It was no surprise to many that Newcastle lifted The Championship trophy on the last day of the season. However, it may have come as a surprise that it was taken to the last day with many expecting the Magpies to run away with the title before the season kicked off. Despite this, Rafael Benitez did what was expected of him and got the Toon army back in the Premier League at the first time of asking.
There is no doubt that they are going back up to the top division as a better team than the one which was relegated. The club invested £60 million into the playing staff last summer with the likes of Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie coming in. Both of these are likely to continue to be key figures next season as Newcastle look to establish themselves back in the Premier League.
Newcastle are arguably in the best position out of all the promoted clubs to retain their position in the Premier League next season. Benitez is a manager with a significant amount of experience at the highest level and arguably would have kept Newcastle in the Premier League last time out if he was given the job earlier. The Newcastle board will have to match Benitez’s ambition if they are to keep him at the club long-term which could result in another summer of heavy investment at the club.
Brighton & Hove Albion
Despite missing out on the title on the final day, it does not take away what a superb job Chris Hughton has done to get Brighton into the Premier League. They had come close to promotion in recent years after failed play-off campaigns under Gus Poyet and Oscar Garcia. However, Hughton took on the job with the club sitting nearer the bottom of the league and has now achieved automatic promotion in a very short period of time.
The AMEX Stadium has always been one of the best in The Championship and is set-up for top flight football. Due to there being very few other teams in the area, the Seagulls also have a very strong fan base that always gets fully behind their team. Anthony Knockaert, Glenn Murray and Lewis Dunk were just a few of the standout performers this campaign with Knockaert picking up The Championship Player of the Year award.
It will be very interesting to see how Brighton fare in the Premier League having not been there since 1983. Hughton will no doubt be looking to make significant additions to his squad this summer to give them the best chance of survival. There have been recent rumours circling that Hughton is interested in signing Aaron Mooy this summer who has been on loan at Huddersfield Town from Manchester City. He would certainly add more quality and flare to Albion’s midfield and could potentially form a good partnership alongside Dale Stephens.
One team that nobody expected to be celebrating promotion to the Premier League is David Wagner's Huddersfield Town. Since being promoted from League One in 2012, the Terriers had never finished above 16th place in the league. However, they secured their place in this season's play-offs with games to spare as they finished in fifth place.
They continued to upset the odds in the play-offs as they saw off both Sheffield Wednesday in the semi-finals and Reading in the final with both requiring a penalty shootout. There have been many standout players this campaign including Mooy, Elias Kachunga, Michael Hefele and Izzy Brown who joined on loan from Premier League side Chelsea.
Everyone connected with the club is unlikely to be too worried about next season having only just won promotion in the most dramatic fashion. However, Town are already the favourites for immediate relegation back to the second tier next season. Wagner will need significant funds to invest into his squad to give the Terriers the best chance of giving it a real good go in the top flight.