With the international break coming so soon after the end of the transfer window and four games already played, we are now able to see how teams are shaping up for the season. From Bottom to top I will give my prediction of the Premier League table, with an assessment on each club’s respective transfer window.
Watford Predicted Finish 20th
Transferred in- Capoue, Jurado, Vydra, Berghuis, Behrami, Britos, Diamanti, Ibarbo, Holebas
Transferred out- Forestieri
NET SPEND £31.6 million
Watford came up this season losing the championship title on the final day in dramatic style as a late Sheffield Wednesday goal saw Bournemouth steal the title from under their grasp. Determined to stay in the top flight, Watford have splashed out over £30 million on 9 players. However, none of these players have proven Premier League quality.
Capoue (Spurs) and Diamanti (West Ham) both flopped for their respective clubs and the likes of Jurado, Berguis and Holebas are new to league and I expect them to struggle. The permanent signing of Vydra will add reinforcements upfront. Along with Ibarbo who will be a name most fifa players will know about, however his performances at previous clubs are nothing to be excited about. Watford will need Deeney to be firing all season to have any chance of staying up and I don’t think he alone has the goals to do it.
Bournemouth Predicted Finish 19th
Transferred In- Boruc, Gradel, Murray, Mings, Tomlin, Distin, Atsu (LOAN)
Transferred out- (N/A)
NET SPEND £23 million
Bournemouth’s fairytale story continues as they contest in their first top flight campaign. After narrowly avoiding relegation out of the football league in 2008-2009 season, Eddie Howe led the club to the Premier League in dramatic fashion, stealing the title from Watford on the final day.
As Bournemouth gear up for their first season in the top flight they spent over £20 million on 7 acquisitions. Record signing MIngs and Gradel are where the bulk of the money has gone. However, MIngs has been ruled out for the season and Gradel until Christmas in a double blow for Eddie Howe’s men. Boruc has been brought in on a permanent deal after a successful loan from rival Southampton, with Murray and Distin coming in to add much needed premier league experience. Bournemouth will give it their best shot and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were to stay up. Just like Deeney, Callum Wilson needs a big season however I feel Bournemouth will fall just short of the premier league trap door.
Norwich predicted finish 18th
Transferred in- Brady, Mulumbu, Dorrans, Wisdom (loan) Jarvis (loan)
Transferred out- Van Wolfswinkel, Bunn)
Norwich bounced back at the first time of asking through the lottery of the playoffs at the expense of Middlesbrough. Norwich have always had an in depth squad, however they’ve always lacked key players that can cut it in the premier league. Brady, Mulumbu, Dorrans and wisdom have all got premier league quality and have added to the depth in squad. However it can be argued that the likes of Mulumbu and Dorrans who were let go by fellow relegation candidates West Brom and it’s hard to see what impact they can have on Norwich. Norwich has a good spine to the team and with Alex Neil in charge they have every chance of staying up. Norwich’s fate will be decided in games against teams in and around them.
Sunderland predicted finish 17th
Transferred in- M’Villa, Lens, Borini, Kaboul, Coates, Toivonen (LOAN) Yedlin (LOAN)
Transferred out- Wickham, Giaccherini (LOAN)
Net spend £14 million
Sunderland have survived by the skin of their teeth time and time again in recent years and I think they’ll do it again this season. Despite them picking up just two points in their opening four games and sitting bottom of the table, the international break has come at the perfect time. Sunderland have a solid squad and boast experience all over the park, however they seem to suffer from a significant lack of confidence. So many times last season they went on long spells without wins and in those games they looked nervous and showed a lack of confidence. Dick Advocaat created confidence last season and was vital in keeping Sunderland up, however all the talk about whether he’s staying or not is hardly reassurance for the players. Sunderland has made good signings. M’Villa is a great capture for Sunderland given the teams that have sought after him in previous seasons. Kaboul adds some much needed cover in the centre back spot. Although they are favorites for the trap door, I feel Sunderland have a decent window and for that reason I have them to stay up, just.
