Andrea Belotti, Ruben Neves, Emerson Royal

WHAT EACH PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM NEEDS BEFORE THE TRANSFER WINDOW CLOSES THIS SUMMER

The deadline day for this summer’s transfer window is almost upon us. All the Premier League teams have made at least one signing (looking at you ). Norwich City and Watford have invested heavily in new players while have had a surprisingly busy time.

 

 

There have been homecomings, records set and a lot of clamouring from supporters of a particular club for a defensive midfielder. Keeping the enormous activity in mind, FootTheBall names one player that every team should look to sign before the end. With several mid-table teams on a budget, some of these players are currently in the Championship but can have a sizeable impact in the Premier League as mentioned here.

 

ARSENAL

RB: MEHMET ZEKI CELIK

The less said about the Gunners’ start to the new season the better. They have looked vulnerable all over the pitch and one area of particular concern has been right-back. With Hector Bellerin wanting out, Calum Chambers looking utterly out of depth and Cedric Soares being run ragged by Manchester City, this position needs to be sorted out quickly.

 

 

Zeki Celik won Ligue 1 with Lille last season and is a solid presence on both sides of his game. He was one of the “good” performers for Turkey at the Euros and will be an instant upgrade for what Arsenal have right now. Lille are open to letting him go on either a permanent deal or loan with an option to buy for around €12m. Fiorentina are also interested but given Arsenal’s superior financial strength, they can certainly go after him.

 

ASTON VILLA

CM: WESTON MCKENNIE

With Max Allegri back in the hot seat in Turin, McKennie has failed to cement a starting role in Juventus’ starting lineup. The American has been linked with a move away all summer and despite Allegri’s apprehensions of letting him go, the Old Lady will not be able to resist a good offer. Aston Villa can definitely benefit from his experience abroad and he will be able to compete well with the current crop of players.

 

 

Conor Hourihane is set to leave on loan and though Dean Smith trusts Douglas Luiz and John McGinn, he will be happy with a further addition. McKennie is a good passer who likes to get forward and can increase Villa’s threat. They have the cash to spend after Jack Grealish’s transfer which will no doubt be used astutely like it has been so far.

 

BRENTFORD

CDM: GUSTAVO HAMER

One of the most savvy operators in the market due to their esteemed “Moneyball” strategy, the Bees are yet to taste defeat since getting promoted into the Premier League. The one persisting worry remains that they will sometime be overrun in midfield by too many teams which can lead to their downfall. To  counter that, Hamer can be the perfect option, for now and the future. He is the crown jewel for Coventry City and has excellent pace along with ball reading skills to enable interceptions.

 

 

Given the fact that he also takes set-pieces for his team further raises his profile of being a shooter who can set up as well as score goals if the chance arises. No doubt Brentford have the funds to get the deal done and also have enough senior pros to guide Hamer through the initial settling in period.

 

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION

CB: DUJE CALETA-CAR

Having sold Ben White for 50m, the Seagulls do have some amount of money to spend and given how they’re a defender light from last season, this move makes perfect sense. They have four senior central defenders, three of whom play regularly so adding Caleta-Car will only enhance that arsenal.

 

 

Graham Potter’s side are always in danger of slipping into the relegation zone and though they have two wins to their name already, much bigger tests lie ahead. Caleta-Car is a Croatian international who has played the last three seasons with Marseille and featured at Euro 2020.

 

 

The French clubs are looking for money and his position appears under threat as he has not made an appearance this season with William Saliba preferred by new head coach Jorge Sampaoli. Caleta-Car can be eased into the Premier League with the first-choice defenders ahead of him and can see significant game time.

 

BURNLEY

RB: CYRUS CHRISTIE

Sean Dyche’s men have come under fire this season for his usage of some hard tactics which are resulting in some strong challenges. Nevertheless, the Clarets have started off poorly with no wins yet. They have already made a big splash by signing Maxwell Cornet from Lyon and Christie will be the complement to his style.

 

 

Matt Lowton will likely keep the starting spot but Christie has a lot to offer. He is direct in his running and loves to get forward in dangerous places which can lift a stuttering side. Christie has fallen out of favour at Fulham and can be bought on the cheap in a tight market.

 

CB: JULES KOUNDE

A transfer saga that has been going on for sometime now. Thomas Tuchel has been keen to shore up his defensive line and after the departure of Kurt Zouma, a centre-back is even more in demand.

 

 

Though Trevoh Chalobah has progressed well, the Blues have made no secret of their admiration of Kounde. The French defender excelled last season as Sevilla finished 4th and also played at the Euros. A move has been in the works but the final price has been a hindrance. At first, Chelsea tried to sell Zouma to Sevilla plus cash in order to sign Kounde but that failed.

