HomeSportsFootballWhat do promoted clubs need?

What do promoted clubs need?

What do promoted clubs need?

By Simeon Gholam

Last Updated: 02/06/17 11:47am

What do promoted clubs need?

Newcastle, Brighton and Huddersfield will all play in the Premier League next season after winning promotion from the Sky Bet Championship.

Title-winners Newcastle have spent just a single campaign away from the top flight, while the Seagulls and the Terriers return after 34 and 45 years respectively.

But what do the three clubs need to survive in the Premier League? We take a look here…

Newcastle celebrating promotion back to the Premier League

Newcastle celebrating promotion back to the Premier League

Newcastle celebrating promotion back to the Premier League

Newcastle

Areas to address

Despite boasting an impressive squad for a promoted side, there are still plenty of issues that Newcastle will need to sort out ahead of next season.

The full-back areas will need strengthening to provide cover for DeAndre Yedlin and Paul Dummett, while a new centre-back may also be required.

Further forward, Dwight Gayle still has to show that he can lead a Premier League attack, and it’s another area that will need bolstering with Aleksandar Mitrovic yet to prove his consistency and Daryl Murphy unlikely to see much action.

Dwight Gayle has to prove he can lead a Premier League attack

Dwight Gayle has to prove he can lead a Premier League attack

Dwight Gayle has to prove he can lead a Premier League attack

Tammy Abraham has been linked with a loan move from Chelsea after an impressive season in the Championship with Bristol City, but he is still just 19 and another alternative may also be required.

Rafa Benitez, meanwhile, is keen to improve the strength, depth and quality of his squad rather than blow his whole budget on one or two players.

“If you win games, it’s because have a team, or because you have a top, top-class player,” said the Spaniard. “Can you get a top, top-class player that will make the difference in the Premier League?

“If you have one player who can make the difference on his own, it will cost you £50m, or £100m, or whatever.”

Clear out the deadwood

The likes of Henri Saivet, Siem de Jong and Emmanuel Riviere will be among those returning from loan spells away from St James’ Park, but it’s highly unlikely that any will have much of a role to play for Newcastle. All three are still on lengthy deals and the club faces a real task in offloading them to clear some space on the wage bill.

Tim Krul will also be back following a mixed season on loan in the Netherlands, first at Ajax where he struggled for game time and then at AZ where he made 20 appearances. It remains to be seen, however, whether he’ll stay and fight Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow for a place – or whether Benitez will look to bring in a new goalkeeper, such as his old favourite Pepe Reina.

Could Pepe Reina rejoin Rafa Benitez?

Could Pepe Reina rejoin Rafa Benitez?

Could Pepe Reina rejoin Rafa Benitez?

How much will they strengthen?

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has proved unpopular with fans of the club during his tenure, but did promise that Benitez will have all the resources at his disposal to try and achieve Premier League survival.

A statement from Ashley last month said: “I’ve confirmed to Rafa and Lee that they can have every last penny that the club generates through promotion, player sales and other means in order to build for next season.”

Expect plenty of reinforcements at St James’ Park before the end of the transfer window.

Rafa Benitez has been promised a big transfer budget by owner Mike Ashley

Rafa Benitez has been promised a big transfer budget by owner Mike Ashley

Rafa Benitez has been promised a big transfer budget by owner Mike Ashley

Brighton

Areas to address

One position that will definitely need addressing at Brighton this summer is left-back. Gaeten Bong has recently signed a new deal but is more likely to be a back-up option, while Seb Pocognoli impressed in the second half of the season on loan from West Brom, and could potentially make a return.

A new goalkeeper will also be needed if David Stockdale decides not to sign a new contract and another central defender to join the ranks alongside Lewis Dunk, Shane Duffy and Uwe Hunemeier.

Boss Chris Hughton mostly sent Brighton out in a 4-4-2 formation in the Championship, but has earmarked one specific position in which he hopes to strengthen in order to give himself more tactical adaptability in the Premier League.

