Premier League 2016/17 season overview: All the ins and outs
The 2016/17 Premier League season is finally upon us, so Coral give an extensive overview club-by-club…
Final position in 2015/16: Second
Major summer signings: Granit Xhaka has been the Gunners’ headline signing so far. The former Borussia Monchengladbach man cost £30m and should help put to rest any doubts surrounding the side’s soft core. An acquisition that may have flown under the radar is Rob Holding, the versatile defender joined from Bolton and has already scored in a pre-season friendly.
Notable departures: The north London club have had many departures. Mikel Arteta retired and has become coach for Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, Tomas Rosicky was released after 10 years at the club and Mathieu Flamini was also let go.
Manager: This will be Arsene Wenger’s 20th, and potential last, year in charge of Arsenal – a club he has lifted three Premier League titles with. However, if the Gunners fail to win this year, it will be 13 years since their last success. The pressure is on Wenger to produce.
Expectations: Arsenal need to challenge for top spot this year after finishing second last term, and Coral have the Emirates outfit 13/2 to lift the trophy in 2016/17. However, their tendency to flake when the going gets tough is a worry.
Final position in 2015/16: 16th
Major summer signings: The Cherries have been busy this window. Jordan Ibe headlines their summer additions, with an impressive £15.3m move from Liverpool. Ibe, 20, is a tricky winger and will slot perfectly into Eddie Howe’s system.
Elsewhere, Bournemouth had added two left backs, Nathan Ake on loan from Chelsea and Brad Smith from Liverpool for £3.6m. Further up the field, Howe swooped for Lys Mousset who scored 14 in the Ligue 2 for Le Havre last term, talented teenage central midfielder from Leeds United Lewis Cook and Fulham’s promising Emerson Hyndman – for a combined fee of £11.48m.
Notable departures: Big man Glenn Murray has been loaned to Brighton and Hove Albion, centre back Tommy Elphick has left for Aston Villa, while Sylvain Distin was released. In attack, disappointing right winger Juan Iturbe’s loan ended and creative force Matt Ritchie moved to Championship side Newcastle United for £10.2m.
Manager: Howe is hot property after he managed to keep his club up last term, and would have been many people’s choice to replace Roy Hodgson as England boss. The manager has an ability to build a team greater than the sum of its parts and is a boss to watch in the future, that may be in line for a top job soon.
Expectations: After their impressive 16th place finish, expect the south coast club to kick on and bag a top 10 finish at 4/1.
Final position in 2015/16: Championship winners
Major summer signings: Sean Dyche’s side have strengthened by bringing Liverpool’s Jon Flanagan in on loan, and permanent signings Nick Pope and creative winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson, who recorded 12 assists last term, from Charlton Athletic.
Notable departures: All of Burnley’s departures have left for nothing, Joey Barton and Matt Gilks joined Rangers, Matthew Taylor went to Northampton Town while Michael Duff, who had been at the club since 2004, retired.
Manager: Dyche now has two Premier League promotions on his CV, but was relegated on his first trip up. The manager has a reputation for hardworking, homegrown teams and it will be interesting to see how his outfit fares after spending very little.
Expectations: With just £3.66m spent on talent this window, the Clarets are set to struggle this year and are 10/3 to finish bottom of the league despite Dyche’s best efforts.
Final position in 2015/16: 10th
Major summer signings: The Stamford Bridge side have made two high profile additions this summer. Michy Batshuayi joined the Blues for £33.15m after scoring 22 goals in Ligue 1 for Marseille, while N’Golo Kante became Chelsea’s new midfield dynamo after the club matched Leicester City’s release clause of £30.43m.
Notable departures: Mohamed Salah left to Roma for £12.75m, Papy Djilobodji was sold to Sunderland after just 12 in London for £8.08m, while Abdul Rahman Baba was loaned out to Schalke.
Manager: Antonio Conte comes into the Premier League with a reputation of being a tactical mastermind, and won three straight Serie A titles during his tenure at Turin team Juventus. Moving away from his faithful 3-5-2 formation, Conte has experimented with a 4-4-2 and could be an interesting prospect in the Premier League.
Expectations: After a torrid term last season, expect the Blues to bounce back and claim a top four finish, odds-on at 8/15.
