Ranked! The 10 best newly-promoted Premier League teams ever, by points

best newly-promoted Premier League teams: Alan Shearer Blackburn
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Moving up to the top flight is usually a daunting task, as the scores of sides who have dropped straight back into the second tier will attest.

However, some teams have made it look easier than others over the years, and none more so than the following ten.

This list goes back to the first Premier League season of 1992/93. 

Where there's a team that competed in a 24-team division, we’ve used their points average to work out where they would've finished in a 38-game season.

We've taken into account the efforts of every promoted team in every season, too - not just debut Premier League campaigns.

Best newly-promoted Premier League teams ever: 10. Sheffield United, 2019/20 (54 points)

Sheffield United v West Ham live stream

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When the Blades ended a 13-year wait to play Premier League football again, few expected them to do anything more than battle for survival, and many expected them to go straight back down.

Instead, Chris Wilder masterminded one of the club’s most memorable seasons, as a team greater than the sum of its parts played attractive football on their way to a ninth-place finish.

Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea all suffered defeats to the Yorkshire club, who were still in the top six in March before falling out of European contention late on.

9. West Ham, 2005/06 (55 points)

Alan Pardew west Ham

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An unimpressive Championship campaign the previous year, where West Ham only just made it into the play-offs, dampened expectations when the east London club returned to the top division in 2005.

But Alan Pardew’s side found their feet quickly, picking up three wins in their opening five games and rising as high as fourth, before a mid-season blip left them needing a late surge to finish in the top half.

The Hammers impressed in the FA Cup too, losing on penalties to Liverpool in the final, but there was a silver lining as it was still enough to earn them a UEFA Cup spot.

8. Reading, 2006/07 (55 points)

Leroy Lita

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Reading narrowly outdid West Ham one year later, finishing on the same number of points, but with a better goal difference: +5 to the Hammers’ -3.

That was enough to earn eighth place in their debut campaign in the top division of English football, which remains the club’s best-ever league finish, but they agonisingly missed out on Europe by one point.

Fired by the goals of Leroy Lita and Kevin Doyle and led by manager Steve Coppell, the Royals’ success proved to be short-lived, as they were relegated the following year.

7. Wolves, 2018/19 (57 points)

Raul Jimenez

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Wolves returned to the big time with a bang under ambitious new owners in 2018, as Nuno Espirito Santo led the Midlands club to seventh place.

It was their highest finish in 38 years, and the best campaign by a newly promoted club in 18 years.

The likes of Raul Jimenez, Diogo Jota, Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho impressed as Wolves qualified for Europe thanks to Man City’s FA Cup win opening up another league spot.

6. Sunderland, 1999/00 (58 points)

Kevin Phillips

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Peter Reid’s Sunderland side were a whisker away from achieving European qualification in 2000, only finishing behind Aston Villa in seventh place on goal difference.

A terrific autumn propelled them towards success, including a run of five consecutive victories in September and October, and Reid’s men later recovered from an 11-match winless slump after the festive period to finish strongly.

Kevin Phillips was the star man in his first top-flight season, scoring 30 goals to remarkably clinch the Golden Boot and become the first Englishman to win the European Golden Shoe. 

5. Leeds United, 2020/21 (59 points)

Marcelo Bielsa

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Leeds fans had to wait a long 16 years to return to the Premier League, but Marcelo Bielsa’s entertaining side made sure it was worth the struggle in 2020. 

Playing a high-energy, attacking style of football, the Yorkshire club provided thrills and spills aplenty as 17-goal top scorer Patrick Bamford hit a fine vein of form and new signing Raphinha dazzled on the wing.

A ninth-place finish was their reward, and unforgettable memories were made along the way – not least the astonishing 2-1 win away to runaway league leaders Manchester City in April with ten men.

4. Blackburn Rovers, 1992/93 (71 points*)

*42-game season, equates to 64 points in a 38-game season

Alan Shearer Blackburn

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Blackburn would, of course, produce an even more stunning feat than this two years later by winning the Premier League, but the foundations were set for a glorious Rovers era in their promotion season.

The 1992/93 campaign wasn’t just Rovers’ first Premier League campaign, but their first top-flight season since 1966, and the signing of Alan Shearer from Southampton helped Kenny Dalglish’s side make an instant impact.

Rovers stormed to fourth place, finishing one point outside the UEFA Cup spots, and things might have gone even better had Shearer not suffered an ACL injury midway through the season.

3. Ipswich Town, 2000/01 (66 points)

Marcus Stewart Ipswich

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Ipswich can boast being the best side to earn promotion through the play-offs, storming to fifth place in the Premier League in 2001 after coming through the knock-out lottery a year earlier. 

George Burley’s men were unfancied after battling their way back to the top flight, and were widely expected to be involved in the relegation battle.

Instead, they spent the season battling for Europe and weren’t far off sealing their first Champions League campaign, finishing four points behind second-placed Arsenal and qualifying for the UEFA Cup – making them the best Championship play-off winners of the Premier League era.

2. Nottingham Forest, 1994/95 (77 points*)

*42-game season, equates to 70 points in a 38-game season

Stan Collymore Forest

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Remarkably, Forest followed in the footsteps of Newcastle a year earlier by going straight from the second tier to a third-place finish in the top flight.

No newly-promoted team has finished as high as Frank Clark’s side since, and things have never been as good for the Nottingham club since either. 

Stan Collymore led the way up front with 22 league goals and Clark got impressive consistency out of his side, who remained in the top-six throughout the season.

1. Newcastle, 1993/94 (77 points*)

*42-game season, equates to 70 points in a 38-game season

Andy Cole Newcastle

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Newcastle’s first Premier League season was a resounding success under Kevin Keegan, as they stormed to a third-place finish and earned the moniker 'The Entertainers'.

Keegan’s side was fired by the goals of Andy Cole, who ended the season with a club record 41 in all competitions and formed a deadly partnership with Peter Beardsley that made the Magpies the league’s top-scoring side with 82 goals.

After a slow start, with just two wins in their first eight games, Newcastle gathered momentum to end up with their highest finish since winning the title in 1926/27.

The Toon Army ended with 77 points in 42 games – the equivalent to 70 points in a 38-game season – but edge ahead of Forest into top spot in this ranking thanks to their superior goal difference (+41).

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