Things to look out for with the return of the Premier League

A fresh Premier League line-up ensures an exciting season ahead, from the rise of Luton Town to Manchester City going for another top-flight title, an intriguing campaign lies ahead.

Not to mention that there are a number of new players and managerial appointments who will be looking to make an immediate impact on British Shores. But what should you look out for in the Premier League this season?

Manchester City gunning for their fourth consecutive title

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester machine completed a historic treble in style last term.

They overcame Arsenal in the final stretch of the season to lift yet another Premier League title. An Emirates FA Cup triumph followed with a 2-0 victory over Manchester United, Guardiola’s seventh domestic cup win in England. To finish off an incredible season, City finally scooped the UEFA Champions League after failing on several attempts in previous seasons.

İlkay Gündoğan, a vital cog in their midfield, has departed for Barcelona and Riyad Mahrez has been lured in by the Saudi Pro League, joining Al-Ahli. They have secured the signature of one of the hottest defensive prospects in Europe with Joško Gvardiol arriving at the Etihad Stadium, while Mateo Kovačić is an astute replacement for Gündoğan.

City are the favorites for the title again this term, however, their rivals have improved. Liverpool have a new midfield, Arsenal have splashed the cash on three new signings while Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea have new managers at the helm.

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Young talent arriving on British shores

As is the case with every Premier League season, exciting talent in Europe have the desire to test themselves in the English top-flight.

Aston Villa, who will be in the Europa Conference League this season, signed Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby for £51.9 million. Unai Emery has additionally recruited Villarreal defender Pau Torres, a player whom he worked with during his spell at the Estadio de la Cerámica.

Nineteen-year-old left-back Milos Kerkez signed for Bournemouth from AZ Alkmaar under new manager Andoni Iraola. Norwich City’s Max Aarons also looks like he will be joining the Cherries.

Nicolas Jackson has impressed for Chelsea during pre-season and could lead the line in their opening game against Liverpool. In addition to this, Christopher Nkunku is an excellent signing for £50 million from RB Leipzig after he scored 16 goals and assisted four in 25 Bundesliga appearances.

An unprepared Wolverhampton Wanderers side?

Julen Lopetegui left Wolves a few days before the season kicks off after a summer of unrest where they were reportedly fighting against Financial Fair Play.

The Spaniard had an instant impact in the West Midlands following his arrival just before the FIFA World Cup break. His task was to guide them away from relegation and he did so – eventually finishing in a comfortable 14th place.

Gary O’Neil, who worked wonders at Bournemouth last campaign, will be in the dugout for Wolves but has been given next to no time to prepare for the upcoming season. The 40-year-old will probably only have a shoestring budget to work with and if they fail to sign any new recruits, a tough season may lie ahead.

Arsenal attempting to go one better

Last season was a surprise to many as Arsenal nearly secured their first Premier League title since the 2003/04 season. However, the Gunners ran out of steam in the end, eventually being overtaken by Manchester City in the final weeks of the campaign.

Declan Rice’s acquisition shows Arsenal are serious about another title challenge, while it remains to be seen what Kai Havertz can do after his £62 million move from Chelsea.

Jurrien Timber is a very shrewd signing from Ajax and starred in their Community Shield win over Manchester City. He started at left-back at Wembley Stadium but he is versatile and can also fill in at centre-back

David Raya looks like he will be joining Mikel Arteta’s side on loan with an option to buy, providing stern competition for current first-choice ‘keeper Aaron Ramsdale.

The Gunners led the Premier League table for the majority of the season but they will be hoping they can remain consistent this term.

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Luton Town at Kenilworth Road

Certainly a side that you wouldn’t have foreseen plying their trade in the top-flight a few years ago, Luton are an exciting proposition and will add something different to the Premier League.

Promoted via the play-offs last season, the Hatters were in the Vanarama National League as recently as 2014. They have suffered financial issues in the past which led to their demise but under Rob Edwards, Luton have a young, forward-thinking manager who is looking to be the mastermind of their survival.

Marvelous Nakamba has joined permanently, while Ryan Giles, Tahith Chong and Mads Andersen have signed having impressed in the Championship for Middlesbrough, Birmingham City and Barnsley respectively.

There have been more additions from the second tier with goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski swapping Blackburn for Bedfordshire and Chiedozie Ogbene joining from Rotherham United.

In a surprise move, ex-Chelsea and Everton attacking midfielder Ross Barkley has also signed for Luton and more are likely to follow before the deadline.

The Hatters are already being written off but their relentless pressing and desire to win the ball back could be crucial if they are to remain in the Premier League. Notwithstanding the fact that they will need to make Kenilworth Road a fortress and prove difficult to beat on home turf.

But what are you most looking forward to with the Premier League returning this Saturday?

The Author

Jack Patmore

Billericay Town Media Assistant | Work for The Non-League Paper, VAVEL, Phoenix FM & others | Part of The Football Writers Association | BBC Young Reporter Winner 2023

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