It's hard to believe that the offseason is almost over and the Premier League season begins on Friday, Aug. 5. But with that in mind, the end of the offseason is also a good time to examine the newly promoted teams from the Championship.
It's always an interesting exercise to see which teams can avoid the drop, especially when you consider how Wolverhampton, Leeds United, Sheffield United and Brentford have only raised expectations for recently promoted teams. Thirty teams have been promoted over the past 10 seasons, and 15 of them have managed to avoid the drop. Six of have managed to finish 10th or better. The 2016-17 season was a bit of an outlier as all three teams (Newcastle, Brighton and Huddersfield) stayed up. Either way, there's a 50 percent success rate over the past decade, which should give hope to the current crop of new teams in the league.
Fulham are back after winning the Championship by a wide margin, with Bournemouth joining the fray after spending two seasons resetting with the added spice of being led by former Fulham manager Scott Parker. Steve Cooper's Nottingham Forest side won the promotion playoff final over Huddersfield Town to end a 23-year hiatus from top-flight soccer.
All three are led by impressive forwards (Bournemouth's Dominic Solanke, Fulham's Aleksander Mitrovic and Nottingham Forest's Brennan Johnson) along with shrewd managers. But that's where the differences end. In four of the past five seasons, one promoted team has managed to finish in the top half of the Premier League in their first season, showing growth in quality in the top teams getting promoted. Last season, if not for David Raya getting injured, Brentford were on track to make it a 5 for 5 on top-half finishes.
Let's take a look at the newly promoted teams and their outlook ahead of the new season.
Key additions: Joao Palhinha, Andreas Pereira, Manor Solomon, Kevin Mbabu
Key departures: Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Fabio Carvalho, Neco Williams
Key players: Aleksandar Mitrovic (43 goals, seven assists), Joao Palhinha (Three goals), Harry Wilson (10 goals, nine assists), Tosin Adarabioyo (two goals, two assists)
Outlook: Outside of Norwich City, there isn't a bigger yo-yo club than Fulham, who have made it to the Premier League for the third time in five years. If this were baseball, they would be labeled as a Quadruple-A team: Too good for the Championship, but not good enough to stay up in the Premier League. Led by Marco Silva, the Cottagers have talent and most of their success lies in Serbian marksman Aleksandar Mitrovic's ability to find the back of the net.
Coming off of a 43-goal season in the Championship, you'd love to expect that things will finally click for him in the top flight and he scores 20-plus goals to keep Fulham up. Then you realize that Mitrovic hasn't scored more than 11 goals in four Premier League seasons between Newcastle and Fulham. Without Fabio Carvalho, who's off to Liverpool, a large spark is gone from this attack even though they scored a whopping 106 goals in the Championship.
Andreas Pereira has been signed to try to improve Fulham's attack in the center of the park which shows just how dire their situation is. Since starring in La Liga at 20 with Granada, Pereira struggled to catch on in Brazil with Flamengo as he only received 25 starts over the past two seasons. Pereira logged seven goals and two assists in Brazil. He is only 27, but it's still hard to see him being a critical part of the Cottagers' attack.