In the past the three seasons, the English Premier League champion has been the team with the most productive transfer window.
Last season, Chelsea signed world-class talent to address their problem areas. They needed a striker, so they signed Diego Costa. They needed a center midfielder, so they signed Cesc Fabregas. Then they added some depth by signing Loic Remy and Didier Drogba, and suddenly they were a preseason shoe-in for the Premier League title.
Similarly, the season before, it was Manchester City who did the most to address their issues in the summer transfer window. The signings of Alvaro Negredo, Stevan Jovetic, Fernandinho, Martin Demichelis, and Jesus Navas proved essential in their bid to win the league.
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Coupled with a new manager in Manuel Pellegrini, who was a calm persona in the midst of a turbulent campaign, they were definitely the team to beat to win the EPL title.
Finally, snatching Robin van Persie away from Manchester City's grasp during the summer transfer window was perhaps the turning point in Manchester United's title winning campaign in Sir Alex Ferguson's final year.
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The last trio of EPL Champions have all ruthlessly addressed their problem areas in the summer transfer window. However, as the new season draws near, there is yet to be a team who has addressed and fixed their problems.
Neither Manchester United, nor Arsenal, nor Liverpool, nor Chelsea, nor Manchester City have successfully strengthened their squad and addressed their problematic positions.
Manchester United, while spending considerable sums on Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Matteo Darmian, Memphis Depay, and Sergio Romero, have yet to address the most gaping hole in their squad: center back. Phil Jones and Daley Blind are hardly center backs that will win the league. They need at least two players before they can be considered a title winning team.
Arsenal have signed Petr Cech which takes care of the goalkeeping issues, however, they have yet to sign the world class striker and a holding midfielder that they so desperately need. Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud are not title winning forwards, and while Francis Coquelin has proved himself to be a good player, the need for depth at that position is crucial.
Liverpool are a myriad of problems. Roberto Firmino was the only world class talent they signed this summer, and many issues still remain. Christian Benteke was overpriced at 32.5 million pounds, and he is a risk signing. He can be either world class, or distinctly average. He's a streaky player, and Liverpool needs a more consistent goalscorer. In addition, Danny Ings will not solve their goals problem either. He is simply not good enough to match Liverpool's ambitions, and will end up just like Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert. They looked to be the weakest of the teams fighting for the top four.
Manchester City, just like the sides hitherto mentioned, have not strengthened their squad either. They have a glaring issue at center back, paid 8 million for Fabian Delph who is not good enough and will never play for them, and paid a ridiculous amount of money for Raheem Sterling. Let's face it, if Raheem Sterling was not British he would not be worth 10 million pounds. Philippe Coutinho was a much better player in last season's Liverpool squad. That said, I believe Sterling has a bright future at the club, but he is not going to be the player who leads Man City to domestic glory.
No clear favourites
So, that leaves us with last season's champions: Chelsea. A squad that is well balanced and does not seem to have any big problem areas. Except that the squad is not a deep squad. If Chelsea manages to make a decent run in their cup competitions, they will not have a deep enough squad to make a two front challenge.
Last season they seriously faded towards the end of the campaign, and that can be put down to the lack of depth in the team. While they have had the opportunity to strengthen, it seems curious that they have yet to. Last season they won a weak Premier League, and with fiercer competition this season it will be a mountainous task to ask of the same players to do it all again.
So with no clear favorite, that leaves us with a most exciting premier league campaign. Personally, my favorites are Manchester United, but that hinges on whether they can sing Pedro and a world class center back in the month that remains. Otherwise, it is hard to look past Jose Mourinho and Chelsea to win it again.
Either way, it's gonna be one great season.
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