Premier League Preview 2018/19

With World Cup fever currently taking the nation by storm and with a semi-final place up for grabs for England, aside from this the countdown has begun for the new Premier League season which is just over a month away until the roller-coaster starts once more.

The top footballing tier in England gets underway on the 11th August where another exciting season beckons, and the constant flurry of football continues.  There are some tasty fixtures for fans to get their taste buds around as Arsenal take on Manchester City and Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle United take on Spurs as part of the opening day bonanza.

With five weeks to go until kick-off, there has already been a wash of transfer activity, rumours and speculation as pre-season dawns, all 20 Premier League managers have been looking long and hard to their respected scouting setups to try and get their business done before the transfer window closes on the Thursday before the start of the season, which will be 9th August.

Eyes have been peeled on the goings on in Russia to look for any stand out performances during this year’s World Cup as the tournament draws to the latter stages.  So let’s have a look at all 20 Premier League sides for the 2018/19 season and preview their respected upcoming seasons.

 

AFC Bournemouth

Transfers In:

David Brooks – Sheffield United – £9.4million.

Transfers Out:

Mikael Ndjoli – Kilmarnock – Season long loan.

Adam Federici – Stoke City – Undisclosed.

Max Gradel – Toulouse – £5.8million.

Ryan Allsop – Wycombe Wanderers – Free transfer.

Sam Matthews – Bristol Rovers – Free transfer.

Benik Afobe – Wolverhampton Wanderers – £12.1million.

 

For Eddie Howe, it has been a summer revamp so far as the Englishman looks to let go of some of the dead wood in his team in order to bring in quality.   With their only incoming signing coming from the Championship currently, Howe is expected to bring in more firepower as Bournemouth cry out for a 25 goal-a-season striker.  With Jermain Defoe now aged 35, he can no longer be expected to pull the Cherries out of the rough stuff when required, with the side that Howe currently has, it could be a troublesome season for them.

 

Arsenal

 

Transfers In:

Sokratis Papastathopoulos – Borussia Dortmund – Undisclosed.

Bernd Leno – Bayer Leverkusen – £20.9million

Stephan Lichtsteiner – Juventus – Free transfer

Transfers Out:

Santiago Cazorla – Villareal – Free transfer

Takuma Asano – Hannover 96 – Season-long loan

 

The Gunners will be starting the 2018/19 season with a completely new slate.  The departing Arsene Wenger has made way for former PSG manager Unai Emery, this is Arsenal’s first managerial switch since 1996 and a big time for the football club to see whether they can adapt to the radical changes.  So far, Emery has brought in some experienced faces which will help bolster their defensive lines, Emery will have encouraged the Arsenal faithful as it has been their downfall for the last couple of seasons and have failed to make necessary changes to correct the issues.  With strikers such as Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal have the attacking assets to do the business this season, but will the defence have the same effect? Still, plenty of time to bring in more new faces and time will tell as the season wears on.

 

Brighton & Hove Albion

Transfers In:

Jason Steele – Sunderland – Free transfer

Florin Andone – Deportivo La Coruna – £5million

Leon Balogun – Mainz 05 – Free transfer

Transfers Out:

Tyler Hornby-Forbes – Newport County – Free transfer

Desmond John Hutchinson – Waterford FC – Free transfer

Christian Walton – Wigan Athletic – Season Long Loan

Henrik Bjordal – Zulte-Waregem – Undisclosed

Connor Goldson – Rangers – £2.8million

Bailey Vose – Colchester United – Undisclosed

Jamie Murphy – Rangers – Undisclosed

Tom Dallison – Falkirk – Undisclosed

 

Irish-born manager Chris Hughton has been very busy so far as his scouting team has been very busy bringing in potential hidden gems from across Europe.  New signing Florin Andone comes in from Spain with a strong and consistent pedigree.   The Romanian striker found the net seven times in 16 starts and 29 appearances for the Spanish outfit as Hughton looks to bolster his side with plenty of strength in depth.  The Seagulls surprised many last season, with their consistent performances and considerably higher league finish than originally predicted, it could be more of the same from the same that was playing in League One just eight years ago.

