Now that the European Championships are over and we are still weeks away from the Premier League starting, the only exciting football news right now is the transfer window.
It is the time for promoted clubs to sign some players to help them stay up and challenge, time for mid table clubs to add some depth to their squad and time for top clubs to trim the fat and add some extra quality as they battle amongst one another for top spot.
We are still six weeks away from deadline day, so there will be no rushed last minute deals done just yet, but let’s take a look at what deals have already been done and what clubs should be looking for.
Note – these are not extensive transfers, just what I deem significant with regards to the club and their league and cup campaign this season. A comprehensive list can be found on – http://www.skysports.com/football/transfer-deals. All information is correct as of 14th July 2016.
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Manager: Arsene Wenger
In – Takuma Asan (Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Undisc); Granit Xhaka (Borussia Monchengladbach, £34m)
Out – Mikel Arteta (Released); Mathieu Flamini (Released); Tomas Rosicky (Released)
What/Who should they buy? – A striker, Alexandre Lacazette, Alvaro Morata or Gonzalo Higuain
Having been linked with, and snubbed by, Jamie Vardy, Arsene Wenger will need to look at a striker for this forthcoming season to provide cover for the injured Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud, who has been given time off after his international escapades. Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette seems to be of interest, but Arsenal will have to pay a hefty fee believed to be around £40m. Another rumoured move involving young German winger Julian Draxler has been mentioned, which would definitely see a move away from the club for either Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Theo Walcott should it happen. A defensive addition may also be required should Laurent Koscielny or Per Mertesacker pick up a lengthy injury.
Manager: Eddie Howe
In – Nathan Ake (Chelsea, Loan); Lewis Cook (Leeds United, £10m); Emerson Hyndman (Fulham, £750k); Lys Mousset (Le Havre, £5.4m)
Out – Sylvain Distin (Released); Tommy Elphick (Aston Villa, £3m); Glenn Murray (Brighton, Loan); Matt Ritchie (Newcastle, Undisc)
What/Who should they buy? – Central Defender
Eddie Howe has been linked with the vacant England position, but that has not stopped him bolstering his squad to try and go one better than last season. The return of injured Callum Wilson will surely feel like a new signing if he can repeat his goal scoring efforts from the start of the last campaign. The signing of Jordon Ibe from Liverpool seems imminent and fans will hope he lives up to the £15m fee. The Cherries have also loaned Chelsea youngster Nathan Ake who supposedly wishes to play in central midfield, so we’ll see how that goes.
Manager: Sean Dyche
Out – Joey Barton (Rangers, Free)
What/Who should they buy? – Midfielder, Jeff Hendrick
Back in the premiership and looking to stay there. The only major outgoing has been the controversial character Joey Barton, as Burnley have managed to keep hold of promising youngster Michael Keane and haven’t had any approaches for last year’s top goalscorers Andre Gray and Sam Vokes. An apparent £3m bid for Derby and Northern Ireland’s Jeff Hendrick has been rejected, but if they do manage to land the young midfielder then that would seriously improve their squad. Similar to a lot of clubs this year, Sean Dyche needs to add a combination of squad depth and first team quality. A £2.5m transfer for Iceland international Johann Berg Gudmundsson looks to be close to a done deal which is a step in the right direction.Embed from Getty Images
Manager: Antonio Conte
In – Michy Batshuayi (Marseille, £33m), N’Golo Kante, Leicester City, £32m)
Out – Nathan Ake (Bournemouth, Loan); Marco Amelia (Released); Lewis Baker (Vitesse Arnhem, Loan); Mitchell Beeney (Crawley, Loan); Reece Mitchell (Chesterfield, Free); Charly Musonda (Real Betis, Loan); Tika Musonda (Released); Nathan (Vitesse Arnhem (Loan); Stipe Perica (Udinese, £3.2m); Kevin Wright (Released)
What/Who should they buy? – Central Midfielder, Andre Gomes or Axel Witsel
The list of players here is not necessarily anyone of any significance, but it highlights Chelsea’s criticised loan policy. The addition of Michy Batshuayi could see the end of Diego Costa, unless Antonio Conte favours two strikers, in which case we could see midfielders Nemanja Matic or Cesc Fabregas forced out. Fabregas will also feel under pressure due to the arrivial of France midfield workhorse N’Golo Kante, who is setting up shop at Stamford Bridge. Similar to Arsenal, Chelsea may need to look for defensive reinforcements to slowly phase out the old guard of John Terry and Gary Cahill.
