More than any other Premier League side, Man City needed to do their shopping promptly owing to the difference between the summers of 2012 and 2014, when they were slow to strengthen and subsequently surrendered their title, and 2013 when they acted quickly and regained it.
They have talked a good game, with chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak asserting in early June that “we’re a club that players want to come and play for” and ambitious targets like Paul Pogba and Kevin De Bruyne being pursued.
However, their sole signing to date is 18-year-old striker Enes Unal and the arrivals of neither Pogba nor De Bruyne appear to be imminent, with the result being that they remain in Chelsea’s shadow at [3.9] in the Premier League winner market.
Mike Ashley aired his intention to invest this summer in a rare interview on the final day of 2014/15, telling Sky Sports that “we may have the cart, financially, but we now need to bolt the horse on, and we are going to”.
However, there haven’t been any additions so far besides Nottingham Forest pair Karl Darlow and Jamaal Lascelles, who were recruited last year and loaned back to the Championship club, despite rumours of eight-figure moves for Georginio Wijnaldum, Charlie Austin and Bas Dost.
The dugout change doesn’t really excuse the delay because Steve McClaren was lined up months ago and, as revealed by managing director Lee Charnley in January, the Newcastle head coach doesn’t have the final say on transfers.
Some reports suggest that Wijnaldum is close to getting the spending started though, and the Magpies aren’t presently expected to be dragged into a relegation scrap at [6.0].
The Eagles’ first two summers since returning to the Premier League did not go well. Number one saw Ian Holloway bring in an obscene 16 players, so many that some didn’t even make their 25-man squad. Number two saw Tony Pulis resign due to apparent dismay at his targets being missed.
This one has been quieter than the one that forced Pulis’ hand, with no purchases yet. Co-chairman Steve Parish has confirmed their interest in Paris St-Germain midfielder Yohan Cabaye, who has played for Alan Pardew before, but if they are putting other deals on hold to chase the France international, it is imperative that they catch him.
Palace were supreme in the second half of last season though, as Everton used to demonstrate regularly, that momentum vanishes rapidly if it isn’t built on in the transfer market.
Should they commence 2015/16 as drearily as they did 2013/14 and 2014/15, they could be an intriguing back-to-lay relegation bet at [7.2].