Cardiff City were promoted to the Premier League last season as Championship winners.
The Bluebirds had been striving for promotion to the top-flight for a number of years and suffered perennial disappointments under former-boss Dave Jones.
However, under highly-rated Scottish boss Malky MacKay the Welsh club finally achieved their aim of top-flight football.
The big challenge is to now maintain their place in the Premier League, which some promoted teams have found difficult in the past.
The season before last Cardiff had also made it to the final of the league cup under MacKay. Making it to the Premier League though is the former-Watford bosses’ biggest achievement yet.
Cardiff have never appeared in the top-flight in the Premier League era and it is certainly exciting times for the Welsh club, as they embark on their maiden Premier League campaign.
This summer’s signings have certainly added to the sense of expectation around the club. The Bluebirds have strengthened the spine of their team, breaking the clubs transfer record three times in the process this summer.
Cardiff have brought in centre-back Steven Caulker from Tottenham for a fee of £8million, Gary Medel arrived from Sevilla for a fee in the region of £8.5million, and young striker Andreas Cornelius moved to the Welsh capital for a fee of around £7.5million from Copenhagen.
The signing of Caulker really stood out for me. The England international is regarded as one of the best up-and-coming centre-backs in the British game. For me it was a surprise that Spurs allowed the defender to leave.
Caulker could prove to be one of the best signings of the summer. The young defender will add class and composure to the Bluebirds defence.
Medel is a player that Everton were believed to have been tracking. The defensive midfielder was infamous for his tough-tackling and no-nonsense approach to the game in La Liga. He will add steel to the centre of Cardiff’s midfield. One of Medel’s nickname’s is ‘the Chilean Gattuso’, which probably sums his style of play up in three words.
Medel will make his presence felt on Premier League central midfielders this season and they will definitely know they have been in a game after facing the Chilean. Medel seems like another shrewd signing.
Cornelius is a highly-rated young striker, who scored 18 goals in the Danish top-flight last season. That was not a bad result for a player who was in his first season as a professional footballer. At 20 years-old the striker could be one for the future.
The Bluebirds owner Vincent Tan has certainly put his money where his mouth is when it comes to investing in new talent for the team. The Malaysian businessman may be slightly controversial, but he has backed his manager to the hilt in the transfer market this summer.
The Bluebirds are the most likely off the three promoted teams to survive the drop this season, simply because they have brought in better quality players this summer. The team also had the best defensive record out of all three of the promoted sides last season.
Crystal Palace and Hull have brought players in, but I do not think they are of the same standard as Cardiff’s new players. Palace are favourites with most bookmakers to go down this season and Hull are not far behind them in the relegation odds. Cardiff are third on that list.
Cardiff have the capacity to surprise many people in the Premier League this season. They may not finish in the top six or qualify for Europe, but I do not think they will be the weak team that most bookmakers seem to suggest they will be.
Cardiff were the stand-out team last season in the Championship and have a very good manager at the helm. Just like compatriots Swansea, they will not be anybody’s whipping boys this season.
The team may take a few weeks to get used to the speed and quality of the top-flight, but in the end I believe that Cardiff have enough quality and experience in their squad to stay in the Premier League this season.
Can Cardiff City survive the drop this season?