Cardiff City, Hull City and Crystal Palace will all be appearing in the Premier League next season, after winning promotion from the Championship last season.
All three have, and will improve their squads before the season starts, but are they good enough to survive in the top flight?
There is no doubt that all three teams need to strengthen their squads this summer, as the majority of their players are of Championship standard. Cardiff finished as champions last season under highly-rated Malky Mackay.
The Bluebirds have already strengthened their squad with the £7.5million signing of young Danish striker Andreas Cornelius from Copenhagen. The youngster is a top prospect, but will be expected to deliver goals instantly, despite being new to the English top flight.
Cardiff £8million pursuit of Blackpool winger Tom Ince is understandable. The England under-21 international is regarded as one of the best young players outside of the Premier League. The Bluebirds are believed to have competition from Welsh rivals Swansea for the winger’s signature.
Ince is also an inexperienced player at Premier League level and would also be expected to produce instant results. However, I do believe that he would be a good signing for Cardiff.
The Cardiff owners seem ambitious, but a speculated big-money move for Benfica striker Oscar Cardozo would surely be unrealistic.
Cardiff do however need to start bringing some more experienced Premier League players into their squad for next season, or they could struggle.
Hull are in a very similar position, as they need to add extra quality to their squad this summer. The Tigers squad lacks Premier League experience. Boss Steve Bruce did an excellent job in getting City promoted last season, but their team lacks top-flight quality.
Bruce’s signings so far have not been inspiring. George Boyd arrived on a permanent deal from Peterborough, Maynor Figueroa joined from Wigan, while Curtis Davies signed from Birmingham. Ahmed Elmohamady also made his loan deal from Sunderland a permanent one.
If I were a Hull fan, the signing of the likes of Davies really would not inspire me with confidence. Davies has struggled to make an impact at Premier League level in the past. Davies did enjoy a decent spell in the top-flight, which led to an England call-up, but at 28 years-of age he has never lived up to his early career promise.
The prospective £1.8million signing of Scotland international keeper Allan McGregor looks like a shrewder move from Bruce. McGregor is definitely good enough for the Premier League and could be a key signing for the Tigers.
Like Cardiff though, Hull have to bring in extra quality this summer if they are to have any hope of surviving in the Premier League next season.
Crystal Palace were one of the surprises of the Championship last season. I do not think many Palace fans thought that Palace would be promoted at the start of last season. However, the Eagles surprised everybody by making the play-offs and winning promotion with a victory against Watford in the final.
Boss Ian Holloway has the golden touch when it comes to getting teams to play-off finals. He made it to two play-off finals with previous club Blackpool, winning one, and losing one. Unfortunately, when his Blackpool side were promoted to the top flight they were just not good enough to survive, despite a brave effort.
It could be the same old story for Holloway and his team next season. Palace have lost star player Wilfried Zaha, who joined Manchester United for £15million. Last season’s top scorer Glenn Murray could miss most of next season through injury as well.
It is not looking good for Palace. The Eagles are in talks with Peterborough about signing striker Dwight Gayle, but like Ince and Cornelius, he is unproven at Premier League level. Who knows though maybe these youngsters will inspire their team s to survival next season, just as Christian Benteke did with Aston Villa last season in his first season in the top-flight.
If the Eagles do not strengthen their squad, I really do fear for them next season. Their current squad is not good enough to survive and lacks any strength in-depth.
I can see next season being a struggle for all three promoted sides. All three teams will have increased revenue through the new Premier League television deal. Whether their hierarchy will spend the money is another matter.
I think Cardiff will be the most likely to survive because their owners seem like they are prepared to shell-out whatever it takes to keep the Bluebirds in the top-flight.
Hull and Palace are in for long seasons. Palace has the money from the sale of Zaha and it should be ploughed back into the team.
However, I think they may take the same route as Reading did last season and hope that the current squad and a few new faces will be good enough. It will not be and it is likely that the Eagles will make a quick return to the Championship. Hull could face the same fate if new signings are not forthcoming.
Are the newly promoted EPL teams good enough to survive next season?