Today we found out that Jamie Vardy, who is currently in France with the England squad, signed a new four year contract with Leicester- ruining Arsenal’s hopes of signing the in form striker.
Jamie Vardy’s decision shows how the top players now are staying at the ‘new’ top clubs rather than the top teams of past season’s(Arsenal,Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea). Players who have now moved to the EPL have realised that the top clubs are in a sort of free fall and have opted to sign for teams that are quickly growing. For example Feghouli, an Algerian international and a player capable of playing in the Champions League, decided to sign for West Ham over many top teams- possibly because West Ham are going in an upwards direction while the normal top 4 are not making any progress in the EPL or in Europe.
Arsenal have made some big signings in the previous few years, Alexis Sanchez & Ozil, but have failed to make much progress- other than finishing above Spurs and celebrating it like they won the league. Chelsea have constantly been taking one step forward and two steps back over the past year after the fall of Jose Mourinho. Manchester United failed to finish in the top four with LVG playing very negative football while Manchester City had a disappointing season after their players seemed to give up after they knew Pellegrini was leaving. However Leicester, who were last in the league at Christmas last year, have built a strong team spirit combined with the likes of Mahrez and Vardy performing to the top of their ability to propel them to a Premier League title. West Ham almost finished in the top four with the same types of quality in their team and Spurs came close to the title after a bad few years without Gareth Bale. The old guard are falling and a new force is rising in the EPL.
This will all make next season a very interesting one. The teams that had strong seasons last year will be hoping they can repeat their success of last season while the big clubs who failed to perform will be bringing in top players to try and knock Leicester off their perch. To add to this an army of experienced and successful managers will be joining the EPL- Guardiola(Manchester City), Mourinho(Manchester United) and Conte(Chelsea) will all already have a plan for next season to make sure their respective teams perform against the ‘rising stars’ of the league to avoid any further embarrassment. The 2016/17 season will definitely contain a lot of drama, will the large clubs fight back? or will the likes of Leicester, West Ham, Stoke and Southampton push on and continue to embarrass the so called top teams?