Premier League Preview – Team by Team
Arsenal- Kieran Tierney and David Luiz have come in and Laurent Koscielny have left in the defensive department which leaves them stronger at the back but not by enough and this is the reason why they won’t challenge the very best. Luiz is a coup for Arsenal bringing massive experience and commercial value that out weigh his 8 million pound transfer fee. The signing of Ivory Coast winger Nicolas Pepe from Lille for a club-record fee looks a good one and adds something they were lacking – pace on the wings. Wilfred Zaha was the top target in this department but they were priced out of this deal. Dani Ceballos has also joined on a season loan from Real Madrid and will add creativity to the midfield and go someway to fill the void left by Aron Ramsey joining Juventus. Overall Arsenal have strengthened and have a great chance of getting back in the top 4.
Aston Villa – The return of one of the premiership’s traditional clubs is a welcome one and they have not been shy in the transfer market in a bid to ensure it is a long term return. Dean Smith has also stressed the importance of continuity and has ensured Tyrone Mings, Kortney Hause and Anwar El Ghazi all remained at the club after sucsessfull loan spells and kept hold of the influential Jack Grealish. Club Brugge striker Wesley signed for an initial £22m and he looks like a replacement for Tammy Abraham with a similar playing style. Other signings of note that have taken the spending to over 100 million are Jota, Tom Heaton, Matt Tagertt, Marvelous Nakamba, Douglas Luiz, Trezeguet, Ezri Konsa and Scott Hogan. They will turn out to be either the Fulham of last season or somewhere towards Wolves. I see them being somewhere in between.
Bournemouth – It has been an unspectacular yet effective window, keeping hold of key players like Ryan Fraser, Callum Wilson and Nathan Ake and continuing to bring in players from the Championship and continue their development. Harry Wilson in particular excelled at that level and is a very good move for all parties. Phillip Billing and Loyd Kelly are also good fits to the Bournemouth philosophy.
Brighton – Neil Muapay was one of the top strikers in the championship and subsequently was wanted by many premiership sides so Brighton did well to get him. Deadline day signing Aaron Mooy will add quality and creativity to midfield however letting Anthony Knockert leave was a strange decision and I fear for them that this will not be enough to keep them up this time around.
Burnley – Jay Rodriguez is their biggest signing and no doubt Burnley fans will be excited to see a former favourite return and he will add goals to a sturdy side. Their business in the goalkeeping department may surprise a few with letting favourite Tom Heaton leave who was excellent on his return to the side last season, they have replaced Heston with leeds goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell. Danny Drinkwater was a late deal and is perfect for Burnley’s solid midfield.
Chelsea – An interesting season lies ahead under record goal scorer Frank Lampard due to their transfer ban. In Lampard they have an ideal man to work in these circumstances due to his ability to work with youngsters and with him being a club legend the board are more likely to be patient if results are not ideal. Big seasons for Hudson-Odi, Batshuayi and other younger players at the club lie ahead and I see Chelsea dropping out of the top 4.
Crystal Palace – Big talent Aaron Wan-Bissaka has left for Manchester United and the 45 million hasn’t been spent. With only loans, free signings and undisclosed fees coming in. Wilfred Zaha handed in a transfer request but remains and Zaha will have to make do with at least another 6 months at Palace, will he perform to the same standards however?
Everton – Andre Gomes was an impressive player last season and they have made the loan signing permanent in their most exciting addition. Idressa Gueye was also an important player however he has departed and a replacement was needed. This has been achieved in the form of Fabien Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin who can both play in the CDM role. They have also strengthened up top by bringing in Juventus striker Moise Kean and late on transfer deadline day spent 35 million to bring exciting winger Alex Iwobi from Arsenal. A strong push for 7th place and European Football this season is on the cards.
Leicester – Youri Tielemans and Ayoze Perez are both good additions but they will have to deal with the loss of Harry Maguire at the back. Brendan Rodgers has the qualities as a manager to make Leicester European contenders.
Liverpool – No major signings but having Alex Olade-Chamberlian and Adam Lallana fully fit will almost be like new signings. Midfeild creativity was the only criticism they received last season and these two bring that. The other reason for lack of additions is how do you improve on last seasons squad without really breaking the bank and potentially disputing team cohesion.
