Ranking the 2021/22 Premier League away kits (and some third ones)

Date published: Friday 13th August 2021 8:36 - Dave Tickner

Away kit rankings Crystal Palace Tottenham Manchester City

It is time to rank the Premier League kits again as the away and third strips of every top-flight club is evaluated with a balls-out winner.

We’ve ranked all the away kits and third kits that we know about so far. That means away kits for everyone bar Burnley for some reason, and a good handful of often superfluous and occasionally marvellous third kits. The big boys have come to play this year.

You can check out the home kit rankings here.

 

29. Manchester City (third, unconfirmed)
It’s like Puma looked at the widely and correctly despised away kit monstrosities they served up at the Euros and went “How can we make it worse?” They’ve done it by making the team name even bigger in lieu of a badge. Let’s call this what it is: a training top with ideas way, way, way above its station. And it seems they’re going to make goalkeepers degrade themselves by wearing this crap as well but in worse colourways. Get in the bin.

 

28. Arsenal (away)
Yellow is a good and correct colour for Arsenal away kits – especially adidas ones – but there’s something off about this and we’re not sure what. The stripes cutting off at the shoulder annoys us on lots of this year’s adidas gear, but it’s more than that. Something about that yellow just doesn’t look right. It’s not a bright canary yellow or a mustard yellow or a lemon or a gold. It’s a bad yellow is what it is.

 

27. Chelsea (away)
The Blues join the Gunners as London powerhouse with vaguely underwhelming yellow away kit. Like the Gunners, though, they’ve got a great third kit.

 

26. Crystal Palace (third)
White and light blue halves with a literal Crystal Palace design incorporated into the shirt, the whole thing a nod to the first ever Palace kit. It’s also near identical to the one-off 125th anniversary shirt from 2007 – also produced by Puma – that mirrored the first ever Spurs shirt. Why did all these clubs have white and light blue halves back in the day?

Crystal Palace third kit

 

25. Leicester (away)
Leicester do not have great kits this season. Colour is meh and pattern is off a picnic blanket.

 

24. Manchester City (away)
Neither the colourful logos nor Jack Grealish’s face and calves and hair can quite enliven what is a pretty dull kit, sadly.

 

Jack Grealish Manchester City away kit

 

23. Wolves (away)
Strayed way too far into bus seat upholstery areas with the design here, but the black and yellow detailing comes heroically close to salvaging things.

 

22. Brentford (away)
Significantly better than the home. The monochrome logos make the whole thing work and have the effect of slightly toning down that in-your-face sponsor logo. It looks far more like part of the overall design rather than just a gaudy stamp whacked on afterwards. Nice little off-centre triangle pattern going on in there as well, and the colour is apparently “buttercup yellow” which is nicer than all the daft official colour names kits usually get these days. In summary: wholesome.

 

21. Newcastle United (away)
Unknown Pleasures. Make your own jokes.

 

20. Watford (away)
So very, very, very much better than the home kit. Still average.

 

19. Norwich City (third)
Neat reversal of the ‘black with single bright accent colour’ trope used for the away kit, but the big black stripe down the middle adds nothing. Get rid of it.

 

18. Brighton (away)
A template kit but it’s a nice template. Sleeve patterns are so hot right now. But another unfortunate kit launch…

 

17. Southampton (third)
What could be just another black-and-one-other-colour away shirt is given something about it by the St Mary’s and The Dell prints mosaiced into it.

 

16. West Ham (third)
S’alright. Colourway is on brand and looks decent enough. It’s a third kit that really feels like a third kit, though. The other two West Ham kits this year are both better and appear to have had a lot more thought gone into them.

 

15. Southampton (away)
Strong late 80s Wimbledon away vibes to this. Not particularly a criticism, but not sure what it’s really got to do with Southampton.

 

14. Norwich City (away)
Black with single bright accent colour is in danger of becoming slightly old hat for away kits these days, but this is smart enough and the sleeves tie it to the home kit.

