Community

Newly Promoted Teams 2010-2020

This article examines the records of teams that have been promoted from the Championship to the Premier League since 2010. This reveals how many of them struggled to make a successful transition from the second tier to the top-flight, with clean sheets and goals far tougher to come by. I will also look at some of the players and teams who bucked the trend to become great sources of Fantasy points.

A Difficult Transition

To put that rough ride into perspective here’s a summary of some analysis I carried out looking at the averages for goals scored, goals conceded and clean sheets for the 30 teams promoted in 2010-2019. While they scored 76 goals on average as Championship teams, that figure dropped to just 40 in the Premier League.

For goals conceded their defences also struggled in the top flight. While they let in 44 goals on average in the Championship, that tally rose to 61 among England’s elite. This made clean sheets harder to come by with their average dropping from 18 to 8 post-promotion.

This means that anyone expecting the three sides promoted in 2020 (Leeds United, West Brom and Fulham) to get as many goals and clean sheets in the Premier League as they did in the Championship could be in for a shock.

PROMOTION SUCCESSES

Players

But it’s not all bad news. There have been some notable high performers from the promoted sides, particularly among the budget picks, so it may pay to invest in a few of the players coming up to the Premier League.

The following 23 players from the 30 newly promoted teams all scored at least 100 FPL points at 4.0 points per game (ppg) or better in the season after securing promotion:

2010-11: Charlie Adam (Blackpool) 192 at 5.5ppg; Andy Carroll (Newcastle -> Liverpool) 135 at 5.2ppg; Kevin Nolan (Newcastle) 140 at 4.7ppg; Joey Barton (Newcastle) 131 at 4.1ppg; DJ Campbell (Blackpool) 138 at 4.1ppg.

2011-12: Michel Vorm (Swansea) 158 at 4.3ppg; Bobby Zamora (QPR) 119 at 4.1ppg; Scott Sinclair (Swansea) 151 at 4.0ppg.

2012-13: Rickie Lambert (Southampton) 187 at 4.9ppg; Kevin Nolan (West Ham) 149 at 4.3ppg.

2013-14: None.

2014-15: Charlie Austin (QPR) 176 at 5.0ppg; Danny Ings (Burnley) 139 at 4.0ppg.

2015-16: Odeon Ighalo (Watford) 175 at 4.7ppg; Troy Deeney (Watford) 166 at 4.4ppg; Heurelho Gomes (Watford) 157 at 4.1ppg.

2016-17: Tom Heaton (Burnley) 149 at 4.3ppg.

2017-18: Pascal Gross (Brighton) 164 at 4.3ppg.

2018-19: Raul Jimenez (Wolves) 181 at 4.8ppg; Diogo Jota (Wolves) 139 at 4.2ppg; Neil Etheridge (Cardiff) 154 at 4.1ppg.

2019-20: Dean Henderson (Sheffield United) 160 at 4.4ppg; John Lundstram (Sheffield United) 144 at 4.2ppg; Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) 149 at 4.1ppg.

Securing more than 5.0 ppg is rare though, with only Austin in 2014/15 and Adam and Carroll in 2010/11 achieving this.

John Lundstram is the only ‘defender’ in this list. Few defenders from newly promoted teams score enough points to play them every week, but they can still be useful as enablers or in cheap rotations.

Teams

Previous articles in 2015-2019 took a detailed look at the most successful promotion teams for Fantasy managers since 2010. Here I’ll highlight some key success stories.

The 2010/11 season proved an excellent time for promoted sides in terms of goals. Newcastle and West Brom both scored an impressive 56 goals in their first season back in the top flight. Blackpool too did well, scoring in all but one of their home matches.

Swansea proved the stars of the new Premier League class of 2011/12They were promoted with an impressive defensive record at home, keeping 14 home clean sheets and only conceding 11 home goals. They also maintained their defensive form in the Premier League, keeping 14 clean sheets (nine of which were at home) and only conceding 18 home goals. Michel Vorm proved a shrewd purchase that year.

