Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham: The landscape of London is changing

The power dynamics in London could be changing.

 

Under Antonio Conte’s watch, Tottenham are on the rise. Back in the Champions League and already having signed a number of players this summer, Daniel Levy and Fabio Paratici are doing all they can in order to keep the Italian in north London.

 

Conte’s side took points off both Manchester City and Liverpool last season and, while it’s pretty much impossible to keep up with them over the course of a whole campaign if recent points tallies are anything to go off, Spurs currently look best-placed to challenge.

 

Arsenal, meanwhile, are not letting missing out on the top four stop them.

 

Raphinha and Youri Tielemans could yet follow Gabriel Jesus into the Emirates Stadium this summer in what has been another sign of intent from top brass at the club. Mikel Arteta is being backed once again and, despite their end-of-season disappointment, few would argue against the idea that his young side showed an awful lot of development last time out.

 

With Arteta and Conte, there is a certainty of sorts. While the latter has proven much more than the former, they both bring with them trademarks, and the transfer business conducted by their clubs look in keeping with them.

 

Over at Chelsea, however, the future is anything but certain.

 

Clearly, new co-owner Todd Boehly is far from a pauper. Indeed, a busy summer is expected and the American investor is making all of the right noises about showing ambition in the transfer market. In the shape of Thomas Tuchel, they have one of the world’s leading managers already in tow.

 

Still, as much as Tuchel can point to injuries derailing his title challenge last season, it must be improved upon this time around the conditions in which to do so look extremely unfavourable.

 

While it is unfair to compare any club owner to Roman Abramovich (from purely a footballing perspective), Chelsea will not be able to operate as they have done before. Boehly and his partners are investors and will want to see returns, meaning it will not be a case of spending big on another huge signing when the previous one does not work out.

 

Given the difficult nature of the takeover too, the club are behind on their transfer business. That, coupled with the exits of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, has left them chasing their tails while those around them strengthen.

 

Raheem Sterling would be an eye-catching addition but even the England international does not look like the kind of player to lead the charge towards the top two. A proven top-level no doubt, whether or not the 27-year-old can be the main man at a team who should really be in the title conversation is the subject of much debate.

 

Losing Romelu Lukaku may not make a huge amount of difference given his struggles last season but the club have seen two key defenders depart, while even captain Cesar Azpilicueta is tempted by a move to Barcelona.

 

Thiago Silva is another year older. N’Golo Kante, once seemingly indestructible, has been increasingly blighted by injuries. There is an awful lot of work to be done, a number of important positions to fill and, most crucially of all, reasonably little time to do it.

 

Of last season’s top six, only Chelsea and Manchester United are yet to make a major mens’ first-team signing. Those around them are improving, while West Ham are set for an ambitious summer themselves.

 

The prospect of David Moyes’ side catching up on Tuchel is unlikely of course but it does speak to the idea that Chelsea are now looking over their shoulders just as much as they are looking forwards.

Author: Lucas Carlson