West Brom predicted finish 16th
Transferred In- Rondon, Lambert, Evans, Mcclean, Lindergaard, Gnarby (LOAN)
Transferred Out- Dorrans, Mulumbu, Lescott, Ideye, Baird)
West Brom under Tony Pulis looks a safe bet to stay up. Keeping Berhaino was vital in their quest to stay in the premier league with the English ace top scoring with 14 goals last term. Partnered with Rondon and you have a very fierce strike force. Rondon was brought in for a club record for £12 million and has settled in instantly tormenting John Terry in the 3-2 defeats. The signing of Jonny Evans from Manchester United is also a great signing and will slot in well to the already rigid defence. There’s no reason why West Brom can’t push for a higher spot but I have them in 16th position.
Newcastle United predicted finish 15th
Transferred in- Wijnaldum, Mitrovic, Thauvin, Mbemba
Transferred out- Santon, Abeid, Cabella (LOAN)
Net Spend £42 million
Newcastle fans have been crying out for years for real money to be spent and there can be no complaints after a net spend of £42 million. Wijnaldum is a capture that will excite the Geordie faithful as the Dutch playmaker offers much needed creativity in the side. However the £13 million on Mitrovic seems to be a massive risk and one so far that has backfired with just a red card and handful of bookings to his name. Its worth remembering that for the same price, a proven all round goalscorer, Charlie Austin was available, arguably a safer and smarter choice. Thauvin was also brought in for £12 million despite being named in Ligue 1 worst side of the season. Newcastle will stay up but I can’t see the new signings improving this team too much.
Leicester predicted finish 14th
Transferred in- Inler, Okazaki, Benalouane, Kante, Huth, Fuchs, Dyer (Loan)
Transferred out- Cambiasso, Nugent, Wood
Net spend £20.4 million
The tinkerman seems to have got his team spot on so far as Leicester sit 3rd with 9 points from 4 games. Mahrez is in the form of his life with 4 goals in 4 games catapulting Leicester up the table. Leicester have also done very well in the transfer market, Cambiasso was always going to be a massive loss after a influential spell for the club, however the signing of Swiss international Inler is a massive coupe for the club. Japenese international Okazaki a proven goalscorer should add goals to the side. And the loan signing of Dyer on deadline day could prove to be one of the signings of the season with the pacey winger fitting perfectly into the model Leicester are creating. Leicester are an improving team, and could finish high up this season and I expect them to finish comfortably in mid table.
Aston Villa predicted finish 13th
Transferred in- Ayew, Gueye, Veretout, Troare, Amavi, Sinclair, Lescott, Gestede, Richards
Transferred out- Benteke, Delph, Given, Weimann, Sylla, Luna, Vlaar
NET SPEND £8.9 million
Aston Villa improved massively last season with Tim Sherwood leading them to the final of the FA cup final and premier league safety. However Villa have lost 3 key players. Vlaar, Delph and Benteke, argubably the spine of the team have all left the club. Although I feel Villa have done good business in the window, the new signings will take time to settle in and I can see Villa struggling early on. Gestede for a reported £6 million fee is a great signing, and replacement for Benteke with more headed goals than anyone in the last two seasons in the top 4 English leagues. Scott Sinclair adds to an already pacey attack. Lescott and Richards adds much needed experience to a very young defence, while Amavi has slotted into left back very well in the opening games. Expect Villa to start slowly but build through the season as the team comes together.