“I would see myself at times playing [4-4-2] but also very much a 4-4-1-1,” he told The Argus.

“We’ve got players that can play that role – Solly March or [Jiri] Skalak or Jamie Murphy – but we don’t have a specific No 10.”

Brighton and Hove Albion players celebrate during the bus parade

Brighton and Hove Albion players celebrate during the bus parade

Brighton and Hove Albion players celebrate during the bus parade

Bring in some youth

Another aim for Brighton will be to lower the average age of the squad over the summer to bring some youth and energy to their Premier League challenge.

While possessing younger talents such as Dunk and Anthony Knockaert, too many members of the Seagulls squad are hovering around the 30 mark, with some such as Bruno (36), Steve Sidwell (34) and Glenn Murray (33) even older.

How much will they strengthen?

Club chairman Tony Bloom, a boyhood Brighton fan, has spent plenty of money since taking over the club eight years ago, but is as interested in developing the club and improving the infrastructure as he is in making big signings.

Brighton’s spending will be more realistic as Bloom won’t gamble everything on trying to ensure survival at the first attempt, while the club also proved that improving their finances isn’t the immediate priority after turning down a lucrative pre-season tour.

“We had offers to go to the United States and Asia but we are not interested in money-spinning tours. First season: let’s keep it simple,” club chief executive Paul Barber told Sky Sports last month.

“It comes back to remembering who we are and where we come from. We have a huge season to prepare for and some first-class facilities in which to do that and you can’t make use of them if you spend pre-season far from home.”

Glenn Murray celebrates after scoring for Brighton

Glenn Murray celebrates after scoring for Brighton

Glenn Murray celebrates after scoring for Brighton

Huddersfield

Areas to address

Huddersfield’s promotion success was partly built on a core of loan players and David Wagner will hope to get his hands on the likes of Liverpool goalkeeper Danny Ward and Manchester City midfielder Aaron Mooy again.

“I will have a lot of phone calls to make. I will call Jurgen [Klopp], but not just to talk about Danny,” Wagner said following their play-off final success on Monday.

“[Mooy] is another phone call. I would like to have all of my players with me next season. Whether it is possible we will see.”

Kasey Palmer and Izzy Brown could return from Chelsea, while the Blues may be keen to hand some of their other youngsters over to Wagner to continue their development. The German market also proved useful to the former Borussia Dortmund reserve-team coach last summer, and he’s likely to look there again.

Huddersfield won promotion through the play-offs

Huddersfield won promotion through the play-offs

Huddersfield won promotion through the play-offs

Add adaptability

A first return to the top flight in 45 years was built upon a high pressing, high-energy game, but it’s a tactic that Premier League sides will be more used to facing than those in the Championship, and therefore be better equipped to deal with.

Huddersfield also had two of the most attacking full-backs in the Championship in Chris Lowe and Tommy Smith, but they may have to learn to put the brakes on a little more against superior opposition who will be more able to take advantage of the space in behind.

Christopher Schindler and Michael Hefele have proved a fine partnership in central defence in the Championship, but a goal difference of -2 at the end of the season would suggest that reinforcements across the back line are needed.

Christopher Schindler scores the winning penalty in the play-off final

Christopher Schindler scores the winning penalty in the play-off final

Christopher Schindler scores the winning penalty in the play-off final

How much will they strengthen?

Huddersfield had one of the smallest budgets in the Championship in 2016/17, and even the riches on offer following promotion are unlikely to majorly change their transfer policy.

Huddersfield broke their transfer record to bring in defender Schindler last July, but he cost just £1.8m. To put that into context: Watford, who finished 17th in the Premier League, signed nine players last summer that all cost at least £4m.

Wagner’s side defied the odds to achieve passage to the Premier League and, as the favourites for the drop next season, they’ll have to perform similar heroics to do so again. Expect plenty of shrewd signings and loan deals at the John Smith’s Stadium.




More Related Articles

Sign up to receive awesome contents in your inbox, everyday in the morning.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.