Winners and losers of the Premier League season

Erling Haaland sacked Manchester City for the third time in a row Premier League title, but Arsenal, Newcastle and Manchester United also had much to celebrate as they secured promotion back to the Champions League next season.

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Liverpool and Tottenham were among the biggest disappointments as they were relegated from the top four despite high hopes for the season.

The scale of Chelsea’s underachievement faltered a bit as the Blues finished 12th after spending over £500m ($617m) on new players.

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

Winners

Erling Haaland

Haaland already has one trophy, individual trophies and a number of new records to show in his first season in England and is still just getting started.

Any doubts as to how Pep Guardiola’s men would adjust to the center line up front were dispelled as Haaland scored 36 Premier League goals, setting a single-season record.

The 22-year-old has amassed numerous Premier League Player, Young Player and Football Writers Player of the Season awards.

But there are two more trophies that will make Haaland’s wonderful season historic.

Defeat Manchester United in the FA Cup final on 3 June and Inter a week later in the Champions League final, and City become only the second English side to ever reach the treble.

Brighton

Brighton have been one of the beneficiaries of a season of managerial changes despite Chelsea poaching their manager Graham Potter in September.

The Seagulls duly received £20m in Potter settlement and hired Roberto De Zerbi, who brought the club to Europe for the first time in their history.

Guardiola called the Italian “one of the most influential managers of the last 20 years” for his revolutionary style, which has made Brighton one of the most attractive teams in Europe.

Premier League predators are already waiting to pounce on the likes of Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister in the transfer window, but Brighton has become a pipeline 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.

Newcastle

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

But few expected the Magpies’ rise to be so rapid that they could secure their first Champions League place in 20 years in their first full season under the new regime.

Newcastle’s success can’t be explained solely by money either. They seem to have learned from the early days of the other state-backed projects City and Paris Saint-Germain not to splurge on superstars all at once.

Instead, Eddie Howe managed to make the most of Tyneside’s previously considered expensive underdogs like Joelinton and Miguel Almiron and bolster team spirit despite the influx of newcomers.

Losers

Chelsea

The Blues finished with the lowest record in the Premier League despite spending more on the transfer market than any other club in a single season.

Mauricio Pochettino is expected to be appointed as the new head of state at Stamford Bridge in the coming days, but the Argentine has a huge job ahead of him to turn the bloated side back into top-table contenders.

The biggest worry for Chelsea fans will be whether the club’s new owners can quickly learn from their reckless approach in their first season.

Management stability

Only nine Premier League teams have completed this term with the same manager who started the campaign, with a record 14 managers being sacked during the season.

But the 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 layoffs among clubs that finished in the top six, while Brentford and Fulham had brilliant seasons under Thomas Frank and Marco Silva, respectively.

Even at the bottom, West Ham and Nottingham Forest were rewarded with David Moyes and Steve Cooper for not sleeping.

Leicester

Seven years after the stunning triumph, Leicester will swap trips to Anfield, Old Trafford and the Etihad for less glamorous assignments at Rotherham, Plymouth and Hull next season’s Championship.

The fall of relegated Leicester came as a huge shock as a talented team that boasts the likes of James Maddison and Youri Tielemans failed to live up to their potential.

A run of two wins in the last 17 games sealed Leicester’s fate as they were relegated to the second division for the first time since 2014.