London, Wednesday @PeopleSports11
The new Premier League season finally gets underway on Friday night and the top six will resume their tussle to reign supreme once again.
Manchester City will be confident of retaining their title while Liverpool have strengthened well in the transfer market to boost their credentials. Arsenal and Chelsea go into the campaign under new managers as Manchester United and Tottenham’s lack of transfer activity may have already hampered their chances.
With just a few hours until the season begins, Sportsmail looks at the problems facing the ‘Big Six’ and whether they can correct any of them before the transfer window closes at 5pm today.
It is no secret that Chelsea are desperately lacking firepower. Maurizio Sarri has replaced Antonio Conte in the dugout and his system of high intensity, offensive play requires a dynamic front three. Something the Blues currently do not possess.
Alvaro Morata was particularly wasteful in the Community Shield but Sarri may see a chance to develop him, like he did with Dries Mertens at Napoli. Olivier Giroud is not mobile enough to play under the Italian and therefore another striker would be most welcome.
It remains to be seen whether Eden Hazard and Willian will be at the club once August 31 comes around but Sarri will surely consider sourcing replacements for both before Thursday night just in case.
Jose Mourinho’s frustration at United’s lack of summer spending plagued the club’s pre-season preparations and, with two days left to buy, they are no closer to welcoming any new faces.
Jerome Boateng was in talks over a move from Bayern Munich but he politely declined, while Leicester initially refused to sell Harry Maguire after his impressive World Cup. The Foxes have since moved closer to buying two new defenders though, which could possibly open the door for his exit.
Morale within the camp is desperately low. Mourinho has moaned about what he believes is a lack of depth in his squad as well and his relationship with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is strained.
And now Paul Pogba has also expressed a desire to leave for Barcelona with his agent trying to engineer the France international a move just two years after his £89m club-record arrival from Juventus.
This summer should have been one full of excitement for Spurs fans. A brand-new stadium, a highly-regarded manager and a host of key players tied down to new contracts is the stuff of dreams for supporters.
However, their lack of activity in the transfer market has raised serious questions though and Mauricio Pochettino is desperate for some new faces as he looks to mount an assault on the Premier League title. -AFP