Every Premier League team's priority to address in the summer transfer window

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·11-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Every Premier League team's most urgent priority to address before next season - Custom image
Every Premier League team's most urgent priority to address before next season - Custom image

With no summer tournament and the prospect of five substitutes and winter World Cup next season, it promises to be a busy transfer window as teams move to bolster their squads.

Business has already started with Liverpool announcing the long-awaited arrival of Fulham midfielder Fabio Carvalho and Aston Villa signing Marseille defensive midfielder Boubacar Kamara on a free transfer.

Kylian Mbappe's decision to stay at Paris Saint-Germain rather than join Real Madrid could also have wider consequences for the market.

Arsenal

Arsenal need to buy at least one top-class centre-forward, if not two. Arteta has not yet signed a striker in his time as Arsenal’s manager, largely because of the presence in the squad of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, and they cannot afford to get this decision wrong. They are not alone in searching for forwards, though. There will be intense competition for top talent, with Manchester United and West Ham United also in the market for a No 9. It is a potentially pivotal moment in Arteta’s project and it could shape their medium-term future as a club.

Aston Villa

Improving the spine of the team is Steven Gerrard's intention. Having already signed the highly-rated defensive midfielder Boubacar Kamara from Marseille on a five-year deal, they are also pursuing a new centre-back and a forward. Getting Kamara so early this summer is a major coup: that position has been Villa's priority since returning to the Premier League and Gerrard believes he will bring a new dimension to his team, and enable others - such as John McGinn - to flourish.

Brentford

Keeping Christian Eriksen. There can be no overestimating the Denmark international’s influence on this campaign, with the team struggling horribly in the weeks prior to his arrival. He has added composure and class in the midfield, as well as the valuable ability to create goalscoring chances out of nothing. The problem is that other teams will be able to offer European football to the 30-year-old, and bigger wages, but there is hope within the club that he might commit to another season at least. He is the sort of player who will help Brentford to establish themselves as one of the league’s most ambitious clubs.

Brighton

Brighton’s long hunt for a reliable goalscorer will continue into this summer’s transfer window, as it remains the obvious weakness in their team. Their numerous attacking midfielders are among the best in the league at creating chances but Brighton have not yet found a forward who can consistently convert those opportunities into goals. Strikers are not easy to find but Brighton should have money to spend, having made £50million on Ben White last summer and with Yves Bissouma likely to leave the club before the start of next season. If Marc Cucurella is sold, he will command a significant transfer fee.

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Graham Potter and Marc Cucurella celebrate after the match - Reuters
Brighton & Hove Albion manager Graham Potter and Marc Cucurella celebrate after the match - Reuters

Burnley

Burnley’s biggest issue is safeguarding the future of the club full stop given the catastrophic effect relegation is likely to have on their finances. On the field, the priority is to hire a new manager to lift spirits and to navigate the slog that is the Championship - assuming Michael Jackson is not handed the reins on a permanent basis, which seems unlikely - and then a total rebuild from front to back, testing how good the new regime is in the transfer market. James Tarkowski leaving means a centre-back leader is a priority.

Chelsea

The defence. With Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen both leaving, and Cesar Azpilicueta possibly following them out of the exit door, Tuchel will be forced to reshape his defence with at least two new signings this summer. It will not be easy, either with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur also in the market for a left-sided central defender. There is also the issue of what to do about Romelu Lukaku. One school of thought inside Chelsea is that he could benefit from a full pre-season working under Tuchel. Another, more prevalent among supporters, is that he should be sold.

Crystal Palace

Keeping hold of young stars such as Marc Guehi and Michael Olise who will inevitably be attracting admirers elsewhere has to be the top priority: a new deal for the winger is already understood to be under discussion. Elsewhere, decisions must be made over who should be kept. Wilfried Zaha’s current deal expires next summer and Palace are expected to make him an offer to effectively end his career at the club, while Nathaniel Clyne also deserves an extension. Other senior players such as Christian Benteke, Luka Milivojevic and Cheikou Kouyate could leave, but do not expect many incomings: a central midfielder, possibly Cheick Doucoure from Lens, and one or two loans are likely.

Hassane Kamara of Watford FC battles for possession with Michael Olise of Crystal Palace during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Watford - GETTY IMAGES
Hassane Kamara of Watford FC battles for possession with Michael Olise of Crystal Palace during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Watford - GETTY IMAGES

Everton

Everton’s solution in the past has been to throw money at their problems, but whether they will be in a position to spend quite as much this summer is more open to debate. Their defence has creaked alarmingly all season so players with a presence are needed right across the backline to give their talented attackers a chance to go and win games, but just as pressing a priority might be trying to shed some of the dead wood which has clogged up the squad for too long. That, however, is easier said than done.

Leeds United

Now that safety has been assured, Leeds will need to ensure their squad limitations are addressed, while also keeping their best players. While that might not be possible with Raphinha, who seems Barcelona bound, they need to do everything possible to hang on to Kalvin Phillips, who has attracted interest from a clutch of top clubs. Jack Harrison is also believed to be weighing up his options. Investment is also key: the San Francisco 49ers are likely to push for a complete takeover this summer, and will be expected to stump up more cash than the previous regime.

Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips celebrates after teammate Raphinha scores their first goal - Reuters
Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips celebrates after teammate Raphinha scores their first goal - Reuters

Leicester City

Quality over quantity will be the key for Leicester this summer. Manager Brendan Rodgers wants at least three signings who will go straight into his starting XI. To take the club forward, he needs a new centre-back, creative midfielder and right winger. It will not be easy, however, with funds limited and a top-heavy squad which needs trimming.