Manager: Alan Pardew
In – Steve Mandanda (Marseille, Undisc); James Tomkins (West Ham, £10m); Andros Townsend (Newcastle, £13m)
Out – Emmanuel Adebayor (Released); Marouane Chamakh (Released); Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United, Undisc); Brede Hangeland (Released)
What/Who should they buy? – Striker, Christian Benteke
Palace have made some big statements this window by signing some first team quality additions. Alan Pardew will hope his team can repeat the first half of last season and hold out a little better this time. With Andros Townsend joining the likes of Wilfred Zaha, Yannick Bolasie and Euro 2016 semi-finalist Joe Ledley, they will have a potent midfield orchestrated by Yohan Cabaye. An attacking player should be next on the list and having missed out on Michy Batshuayi, Pardew may turn his attention to Liverpool’s Christian Benteke or West Brom’s Saido Berahino.
Manager: Ronald Koeman
In – Maarten Stekelenburg (Fulham, Undisc)
Out – Tony Hibbert (Released); Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids, Free); Leon Osman (Released); Steven Pienaar (Released)
What/Who should they buy? – Central Defender, Kalidou Koulibaly
Everton have been linked with more departures than arrivals this year. John Stones is almost certainly off to Manchester City to work under Pep Guardiola for a fee believed to be around £50m, which would be a world record transfer fee for a defender. Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley are both likely to move away before the season starts as well. If/when those three do move on to pastures new, Koeman will have quite a task on his hand to replace them. Newcastle’s Georginio Wijnaldum has been highlighted as a key transfer target and Juan Mata has been linked to the Toffee’s since Jose Mourinho’s arrival at Manchester United, but it has been otherwise quiet in the blue part of Merseyside. Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly is hot property at the moment and could be the perfect replacement for Stones. The addition of Maarten Stekelenburg is a more than adequate stand-in for Tim Howard, but Everton fan’s will hope for a bit more bulk in the middle of their team.Embed from Getty Images
Manager: Steve Bruce
What/Who should they buy? – Someone. Anyone. Hal Robson-Kanu maybe?
Not much to report on the premiership new boys. New deals for Tom Huddlestone, Ahmed Elmohamady and goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic is all the news that the Tiger’s fans have to talk about. Perhaps this is due to Steve Bruce being another man linked with the England job, or maybe there is nothing that needs to be added to the play off winners… Recent links with Wales hero Hal Robson-Kanu look promising, but surely some first team quality is needed to survive in the top flight.
Manager: Claudio Ranieri
In – Luis Hernandez (Sporting Gijon, Free); Nampalys Mendy (Nice, Undisc); Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, £16m); Raul Uche Rubio (Rayo Vallecano, Undsic); Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96, Undisc)
Out – Paul Konchesky (Released); Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim, £7.6m); Mark Schwarzer (Released), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea, £32m)
What/Who should they buy? – Someone with Champions League experience, expect a curveball
In the age of big spending Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, it’s not often that you see ‘club-record fee of £16m’ and ‘premiership champions’ together in the same sentence, but that’s what we have seen with the signing of Ahmed Musa. The new £100,000 a week contract accepted by Jamie Vardy is sure to be as good as a new signing for the Foxes, as well as keeping a hold of Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo so far, despite Chelsea looking to open their wallet for the latter. The signing of Nampalys Mendy looks to be a direct replacement for Kante, so Ranieri may already be preparing for the exit of the Frenchman. Whilst the champions had a winning formula last year, it is hard to imagine that team winning against the likes of Barcelona, Juventus and PSG in the Champion’s League. Will we see Ranieri add some serious quality before the window closes?
Part Two Coming soon…
JG, The Sweeper Football Blog