With Antonio Conte’s return to the Premier League, replacing Nuno Espírito Santo in the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium dugout after the Portuguese boss was sacked after four months in charge of the North London side, England’s top flight has welcomed back one of the best managers in world football.
The Italian, who won the Premier League and the FA Cup during a two-year stint with Spurs’ London rivals Chelsea, adds to an immense list of top-class managers already coaching in the division and helping enhance their respective side’s English Premier League odds — including Pep Guardiola, Jürgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel and perhaps you could even argue Rafael Benítez and Marcelo Bielsa fall under that category.
That’s just the present day though. There’s also Arsène Wenger, José Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Sir Alex Ferguson and many, many more top managers who have graced the Premier League. But what attracts them to England in the first place? Let’s take a look at some of the top factors. Read on to find our more.
There are two sides to this point — number one being the mammoth salaries on offer in the Premier League. Conte was offered a huge £13m a year by Daniel Levy to become Spurs boss, making him the second highest earning manager in the world, behind only — you guessed it — Guardiola, who’s paid an eye-watering £19.5m per annum by Manchester City. Klopp (£9m) and Thomas Tuchel (£5.5m) also feature in the top 10 at fifth and ninth, respectively.
Secondly, Premier League managers are given some of the biggest budgets in world football. £1.1 billion was spent throughout the recent summer transfer window, with the likes of Jack Grealish (£100m), Romelu Lukaku (£97m) and Jadon Sancho (£73m) all costing huge fees. While spending was down slightly from the previous two summers, the Premier League clubs still spent more money than Serie A and the Bundesliga combined — the second and third highest spending leagues. What manager wouldn’t love to be able to bring in whoever they want?
It is hard to think of a league as fiercely competitive as the Premier League. Bayern Munich breeze their way to the Bundesliga title every year, and despite the odd shock, Paris Saint-Germain walk Ligue 1. While the Serie A and La Liga are beginning to become a bit more open with the demise of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus, they just don’t have the same competitive nature as the Premier League.
Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, even Leicester City who won the league title in 2016 and have remained in and around the top six ever since. Aston Villa, Leeds United, Newcastle United — big clubs with big fan bases. The competition in the Premier League compared to the rest of the big four or five leagues in Europe is unmatched. It is a trophy that most top managers want on their CVs and sometimes they don’t get the respect they deserve until they get it.
With so many top teams in one division comes high quality football. There was a time not too long ago that players wanted to leave England for Spain, with the lure of Real Madrid too much to keep the likes of David Beckham, Michael Owen, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard in the Premier League.
However, the momentum seems to have switched back in the last couple of years and the top English sides are benefitting massively. This summer alone saw some of the biggest names in football move to Premier League, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Lukaku, Sancho and Raphaël Varane.
The difference in quality currently between the Premier League and the rest of Europe is there for all to see. Two of the last three Champions League finals have been all-English encounters, with Liverpool beating Tottenham in 2018 and Chelsea besting Manchester City last season. With the current state of mainland Europe’s elite clubs, particularly those who campaigned so hard for the Super League, the Premier League is probably only going to get better before it gets worse.