It’s that time of year again where every team is linked with every player and crazy money is spent on overrated players. England’s big clubs all need to strengthen certain areas this summer, and those areas are what should be concentrated on. Let’s take a look at what needs to be done.
Man City have the most money but they could be one of the least active teams in the transfer market as a result of their financial fair play punishment that limits their summer budget to £49 million. There are few weaknesses in their squad but they still could be in the market for one or two players.
The champions may well be targeting a centre back to form a strong partnership with Vincent Kompany. They have been heavily linked with Eliaquim Mangala from Porto and Medhi Benatia of Roma, both highly rated young defenders. Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane is also a possibility as he has been linked with a move away from the Bernabeu.
Another position City are believed to be looking at are their defensive midfield options especially if Yaya Toure leaves for a club that will celebrate his birthday. Fernando of Porto has been strongly linked with a move to the Eithad. City have a wealth of options in attack and it is unlikely they need to strengthen in those positions.
Liverpool have been very active in the transfer market and look determined to get plenty of business done in order to strengthen their squad for the additional challenge of Champions League football next season.
Liverpool have already appeared to secure the signature of striker Rickie Lambert and have made a £25 million bid for another Southampton player in Adam Lallana. Emre Can of Bayer Leverkusen has been strongly linked with a move to Anfield.
An extra option in central midfield would be useful. However, it is the defence which Liverpool need to strengthen as that weakness cost them the title last season. Liverpool are currently in talks with Sevilla over a deal for 21 -year-old left back Alberto Moreno, he would be a great signing for Liverpool. Moreno is a top prospect.
In the right back position, Glen Johnson defensively isn’t the best so that is something Brendan Rodgers may need to look at. At least one centre back is needed, Steven Caulker or Curtis Davies could be options. As for the goalkeeping position, Liverpool should bring Pepe Reina back from his loan spell in Napoli, he is a better pair of hands than Simon Mignolet.
Chelsea fell short in all competitions last season because they lacked a world class striker. They look to have solved that problem by agreeing a deal for Diego Costa. The probable return of Romelu Lukaku will further bolster that area as Samuel Eto’o is set to leave and Fernando Torres’ days at the club could be numbered.
Chelsea may bring some players back from loan like Lucas Piazon and Thorgan Hazard. Crucially, goalkeeper Courtois will surely be at Stamford Bridge next season, and that will put Petr Cech under some serious pressure. Chelsea are strong in defence despite the probable departure of Ashley Cole and they are better off without David Luiz.
John Terry and Gary Cahill form a solid partnership while Tomas Kalas and Kurt Zouma will also be pushing for places. Frank Lampard is set to be released and Chelsea may need a more creative central midfielder in that area.
Chelsea must reject PSG’s advances for Eden Hazard at all costs and they should be a stronger proposition next season. However, their title chances may hinge of the fitness of Diego Costa.
It’s been a successful season for Arsenal after another fourth place finish and most importantly winning the FA Cup. Wenger has signed a new three-year contract and now he needs to build on this success.
The problem for Arsenal is that they don’t tend to focus on the problems that plague them every season. Cesc Fabregas is for sale and Arsenal could be interested in bringing him back to the Emirates but firstly they should focus on bringing in players they need.
Sagna is set to move on and Arsenal need a replacement; Nathaniel Clyne or Seamus Coleman would be great replacements. A left back could also be looked at, Luke Shaw appears unlikely but Benfica left back Guilherme Siqueira is a good player and would be a cheap option.
Arsenal have been crying out for a top class defensive midfielder and that needs to be a priority. Unfortunately, the likes of Paul Pogba and William Carvalho may be out of their price range, however bringing back Alex Song could be a good move or enquiring about the availability of Gareth Barry.
Arsenal cannot depend on Olivier Giroud all the time for goals, they could do with a striker who can stretch a defence with pace. Yaya Sanogo is clearly not the answer. Loic Remy is believed to be a target, he would be perfect.
Where do we begin? Man United are expected to be extremely active this summer after such a dismal season previous season. New manager Louis Van Gaal will not stand for some of the poor performers of last season and there is likely to be a clear out at Old Trafford.
Firstly, United seem to be strong in the goalkeeping and striking positions. The truth is they need five or six top class signings in defence and midfield to become a force again.
Firstly, let’s take a look at the right back position, United need another option apart from Rafael as they cannot afford to be putting Chris Smalling or Phil Jones there all the time; the signing of Bacary Sagna on a free transfer may be prove a shrewd acquisition.
Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have left the club so it is obvious United need to buy at least one centre back. They have been linked with Dutch centre back Bruno Martin Indi but may need a more experienced player like Mats Hummels or Miranda. United’s number one target should be Benfica’s Argentine defender Ezequiel Garay. He is a top quality defender that would shore up the United defence.
Patrice Evra has signed a new one year contract but United still seem intent on bringing in Luke Shaw who, despite his hefty price tag, is a sensational player at just 18 years old. As a result, Alexander Buttner’s days at the club could be numbered.
United have been linked with every midfielder possible but realistically their options are quite limited. Cesc Fabregas is for sale and would be a dream signing for the club. In signing a player like Fabregas, United would need to bring in a quality defensive midfielder.
Javi Martinez would be a very smart buy. He combines physical strength with good ability on the ball and can also slot in at centre back if needed. Van Gaal could even bring in a third central midfielder like Feyenord’s Jordy Claise or Irish midfielder James McCarthy depending on the formation he wants to use.
United may need to look to bring in a better quality winger if they want to continue using width, PSV’s Memphis Depay or Dnipro’s Konoplyanka seems to be more realistic than the likes of Reus, Robben and Di Maria. The likes of Ashley Young, Nani, Tom Cleverley, Fellaini and even Fletcher could struggle to stay at the club.
Vincent O’Shea, Pundit Arena.
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