It is a challenge Manchester City must also confront in trying to defend its second title in three years. By winning the Premier League and League Cup, City enjoyed its most successful season since 1970, but only sustained success will confirm the Abu Dhabi-bankrolled team as England’s new force.
While City hasn’t made any headline-grabbing additions, goalkeeper Willy Caballero, midfielder Fernando and defender Bacary Sagna should add depth to make a greater impact in the Champions League.
Few managers have been as shrewd as Jose Mourinho over the summer. He has generated $115 million for Chelsea by offloading out-of favor defender David Luiz to Paris Saint-Germain, and striker Romelu Lukaku to Everton. Raising cash to reinvest in the squad was vital after Mourinho ended his first season back at Stamford Bridge empty-handed, unable to replicate the glory years of 2004-07.
Midfielder Cesc Fabregas was enticed to join Chelsea from Barcelona rather than returning to Arsenal, striker Diego Costa and defender Filipe Luis were bought from Atletico Madrid, and 36-year-old Champions League winner Didier Drogba is making a crowd-pleasing return to the Blues.
“Why I like the Premier League so much is that at this moment, nobody knows who is going to win the title,” Mourinho said.
The favorites to be relegated are the newly promoted trio. Leicester is back after a decade away, Burnley returns after a five-year absence, and Queens Park Rangers won promotion after one season out of the top flight. The three will earn $100 million-plus from the league even for finishing at the bottom, a windfall that highlights the Premier League’s status as the world’s richest soccer competition.
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