Southampton‘s strong attack on the road in the Championship was also maintained in the Premier League, where they scored in all but five of their away matches in 2012/13.

A change of manager proved pivotal to Crystal Palace who were back in the Premier League in 2013/14. After switching from Ian Holloway to Tony Pulis they ended the season conceding fewer goals in the Premier League (47) than in the Championship (62). Only two newly promoted sides have achieved this feat since 2010.

Huddersfield had been promoted in 2017 with a negative goal difference (-2) as a result of their policy of throwing caution to the winds whenever they went behind but being satisfied with narrow victories when ahead. Miraculously, they managed to avoid immediate relegation. Like Crystal Palace, they achieved this by tightening their defence, only conceding the same number of goals in the Premier League as they had done in the Championship (58).

In 2020, Sheffield United became the second newly-promoted side to concede fewer goals in the Premier League (39) than they had done in the Championship (42).

PROMOTION FAILURES

Players

While Adam, Carroll and Austin all succeeded in both the Championship and Premier League, the road to promotion is littered with poorly performing casualties. Here are some of the biggest flops.

Adel Taarabt (QPR 2011): 19 goals in Championship, just 2 in Premier League.

Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace 2013): 30 goals in Championship, only 1 in Premier League.

Sam Vokes (Burnley 2014): 20 goals in Championship, none in the Premier League.

Jordan Rhodes (Middlesbrough 2016): 16 goals in Championship, none in Premier League.

The failure by Adel Taarabt was not entirely unexpected, since his previous record in the Premier League was not great. He had played 6 matches but failed to score for Spurs in 2007/8 and only played one match for them in 2008/9 before being loaned out to Championship side QPR in March 2009.

The reason for Glenn Murray’s lack of goals in 2013/14 was quite different though. He had been out injured since the end of the 2012/13 season and was not fit to play till February 2014, after which he scored 1 goal in 14 matches. He was then sent on loan to Reading for the first half of the 2014/15 season, after which he returned to Palace and scored 7 goals in 17 matches in the remainder of the season. He returned to the Premier League with Brighton in 2017/18, this time scoring 12 Premier League goals.

Sam Vokes scored no goals in 26 matches in his first 4 Premier League seasons, but then redeemed himself by scoring 10 for Burnley in 2016/17.

Jordan Rhodes had been a prolific goal-scorer in the Championship, but failed to score in 6 Premier League games and was then sent out on loan to Sheffield Wednesday.

13 of the 29 players who had been among the ten highest scorers of the season in the Championship in 2010-19 did, however, manage to score 10 or more goals in the Premier League the following season.

The 29 averaged 20.0 goals in gaining promotion from the Championship, but only 8.0 in the next season’s Premier League.

15 of the 29 were new to the Premier League, averaging 9.1 goals each in their first Premier League season.

The other 14 (most of whom had not been that successful when previously playing in the Premier League) only averaged 6.9, so on average, the Premier League newcomers performed about 32% better than the rest.

Teams

The list of failures is far longer as my earlier articles showed. Here are some of the poorest performers since 2010:

The slide in defensive statistics was particularly potent for QPR in 2010/11, as their goals conceded tally more than doubled after promotion and the number of clean sheets fell from 22 in the Championship to just 7. In the same season, Norwich failed to keep a single clean sheet on the road, as did Reading in 2012/13.

Scoring on the road also proved tricky for West Ham, who saw their away goal tally drop from 40 to just 11 after securing promotion in 2011/12. Whether home or away Cardiff still struggled to score in the 2013/14 season, where they failed to find the net on a staggering 19 occasions.

Burnley in 2014/15 also proved poor in attack, scoring a mere 28 times and just 14 times in front of their home fans. In 2015/16, Norwich failed to score on 16 occasions and Watford on 14.

