sport news Chelsea will give Liverpool and Man City a run for their money after £200m ...

What do we ask for at the start of a new season? Excellence and excitement, obviously. This time, some crowds (eventually) would be welcome, too. Above all, though, what the Premier League needs in its current form is some real competition.

In recent years, Manchester City and Liverpool have taken our game to an extraordinarily high level. The race to the line won by City two seasons ago was compelling. Last time, Liverpool won the title by a street, which seemed fitting for a club that had waited 30 years for it.

The debate about where these two teams sit in the list of great English teams is an interesting one. They have proved themselves worthy of being in the conversation.

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool were streets ahead of their rivals as they won the title last season

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool were streets ahead of their rivals as they won the title last season

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City were one of the teams left trailing in Liverpool's wake

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City were one of the teams left trailing in Liverpool's wake 

But what is more important now is that other Premier League clubs find a way to join in. Last season was not a distinguished one from that point of view.

Tottenham and Arsenal were not impressive while played for half a season. Chelsea were progressive but inconsistent, which left only Leicester, Sheffield United and Wolves deserving of real credit — and they all tailed off.

All that has to change soon if our league is not to surrender its self-appointed label as the best in the world. How can it call itself that if it has only two teams in it?

It is still hard to see past City and Liverpool in terms of the title but there is reason to believe the gap between them and the rest can be smaller.

For once, it has been uplifting to see Chelsea spending lots of money. The riches lavished on players during the Roman Abramovich era have been sniffed at on occasion but not this time. In a year that Covid-19 has placed great strain on football's economic supply, it is heartening to see another Chelsea splurge.

At the time of writing they have committed more than £200million on new players. It is a spree that will vastly deepen the attacking options available to Frank Lampard. If he can solve his team's goalkeeping problems, they have a chance.

Klopp's Liverpool - and City - could well feel Chelsea's breath on their neck this season

Klopp's Liverpool - and City - could well feel Chelsea's breath on their neck this season

The Blues have spent big, with German striker Timo Werner (right) among the additions

The Blues have spent big, with German striker Timo Werner (right) among the additions

German wonderkid Kai Havertz has also arrived at Stamford Bridge amid a spending splurge

German wonderkid Kai Havertz has also arrived at Stamford Bridge amid a spending splurge 

Similarly, United are trying to help Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's evolution at Old Trafford, something that started with the recruitment of Bruno Fernandes and the emergence of Mason Greenwood. United have started to look like a team capable of hurting opponents again. Once again,

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