Although most of the focus will be on who will be crowned Premier League champions at the end of season, it is always fascinating to watch how the three promoted teams fare in their attempts to establish themselves as a top flight club. Fans of Bournemouth, Watford and Norwich will hope that they will not go straight back down to the Championship, and will be backed by neutrals who root for the underdogs. Strong performances throughout 2014/2015 has already led to suggestions that all three could make headlines and survive in the Premier League for the first time since 2002, but although they may have to continue strengthening their squad during the summer transfer window, there is a case to be made for each of the promoted sides to have an impact.
It has been a remarkable few years on the South coast at Bournemouth who have gone from being on the brink of exiting the Football League to reaching the Premier League in the space of five years. Eddie Howe has done a wonderful job on a fairly limited budget to create a dangerous side that score plenty of goals from all areas of the pitch, and although many expect them to find the leap from the Championship to the top flight too much to handle, Bournemouth have more than enough about them to surprise everyone and give the big guns a real run for their money. The £8 million acquisition of highly-rated defender Tyrone Mings is a real statement of intent from Bournemouth who smashed their transfer record in the process, while fellow new arrivals Sylvain Distin, Josh King and Adam Federici represent strong signings that have added experience and quality to the team. With confidence sky-high at the Goldsands Stadium and the quality of free-flowing football they play, Howe has the ability to keep Bournemouth in the Premier League.
Many were left surprised by the breakdown between Watford and Slaviska Jokanovic who was instrumental in guiding the club to the Premier League, but the appointment of Quique Sanchez Flores could prove to be a masterstroke. The Spaniard has already set his stall out by not only signing Sebastian Prodl and turning Matej Vydra’s loan from Udinese into a permanent deal, but also shelling out for Tottenham’s Ettiene Capoue who will add more steel and quality to the midfield department. Lithuania number one Giedrius Arlauskis has also arrived to provide competition for Heurelho Gomes, and with more arrivals at Vicarage Road expected, they could have the quality to avoid going straight back down. It remains to be seen what style of football Watford will play under their new manager, but if Quique Sanchez Flores has the same effect with the Hornets that he did with Valencia between 2005 and 2007, then they could survive comfortably.
Norwich, like Watford, may be able to call upon previous Premier League experience in an effort to become accustomed to life as a top flight club again. Their promotion via the play-offs is largely thanks to the wonderful job that Alex Neil has done since replacing Neil Adams as manager at the start of 2015; the Canaries surged up the Championship table as they lost just three of their twenty-two league fixtures, before getting past Ipswich and Middlesbrough to seal their return to the Premier League. Norwich have added midfield powerhouse Youssouf Mulumbu to their squad, but although they have the quietest of the three promoted teams in the transfer market so far, they already have a squad that is more than capable of competing at the highest level.