This Season’s Best Premier League Kits
As the new Premier League season begins that are many questions that need to be answered: How will Liverpool fare without Sadio Mane? Will Haaland bag as many goals in England as he did in the Bundesliga? Will Manchester United ever sign Frenkie De Jong? Did Lingaard really join Forest for their rich footballing heritage?
All of these teasers will be answered over the coming months, but there’s one question that we’re able to settle right as the season begins - who has the best (and worst) kit for 2022/2023?
For a long time football shirts were reserved largely for eager kids looking to emulate their heroes on the local park, and beer bellied middle-aged men who shouted at their heroes from the terraces or through the telly.
However, these days football shirts are big business in the fashion world. Hyped London streetwear label Palace produced a shirt in collaboration with Italian powerhouses Juventus whilst New York based Supreme teamed up with Florence’s Emilio Pucci for a selection of jerseys in 2020. And who could forget Nike’s sellout range produced for the Nigeria team for the 2018 World Cup?
Whilst Venezia’s on pitch performances last season left much room for improvement - they were relegated after finishing rock bottom of Italy’s Serie A - their stylish shirts were a huge hit amongst legions of fans. Backed up by a high fashion style advertising campaign, they were reselling online above retail price with demand outstripping supply for a team who’s stadium has a capacity of just 11,150.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at this season’s Premier League hits and misses on the shirt front.
After narrowly missing out on a Champion’s League spot last season, and spending big on Manchester City’s Jesus and Zinchenko, Arsenal fans are in a confident mood going into this season as they look to get into the top four for the first time in a good few years.
Ok, so it’s unlikely they’ll be wrestling the title away from Pep’s boys come May, but in our shirt league they’re top of the tree.
Adidas have brought out their A game, particularly with the away strip in black, grey and rose gold. Their pink and navy third strip is also heading straight for top bins.
This season their attire is just as easy on the eye as a Thierry Henry best goals reel on Youtube.
Champions League Spots
The 2021/22 season was one that will live long in the memory for Brentford fans. Their maiden voyage in the Premier League culminated in a very respectable 13th place finish.
The eleven match cameo from silky former Spurs and Inter Milan playmaker Christian Eriksen was the icing on the cake for Thomas Frank’s Bees.
Umbro have done their best to ensure that Brentford look every bit the Premier League mainstays this term with a top tier kit choice of kits.
Their trademark red and white striped home shirt is teamed with a textured sky blue-meets turquoise (in some lights) away strip. It has stylish details like a cut away collar and bee emblem to the neck and appears to have been inspired by kits of the early 90’s. Retro cool.
After making huge, and largely unexpected, waves in recent years 2021/22 was at best a mediocre season by Leicester’s newly elevated standards.
Injuries to numerous key players and a lack of squad depth meant that they limped (ahem) to an 8th place finish.
At the time of writing, they are the league’s only team to have not signed a single player in this transfer window and have lost talismanic keeper and captain Kasper Schmeichel, so things aren’t looking too rosey for The Foxes going into the new season.
Thankfully though, Leicester are moving in an upward trajectory in one aspect - their garms.
Adidas have created a third strip of dreams in white and beige gold, with a background wave graphic and maroon detailing to give retro styling with a contemporary twist.
The second East Midlanders to make our Champions League kit cut is sleeping giant Nottingham Forest.
Back in the top tier for the first time in over two decades, Forest will be hoping to cement their place back amongst England’s elite for years to come.
Their kits are produced by lesser known sportswear brand Macron and will likely be the Marmite entry on this list.
Ok, so we accept that the home strip looks a little underwhelming and training kit-esque with it’s mainly block colour and lack of shirt sponsor. However, it’s the away and third strips which we feel warrants the entry.
The bright yellow and blue tones of the away strip echoes great Brazil sides and the geometric patterned blue and pink third choice kit screams 80’s vibes of short shorts and thick moustaches. Forest will be hoping that it helps them to get even close to the glory days under the leadership of the late great Brian Clough.
Spurs started last season in a right old mess. Their star striker was trying to prise his way out of their shiny new stadium that had gone hugely over budget and knackered their transfer plans.
They had a manager that was out of his depth and were at the foot of the table having been soundly beaten in their own back yard by a Manchester United team who themselves had a manager who was out of his depth.
Fast forward a year or so and Spurs have managed to bag an elite manager in Antonio Conte, Daniel Levy has loosened the purse strings, Kane is still on board and Champions League football is back in this part of North London at the expense of their bitter rivals Arsenal. What a turnaround.
Unfortunately, there is still one burning issue simmering under the surface in Tottenham - their inability to produce a sensible away kit.
Last season the usually reliable Nike created an odd space themed kit which sort of looked like a toddler’s vomit after a candy floss binge. This season they may have gone one worse.
The snug fitting blue, black and yellow number looks like it’d be more at home on the torso of Bradley Wiggins than Heung Min Son. Even more annoying for Spurs fans when Arsenal are rocking such finery.
Mind you, there’s always that Champions League spot to brag about.
After sealing their fourth title in five seasons under the leadership of the legendary tactician Pep Guardiola, the chances of Manchester City actually being in the relegation zone at the end of this season are comparable with those of Tiger King ditching his mullet.
Sadly though, another comparison is evident between this great side and Joe Exotic - their inexplicably poor taste in clobber.
Last season Puma produced some truly dreadful football merch, the pinnacle of which was Manchester City’s third strip which replaced the famous club emblem with the words “MAN CITY”. The design would’ve been lucky to make it out of the boardroom and into the Sports Direct bargain bin, so the fact it was actually worn by De Bruyne and co. is unfathomable.
This seasons offerings are an improvement, with a welcome return for the badge, but an improvement on a steaming pile of fetid rubbish can still be, well, rubbish.
If the red and black away strip looks like a poor man’s AC Milan then the lime and black third strip with faded graphics that appear to have been created with the spray paint tool on Microsoft Paint looks like a poor man’s Plymouth Argyle.
It appears that there may have been some truth in the well known saying “you can have all the money in the world but you can’t buy class”.
In truth I have a bit of a soft spot for Palace. I lived in their South London vicinity for a good few years, a couple of my bezzies are die hard fans, even my daughter was born in a hospital nearby.
Subsequently, I was pleased to see that they seemed to be making good progress last season. A fresh new manager in Patrick ‘Big Pat’ Viera to replace golden-ager Roy Hodgson, some exciting new additions and a more pleasing style of football.
Squad depth issues may have seen them fade a bit towards the end of the season, but a comfortable lower mid-table finish exceeded many early season expectations.
All of this makes me feel somewhat downcast to put them rock bottom of our kit table, however, I’m afraid it’s out of my hands.
Macron have created a range of shirts that champion a strange scribbled brush stroke theme. The home shirt is pretty bad and appears to have been cut and pasted from Hadjuk Split’s kit of the previous season (also a Macron number).
Sadly, the away strip is worse. A white background with two centralised red and white scribble lines mean that the Eagles will resemble tubes of Aquafresh when they leave Selhurst Park. The third strip, oh never mind, you get the picture.
Let us know your thoughts on our selections...