Ranking the best 2019/20 Premier League kits - home & away
We're ranked all the teams in the Premier League based on their kits. It wasn't an easy task...
The Premier League is BACK!
Yep, settle on your fantasy football lineup and sort out your weekend plans because the best league in the world (™) returns this weekend.
Much like last summer it feels like we haven’t really had a break from football, thanks to another World Cup, a Copa America and the African Cup of Nations, amongst other things. And alongside the endless conveyor belt of action on the pitch, it’s been another fun summer for new kits.
To help separate the wheat from the chaff, I sat down with Ben to try and rank the Premier League table based on each club’s home and away shirts. It wasn’t easy, but we’ve finally decided which club’s got the best 2019/20 Premier League kits…
Our Scoring System: How it Works
Our scoring system for each shirt was split across two broad areas: how stylish or classy is the design, and does the shirt have a degree of originality or novelty? We’ve given each shirt a score out of 10 for these two criteria, and then added together home and away scores to give each team an overall total.
For any teams tied on points, the tiebreaker is whoever’s home shirt scored the highest.
Premier League 2019/20 Table: Ranked By Kits
What we thought of the shirts
1. West Ham
West Ham Home
What a year it’s been for West Ham kits. Their beautiful new home shirt is based upon the strips of the late ‘70s, with the bold, pinstriped section of sky blue inspired by the iconic side that won the 1980 FA Cup. Throw in some handsome sponsors, claret cuffs and lovely Umbro detailing, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a football shirt.
West Ham Away
This shirt makes me want to be a West Ham fan. This shirt should make you want to be a West Ham fan. And even though I’m not a West Ham, I am going to buy this shirt for my collection because it is stunning. It’s been a great year for collar and cuff detailing, and this shirt is the gold standard in an exciting genre.
The adidas x Arsenal reunion was one of the most anticipated in living memory, and unlike many shirt partnerships it’s one which is actually meeting and maybe even exceeding expectations. I’m a huge fan of the new Arsenal home, and after years of unnecessary experimentation from Puma it’s a design that feels like a breath of fresh air.
Marking their long-awaited reunion with adidas, this fantastic shirt is inspired by one of the most iconic Arsenal kits of all-time. However, the “bruised banana” isn’t quite bruised enough for me, and a more distinctive pattern could have resulted in a much higher score. That being said, it’s still one of the best shirts of the season, even if the banana seems a little underripe.
Bring on the bus seats. This is by no means Umbro’s best work of the season, but the unique criss-cross pattern helps to set it apart from many other 2019/20 Premier League kits. It’s a simplistic design which certainly doesn’t make the jaw drop, but it still boasts enough character and originality to stand out this season.
I’m a Liverpool fan, but this is my favourite shirt in the Premier League this season. The combination of a rarely seen but beautiful colourway, a shadow stripey, grainy gradient pattern and fully integrated sponsors and crest make for a beautiful finished piece. This is Umbro doing what they do best, and Umbro are on a roll at the moment.
Shirts inspired by stadiums are nothing new, but there seems to have been a resurgence in the approach this year. Chelsea’s home is busy and chaotic, but in the best sense. The randomness of the pattern is a big win in my book, and it’s a perfect complement to the classier, more reserved away shirt.
Oh man, this is classy. Despite closely resembling what I used to wear for PE during high school, Chelsea and Nike have undoubtedly served up one of the Premier League’s smartest shirts. The old-school collar won’t be for everyone, but there’s simply no denying that the blue/red trim, sponsors and logos look fantastic against that crisp white colourway.
Crystal Palace Home
Crystal Palace kits have always stood out on the pitch, and the 2019/20 design is certainly no exception. The new shirt ditches the yellow detailing of last season, instead opting for a crisper white within the logos, cuffs and thin gradient lines running through the classic blue stripes. This is a classic Palace look, but with enough new features to freshen things up this season.
Crystal Palace Away
There’s a tonne of buzz around the new Palace away shirt, and Puma deserve a pat on the back for managing to make the most of a pattern which can be found on a number of other shirts. What separates this look though is the way that pattern flows on top of the classic red and blue vertical stripes. This is a shirt with depth in every sense of the word.
I appreciate it when a club makes use of a distinctive design feature every once in a while. It could be a particular colour (like Everton’s use of ‘coral’), or like in Newcastle’s case, it could be the use of a centralised crest. Chunky stripes add further interest, and the only thing that lets this down is the sponsor.
