Bengaluru, June 29: This has been a truly historic Premier League season from all aspects. There has been an interruption in the league for almost three months due to coronavirus, something that never happened before.
With seven games to spare, Liverpool have created history by clinching the Premier League title the earliest. The Reds can still achieve plenty of records if they manage to salvage favourable results in the remaining seven games. This is also the Reds' first league title since 1990 and their first Premier League title since it the first division was re-branded as Premier League.
Despite the fact that Liverpool have thoroughly demolished each and every opponent this season to get a clean sweep on the title, it would be foolish to believe that Manchester City, champions of the last two campaigns, would not be in contention for the title next season.
Pep Guardiola's side will surely look to come back and reclaim their title and they have all the resources to ensure that. But, what about the rest of the teams? Will the Premier League remain to be a two-horse race? Can the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United challenge Liverpool and Manchester City next season or the duopoly of the two will become a norm for many years to come? We will discuss these possibilities in this article.
First, let's talk about Chelsea. Since Roman Abramovich took over the club as the owner, Chelsea have truly become a force to reckon in the Premier League. They have won as many as five Premier League titles in the last 15 years despite plenty of ups and downs. Club legend Frank Lampard took over as the manager of the Blues last season during a difficult time for the club when the squad was not the best and the club was also facing a transfer ban.
It looks that he will guide the Blues to a top-four finish and maybe even a third-place finish which is indeed a big achievement for a manager like Lampard lacking experience and not having much firepower in the squad.
The season has yet not finished but the Blues have already secured two massive signings in the form of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner. They are also leading the race to sign the likes of Ben Chilwell and Declan Rice while they are also interested in Bundesliga wonderkid duo of Kai Havertz and Jadon Sancho. Lampard has also led a youth revolution in his very first season at the club and the likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori, Callum Hudson-Odoi and others have benefited from it.
It might be too much of an ask from Lampard's Chelsea to challenge Liverpool and Manchester City next season. The top two clubs in England right now have two of the best managers in the world with plenty of experience and also have squads that can be termed among the best in the world. Lampard will need time to find the ridiculous level of consistency Liverpool have shown this season but he sure looks to be heading in the right direction.
Just like Chelsea, Manchester United have been linked with a host of big-name signings ahead of the summer transfer window. The Red Devils are among the few clubs in Europe who can afford to break the bank even in such a difficult situation for the clubs financially. Therefore, it is hardly a surprise to see many people believing that Manchester United can realistically challenge their two biggest rivals as early as the next season. But, in comparison to Chelsea, things look much more difficult for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.
Solskjaer has been at Manchester United for a much longer time compared to that of Lampard at Chelsea. Also, since his appointment as the full-time manager, the Norwegian had two transfer windows to revamp his squad and also had the financial backing from the owners. But, apart from the signing of Bruno Fernandes, not a single signing can be termed as successful. Harry Maguire has been decent but people expect much better from the most expensive defender in the world and the same can be said about Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
It is not just Solskjaer whose transfers can be questioned. The Red Devils hardly had a successful time in the transfer window under Jose Mourinho. It is the Manchester United board and Ed Woodward who should be under scrutiny for the Red Devils' lack of progress in recent years. Even if Solskjaer manages to make a few solid additions to his squad, Manchester United are unlikely to be as strong as Chelsea next season.
The likes of Leicester City and Wolves have seen a meteoric rise in recent times, particularly Wolves. And, these two clubs are both likely to be in contention for a top-four place next season as well. Chelsea and Manchester United should be really looking to cement their places in top-four next season and should ensure that they remain patient in their respective projects as that is the first thing needed to challenge winning machines like Liverpool and Manchester City.