 

Burnley

Transfers Out:

Tom Anderson – Doncaster Rovers – Free transfer

Scott Arfield – Rangers – Free transfer

 

Not much going on at Turf Moor at this stage of proceedings as the Clarets secured European football for the first time in 51 years as they make the long trip north to Aberdeen in a few weeks’ time.  Well, respected manager, Sean Dyche is not the sort of manager that will make radical changes to his team and will want to keep the squad together for better chemistry on the pitch.   Burnley have been looking at a possible return for Danny Ings who spent four years at the club during his early days so have switched their focus to West Brom ace Jay Rodriguez who also started his career at Turf Moor.  Craig Dawson from the Baggies is also a possible move that Dyche may make but the key objective for them this summer to keep hold of their key players going into the Europa League.

 

Cardiff City

Transfers In:

Bobby Reid – Bristol City – £9.5million

Alex Smithies – QPR – £3.3million

 

He’s back.  Loved by some, loathed by many.  Sheffield-born manager Neil Warnock is back in the Premier League after a four-year absence and will be raring to get started.  Cardiff City will be excited by the addition of Bobby Reid from Bristol City who had a helping hand in knocking Manchester United out of the Carabao Cup last season.  The 25-year-old midfielder started every single league game last season and scored 19 goals and got seven assists to his name.  The good news continues, and Joseph Bennett and Neil Etheridge have pledged their futures to Cardiff with three-year extensions on their contracts.  It’s an exciting time to be a fan of the Bluebirds.

 

Chelsea

Transfers Out:

Jake Clarke-Salter – Vitesse Arnhem – Season Long Loan

Lewis Baker – Leeds United – Season Long Loan

Dujon Sterling – Coventry City – Season Long Loan

Trevoh Chalobah – Ipswich Town – Season Long Loan

 

Chelsea will be hoping for a drastic improvement from last season after failing to qualify for the Champions League, what makes this whole situation worse is that manager Antonio Conte’s future is still uncertain after poking owner Roman Abramovich with a fairly long stick several times last season during press conferences.  His unhappiness with the Blues’ transfer activity is clear for all to see and it’ll be interesting to find out whether he will be in the hot seat come to kick-off time.  Despite this, they have been linked with Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain and Lazio star Felipe Anderson.  However key players Willian and N’Golo Kante have been linked with moves away and it will be within their best interests if they can keep hold of their key players.  A big season for the Blues.

 

Crystal Palace

 

Transfers In:

Vicente Guaita – Getafe – Free transfer

 

Transfers Out:

Yohan Cabaye – Al-Nasr SC – Free transfer

Damien Delaney – Cork City – Free transferTranfer

 

With Palace avoiding relegation last season by the skin of their teeth.  Manager Roy Hodgson will be looking to close the drip and drabs of their defence up with solid and consistent performers.  The former England manager wasted no time in bringing in a new goalkeeper in Vicente Guaita from Getafe, the Spaniard secured 12 clean sheets in 33 appearances in La Liga last season and Hodgson will be hoping he can do more of the same.  They are also joint-favourites to secure the services of Liverpool striker Danny Ings who is allowed to leave Merseyside.  A top striker could be what Palace are crying out for as Christian Benteke’s inconsistent performances hampered in certain periods last campaign.

 

Everton

Transfers Out:

Luke Garbutt – Oxford United – Season Long Loan

Wayne Rooney – DC United – Undisclosed

Ramiro Funes Mori – Villareal – £7.5million

Conor Grant – Plymouth Argyle – Free transfer

Jose Baxter – Oldham Athletic – Free transfer

 

New manager Marco Silva has got a lot of work to do in order to try and change the dejected mentality of many of the Goodison faithful, previous managers Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce left Merseyside with a whimper and Blues’ fans will be praying for a quick turnaround.  So far, it appears that a lot of the deadwood has been disposed of, even Wayne Rooney who looked out of his depth in an Everton shirt last year as he’s made the switch to the MLS.  No new faces through the door as of yet but the Blues have been linked with the likes of Columbia sensation Yerry Mina and Croatian centre-back Domagoj Vida.  A big season for Everton too as they look to rebuild the damage left by others.

