As the Premier League season is just around the corner, it’s time for fans to get caught up with what is happening. At the end of last season, Liverpool and Manchester City fought for 1st place on the final week, with Man City coming out with a victory against West Ham to win the EPL. On the opposite side of the table, the three teams lowest in points (who were Norwich, Watford, and Burnley) are relegated to a league below, the EFL Championship. The top three from the Championship are promoted to the Premier League. Nottingham Forest, a team who had been near the bottom of the Championship for the longest time, made a manager change mid-season, which proved to be huge. New manager Steve Cooper got Forest promoted to the Premier League for the first time since 1995. All major clubs have made major moves so far through the offseason, so buckle up for what will be a thrilling 2022-23 campaign.
- Manchester City
The defending Premier League Champions did make some big moves this summer, primarily surrounding the signing of one of Europe’s best strikers, Erling Haaland. The deal was worth around £51 million, giving City just what they needed. A strong, big man up front to provide goal scoring. That being said, they did lose some key midfielders/wingers. Gabriel Jesus, who had been at the club since 2017, left and joined Arsenal on a £45 million deal. Raheem Sterling also joined a London club, this time Chelsea, for a fee reported around £47.5 million.
Now, City can rely on their £100 million man from Aston Villa, Jack Grealish. Grealish didn’t live up to expectations last year whatsoever, but was also on the bench for the majority of the games, getting minimal playing time. Now with Sterling and Jesus gone, we should be able to see Grealish flourish under legendary manager Pep Guardiola. Manchester City also brought in midfielder Kalvin Phillips, from Leeds United. Phillips has a ton of potential, being just 26 years old, but I feel this season he will be used like Grealish was last season. More for depth purposes. City fans don’t need to worry if that’s the case, though, because Kalvin did sign a 6 year contract, through the 2028 season.
Their biggest need is in at left back. City’s two full backs are right footed, but Joao Cancelo can play left back at times. If Guardiola is able to get a left back before this season starts, I feel this will be one of the most complete Manchester City teams we have seen in a long time.
- Liverpool F.C.
Led by forward Mohamed Salah, Liverpool had a good season, but disappointing at the same time. The Reds were runners up in both the Premier League and Champions League, unable to rise up to the occasion. On top of the disappointment, star forward Sadio Mané joined German giants Bayern Munich for a fee of around £27 million. Mané was Liverpool’s second leading scorer last year in the EPL, netting 23.
Although this is a huge loss, Jürgen Klopp’s side are hoping Uruguayan striker Darwin Núñez can replace Sadio in some way. Núñez completed a move from Portuguese side SL Benfica for a record breaking fee of £85 million. There is no question that The Reds are fully invested in this wonderkid, but just how good he can be is in question. His preseason campaign got off to a rough start, but he quickly tarnished the headlines by putting in 4 goals in a single game. I’m not sure Liverpool will be nearly as good next season, but they will definitely remain in the top 4.
- Chelsea F.C.
To me, Chelsea is the least convincing roster I see from last season’s top 4. They lost some key pieces, led by forward Romelu Lukaku. Lukaku is headed back to Italian club Inter Milan on loan for one season. Chelsea bought him from Inter for £100 million, and let him go for just £8.8 million. About a £90 million loss on just one player. As mentioned previously in the article, left winger Raheem Sterling is joining The Blues, which is huge for them.
Without this transfer, Chelsea fans would be rioting. Antonio Rüdiger left for defending LaLiga Champions Real Madrid and Andreas Christensen is now joining F.C. Barcelona for free. These two departures really hurt Chelsea, as they weren’t able to find solid replacements for these two. Thomas Tuchel and his office were beat to many signings, most recently center back Jules Koundé, who is also joining Barcelona. Chelsea have a solid squad, don’t get me wrong, I just don’t think it’s a side good enough to win any trophies next year. Although it would be a very small chance, could we see Chelsea miss the top 4, and have to play for Europa League?
- Tottenham F.C.
Coming off of a very surprising qualification for the Champions League, Antonio Conte’s side started off the offseason quickly, by signing center forward Richarlison from Everton. In my eyes, a CF wasn’t something that Spurs necessarily needed, especially at that kind of a price (£63.8 million), but we can now expect two forwards up front consistently. They followed the Richarlison signing quickly with former Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma. Bissouma is a solid CM, without putting the ball in the net much.
Other than these two signings, it looks like Tottenham are confident in the roster they have right now, and I completely agree. This roster has youn, raw talent mixed with veterans who have played Champions League ball. The potential for the roster is very high, and Antonio Conte has done a good job of utilizing it during his time here so far. I think Spurs have a strong chance to finish in the Top 4 again, but their UCL run will be even more intriguing.
- Arsenal F.C.
A season where Champions League was in Arsenal’s hands, but they flatout choked and handed the last UCL spot to their biggest rivals, Tottenham, is what will be motivating them for the 2022-23 campaign. The Gunners made a huge signing this summer in Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus, who is joining from Manchester City. Jesus seems to have already fit in well with Arsenal, as he has scored 4 goals already during the preseason.
An under the radar signing that the Gunners made was Center Attacking Midfielder, Fabio Viera. Viera is coming over from F.C. Porto, providing depth in the midfield, which was much needed. Most recently, Ukrainian left back Oleksandr Zinchenko also came over from Manchester City. Although Arsenal already have a strong left back in Kieran Tierney, Zinchenko has proven to be able to play multiple positions including CDM. This is vital for Arsenal as Granit Xhaka just isn’t reliable, he hasn’t been able to perform on a consistent basis.
Do I think Arsenal have a Champions League worthy team? Yes. But it all comes down to manager Mikel Arteta, and how he prepares his squad. He cannot afford to go on cold stretches, and lost multiple games in a row last season. Those last few games were ultimately what cost them a spot in Europe’s finest competition.
- Manchester United
One of the richest clubs in European History, Manchester United are now entering a new era under former Ajax manager Erig Ten Haag. So far, it looks like the fans are excited about what Ten Haag can bring to Old Trafford, as the preseason has been promising. That being said, a lot of talk has been surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo, and his departure. You can compare the situation of Man U to that of the Los Angeles Lakers. Both teams have a ton of money, but have utilized it the wrong way. They each have a top 2 (1 for some people) player of all time, who are in the back of their prime.
As for Manchester United though, they have lost some key players. They lost Nemanja Matic, and more importantly, Paul Pogba. Both for free. They did, however, bring in Ajax center back, Lisandro Martinez for £63 million. Martinez is a huge pickup as Man U have a lot of depth on the defensive side. Their result at the end of next season heavily relies on whether Cristiano Ronaldo is willing to play in the Europa League or not, but it will be very interesting to see how Ten Haag uses his tactics differently than former managers, and if it will be successful.
Frenkie De Jong, is also a name that the Red Devils are looking into. De Jong is familiar with Ten Haag, as the twoo were together for over a year. He doesn’t want to leave F.C. Barcelona, but Barca simply cannot afford him from the looks of it. If De Jon were to come to Man U, and CR7 stays, I think that they can qualify for Champions League next season, because they already have a lot of quality, it’s just a matter of meshing together. If not, it may just be another dismal year for United fans.