This is perhaps the shirt which best sums up Newcastle’s summer: it all looks bleak on first glance, but there’s still enough in there to spark a little optimism. This is based on a standard Puma teamwear template, easily identified by the distinctive graphic on the chest and sleeves. The dark green colourway, however, seems to be exclusive to the Magpies, so there’s at least a small sense of individuality here.
Liverpool’s last period of real dominance came in the 1980’s, so it’s not hard to see why New Balance have drawn inspiration from that particular era. Although it uses a much deeper shade of red, the use of pinstripes is a clear nod to those classic “Crown Paints” designs, while the inclusion of Bob Paisley’s signature is a really nice touch. Personally, I would’ve liked to see a collar closer to the original, but this is still a very good-looking shirt.
Liverpool and New Balance have enjoyed a productive relationship over the past few seasons, but this year’s away shirt fails to reach those heights. There are some nice ideas, but I’ve grown bored of New Balance’s template which blocks off the top of the shirt. It made sense with the home kit given the 80s ties, but it feels redundant here.
At first glance, the Spurs home kit looks like the result of Nike taking a holiday. In reality though I would argue this is a welcome effort.It won’t win any awards, but the cleaner aesthetic (after last year’s more daring gradient fade), contrasting navy cuffs (after a couple of seasons without from Nike) and subtle unique details all add up.
For me, Tottenham’s new away kit is very smart indeed, but it’s not as “bold” or “dazzling” as Nike’s marketing team would perhaps have you believe. The dark navy colourway is obviously very nice to look at, but I would’ve loved to see that jagged chest graphic expanded over other parts of the shirt - much like the 90s design it’s loosely based on. Oh well, it’s still a lovely kit.
The new Leicester home shirt is certainly nothing special, but the gold trim and subtle chequered pattern are enough to mark it out as above average. Instead of completely reinventing the wheel, the kit seems more like an upgraded version of last season’s strip, with small changes brought in to improve a similar template. Maybe adidas are just getting comfortable at the King Power.
It’s a real shame to see adidas dishing out their Germany 2018 design as a template this year, but despite my misgivings there’s no denying the novelty factor of a pink away shirt with all black details in the template. A bespoke shade of pink would’ve helped, but this is still preferable to the Tiro 19 template as seen on some teams further down this list.
Norwich had one of my favourite home shirts in the Championship last season, and I was very happy to see them return to the top flight given their memorable colourway and typically strong kits. Their 2019 vintage isn’t the best by their own high standards, but it’s great to see Errea throwing a bunch of ideas into the mix.
Trying to completely ignore that hideous sleeve sponsor, I’m a huge fan of this. From the outrageous red and yellow colourway, to the striking geometric pattern covering the sleeves and shoulders, this is a football shirt bursting with shameless confidence. If I was a hat person, I’d waste no time in tipping it to the guys at Errea. Terrific stuff.
This is another shirt which does well despite an ugly sponsor. Although I don’t think it’s quite as strong as last year’s design, the Cherries are yet again boasting a stylish shirt ahead of the new season. The subtle diagonal pattern on the red stripes is a particular highlight, while I personally feel the switch to red sleeves has helped freshen things up a bit.
It’s been a banner year for Umbro, and whilst Bournemouth’s new away shirt struggles to stand out from the crowd, this kit still has a lot going for it. With a little bit more flair in the shoulders this would be considerably better, anything to help take attention away from a sponsor which is one of the worst in the league.
I like the direction Nike were heading with the Brighton home shirt. A subtle pattern (which I believe was used for Frankfurt last season) across the blue stripes is exactly the sort of detail which a shirt like this needs to help give it some character. Sadly proceedings are let down by the awkward integration of the sponsor.
When done right, black football shirts look nothing short of sensational. The darker shades often make for a sleeker, sharper aesthetic, while also allowing the contrasting detailing to really pop out of the shirt. Fortunately for Seagulls fans, Nike have got this one absolutely spot on, and this is a simplistic black design which ticks all the right boxes for me. Even the sponsor looks pretty darn good.
Man City Home
City’s switch from Nike to Puma came with the typical flood of fan hype and expectation. Somewhat inevitably, the end result has proven a little underwhelming, and this shirt isn’t a giant leap away from the bland and boring Swoosh designs they wanted to escape. However, this does mark an improvement, and there are enough interesting details here for Citizens to feel good about their future under the German brand.
