With the FIFA Women’s World Cup set to begin on Thursday, the itch every football fan has had since May will finally be scratched to see some competitive action on our TV screens.
However, before you know it, the start of the Premier League will be upon us.
In preparation for then, all 20 teams have been making movements in the transfer market to improve their star quality ahead of matchday number one and we have taken a look into the best moves of the summer so far.
Declan Rice – West Ham to Arsenal
For a large proportion of last season, it looked to all the world like the Gunners were going to get their hands back on the Premier League trophy until formidable title rivals Manchester City overtook them late on and never looked back.
After that, manager Mikel Arteta, keen not to stick with exactly same formula, had been on the hunt to add to his team’s strength in depth, and on July 15th, the Spaniard finally got his long-term target, Declan Rice, for £100 million plus a potential £5 million extra in add-ons.
The former West Ham captain had been at the Hammers since 2013 when joining the youth academy before his promotion to the senior squad in 2015.
Rice totaled 205 appearances and 10 goals for West Ham and in his final game for the club, he led them as captain to their first major European trophy since 1965 following a 2-1 win over Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League.
Now with the red side of North London, the 24-year-old will be hoping to help Arsenal go one place better this campaign in the Premier League.
Mason Mount – Chelsea to Manchester United
Much like his previously mentioned international teammate, Mason Mount was a fellow high-profile player to move between two prominent clubs in the Premier League as the attacking midfielder transferred to Manchester United from Chelsea for £55 million with the potential of £5 million extra in add-ons.
Stamford Bridge was a place where the 24-year-old had spent 18 years of his footballing career, rising through the youth and academy ranks to make his professional debut on August 11th, 2019, in a 4-0 loss to, ironically, Manchester United.
Red Devils manager Erik Ten Hag first became aware of Mount during his time as the boss at FC Utrecht and Ajax when he saw the Englishman playing for SBV Vitesse Arnhem during his loan spell there in the 2017-18 season.
The addition of Mount ahead of another potential big move for the red half of Manchester could see Britain’s most famous club continue their progression next season.
Sandro Tonali – AC Milan to Newcastle United
Moving on to the first player to move into England’s top flight from another league, Sandro Tonali joined Newcastle United on July 3rd for £55 million, a sum that made him the most expensive Italian of all time.
Described as “one of the best midfielders in the world” by Newcastle forward Anthony Gordon, the 23-year-old spent three years at the legendary AC Milan, making a combined 95 caps for the Rossoneri.
This signing shows a clear statement of intent from the board behind the Magpies as he cost the same price as Mason Mount and nearly half the money of Declan Rice, yet he is a year younger than both Englishmen mentioned and has been tutored by some of the best minds Italian football has to offer.
Backed by a Saudi Arabian-backed consortium, Newcastle United could have spent their new influx of money on ageing, established stars, however, they have put their cash into building the future which is a positive move from the club.
James Maddison – Leicester City to Tottenham Hotspur
A common practice that occurs every summer transfer window is the move of players from recently relegated clubs to remaining Premier League teams in order to continue playing at the highest level of English football, and with Leicester City’s departure from the topflight last season, their squad was bound to get thinner.
Caglar Soyuncu and Youri Tielemans were big losses for the former Premier League champions, but the move of James Maddison to Tottenham Hotspur was arguably their biggest of the lot.
Having joined the Foxes in 2018 after a string of loans at Norwich City, Coventry City and Aberdeen, the 26-year-old revolutionised the midfield of Leicester during his 163 appearances in both league, cup, and European fixtures.
His consistency of high-level performances for the Midlands-based side obviously caught the attention of the Lilywhites and on June 28th, they officially signed the England international for £40 million on a five-year contract.
If fellow Englishman Harry Kane decides to stay in north London, a regular link-up between the pair could very easily cause issues for defences up and down the league.
Alexis Mac Allister – Brighton & Hove Albion to Liverpool
In one of the earlier transfers of this window, Alexis Mac Allister, after much speculation, joined Liverpool from Brighton & Hove Albion on June 8th and will wear the number 10 shirt next season.
Although the initial fee of £35 million is the cheapest sum on the list, add-on fees to the deal could see the price rise an extra £20 million, however, for the Reds, that was something they were more than happy to accept.
Although aged just 24 and yet to hit his peak, the Argentinian was a crucial part of his country’s rise to World Cup glory as he scored his first international goal in their 2-0 victory over Poland in the group stage before assisting Angel Di Maria’s goal against France in the final.
The midfielder looks like he will slip into Jurgen Klopp’s system seamlessly and could propel Liverpool towards a title charge.