 

Fulham

 

Transfers Out:

Ryan Fredericks – West Ham United – Undisclosed.

 

It’s been surprising how quiet it has been at Craven Cottage as far as transfer activity is concerned.  With just the departure so far means that manager Slavisa Jokanovic is keeping his cards close to his chest and is waiting for the World Cup to end before making his move.  The Cottagers have been heavily linked with Nice striker Alassane Plea who scored 20 goals in Ligue 1 last season, as well as Alexandar Mitrovic who scored a few goals in Russia at the World Cup.  As it currently stands it looks as if Fulham will go straight back down but a few inbound transfers could change all of that.

 

Huddersfield Town

 

Transfers In:

Juninho Bacuna – FC Groningen – £2million

Ramadan Sobhy – Stoke City – £5.4million

Terence Kongolo – AS Monaco – £16.7million

Ben Hamer – Leicester City – Free transfer

Jonas Lossl – Mainz 05 – Undisclosed

Florent Hadergjonai – Ingolstadt – Undisclosed

Transfers Out:

Regan Booty – Aldershot Town – Season Long Loan

 

The Terriers’ have had a complete transformation for the new campaign, new crest and new team.  Huddersfield have been one of the busier sides in this transfer window so far with five new additions to the squad and a record signing in Terence Kongolo from Monaco.  Manager David Wagner means business going into the new campaign and wants to build a fortress at the John Smith’s Stadium as he side had a wonderful first season in the Premier League, which included a momentous victory over Manchester United.  Bringing so many first team players in at once isn’t always a wise move, as Ronald Koeman learnt at Everton, the key here is to get his new players gelled together as quickly as possible in time for their first game.  A big challenge for Wagner and his coaching staff.

 

Leicester City

 

Transfers In:

James Maddison – Norwich City – £21million

Jonny Evans – West Bromwich Albion – £3.3million

Ricardo Pereira – FC Porto – Undisclosed

 

Transfers Out:

Connor Wood – Bradford City – Undisclosed

Ben Hamer – Huddersfield Town – Free transfer

 

The 2016 Premier League champions can be happy with their transfer activity so far as they’ve primarily looked to bolster their defence.  At this moment, Leicester will be desperate to keep hold of England star Harry Maguire as they’ve brought in Jonny Evans and James Maddison to help steady the defensive ship.   Manchester City look to have signed Riyad Mahrez in a £60million deal which will free up funds to strengthen their side as a whole.  Not a disaster if they lose the Algerian winger but it will be more a loss if Maguire was to leave, Ahmed Musa is also being linked with a move away to Galatasaray after some impressive World Cup performances with Nigeria.  The Foxes will have a job on their hands replacing their key players if all of the above were to move on.  Testing times.

 

Liverpool

Transfers In:

 

Fabinho – AS Monaco – £37.7million

Naby Keita – RB Leipzig – £52.75million

 

Transfers Out:

Adam Bogdan – Hibernian – Season Long Loan

Emre Can – Juventus – Free transfer

Jon Flanagan – Rangers – Free transfer

Michael Jordan Williams – Rochdale – Free transfer

Ovie Ejaria – Rangers – Season Long Loan

 

After the heartbreak of losing the Champions League Final against Real Madrid in dramatic fashion, Red fans will be excited for the new season as plenty of new faces have joined and been linked with Jurgen Klopp’s Mersey movement.  Monaco midfielder Fabinho joined Liverpool under the noses of the entire media as he signed a four-year-deal just 48 hours after the final in Kyiv to revamp Kop spirits.  Naby Keita finally joined the Reds after signing a lucrative deal last summer, it’s still uncertain as to whether Lyon attacking midfielder Nabil Fekir will follow him through the doors at Melwood.  Klopp has not been known to add many new faces at once, like Sean Dyche, he is a man who likes to keep his team togetherness and grow a strong team bond.  An exciting season for the Reds as they look to challenge the teams at the summit of the Premier League.