West Ham predicted finish 12th
Transferred In- Song (LOAN) Moses (LOAN) Jenkinson (LOAN) Payet, Ogbonna, Jelavic, Antonio, Obiang
Transferred out- Downing, Maiga, Nolan, Cole, Demel
Net spend £29.6 million
After a stunning start last season, poor performances after Christmas saw Allardyce sacked in the summer and replaced with Slaven Bilic. Mixed performances so far have seen the Hammers crash out of Europe to minnowers Astra, while two shock defeats against Leicester and Bournemouth at home. However shock wins away to Arsenal and Liverpool have left West ham in mid table. The exit from Europe may be a blessing in disguise as Europa league typically hampers team performances in the league, although West Ham’s target for the season will be Europe in which they player a poor team this season. A lack of discipline will also be a worry in which West Ham have picked up numerous red cards already this season. However west ham have had a brilliant transfer window. Shipping out Maiga, Cole and Demel all surplus to requirements. The loan signing of Song is a massive coupe once again. While Antonio, Moses and Jelavic add depth to the squad. Along with Ogbonna from Italian champions Juventus is also a coupe although his game time in recent years has been limited. The final transfer and my signing of the season is Dmitri Payet. Arguably good enough to get in any team outside the top four. The French playmaker has set in quick with influential performances against Arsenal and Liverpool and can become one of the best players in the league. A mixed start and poor discipline is why I have west ham to finish 12th.
Stoke predicted finish 11th
Transferred in- Shaqiri, Afellay, Joselu, Wollscheid, Johnson, El Ouriachi, Van Ginkel (LOAN)
Transferred out- N’Zonzi, Begovic, Huth
Net spend £3.3 million
Stoke have had a mixed transfer window and start to the season with just two points from the opening 4 games. There’s been a lot of hype over Stoke this window with 2 marquee signings Shaqiri and Afellay coming in. Shaqiri will no doubt add to the talent stoke have on the flanks and will suit the physical game. Afellay on the other hand has never really fulfilled his potential after leaving Barcelona for spells in Germany and Greece and it will be interesting to see if he has any impact in this team. Glen Johnson also adds to the defence although his performances at Liverpool declined in his last seasons for the club. Stoke boast 4 champions league winners in the squad, a joint high in the league, however the loss of N’Zonzi will hit stoke hard. N’Zonzi was a very underrated defensive midfielder and its no surprise to see him join Sevilla. There’s too much hype and pressure around Stoke at the moment and for the fans they’ll sit a disappointing midtable. However they are only one or two players away from contending from that European spot.
Crystal Palace predicted finish 10th
Transferred in- Cabaye, Sako, Wickham, Mccarthy, Bamford (LOAN)
Transferred out- Murray, Bannan, Guediora
Net spend £18.5 million
Palace have picked up where they left off last season with 3 wins from 4, seeing them occupy the 2nd spot, with only Manchester City boasting a better start. They’ve also had a great transfer window keeping hold of Bolasie from Tottenham who was undoubtedly one of their key players last season. The signing of Cabaye is a massive coupe and one, which can take them to the next level. Sako from Wolves is also a good signing, adding more goals to an already exciting attack. Palace can expect to have a good signing but I feel the quality is just short of their European challengers.
Southampton predicted finish 9th
Transferred in- Claise, Van Dijk, Juanmi, Romeu, Cedric Soares, Steklenburg (LOAN) Caulker (LOAN)
Transferred out- Schneiderlin, Clyne, Boruc
NET SPEND £3.2 million
You have to sympathise for Southampton as for the second summer running their squad has been dismantled as key players are lured to bigger clubs. This season influential midfield Schneiderlin and attacking right back Clyne joined Manchester United and Liverpool Respectively. However Southampton’s scouts deserve a lot of credit as the players who have come in to replace these big names departures have more than merited the boots they have filled. This summer the like for like replacements have seen Claise and Cedric Soares brought in and I’m sure both will make good impressions early on. Van Dijk is another good signing from Celtic as he adds strength to the defence. Southampton also welcome back Jay Rodriguez who returns after missing the whole of last season with a knee injury. However with key departures it’s hard to see Southampton retaining a place in the Europa league with teams around them doing better business.
