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Still, though, theirs is a glittering squad, its makeup largely mirrored across the city at their blue-shirted rivals, and at Chelsea, who either spent big on new superstar names or forked out to renew the contracts of their most influential players.Liverpool, too, leaned heavily on their history and spending power to lure one of the biggest names in football to Anfield, snapping up Mario Balotteli from AC Milan for what is these days a paltry 16 million pounds.Southampton finished last season in eighth position – one below United in the league.The first to go was coach Mauricio Pochettino, who quit for Spurs.He was followed out the door by Luke Shaw, to United; and Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren to Liverpool.A World Cup quarterfinalist with Belgium and a La Liga winner with Atletico Madrid, Alderweireld hardly fits the profile of a typical signing for Southampton, the modest club best known for selling on its promising players.Unfashionable Stoke City also played the lure of the offer of Premier League minutes to great effect, capturing talent from Hanover, Barcelona and Dukla Banska Bystrica while Sunderland boosted their ranks with names from Inter Milan and Estudiantes.
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