 

Manchester City

 

Transfers Out:

Jacob Davenport – Blackburn Rovers – Undisclosed

Pablo Mari Villar – Deportivo La Coruna – Season Long Loan

Jose Angel Tasende – PSV Eindhoven – Undisclosed

Olarenwaju Kayode – Shakhtar Donetsk – Undisclosed

Pablo Maffeo – VfB Stuttgart – £8.3million

Javairo Dilrosun – Hertha Berlin – Free transfer

 

It’s hard to think how Manchester City can be any better than they were last season.  Quite frankly, it can’t be visioned, but manager Pep Guardiola will give it a try.  Napoli’s Jorginho and Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez are expected to come through the door and to link up with the reigning Premier League champions for an eye-watering £108million combined.  City will no doubt be looking to stamp their authority on the entire league next season as they aim for back-to-back titles.  Can they become the first team to score over 100 points twice?  Inevitably the competition for the league will increase compared to last time out, records have to be on Pep’s mind.

 

 

Manchester United

Transfers In:

Lee Grant – Stoke City – Undisclosed

Diogo Dalot – FC Porto – £18.4million

Fred – Shakhtar Donetsk – £49.5million

 

Transfers Out:

Sam Johnstone – West Bromwich Albion – Undisclosed

Dean Henderson – Sheffield United – Season Long Loan

Joe Riley – Bradford City – Undisclosed

 

If Manchester United want to get anywhere near their city rivals next season, big changes have to be made at Old Trafford in order to achieve this.  United fans are 50/50 about their manager Jose Mourinho after social media exploded when it was announced that Marouane Fellaini signed a two- year extension at the club.  As well as Anthony Martial seeking a new club after highlighting his current displeasures with a lack of first-team football, Mourinho will have the challenge of keeping the United faithful on side.  With the signing of Fred from Shakhtar and the “best full back in the world” Diogo Dalot so far, it could be make or break for the Portuguese manager.  The title must be the aim for the Red Devils, minimum.

 

Newcastle United

Transfers In:        

Sung-Yeung Ki – Swansea City – Free transfer

Martin Dubravka – Sparta Prague – Undisclosed

 

Transfers Out:

Massadio Haidara – RC Lens – Free transfer

Macauley Gillesphey – Carlisle United – Free transfer

 

Manager Rafael Benitez has been hailed by the St James’ faithful after an excellent season with what was quoted as a ‘Championship standard’ side.  The former Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid manager has worked miracles at Tyneside with the reported lack of support from owner Mike Ashley to make it to the point that they find themselves in.  Martin Dubravka signed on a permanent basis after playing on loan last season and look to gain more in strength.  Several names have been thrown about as Denmark’s Nicolai Jorgenson looks to be one of those to make the move to the North-East, also Dennis Praet and Nice’s Alassane Plea is believed to have chosen Newcastle to become his new club after scoring 20 goals in Ligue 1 last season.  It wouldn’t be the end of the world if Newcastle finished in the top half of the Premier League but pushing for those European places is by no means an unrealistic target for the Magpies.

 

Southampton

Transfers In:

Mohamed Elyounoussi – FC Basel – £15.1million

Stuart Armstrong – Celtic – Undisclosed

 

Transfers Out:

Dusan Tadic – Ajax – £9.5million

Olufela Olomola – Scunthorpe United – Free transfer

 

After a disastrous campaign for the Saints last season, manager Mark Hughes keeps his position after avoiding relegation by the narrowest of margins and will be hoping to shoot back up the table where they belong.  After losing Tadic to Ajax, Hughes was quick to replace him with the tricky midfielder Elyounoussi and still hopes to bring in several more in what looks like to be a total makeover of Southampton’s first team.  Xherdan Shaqiri, Barcelona defender Marlon and Juventus midfielder Stefano Sturaro have all been linked with moves to St. Marys.