Final position in 2015/16: 15th
Major summer signings: Palace have added three quality signings in hope to avoid last term’s collapse. Andros Townsend arrived from Newcastle, 27-year-old centre back James Tomkins moved from West Ham United for £10m and Steve Mandanda joined on a free from Marseille.
Notable departures: Norwegian veteran Brede Hangeland retired, while fellow defenders Adrian Mariappa and Patrick McCarthy became free agents, just as strikers Emmanuel Adebayor and Marouane Chamakh did. Their most notable departure was Dwight Gayle, who joined Newcastle for £10.2m.
Manager: Palace’s form fell off a cliff at the turn of the new year, but they managed to get into the FA Cup final. Alan Pardew has a tough task on his hands this year to keep the club afloat, but will have full support of the fans.
Expectations: Palace are one of a few relegation candidates and could easily see the drop this term at 6/1 if they carry their poor form into this season.
Final position in 2015/16: 11
Major summer signings: Wales skipper Ashley Williams is the standout incoming transfer for the Toffees, as Swansea City let their 31-year-old captain go for £12m. Midfielder Idrissa Gueye (£7.1m from Aston Villa) and goalie Maarten Stekelenburg (undisclosed from Fulham) have also been drafted in to Everton’s first team.
Notable departures: Long-serving Toffees quartet Tim Howard, Tony Hibbert, Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar have been let go as a new era is ushered in at Goodison Park. They are joined by John Stones, sold to Manchester City for £47.5m.
Manager: Ronald Koeman replaced sacked boss Roberto Martinez, who is now in charge of Belgium, in the summer after joining from Southampton. With more money at his disposal, can the Dutchman unstick the Toffees and guide them back into Europe?
Expectations: It is fair to say that Everton underachieved last season, so the club’s mega rich owners will be expecting at least a top 10 finish and preferably in the European places. They are 4/1 to be in the top six.
Final position in 2015/16: Promoted via Championship play-offs
Major summer signings: At the time of writing, newly-promoted Hull have just 13 fit senior players in their squad. Their only signings have been teenagers Jonathan Edwards and Will Mannion, from Peterborough United and AFC Wimbledon.
Notable departures: The Tigers have not been helped with the departures of Mohamed Diame (Newcastle United for £4.5m), Sone Aluko (Fulham for free) and Ryan Taylor (released).
Manager: Steve Bruce unfortunately faced the boot after publicly stating his desire to be England manager, although eventually missed out to Sam Allardyce. The club have still found no replacement but Mike Phelan is set to take temporary charge for the first match of the season at least.
Expectations: At this rate, survival will be a remarkable achievement. Hull are a great price at 2/1 to finish bottom.
Final position in 2015/16: Premier League champions
Major summer signings: Shock Premier League champions Leicester have splashed the cash this summer, with club record signing Ahmed Musa (for a reported £16.6m from CSKA Moscow) the highest profile. Nampalys Mendy (Nice for £13m), Luis Hernandez (Sporting Gijon for free), Raul Uche Rubio (Rayo Vallecano for an undisclosed fee) and Poland wonderkid Bartosz Kapustka (Cracovia for £7.5m) have also joined.
Notable departures: The Foxes’ heartbeat of the team last term N’Golo Kante left for Chelsea for a big £32m fee, but the other key figures have all stayed – so far at least. Andrej Kramaric, Joe Dodoo, Paul Konchesky, Mark Schwarzer are the other notable departures.
Manager: Miracle man Claudio Ranieri of course keeps his job, although he was linked with the Italy role earlier in the summer. The 64-year-old has even signed a new deal for four more years, but can he somehow repeat his title feat or even go far in the Champions League?
Expectations: Many Foxes fans will be happy just to finish in the top 10 this term, as they realise last season was a one-off, and can be backed at 9/4 just to be in the top six.
Final position in 2015/16: Eighth
Major summer signings: Liverpool have been one of the more active clubs this transfer window, bringing in the likes of Sadio Mane (Southampton for £36m), Loris Karius (Mainz for £4.7m), Joel Matip (Schalke for free), Ragnar Klavan (Augsburg for an undisclosed fee), Georginio Wijnaldum (Newcastle for £25m) and Alex Manninger (free).
