With Crystal Palace earning a place in next season’s Premier League with the last game of the 2012/13 English football season, I am already looking forward to the 2013/14 season with extra enthusiasm and excitement. For this summer’s close season won’t be bridged by an international football tournament or the Olympics.
Furthermore, at least 5 Premier League teams will start the season with new managers. David Moyes has the hardest job in football replacing Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, Mark Hughes attempts to resurrect his managerial career as he takes over from Tony Pulis at Stoke City, Roberto Martinez has today been appointed new manager of Everton, Jose Mourinho returns to Chelsea where he won back-to-back Premier League titles in his first two seasons at Stamford Bridge; and Manuel Peregrini will soon be unveiled as the new manager of Manchester City replacing the sacked Roberto Mancini less than 12 months after winning the Premier League title. Add to this little pot boiler the fanatical antics of new kid on the Sunderland block, Paulo Di Canio, and the highly amusing monologues of Ian Holloway at newly promoted Crystal Palace, and I’m sure you’ll agree next season could be a real humdinger!
Of course following the managerial merry-go-round will be the buying and selling of players. Wayne Rooney ended last season on a sour note with a second transfer request to leave Old Trafford. I can only assume that unless he is going abroad to the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, there will only be one Premier League team interested and able to afford his wage demands; and that is Chelsea. I am of course ignoring the fact Wayne Rooney might follow his former strike partner Carlos Tevez and swap the red for the sky blue of Manchester!
Other players already linked with Jose Mourinho’s return to Chelsea include Real Madrid’s Luka Modric & Christiano Ronaldo, and Everton’s versatile Belgium midfielder Marouane Fellaini. Though I’m not sure where Modric would fit into a Chelsea midfield boasting Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Ramires, Oscar and Frank Lampard; and though there is no doubting Ronaldo has been the second best player in the world for the past three seasons, I believe he would unbalance the very good working relationship of ‘the three amigos’ (Mata, Oscar & Hazard) that were given the license to flourish under Rafa Benitez last season. That said, I expect Chelsea to be involved in some high profile transfers over the next couple of months.
The arrival of Manuel Peregrini from Malaga will surely see Manchester City spending big again to attract more top players from Serie A to join Sevilla’s Spain winger, Jesus Navas who has already signed for Man City this month. Other transfer rumours surrounding Manchester City include Real Madrid defender Pepe & Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazilian midfielder, Fernandinho; and surely every Premier League club is interested to know that Aston Villa’s top scoring Belgium striker Christian Benteke is apparently looking for a move.
Rumours linking players to be leaving the English Premiership include David Luiz & Pepe Reina to Barcelona, Luis Suarez to Real Madrid and Arsenal’s unsettled striker Podolski to return to Germany with Borussia Dortmund being the most likely destination.
It’s going to be a hot, busy summer ahead!