All three promoted teams in 2016/17 struggled in their away matches, winning only one away match each. Burnley’s strong home form enabled them to avoid relegation, but Middlesbrough could only score a pathetic 27 goals and only won 5 matches, whilst Hull’s defence, which had only conceded 35 goals and kept 20 clean sheets in the Championship, was completely outclassed in the Premier League, conceding 80 goals.

Fulham in 2018/19 were also outclassed, scoring only 32 goals compared to 79 in the Championship and conceding a whopping 81.

But the biggest disaster was by Norwich (again). In the 2018/19 Championship, they had scored 93 goals and scored in all but 3 matches, but in the 2019/20 Premier League they scored only 26 goals, failing to score in 20 matches, and not winning a single away game.

CLUBS PROMOTED IN 2019

Norwich scored 93 goals in winning the 2018-19 Championship, scoring in all but 3 matches and thus equalling the record set by Leicester in 2014 – but they also conceded 57 goals, so we expected plenty of goals at both ends of the pitch. Their 2019-20 Premier League season was a disaster though. They only scored 26, the lowest of any team in this survey and by far the biggest deterioration too. They failed to score in 20 matches, which was also by far the biggest deterioration. And they were also the first team in this survey not to win a single away game, drawing 3 and losing the other 16. Star player: Teemu Pukki.

Sheffield United were runners-up, their defence and attack both being about average for a team winning promotion. But in the 2019-20 Premier League season their defence was outstanding, conceding only 39 goals, the lowest number in this survey. They were only the second team in this survey to concede fewer goals in the Premier League (39) than they had the previous season in the Championship (42). The other team to achieve this was Tony Pulis’s Crystal Palace in 2013-14. Star player: Dean Henderson.

Aston Villa had a strong attack that scored in all but 5 matches, only one of which was at home. Their defence over the season was very weak, conceding 61 goals, 36 of them at home, and only keeping 12 clean sheets. However, Dean Smith replaced Steve Bruce as manager after 12 matches and then strengthened the defence further by bringing in Mings for the last 17 matches, with the result that their defensive record in away matches after this was now outstanding. Their home defence also improved in the 2019-20 Premier League, only conceding 30 goals, but their away defence got worse, conceding 37 and not keeping any away clean sheets. Star player: Jack Grealish.

Jamal Lewis, Max Aarons and Teemu Pukki of Norwich, Oliver Norwood and Billy Sharp of Sheffield United and Jack Grealish and Tammy Abraham of Aston Villa had all been in the 2018/19 PFA Championship Team of the Season.

Teemu Pukki (Norwich) with 29 goals, Tammy Abraham (Aston Villa) with 24 and Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) with 23 had all been among the top ten scorers in the Championship.

Pukki was a newcomer to the Premier League; Abraham has been there twice before, scoring 5 goals in 34 matches in 2017/18, and Sharp once before, scoring no goals in 2 matches in 2012/13 before going out on loan.

Pukki scored 11 goals in the 2019/20 Premier League, Abraham returned to Chelsea and scored 15, and Sharp scored 3.

CLUBS PROMOTED IN 2020

Here I’ll take a look at the three teams promoted in 2019. As we have seen, Championship statistics can often be a poor indicator of Premier League success. Nevertheless, let’s have a look at how they fared on their road to promotion.

Leeds United won the 2019-20 Championship with a strong defence that kept 22 clean sheets but only an average attack; they scored more goals in away matches (40) than they did at home (39). Star player: Luke Ayling.

West Brom were runners-up. Their attack was also only average, while their defence was weak at home, where they conceded 27 goals and only kept 5 clean sheets, but stronger in away matches, where they only conceded 19 goals and kept 9 clean sheets. Star player: Matheus Pereira.

Fulham were below average for a newly promoted team and will need to strengthen if they are not to go straight back down. Star player: Aleksandar Mitrovic.

The PFA awards including the Championship Team of the Year for 2019/20 should have been announced in April but were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) with 26 goals and Patrick Bamford (Leeds United) with 16 were both among the top ten scorers in the Championship.

