There are just two weeks remaining of the Premier League summer transfer window, it closes at 5pm on Thursday 8th August. While there have been plenty of headline grabbing signings over the last few weeks, there is still time for some more to happen. Here we take a look at some transfers that could happen in the coming weeks.
Arsenal – Centre-Back
There are many positions that Emery has been trying to fill this summer but perhaps the team’s need for a centre-back is greatest. The club urgently needs a top-class central defender this summer and while there is a chance that Saliba may become just this in a few years, he cannot help Arsenal from St Etienne over the next season.
There are a number of strains on Emery’s budget and he may be tempted to take a risk on Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis again now that Rob Holding is back in contention. He will also benefit from the return of Calum Chambers from Fulham. However, as has already been shown, as a central defensive quarter they are nowhere near good enough to get Arsenal back into the top four. This, combined with Arsenal’s lack of resources, is a problem that will require some creative thinking.
Manchester United – Centre-Back
Arguably, Manchester United have been in need of a central defender since Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand left the club in 2014. Jose Mourinho tried to tell this to Ed Woodward, despite having already signed one during each of the previous summers, but Woodward did not listen. Now Woodward has no choice. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may be able to make something of Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling, but he has no other options that he can trust. Phil Jones has unreliable fitness and Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly are highly inconsistent.
Newcastle United – Striker
Newcastle United have not only lost last season’s manager, but also their two highest scorers. Salomon Rondon has followed Rafa Benitez to China and Ayoze Perez received an excellent offer from Leicester City. Steve Bruce is probably hoping that Miguel Almiron will cover for the loss of Perez in his first full season in the Premier League, but at present, the new boss has no replacement for Rondon.
The club hierarchy seems to think that Joelinton, the Brazilian 22 year old who is currently playing for Hoffenheim, will provide the goals needed in order to keep Newcastle United in the Premier League for another season. There have been multiple reports of a deal being reached worth anything between £36 million and £44 million. While Joelinton brings versatility across the front line, Bruce could still do with another centre-forward and there have been rumours linking Andy Carroll and Danny Welbeck with the team.
Crystal Palace – Striker
After Barnet scored six against Crystal Palace in a pre-season friendly the other week, Roy Hodgson said, “We’ve got enormous problems at the back at the moment.” However, those issues are largely due to injuries and will be solved as the players recover.
At present Hodgson has three options at centre-forward, Christian Benteke, Alexander Sorloth, and Connor Wickham. Between them, they have scored just six Premier League goals in the last two seasons. Wilfried Zaha has been covering for the strikers’ ineffectiveness, but he cannot keep doing this indefinitely.
“If Michy Batshuayi was going to be available, either on loan or buy him, I would be very happy with that,” said Hodgson at the end of last season. However, due to Chelsea’s circumstances a decision about him may not be made until just before the deadline. It is important for Palace to have a backup option if Batshuayi ends up remaining with Chelsea.
Sheffield United – Goalkeeper
Chris Wilder has hinted that the team may break their transfer record for the fourth time this summer, with a striker seemingly the most likely subject of a bid larger than the £10 million they paid for Lys Mousset. Possible targets are thought to include Neal Maupay and Ollie McBurnie, with Mousset’s signing coming after Ravel Morrison, Luke Freeman and Callum Robinson.
However, it looks as if the team are in far more urgent need of a goalkeeper. Wilder spoke of his irritation over the delay of a deal that made sense for all in regards to Phil Jagielka. It seems likely that Dean Henderson will return, but it means that the team will be beholden to the 22 year old’s agent. With just Simon Moore available as a goalkeeper this pre-season, Wilder needs to start looking at his other options.
Everton – Striker
Marco Silva is clearly concerned with trying to reset his situation in terms of centre-backs with Phil Jagielka having departed and there being no clarity over whether he will be able to re-sign Kurt Zouma from Chelsea. As things stand, the four centre-backs available to Silva are Michael Keane, Yerry Mina, Lewis Gibson and Mason Holgate.
However, the team has even bigger problems up front, as they have been short of players since selling Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United two years ago. It will be impossible for them to challenge the Big Six with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Cenk Tosun or Oumar Niasse as their leading front man. Silva appears to be aware of this, since two of the three are up for sale. Richarlison helped to fill in the gaps last season but alone he is not enough.
Manchester United – Central Midfielder
Last season Manchester United’s midfield was slow and stodgy and they have lost the one player who brought some energy to the area. As a result, they are in urgent need of a new midfielder.
The teenager James Garner will be a positive addition this season to Solskjaer’s squad with the manager thinking that he can fill the gap left by Michael Carrick. Furthermore, Fred can be used far more in his second campaign. However, Solskjaer is short of a replacement for Ander Herrera. His main target seems to be Bruno Fernandes, but the team may be haggling too much. If Fernandes stays with Sporting Lisbon then Solskjaer has to find an alternative rather than simply making do.
Arsenal – Winger
Arsenal are doing their best to make £40 million stretch, but so far the closest deal to completion seems to be for William Saliba, an 18 year old centre-back who will be returned to sender for another season. In addition to strengthening Arsenal’s defence, Emery also needs a full-back, a central midfielder and a wide player.
There is some speculation that Ryan Fraser would be a good match, but the team cannot even afford a Bournemouth player a year from free agency. It was reported that Emery was interested in Yacine Brahimi, but even a free agent proved too difficult to sign, with the Algerian now thought to be heading for Qatar having found a club willing to pay the signing-on fee he was asking for. Given all of this, it seems likely that Arsenal will be forced to look for loans and other cut-price options closer to the deadline.
Norwich City – Defensive Midfielder
In direct contrast to Sheffield United, who have already broken their transfer record three times, and the Premier League’s biggest spenders Aston Villa, Norwich have spent very little this summer with Daniel Farke mainly choosing to trust the players who won him the Championship title. He has spent about £1 million, most of it going on Farke boosting his attack with the arrivals of Patrick Roberts and Josep Drmic.
Despite only spending a tiny amount and the fact that much of the team has never played in the Premier League before, there are very few gaps in the Norwich squad. However, one area where they can definitely in prove is in front of the defence, where Farke is currently relying on Tom Trybull and Alex Tettey. The German manager may well stick with the players he has for the first half of the season, similarly at centre-back, unless an affordable option presents itself between now the day before they start their Premier League season when they take on Liverpool at Anfield.
Manchester City – Centre-Back
Pep Guardiola has said that he would like to sign a new centre-back before the start of next season. However, as he demonstrated last summer, he is not the kind of person to go into the market if the right target is not available. However, with Vincent Kompany having left the team, doubts over Nicolas Otamendi’s future, and John Stones’ looking extremely out of sorts during the last few months of last season, it may be a bit of a gamble for Guardiola to begin next season without reinforcing his defensive options.
There are some possible internal solutions. He can afford to move Fernandinho back thanks to the arrival of Rodri. Guardiola has also spoken about “two young players in the second team”, probably Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis, who could fill any gaps. However, with the team wanting to win the Champions League and Liverpool applying pressure domestically, there is little doubt that Guardiola is weaker defensively now than this time last year.