A Christmas gift for the fans of each Premier League team

Fans at Christmas (Photo by John Early/Getty Images)
Fans at Christmas (Photo by John Early/Getty Images) /
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The Premier League will soon return… Here are the best Christmas gifts each club should give their fans.

With the FIFA World Cup all wrapped up in time for Christmas, the 100+ players from the English Premier League have returned to their clubs to resume league action. In this unprecedented season, clubs will be hoping their star assets hit the (frozen?) ground running and prepare to do battle once more ahead of the busy festive period which starts on Boxing Day, December 26th.

As something of an early Christmas present from FIFA, each club has been recompensed for allowing their players to represent their countries in Qatar. Money received is based on the number of players who took part, with the likes of Manchester City (£3.3 million) and Chelsea (£2.36 million) seeing significant pay-outs which, for the league in its entirety, will total somewhere in the region of £22 million. A Merry Christmas indeed.

But what lies ahead for each fan? Some will be cursing the international get-together; interrupting the flow of a promising first few months, or worse – returning prized goods in damaged condition. There’s no money-back guarantee on these presents. Alternatively, some clubs will hoping the form from Qatar carries over into a cold rainy afternoon in England, so what ‘gift’ can each club fan hope to receive as the Premier League restarts?

Arsenal (Current league position 1st)

This one is easy, more of the same please. The Gunners could be forgiven for having the most trepidation ahead of the Boxing Day fixtures, as everything was going so well. The question will be can they replicate their form and carry the momentum over from November? Star striker Gabriel Jesus has returned with a knee injury which threatens to rule him out for 3 months. Elsewhere, impressive performances from Bukayo Saka for England reminded Arsenal fans what they already knew, that they have a real star on their hands who can single-handedly turn a game and is not afraid to show it on the biggest stage. The largely cameo performances from Gabriel Martinelli for Brazil will hopefully have him returning fresh and ready to go.

Aston Villa (Current league position 12th)

Please let the new manager bounce continue. Villa finished strongly under Unai Emery, winning their two league games against Manchester United and Brighton and will have been in positive mood during their Dubai training camp. Leander Dendoncker suffered a surprising early exit with Belgium and regular right back Matty Cash returns unscathed from his exploits for Poland. World cup winning goalkeeper Emi Martinez will surely need time to recover from the celebrations in Buenos Aires, but it will be interesting to see if his penalty saving heroics permeate the team and their mood into January.

AFC Bournemouth (Current league position 14th)

New ownership, new manager, let it be a Happy New Year at the Vitality Stadium! Many people’s tip to return back to the Championship had a rocky start under previous manager Scott Parker and limped through October and November with 4 losses in their 5 most recent league games. However, on the back of a 3-0 win over Everton prior to the World Cup, the Cherries have galvanised their position, securing interim manager Gary O’Neil to a full time position and ushering in new American ownership in the form of Bill Foley’s £100million takeover. Not only a Christmas present but also a Thanksgiving party, Bournemouth will be hoping the chairman comes good on reports suggesting that new players can be expected in the January transfer window.