Three weeks into the new season and the international break offers up the perfect opportunity to take stock of what we’ve witnessed so far in a campaign expected to captivate and fascinate right through until May.

After a somewhat underwhelming Euros we are perhaps deserving of a season to remember and certainly all the ingredients are there with Guardiola and Mourinho taking charge in Manchester and clubs keen to splurge their TV bonanza on a wealth of new signings. So far it hasn’t disappointed.

We expected fireworks and we expected drama by the bucketload and the narratives needed to drive both are already piecing together nicely. What nobody could have possibly foreseen however are the bonus surprises that have helped grab our attention from the get-go.

Joe Hart to Torino

Rumours that Pep Guardiola was planning on bringing in a ‘footballing’ keeper had been bubbling away under the surface since his appointment was confirmed way back in early February. Then there’s Hart’s woeful Euros which hardly helped his cause.

Yet you would have still got ridiculously long odds on the two-time league winner turning out for Toro this term and indeed if a punter with a prophesy had walked into any bookmakers until recently and backed such a move they would have probably been laughed out of the shop.

Crisis club Hull show their tiger teeth

With just thirteen senior players at their disposal and an owner desperate to follow the club’s manager out of Humberside newly promoted Hull was widely expected to mirror Aston Villa’s annus mirabilis and prop up the Premier League for this season’s duration.

Caretaker boss Mike Phelan is worthy of huge credit for forging a togetherness in the midst of adversity while the early sparkling form of Abel Hernandez and Robert Snodgrass bodes well for the tough months ahead. A failed bid for the former by – aptly – Villa at the window’s close could prove a priceless stroke of rare good fortune for a club desperately in need of a break.

Chelsea re-sign David Luiz

We all know someone who has that ex, the one who is completely wrong for them but they just seem incapable of learning an invaluable life lesson and moving on. The Blues were probably better off deleting the Brazilian ‘defender’ from their phone to rule out any future drunk-dialling but it’s evidently too late now after they lodged a £35m bid this week to retrieve him from PSG.

The world and his dog knew that Chelsea were desperate to source a top class centre-back in this window but nobody could have predicted it would be Luiz, least of all the player himself who was too busy venturing forward doing a fancy rabona at the time to notice.

Liverpool fans change their Klopp status to ‘It’s complicated’

The charismatic German was adored at Anfield from the moment he arrived but there is no denying the bond between manager and fans has hit a rocky patch of late.

A stubborn refusal to address a glaring deficiency at left-back is the root cause while the club’s failure to land several of their summer targets has only worsened discontent among the faithful who were encouraged enough by what they saw last term to believe that Klopp’s first full season would lead to silverware.

It still might of course but on early evidence it looks likely that Liverpool are destined to be entertaining to watch for neutrals but not necessarily for the right reasons for Reds.

On the plus side their 2-0 loss at Burnley before the international break does offer up some tempting odds for their forthcoming home fixture v Leicester. Talking of the fantastic Foxes….

Everton show early signs of ‘doing a Leicester’

We’re calling this first but certainly not claiming Ronald Koeman’s men can replicate the crazy fairy tale dreamt up by the Midlands club back in May.

What we are putting forward is the suggestion that the Toffees could be the team to watch out for this term to mount an unexpected top four challenge.

Last year’s great underachievers – aided by some shrewd summer purchases – look balanced and strong and with the wind behind them and Lukaku fit and firing can be a formidable proposition for any side venturing to Goodison in the months to come. Three solid displays so far hint that even better things lie ahead.