With the window shut the focus will finally shift to events on the field and which teams will be competing for Europe’s top honors.
Manchester City and Chelsea will fight it out for the English Premier League and will both be serious contenders for the UEFA Champions League.
Liverpool and Arsenal are the likely candidates to finish third and fourth and secure the final two coveted Champions League places for next season.
The days of Porto, Celtic, Ajax, and Borussia Dortmund winning the Champions League are over, possibly and sadly, never to return. It is not realistic to expect a club outside of the super rich group of City, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Paris Saint-Germain to be serious contenders. Money now dictates the destiny of the Champions League to such an extent that even clubs such as Juventus and Roma are now rank outsiders.
Celtic will win the Scottish Premier League, but not in a canter as they did last year. A lack of quality signings and player sales to offset missing out on the Champions League group stage will assure a more competitive title race this season.
Bayern Munich are heavy favorites to retain their Bundesliga title, but Borussia Dortmund will mount a challenge to their Bavarian rivals. Jurgen Klopp’s team were devastated by injuries last year, but with players returning to full fitness and some key signings they will have a say in the title race.
Italy’s Serie A used to be the best league in the world. No longer. Italian football still maintains a high level of tactical sophistication, but the glamour has gone from the league. Juventus and Roma will be the top two teams this year, but outside of Italy does anyone care?