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The Premier League remains the most attractive league in the world

Wednesday 5th July 2017
Recent seasons have displayed the Premier League as struggling to prove that it is the best league in the world. Once a huge power in the Champions League, it did not ever seem as though an English club would win the competition this season, with the heavyweights of Europe better than what England has to offer.

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus still dominate the European landscape with Madrid and Juve playing out a hugely entertaining final in Cardiff this year.

For England, inconsistent Manchester City and fallen champions Leicester constituted their best chances at reaching the latter stages of the competition. Just reaching the semi-finals would have probably been seen as a failure a few years ago, but England's teams have fallen behind their Europen counterparts in recent seasons.

You would be forgiven for assuming then, that the pulling power of the Premier League has diminished in recent years, which could not be further from the point.

Of course, the lure of Real Madrid and Barcelona is such that almost every player in the world would be hugely tempted by a switch to one of the Spanish giants. Following close behind are many of England's top teams though.

Last summer, Paul Pogba completed a world record transfer to Manchester United from Juventus. The Italians are once again a major force in football, while United have not hit the heights of their past for a number of years due to their ongoing transition. Instead of one of the world's leading talents remaining in Italy though, he moved back to England.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic too made the switch to Old Trafford from Paris Saint-Germain. The Swede was out of contract in the French capital and moved on, but it would be foolish to assume that there were not extensive efforts made to keep the striker. After all, PSG failed to defend their Ligue 1 crown following his departure, showing his importance to the side.

This year there is a very similar ongoing trend. Alexandre Lacazette is poised to join Arsenal from Lyon in a deal that could galvanise the Gunners. Interestingly, the striker reportedly said he would only go to a side that could play in the Champions League, something Arsenal cannot do.
Sevilla have also seen their captain Vicente Iborra agree to a move to the Premier League in recent days. The midfielder, who enjoyed another very good season, will reportedly sign for Leicester City for the coming season as the Foxes look to climb up the table once again.

In the 2016/17 season, the Foxes battled to 12th place with 44 points, a massive 49 points shy of champions Chelsea. Sevilla, on the other hand, were one of the teams of the season in La Liga as they claimed a fourth place finish with 72 points and, most importantly, access to Champions League football next season, something Leicester cannot offer.

The likes of Lacazette and Iborra are obviously not coming to England to play in the Champions League next term with their new teams. Instead, it seems as though the standard of the teams along with the huge wages and television exposure is enough to bring the best players from different teams to England, even if the Premier League's teams are not quite as powerful on the pitch as they were.

The lure of the Premier League is obviously still alive and well then.

Ben Darvill

I graduated with an upper second class degree in English and Creative writing from Cardiff Metropolitan University. I have been a freelance sports writer since leaving University and have written for a number of online websites. I am a Chelsea and England fan but I enjoy watching any team play as I have an intense passion for football.

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