FOUR Premier League clubs are flying the flag for England in European finals this year… so how have they become the dominant force once again?
- Liverpool and Tottenham will battle it out for the Champions League
- Chelsea and Arsenal reached the Europa League final on Thursday night
- It is the first time any one nation has boasted all four finalists in both showpieces
English football clubs are back at the forefront of European football with Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal all progressing to the finals of UEFA’s elite competitions.
Liverpool and Tottenham sealed a date in the Champions League final by defeating Barcelona and Ajax respectively in dramatic semi-final encounters before Arsenal and Chelsea also made sure they successfully flew the flag for English football.
Here, Sportsmail looks at how the Premier League has taken over European football once again.
Premier League clubs have the funds to attract the best players to England with the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid having to compete with Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United for star signings.
Eight of Europe’s top 20 spenders play in the Premier League with Manchester City’s squad the most expensive having spent £843million to assemble.
Manchester United (£679m), Liverpool (£608m), Chelsea (£581m), Arsenal (£370m), Tottenham (£339m), Everton (£332m) and Leicester (£238m) also feature in the top 20 in terms of most expensive squads, demonstrating that cash is a real weapon for top flight clubs in England.
Liverpool were able to splash out £75million on Virgil van Dijk from Southampton last January
The Premier League has the best pool of managers with Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino and Unai Emery all guiding their sides to European finals.
Top English clubs have been able to poach managers from rival leagues with Klopp and Guardiola arriving after spells in Germany with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich respectively.
Southampton appointed Pochettino after he impressed in Spain with Espanyol while Emery also swapped Spain for England.
Some of the world’s best managers currently coach in the top flight of English football
RIVALS SPUR EACH OTHER ON
As you can see with this season’s title race, healthy competition is only good for the league with Manchester City and Liverpool pushing each other to new levels.
The Premier League duo have set the bar higher than ever this season, Liverpool trailing City in second place with one match remaining despite losing just once.
The Italian league has been dominated by Juventus during the past eight seasons which means they struggle to up their game when it comes to facing fellow European heavyweights. The current campaign has also seen Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain ease to domestic titles.
Manchester City and Liverpool have set new heights during their battle to win the league title
ENGLAND NATIONAL TEAM ON A HIGH
England’s best players will have been buoyed by a successful World Cup under Gareth Southgate.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson (both of Liverpool), Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Harry Kane, Kieran Trippier, Dele Alli (all of Tottenham), Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Gary Cahill (both of Chelsea) and Danny Welbeck (Arsenal) were all part of England’s squad for the tournament in Russia last summer.
The positivity surrounding the England national team will only help Premier League clubs
DEMISE OF EUROPEAN’S HEAVYWEIGHTS
This summer is going to be crucial for several of Europe’s top clubs with Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and AC Milan among the clubs who are likely to overhaul their squads during the upcoming transfer window.
The likes of Milan and rivals Inter are no longer the dominant forces they once were as they have failed to replace their previous stars who led them to success.
They, along with Real and Bayern, will have to find a way of competing with England’s top clubs to attract new talent this summer.
Several top European clubs — including Real Madrid — need to rebuild this summer