Looking at some big summer transfers
Chelsea has just about wrapped up the Premier League title, which means for the other 17 teams their main concern is now the summer transfer window. We’re going to look at the other teams in the top 5 and determine what needs they need to be filled, and which players can help with that. So, let’s get into it.
Tottenham: Goal scoring and defense are not a problem. Star striker Harry Kane has netted 21 goals this season, with teammate Dele Alli notching 17 of his own. Beyond that, Tottenham has the highest goal differential in the league at 48, meaning that not only does Tottenham stuff the ball in their opponent’s’ net, but they are very careful to let in few goals themselves. So what can help this team rise to the top of the league, but more importantly, to stay there? The simple answer is depth. Tottenham have had their fair share of injuries this season, and depth will help the London club hold onto that top spot. A solid pickup would be young defender Michael Keane. While Keane is not on Tottenham’s radar, maybe because of the year left on his contract, Burnley are going to look at moving him before he leaves after next season. Keane has started every game this season for the 14th place club, and at only 24 he will become an important fixture on a big club soon. Another helpful signing could be striker Daniel Sturridge. Rumors of the striker leaving Liverpool have been coming out in droves lately, and who better to have on the bench in case Kane were to suffer another injury?
Liverpool: As a Reds fan myself, every season gives me more reason to believe I might be a masochist. While the Reds usually play very impressive soccer, with crisp passes and an almost surgical dismantling of teams, for every 4-3 victory over Arsenal in London, there is a 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace at Anfield. One of the more maddening teams to watch in Europe, what can fix Liverpool? The cynics at Merseyside will say nothing, and I am inclined to agree, the obvious solution is the same as the cure for Tottenham’s issues, and that is depth. Liverpool have also been plagued with injury, most notably Jordan Henderson being missing since February. The Reds need players, especially with European soccer almost guaranteed to come to Anfield. Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk is the main target on Liverpool’s radar, and for good reason. Liverpool’s starting center backs Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip have both missed time this season, and with the backups being slower Lucas Leiva and older Ragnar Klavan, the ability to switch between Lovren, Matip, and van Dijk will change the way the club plays, allowing midfielders to play much more aggressively, if that’s even possible for the Reds. Another important transfer target is RB Leipzig star Naby Keita, who is being heavily pursued by Liverpool and Chelsea. Keita has scored seven times in 29 appearances this season as a 2-way midfielder, making him a valuable asset to sign.
Manchester City: It took City some time to find their feet under new boss Pep Guardiola, but once they did they had a relatively City-like season. Sitting in fourth place and one point behind third place Liverpool, City is on the cusp of achieving another title win. Players like Kevin De Bruyne, who leads the league in assists with 15, Yaya Toure, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, and Vincent Kompany are continually bright spots on the team. However, Toure and Kompany, along with Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy, Fernandinho, and David Silva are no longer young players, all of them being 31 or older. If City has any problem, it’s their players’ age, meaning the squad needs to get younger. Again, Michael Keane would be the ideal signing for City, since Kompany, Zabaleta, and Clichy are all defenders. Beyond that, the most important player to bring in would be former keeper Joe Hart. Willy Caballero and Claudio Bravo have both disappointed this season, and it might be time to give the English netminder another shot.
Manchester United: United are also under a new boss, with this season being Jose Mourinho’s first in Manchester. United face a similar problem as City, although not on the same level. Players such as Ashley Young, Wayne Rooney, Antonio Valencia, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are all above age 30, with Zlatan being age 35. However, the squad possesses two impressive younger forwards in Marcus Rashford, 19, and Anthony Martial, 21. Both youngsters are set to take the place of Rooney and Ibrahimovic, leaving no issue at forward. At midfield, players such as Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Ander Herrera, and Paul Pogba are all in the prime of their careers, and should be ready to go for another few years each. The biggest question might be Antonio Valencia on defense, but United is not short on replacements.
With European soccer on the horizon for all four of these teams, Manchester United seems to be in the best spot of the four, and after a season or two under Mourinho, the club should be a serious contender for the Premier League title.