This will be Mitrovic’s 3rd Premier League season. He scored 9 goals in 34 matches for Newcastle in 2015/16 and 11 in 37 for Fulham in 2018/19.

It will also be Bamford’s 3rd season in the Premier League. He only scored 1 goal in 27 Premier League appearances for Crystal Palace, Burnley and Middlesbrough.

CONCLUSION

A comparison of the average promoted team’s performances in the Championship and Premier League should act as a wake-up call for anyone expecting players to be as successful in the Premier League as they were in the Championship.

Investment in successful Championship strikers should be treated with caution. Fewer than half of the players who have been among the ten leading scorers in the Championship reach double figures in the Premier League the next season, and the deterioration in their individual performance can often be greater than that of their team. In most cases, however, successful Championship strikers who are new to the Premier League tend to do a little better than those have been there before without great success.

Clean sheets are also harder to come by, but good goalkeepers from promoted sides can expect to see a significant increase in save points.

tl;dr: Most newly promoted teams and individual players will find life far more difficult in the Premier League than it was in the Championship, so don’t set your expectations too high!

All earlier articles on this topic from previous seasons can be found below.

2010-15 | 2010-16 | 2010-17 | 2010-18 | 2010-19

RedLightning.

RedLightning The 2023/24 winners of my mini-leagues were: Opening Day League: Ben Tinker; Top 10k Any Season and Multiple Top 10k Finishes: Euan Thompson; January to May League: Mateusz Kabat; and The Last Ten: Sandeep Ramadev.

21 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Rotation's Alter Ego
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 12 Years
    3 years, 10 months ago

    Thank you for this RL, these are always excellent - can't see myself being that interested in the teams coming up, purely depends on FPL doing us a favour and pricing some of these players very, very kindly!

  2. Surviving the first season
    Rotation's Alter Ego
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 12 Years
    3 years, 10 months ago

    Following on from the article above, what should Leeds, West Brom and Fulham focus on if they want PL success?

    We've seen in the past that spending big isn't the easy answer, with Fulham finishing 10 points off safety despite spending £104.85m and Villa finishing just a point above the drop despite spending £103.14m (according to TransferMarkt)

    Sheffield United, by contrast, spent nearly half that and finished 9th following the same principles that got them promoted in the first place, though they only scored more goals than 4 other teams in the league.

    Which sort of players would you be buying if you managed these teams?
    What style of football is best to avoid relegation?

    1. Fit of Pique
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      3 years, 10 months ago

      There seems to have been a bit of a trend with promoted teams that try to play a patient, possession-based style getting going back down. Norwich, Fulham last year.

      On the other hand, teams that build on a solid defensive base - often with three / five at the back - have flourished. Wolves, Sheffield United. Maybe also Brighton under Hughton in their first year.

      So perhaps a reactive the style that seems to work better,

      1. Fit of Pique
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        3 years, 10 months ago

        Sent too soon - but to conclude, players that fit those system. That said, the teams that have done well are often about the collective, without relying on individuals too much.

        So however comes in should be a good character fit, and not disrupt the dressing room. Quality upgrades to replace sales and loans.

        Perhaps the most important buy for a promoted team could be a top level goalkeeper.

        1. Fit of Pique
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          3 years, 10 months ago

          And like every team, someone who can score 15 goals a season.

          Norwich and Villa showed last season that having a top 6 playmaker doesn't really matter if you don't have someone who can put those chances away.

          Buying that player is easier said then done of course.

          1. Rotation's Alter Ego
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • Has Moderation Rights
            • 12 Years
            3 years, 10 months ago

            Yeah having a regular (doesn't have to be ridiculously talented) goal scorer who will consistently perform throughout the season goes a long way I think.

            Defoe did a good job at Sunderland and if the rest of the team wasn't completely useless going forwards they could have done alright. That also helps your point about having a good keeper - their defence was hardly amazing, but Pickford did very well to keep them to "only" 69 goals conceded.