 

13. Everton (third)
Looks like it’s got a massive zip running all down the middle of it. Lucky for Everton, we like massive zips.

 

12. West Ham (away)
Yes. Very solid away kit indeed. Nice use of traditional club colours in interesting ways, and a good collar as well.

 

 

11. Liverpool (third, unconfirmed)
What madness is this? Whatever it is, we’re in to it. More kits with checkerboard detailing please.

 

10. Aston Villa (away)
Pinstripes are good stripes, and the collar has just enough going on to avoid dullness. This hits that tricky sweet spot for a predominantly white shirt of having enough about it to be interesting without so much that it becomes fussy. Kappa have done Villa proud this year.

 

9. Crystal Palace (away)
Finally a properly good yellow away kit for a London team. Palace appear to be absolutely impossible to predict this season, but one thing we can be sure of is that whether launching a surprise bid for Europe or battling grimly against relegation, they are going to look the absolute business while doing so. Away kits have absolutely no obligation to tie in to traditional home colours (for obvious reasons this has to be actively avoided for the most part) but it’s nice when a nod can be made while enhancing the shirt and the single red and blue stripes do so marvellously. Having them run behind the badge also a nice idea, also solving the other occasional problem for away kits: that the standard colourway for the club badge can look wrong on an away leaving either a wrong-looking badge or a wrong-coloured one. (Pro tip: always go wrong coloured)

Crystal Palace away kit

 

8. Everton (away)
And here’s precisely why you go with the wrong-coloured badge. As for the kit, it’s black with a burnt orange sash. Of course it’s awesome. Excellent retro collar and textbook deployment of colouring the badge to match the kit rather than sticking with traditional colours.

 

7. Manchester United (third)
Great pair of change kits for United this year after some genius wondered what it would look like if that Holland 88 kit were blue and a Manchester United third kit. We’ve also just realised that the pattern is like a big letter M. The two-tone adidas logo works a treat here as well.

 

6. Chelsea (third, unconfirmed)
Unlike Lukaku’s return, this kit is yet to be formally confirmed. But like Lukaku, it will be. The official colours of this kit are “Blustery” (green) and “Hyper Crimson” (orange) on a “Black” (black) base. Never mind all that, though: it absolutely slaps.

 

5. Leeds (away)
An absolute snorter of a kit. It’s better than the home kit of any team in blue this season, and even manages to carry off the cut-off adidas sleeve stripes that have bugged us throughout. Using just white for all the logos and trim gives a touch of class and simplistic elegance that somehow got lost on the home shirt.

 

4. Arsenal (third)
Glorious bit of stuff this. Instantly evocative of every adidas away kit from the late 80s/early 90s golden era yet also strikingly modern. Hopefully this gets the nod over the wishy-washy away kit. Absolutely absurd that this isn’t even the best away kit in North London this year.

 

3. Liverpool (away)
Nike tried something with the Liverpool home kit and it didn’t pay off. They’ve gone back to basics for the away, and delivered. Very 90s Liverpool away vibes here, and that’s a good thing. The official colours on this kit are fossil, dark atomic teal and bright crimson but don’t let that put you off.

 

2. Manchester United (away)
You’re all immediately thinking of the same (magnificent) United away kit when you look at it, yet the design is actually pretty much completely different. Great work: the connection with the kit that inspired it is 100% there, but they’ve still created something new and vibrant and pretty f***ing great in its own right.

 

1. Tottenham (away)
I mean… just look at it. Utterly, ridiculously, inexplicably magnificent. This kit is obviously going to be like Marmite: you either love it or you’re wrong. Easily the most memorable kit of the season and the one most certain to earn cult status. I just think it’s brilliant. The absolute balls-out f***-it weirdness of it. The neon logos absolutely pop as well, and it looks fantastic on TV. And the as yet unconfirmed third kit is, while way less good, also vibes up the wazoo so there isn’t even a safe cop-out option if they lose their nerve. Full commitment to the bit. Brilliant, baffling work.

Tottenham players in their new away kit

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