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Newcastle United, Brighton and Huddersfield town all did well to get out of a notoriously difficult league in the Championship and all deserve a collective pat on the back.
They did it with different styles, different budgets and different levels of support but all ultimately achieved their goals. Which one of them will finish higher when the Premier League season is all over and done though? The answer is not always that obvious, so here we investigate their chances further.
The transfer value of players is not always accurate as it is historic and in no way does it represent how they will perform in the future. However, they give some idea as to where each club stands. Website Transfermarkt gives a reasonably up to date overview of what each squad is worth and so that’s a decent starting point:
Newcastle – £126million
Brighton – £65million
Huddersfield – £46million
New signings will, of course, arrive for all three and certain young players’ values will go up. But these figures give us a good starting point when trying to get to the bottom of who has the better squad.
These transfer values also go some way in backing up the final finishing positions of the three clubs in the Championship. Newcastle left it late to win the division, landing it on the final day with a win against Barnsley while Brighton suffered a late equalising goal at Villa Park. But in truth though, the gap could have been bigger.
There is a fair argument that more players at more clubs gave that little bit extra when playing Newcastle United, given the size of the club. Furthermore, Newcastle had some big-hitters on the sidelines too. Isaac Hayden, Jonjo Shelvey, Ciaran Clark and Dwight Gayle all sat out large chunks of the season and it’s not something Brighton had to endure with the likes of Murray, Dunk or Knockaert, likewise the Terriers with Smith or Mooy.
Rolando Aarons too was unavailable for the full campaign and had Newcastle had that quintet available for the full season with no breaks then the league would no doubt have been won very comfortably. That, plus the presence of Rafa Benitez tells me there is very little doubt as to who the better side is.
Rafa is a world class coach, a European Cup winner with a world renowned reputation which is not something that happens for no reason and so for a newly-promoted club, Newcastle United are actually in a pretty enviable position.