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Premier League Roundup – Gameweek 3 and Deadline Day Madness


After a remarkable transfer window, it’s easy to forget what happened on the pitch this weekend – but it revealed just why recruitment was so high this summer.

Last weekend, it may be fair to say that the on-field action was overshadowed. That’s a word often with negative connotations – like something seriously bad had occurred, but not in this
case, depending on your point of view. This transfer market was historic – with the two greatest players of this era both moving; a Premier League side the beneficiary of one of the
deals.

That is, of course, the one story to dominate the football headlines this week, and it involves the transfer of one of the game’s greatest ever to the club where he grew from a talent to a star. Elsewhere, the Tottenham transfer saga seems to have come to a close, with Harry Kane confirming on social media that he would be staying at White Hart Lane, and across the seas, Leo Messi finally played in another club’s jersey.

For Manchester United, Ronaldo shakes up the plans. He had not been on great terms with Juventus’ coaching staff towards the back-end of his spell: indeed being benched for the Bianconeri’s opening game of the season, before the various links away and the stunning day which saw him in talks with the blue half of Manchester in the morning, before being confirmed to have reached a deal with his former employer by the end.

Against Wolves, where events were of course overshadowed, some United fans indeed admitted that things could have gone worse. Conceding 15 shots, six on target, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer benefitted from the fact that Wolves have taken just shy of 60 attempts so far this season – putting none into the back of the net.

Ronaldo’s signing can only remedy oh-so-much; there’s valid cause to remember that for all of the near-guaranteed brilliance he will provide, it may only paper over the cracks in midfield.

Things didn’t start particularly well for Mikel Arteta, and despite the fact that Manchester City were indeed seriously tipped to get the victory, he still knows how timidly his side performed. Across the 90 minutes, the side took one shot and showed no desire to win the ball, allowing Ederson to take all the time on the ball he desired – which, for someone of his ball-playing
stature, was a dreadful mistake.

Indeed, on the ball, City were fluent and easy on the eye – with Jack Grealish assisting one goal before sauntering down to Leeds Festival to appear with Stormzy on stage; such jaunts are currently a long way from the mind of any Arsenal player.

The weekend in fact ended with the Gunners at the bottom of the table, with their nemeses Spurs sitting atop the perch. Spurs have spent too – most recently securing the signing of Emerson Royal from Barcelona, as the final day of the window has been marked with a flurry of window shopping. It will take plenty of time to see the impacts of buying (or, for some clubs like Liverpool, the notable lack thereof), so it is foolish to judge new signatures.

Arsenal have spent around £150 million, leaving them genuinely without excuse, while Spurs have kept their talisman, and Nuno Espirito Santo will be confident of putting the saga
behind him and allowing Kane to return to his well-known triumphant best.

Liverpool v Chelsea was a clash between the two sides who have both paid for just one player this season. Thomas Tuchel’s men splashed big on Romelu Lukaku, while Liverpool
shelled a conservative £36m on Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate – something that frustrated many Reds fans, as they felt that squad depth remained a serious issue up front
and in midfield. In fact, by the time this article had been drafted, Chelsea had recruited Saúl Ñiguez on loan, a testament to Marina Granovskaia’s determination to not let any potential
window of serious attraction pass them by.

 

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Chelsea showed real spirit after Reece James was sent off – defending valiantly while still chiselling out a few productive attacking shapes in the second half, while Jurgen Klopp’s side
were stifled in front of the Kop. The two German managers greeted each other happily at the end of the proceedings, a handshake and hug full of similar ambition and philosophy, albeit
with different bankrolls.

In fact, the last of the three managers from the great European nation may be feeling frustrated. Daniel Farke likely knew that his side were likely to open with defeats when their nasty opening run of matches was announced, but against Leicester had their chances, especially with their pacey right-back Ricardo forced off after just five minutes. Recruits such as Billy Gilmour, Josh Sargent and Milot Rashica will know that to overcome the odds and beat relegation will be a challenge, but there are already signs it’s far from impossible.

This window was another flex of not only the top six’s muscle, but that of the Premier League in general. Recruitment was widespread across the division – talent pouring in across the table. Foreign players new and sometimes old will be keen to make inroads, and domestic talent taking their steps up should mean that this year’s table gets very congested.

This article was written by Shivam Pathak. To check out their other work click here or you can leave them a comment below.

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