          2. Baps hunter
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            3 years, 10 months ago

            I disagree about Norwich. Pukki was able to score, but Norwich was later fatigued, had injury issues and there was no service to him.

    2. Flair
      • 3 Years
      3 years, 10 months ago

      Leeds - PL level striker is an absolute must. A clinical finisher will be fantastic for them with the amount of chances Leeds create. A Ben White replacement is also necessary considering he played every single minute of the Championship winning campaign. Aside from that, I'd just look for as much quality as possible, especially in the wide positions.

      Leeds tactics are set in stone for Biesla, intense pressing and playing out from the back. No reason it shouldn't work.

      West Brom - Similarly, a quality PL striker is pretty important. Can't go into a PL season with Robson Kanu and Austin as your front men! I'd also look to work on set pieces, Pereira will probably receive the Grealish treatment. Feels like their quality is largely Championship level, they should spend whatever they can to improve the level of the squad.

      Fulham - Better defenders are pretty important. They have a similar issue to West Brom in which most of their squad will simply be outclassed in the PL, and simplest fix is buy better players - that fit the system of course.

      The defense first focus feels perfectly fine for the PL and Mitrovic is a excellent target man that is well suited to that approach. Wolves and Sheffield United both overachieved with their CS-first approach, and Fulham should look to replicate that. It's important that they have some quality around Mitrovic though, he won't be able to do it all on his own.

      While I wouldn't say any style is necessarily the best for PL, a defense-first approach is the ideal one for me as Sheffield United and Wolves have shown. I predict Leeds will do really well under the tactical mastermind Bielsa though.

      1. Andy_Social
        • 11 Years
        3 years, 10 months ago

        Good comments above. For me what stands out from Wolves and Sheffield United is that both stressed the collective over the individual - no prima donnas, and both built from the back with coherent tactical systems. Leeds have all those ingredients for me; I'm not sure the other 2 have.
        But the other thing that helps is a striker than can finish the possibly few chances that are created. Interestingly, whilst Wolves have Jimenez, Sheff United don't have a killer striker, yet did very well anyway. Again, Leeds fits that profile.

        So I'm quite confident that Leeds are well set up. I'm predicting they finish around 13th next season. I'm not sure the other 2 have enough quality and there's no quick fix. Neither manager have the Bielsa magic, so I don't see where they can be dramatically transformed. I've got both tagged at in the bottom 4 which means they're probably as good as the worst of the other PL clubs. Living within their means and potentially doing a Norwich might be a wise strategy for the long term.

    3. Stats Don\'t Lie
      • 9 Years
      3 years, 10 months ago

      I feel like the big one isn't even always the players, but the managers. The prem is a whole different ball game and I think the importance of experience often goes amiss. It seems an odd thought and I do understand that these promotion winning managers deserve a chance to prove themselves, but I sometimes wonder whether some of teams would benefit from replacing their manager sooner for a more experienced one.

      The second key to staying up is to build on either a strong defence or strong attack. If you can get a 15-20 goal striker up top it will give you a much better chance. I think Fulham are best equipped on this front with Mitrovic, though maybe Austin can also be a key man for WBA. Defensively, all promoted teams need help. Leeds look best prepared there although the loss of white will be huge.

      Finally, a lot of promoted teams make the mistake of investing in the wrong way. They buy flashy new toys at overpriced prices, what they should be doing is scouring the free agents or looking at veterans they can secure for free. One of the biggest signings of the 19-20 season that goes a bit unnoticed was Gary Cahill to crystal palace, an experienced defender who still had a lot to offer just not at Chelsea level (though maybe he could rn tbh, our defence sucks). But these are the players I'd look to!

      1. Andy_Social
        • 11 Years
        3 years, 10 months ago

        A couple of observations if I may:
        Manager with PL experience: Bielsa has none, but I still fancy him to impress at this level.
        Bilic and Parker do have PL experience - one fired and one relegated; both suggest mediocrity at this level (I know Parker did well in the circumstances, but I still don't see him as exceptional or innovative).
        Fulham had Mitrovic last time out - he had a relatively good season but still couldn't keep them up. Sheff United didn't have a prolific striker but did very well.

