Norwich – [2.78] to be top promoted team
Despite finishing the lowest of the promoted trio in the Championship, Norwich are just about favourites to come out on top in the Premier League.
However, as they haven’t been too active in the window yet, this is primarily a result of having spent three seasons in the division already this decade, coming 11th as recently as 2012/13, rather than an adulatory review of their recruitment strategy.
The two additions that they have wrapped up so far were both West Brom midfielders with a healthy helping of top-flight experience. Graham Dorrans had been with them on loan since February though, so isn’t truly a new arrival having aided the promotion effort.
The more defensive Youssouf Maloumbu has also been picked up for free, which looks shrewd given that he was a regular for most of his six-and-a-half years at The Hawthorns.
It is a promising start, but some reinforcement at centre back and potentially in the forward line is required before they really begin to get excited.
Bournemouth – [2.82] to be top promoted team
If you subscribe to the increasingly popular theory that completing your signings promptly is the most important thing, more so than the quality of those players even, Bournemouth’s work is likely to have impressed you the most.
The Cherries have put five deals in place to date, every single one of them with men who had previously spent time at Premier League clubs.
There is the traditional mix of other top-flight sides’ rejects (Artur Boruc – who was on loan last term – and Sylvain Distin), one of the elite’s excess squad members on loan (Christian Atsu) and a few Championship employees asked to step up (Adam Federici and Joshua King).
While these chiefly fall into the “solid” bracket rather than the “spectacular” one, the haste with which they have been brought in combined with faith in Eddie Howe’s past success identifying the right calibre of footballer to purchase post-promotion in the two tiers below ensures a tentatively optimistic outlook.
Watford – [3.3] to be top promoted team
The Hornets probably have the capacity to pull of the most eye-catching business of all three Championship evacuees given both their connections and the standard of youngster often uncovered by the Pozzo family’s scouting network.
The second-tier runners-up haven’t gone too wild yet, with their only moves to date being to snap up Steaua Bucharest goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis and Werder Bremen’s Austrian international defender Sebastian Prodl on free transfers.
Both seem like savvy captures though and the prospect of them being followed by some more expensive and ambitious targets has been demonstrated by the £7 million pursuit of Genoa’s Argentina-capped winger Diego Perotti, who is approaching his prime at 26.
Perotti was arguably the Grifone’s outstanding performer as they exceeded expectations to finish sixth in Serie A in 2014/15, and Watford have already agreed a fee.