Notable departures: With so many coming in, it means that Jordon Ibe, Martin Skrtel, Joe Allen, Jordan Rossiter, Jerome Sinclair, Joao Teixeira, Brad Smith and Kolo Toure have all been shipped out.
Manager: Jurgen Klopp was involved in his first pre-season at Liverpool, and his side even beat Barcelona – involving Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi – 4-0.
Expectations: Reds fans wouldn’t have been happy with an eighth place finish last season, but understand that Klopp was still picking up the pieces following Brendan Rodgers tenure. They’ll certainly be after a top four finish, and are 7/5 to do so.
Final position in 2015/16: Fourth
Major summer signings: While their bitter city rivals United have taken up all the back pages with big signings, City have actually spent almost as much. John Stones cost the most at £47.5m from Everton, while Ilkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund for £21m), Nolito (Celta Vigo for £13.8m), Oleksandr Zinchenko (FK Ufa for an undisclosed fee), Leroy Sane (Schalke for £37m), Gabriel Jesus (Palmeiras for £27m) and Marlos Moreno (Atletico Nacional for £4.75m).
Notable departures: Martin Demichelis and Seko Fofana are notable names to leave the Etihad this summer, while Richard Wright’s presence in the dressing room will be missed after the keeper retired.
Manager: Pep Guardiola has taken over from Manuel Pellegrini this season, and fans will no doubt be excited to see the Spaniard inflict his methods on the Man City players. The Catalan coach is a born winner, and it will be intriguing how he fares against the likes of other high profile bosses Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger, Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte.
Expectations: As the 5/2 favourites for the title this season with Coral, the pressure is on the Citizens, but they certainly have the squad to do it.
Final position in 2015/16: Fifth
Major summer signings: The Red Devils have spent big in the transfer market with prodigal son Paul Pogba returning from Juventus for a world record £89m. At the other end of the scale, Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimvoic arrived from French champions PSG for free. Ivory Coast defender Eric Bailly (£30m) and Armenia creative force Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£26.3m up front) are also Man Utd additions.
Notable departures: Besides releasing former Spain stopper Victor Valdes (now with Middlesbrough), United have also parting company with Nick Powell (Wigan Athletic), Northern Ireland defender Paddy McNair (Sunderland) and promising forward Ashley Fletcher (West Ham).
Manager: Jose Mourinho has replaced FA Cup winning coach Louis van Gaal in the Old Trafford hotseat over this summer. The Special One has already steered the Red Devils to silverware with victory in the Community Shield.
Expectations: Spending heavily on player recruitment and bringing in a serial winner in Mourinho as manager, only a title challenge is acceptable and Man Utd are 3/1 outright second-favourites.
Final position in 2015/16: Championship runners-up
Major summer signings: Boro chairman Steve Gibson has a history of pulling off some terrific transfers and that is true again in this window. Denmark winger Viktor Fischer and former Manchester City and Spain striker Alvaro Negredo are headline grabbing deals.
Goalkeeper duo Victor Valdes and Brad Guzan have also arrived on frees, while Gaston Ramirez turns a loan spell from Southampton permanent and defensive areas are strengthened by the captures of Antonio Barragan, Bernardo Espinosa and anchorman Marten de Roon.
Notable departures: Middlesbrough native Jonathan Woodgate called time on his career this summer and has now joined Liverpool’s network of scouts in a surprise move. Fellow defender Rhys Williams was also let go after almost 150 Boro appearances and has returned to his native Australia with Perth Glory.
Manager: Aitor Karanka used to be Jose Mourinho’s assistant at Real Madrid and now comes up against his managerial mentor in Premier League action for the first time. Big things are expected from this Basque Country native, with Karanka thought to be one of the up-and-coming bosses in world football. The Spaniard has been in charge on Teesside since November 2013.
Expectations: Loyal Riverside fans have been rewarded for their patience after seven seasons outside the Premier League. While the immediate priority for Middlesbrough is to stay up, there is no reason why they can’t aim a little higher given their impressive recruitment and a top 10 finish is an intriguing 7/1 shot.
