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Transfer takeaways: United, Arsenal spend big to stay in touch with Man City, Liverpool

Shail Desai

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Harry Maguire has become the most expensive defender in the world after signing for Manchester United.

Mumbai: There couldn’t have been a better season opener for Liverpool, given their 4-1 over Norwich City as the Premier League kicked off on Friday. One look though at the transfer business of the two sides and the contrast is telling. current sports news football news

Man City began their title defence with aplomb, thumping West Ham 5-0. Norwich on the other hand, battled it out in the Championship, eventually finishing atop the table to earn a promotion to top flight after three years.Liverpool finished second in the league last year behind Manchester City by a single point. Their tally of 97 points was the most scored by a team without winning the league, though they quite showed the promise in-store by winning the Champions League after making their second consecutive final.

But as the transfer window came to a close, a look at their indulgence this season makes for an intriguing narrative. With their core intact, Liverpool registered the second-lowest spending on new signings at £4.4m – former West Ham goalkeeper, Adrian being the only known name coming in – while Norwich were at their stingiest best, spending the least at £1.1m. current sports news football news

For the rest though, it’s quite evident that desperate times call for desperate measures. Manchester United, beginning brightly with a resounding 4-0 victory over Chelsea, made the most of the £73m they earned while offloading striker Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan, strengthening their defence with the signing of Leicester City’s Harry Maguire for a cool £80m – the highest transfer recorded in the English Premier League this season – and Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace at £50m. current sports news football news

The fee made Maguire the most expensive defender in the world, surpassing the £76m that Liverpool spent on Virgil van Dijk last season. In all, the Red Devils spent the most among the English clubs at £148m.

What comes as a surprise are the dealings of newly promoted side, Aston Villa, who made as many as 12 new signings – Club Brugge’s Brazilian striker Wesley was their highest spending at £22m – to stand up to the big boys. Their billing of £144.5m raised a few eyebrows and was the second-highest spending in the league.

Arsenal fans finally had something to cheer about after the club whipped up the second-highest transfer fee in England and a club record of £72m on Lille winger, Nicolas Pepe, besides roping in defender William Saliba from St-Etienne (£27m). current sports news football news

On deadline day, they added Celtic left back, Kieran Tierney (£25m) and Chelsea centre back, David Luiz (£8m) to their roster. The Gunners will have a fresh look to their squad after the departure of Aaron Ramsey (to Juventus, free transfer), Petr Cech (retired), Danny Welbeck (released), Stephan Lichtsteiner (released), David Ospina (to Napoli, £3.1m), Laurent Koscielny (to Bordeaux, undisclosed) and Alex Iwobi (to Everton, £34m). Only time will tell if the new unit will gel together to better their fifth-placed finish from last season.

Across North London, Tottenham Hotspur fans were in raptures after the club finished runners-up in the Champions League last season and also made their first singing in the summer since January 2018.

Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele was first picked up for the third-highest transfer fee of a whopping £63.8 million, after which, midfielder, Giovani lo Celso was roped in on loan and Fulham winger Ryan Sessegnon was signed for £25m in the final hours before the window closed. current sports news football news

However, questions still remain over a potential departure of instrumental playmaker, Christian Eriksen, while disappointments remain at what could have been had Argentine striker, Paulo Dybala made a move from Juventus.

After winning the league title by the skin of their teeth last season, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola left no stone unturned in calling for backup, bringing on board defensive midfielder, Rodri from Atletico Madrid for £62.5m and Joao Cancelo from Juventus for £60m, making them the fourth and fifth-highest singings in the league, respectively.

Skipper Vincent Kompany made a move to his boyhood club, Anderlecht, as a player-manager and on a free transfer, while Danilo was sent over to Juventus as a swap for Cancelo.

It’s Everton manager Marco Silva who has indulged in some modest yet shrewd signings for the season ahead, roping in promising young strikers in Alex Iwobi from Arsenal (£34m) and Moise Kean from Juventus (£25m), besides midfielders Andre Gomes from Barcelona (£22m) and Jean-Philippe Gbamin from Mainz (£25m) and old horse, Fabian Delph from Man City (£8.5m). current sports news football news

With a transfer ban imposed on Chelsea for the next two windows, new manager, Frank Lampard, had to first deal with the ordeal of losing his midfield orchestrator, Eden Hazard, to Real Madrid for a transfer fee of £88.5m that is speculated to rise to about £130m. Others to depart were striker Alvaro Morata (to Atletico Madrid, £50m), Gary Cahill (released), David Luiz (to Arsenal, £8m) and Danny Drinkwater (Burnley, on loan).

