The Premier League season is over, the transfer window is open for business and England's traditional top sides are set to jockey again for premium talent entering the 2020-2021 campaign.
While the top four was occupied by the usual suspects (Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea), the likes of Leicester City and Wolves ensured that it wasn't just a straight processional to all of the league's European places for the group known as the "Big Six." The richest six clubs in the land (per Deloitte's Football Money League) did all eventually wind up securing European places, with Arsenal, despite an eighth-place finish, winning the FA Cup to book a Europa League berth.
The added fixtures and trophy ambitions mean all will be retooling to some degree–and some have already taken significant steps forward in preparation for next season. The financial complications brought on by the coronavirus pandemic could surely play a role in the levels of spending, though not all are severely impeded or hindered.
Here's how all six clubs figure to be approaching the summer transfer window, a unique and extended one that runs through Oct. 5 due to the effects of the pandemic on the league's operations (in reverse order of 2019-2020 finish):
Arsenal capped a frenetic season by winning the FA Cup and showing signs of a plan developing under new manager Mikel Arteta. What are the areas the club must address in order to use the conclusion of this past season as a building block and not have it become a fleeting memory in another lost campaign? (READ MORE)
Mauricio Pochettino warned Tottenham of stagnating and urged for investment in the squad. Long after his departure, the same points hold, except Jose Mourinho's style differs greatly from his and requires a significant overhaul–all for a club that needs to be mindful of its finances due to its new stadium costs and the massive loss of revenue due to the pandemic. Who might Spurs be able to target to move forward? (READ MORE)
Chelsea has already landed Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner and has another attacking standout in its sights. The Blues have maneuvered for a big splash after riding out the wave of its transfer ban and witnessing the growth of some young, in-house talents, appearing to go all-in on the quest to return to the top. (READ MORE)
The arrival of Bruno Fernandes tied Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side together. Now, with a Fernandes-Paul Pogba midfield axis to build around and an exciting front line, there's reason for optimism at Old Trafford. Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho appears to be the chief target, but he isn't even really what United needs. Who could ensure the Red Devils become contenders again? (READ MORE)
For a club as dynamic and sensational at Man City, it has a penchant for being picked off on the counter. Ferran Torres has already joined, while Leroy Sane has left for Bayern Munich and David Silva is heading elsewhere. What else may be in the mix for Pep Guardiola, whose style demands a specific kind of player? (READ MORE)
Climbing the ladder like Liverpool has to win trophies on multiple fronts is certainly not easy. Maintaining that level of elite form could prove to be even more difficult. The core nucleus may not be in need of an immediate refresh, but there are clear needs to address to ensure that the club's success is sustained. (READ MORE)