The Premier League race is wide open this season with several contenders eyeing a potential top four finish, whilst the so called ‘mid-table’ sides are performing way beyond everyone’s expectations.
Crystal Palace, Southampton and Leicester City are three of such teams, with the latter particularly impressing and currently joint leaders with Manchester City.
The reasons for such a shift in power in the Premier League can be attributed to several factors: financial management, pragmatic managers with the intent to play good, attacking football and intelligent dealings in the transfer window.
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Of the above three, though, the third has proven most relevant and instrumental in the mid-table insurgence.
Stoke City, West Ham and Palace stunned the world this summer by acquiring the talents of Xherdan Shaqiri, Dimitri Payet and Yohan Cabaye respectively despite interest from clubs of a bigger stature.
And whilst it's true that the mid-table teams have brought in some exceptional value additions, it is also down their reluctance to sell their best players that has seen such a meteoric rise.
Sadio Mane and John Stones remained at Southampton and Everton respectively despite several reports suggesting they would abandon their clubs in the hope of achieving trophies with the Premier League’s elite.
Chelsea reportedly had a £32 million bid for Stones rejected by the Toffees; similarly, the Senegalese striker Mane had his club snub a £20 million plus deal from Manchester United.
Such commitment and fidelity instilled by the clubs towards their players helps to build confidence as well. Players can play their game freely without being distracted by transfer rumours.
In the last few seasons, all too often we have seen upcoming players poached away by England's elite. The likes of Adam Lallana, Loic Remy and Wilfried Bony, but to name a few, left their clubs in the face of lucrative offers and struggled to replicate previous form.
Under current circumstances, it will prove very interesting to see what comes of Jamie Vardy's rise to stardom. The Englishman has a reported value of £30 million, with Chelsea and United both interested.
If Leicester can hold onto their prized asset, it would further bolster the change in powers that lesser clubs hold.