The only solace Lampard can take is from the permanent signing of Mateo Kovacic for £40m, who was on loan from Real Madrid last season. And of course, the surplus of £173.2m that he now has at his disposal for the future.

There have been a few teary reunions as well, with Jay Rodriguez returning to Burnley and Andy Carroll moving to Newcastle – the latter, a club-record signing at Liverpool in 2011.

The other leagues in Europe have some time on hand before the transfer window shuts on them. But a few took little time in snapping up some young guns. Atletico Madrid academy product, Lucas Hernandez, was signed by Bayern Munich for £68m, making him the third-most expensive defender in the world as things stand, while last season’s Ajax sensation, Matthijs de Ligt, is at No. 4 after Juventus splurged £67.8m on him as the successor to lead their defence in the future. current sports news football news

And after weeks of drama, Atletico Madrid’s charismatic striker, Antoine Griezmann made his move to Barcelona for £107.5m. In addition, the Catalan club strengthened their midfield with the signing of midfielder Frenkie De Jong from Ajax for £65m. current sports news football news

Their rivals Real Madrid finally landed their target Hazard, besides highly rated young striker Luka Jovic, and defenders Ferland Mendy and Eder Militao.

In the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich picked up Frenchman Benjamin Pavard and striker Fiete Arp, besides Hernandez, and await the hopeful signing of Leroy Sane from Man City. Their rivals Borussia Dortmund did quick business to rope in defender Nico Schulz and attacking midfielders Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard, besides their old boy, Mats Hummels from Bayern. current sports news football news

Over in Italy, Juventus brought back veteran goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon from Paris St-Germain, and signed Adrien Rabiot and former Arsenal midfielder Ramsey. Napoli’s signing of centre back Kostas Manolas, and Roma’s buy of midfielder Leonardo Spinazzola were other key buys for the contenders. current sports news football news

In all, Premier League clubs spent a mammoth £1.41 billion in the summer according to Deloitte, with £170m spent on deadline day alone on 18 deals. Ten clubs smashed their transfer records along the way, with Newcastle United doubling their spending on Joelinton (£40m), as compared to what they had spent on Miguel Almiron (£20m) in earlier this year. current sports news football news

Aston Villa had the highest net spending of £144.5m, followed by Arsenal (£82.5m), Man City (£76.7m), Man United (£74m) and Spurs (£71.8m). On the other hand, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Liverpool were the only clubs to record net profits. current sports news football news

Given how things panned out this week, it’s safe to say that Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp’s got one big smile on his face these days.

CLUBS WITH DEEP POCKETS

Man United £148m, Aston VIlla £144.5m, Arsenal £138m, Man City £134.8m, Everton £118.5m

EPL’S MONEY SPINNERS

Harry Maguire Leicester to Man United £80m

Nicolas Pepe Lille to Arsenal £72m

Tanguy Ndombele Lyon to Spurs £63.8m

Rodri Atletico to Man City £62.5m

Joao Cancelo Juventus to Man City £60

RECORD TRANSFER FEES

ARSENAL – Previous: Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, £55m, New: Nicolas Pepe, £72m

ASTON VILLA – Previous: Darren Bent, £18m, New: Wesley, £22m

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION – Previous: Alireza Jahanbakhsh, £17m, New: Neil Maupay and Adam Webster, £20m

LEICESTER CITY – Previous: Islam Slimani, £30m, New: Youri Tielemans, £40.5m

MANCHESTER CITY – Previous: Riyad Mahrez, £60m, New: Rodri, £62.5m

NEWCASTLE UNITED – Previous: Miguel Almiron, £20m, New: Joelinton, £40m

SHEFFIELD UNITED – Previous: Lys Mousset, £10m, New: Oli McBurnie, £17.5m

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR – Previous: Davinson Sanchez, £42m, New: Tanguy Ndombele, £63.8m

WATFORD – Previous: Andre Gray, £18.5m, New: Ismaila Sarr, £30m

WEST HAM UNITED – Previous: Felipe Anderson, £36m, New: Sebastien Haller, £45m