Liverpool rapid transfer window opening gives head start as Chelsea sit in limbo and Tottenham face Mauricio Pochettino problem
The near £40million signing of Fabinho was the first piece of major transfer business conducted by any of the top six, although Arsenal are seemingly on the verge of completing a deal for Greek defender Sokratis, while Riyad Mahrez and Jorginho appear bound for Manchester City.
But in terms of holding the shirt, flashing the pearly whites and elaborate Instagram videos, Fabinho is first past the post.
It is a signing which - if the analysis of the Brazilian resembles reality - will keep Arsenal and Chelsea at bay, and edge them nearer to the three sides who finished above them.
Even then, Spurs were only two points ahead of the Reds, with Jurgen Klopp having to prepare for high-stakes Champions League games from March onwards.
Fabinho represents the start of the summer, not just for Liverpool, but for all of those with aspirations of challenging for the title.
So far, so good for Liverpool. That feeling will only be strengthened by the early setbacks suffered by their rivals in what could be a challenging summer for them.
Fabinho signs for Liverpool (Image: Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Though Arsenal have started their transfer business early, they remain a club in transition, and one who now faces a second successive season in the Europa League. Unai Emery has taken charge after 22 years under Arsene Wenger - an adjustment which may take some time, and an appointment which was not received with unanimous approval at the Emirates.
Indeed, the entire structure of the club is being revamped, with Sven Mislintat now in charge of their football operations.
While Arsenal could prove resurgent, they remain a club still trying to reestablish an identity.
Antonio Conte is unlikely to be at Chelsea next season (Image: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Across London, scrutiny is falling upon Chelsea, with the news Roman Abramovich has shelved plans for the club's new £1billion stadium. The Russian's actions has led to speculation over whether the club's owner is beginning to lose interest.
Their current situation reflects another club in a state of - as one report in a national newspaper suitably called it - 'limbo'. Antonio Conte looks likely to leave, but there is reluctance from Chelsea to pay the compensation required to prise Maurizio Sarri from the remaining two years of his Napoli contract.
The Italian has left the Serie A club but Chelsea would seemingly still have to pay £7million to bring him to the capital.
With the transfer window closing before the start of the season, there will be pressure on Chelsea to resolve this quickly.
Spurs, meanwhile, are the side in Liverpool's immediate sights next season.
But they might face a rare summer of instability, with Real Madrid intent on replacing Zinedine Zidane with Mauricio Pochettino.
The Argentine has been a huge factor in Spurs' recent rise, and guided them to Champions League qualification for the third consecutive campaign.
Mauricio Pochettino (Image: PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Their ascension has been largely serene, with the move to their new stadium scheduled for the start of next season, and chairman Daniel Levy looking to move Spurs to the next level.
Yet with Real targeting him, that particular cloud will remain over North London. Liverpool were more than aware of that when in years past, with Rafael Benitez consistently linked with a move to the Spanish capital.
Pochettino said on Friday: "I’m committed to Spurs and still have a long contract with them I just signed. I’m happy where I am."
Real's response will determine just how happy he remains.