Final position in 2015/16: Sixth
Major summer signings: Promising winger Nathan Redmond signed for Saints from relegated Norwich City, but perhaps the coup capture is Denmark midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Bayern Munich. Alex McCarthy will act as backup goalie and French full back Jeremy Pied will plug gaps.
Notable departures: As usual, the exits outweigh the arrivals at St Mary’s. Long-serving stopper Kelvin Davis has retired and taken a behind the scenes role, Gaston Ramirez joined Middlesbrough permanently and Spanish striker Junami returned to his homeland with Real Sociedad.
The three biggest departures, however, have typically seen Saints stars move to Premier League rivals or lured abroad by big money. Italy frontman Graziano Pelle is now one of many to have joined the Chinese Super League, while Sadio Mane followed other past Southampton performers to Liverpool and Victor Wanyama has been reunited with old coach Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs.
Manager: Claude Puel has replaced Ronald Koeman, who joined Everton and has a great track record of bringing through youngsters, meaning he fits the Saints coaching profile well. Read more about Puel with our detailed look at the French manager.
Expectations: Southampton fans cannot expect to record another top six finish when they have once again lost so many goals from their side. The days of punching above their weight may be over, but they have defied logic before and repeating their exploits is a 7/2 chance.
Final position in 2015/16: Ninth
Major summer signings: Wales pass-master Joe Allen is one of two big deals the Potters have done for £13m from Liverpool. They’ve also taken a £5m punt on Egypt winger Ramadan Sobhi.
Notable departures: A quiet summer in Staffordshire has meant just a couple of senior players on the fringe have been let go in Nigeria forward Peter Odemwingie and midfielder Steve Sidwell, who has signed permanently for Brighton and Hove Albion.
Manager: Mark Hughes is in his fourth season in charge of Stoke, having finished ninth in all three completed campaigns.
Expectations: A top 10 finish is thus par for the Potters, and odds of 7/4 say they shall achieve that again.
Final position in 2015/16: 17th
Major summer signings: Chelsea misfit Papy Djilobodji and Northern Ireland international Paddy McNair are the only key arrivals to strengthen defence – a long-standing Black Cats issue.
Notable departures: First-team exits from the Stadium of Light stands at nine. Veteran pair Steve Harper and Wes Brown are probably done, while others have moved in hope of reviving their careers.
Striker duo Steve Fletcher and Danny Graham have made free transfers to Championship clubs Blackburn Rovers and Sheffield Wednesday respectively. Defender Santiago Vergini, meanwhile, has returned to his native Argentina with Boca Junior and Emanuele Giaccherini is now permanently back in Italy with Napoli following his Euro 2016 exploits.
Sunderland have also loaned out fringe trio Will Buckley (Sheff Wed), Sebastian Coates (Sporting Lisbon) and Adam Matthews (Bristol City).
Manager: David Moyes makes his returning to coaching on Wearside following a spell out of management. The Black Cats are the third Premier League side he’s managed, with the Scot succeeding Sam Allardyce, who has been appointed England boss.
Expectations: Perpetual struggles at Sunderland are unlikely to end overnight, and if all does not go well this might be the season they go down. The Black Cats are 5/2 to go down.
Final position in 2015/16: 12th.
Major summer signings: Two huge statement striker signings have been made by the Swans so far with Fernando Llorente, formerly of Sevilla, the biggest name to have arrived at the Liberty Stadium for around £5m. But is is 23-year-old Borja Baston’s £15m joining from Atletico Madrid that has smashed the club transfer record and stirred most excitement.
While midfielder Leroy Fer and centre back Mike van der Hoorn, from QPR and Ajax respectively, have also been added to bring steel to the Swansea spine.
Notable departures: The Welsh club have been dealt two big blows, as skipper and stalwart centre half Ashley Williams was snared by Everton for a fee in the region of £12m. Attacking catalyst and top scorer last term Andre Ayew was flogged to West Ham United for a cool £20.5m.
The pair will be tough to replace, but Swans fans should be happier to also have seen the back of forward flops Alberto Paloschi and Eder Lopes (although they technically offloaded a European Championship winning hero).
Manager: Italian tactician Francesco Guidolin came into to save the Swans from a relegation battle last season, seizing the reins from Garry Monk, and in fact steered the ship safely.
