Chelsea is the big spender, but Manchester United, Newcastle are real winners

The English Premier League resumes this weekend after last week’s FA Cup action, with former champion Chelsea closing the transfer window with a bang.

The London club spent a staggering £323 million in the past month to bring in eight players, but Manchester United and Newcastle are the real winners after booking their spots in the League Cup final later this month.

Chelsea spent more money in January than the entire Premier League did during the same period last year. It also ‘created history’ as this was the first time one club had spent more money than the other four major leagues – Germany, Italy, Spain and France – combined.

Among the new players Chelsea signed was Argentina’s World Cup winner, Enzo Fernandez, for a British record of £107 million.

In Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudryk, the Blues bought talented young players who will terrorise the EPL for many years to come.

It will be interesting to see how Graham Potter fits in eight players, as in early January, he had said that he was against bringing in too many new faces, as that would upset the balance of the squad.

Chelsea resumes its league campaign against Fulham tomorrow (4am), seeking to move up the table where it is languishing in 10th spot.

It has 18 matches left to save its season, and Potter’s head may be on the chopping block if he fails to secure a top-four finish.

Newcastle and Manchester United – third and fourth in the table behind Manchester City and Arsenal – booked their tickets to Wembley after beating Southampton and Nottingham Forest, respectively.

This will be Newcastle’s second appearance in the League Cup final. The Magpies have never won the trophy as it lost the 1976 decider to Manchester City.

United, meanwhile, have won it five times and finished runner-up on four occasions.

Although not the most glamorous of trophies, winning the League Cup is still an achievement. It also guarantees European football next season.

For Newcastle manager Eddie Howe, it will be the chance to win his first major trophy – he did guide Bournemouth to the second-tier Championship title in 2015.

A victory would cement his position as the Magpies’ boss, particularly after rumours that the owners wanted a big-name manager to come in next season.

Over in the red corner, Dutchman Erik ten Hag, a serial winner in his homeland, has the chance to win the first silverware in his debut season in England.

Ten Hag has transformed the Red Devils and got rid of Cristiano Ronaldo, who was unhappy with his role in the team.

His team will start as the favourite and could signal the start of something special.

Before the final, the two clubs need to solidify their positions in the EPL.

United could start by beating Crystal Palace tomorrow (11pm), while Newcastle could do likewise against West Ham on Sunday (12.30am).

FIXTURES (Malaysian time)
SATURDAY
Chelsea vs Fulham (4am)
Everton vs Arsenal (8.30pm)
Brighton vs Bournemouth (11pm)
Manchester United vs Crystal Palace (11pm)
Brentford vs Southampton (11pm)
Wolves vs Liverpool (11pm)
Aston Villa vs Leicester (11pm)

SUNDAY
Newcastle vs West Ham (1.30am)
Nottingham Forest vs Leeds (10pm)

MONDAY
Tottenham vs Manchester City (12.30am)