Premier League club-by-club review: Our verdict on your team - and what they need to do this summer

Telegraph Sport
The Telegraph
How does your team grade in our end of season report?
How does your team grade in our end of season report?

Arsenal

Most Valuable Player

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. A record signing in January and has already scored enough goals to suggest that his impact next season could be pivotal to Arsenal’s chances of getting back into the Champions League.

Biggest let-down

Shkodran Mustafi. Arsenal’s most expensive ever defender in 2016, and arguably the one signing that Arsene Wenger most needed to get right. He still makes too many mistakes 

Best performance

The 2-0 win against Tottenham in November briefly suggested that Arsenal could again challenge but, with such uncertainty over both Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, it was a false dawn.

Worst performance

The August 4-0 defeat at Liverpool was a horrible warning sign. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez should never have started that match amid their desire to leave.

Manager safety rating

The next man will surely be given time but the Arsenal fans are a demanding bunch and the splits over Arsene Wenger have still not completely healed. 7/10

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What they need this summer

The defence needs significant surgery and a genuine holding midfielder remains necessary. Big decisions must also be paid over Aaron Ramsey and Hector Bellerin.

Overall grade: D

Bournemouth

Most Valuable Player

Nathan Ake. Was voted players’ player and supporters’ player of the year at the club’s end of season awards and has provided an added solidity and quality to the defence.

Biggest let-down

Harry Arter. Difficult to single out any Bournemouth player but, having suffered several niggling injuries, his regular place this season has largely been taken by Lewis Cook and he faces a big summer decision.

Best performance

The 2-1 win against Arsenal in January represented another major scalp after wins in previous seasons against Chelsea and Liverpool. It was also fully deserved for their always adventurous approach.

<span>Bournemouth came from behind to beat Arsenal</span> <span>Credit: AFP </span>
Bournemouth came from behind to beat Arsenal Credit: AFP

Worst performance

Eddie Howe was clearly furious after the 2-1 defeat against Southampton at the end of April. It was a chance to probably send their neighbours down and he seemed concerned that focus had been lost.

Manager safety rating

 A third successive year of not just surviving in the Premier League but avoiding any real relegation danger at the end of the season. Howe is still doing an excellent job. 9/10

What they need this summer

Easier said than done but, either through the transfer market or work on the training ground, the emergence of a prolific striker would push Bournemouth into the top half.

Overall grade: B

Brighton

Most Valuable Player

Pascal Gross. A gifted playmaker with a thrilling eye for an assist.

Biggest let-down

Jürgen Locadia. Brighton's £14m record buy has hardly featured since arriving in January.

Best performance

Hard to choose between home wins over Arsenal and Manchester United - both pivotal in staying up.

<span>Brighton stayed up with games to spare</span> <span>Credit: Getty Images </span>
Brighton stayed up with games to spare Credit: Getty Images

Worst performance

Crystal Palace away. In a game that means more the club's fans than any other, Brighton's defence crumbled. 

Manager safety rating

Chris Hughton could not be safer. 10/10

What they need this summer 

More goals. Glenn Murray might struggle to repeat this season's heroics.

Overall grade: A-

Burnley

Most valuable player

Ben Mee. The less heralded half of Burnley’s formidable centre half pairings over the past two seasons, the former Manchester City defender has helped both Michael Keane, who left Everton last summer, and now James Tarkowski to flourish.

Biggest let down

There has been no let down for Burnley this season. The biggest disappointment, though, was Robbie Brady becoming the latest of Sean Dyche’s players to succumb to serious injury when he ruptured his patellar tendon in December.

Best performance

Their 3-2 win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on the opening day. Burnley won one away game last season but this victory would set the tone for a dramatic metamorphosis on the road.

<span>Burnley are going on a European tour</span> <span>Credit: Reuters </span>
Burnley are going on a European tour Credit: Reuters

Worst performance

There have been very few poor displays but the 5-0 defeat to Arsenal last weekend was a disappointment because victory would left Dyche’s side with a chance of beating Arsenal to sixth spot on the final day.

Manager safety rating

10/10. In January, Dyche signed a new contract to June 2022 and, along with Pep Guardiola, is probably the most secure manager in the top flight.

What they need this summer

With European football at Turf Moor next season, Dyche will need more strength in depth. Despite their success this term, goals were not plentiful and a pedigree striker would not go amiss.

Overall grade: A

Chelsea

Most Valuable Player

N’Golo Kante is the engine room of the Chelsea team and is the man they simply cannot do without. Even more so than last season, he has operated as two men at times.

