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Why These Five Premier League Sides Are Set to Dramatically Improve on Last Season

24/07/2014 16:33 BST | Updated 23/09/2014 10:59 BST

The transfer window has only been open for a short period of time and bar the few managers who are yet to realise it is open at all, most teams have added a number of new faces to their rosters.

Looking at the completed transfers so far and the rumours that are actually realistic, there are a number of sides who are set to dramatically improve before the start of the new season.

Here are the top five and why they stand a good chance of getting better.

5. Crystal Palace

The word 'dramatically' won't necessarily be appropriate in Crystal Palace's case, but they will almost certainly improve for next season.

An 11th place finish is a bit of an overachievement for Palace, especially considering they were bogged down in the relegation scrap for a large portion of the season.

Having found form at the right time, however, next season could be a far more comfortable one for the London side.

Tony Pulis came in last season and was fantastic, knowing exactly what is required to keep a club in the Premier League.

The potential arrival of Gylfi Sigurdsson for a reported £8 million could well be enough to give them that extra goal threat and if Jason Puncheon continues the form he found at the back end of last season, then Palace could have a much easier campaign next time around.

Last Season: 11th

Prediction for this Season: 10th

4. Hull City

Hull had an 'OK' season last time around. They were battling just below mid-table for a long time, but eventually dropped to 16th, where they ended the campaign.

Steve Bruce has already enlisted Jake Livermore, Robert Snodgrass and Tom Ince, three fantastic signings that would have been welcomed by most, if not all of the sides outside the top six. They can now clearly create goals, but it remains to be seen if they can finish them.

The potential arrivals of Spurs duo Michael Dawson and Danny Rose would also help to create a more solid defence, protected by the ever present Tom Huddlestone.

Hull were not a terrible team last season, but looking at the signings they have made already, it appears that they can make a real challenge for a mid-table finish next season.

Last Season: 16th

Prediction for this Season: 11th

3. Arsenal

When you're already in the top four, it is difficult to make the changes that result in a serious title challenge, but this season could see the Gunners mount a realistic title challenge. I emphasise the word might.

Arsene Wenger has brought in Alexis Sanchez, a forward who knows where the goal is and will no doubt take some of the weight from Olivier Giroud's, idle, boring shoulders.

If Jack Wilshere can knock his smoking habit on the head and find the form Arsenal fans have waited for all these years, their midfield will be ridiculously strong too.

And if they are able to find a suitable replacement for Vermaelen, then the defence could be decent.

There are a lot of ifs and buts with Arsenal, but this season looks to be their best chance of a real title challenge. They haven't lost any significant players and have only improved.

Last Season: 4th

Prediction for this Season: 2nd

2. West Ham

After a poor outing last season, Sam Allardyce was told to bring more attractive, attacking football to West Ham United and the five men he has signed so far are very likely to deliver.

The somewhat risky capture of Ecuador star Enner Valencia could well take the pressure off of Andy

Carroll and he will also have Mauro Zarate to help.

An already solid midfield has become diverse and exciting, as Cheikhou Kouyate and Diego Poyet have entered the fray.

And finally, Aaron Cresswell was brought in from Ipswich Town, having scored the Championship goal of the season last year. Not bad for a left back.

The Hammers have improved their squad more than everybody else when you consider their ambitions and budget and look to dramatically improve on last season's disappointing performances.

Of course, this new 'sexy' style of football could go horribly wrong and Allardyce could have Cresswell booting the ball up to the tiny Zarate. But if it works out as planned, the Hammers could rise above Southampton and Everton and other teams who have only got weaker this summer.

Last Season: 13th

Prediction for this Season: 8th

1. Manchester United

Manchester United will dramatically improve this season. Why? Well mainly because they were so awful last season and that surely can't happen again.

But there are other reasons.

Louis van Gaal has stepped in with what seems to be a plan. He put 10 players up for sale on his first day in charge and is rumoured to be in the running to sign Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Daley Blind, among others.

Although these are only rumours at the moment, the fact that Manchester United are a club with money and reputation means that these big names could well join this summer.

Van Gaal does have a huge job to do here, but he will certainly have the backing of the club, as they will not want to remove a second manager in as many seasons.

He has got a decent goalkeeper, but the team needs vast improvement. United fans should expect some solid signings later in the window who will completely rejuvenate a withered side and turn them into a major Premier League force again.

They may not win the league next season, but due to their awful finish last time out, they will certainly improve.

Last Season: 7th

Prediction for this Season: 3rd

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