 

 

The difference in valuation of the player can see the deal fall through this summer with Kounde already stating that he will respect his current club and not try to force a move.

 

CRYSTAL PALACE

CDM: SANDER BERGE

The Norwegian midfielder has all the makings of a player whom Patrick Vieira would love to coach. Berge looked right at home in his two seasons in the top-flight with Sheffield United and is one of the first names on the team sheet. He is an imposing figure all-round who can break up fast breaks and is also able to play the killer pass going forward.

 

 

Berge can slot in right in place of James McArthur or Luka Milivojevic in the Palace midfield and at just 23-years-old, has a lot of potential still left to be unlocked. Palace have started the season in a rough manner and need to stop conceding too many goals if they are to put on strong performances which Berge will definitely help with.

 

EVERTON

RB: CONNOR ROBERTS

The Toffees have started strongly under Rafa Benitez with two wins and a draw. Seamus Coleman, their captain, is not getting any younger however and this season seems like the right time to induct a new deputy. Roberts had a solid Euros with Wales and has been earning rave reviews for his extremely matured play since the start of last season.

 

 

Having racked up five goals and seven assists, he helped Swansea City to the Championship Play-Off final and is primed for a move to the Premier League. Roberts will instantly be a much pacier upgrade who is always on the lookout for going forward and helps overload the right flank. Under Benitez, his game will improve further as he very much looks to be top-class player soon.

 

LEEDS UNITED

CM: LEWIS O’BRIEN

Marcelo Bielsa’s side have not had the best of starts and were trounced 5-1 by arch-rivals on opening weekend. Kalvin Philips was absent for that and Leeds’ record without their linchpin, the dropoff in quality in midfield is staggering. That is why they have been in the market for an able deputy but are struggling to get a deal done.

 

 

Leeds passed on signing Harry Winks from Spurs on loan citing his lack of first-team minutes since last season and have had looks at O’Brien who plays for Huddersfield Town. The 22-year-old has been a regular over the past two seasons and looks ready to make the step up under a manager who is known to demand the best out of his players.

 

LEICESTER CITY

WINGER: ADEMOLA LOOKMAN

The Foxes have brought in some good acquisitions and with Harvey Barnes also fit, the left flank is taken care of. The other side is what causes a bit of worry with Ayoze Perez not looking entirely sharp in his appearances so far.

 

 

Lookman will be an instant upgrade as he has been performing well across all of his clubs and has Premier League experience with Fulham and Everton. Leipzig are willing to let him go on loan as he will not be a starter there and under Brendan Rodgers, he can continue his development to become a really solid player. Marc Albrighton will provide the veteran presence for Lookman who can slot in seamlessly in Leicester’s setup and provide a more persistent threat through matches.

 

LIVERPOOL

CAM: DANI OLMO

Despite the Reds’ apparent satisfaction with the current squad which is reflected in them not replacing Gini Wijnaldum, an attacking midfielder is something they can really do with.

 

 

Neither of their current trio of Jordan Henderson, Harvey Elliot or Fabinho are particularly adept at making runs into the box and providing a consistent goal-threat from midfield. That is where Olmo comes in as one of the best in his class. With five goals and nine assists last season, the Spanish playmaker shone for his country at the Euros and the Tokyo Olympics.

 

 

Olmo loves to take on defenders and beat them which is something that bodes well for Liverpool’s attackers up top. Furthermore, his penchant for trickery and making good runs will help in another title charge for Jurgen Klopp and co.

 

MANCHESTER CITY

ST: ANDREA BELOTTI

The Cityzens have had a transfer window to remember and forget. After signing Jack Grealish for a British record 100 million, they have struggled all summer with replacing Sergio Aguero as the search for a striker goes on. Harry Kane was considered too pricey and Daniel Levy was in no mood to relent. Lionel Messi ended up signing with PSG.

 

 

The craziest reports came of Cristiano Ronaldo wanting a move to the Etihad but City’s reluctance to pay a transfer fee coupled with their neighbours also entering the race meant that the Portuguese was not switching allegiances. Belotti is a physically dominant striker who is equally good in the air as well as with the ball at his feet.

 

 

He is the one shining light for Torino and has been Italy’s number two striker for a while. Belotti will be much more of a target man than either Ferran Torres or Gabriel Jesus and is also much better at finishing which makes this a pretty viable deal.

 

MANCHESTER UNITED

CDM: RUBEN NEVES

The one position the supporters have been wanting to see a change in since a long, long time. United’s preferred duo of Fred and Scott McTominay have been broken up due to the latter’s injury which has led to Nemanja Matic filling in. The Serbian was replaced by Paul Pogba alongside Fred and the duo were absolutely bulldozed all game long by Wolves in their last encounter.

