Huddersfield Town won one of the most lucrative games in world football on Monday (May 29), after beating Reading in the Play-Off Final to book their place in the Premier League next year.
The game, thought to be worth around £170m, might have brought an end to the season, but preparations are only just beginning for Huddersfield and other newly promoted sides Newcastle and Brighton.
There’s plenty of hard work to be done before the start of the 2017/18 season rolls around in August, but who do the early signs suggest has the best chance of staying up next season?
loaded rates the newly promoted sides’ chances of survival next year below:
After just one season away, it’s no surprise to see Newcastle United back in the Premier League.
In Rafa Benitez, they have a manager with a world-renowned reputation. The former Liverpool and Chelsea boss’s record is certainly impressive, and he’ll have no problem attracting players to the club in the summer. In fact, the club is already being linked with big-money moves for the likes of Manchester City defender Eliaquim Mangala, who arrived in Manchester for around £42m in 2014.
Mike Ashley promised that ‘every penny’ of the club’s extra income would towards transfer funds, meaning Benitez could have anywhere up to £70m to spend on new players over the summer. If the club invests that money wisely and gets off to a good start next season, Benitez can forget about a relegation scrap; with the players and spending power he’s got at his disposal he’ll be targeting a top-half finish in the league next year.
Chances of staying up: 8/10
Brighton & Hove Albion
Brighton proved to be one of the most eye-catching teams in the Championship last term, and would have finished champions if it weren’t for a late drop-off in form.
There’s no doubting the quality in the club’s first XI either. Attacking midfielder Anthony Knockaert was named Championship player of the year after chalking up 15 goals and 8 assists, while Lewis Dunk has also been key to the team’s success at the back. Keeping them both fit and in form will be crucial to their survival hopes next year.
The team plays an attractive style of football, and their promotion has been coming for the past few seasons. However, the squad is a small one, which has been exposed for a lack of depth at times last term and it’ll need strengthening for the club to have a chance of impressing in the league next year. However, if they can make Knockaert the focal point of their attack next year and bring in a few new names to support him, they have every chance of surprising a few people and staying up.
Chances of staying up: 5/10
It’s been an amazing journey for Huddersfield, and their promotion is even more remarkable given they were tipped for relegation from the Championship by some pundits – including Sky Sports’s Ian Holloway – at the beginning of last season.
Goals could be the real issue for the club in the top flight, after the team actually finished the season with a goal difference of -2 last season. However, in David Wagner they have a young, creative and resourceful manager with real potential who could pull off another major success for the club by keeping them in the top flight. He’s known for being a pretty eccentric character with unusual methods (he even took the first team on a bonding trip to an uninhabited island off the coast of Sweden last season, where they were forced to survive in the wilderness with no running water). It’s this unpredictability – both on and off the pitch – which could go a long way to keeping them up next season.
You only have to look at what Sean Dyche has achieved at Burnley to see that keeping teams up with limited resources is possible in the Premier League. Stranger things have happened over recent Premier League seasons, and it’ll be an incredible achievement if Wagner’s men do manage to stay in the division.