As football clubs look to strengthen for next season, here’s who I think some of the big Premier League teams need to buy.
We start off with Chelsea. It’s quite difficult to see an area that isn’t world class already and with Radamel Falcao joining them on loan, they definitely have two world class strikers, him and Diego Costa. I think a world class right or central midfielder would strengthen them a lot, with Willian being not the best RM ever and Ramires is not guaranteed to be fit all the time. Definitely with Petr Cech leaving for Arsenal they need a good back-up keeper to Courtois although Asmir Begovic is almost certain to move to them from Stoke.
Manchester City. They need to have someone magic in midfield. Liverpool have Coutinho, Chelsea have Hazard, Arsenal have Alexis Sanchez and Manchester United have Di Maria (yes, he can be magic sometimes). Yaya Toure and David Silva are the closest City have but they are not magic. Paul Pogba, an obvious City target, is magic. Another suspected City target, De Bruyne, would also greatly enhance their midfield. They also need another good striker to act as a backup to Aguero, as Dzeko is possibly leaving for Roma and City are relying on Aguero’s goals too much. Sterling is almost certain to join City but at 50 million it is the craziest and silliest thing I have ever heard. He scored ELEVEN goals last season. ELEVEN. City are willing to spend 50 million on him! Defence should be their main priority, though, because with only 7 defenders, one week, because of injury and suspension, they could be left with Demichelis, Clichy, Zabaleta and Sagna as their back four. Not too bad but not the kind of defence you need if you are going to mount a serious title challenge. A world class CB and a world class LB or RB would be enough.
Arsenal. They need a good striker to take pressure off Giroud and Welbeck and to allow Walcott to play as a winger. Lacazette? He would be expensive but a very good striker. He might be tempted to join because Arsene Wenger, Coquelin and Giroud are French like himself. They have bought a world class goalkeeper already, which they desperately needed, in Cech and he is worth every bit of his 10 million transfer fee. Maybe a good defender to provide competition for Bellerin and Monreal but they are pretty amazing in midfield as long as they can keep Cazorla. Still, with Özil, Ramsey, Cazorla, Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arteta and Wilshire their only good midfielders (thinking of Alexis Sánchez as a forward), it would be quite good to get another world class midfielder on board. Vidal? Arsenal are meant to be interested in him and he would fit the bill although he would probably be very expensive.
Manchester United. They need a good backup striker with Van Persie and possibly Hernandez leaving and obviously they no longer have the Falcao option. Higuain? He seems desperate for Premier League and Champions League football and United have both as well as the money Napoli demand. He would really be more than a backup but United would not turn down an extra 30 goals a season. There is also talk of Bayern Munich selling Muller to them for around 60 million. Very expensive but would make them serious 3rd place challengers (I say 3rd place because the top two spots are took already by Arsenal and Chelsea. Wait and see). They need one or two absolutely brilliant midfielders who can take charge of the team and give their fans someone else other than Rooney to rely on. Bayern’s Bastian Schweinsteiger and Southhampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin seem to be their main targets. Schneiderlin is almost certain to join United but Schweinsteiger seems reluctant to leave Germany and Pep Guardiola has told him to decide himself whether to leave or not so a deal seems unlikely. Obviously their defence is absolutely woeful, and unless they get two world class defenders they will not achieve anything next season. Expect United to wrap up a deal for Sergio Ramos soon because Real Madrid know they need to choose between De Gea or Ramos. Real will choose De Gea. Another world class option would be Otamendi, expensive but brilliant. Two of their other defensive targets, Clyne and Dani Alves, are out of the equation so United’s options are vanishing. In the goalkeeping area, obviously they need a De Gea replacement, but with Stoke’s Begovic almost certainly going to Chelsea, and with Spurs reluctant to sell Hugo Lloris, Kasper Cillessen seems the most likely replacement.
Liverpool. We (I support Liverpool) need a striker obviously. We have Danny Ings now but with Sterling very likely to leave our options will be Ings, Origi, Borini, Sturridge (unlikely to fit), Lambert and Balotelli. If Sturridge avoided injury, we could have an alright Ings + Sturridge attacking duo but that will not win us trophies. Worst case scenario, Sturridge gets injured and we put Ings and Balotelli up front. The thing is that either scenario is not good – we need a brilliant, world class striker. The signing of Benteke is getting more and more likely but at 32.5 million it is absolutely crazy. Why not add 5 million to that and buy Lacazette or Higuain? Far far better players. Don’t get me wrong, Benteke is class but too expensive. Anyway, Benteke is used to the Villa style of getting the ball and playing arial balls to him, the opposite of Rodger’s style of playing – more short passes along the ground, patiently waiting for an opportunity to pass to the forwards. In midfield we have the dream duo of Coutinho and Firmino. Maybe a 3-5-2 formation with a CDM behind the Brazilians and wingers playing just behind them out on the wings would work well. For the CDM Henderson would work fine I’m sure even if he usually plays more as a CAM, but news is emerging that Brendan Rodgers is targeting Sissoko, another CAM that could play as a CDM. I think because Sissoko plays for Newcastle United that has made people automatically class him as ‘not too good’ because of their awful form at the end of the season, but he’s really good. If I had the choice I’d put Sissoko in CDM instead of Henderson. As wingers I would put Milner on RW and I would get Pedro and put him on the left. He might be tempted to join us because of lack of game time at Barcelona, even sacrificing Champions League to do so. In defence we obviously have took a massive step in getting Clyne so we at last have a decent RB. We absolutely MUST stop playing Can in defence. Our thrashing at Stoke highlighted how bad Can is in defence. On the other hand, watch the Germany U-21s play and see how good Can is when he’s played in midfield. In CB position we’re sorted with Skrtel and we have Sakho and Louvren for backup. In LB, though, we have Moreno who isn’t exactly brilliant and Enrique, who is never going to get a place in the Starting XI. Although there’s always Sakho, this means we need a new LB. Liverpool are apparently interested in Zappacosta, who I have never watched play so cannot say how good he is, but as long as he’s not too expensive, and he is better than Moreno, he will probably be a good purchase. In goalkeeping Mignolet is not the best the world, although he can pull off some brilliant saves. Why not be ambitious and put in a bid for Casillas? We don’t particularly want Bogdan as our second choice goalkeeper either but he isn’t that bad and hopefully we won’t need him too much.
Time will tell how things pan out…