Everton predicted finish 8th
Transferred in- Deulofeu, Cleverley, Lennon, Mori)
Transferred out- (Distin, Alcaraz)
Net spend £15.1 million
One of the longest running saga’s came to an end with Everton standing firm on young wonderkid John Stones. When Chelsea came chasing it was hard to see the young talent staying in Merseyside but hats of too Everton for keeping such a key player. With Distin and Alcaraz leaving it was important whether Stones stay or not too add reinforcements to the defence and they did in Argentinian international Mori. They’ve also brought in Tom Cleverley who has a point to prove after deemed surplus to requirements at Manchester United. Deulofeu also joins on a permanent deal this time with fans hoping for similar performances to his loan move two seasons ago. The most exciting news for Everton fans is the revitalized Lukaku who looks a different player than last season. Lukaku has been back to his best so far this season and Everton will be hoping he continues like this to reclaim a European spot.
Swansea City predicted finish 7th
Transferred in- Ayew, Eder, Tabanou)
Transferred out- Dyer (LOAN)
Net spend £9.6 million
Gary Monk doesn’t get enough credit for the job he has done. Taking over from Laudrup and starting off as a player manager, I don’t think anyone could have expected the way Monk has done with Swansea. After coming 8th last season and just missing out on Europe, Monk has added to his squad. Eder adds options up top while Tabanou adding competiton at left back to Taylor. Andre Ayew on a free however is contender for signing of the season with the winger scoring 3 in 4 games and making a big impact already. Swansea have a solid squad, and I can only see them getting stronger this season finishing in a respectable 7th.
Tottenham Hotspur predicted finish 6th
Transferred in- Alderweireld, Heung Min-Son, N’Jie, Trippier, Wimmer
Transferred out- Soldado, Paulinho, Stambouli, Capoue, Holtby, Chiriches, Kaboul, Lennon
Net Spend £12.3 million
After the sale of Gareth Bale in 2013, 7 players were brought in to take Spurs into the top 4. Two years on and 4 of these players have been shipped out, failing to make any impact at all. A very poor and expensive investment that just didn’t work for Spurs. Hoping to have learnt their lesson, Spurs have brought in 5 players this summer, hoping to build on last season’s 5th place finish and go one step further. In comes Trippier and Wimmer to add depth in defence along with Belgium international Alderweireld who will no doubt partner Vertonghen at the back. Heung Min-Son and N’Jie have also come in as spurs look to add to their attack with Harry Kane the only recognised striker. Spurs though have had a poor start so far failing to win any of their opening four games, with Kane yet to net. Kane will need to produce another 20-goal season if Spurs are to break into the top four for the first time since 2010. I think Kane might struggle, and if he does Spurs will fall short of that champions league spot once again.
Liverpool predicted finish 5th
Transferred in- Benteke, Firmino, Clyne, Milner, Ings, Gomez
Transferred out- Sterling, Borini, Lambert, Gerrard, Balotelli (LOAN)
Net Spend £21.7 million
Once again Liverpool have lost a key player in the summer window with Raheem Sterling joining Manchester City and Steven Gerrard joining LA Galaxy. The young wonderkid was a massive part in Liverpool’s past two seasons, however the shining light for Liverpool will be the £49 million transfer received. Gerrard moves on after becoming more of a squad player last season after 17 seasons in the first team. Liverpool blew the £75 million for Suarez and it was vital they didn’t again. They’ve done better this time, bringing in a proven striker in Benteke and Brazilian playmaker Firmino. They’ve also brought in Milner on a free and Clyne at right back, two solid acquisitions. Ings has added much needed depth up top with Borini, Balotelli and Lambert all heading out of Merseyside. The surprise performance of young defender Gomez has also been an extra boost with the defender not expecting to be in the first team squad. However Liverpool been given a tough start to the season and after a shock defeat at home to west ham I think they’ll struggle to begin with. Expect them to fall just short of rivals United for the second season running.
