Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale

Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

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.



Liverpool

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

Chelsea striker Timo Werner 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.

Manchester City

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.

Arsenal

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.

Tottenham

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.

Manchester United

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 Rodriguez Everton midfielder James RodriguezAlex Livesey - Getty Images

Everton

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.

Aston Villa

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.

Paul George grabbing a rebound in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals

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In a must win game for the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George was finally able to look like the best player on the floor in a playoff game.

After a slow start, George poured it on in the second half on his way to a game high 41 points in Game 5. The performance elevated the Clippers over strong outings from the likes of Devin Booker and Chris Paul as L.A. outlasted Phoenix 116-102.

The Clippers don't have much time to bask in their win however as they have to turn around and play two more elimination games just to make it out of the West. The Suns jumped out to a 3-1 series lead as Los Angeles struggled to find their identity without Kawhi Leonard. If the Clippers are to stave off elimination any longer, George has to continue this level of play.

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Offense being the key word here.

Simmons is an all-world defender possessing the ability to guard virtually any opponent on the court from the perimeter to the rim. But it was his lack of offensive help throughout this playoff season that stood out beyond any accomplishments this year. Simmons joined Rudy Gobert as unanimous selections for the NBA's All-Defensive First Team this year and also finished fifth in the NBA in assists per game with 8.8 per contest.

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The Lakers looked lost in the Valley

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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LeBron James LeBron looking on during Game 5Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Two numbers stick out in the Game 5 loss for the Lakers and those are 34.5 and 12. Los Angeles shot 34.5% from the field on Tuesday night and were minus 12 in turnover ratio. No matter who's on your team, if you can't shoot and you can't protect the ball, the outcome is already determined.

The Suns weren't simply beneficiaries of a poor performance however as the Suns put it on the Lakers early and often and they never let their foot off the pedal for 48 minutes. Phoenix ended with 15 more assists, had seven more combined steals and blocks, and outscored L.A. in the paint by 12 points. Devin Booker and Cameron Payne were spectacular and they seemed to hit big shots every time the Lakers appeared to threaten a comeback. Mikal Bridges was effective on both sides of the ball adding three steals and two blocks to help electrify his team with the defensive effort.


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