Paul Stewart column: Liverpool are the likeliest challengers to Manchester City

Kepa Arrizabalaga

Kepa Arrizabalaga

They really look like they mean business, spending an very bad lot in the transfer window.

"You have to balance up with a quota of 25 for a Premier League and Champions League squad".

The Napoli playmaker was already linked to join the Premier League champions after an agreement had been reached by the club and the player, but only for the Brazilian to join Chelsea alongside Chelsea new manager, Maurizio Sarri as part of a deal. Victor Camarasa who has come in on loan, was a squad player at Real Betis which tells me he won't be a signing to be too happy about.

When all hope to land Boateng and Maguire was dashed, Manchester United turned their focus to highly experienced Atletico Madrid and Uruguay defender Godin.

Newly promoted clubs Wolves, Cardiff City and Fulham could, among the likes of Huddersfield, Southampton and Brighton, be considered among the candidates to be relegated at the end of the campaign.

It will seem odd not see the unmistakable figure of Arsene Wenger on the touchline for Arsenal.

United have endured a hard summer transfer window as they have tried and failed to sign a host of defensive targets, with Tottenham centre-back Toby Alderweireld and Leicester's Harry Maguire among the names on their wish-list. "To improve is to see the team play better and individual players get better, but opponents will be better".

Both Pogba and Rashford performed well, with Pogba's early goal and impressive performance of particular note, though it was Pereira - a player who has yet to truly break into the United side - who staked his claim for a place on the team sheet week in, week out.

His apparent "park the bus" attitude is not what they are used to and this may be his downfall.

Deloitte says that "since the introduction of the player transfer window system in January 2003, aggregate gross player transfer spending has exceeded £11.9 billion, with around 82% of this being spent in summer transfer windows".

Tottenham, who have achieved three consecutive top-three finishes under their highly regarded manager Mauricio Pochettino, are still paying for a lavish state-of-the-art new stadium estimated at over £800m and it would appear the mounting cost prevented the club splashing the cash on new players at the same time.

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