 

 

Adama Traore beat Fred multiple times as the Brazilian struggled and failed to contain him while Pogba’s natural game was disrupted in a defensive role. The perfect player for them to fill the void was playing in the opposition. Neves put up a masterclass in how to both defend the backline as well as go forward when the opportunity arises.

 

 

He was quicker in getting to the second ball and was calm while making his tackles. The Red Devils can certainly do with a player of his calibre if they are to win the title this season.

 

NEWCASTLE UNITED

CDM: HAMZA CHOUDHARY

It has been a summer of discontent for Newcastle fans as they have only managed to sign one top-class player who had a spectacular half season on loan. They have been conceding goals cheaply as evidenced by a 90+6′ equaliser to on Saturday. Choudhary has been a bit-part player since his arrival at Leicester City but has the making of a first-team regular.

 

 

He is quick and has an uncanny sense of timing his challenges well. Though he is not the most physical of players, the fact that he has protection in the midfield will allow him to drop deep and join in the defence if necessary too.

 

NORWICH CITY

ST: GRADY DIANGANA

The newcomers are finding life difficult once again, given they have become something of a “yo-yo” team in between the two divisions. Norwich need goals and only relying on Teemu Pukki will not help. Diangana is an exciting talent who is known for getting into good positions and taking shots well.

 

 

Though he is mostly deployed as a winger, he has the abilities to play as the sole man up top or be paired with another striker. Furthermore, his pace in behind and close ball control skills will also help in escaping defenders and helping his teammates attack together.

 

SOUTHAMPTON

CAM: DAVID BROOKS

The Saints have started the new season in a good if unremarkable fashion. Two successive draws and three goals is nothing bad but things could get a lot worse. Adam Armstrong has started his career well and signing Brooks will be the perfect gift for him. The Welshman has already netted thrice and looks set to be one of the Championship’s most important players, if no team comes for him.

 

 

That will be a mistake by the Saints given how they can pair Brooks up with James Ward-Prowse with the two able to unlock most defences on their day. Brooks is also able to play in behind the striker which can give Ward-Prowse a free role to wreak havoc in midfield.

 

RB: EMERSON ROYAL

Spurs have already had their greatest success of the season by keeping Harry Kane and the fact that they are leading the table right now comes after. Nevertheless, right-back is an area where there has been a lot of chopping and changing since last season.

 

 

Serge Aurier’s play has fallen considerably with him prone to making mistakes and going into rash challenges. Matt Doherty has looked the shadow of the player he was for Wolves in 2019-20 and needs a lot of extra work. With Japhet Tanganga still developing his game, Emerson will be an able starter who can provide stability.

 

 

He was a regular with Real Betis last season in their top-six finish and is a player who loves to get forward. Apart from that, Emerson also exhibits a cool head and willingness to get tight with his man which will enable the covering defenders to get back in shape. A nice signing all things considered.

 

WATFORD

ST: DIVOCK ORIGI

Like the Canaries, Watford know that they will need goals and a lot of it if they are to continue in the Premier League for next season. With the impending departures of Andre Gray and club legend Troy Deeney, the importance of a proven striker is immense. Origi is already a cult hero at Liverpool but has found game time limited simply because of the world-class nature of the options ahead of him.

 

 

He will provide an instant upgrade for the Hornets and his intelligent running coupled with sharp movement will allow the players in behind to flourish as well. Though Liverpool might have some hesitation in selling him, a good enough offer should entice them to bite the bullet.

 

WEST HAM UNITED

LB: NICHOLAS TAGLIAFICO

The Hammers currently sit 2nd on the back of Michail Antonio’s brilliant start to the season and their summer could get even better. While talks are on regarding the possible transfer of Jesse Lingard, the left-back position is something that the team is keen to shore up. Tagliafico will be a fantastic addition given his experience with Ajax in the Netherlands and Europe.

 

 

Furthermore, he was also part of the Argentina squad that clinched gold at Copa America 2021. Tagliafico is a solid passer of the ball along with having a strong physical presence. Though he does venture forward, his tracking back is highly commendable as he can be found marking his man well and not committing to challenges until the last moment.

 

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS

CB: TOSIN ADARABIOYO

Bruno Lage’s side have had no luck this season, losing three games straight despite racking up almost double the xG of their opponents. Wolves lack of clinical finishing aside, they can also do with a new centre-back to freshen things up.

 

 

Max Kilman has looked like the player who needs more minutes at a lower level while Willy Boly has been completely overlooked so far. After seeing their approach for Sven Botman shut down, they are now weighing up their options with Adarabioyo a likely candidate. The Fulham defender is young at 23-years-old but has already made more than a 100 career appearances including in the Premier League.

 

 

He is quick player who can carry the ball well out of the defence and even start attacks through his sharp passing. Wolves have the resources to make this deal happen and the Cottagers will be hard pressed to turn it down.

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