We've reached the first break in the Premier League season and the transfer window is finally closed. It's looking as though things are starting to get back to normal. Or, at least, back to the status quo.
The big three clubs are back on top of the tables with Manchester City, Chelsea, and Manchester United occupying the top three spots. In a move that should surprise no one, the richest clubs spent the most to improve their sides (save Arsenal, who practically never spend on players). This year, transfer spending has surpassed £1 billion for the first time in history, blowing last year's record of £870 million out of the water. The total amount at the end of deadline day was a whopping £1.165 billion.
All three clubs are currently sitting at the top of the tables with 100 percent winning starts to kick off the season. Each club has snared nine points from their first three matches and will definitely be the teams to beat this year. With Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United all operating under new managers, they're definitely going into the season with something to prove. And judging by their performances (and their purchases), they aim to do just that.
The two Manchester clubs have been the biggest spenders. United broke the British transfer record thanks to its £89 million acquisition of Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba. The club has also picked up Henrik Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly to further reinforce both the midfield and the back line. But perhaps the shrewdest signing for the Red Devils was the addition of Zlatan Ibrahimovich. The legendary Swedish striker was added on a free transfer fee and has already made an impact, scoring three times in three games and currently leading the league in goals.
Manchester City, for their part, purchased a pair of talented German players in winger Leroy Sane from Schalke and midfield wizard Ilkay Gundogan from Borussia Dortmund. City further sharpened their offense through the addition of Spanish striker Nolito. Meanwhile, the Citizens strengthened their defense through signing defensive stud John Stones (the club's most expensive offseason player) and a fresh goalkeeper, Claudio Bravo, who comes off of a second Copa America trophy with Chile.
Of course, this influx of new blood means that some players had to fall by the wayside. City loaned out several prominent players including longtime starting goalkeeper Joe Hart to Torino F.C. of the Italian Serie A. The club also parted ways with midfielder Samir Nasri and defender Eliaquim Mangala, who were respectively loaned to Sevilla and Valencia.
Meanwhile, Chelsea has also been busy with a slew of new signings of its own this summer. The transfer window has seen the return of centre back David Luiz from Paris St. Germain and the addition of midfielder N'Golo Kante from Leicester City. But the biggest signing for Chelsea was bringing in dominant Belgian forward Michy Batshuayi and the 22-year-old has already had no trouble finding the back of the net.
It's definitely going to be a fierce battle for the Premier League trophy this season. Barring some freak occurrence like Leicester City's surprise title run last season, there's little standing in the way of the big three. We wouldn't be surprised to see one of them hoist the trophy at the end of May.