Biggest let-down

Alvaro Morata became Chelsea’s record signing and was given the task of replacing last season’s top scorer. But he’s spent more time whinging about rough treatment than terrorising the opposition.

Best performance

Atletico Madrid away in the Champions League. Chelsea dominated their Spanish opponents in their new stadium and came away with a superb victory.

<span>A familiar pose from Alvaro Morata</span> <span>Credit: Getty Images </span>
A familiar pose from Alvaro Morata Credit: Getty Images

Worst performance

Bournemouth at home. There was a real fear that Conte could be sacked following the 3-0 defeat to Eddie Howe’s men. Practically everything that could go wrong did.

Manager safety rating

Is there any such thing as a safe manager at Chelsea? Probably not and Conte is expected to leave shortly after the FA Cup final. The club will do well to find a better head coach, however. 7/10

What they need this summer

This will be a very important summer for Chelsea. Other than probably needing a new manager, the club are still searching for somebody to replace former technical director Michael Emenalo and they will need to be shrewd in the transfer market.

Overall grade: C

Crystal Palace

Most Valuable Player

Wilfried Zaha. The best player outside the top six - possibly even the top five. Palace lost every match in which he failed to start.

Biggest let-down

Frank de Boer. The Dutchman arrived to much fanfare but was gone after four league games. Christian Benteke a close second.

Best performance

The 5-0 crushing of Leicester - the club's biggest win in the top flight since 1972. Halting Manchester City's winning run was impressive, too.

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Worst performance

A truly wretched opening 22 minutes at Arsenal saw Palace go 4-0 down, with two goals coming from corners. 

Manager safety rating

There is no chance of Roy Hodgson being sacked, so it comes down to whether he wants to stay. 8/10

What they need this summer

The squad is reasonably strong but goalkeeper Vicente Guaita's arrival from Getafe will be welcome. A midfielder and striker are also needed.

Overall grade: B-

To survive after an appalling start was an achievement, but a squad that strong should never have been in danger.

Everton

Most Valuable Player

Jordan Pickford. Of all those signed last summer, Pickford is the only recruit who could be said to have retained his value. His intention was to move to become England’s number one. He may have achieved it.

Biggest let-down

Davy Klaassen. Signed to add some culture to the Everton midfield, it was immediately apparent the lack of pace in attack made him look more ponderous. Could not adjust to England.

Best performance

A 4-0 home win over West Ham in what was David Unsworth’s final game in charge. Sam Allardyce watched on the eve of taking over, but he never enjoyed such an emphatic and entertaining win.

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Worst performance

Too many options. A lame surrender 5-2 to Arsenal signalled the end of Ronald Koeman’s reign in October, but the Europa League was an embarrassment. A 5-1 home loss to Atalanta was as bad as it could get.

Manager safety rating

Everton had three managers in a season and it is still unclear who will be in charge at the start of next season. What was once a secure position has become precarious. 2/10

What they need this summer

Stability in the dug-out, a clearer vision on and off the pitch, and a more dynamic, attacking style with pace in attacking areas. They have plodded their way through a disjointed campaign.

Overall grade: D 

Huddersfield

Most Valuable Player

Aaron Mooy. The Australian was the star in Huddersfield’s promotion-winning campaign and has been superb again in the Premier League. His man-of-the-match performance in the draw against champions Manchester City was typical of his importance to the team.

Biggest let-down

Tom Ince. A little harsh, perhaps, but remains far too inconsistent for a player of his talent. He may have scored a vital goal in the win over Watford back in April, but at the age of 26, he still feels like a work in progress.

Best performance

Huddersfield were still trying to acclimatise to life in the top flight when they inflicted a first defeat of the season on Manchester United back in October. The confidence that result brought was crucial for the rest of the season.

<span>A point at Stamford Bridge confirmed Huddersfield's survival in the Premier League</span> <span>Credit: Reuters </span>
A point at Stamford Bridge confirmed Huddersfield's survival in the Premier League Credit: Reuters

Worst performance

A team’s home form is normally the difference between relegation and safety so the 4-1 thrashing at the McAlpine stadium was a shock to the system that sent alarm bells ringing.

Manager safety rating

It is not a case of whether Huddersfield sack David Wagner, it is whether they can hold on to him because other clubs will try to lure him away this summer. 8/10

What they need this summer

The spine of the team still looks weak and they need to add quality in almost every department if they are going to avoid another long, tense battle against relegation.

