Premier League clubs flex their muscles in summer window as Chelsea bulk up best

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 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

By the time the most remarkable of transfer windows shut on Tuesday night, Chelsea were left with a squad built to win the Premier League title — and still spent less than rock-bottom Arsenal.

Champions of Spain and Italy were added to the champions of Europe, with Blues boss Thomas Tuchel left in no doubt of the expectations on him in his first full season in charge.

In Barcelona, a talent drain of historic proportions played out until the last moments of an excruciating summer for one of the world’s biggest clubs.

That is of little concern to Chelsea, although the calamitous mismanagement of Barca, losing Lionel Messi for free and Antoine Griezmann at an enormous financial loss, while requiring remaining players to take a pay cut, only confirms the folly of England’s top clubs being prepared to get into bed with them in the European Super League.

The Premier League goes from strength to strength, with Jack Grealish becoming the first £100million British footballer, Romelu Lukaku coming in at just shy of that figure and Cristiano Ronaldo making a sensational return to Manchester United.

Even Tottenham’s ability to resist Manchester City’s pursuit of Harry Kane was a show of strength from a club that finished seventh last season.

 (Manchester United via Getty Imag)
(Manchester United via Getty Imag)

It is Chelsea, though, who look primed to reassert their dominance, with the late signing of Saul Niguez prompting Marina Granovskaia to talk of a five-pronged trophy assault.

This summer has been the continuation of a spectacular recruitment drive from Roman Abramovich that began last year and has already delivered the Champions League. The signings of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy last season meant it was just a case of fine-tuning this time around.

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Lukaku is the top-class centre forward they lacked, and given City’s failure to address the same issue, the Belgian could be the difference in the title race.

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that City have allowed Chelsea and United to steal a march on them during their failed pursuit of Kane. 

While the champions were left running down the blind alley of trying to buy a player Spurs had no intention of selling, they watched three of the most prolific strikers in world football head elsewhere.

The addition of Messi, Ronaldo or Lukaku would surely have left City untouchable once more. Instead, two of them headed to direct rivals and the other to Paris Saint-Germain, who they meet in the Champions League.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Grealish is a wonderful talent and will decorate a star-studded line-up, but was he really what City needed?

Lukaku filled a problem position for Chelsea and immediately adds a new dimension to the European champions.

Saul was more of a ‘want’ than a ‘need’ but he adds more top-quality depth to a squad stacked in every department.

Director Granovskaia’s use of the word “complete” last night was telling. Chelsea’s focused spending over the past two summers has put them in the position to break City’s dominance.

United’s recruitment was, objectively, the most spectacular — signing one of the brightest young talents in Jadon Sancho, one of the finest defenders of his generation in Raphael Varane and one of the game’s greats in Ronaldo.

But doubts over manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will remain until he brings in silverware at Old Trafford.

There are no such concerns over Tuchel — and no excuses after being handed a squad built to be the best.

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