Just as soon as the 2019-20 English Premier League season ended, the 2020-21 season kicked off.
With just over a month between the final game of the 2019-20 season, and the start of the 2020-21 season, teams around the English Premier League didn't have much time to make changes to their roster. To accommodate for the shorter offseason, the transfer window was kept open for almost a month after the kickoff of the new season. While some teams made huge splashes while the transfer window was open, others were left wanting more when the transfer window slammed shut.
We'll start at the top of the Premier League. Liverpool didn't make many moves during the transfer window, but the Reds did make one of the splashiest, bringing in midfielder Thiago Alcantara from German giants Bayern Munich. Thiago is one of the top midfielders in the world, and should be a fixture in Liverpool's lineup once Alcantara has recovered from battling COVID-19. Liverpool was able to fend off Barcelona for Alcantara's services, as the Spaniard is looking for a new challenge.
Also joining Thiago at Liverpool is Diogo Jota, who spent the last three years at Wolverhampton, netting 33 goals. Jurgen Klopp has plenty of options at forward with Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mane. The acquisition of Jota will only bolster one of the most potent attacks in the Premier League.
Chelsea striker Timo WernerJavier Garcia/BPI/REX
The Pensioners were able to bring in their top transfer targets, rounding out a squad that was already one of the most dangerous in the Premier League. The biggest signing by the Blues was of Leipzig striker Timo Werner, who netted 77 goals in 126 appearances over the last four years. The addition of Werner will help sure up production from the striker position for Chelsea, which saw Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud combine for 23 goals last year.
The biggest issue for Chelsea lately has been with their defense. To try and address their backline issues, the Blues brought in Thiago Silva from PSG and Ben Chilwell from Leicester City. While Silva is 36 years old, he is still one of the best central defenders in the world. After scoring just four goals in 99 league caps for Leicester City, Chilwell already found the back of the net in his first start for Chelsea on October 3.
The most important move for Chelsea during the transfer window was bringing in goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. Kepa Arrizabalaga has been a disappointment since taking over for the departed Thibault Courtois, saving just 53.9% of the shots on target he has faced. Mendy already notched a clean sheet in his first start for Chelsea a couple weeks ago against Crystal Palace.
Early on in the transfer window it looked like Manchester City was going to make a giant splash by bringing in Barcelona's Lionel Messi, but the best soccer player in the world changed his mind and decided to stay in Spain. The Citizens tried to bolster their defense by bringing in Nathan Ake from relegated Bournemouth, as well as Ruben Dias from Benfica. Mostly set when it comes to their attacking, the only notable addition to the offense was forward Ferran Torres from cash-strapped Valencia.
The Gunners must have not been too broken up by finishing eighth in the Premier League last year, since they didn't do much to address their squad during the transfer window. Aside from bringing in Chelsea's Willian on a free transfer, the only other notable moves by Arsenal were to get young defender Gabriel from Lille and defensive midfielder Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid. We'll soon find out where Mikel Arteta's team stands, as their next three matches are against Manchester City, Leicester City, and Manchester United.
After finishing sixth last season, Tottenham has their eyes on a Champions League spot this year. Not only did Spurs bring back Gareth Bale on loan from Real Madrid, but Jose Mourinho was also able to sign left back Sergio Reguilon from the Spanish giants. Tottenham just dropped six goals on Manchester United before the international break. If Spurs are able to improve their defense after allowing 47 goals last season, they could be a major factor in the Premier League this year.
The team who has to be most disappointed with their haul during the transfer period has to be Manchester United. It's not a secret that the Red Devils were hot after Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho, but they weren't able to bring Sancho in. Instead, United had to settle for Donny van de Beek from Ajax and an aging Edison Cavani. It could be a long season for the Red Devils, who not only lost to Crystal Palace and Tottenham by a combined score of 9-2, but also needed a Bruno Fernandes penalty 10 minutes into second half stoppage time to defeat Brighton & Hove Albion.
Everton midfielder James RodriguezAlex Livesey - Getty Images
The most shocking storyline of the young season has been the play of Everton, who have won all four of their matches so far. James Rodriguez was brought in on a free transfer from Real Madrid, and all Rodriguez has done so far is score three goals. After playing sporadically with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich since the 2014 World Cup, where he became known as one of the best young stars in the game, the Colombian is eager to remind the world just how talented he is.
Along with the acquisition of Rodriguez, a move that was just as big for the Toffees was the loan deal to bring in Roma goalie Robin Olsen. Despite being England's starting keeper in the 2018 World Cup, Jordan Pickford hasn't been very good over the last few years. After allowing over 50 goals last year, Everton knew they had to make a move to try and light a fire under Pickford, and the addition of Olsen could do just that.
Everton has been the biggest surprise in this young season, Aston Villa is right on their heels. Aston Villa finished just one point clear of relegation last season, but so far is perfect through three matches. There might not be a more unpredictable result this year than what the Lions did to Liverpool right before the international break, torching the Reds 7-2 at Villa Park. Propelling Villa to the incredible result was Ollie Watkins, who netted a hat trick, becoming the first player to record a hat trick against Liverpool since Dimitar Berbatov did so for Manchester United a decade ago. Watkins was brought in on a transfer from Brentford.
One of the more under-the-radar moves this season could end up being the acquisition of goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez from Arsenal. Martinez recorded clean sheets in his first two matches of the season for Aston Villa, becoming the first Villa goalie to record back-to-back clean sheets since Brad Guzan in 2014. If Martinez is able to continue his solid start, Villa will be fighting for a spot in Europe instead of battling to avoid relegation.
It was locked up. A done deal. Over.
Within all reasonable expectations of how a football game should and could end, we were on the verge of Miller Time. Instead, as gamblers, we faced heartbreak. Agony. Torture. Defeat. Tickets, once as golden as Charlie's to the Wonka factory, now as worthless as the paper they were printed on.
Obviously, I'm talking about Sunday night's wonky, ass backwards, very no-good game between the Seahawks and the Cardinals. Let this article serve as a postmortem and an exorcism.
As Ferris Bueller might say: The world of sports moves pretty fast.
If you don't stop and look around at least once a week, you could miss it. Here we'll review what you might have missed in the past week all in one place. Why spend hours scrolling through Twitter to catch up on the news you want? We've already done that for you, so remember to check back every Monday to get your dose of weekly sports review.
Week 6 Vibe Check (2-3) This past week offered us a worthy entry into the Bad Beat Hall of Losers.
A brutal 22 point fourth quarter by the Eagles killed an easy -7.5 point cover by the Ravens, who haven't quite looked as dominant as we expected them to heading into this season. Meanwhile, the Panthers and Packers decided to make my big sweeping proclamations that Carolina's good and the Tampa Bay Bucs are bad look very silly.
As for my two wins, they were decent nail biters, too. The Titans, thanks to some creative coaching, managed to secure us a cover with a King Henry wildcat TD and the Chiefs showed us all a different dimension they have to crush people, their running game. This kept the game a little closer than most would've liked, but imagine adding Le'Veon Bell to this team. Yeah, start checking Super Bowl futures.