        1. Stats Don\'t Lie
          • 9 Years
          3 years, 10 months ago

          Bilic did well at whu but wasn't backed financially in the way he should've been, no way near the same budget as West ham have been spending since his dismissal. Parker inherited a terrible squad, with no transfer window and no proper off season, but yes I'm not to thrilled at the prospect. I reckon Fulham will yo-yo straight back down, as will WBA.

          Fulham's issue last time was that their defence wasn't just bad, it was horrendous! Sheffield United were on the opposite end of the spectrum, their inability to score goals was compensated for by an exceptional defensive record.

          1. Andy_Social
            • 11 Years
            3 years, 10 months ago

            I rate Bilic and he was sold short, but his squad won't be any stronger with the Baggies.

    4. Forever In Our Shadow
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 years, 10 months ago

      Defence / Midfield cover. No team stays up unless they reasonable at the back. Villa were going down until they stopped conceding many goals as the most recent example.

  3. GREEN IS GOOD
    • 8 Years
    3 years, 10 months ago

    Good article thanks.

    Luke Ayling is interesting, but he'll probably be the most expensive Leeds def.

    1. RedLightning
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 13 Years
      3 years, 10 months ago

      It was difficult to choose between Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas as their best defender.
      It's a close call, so perhaps whichever of them is the cheaper will provide the best value.

      1. Andy_Social
        • 11 Years
        3 years, 10 months ago

        If either one is 4.5, he'll be in my squad (if both are, prob Ayling). 5m and I won't risk him.
        More likely Meslier will be 4.5 and I might share him with another 4.5, eg McCarthy (dep on opening fixtures)

  4. FPL Virgin
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    3 years, 10 months ago

    What an incredible article. So much research. It is too good to be a community article and should be filled under "promoted teams" on the main site.

    I could be tempted by a Leeds goalkeeper, simply because of their manager. His attention to detail is unlike anything I've ever seen before.

  5. Dino
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 15 Years
    3 years, 10 months ago

    Excellent article red, not a whole lot of interest in this particularly weak group of clubs that have got promoted this year but fixtures and prices might change that slightly. Mitro has potential depending on favourable run of fixtures, potentially Leeds def depending on reinforcements, price and favourable rotation

  6. Notso Athletic
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 years, 10 months ago

    A lot of chat about "getting a 15 goal" striker. This happens loads in fantasy and on the radio where pundits just say these teams should get a 20 goal / 15 goal striker. The stats however, (as stated above) don't lie. The players who get 15+ goals in the prem are the superstars you can all think off. They aren't going to a relegation battle, they are aiming for champions league places (and wages).

    Last season there were only 12, of which you might be able to persuade two of them - Ings and Abraham, to move clubs for the kind of money most teams of the level being discussed actually have (under £30m ish and still I don't think they would go). As for 20 goal a season strikers... in the last few seasons only 4 or 5 players each year get that level and its your superstar players - Ageuro, Auba, Sala, Mane, Kane, Vardy etc.
    So far in the last five years its very very rare for a player who hasn't played in the prem before to come in and get 20 goals (Ibra was one - again, not really obtainable by Norwich, WBA etc). Just to finish this point, in his last season in the prem Mitrovic scored 11 and was still a good fantasy pick.

    I think the real key as mentioned above is actually having a system. Sheffield United came with a plan that the whole squad brought into and overlapping centre backs for instance. The teams that seems to do well at the moment are the ones with a high work rate on and off the ball and a team ethic. This is what stood Wolves and Sheffield United well, so it does seem as people above have stated that Leeds look to be in a better position initially with a very well respected manager and system.

    Building from the back with a solid work rate where all 11 players are part of the defence is the way to go for survival or more in the first year.

  7. Gnu
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 14 Years
    3 years, 10 months ago

    Just caught up with this now.
    Excellent article RL.