O’Hara’s Hunch: Early pre-season predictions and transfer window…so far review

With the new Premier League season just over a month away, transfer rumours are starting to hot up and predictions surrounding next season are beginning to flood in.

Grosvenor Sport ambassador Jamie O’Hara gives his thoughts on some of the summer’s biggest transfer stories as well as some of his predictions for the upcoming Premier League season.

Early pre-season predictions

Premier League champions

I can’t see anyone other than Manchester City winning the league next year. Nobody can compete with them and I just think that with Pep Guardiola there, they’ll win it again.

Top four and surprise package

I think the top four will be Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham. The top four is going to be so difficult to get into with the likes of Newcastle in the fight as well.

I would say that Aston Villa could be a surprise package next season and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were really good and challenging for the top four as well.

I have a feeling Tottenham might get back in the mix for the top four, because they don’t have any European football to worry about this season, so they might have a chance. The other teams have got other competitions to play in but Spurs haven’t any. I’m actually going to throw them in the top four places because they have no European football.

Going down

I definitely think Luton will get relegated, it is just too much of a step up for them. They might have some good moments at home because it’s just like a little fortress for them, but away from home they will get pummelled. I think Sheffield United will struggle as well, and I’m going to say that Bournemouth will go down as well despite their change of manager.

Player of the Year

The obvious selection for player of the season would be Erling Haaland, but I’m actually going to go with Declan Rice. I think he is going to have a big season at Arsenal and playing in a top team under Mikel Arteta will take his game to another level.

Transfer window…so far review

Signing of the summer

Declan Rice will be a brilliant signing but I think James Maddison to Spurs could be the signing of the season so far, not because I’m a Spurs fan but because I think we got an incredible deal. We’ve paid £40 million for one of the best creative players in the Premier League over the past few seasons and he’s probably worth £60 or 70 million so it’s a great price, not to mention that we sold them Harry Winks to Leicester for £10 million. It’s a signing we’ve needed and that we’ve been after for ages so for me he’s the signing of the summer because of what it represents for Tottenham.

Best transfer window

I think Chelsea have had the best window in terms of getting rid of a lot of their deadwood players. They’ve lost Mason Mount, which I think could end up being a mistake, but to get rid of all of the players they needed to so they could free up their wage structure and get more players in is impressive.

Saudi Arabia throwing money at anything and everything has come at the right time for Chelsea because it’s not easy to get rid of players who haven’t been playing well. Other teams didn’t want those players so they’ve done well to get rid of them, and Chelsea could be on their way back up.

The biggest job to do in the transfer market

Everyone in the Premier league can compete in the transfer market now because everyone has money to spend and they can all attract top players. Tottenham have still got a huge job to do in keeping Harry Kane and improving the squad to get back into the top four. Arsenal have also got a huge job to do because they nearly won the title and they need to improve and go again. Manchester City have lost Ilkay Gundogan and they have to sign again and improve and go after the treble again. Manchester United need to improve and they need a striker. They did well getting into the Champions League last season but they have to improve.

Even at the bottom of the table it’s all to play for because the teams coming up need to sign players, and the Premier League is so difficult to compete in now. Everyone has to make signings and everyone will have to be competitive from the first game.