6 weeks ago, I posted predictions for the upcoming Premier League season. If you happened to miss it you can read the article here. With the transfer window half over, here are my updated predictions based on rosters and rumors as of today. Over at premierleague.com, you can view the latest up-to-date official transfers for all the Premier League clubs.
1) Manchester United (+0) – Eerily quiet in the transfer window for the Red Devils. However, you know the old motto: “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”. If they start the season with their current squad, they should remain favorites to repeat. However, losing Rooney would put a big chink in their armor, especially if it is to another Premier League club.
2) Manchester City (+1) – What a difference 6 weeks makes. I had Chelsea at the #2 spot last prediction, but Manchester City has made two more key signings. To go along with Jesus Navas and Fernadinho, they also added Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic to their attacking side. These are two great signings and much needed with the departure of Balotelli last season and Tevez most recently. Aguero, Negredo, Jovetic give City top class options at the attacking positions. We’ll see how Jovetic fairs in his first Premier League season.
3) Chelsea (-1) – Chelsea has been quiet since the transfer window opened. Only adding Andre Schurrle, who was an early summer signing. They missed out on Cavani, who ended up at PSG. Can they steal Rooney from United as the reports suggest they are trying to do? If Rooney does make a move to the Blues, it would certainly close the gap among the top 3. However, I was expecting another high profile signing or two by now which is why they dropped below the ambitious Manchester City.
4) Tottenham (+1) – For now, Bale is still a Hotspur. However, if the latest reports are true regarding Real Madrid’s bid, maybe not for long. As of today though, they have added Paulinho, who is a good signing to bolster the midfield. They are also in advanced talks to sign Soldado which would be a great signing as they are in need of a quality striking option. With that said, if Bale leaves, you can kiss 4th place goodbye. I see 4th as their highest possible finish, but could drop to as low as 6th or even 7th should Bale depart.
5) Arsenal (-1) – Arsenal’s transfer rumors have been discussed at length on this site and there is seemingly a different development daily. With that said, their ONLY signing thus far is Yaya Sanogo, a French U-20 International with a checkered injury record. They missed out on likely transfers Higuain and Jovetic, and have put all their focus on signing the controversial Luis Suarez. They have done very well in clearing out some of the dead weight that has plagued them for a few seasons, they just need to fill those spots with some quality signings now to challenge the top 3. Suarez would obviously bump them up to the top tier while simultaneously dropping Liverpool into the Tier 3 range. We’ll see how Arsenal’s summer plays out but this could be the make or break year as they always seem to be a few players away. I don’t see them dropping any lower than 5th, so they can only go up from here depending on who they happen to acquire.
6) Liverpool (+0) – Not too much has changed with Liverpool since the last post. Suarez is still on the squad, for now. They did ship the struggling Pepe Reina off to Napoli and brought in Simon Mignolet as a replacement and potential upgrade. Otherwise, they have been fairly quiet this offseason which doesn’t bode well for an above average squad. Should they lose Suarez, they would need to replace him with two quality signings to remain in tier 2.
7) Everton (+0) – Also having a quiet transfer window thus far. They did bring in Arouna Kone from Wigan, which could be a good risk/reward type of transfer should he stay healthy. If they can hang onto Baines and Fellaini, and add another quality player or two, they could potentially fight for a Champions League spot, but as of now are a couple signings away from that level.
8) Swansea (+0) – Swansea has been relatively busy this transfer window. They have added a few good players that should help them finish in the top half of the table yet again. Wilfried Bony should prove to be a great signing to take some of the goal scoring pressure off of Michu. Jonathan De Guzman could be a valuable loan signing that will solidify their midfield, while Jonjo Shelvey will look for a career resurgence after his move from Liverpool. I look for Swansea to be a pesky team for the top clubs and certainly not an easy club to earn points from.
9) Newcastle United (+0) – Still no forward replacement for Ba. However, they have retained all of their important players and look to rebound from a disappointing campaign last season. They have the talent, let’s see if that leads to results this time around. The chemistry should be there this season if they can maintain focus.
10) Southampton (Unranked) – Rounding out the top 10 I think will be Southampton. They have only made two signings so far, but two signings that will greatly improve their squad. By spending a combined 20m on Defender Dejan Lovren and Forward Victor Wanyama, they added quality to both ends of the pitch. Wanyama could be one of the most underrated Premier League signings this season.
Dropped from top 10: Fulham
Tottenham and Manchester City have made the highest impact signings so far, which is represented by their bump up in the projected table. I have a feeling this will be a very interesting final month of the transfer window. I will post my final predictions following deadline day, once the clubs are finalized at least until January.
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