Manchester United predicted finish 4th
Transferred in- Martial, Memphis, Darmian, Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger, Romero
Transferred out- Di Maria, Van Persie, Hernandez, Evans, Rafael, Januzaj (LOAN)
Net spend £43.4 million
I can’t quite make out whether the summer window has been a good one or a bad one for united. The longest running saga of the summer regarding De Gea was a shambles and resulted in the wantaway star staying at United for now. What good this is too united is yet to be seen with the keeper key to United’s campaign last season. The other bizarre situation surrounding United is the Staggering £58 million pound transfer fee for teenage Anthony Martial who has just 11 goals in senior football. With Van Persie and Hernandez leaving and Falcao not returning after a flop of a loan spell, it leaves united with just two first team strikers. Leaving a lot of pressure on the 19 year old should Rooney pick up an injury. United’s transfer policy is also in dire need of a reform. With the Likes of Ramos and Muller rejecting lucrative moves, with Manchester rivals City signing commanding centre back Otamendi, and Chelsea stealing Pedro from right under their noses. Elsewhere though, United have done good business, Memphis is one of the most exciting prospects in European football and will no doubt be a fan favorite in no time. Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger add much needed quality in the centre of midfield while Darmian replaces Rafael at right back. Romero was expected to replace De Gea although after a poor start to his united career, united fans will want De Gea back as quick as possible. United lack goals in new look formation with Rooney up top and they look good for another season in Europe however the lack of goals will fail to see any title bid for another season at Old Trafford.
Arsenal predicted finish 3rd
Transferred in- Cech
Transferred out- Podolski, Diaby, Szcesny (loan)
NET SPEND £10.7 Million
I feel for arsenal fans, every year they lack one or two players to really challenge for the title, and every year Wenger seems to ignore this. I think every football fan in the world can see Arsenal need a centre back and defensive midfielder to really challenge for the title. Petr Cech is a stunning signing and one that will win them 10+ points across the season, however they only have Coquelin as a defensive minded midfielder and they lack depth in the centre defence with only the unproven Gabriel providing cover. Why arsenal were not interested in brining Song back on loan or a player of that quality only Wenger will know, but because of this Arsenal have no hope of the title. Expect to see a solid finish with the FA Cup becoming their sole focus on another successful season.
Chelsea predicted finish 2nd
Transferred in- Falcao (LOAN), Pedro, Rahman, Begovic, Djilobodji
Transferred out- Cech, Romeu, Cuadrado (LOAN)
Net Spend £38.1 million
I think if you asked who would win the title before the season including myself most fans would of replied with Chelsea. But after a lackluster start that has seen Chelsea pick up just four points, I can’t look any further than Manchester City. Chelsea looks a different team to the last season. Fabregas has yet to return from his holidays and Matic looks a shadow of the player he was last season. The defence has also been poor with Ivanovic being targeted time and time again. The poor start has lead to repeated bids for Everton defender John Stones before a shock signing in Djilobodji. A name I’m sure will have Paul Merson sweating on a Saturday afternoon. The same defender a reported host of promoted teams rejected the chance to buy just weeks before. However the surprise purchase of Pedro from just under United’s nose is the perfect player for Mourinho, a player who has won everything with exceptional technical ability and a high work rate. Chelsea will need to be at their best after this break to catch City but based on early form, City look to strong.
Manchester City predicted finish 1st
Transferred in-Sterling, Otamendi, De Bruyne, Delph, Roberts
Transferred out-Negredo, Milner, Dzeko (LOAN) Jovetic (LOAN)
Net Spend- £101.3 million
City was poor last season and they know it. That’s seen an incredible spending spree with City’s net spend in excess of £100 million pounds. However City look a much stronger and complete squad. City’s problem in recent seasons has been pace on the wings. Bringing Sterling in gives City a much more counter attacking threat with Navas on the other wing. The improved performances of key players Silva, Toure and Kompany have seen City storm straight to the top of the table with 4 wins from 4 while yet to concede a goal. Otamendi adds competition to Mangala in the heart of the defence while the £55 million pound signing De Bruyne adds more quality to an already large midfield. It seems hard to think where De Bruyne will fit in with a midfield already containing the likes of David Silva and Yaya Toure. On early evidence City look a new team this season and even if Chelsea pick up their form, City look near unbeatable this season.