The transfer window seems to always out do itself in terms of extravagance and this summer was no different. The sales of Luis Suarez to FC Barcelona, Alexis Sanchez to Arsenal, David Luiz to PSG, Diego Costa/Filipe Luis/Cortouis to Chelsea headlined many transfers in the Premier League. WorldFootie takes a look at some of the big teams in the premier league and what the season ahead can bring.
Manchester City (Defending Champions)
Manuel Pellegrini helped secure MCFC’s 2nd title in 3 years and will look to defend their championship and challenge for the European Cup as their most coveted trophy. City notable transfers include one of the most underrated keeprs in the world Willy Caballero coming from La Liga, Fernando from FC Porto and Bacary Sagna from Arsenal. Joleon Lescott, Jack Rodwell and Gareth Barry departed the club as well. The club has been in talks with FC Porto for super french defender prospect Mangala but nothing has materliazed. The club has strengthened and it will be interesting to see how Pellegrini will implement a rejuvenated Jovetic to the rotation and how long it will be till Aguero reaches match fitness again with a nagging injury. Willy Caballero might not be well known in England but he was one of the best goalkeepers in La Liga last year and I believe he will challenge Joe Hart for the first choice keeper seeing as how Hart is not the most consistent keeper. Their midfield is one of the deepest in terms of talent in the premier league and with the likes of Fernando arriving, who will make the first team? The key to keeping their roster happy will be making deep runs in the Champions League and FA Cup alike. One thing is for sure, City faithful had a sigh of relief when their most valuable player of last season Yaya Toure, assured them that he would remain at the club.
WorldFootie predicted Finish: 3rd place.
Arsenal (2013-2014 Place: 4th)
Arsene Wenger broke his strict financial budget spending last year and has not looked back with another stellar signing this season in Alexis Sanchez. Alexis is one of the most coveted forwards in the world and will explode onto the premiership this season. He was always in the shadows of Messi and Neymar last season and was not valued even though he was probably Barcelona’s Hardest working player game in and out. He seems to play best as a center forward where he can have more space but early indications report that he will play on the left wing alongside Olivier Giroud. Arsenal also saw Colombian GoalKeeper David Ospina come from OGC Nice at a steal along with promising defender Mathie Debucy from Newcastle and young Southampton prospect Calum Chambers. Debuchy in my opinion is an upgrade over the departure of Bacary Sagna and for once I think Arsenal will have a decent defensive line that I believe has been the difference in trophies and falling just short for them in recent years. With the likes of Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud, a rising star in Ramsey and with great midfield depth, I think Arsenal will make a deeper run in the Champions League, challenge for the FA Cup title again and be one of the Premier League title favorites.
WorldFootie predicted finish: 2nd place.
Liverpool (2013-2014 Place: 2nd)
The Liverpool project has gained massive steam and saw them unfortunately lose the title in the last few weeks of the season. The reds looked like they were on their way to win their first title in 24 years and will look to make another run at it this year. The addition of Adam Lallana, Ricky Lambert, Dejan Lovren and Lazar Markovic will curve the loss of Superstar Luis Suarez but it will be hard to replicate all the goals the volatile Uruguayan brought week in and out for Liverpool. Brendan Rogers will be getting his first taste of Champions League football and Liverpool’s first since their 5 year absence. The potential for continued success is there though with Coutinho, Sterling and Deadly Striker Sturridge all becoming rising stars. Will Brendan Rogers be able to compete on all fronts and return Anfield to it’s glory? Their biggest concern for their title campaign will be if they have a deep enough squad to compete in the premier league, fa cup, champions league and other trophies.
WorldFootie predicted finish: 4th place
Manchester United (2013-2014 finish: 7th place)
United suffered one of their worst campaigns in several decades and will miss the champions league this season for the first time since the ban on all english teams was lifted in 1990. Good news for the United faithful is that they have brought on a Champions League winning and long tenured proven manager in Louis Van Gaal. His most recent exploits saw him take the Nederlands to the Semi-Finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup through a philosophy of quick counter attacking football. He has said that he will bring a similar approach to United in their new campaign. His recent appointment of Wayne Rooney as captain is one of the many changes he has implemented so far and no ones spot in the team is safe at the moment. With key departures of Rio Ferdinand, Vidic, Giggs and Scholes, Van Gaal has been busy in the transfer window. He has already signed on Luke Shaw and is looking at adding another key player with the Likes of Arturo Vidal, Cuadrado and Marco Reus in the mix. United will be long till they get back to their old winning ways but Van Gaal is definitely a step in the right direction and World Footie sees them making deep runs in the FA Cup and the premiership this year.
WorldFootie predicted finish: 5th place
Chelsea FC (2013-2014 finish: 3rd place)
Jose Mourinho has carefully crafted his current squad over the last couple of months and is boasting one of the deepest and most talented squads in the world. His key additions include 3 Champions League Finalists in Thibaut Courtois, Filipe Luis and Diego Costa and also the addition of Cesc Fabregas and the return of Drogba(who will be out of action for approximately 6 months). The departure of long time Chelsea legend Frank Lampard and defender Ashley Cole was a slight blow but it’ll be hard to argue that their replacements were not clear upgrades in talent. Chelsea will be challenging for every title they take part in and will be one of Europe’s favorites take to win the Champions League in the Olympiastadion in Berlin next June. The Squad has enough depth to rotate and compete in both Europe and their Domestic League and WorldFootie predicts they will be reaching the Champions League Semi-Finals at the least and also lift up the coveted Barclays Premier league title at the end of the year.
WorldFootie predicted finish: Champions
–Disgruntled Sports Fan