Manchester City – Title winners again by the smallest of margins but unlike Liverpool have spent on improving. City will see the Champions League as the next target and is most likely the reason why they have strengthened. Rodrigo has been brought in to chellenge and in the long term replace Fernandinho and Joao Cancello to provide stronger competition for Kyle Walker at right back and possibly more than likely start at left back giving Zinchenko was filling in there last year.
Manchester United – Have adopted the policy of bringing in young hungry players with a point to prove, Wan-Bissaka received massive plaudits for Palace last season but it remains to be seen whether he is ready for United. The same can be said about Daniel James who hasn’t even played in the Premiership to date. The signing of Harry Maguire was vital for united because he not only fits this policy but also brings more quality and (despite his age) experience. The departure of Lukaku was somewhat inevitable however I feel he has been unfairly treated as he has a lot of ability. Paul Pogba (the enigma) looked destined for the exit however he remains and it should be accepted that despite his attitude he is an extremely talented footballer and has the ability to run games and shouldn’t be expected to sprint up and down the pitch for 90 minutes.
Newcastle – A Soap opera of a summer which started in the worst possible way by losing manager Rafa Benitez, top goalscorers Rondon and Perez and the club not being sold. Things have improved with record signing Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maximin, Jetro Willems and then late on deadline day Andy Carroll arriving. These signings will have helped dampen the blow and in particular home-boy Carroll returning will get more fans on board but I can’t help feel they have taken a step backwards this summer.
Norwich – Have not spent big following promotion as champions and this could be a massive mistake. Patrick Roberts has joined on a season loan from Man City and could play a big role but not investing following promotion rarely ends well.
Sheffield United – Whilst not throwing the money that Aston Villa have at bidding to survive following promotion have made more astute signings than Norwich. Oliver Mcburnie is a striker with big potential and he has been joined in the attacking ranks by Lys Mousset with Luke Frreman adding more creativity to midfield. It will be interesting to see how Ben Osborn performs at a higher level following his departure from Forest (my team), work rate is one thing he gurantees and Chris Wilder expects this from everyone in the squad.
Southampton – Their season will depend on how new signing Che Adams adapts to higher level and if he can alter the Saints record of havng the worst shot conversion rate in the league last season. Always playing good attacking football and creating chances but if they’ve added cutting edge then they should be further way from the drop zone this year.
Tottenham – It’s a case of a good transfer windows for spurs but at times it looked like it could be an excellent one. Deals for Paulo Dybala and Philippe Coutinho would have been a real statement but personal terms could not be agreed. They did bring in Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon on deadline day however and both are exciting prospects. They will add pace and creativity in wide areas, whilst their other main signing Tanguy Ndombele will add a bit of everything to central midfield. The departure of Kieran Trippier to Athletico Madrdid is a blow and leaves them with a bit of a hole to fill at right back with only unconvincing Serge Aurier and youngster Kyle Walker-Peters available for that position.
Watford – Ismaila Sarr joined for a club record fee and adds to Watford’s exciting foreign imports. Keeping imports like Roberto Perreya and Gerard Deulofeu was key for them and they should be in for another good season.
West Ham – Star plyaer Marko Arnautovic has left but they have replaced him adequately with Sebastian Haller who impressed as part of the Entracht Frankfurt side who excelled in reaching the Europa League Semi Final last season. The 25-year-old had an impressive season in Germany – scoring 15 goals in the Bundesliga and five in the Europa League campaign. He has been joined at the London stadium by Pablo Fornal a creative midfielder from Villarreal. They will be one of a few teams hoping to finish the season in Europe.
Wolves – Enjoyed a terrific season last year and have a European campaign to look forward to as a result. The down side of that is extra matches and therefore the need for a bigger squad. They have added to the squad in the form of Jesus Vallejo and Patrick Cutrone however to repeat last season will be very difficult. But I do see them continuing to play attractive football, being comfortable in mid table and hopefully having a good run in Europe.
To conclude my preview I have put together my prediction for the final Premier League Table which you will find below.
- Manchester City
- Manchester United
- Leicester City
- West Ham
- Aston Villa
- Crystal Palace
- Sheffield United