Man City Away
It’s been a real mixed bag for City in year 1 of their deal with Puma but, anniversary shirt aside, this is my favourite design from the defending champions in 2019. The blue, yellow and peach details nod to the team’s other kits this year, and the asymmetric details, though unusual, give this shirt a little something.
The award for best sponsor integration in 2019 goes to Watford. Yes, it might be a small thing to most, but I am really happy to see a sponsor going out of it’s way to complement the design of a shirt. And talking of that design, the half and half effort from adidas is one of the better ones in the Premier League. Shame about the away shirt…
What do you get if you cross a boring adidas template with an ugly betting sponsor? Well, you don’t need to be a genius to figure that one out. The new Watford away kit is based upon the adidas Tiro 19 template and, bearing a stark resemblance to the new Cardiff CIty home shirt, brings absolutely nothing new to the table.
Seriously, you might as well spend £15 on the training top and just stick a Watford badge on it.
Man United Home
As a United fan, I’m all for a bit of Treble nostalgia every now and then, but adidas just haven’t got this quite right. The crisp and clean design is a decent upgrade on last year’s disaster, but the listing of times/dates just seems a little cheap and forced. Considering the great work adidas have done with Arsenal, this Treble-inspired shirt could have been so much more.
Man United Away
This away shirt looks like it started life as a tribute to United’s (admittedly superb) gold shirt seen at the turn of the century, before morphing into a bizarre, confusing mesh of ideas. The pattern is what kills this shirt for me, and claims that the design evokes the spirit of the Northern Quarter were a bridge too far.
Umbro’s link-up with Burnley seems to have flown a bit under the radar, partly due to their relatively safe effort for the Clarets latest home shirt. There’s nothing particularly wrong with this shirt, but despite some pleasing little details this is very much a case of watch this space rather than take note.
Go on Burnley! Umbro are outdoing themselves once again here, with a lovely tonal chest graphic which draws attention away from that ugly LoveBet sponsor. In fact, they’ve actually done their best to integrate that sponsor into the design, matching it with the claret colours used throughout the other logos. Lesson: embrace your ugly sponsors, don’t ignore them.
After last season’s fantastic design, the new Wolves home shirt is surprisingly disappointing. It still boasts that glorious Wolves gold, but this is a much more basic design which makes use of a standard adidas template. The W88 sponsor (which worked quite well last year) has also been replaced by ManbetX (which doesn’t work well at all). In short, there’s not much to see here.
I wasn’t expecting too much from the Wolves away shirt this year, but I’m pleasantly surprised. After last year’s template design (and this year’s template for the home), we have a bespoke look which is simple yet effective. Thin, diagonal pinstripes are rarely seen, but on the basis of this smart kit they ought to make a comeback.
Aston Villa Home
Unfortunately for Aston Villa and new partners Kappa, their 2019 kits were always on the back foot after the delightful 2018 kits from Luke. The new home shirt looks is firmly in the shadow of last year and, though it’s hard to see from a distance, the confusing cuff and shoulder construction (a picky concern I know) really hurt.
Aston Villa Away
I guess there’s only so much you can do with claret and blue, but Kappa have put together a really tidy design for Aston Villa. The claret trim offers a beautiful contrast to the light blue colourway, and the diagonal pinstripes help to serve up something a little bit different. It’s good to have you back, Villains.
Sheffield United Home
There’s nothing wrong with this Sheffield United kit, there just isn’t really anything noteworthy about it. The Blades have made a return to red sleeves and thicker stripes (while also featuring a new sponsor), but this strip certainly won’t be winning any prizes for creativity or thinking outside the box. A solid 5 out of 10.
Sheffield United Away
Tiro 19 strikes again. Yes, the adidas template has ‘only’ been used a few times in the Premier League, but given it’s usage for dozens upon dozens of teams outside the top flight, it’s a few times too many. The colourway of the shirt matches all the details well, but that’s about all I can say for this forgettable kit.
There are so many things I dislike about this kit. The strange collar and neckline. The protruding black block at the top. The odd wrapover cuff design. All of these details are secondary though to one of the worst sponsors I can remember. This was a bad shirt before the sponsor, and it’s a catastrophic one with it.
Wow. The mess Under Armour have made with this football kit is actually quite impressive. For me, this is a car crash. A bad one. The sponsor, shoulder graphic and *shudder* fluorescent shorts all combine to create one of the ugliest kits I’ve seen this season, and that’s including the infamous Paddy Power Huddersfield “joke”. Of course, when a kit is this bad to look at, there’s always a certain novelty attached to it. Now excuse me while I go throw up.