4. Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid were aware that the three clubs legends Filipe Luis, Juanfran and Diego Godin were going to depart. They also knew Rodri would join Manchester City and will have had an inkling Antoine Griezmann was off, too. The manner of their star forward’s €120 million departure for Barcelona may have rankled, but in truth Atletico were due a refresh in any case and they appear to have reinvested superbly.
With the likes of Rodri and Lucas Hernandez also leaving, Atleti brought in around €300 million in transfer fees and may well be stronger for the way they have spent it. Splashing €126 million on one 19-year-old in Joao Felix, they have a forward almost a decade younger than Griezmann who seems set to be a global star.
Kieran Trippier is a great signing from Spurs, and the centre-back Marco Hermoso, signed from Espanyol, looks a good replacement for Diego Godin. The Uruguayan veteran is among those whose experience may be missed when the Champions League’s business end comes around but, judging by their flying start to the La Liga season, Atletico seem to have managed impressively this summer’s regeneration.
Arsenal spent the early parts of the summer briefing the media about their measly transfer budget. It was said to be in the 50 million mark, plus any player sales on top. That’s an absolute pittance in the modern game and as a result, the fans’ expectations were set rather low.
They continue to lack solid liability in the backline, but their ferocious attacking line has added more spice to it. The addition of Nicolas Pepe has handed them a huge boost in their chase for a Champions League place. The Ivorian is a valuable addition, while the Spaniard midfielder Dani Ceballos has added more steel in the midfield department. The Real Madrid midfielder also adds more creativity to supply the sublime front three.
They are yet to sort the main problem this season, but they have bought a stopgap option with the signature of David Luiz. The Brazilian is not the prettiest defender, but can command the backline. His presence can change the team’s mentality. William Saliba will join the Europa League runners-up next summer.