Brentford is the first team in this list, mainly because of their manager. Thomas Frank always puts fundamentals first. Simplifies the game for himself and his players.
Centrally compact with 3 cbs and 3 midfielders, , aggressive wbs when pressing, wbs running up and down the pitch to provide width, front two with a target man and a runner, extra runners from the midfield, hitting the channels consistently, etc.
Simple concepts drilled to near perfection.
Raya, Toney, Mbeumo are players that are definitely European competitions level. Janelt, Onyeka, Jensen are all 8s that are very mobile and deep runners. Norgaard to sit in front of the 3 man defense. They have quality.
And, this summer they added 2 very exciting players that fit their squad very well. Another versatile wb in Aaron Hickey, and another runner with very good movement in Lewis-Potter. I wrote about them in more detail here if you want to read.
Another relatively young manager that is on the come-up is Simone Inzaghi. He also prefers 352 usually. He uses a lot of positional rotations, especially during the build-up. You often see the dm dropping to cb, a cb providing width, a #10 coming very deep to collect, etc.
But the unshakable star in the middle of it all, is Brozovic who might be the most underrated midfielder of the last few years. If you want to learn buildup as a midfielder, watch Brozovic. Is wherever he needs to be, passes wherever he needs to pass. An artist.
And, with Lukaku coming back, Onana replacing Handanovic, a very underrated signing in Asllani, and impressive Agoume coming back from his loan, they will definitely be among the Scudetto contenders next year. And they will play entertaining football along the way.
This is probably the most “surprising” one of the list and Bo Svensson is the sole reason.
Played under Klopp & Tuchel. Started coaching in the Mainz academy, went into the RB pipeline with Liefering and Salzburg. Came back to Mainz and saved their 20/21 season. From 6/42 points before him, to 33/60 points in his first 6 months. They finished 8th with a very underwhelming squad a year later.
Another manager that plays with a back 3 but Svensson doesn’t require to have the ball to be effective. Very sound defensively, great counter attacking patterns, and a great high pressing scheme whenever they decide to use it.
Although they lost even more quality this summer, Bo Svensson and his perfect mid-block always manages to catch my attention.
Newly relegated Burnley would’ve been a favorite to come right back up to the PL regardless of their moves this summer but, they still chose to be active in the market and start a new era. The main addition was the appointment of very exciting young manager, Vincent Kompany.
Positional rotations, fluidity, high pressing, and emphasis on one touch direct football made Anderlecht a very fun watch under Kompany. And, Burnley will be no different.
They secured loans for two very highly rated defenders in Harwood-Bellis from Man City and Ian Maatsen from Chelsea. Also their new keeper Muric was signed from Man City. Kompany also brought Cullen with him from Anderlecht to Burnley, who becomes one of the best passers in the whole division straight away.
But, my favorite transfer of theirs is the Scott Twine deal. #10/winger Twine recorded 33 g/a last year in League One and also showed a lot of confidence in his game. If he can make the step-up, he’ll be one of the most fun to watch players in the division. I wrote about him in this article so you can refer to it for further reading.
A danish team that is very keen on developing youngsters. Their academy is called “Right to Dream” and is located in Denmark, Ghana, and Egypt.
Some notable names that have come out of it and have moved onto other clubs are, Jensen (now with Brentford), Damsgaard to Sampdoria, Kudus to Ajax, Sulemana to Rennes, and Adingra to Brighton.
Diamande, Abu Francis, Nagalo, Villadsen are some of their academy players currently in the first team. Diomande is a dynamic B2B. Nagalo is a cb with good on ball ability and impressive physical profile.
But, their most impressive player is Schjelderup who moved from Bodo/Glimt to Nordsjælland when he was 16. Now at 18 years old he is ready for his breakthrough year, already with 2 goals & an assist in 97 minutes. A ball carrier first & foremost, but he is also very capable creating with great vision and both footedness. Definitely one to follow.