Expectations: Based on last term’s success, Guidolin should be expected to guide his team to a top half finish (and is 9/2 to do so). But, realistically, after losing two key players and despite a record signing, staying clear of the relegation scrap would be more than respectable.
Final position in 2015/16: Third.
Major summer signings: Spurs have resisted the urge to splurge, preferring to make just a few key acquisitions in midfield shield Victor Wanyama for a bargain £11m price and young Dutch striking talent Vincent Janssen, who cost £17m.
Notable departures: White Hart Lane exits have also been kept to a minimum, with the capital club parting ways with an academy product in attacking midfielder Alex Pritchard and centre back outcast Federico Fazio, who has been farmed out again on loan to Roma.
Manager: Mauricio Pochettino begins his third term in charge of Tottenham having successfully taken the north London team into the Champions League. How to top that? Juggling Europe and the Premier League will be the Argentine’s toughest test yet.
Expectations: Could Pochettino become a victim of his own success? A title challenge still seems a long shot, especially with one eye on Europe. Successive top four finishes (11/10) should be the target, but rivals around Spurs have strengthened.
Final position in 2015/16: 13th.
Major summer signings: Watford have been busy bees again, adding young attacking talent in aptly named Nigerian winger Isaac Success and striker Jerome Sinclair from Liverpool’s reserves.
Belgian centre back Christian Kabasele and Ivory Coast-capped right back Brice Dja Djedje, both 25, plus experienced Colombia wideman Juan Camilo Zuniga, on loan from Napoli, will be charged with making a more immediate impact.
Notable departures: The Hornets have also axed a fair few notable names, as Mexico full back Miguel Layun made his loan move to Porto permanent and reliable midfield man Almen Abdi dropped back down into the Championship with Sheffield Wednesday.
Manager: Walter Mazzarri was catapulted in to replace rather hard done by Quique Sanchez Flores over summer, becoming Watford’s eighth coach in just over six seasons. The Italian has an awesome CV featuring Napoli and Inter Milan, but has it all to prove in England with his imaginative formations.
Expectations: After Sanchez Flores was given the boot despite a 13th place league finish and an FA Cup semi-final, your guess is good as ours. A top 10 finish (13/2) would be reasonable but, with such trigger-happy ownership, it is easy to see the Hornets falling short.
West Bromwich Albion
Final position in 2015/16: 14th.
Major summer signings: Wingman Matt Phillips is the sole big signing from a slow summer for the Baggies, captured from QPR for a reported £5.5m.
Notable departures: Outgoings have been more fruitful for Albion, with the Midlands club cutting their losses by letting attackers Victor Anichebe and Stephane Sessegnon, plus goalie Anders Lindegaard, leave as free agents.
Manager: Tony Pulis has crucially been kept on by new owner Guochuan Lai which, given the lack of investment and the Welshman’s ability to grind out results, could prove vital.
Expectations: Relegation escape artist Pulis may need all his tricks to help Albion (9/4 for the drop) keep their heads above water, as newly promoted sides such as Middlesbrough have been spending freely. Safety should be the expectation.
West Ham United
Final position in 2015/16: Seventh.
Major summer signings: Adaptable attacker Andre Ayew is big money marque signing so far, while the Hammers also signed Argentine playmaker Manuel Lanzini permanently. Young left back Arthur Masuaku was also brought in from Olympiakos to cover for Aaron Cresswell’s injury.
The Irons have also bagged bargains, with highly-rated Argentine striker Jonathan Calleri and Turkish winger Gokhan Tore lured for nominal loan fees, with all of Sofiane Feghouli, Ashley Fletcher and Havard Nordtveit nabbed on free transfers.
Notable departures: West Ham recouped around £10m for squad player and defender James Tomkins, who joined Crystal Palace.
Manager: Croatian coach Slaven Bilic won many fans with his attractive football and big game performances from his team, as well as savvy signings. Will he suffer second season syndrome?
Expectations: Champions League football looks to be stretch, but a top six finish (3/1 to occur) and a potential Europa League place us surely possible.
Do you agree with our predictions? Where do you think your team will finish? Let us know in the comments section below.