With less than two weeks until the Premier League kicks-off, managers around the league are scrambling to sign their desired signings before the resumption of action on the 8th of August.
Louis Van Gaal and Brendan Rodgers have strengthened their Manchester United and Liverpool squads in an attempt to improve on their respective 4th and 6th place finishes last season.
Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero has become the latest signing in Van Gaal’s revolution at Old Trafford.
The 63-year-old former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager has stated that he is still in search of a marquee signing though. Speculation has surfaced that the marquee player could be Cristiano Ronaldo.
In an interview on Sunday with the Press Association in the United States on Manchester United’s pre-season tour, Van Gaal admitted that a return to Old Trafford for the the Portuguese superstar might not be out of the question.
“I make an exception for Ronaldo. He is a fantastic, fantastic player but he knows that. I like him.”
Despite this, a move for Ronaldo appears unlikely. But Van Gaal has made a number of impressive buys so far this summer. Memphis Depay was bought from PSV Eindhoven at end of last season and will certainly add pace and flair to the United attack.
The midfield duo of Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger, have been acquired for a combined £39million to establish greater depth in the squad on United’s return to the Champions League. Matteo Darmian has also been added to bolster defensive options.
Rumours have persisted of a move for Thomas Muller and Pedro to add balance to the strike force of Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and youngster James Wilson.
Van Gaal has laid down a marker with an impressive series of signings which look set to aid The Red Devils in their quest to wrestle the title from the grip of Chelsea next season. A further striking option may be necessary though to ensure the Dutchman’s side have to the firepower to compete with Jose Mourinho’s men.
Down the East Lancs road in Liverpool, Van Gaal’s counterpart Brendan Rodgers has been equally as busy. Roberto Firmino has arrived from Hoffenheim for £21.5million while top target Christian Benteke has joined him in the Reds attack after his £32.5million move from Aston Villa.
Firmino is somewhat of an unknown prospect but his 49 goals in 153 appearances for the German side suggest the 23-year-old Brazil international could fire Rodgers side back into the top four. Benteke is an even more appetising prospect for Liverpool fans as they have witnessed the Belgian average nearly a goal every two games in his three seasons at Villa Park.
Extra quality has also been added in the form of Danny Ings, Nathaniel Clyne, Joe Gomez, Adam Bogdan and James Milner with the former Man City man expected to act as a direct replacement for Steven Gerrard.
The sheer quantity and quality of signings at Anfield has sent out a message to the rest of the Premier League that the Reds are intent on making ground on their rivals.
The goals of Benteke and Firmino might just be enough for the five times European Champions to squeeze back into the Champions League at the cost of Man City who rely heavily on Sergio Aguero. Raheem Sterling will be under pressure to perform also after his £50million pound move from Anfield too.
Manuel Pellegrini has failed to add defensive cover after they were was exposed at the back in the Premier League and Champions League last season. The Chilean will need to spend money in this area before the transfer deadline or face repeating the mistakes of last term.
Jose Mourinho has said he is happy with his Chelsea side after the arrivals of Radamel Falcao and Asmir Begovic as squad players. Arsenal appear to be similarly happy with their group of players with only the sole addition of Petr Cech who has been bought in an attempt to solve their goalkeeping conundrum.
While Manchester United and Liverpool have made attempts to close the gap to the top with their haul of arrivals, sides expected to be at the foot of the table have also been investing in a quantity of signings.
Bournemouth have come up from the Championship as the surprise package in their first ever venture in the Premier and the question is can they defy all the odds to stay in the Premier League beyond their first season?
So far, they’ve signed seven players including the £8million acquisition of Tyrone Mings from Ipswich Town. Artuc Boruc and Sylvin Distin have also joined the south coast club to add experience but it might not be enough to save their status in the top flight.
Elsewhere, West Brom have only made one acquisition in the form of Irish winger James McLean. Extra signings will be necessary or Tony Pulis’ side could face a tough season with nine players from last season having moved on.
Watford will make their return to the top flight and could lift themselves to safety after the shrewd signings of Etienne Capoue from Tottenham and Swiss international Valon Behrami.
Sunderland have teetered around the drop zone in recent seasons and with the signing of defenders Younes Kaboul and Sebastian Coates their only significant arrivals so far they could finally find themselves out of luck this season. After only 31 goals in the league last season, re-enforcements in attack will be required if the Mackems are to stave off relegation.
Last season’s Play-Off winners Norwich could also face a tough season as they have only made two signings in Graham Dorrans and Youssuf Mulumbu from West Brom. Bringing in established Premier League talent will be the aim of manager Alex Neil before the close of the transfer window.
Premier League Predicted Top 5 2015/16:
1. Manchester united
5. Man City
Premier League Predicted Bottom 5 2015/16
16. West Bromwich Albion