Cal the Dragon has sat down with Metro Sport to share his Premier League top four prediction for the 2022-23 season.
The 21-year-old social media influencer from Nottingham, who has a whopping 1.6 million followers on TikTok, is known for his football-themed videos – which have racked up 66.5 million likes – and regular live Q&A sessions with his fans.
He frequently plays as a goalkeeper, featuring in various charity matches and used to play Sunday league football. He is also a star player for the fictional Dragons Fire United who compete in the Gardens Premier League, which he created.
The Dragon’s real name is Callum Whitworth and he recently appeared on football chat show Soccer AM, while he is also known for nightclub appearances and now has 375k Instagram followers as his fanbase continues to grow.
But what does Cal the Dragon think about 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],’ The Dragon said. ‘It depends what they do, but they need more strength at the back. Thiago Silva is class but he’s getting on a bit and can’t do it forever.
‘Chelsea have lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen. They’ve signed some good players but how will they cope? I’ve not seen much of Kalidou Koulibaly but the Premier League is a big step up.
‘He’s in his 30s. Is it too late for him? He could have come a few years ago. They’re also lacking a proper striker. Cristiano Ronaldo has been linked with Chelsea but it’s not for me.
‘I don’t think he would suit them. Chelsea need to find some young talent. Someone with pace and clinical ability. Armando Broja is good shout, he smashed it at Southampton.
‘I would [go with Broja over Ronaldo]. He’s not world class anymore. He’s a fantastic player no doubt. His skills, his shooting… I’ll give him diving as well! But Chelsea can do better.
‘They need to look at Broja at Southampton and say, ‘You know what, we’ll give him a go’.
‘Arsenal just have something lacking. It’s weird with them, they’re like a hit-and-miss team. Maybe they will start improving. I’m not going to blame Mikel Arteta. A lot of fans wanted him sacked.
‘You’ve got to give him more of a chance. Arsenal need time to bond it all together, but I think they will miss out on the top four.
‘Gabriel Jesus is a good signing from Man City and he’s been doing it in pre-season. He looks alright, he’s a composed finisher. I think [he will hit the ground running].
‘Arsenal’s midfield is lacking. Granit Xhaka needs to go. He’s got 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 lying 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? That’s questionable.
‘I’m going for Manchester United for fourth. Erik ten Hag will do enough. There’s a reason why they brought him in and he will get the best from Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes.
‘I think they’ll do it quite comfortably with no slip ups. Even if they lose Cristiano Ronaldo. Ten Hag is a fantastic manager and what he did with Ajax was incredible.
‘He’s won lots of trophies there. He’s not bad at all. Anthony Martial has been decent [in pre-season]. Something is going on behind the scenes.
‘Tottenham are getting third. People write them off, but Antonio Conte is a world-class manager. They’ve still got Harry Kane, they’ve got Son Heung-min, who was brilliant last season.
‘They’ve got great squad depth and Antonio Conte plays a certain way to get the best out of his players. I’d definitely go Spurs for third.
‘Ivan Perisic is getting on a bit, will he get a lot of game time? I’ve heard he will play wing-back, but he’s better as a winger.
‘Second, it’s Liverpool for me. They’ve signed Darwin Nunez from Benfica and you would expect him to be firing.
‘Every signing Jurgen Klopp has made, they’re either top class or have gone from average to top class. I think Nunez could be one of those. He’s still young.
‘Their midfield needs improving. They need someone like a Kevin De Bruyne, but obviously he is not going anywhere.
‘Bukayo Saka to Liverpool would have been a realistic move. Think about how well Saka would do under Klopp, he would be ridiculous!
‘It’s got to be Manchester City top for me, sorry Liverpool! It’s their squad depth, it’s just ridiculous.
‘Their squad is unbelievable now. Erling Haaland will get 20+ goals this season. He’s got to. It was a good bit of business and a smart move.’
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