Cal the Dragon spoke to Metro Sport to share their top four Premier League predictions for the 2022-23 season.
The 21-year-old social media influencer from Nottingham, who has 1.6million followers on TikTok is known for its football-themed videos – which have racked up 66.5 million likes – and regular live Q&A sessions with its fans.
He frequently plays as a goalkeeper, taking part in various charity matches and played Sunday league football. He is also a star player in the fictional Dragons Fire United who competes in the Gardens Premier League, which he created.
The Dragon’s real name is Callum Whitworth and he recently appeared on the football chat show Soccer AM, while he is also known for his nightclub appearances and now has 375,000 Instagram followers as his fanbase continues to grow.
But what does Cal the Dragon think of Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City? Metro Sport sat down with him to find out and get his exclusive top four prediction ahead of the new campaign.
‘Chelsea [are missing out]’, said the Dragon. “It depends on what they do, but they need more strength at the back. Thiago Silva is classy but he gets along a bit and won’t be able to do it forever.
“Chelsea have lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen. They have signed good players, but how are they going to cope? I haven’t seen much of Kalidou Koulibaly but the Premier League is a big step forward.
‘He is in his thirties. Is it too late for him? He could have come a few years ago. They also lack a real striker. Cristiano Ronaldo has been linked with Chelsea but that’s not for me.
I don’t think it would suit them. Chelsea need to find young talent. Someone with pace and clinical abilities. Armando Broja is a good shout, he broke it at Southampton.
‘I want [go with Broja over Ronaldo]. He is no longer world class. He is a fantastic player without a doubt. His skills, his shooting… I’ll give him the dive too! But Chelsea can do better.
“They have to look at Broja in Southampton and say, ‘You know what, we’re going to give him a chance’.
“Arsenal just have something missing. It’s weird with them, they’re like a random team. Maybe they will start to improve. I’m not going to blame Mikel Arteta. Many fans wanted him fired.
“You have to give him more of a chance. Arsenal need time to tie everything together, but I think they will miss the top four.
“Gabriel Jesus is a good signing for Man City and he did it in pre-season. He looks good, he’s a composed finisher. I think [he will hit the ground running].
“Arsenal midfielder is lacking. Granit Xhaka has to go. He has the wrong attitude. I would bring in another midfielder. Arsenal are so predictable sometimes.
That’s why they didn’t start well last season. It was embarrassing for their fans. They need a deep playmaker or a box-to-box midfielder, someone who can defend and attack.
“Jorginho would be that type of player. Would Chelsea let him go to Arsenal? It’s debatable.
“I’m going to Manchester United for fourth place. Erik ten Hag will do enough. There’s a reason they brought him in and he’ll get the best out of Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes.
“I think they’ll do it quite comfortably, with no slippage. Even if they lose Cristiano Ronaldo. Ten Hag is a fantastic manager and what he did with Ajax was amazing.
“He won a lot of trophies there. He’s not bad at all. Anthony Martial has been decent [in pre-season]. Something is happening behind the scenes.
“Tottenham take third place. People write them off, but Antonio Conte is a world-class manager. They still have Harry Kane, they have Son Heung-min, who was brilliant last season.
“They have great squad depth and Antonio Conte plays in a certain way to get the best out of his players. I would definitely go for Spurs for third place.
‘Ivan Perisic gets along a bit, will he have a lot of playing time? I heard he will play as a wing-back, but he is better as a winger.
“Secondly, it’s Liverpool for me. They signed Darwin Nunez from Benfica and you would expect him to shoot.
“Every signing that Jurgen Klopp has made, they are either first class or have gone from middle class to top class. I think Nunez could be one of them. He’s still young.
“Their midfield needs to be improved. They need someone like a Kevin De Bruyne, but obviously he’s not going anywhere.
“Bukayo Saka to Liverpool would have been a realistic move. Think what Saka would do under Klopp, he would be ridiculous!
“This must be Manchester City’s top for me, sorry Liverpool!” It’s their team depth, it’s just ridiculous.
“Their team is amazing now. Erling Haaland will score more than 20 goals this season. He has to do it. It was a good deal and a smart decision.
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