A reduced pre-season is flying by with a fresh campaign starting soon. Manchester United are again slow in the transfer market as they trail market movers Chelsea.
A strange feeling sets up when I reflect on the pre-season given the Champions League final happened almost a week ago. But then, here we are again ready to jump-head into the 2020/21 season.
The squeezed football calendar is as a result of a coronavirus attack that triggered football postponement. This means all games across Europe finds itself in deep waters that they must surge ahead in order to return to a semblance of normality.
So far, we have witnessed clubs splashing money like never before to secure top-potential players while others standstill.
As such, Chelsea means serious business. Lampard is unleashing the checkbook following a successful debut season with a teenage-Chelsea side. Certainly, the Englishman has not wasted any time.
Following the transfer ban expiration, the Blues are dominating the market and acquiring the best talents. Chelsea has on its side the world’s most exciting strikers Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech, Thiago Silva, Malang Sarr, and the playmaker Kai Havertz.
Looking upon Arsenal, Arteta looks fearless since taking to the dugout despite the daunting task in the Emirates stadium.
The former Arsenal captain has worked with the raw materials, turning the club into a possession-conscious side with an instinct to play on the counter.
As witnessed, this bore fruits in the FA Cup before the efficient play that squeezed out the win against Liverpool in the Community Shield.
Arteta has now made the move to bring Willian on board. The Spaniard is set to raise funds in order to make more signings before the October 6th deadline.
Moving on to Manchester United, it’s now 12 months since Solskjaer’s side found themselves treading water in the transfer market. The club was linked with big names but signed nobody.
It was only in the dying stages of the 2019 summer window that United closed a record deal to sign Harry Maguire. The club waited until January to clinch a move for Bruno Fernandes.
This summer, the club has appeased fans by signing Ajax star Donny Van de Beek. But still, there is a strong sensation of de-ja vu.
The club has already angered Borussia Dortmund by missing their specifically set deadline to sign Jadon Sancho, and will not meet the £108m price tag… yet.
United could well have another Maguire situation, whereby they indeed meet the fee targets at the 11th hour.
As the old adage goes, there is no time like the present. It’s time somebody reminded the Red Devils of that.