Overall grade: B+

Leicester

Most Valuable Player

Jamie Vardy. He has scored 21 goals this season for Leicester, a remarkable achievement for a striker who has been often isolated up front under Claude Puel's new approach.

Biggest let-down

Riyad Mahrez. Rated at around £80m by Leicester, Mahrez has again underachieved this season and further damaged his reputation by effectively going on strike in January.

Best performance

The 4-1 victory at Southampton in December evoked memories of Leicester's title win and hinted at a bright future under Puel.

<span>Jamie Vardy finished the season with 20 league goals</span> <span>Credit: Getty Images </span>
Jamie Vardy finished the season with 20 league goals Credit: Getty Images

Worst performance

The 2-0 defeat to West Ham in their penultimate home game was arguably their worst, but there were many others under Puel as his possession-based approach sucked the life out his team.

Manager safety rating

Puel has secured only five wins from 20 league games and is battling against growing unrest in both the dressing room and on the terraces. 5/10

What they need this summer

A new manager and a significant rebuild of an ageing squad. Leicester need strengthening in all positions if they are to progress.

Overall grade: C

Liverpool

Most Valuable Player

Mohamed Salah. He returned to the Premier League with much to prove, but ended his first season at Liverpool a genuine Ballon d’Or contender. His strike rate is extraordinary.

Biggest let-down

Emre Can. Not necessarily due to his performances, but unwillingness to commit his future to one of Europe’s most exciting teams. It is disappointing since he has contributed so much to its growth.

Best performance

Any Manchester City home game. Take your pick from the Premier League or Champions League, although the first half performance in Europe will take some beating. Klopp beat Pep at his own game.

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Worst performance

Football historians will ask how did Liverpool fail to defeat West Brom in the 2017/18 season? Worse, they went out of the FA Cup, at home, during the dismal Alan Pardew era. That's just weird.

Manager safety rating

Jurgen Klopp is as safe as a Labour MP’s seat in the Liverpool heartland. He has four years left on his contract and will stay as long he wants. 10/10

What they need this summer

Build on their good work and eradicate mistakes against soon-to-be relegated teams to find the extra 15 points for a genuine title bid. Strength in depth has been an issue because of late season injuries. They do not need much, however.

Overall grade: B (will move to A if European champions)

Manchester City

Most valuable player

Kevin De Bruyne. There are a substantial number of players who can lay claim to this accolade, from Ederson in goal to David Silva in midfield and Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane on the flanks but De Bruyne has City’s relentless driving force.

Biggest let down 

It was a real shame to see Benjamin Mendy, arguably Europe’s most left back, succumbing to a cruciate knee ligament injury in September that robbed Pep Guardiola of his £52 million signing for most of the season.

Best performance

There have been so many – the 1-0 win away to Chelsea, the 6-0 thrashing of Watford, the 4-1 demolition of Spurs – but the 7-2 hammering of Stoke City, when De Bruyne delivered a passing masterclass, was mesmerising.

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Worst performance

There have been so few – the goalless draws to Crystal Palace and Huddersfield were the only times they failed to score – but the second half implosion to Manchester United after a one-sided first in the 3-2 derby defeat was unexpected.

Manager safety rating

10/10. City would like Guardiola to stay for 10 years but know they will probably do well to get him to stay longer than another two.

What they need this summer

A high quality defensive midfielder to ease the burden on Fernandinho and a versatile forward.

Overall grade: A+

Manchester United

Most valuable player

David De Gea. Jose Mourinho said last term that there was “something wrong” if a goalkeeper at such a big club is being named the player of the season award but for the fourth time in the past five campaigns De Gea has lifted that crown.

Biggest let down

Paul Pogba. The France midfielder started the season promisingly but his performance level since the turn of the year has plummeted to the point where no one can be sure if he will stay at United or not this summer.

Best performance

United have tended to play well only in short bursts or single halves and the best performance over a full 90 minutes was probably the 4-0 win over West Ham on the opening day.

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Worst performance

Take your pick – Huddersfield, Newcastle, Brighton, West Ham away, Manchester City at home – although nothing quite compared to the wretched 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion that allowed City to clinch the title.

Manager safety rating

7/10. Mourinho is not going anywhere and United are desperate for some stability after neither David Moyes nor Louis van Gaal lasted long but Mourinho’s third seasons at past clubs have often been combustible.