 

Tottenham Hotspur

Transfers Out:

Keanan Bennetts – Borussia M’Gladbach – Undisclosed

 

With Spurs about to move into their new stadium in September, it will be a campaign of adaptation and patience for fans as Mauricio Pochettino continues with his ongoing project.  No new faces as of yet but Aston Villa Jack Grealish closes in on his move back to the Premier League and Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele has been reported to have been made an offer to move to North London, according to French social media.  Meanwhile, Real Madrid have been rumoured to have an interest in Harry Kane but that remains to bee whether that is mere speculation or genuine.  Spurs are not expected to perform any better than they did last season, but it would be a surprise if they did.

 

Watford

Transfers In:

Adam Masina – Bologna – £4.1million

Marc Navarro – Espanyol – £1.6million

Gerard Deulofeu – Barcelona – £10.9million

Ben Wilmot – Stevenage – Undisclosed

 

Transfers Out:

Costel Pantilimon – Nottingham Forest – £1.2million

Dennon Lewis – Falkirk – Free transfer

Andrew Eleftheriou – Sandefjord – Season Long Loan

 

Like Huddersfield, Watford have been extremely busy and are willing to get all of their business finished nice and early before their first game at home to Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League.  Some well-known names have joined up with the London-based outfit as they had an awful second half to last season which effectively saw the end of Marco Silva.  Ben Foster has been linked with a return to Vicarage Road and Swedish midfielder Ken Sema is on the verge of joining the yellows as reports suggest he’s completed a medical and will switch from Ostersunds FK.  The only way is up for Watford and a top 10 finish has to be the aim.

 

West Ham United

 

Transfers In:

Lukasz Fabianski – Swansea City – £6.9million

Issa Diop – Toulouse – £20.9million

Ryan Fredericks – Fulham – Undisclosed

It’s been far from exciting times for Hammers fans since their move to the London Stadium in 2016.  A hostile environment against the owners David Sullivan, David Gold and the regular face on BBC reality show the Apprentice, Karen Brady, has developed and gained momentum over the past two years.  Moods were lifted when former Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini took the hot seat and immediately got to work with bringing new faces in.  The 21-year-old French defender Issa Diop is the signing that has got fans talking the most so far as he joins the East London outfit after spending his whole career with French side Toulouse.  West Ham’s defence is the area of their side which must be repaired for them to have any aspirations of higher league finishes.  Arsenal outcast Jack Wilshire has already held discussions with the Hammers for a potential switch after the England international revealed that his father is a huge West Ham fan.  Sporting CP star Bruno Fernandes has also bee linked but time will tell as to whether Pellegrini can attract top players to the London Stadium.

 

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Transfers In:

Ruben Vinagre – AS Monaco – Undisclosed

Leonardo Bonatini Lohner Maia – Al Hilal – Undisclosed

Benik Afobe – AFC Bournemouth – £12.1million

Transfers Out:

Ben Marshall – Norwich City – Undisclosed

Benik Afobe – Stoke City – Season Long Loan

 

Championship winners Wolves have been in the Premier League for five minutes it seems and have already tried to stamp their authority in the transfer market.  Their wide scouting range which is well known to be of manager Nuno Espirito Santo’s access and has made several early signings as a result.  The West Midlands outfit will be no pushovers this season and they will be fully expected to stay up with the financial backing that they currently have.  Portugal’s number one shot stopper Rui Patricio has been the shock deal of the window as Santo managed to lure the keeper to the Molineux from Sporting CP.  Wolves have also been linked with Columbian World Cup star Juan Quintero as well as Juventus midfielder Stefano Sturaro, their ambition has to be admired as they look to become a force in the Premier League.