Another season of club football is back with Premier League, La liga and Bundesliga starting this weekend.
The club football season returns a little over 80 days after it all came to a conclusion. Between the end of May and now, we’ve seen Chelsea lift the Champions League trophy, a thrilling Euro 2020 tournament with Italy crowned as champions, Argentina winning the Copa America and a surprisingly enjoyable Olympic Games that featured victories for Brazil and Canada in the football. Oh, and Lionel Messi left Barcelona.
The first match of the premier league kicked off by 8pm on Friday with Brentford hosting Arsenal. Bayern Munich faced Borussia Mochengladbach in the opening match of the Bundesliga and Valencia hosting Getafe inLa Liga.
The world of football has seen players move from one club to another over the transfer window with Lionel Messi’s move to PSG being the biggest surprise of the summer after Barcelona couldn’t afford to sign and register the Argentine due to La Liga rules. The Ligue 1 started may have started last week but it will get more exciting this weekend as the league and football fans around globe would see Lionel Messi come out of the tunnel in PSG jersey.
Jadon Sancho also is back after a successful career in Germany, swapping the light blue of Manchester for red in the process. He’s joined by World Cup and multiple Champions League winner Raphael Varane. However on the other side of Manchester the champions haven’t stayed quiet, adding Jack Grealish from Aston Villa in a record-breaking £100 million move and doing everything to pry Harry Kane from the clutches of Daniel Levy.
The London clubs have made some signings too. Ben White joined Arsenal to become the latest member of the £50 million club, and Romelu Lukaku returned to Chelsea for a club record deal of £97.5m. The former champions have been active too, Liverpool welcome back talisman Virgil van Dijk and will now partner him in the heart of defence with Ibrahim Konate, a new recruit from RB Leipzig.
Outside the top guns, clubs have also strengthened their team with Tottenham getting a new manager in Nuno Espírito Santo, and still no clarity on the future of Harry Kane; Everton are trying to consolidate under Rafael Benítez after Carlo Ancelotti’s return to Real Madrid.
Crystal Palace also have a new manager in Patrick Veira, Aston Villa, Leicester City are team to watch out for with both teams adding three new faces to their squad respectively and the newly promoted clubs are raring to go, Brentford will try to upset Arsenal tonight with their defined style and relative novelty factor. Norwich have similar squad to the one that relegated two seasons ago with the recruit of Kosovan Milot Rashica to replace Emiliano Buendía who left for Aston Villa. Watford have reinvented themselves again under interim manager Xisco Muñoz.
In the Bundesliga and La liga, it has really been quiet in terms of transfer since Bayern’s Die Roten confirmed the signings of Dayot Upamecano and Omar Richards (free transfer) before the end of the last season. Meanwhile, Sven Ulreich arrived on a free transfer in July once Alexander Nubel sealed a loan move to Monaco. And now they have showed interest in signing Marcel Sabizter of RB Leipzig but the sale of Corentin Tolisso will fast track the deal.
Since David Alaba joined Real Madrid, the club have not really made any signings except monitoring the situation of Kylian Mbappe who may leave Paris for free next summer if he doesn’t sign a new deal. Barcelona have made some deals with Kun Aguero, Memphis Depay, Emerson Royal and Eric Garcia joining the Spanish giant but yet to be registered for the new season. Meanwhile Atletico secured the signature of Rodrigo De Paul from Udinese for an undisclosed fee and Sevilla taking Erik Lamela from Tottenham in a swap deal for the young Bryan Gil.
There’s so much about this season that we still do not know in terms of thrills and what the season will sound or feel like. Perhaps all we can really say, before the start of another breathless race to May, is that this has been the game for as long as we’ve known and loved it. It will thrill us and move us, bore us and break our hearts. Club football, we hate you. We’ve missed you. We’re glad you were gone. We’re glad you’re back.