What they need this summer

Two young, vibrant full-backs, a quality central defender and two pedigree central midfielders, with Michael Carrick retiring and doubts over Marouane Fellaini’s future.

Overall grade: B

Newcastle United

Most Valuable player

Jamaal Lascelles. Newcastle’s captain has been brilliant on the pitch and vital off it. There was a suspicion last season that he was a batter captain than defender, but not now. Really should have been called into the England squad.

Biggest let-down

Jacob Murphy. At £12m, was Newcastle’s most expensive signing last summer, but the former England Under-21 international has been unable to hold down a starting berth and looks as though his confidence has been shattered. May well need to be sent out on loan next season.

Best performance

The victory over Arsenal, coming from behind to secure the three points that guaranteed survival was the most complete of the season. Newcastle out-played the visitors and were a joy to watch going forward in front of a raucous home crowd.

<span>Jamaal Lascelles has been a rock for Newcastle</span> <span>Credit: Getty Images </span>
Jamaal Lascelles has been a rock for Newcastle Credit: Getty Images

Worst performance

The home defeat to Watford back in December was probably the low point of the season because it should have been an even heavier loss. The Magpies were woeful and looked like relegation fodder.

Manager safety rating

Not for the first time in his career, Benitez is embroiled in a tense stand off with a club’s owner and there is a fear he will walk if he is not given more money to spend 5/10

Whey they need this summer

The most important thing is Benitez stays, but they also need to add serious quality in attack, with a new centre forward, winger and number 10 the priority.

Overall grade: B+

Southampton

Most Valuable Player

Alex McCarthy. Came into the team in place of Fraser Forster and established now as first-choice goalkeeper. Made some superb saves in the final run-in, notably against Everton and Swansea, to maintain the late momentum.

Biggest let-down

Guido Carrillo. After selling Virgil van Dijk, the January expectation was of the imminent arrival of attacking reinforcement. Carrillo did became the club’s record signing but is still yet to score.

Best performance

The 1-0 away win at Swansea last Tuesday night. The pressure was immense but, fired by the controversy over a cancelled hotel booking, they deserved that pivotal victory.

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Worst performance

The 3-0 defeat at Newcastle United which proved to be Mauricio Pellegrino’s last match as manager. The Southampton players appeared to have lost hope at that point.

Manager safety rating

A final decision must still be made on Mark Hughes. He has earned his chance but the short-term nature of his previous contract suggests Southampton may eventually have other plans. 5/10

What they need this summer

Pace, power and more goals. The squad has depth in many areas but they need to add a more unpredictable creative spark.

Overall grade: D

Stoke

Most Valuable Player

Joe Allen has been a reliable professional in a season where Stoke suffered from ill discipline. A vastly under-rated competitor who deserves better.

Biggest let-down

Where do you start? How about £18m flop Kevin Wimmer, goal-shy Saido Berahino or Mame Diouf, whose confidence in the final weeks was totally shot? Hughes is also culpable.

Best performance

The 1-0 victory over Arsenal in August extended Stoke's penchant for irritating Arsene Wenger and suggested Mark Hughes could recover from his poor finish to last season. Wrong.

<span>Stoke return to the Championship after 10 years in the top flight</span> <span>Credit: Reuters </span>
Stoke return to the Championship after 10 years in the top flight Credit: Reuters

Worst performance

It has to be the 7-2 drubbing at Manchester City, when the alarm bells really started to ring. It could easily have been 15.

Manager safety rating

Paul Lambert has a release clause which can be triggered by either him or Stoke by June, so his future is unclear. 4/10

What they need this summer

Stoke need a total revamp from top to bottom, and a return to the core values which got them promoted in 2008. Recruitment must be dramatically improved and the dressing room needs some strong characters.

Overall grade: E

Swansea

Most Valuable Player

Jordan Ayew. Streaky but the one player who has consistently threatened in attack this season. 

Biggest let-down

Andre Ayew. At £18m, the signing of Jordan's brother from West Ham delivered only ineffective performances.

Best performance

A 3-1 win over Arsenal was as good as it got under Carlos Carvalhal.

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Worst performance

A 10-game unbeaten run came to an end thanks to a 4-1 at Brighton. 

Manager safety rating

Carvalhal has failed in his task to keep Swansea up, and he won’t be returning next season. 0/10

What they need this summer

To rediscover, if possible, the fabled ‘Swansea Way’.

