The UK football season has finally ended, following a three month break due to the COVD-19 pandemic. Games resumed in June 2020 and the season finished by the end of the month, with Championship champion Leeds United and runner’s up West Bromwich Albion guaranteed a place in the Premier League for the upcoming season.
Playoffs, which took place in August, saw third to sixth place finishers Fulham, Brentford, Swansea City and Cardiff City fighting it out for the coveted third place.
Bournemouth, Watford and Norwich City were relegated and will be returning to the Championship for the 2020/2021 season. The question is, who will be betting on the latest additions to retain their spot in the Premiership for more than one season?
Leeds United narrowly missed promotion in the 2018/2019 season and came out fighting in 2019, finishing a good ten points clear of the nearest challengers to secure a spot in the top-flight.
The team will almost certainly be looking to re-sign world-renowned coach Bielsa, who has been instrumental in turning the fortunes of the Whites around over the past two years.
Bielsa demands exceptionally high standards from his squad and they in turn deliver. Leeds have one of the youngest, fittest teams at the top of the UK game and few changes should or will be made.
Centre-back Ben White, previously on loan from Brighton, may end up signing with another team and so will need replacing, but otherwise, Leeds are likely to follow the Sheffield United model and recruit only minimally while focusing on what is already a tight-knit, winning team.
West Bromwich Albion are also likely to retain most of the squad that led them to finish in second place and secure a top in the Premier League for next season.
Sporting and technical director of the club Luke Dowling spoke of average spending during the transfer window, with a focus on bringing the mean age of what is a relatively older team down by introducing some new young blood.
Following the playoff competition, which took place in the last week of July and first week of August, Fulham secured the third and final spot in the coveted Premier League, after beating Brentford two goals to one in the final round.
Fulham was promoted to the Premier League in 2018 but relegated at the end of the same season after finishing 19th with just 26 points. It remains to be seen this year if they have what it takes to hold onto their position or if they will yo-yo straight back.
After a stunning season in 2019/2020, fans of Leeds United will be ecstatic about the chances of their team not only staying in the Premier League, but with a solid chance of finishing in or close to the top half.