Premier League Big Six squad depth comparison after Liverpool end summer transfer business

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Tuchel Klopp Chelsea Liverpool Credit: PA Images
Tuchel Klopp Chelsea Liverpool Credit: PA Images

Liverpool have apparently finished their transfer business and it’s easy to see why, but every other member of the Big Six has work to do this summer.

Here’s a look at the first and second XIs of each side, without those expected to leave their respective clubs. We were lauding Manchester United’s depth last summer, but we’re definitely not now. 


First XI: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Vieira, Odegaard, Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli

Second XI: Leno, Cedric, Holding, Saliba, Tavares, Lokonga, Xhaka, Smith Rowe, n/a, Balogun, Marquinhos

It’s plain to see why Arsenal are keen on Raphinha. Signing the Brazilian from Leeds and a striker from anywhere must now be the priority for Mikel Arteta. They’ve already strengthened the midfield through the arrival of Fabio Vieira; that area looks fine. As does the centre of defence as they finally look set to enjoy the talents of William Saliba. Cedric Soares and Nuno Tavares as cover for injury-prone full-backs is a worry, mind.


First XI: Mendy, James, Azpilicueta, Silva, Chalobah, Chilwell, Kovacic, Kante, Mount, Havertz, Werner

Second XI: Kepa, n/a, Ampadu, Colwill, Sarr, Kenedy, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Ziyech, Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi

Even if we are to assume both Ethan Ampadu and Levi Colwill are to be part of Thomas Tuchel’s first-team plans next season, which is quite the assumption, Chelsea are still in desperate need of defenders. The club has seen Fikayo Tomori, Marc Guehi, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger leave the club in the last year. That’s talent currently valued at £142m sold for a combined £47m, all of which was spunked last summer on part of a striker they don’t want anymore.

Marcos Alonso also looks set to leave, meaning they need a left-wing-back as well as a couple of centre-backs, unless Kenedy is the answer (he’s not). Their selection of forwards looks great on paper but nowhere else. Raheem Sterling may be the answer; Ousmane Dembele could easily be another problem.


First XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Thiago, Keita, Salah, Nunez, Diaz

Second XI: Kelleher, Ramsay, Matip, Gomez, Tsimikas, Henderson, Milner, Jones, Carvalho, Firmino, Jota

Calvin Ramsay has joined from Aberdeen as Liverpool’s third signing of the summer, after Fabio Carvalho arrived from Fulham, and Darwin Nunez from Benfica for what will be a club-record £85m fee. They’re reportedly done in the transfer market, and that’s probably fair enough – that second team isn’t half-bad.

The midfield may be the only area of slight concern, though it seems they’re willing to wait to land Jude Bellingham.


Manchester City
First XI: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Stones, Cancelo, Rodri, De Bruyne, Silva, Mahrez, Haaland, Foden

Second XI: Steffen, n/a, Laporte, Ake, Zinchenko, n/a, Gundogan, Palmer, Grealish, Alvarez, n/a

City are apparently willing to part with both Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling, which is as good an indication of their strength as any, with Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez arriving to ease their departures. But Pep Guardiola needs a back-up for Rodri and a new left-sided full-back. Kalvin Phillips and Marc Cucurella are the pair he’s after, and he generally gets what he wants.


Manchester United
First XI: De Gea, Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Shaw, Fred, McTominay, Fernandes, Sancho, Ronaldo, Rashford

Second XI: Heaton, n/a, Victor Lindelof, n/a, Telles, Garner, Van de Beek, Mejbri, Elanga, Chong, Garnacho

Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic have already gone, Dean Henderson looks set to leave on loan, while Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Anthony Martial are also thought to be on their way. They’ve “f***ing burned through £1bn” and have a second team of children to show for it. The first team is…older.

Erik ten Hag is right to prioritise the midfield, but every area of that squad needs improving.

Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag in his time at Ajax Credit: PA Images
Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag in his time at Ajax Credit: PA Images


First XI: Lloris, Doherty, Romero, Dier, Davies, Perisic, Bentancur, Bissouma, Son, Kane, Kulusevski

Second XI: Forster, n/a, Tanganga, Rodon, Sanchez, Sessegnon, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Moura, n/a, n/a

Yves Bissouma is a steal for £25m if he stays out of prison and Ivan Perisic looks like a smart move, but Spurs are surely more than “a couple of signings away from having a right go at City and Liverpool”. They definitely need another centre-back, better wing-backs than Emerson Royal and Sergio Reguilon, both of whom have reportedly been told to look for new clubs, and another forward should Steven Bergwijn make his expected return to the Eredivisie. They still need Moura even if they sign Richarlison.


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