It’s around this time we would usually say the Premier League table is ‘taking shape’, but even after eight games, we’re hardly any wiser.
We know that Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea are likely to challenge for the title, while Leicester, Southampton and Aston Villa are going to be much stronger than anybody predicted.
Villa have taken six points from Arsenal and Liverpool already
But only a fool would write off the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Man United, despite their mixed start to the campaign.
With so few points separating each team, a win or a defeat can be the difference between between four places, as the Gunners discovered on Sunday night.
Mikel Arteta’s men entered the game with Aston Villa on a wave of optimism, and a win would’ve taken them seventh, consolidating a positive start to the campaign.
Instead, they lost 3-0, they’re languishing in 11th and their start doesn’t look that good after all, having lost four games out of eight.
Willian and Thomas Partey, Arsenal’s two big-name arrivals during the summer, struggled and the Gunners’ summer recruitment has been thrown into doubt.
But like the Premier League table, the cream will rise to the top eventually, it just takes time for some players.
However, some summer signings have wasted absolutely no time showing their quality.
Here, talkSPORT.com takes a look at the early candidates for signing of the summer.
Thiago Silva (Chelsea)
Chelsea spent more than £250million ahead of the 2020/21 campaign, but it’s the free signing of a 36-year-old which has changed their team.
The likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Edouard Mendy, and Hakim Ziyech in particular, have all impressed – but none have had the same transformational effect as Silva.
Like when Virgil van Dijk arrived at Liverpool in January 2018, the Brazil veteran has fixed Chelsea’s leaky defence overnight.
After getting that horrible moment against West Brom out of his system, Silva hasn’t put a foot wrong.
Not since John Terry have Chelsea fans since a player so in control of what they’re doing, and everything Silva does just oozes quality.
The Blues have a certain authority they’ve lacked for a long time with Silva in the team – and his calming influence appears to have rubbed off on everyone around him.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Tottenham)
Similarly at Tottenham, it’s one of the supposedly less exciting summer signings which as made all the difference.
While the return of Gareth Bale sent Spurs fans through the roof, the £15m signing of Hojbjerg was hardly anything to write home about in comparison.
But the Denmark international has quickly emerged as a key player for Jose Mourinho’s side, establishing himself as one of the first names on the team sheet.
It’s clear to see that, alongside Moussa Sissoko and Tanguy Ndombele, Hojbjerg was the missing piece of the puzzle to make Tottenham’s midfield work.
Turns out this Mourinho fella is quite good when you let him buy the players he needs.
Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)
With six goals in his first seven matches, five of which have come against Liverpool and Arsenal, we’d call that a pretty good start for Watkins.
It will come as no surprise to Brentford fans that their former striker has hit the ground running at Aston Villa.
The only question will be why Villa were able to sign the Championship’s joint-top scorer from last season with relatively little competition.
Brentford’s asking price of £28m, a club-record fee for Villa, probably put a lot of clubs off, but the 24-year-old is proving to be worth every penny.
James Rodriguez (Everton)
A signing that almost appeared too good to be true for Everton fans, many would’ve found themselves asking, ‘What’s the catch?’
Rodriguez’s career appeared to be on a downward trajectory after being frozen out for years at Real Madrid.
But unlike Zinedine Zidane, Carlo Ancelotti knows exactly how the get the best out of the Colombian, whose quality has been clear for all to see.
With three goals and three assists in seven games, the playmaker is flying the flag intelligent footballers everywhere, showing that you don’t necessary need to charge all over the pitch to be effective in the modern game.
And those who thought he’s been dining out on that World Cup volley for the last six years have been proved wrong, too.
Wesley Fofana (Leicester)
We need to talk about Wesley Fofana. He’s 19.
It looks like Arsenal picked the wrong Saint-Etienne defender, because while Mikel Arteta says William Saliba isn’t ready for the Premier League, Fofana looks like one of its best centre-backs already.
Having waltzed into the Foxes’ starting XI following a long-term injury to Caglar Soyuncu, Fofana has shown class way beyond his years.
Leicester paid £36m to bring the Frenchman to the King Power, and that price tag looks certain to rise in the near future.
Diogo Jota (Liverpool)
Liverpool have arguably the most settled starting XI and formation in the Premier League, and as far as Jurgen Klopp’s concerned – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
But Diogo Jota’s incredible goalscoring form whenever called upon has forced Klopp to reconsider the entire shape of his side, which speaks volumes of the Portuguese ace’s instant impact.
It’s difficult to have competition for places when your front three is considered the best in Europe, but Jota has seriously threatened Roberto Firmino’s place in the side, and that’s exactly what he was brought in to do.