Overall grade: D-

Tottenham Hotspur

Most Valuable Player

Harry Kane, who else? It has become too easy to take the striker for granted, but he keeps breaking records and is the man who consistently delivers. Even when he has looked tired at the end of the season, he has still netted important goals.

Biggest let-down

Fernando Llorente. Much was made of the fact Spurs managed to sign Llorente ahead of Chelsea, but the Spaniard has made little impression and is another of Kane’s understudies who looks set to leave the club.

Best performance

Real Madrid at home in the Champions League. Having suffered a disappointing European campaign last season, Tottenham announced themselves on the biggest stage by not only beating this year’s finalists but by sweeping them aside at Wembley.

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Worst performance

Manchester United in the semi-final of the FA Cup. This was meant to be the game that Tottenham put themselves on course for a first trophy under Mauricio Pochettino, but, after a good start, they came up short.

Manager safety rating

The question is not whether or not Pochettino is safe, but how long Tottenham can keep hold of their brilliant manager. He might not have won a trophy, but the Argentine’s stock continues to rise. 8/10

What they need this summer

Tottenham need a stronger squad to be able to get over the line and finally win some silverware. That’s easier said than done, however, when operating on a shoestring budget in comparison to their rivals.

Overall grade: B

Watford

Most Valuable Player

Abdoulaye Doucoure. A consistently powerful force in midfield.

Biggest let-down

Andre Gray. A club record signing at £18m, he has barely featured since January.

Best performance

Dismantling Chelsea 4-1 by scoring three goals in the last six minutes.

<span>Abdoulaye Doucoure has proved to be one of tge signings of the season</span> <span>Credit: Reuters </span>
Abdoulaye Doucoure has proved to be one of tge signings of the season Credit: Reuters

Worst performance

Being thrashed by a Huddersfield side that had not scored in their previous eight away games.

Manager safety rating

A winless run of seven matches from March 11-May 5 took the shine off Javi Gracia’s fine start. 4/10

What they need this summer

Keep Doucoure, give Richarlison a break and sign a new striker.

Overall grade: C-

West Brom

Most Valuable Player

There have not been many stand-outs but Craig Dawson remains a dependable professional, while Ben Foster's performances towards the end of the season were excellent.

Biggest let-down

Grzegorz Krychowiak should have been an outstanding loan signing but never looked comfortable in the Premier League despite his reputation. Alan Pardew's regime was also bewildering.

Best performance

The heroic 3-2 win over Liverpool in the FA Cup tie was a rare moment of cheer for Pardew and offered no hint of the dross that was to follow.

<span>Things went from bad to worse for West Brom under Alan Pardew</span> <span>Credit: Reuters </span>
Things went from bad to worse for West Brom under Alan Pardew Credit: Reuters

Worst performance

Quite a few stinkers to choose from but the 2-1 home defeat to Huddersfield delivered the reality check that Albion were going down and Pardew's mojo had completely disappeared.

Manager safety rating

Darren Moore has performed wonders, earning the Manager of the Month for April, but it remains unlikely he will get the job permanently. 4/10

What they need this summer

Albion describe their summer plans as a "reboot" and, like Stoke, they need to return to the old strategy that served them so well. The next choice of head coach is crucial, while recruitment will be vital as they face a number of departures.

Overall grade: E

West Ham United

Most Valuable Player

Marko Arnautovic. He started badly after joining from Stoke City, but Arnautovic came to life under David Moyes and played a bigger part than anyone else in keeping West Ham in the Premier League.

Biggest let-down

Joe Hart. The England goalkeeper joined on loan with a big reputation and big wages, but initially lost his place under Moyes following a string of errors. He has recovered slightly, but is still nowhere near his best.

Best performance

Southampton at home. Following the Burnley debacle, West Ham looked on the brink of meltdown. But, under huge pressure, they beat relegation rivals Southampton and the London Stadium anger rating went down a few notches.

<span>West Ham's season was marred by fan discontent</span>
West Ham's season was marred by fan discontent

Worst performance

Burnley at home. This threatened to be the game that sent West Ham over the edge. Not only did the team fail to deliver, but there was trouble in the stands and Mark Noble even had to resort to tackling pitch invaders.

Manager safety rating

Davd Moyes and West Ham remain unsure about each other, despite the fact the Scotsman achieved his brief of keeping the club up. Neither seem to want to commit for the long term. 7/10

What they need this summer

A complete re-think. Moyes has already said that he will only stay if the culture of the club changes. That may seem unlikely, but he is right. West Ham will never get it right while the club does its business in public.

Overall grade: D

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