What can we learn from Gameweek 38? Looking ahead to next season
Examining final day line-ups and potential summer changes at each club, asking what can we learn for the 2022/23 season.
Arsenal vs Everton
It’s still unknown whether this is the end for Arsenal forwards Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette. But the late reliance on Nuno Tavares and Cedric Soares suggests a new full-back is urgent this summer.
As for Everton, their final starting XI was heavily-rotated and thus immune from observations. Goal scorer Donny van de Beek’s loan will end, as he returns to Man United and Erik ten Hag. Although it’s uncertain how much financial strength the Toffees can have.
Brentford vs Leeds
The season ended strongly for newly-promoted Brentford, with the only real question regarding the future of Christian Eriksen. Does he remain with the Bees’ Danish contingent or get tempted by a move higher-up?
Similar questions revolve around the future of star man Raphinha. Unlike Eriksen, the Brazilian commands a fee and is constantly linked with the likes of Barcelona and Newcastle. Regardless, Leeds’ squad desperately needs strengthening – especially up front.
Brighton vs West Ham
Graham Potter’s side came from behind to defeat the Hammers 3-1. A strong starting XI gives no discussion points, although left wing-back Marc Cucurella is supposedly a target for Man City. What we already know is that forward Deniz Undav will arrive this summer, fresh from a 25-goal campaign in Belgium
The main weakness for West Ham is up front, where Michail Antonio has had no competition. Expect many links to arrive over the coming weeks.
Burnley vs Newcastle
Despite labels such as ‘the world’s richest club’, various reports from inside Newcastle hint at a modest summer. A big-name striker is first on the list but there also needs to be more attacking options and a left-back purchase, whether that be the permanent signing of Matt Targett or someone else. Due to their January spend, the club has a lot of deadwood and will look to offload nine or ten of these.
Chelsea vs Watford
Assuming that Chelsea will soon be under new ownership and therefore able to conduct business again, their defence will undergo major surgery. Antonio Rudiger received his goodbye from supporters when replaced in the 66th minute. It’s also likely that Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso will depart, with the latter not in the squad against Watford.
Crystal Palace vs Man United
19-year-old winger Jesurun Rak-Sakyi appeared for Patrick Vieira. In fact, there are several reasons for Palace fans to be optimistic, with their exciting young team having both a solid defence and attacking flair. A big question will be whether they are able to get loanee Conor Gallagher back to Selhurst Park.
Meanwhile, Ralf Rangnick also gave minutes to youngsters as incoming boss ten Hag watched from the stands. Hannibal Mejbri started, alongside cameos from Shola Shoretire and Alejandro Garnacho. So it should be a fascinating summer at Old Trafford.
Leicester vs Southampton
Without European football next season, it might be slightly easier to predict the Foxes’ line-ups. Since their phenomenal title win of 2016, there has been a steady stream of big sales and the latest could be Youri Tielemans. What Brendan Rodgers does with that money could be interesting.
A feeble end to Southampton’s season continued on Sunday. Loanee Armando Broja was unused here because he won’t be staying. In goal, Fraser Forster is probably leaving and will need replacing.
Liverpool vs Wolves
Early business has seen Divock Origi sign for AC Milan and youngster Fabio Carvalho arrive from Fulham. There is no obvious weakness to Jurgen Klopp’s team so it may be a quiet summer at Anfield.
Toti’s second successive start for Wolves perhaps suggests further integration next season. Last week’s emotional waves from Ruben Neves strongly hint at this departure and Bruno Lage’s main task is to freshen up a potential staleness.
Man City vs Aston Villa
The team without a striker coped reasonably well this campaign, notching 99 goals and retaining their league title! Precisely what the other teams didn’t want to then see was Erling Haaland unveiled ahead of the close season. Fernandinho is ending his nine-year stint at Man City, with final day hero Ilkay Gundogan also likely to leave. Reports continue to link Gabriel Jesus with a move to Arsenal.
Opponents Aston Villa have also started their summer strongly. Philippe Coutinho’s loan has been made permanent, with midfielder Boubacar Kamara secured on a free from Marseille.
Norwich vs Tottenham
Finally, Antonio Conte made two key purchases in January. Rodrigo Bentancur signed from Juventus and team mate Dejan Kulusevski arrived on an 18-month loan. This is also going to become permanent. Perhaps a wing-back will also be on Conte’s shopping list.