active in this transfer window- pulling off deals for Brazilian pair Willian and Gabriel, as well as extending the stay of Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos for another season. Arsenal are still tipped to make more signings, having been linked with moves for Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey and RB Leipzig defender, Dayot Upamecano.
It is quite a quiet transfer window in Manchester. City and United have already made a few signings, with Ferran Torres and Nathan Ake joining the Cityzens while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer captured Donny Van De Beek last week. Both clubs are still actively involved in the transfer market, with United in particular still in the middle of long-standing interest for former City player Jadon Sancho.
Reigning champions Liverpool have been quiet as well. Jurgen Klopp is still assessing his options as he prepares for a very important season- defending the league title. And the Reds have been continually linked with a move for Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago.
The other side of Merseyside are in a good transfer mood, however, with Everton already securing deals for three players, including Colombian star James Rodriguez.
Jose Mourinho is still in the market with his Tottenham Hotspur side, after already securing midfielder Pierre-Emille Hojbjerg from Southampton.
The transfer window is still on till October 5th and clubs are expected to add quality to their squads before then.
But for now, we shift attention to the return of the Premier League.