Liverpool

A squad that has come as close as any team in English football history to winning every major trophy in a season hardly needs major upgrades, so the priority will be keeping the stars who shine the brightest. The contracts of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are the most pressing issues, given both are entering their final years, but the club are adamant they will not demolish the wage structure that would elevate either way beyond the likes of Virgil van Dijk. With Jurgen Klopp’s future already secured, Liverpool could yet add to the squad from a position of strength with young, hungry players: Fabio Carvalho has already joined from Fulham.

Manchester City

They have already achieved it by striking a £51 million deal to sign the prolific Norway striker, Erling Haaland, from Borussia Dortmund, a reflection of how well the club is run. After walking away from a move for Harry Kane last summer, the priority has been to acquire a long-term successor to Sergio Aguero and now they have done that the focus will be on finding a replacement for their departing captain Fernandinho. City are also looking to strength in the full-back position. Despite Pep Guardiola’s insistence that he will wait until the end of next season to make a decision on his future, it would not be a surprise if the club attempt to twist his arm. Failing that, they will need a contingency plan in place in the event Guardiola did decide to walk next summer.

Manchester United

United must drastically improve recruitment and undertake a ruthless cull of the existing, bloated, demotivated, underperforming squad, something that has been mooted for years but never materialised. United will not get markedly better until they learn from past failures and start identifying better players and characters who fit a clear system and style of play. Erik Ten Hag will also need to prove much more adept at developing talent than his predecessors and be unafraid to move players on. The futures of around a dozen players are uncertain although the high wages earned by some could complicate efforts to sell. Ten Hag ideally ideally wants a couple of midfielders, a versatile forward and a centre-half. United are also on the look-out for a right back in the event Aaron Wan-Bissaka is moved on, either on loan or permanently.

Manchester United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Manchester United - AP
Manchester United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Manchester United - AP

Newcastle United

Eddie Howe and his coaching staff know that this squad has over performed since the end of January and the club want to improve in several areas. Recruitment is going to be key with two attacking players, a left back and a centre back the priority areas. The budget, though, is not as large as people think and there needs to be a big clearout of the squad too with as many as eight to 10 players likely to be shipped out. If Newcastle want to progress into a top eight side they need upgrades in all departments.

Norwich City

The theory is that Norwich are too nice and cosy to play against, so Dean Smith will be determined to bring in some battle-hardened players with experience. Norwich have achieved promotion from the Championship in two of the last three seasons but Smith needs time to build a squad in his own image. Many changes are expected, with all of the loan players returning to their parent clubs.

Southampton

The longer-term context ever since Ralph Hasenhuttl succeeded Mark Hughes in 2018 has been a severely limited budget. The club’s new owners need to provide an injection of resources that mean adding consistent goals in attack. Only James Ward-Prowse has amassed more than 10 so far this season. Danny Ings was sold last summer but the two permanent attacking signings - Adam Armstrong and Theo Walcott - have scored only two between them. Armando Broja arrived on loan from Chelsea and has shown considerable promise. His permanent signing would be a significant statement of intent and it is also crucial that the club resist the inevitable outside interest in Ward-Prowse.

Tottenham Hotspur

The priority has to be keeping Antonio Conte, pure and simple. Daniel Levy and Fabio Paratici must demonstrate that the aim at Tottenham is not simply to fight for a top-four place each season, but to build a squad capable of attempting to fight for trophies, most probably the cup competitions to start with. That will not only involve heavy financial investment, but allowing Conte to choose which players are moved on and how the club operates on the football side. Paratici will fly to Italy this week to talk to Conte about just those issues, and is likely to promise that he can make six signings, with targets including the likes of Christian Eriksen, Alesandro Basstoni, Gleison Bremer, Djed Spence, James Ward-Prowse, Fraser Forster and Gabriel Jesus. Conte can be famously difficult to satisfy and his demands generally increase once he feels he has exceeded expectations.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte applauds fans after the match - Reuters
Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte applauds fans after the match - Reuters

Watford

Working out exactly what the club stands for would be a good start. A constant whirl of managers and churn of players has left Watford bereft of identity, a point underlined by how they have been managed by Xisco, Claudio Ranieri and Roy Hodgson all in the same season - coaches with utterly conflicting ideologies. The new man, Rob Edwards, will need to oversee an overhaul of the squad, with the likes of Ismaila Sarr and Emmanuel Dennis likely to leave. Younger, hungrier players, coalescing around a distinct style and plan, surely has to be the priority.

West Ham United

David Moyes is only interested in signing players who will take the team to another level, and there will be money to spend in the coming months. A new centre-forward is an obvious priority for West Ham, who have Michail Antonio in their attack but few other options at the moment. Antonio is an important player but he clearly needs support, and his injury record is a cause for concern. Declan Rice’s future is another important issue, although at this stage it is hard to see any potential buyers offering the sort of money that West Ham are demanding (around £150million).

Wolves

In fairness to Bruno Lage, funds have been limited and he knows where he wants to strengthen the squad in the summer. A goalscorer to ease the pressure on Raul Jimenez is a priority, while tweaks to his defence are needed to suit his style of play. Fosun, the owners, are under scrutiny over the lack of recent investment and it is a huge summer for them, as much as it is for Lage.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting