September 20, 2023

Premier League season winners and losers

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Erling Haaland shot Manchester City to a third successive Premier League title, but there was also plenty to celebrate for Arsenal, Newcastle and Manchester United as they secured a return to the Champions League next season.

Liverpool and Tottenham were among the biggest disappointments as they crashed out of the top four despite high expectations for the season.

Chelsea’s scale of underperformance took some beating as the Blues finished 12th after spending more than £500 million ($617 million) on new players.

After Sunday’s final round, AFP Sport looks at the winners and losers of the 2022/23 Premier League season:


Erling Haland

Already with one trophy, individual trophies and a string of new records to show for his first season in England, Haaland is just getting started.

Any doubts about how Pep Guardiola’s men would adapt to a central point up front were dispelled when Haaland set a Premier League record in a single season with 36 goals.

The 22-year-old has bagged a host of Premier League Player, Young Player and Footballer of the Season awards.

But it is two more pieces of silverware that will make Haaland’s remarkable season a historic one.

Beat Manchester United in the FA Cup final on June 3 and Inter Milan in the Champions League final a week later and City become just the second English side to win the treble.


Brighton have been one of the beneficiaries of a season of managerial changes, despite their coach Graham Potter being poached by Chelsea in September.

The Seagulls pocketed £20 million in compensation for Potter and hired Roberto De Zerbi, who has led the club to Europe for the first time in their history.

Guardiola hailed the Italian as “one of the most influential managers of the last 20 years” for his revolutionary style that has made Brighton one of the most attractive sides to watch in Europe.

The Premier League’s predators are already waiting for Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister in the transfer window, but Brighton have become a conveyor belt of young talent.

Of the 20 goals scored by teenagers in the Premier League this season, 11 have come from the Brighton trio of Evan Ferguson, Julio Enciso and Facundo Buonanotte.


Backed by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, Newcastle appear to be the best long-term bet to challenge Manchester City’s dominance in English football.

But few expected the Magpies’ rise to power to secure Champions League football in their first full season under the new regime for the first time in 20 years.

Newcastle’s success cannot be explained solely by money. They seem to have learned from the early days of other state-backed projects City and Paris Saint-Germain not to immediately splash out on superstars.

Instead, Eddie Howe has managed to get the best out of players previously seen as costly flops on Tyneside, such as Joelinton and Miguel Almiron, and nurtured good team spirit despite an influx of newcomers.



The Blues finished with their lowest points tally ever in the Premier League, despite spending more than any club has ever done in a single season on the transfer market.

Mauricio Pochettino is expected to be named as the new man in charge at Stamford Bridge in the coming days, but the Argentine has a huge job to do in turning a bloated team back into contenders at the top of the table.

The main concern for Chelsea fans will be whether the club’s new owners will soon learn from their reckless approach in their first season.

Administrative stability

Only nine Premier League sides have finished this season with the same man who started the campaign, with a record 14 managers being sacked over the course of the season.

But a change of coach rarely brought the desired result.

Chelsea, relegated Southampton and Leeds were the three clubs to sack two managers.

By contrast, there were no dismissals from the clubs finishing in the top six, while Brentford and Fulham enjoyed brilliant seasons under Thomas Frank and Marco Silva respectively.

Even at the bottom, West Ham and Nottingham Forest were rewarded for holding on by David Moyes and Steve Cooper as they held on.


Seven years after their stunning title win, Leicester are swapping trips to Anfield, Old Trafford and the Etihad Stadium next season for less glamorous assignments in Rotherham, Plymouth and Hull in the Championship.

Relegated Leicester’s fall from grace came as a huge shock when a talented side including James Maddison and Youri Tielemans failed to live up to their potential.

A run of two wins in their last 17 games sealed Leicester’s fate as they crashed into the second tier for the first time since 2014.


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