With the 2016/17 Premier League season over, we can now start to look ahead to the next campaign. This is a look at all 19 confirmed Premier League teams and what their top priority for the summer transfer window should be.
Newcastle and Brighton will replace Sunderland and Middlesbrough but Hull will be left out without a predicted replacement.
Despite Arsenal having sufficient talent in every position on the pitch, the Gunners will be without Champions League football. Arsene Wenger’s past exploits in London can never be taken away, but it seems that he has not been able to keep up with the way modern football is played.
His team is dysfunctional and never seems to utilize enough of it’s immense talent. The Frenchman toys with his squad far too deep into the season, is naive in the transfer market and has trouble managing egos.
Between a divided fanbase and an underachieving team, a change at the helm is certainly on the cards for Arsenal this summer.
Bournemouth have had a great campaign and arguably have had the best results to talent ratio out of any team in the league. They have thrived on discipline and reliability. But if they were to add some spark to their attack they may be able to take more points off of better opposition. A talented wing man that can be an “X-factor” could serve them well.
As with every club that gets promoted, Brighton and Hove Albion need to make quite a few improvements to their side if they want to stay for more than a year. Sebastian Pocognoli has been their starting left-back at the end of this season but he is only on loan from West Brom. Signing him permanently could be an option but either way Brighton need a Premier League quality full-back on that side among other things.
Michael Keane is almost certainly leaving Burnley this summer and Ben Mee is not totally safe either. Burnley is a team built around their rigid defence and organization. They will need to make sure the centre-back position is solid in order to keep building the rest of their team.
Now, the defending champions do not need much, but if Diego Costa leaves, his goals will certainly need to be replaced. Costa’s future is uncertain and Mitchy Batshuayi is not quite at a high enough level to be the main man. A new forward would all but ensure a strong title defence season for Antonio Conte’s team.
Jason Puncheon is a very good and underrated player but with the potent forwards at Palace there needs to be as much chance creation as possible. Another talented string puller to compliment Zaha, Townsend, Cabaye, and Puncheon would do Benteke and/or Remy the world of good up top.
Palace should also make retaining Mahmadou Sakho a priority seeing as he basically single handedly saved them from relegation this season.
Ashley Williams has continued to be a solid Premier League defender but Phil Jagielka is aging and Funes Mori’s future at the club is uncertain. A new centre-back partner for Williams would be a well advised investment for the club.
Ronald Koeman has done well in developing the youth on Merseyside and if Lukaku does leave, Everton will surely get a heavy transfer fee so the club is looking in very good shape.
Leicester had a relatively dissappointing campaign but it was not from a lack of attacking talent. The probable reasons for their drop in form were losing Kante, an aging defence, and broken team chemistry. Getting the likes of Fuchs, Huth, and Morgan some cover could solve at least one of those problems.
This may be the most obvious need of any team in the league. James Milner has, to be fair, done pretty well for being thrown into the position. But, to put it simply, Liverpool are never going to challenge for a title with James Milner playing full-back.
City’s current fullback options are Zabaleta (32), Clichy (31), Kolorov (31), and Sagna (34). None of them are particularly consistent or healthy and they will only be older next year. City needs to consolidate and improve their situation on both defensive flanks if they want another title.
Another glaring need for City is in central defence. John Stones is laughably overrated and Otamendi is far from world class.
On paper, United has a title worthy squad. A terrifyingly talented attacking midfielder would really tie things together and Juan Mata has not really got the job done.
James Rodriguez has been heavily rumoured with United and seems like the perfect fit. United have not exactly lived up to any sort of hype in the past 5 years or so, but a potential midfield of Herrera, Pogba, and James would be tough to defend against.
Newcastle plowed through the Championship this year and Rafa Benitez deserves a huge amount of credit. They already have a very good squad, it is really just a matter of staying consistent. A reliable forward that can play in the middle or out wide could ease the pressure on some of the less initiated players like Gayle, Atsu, and Ayoze Perez who are not used to having large roles in a Premier Leaugue club.
Claude Puel insists that Virgil van Dijk is staying on at Southampton but not many people seem to believe him. Without van Dijk the Saints would be left very thin in central defence with Maya Yoshida and Caceres being their best option. Yoshida, Caceres and the younger options at the club are solid but they are a long shot off the van Dijk/Jose Fonte combo that made Southampton so solid this season.
Shaqiri and Arnautovic are a fantastic duo and they have options that can be tested up top. With all that potential going forward, Stoke could use some quality besides Joe Allen in the midfield. Glenn Whelan is at the twilight of his career and Imbula and Geoff Cameron do not seem to be the answer. A good, energetic midfielder could be wildly effective on those cold rainy nights in Stoke.
Angel Rangel is at the end of his Premier League career and Kyle Naughton does not comfort those relegation worries in Wales. Hopefully for the Swans Paul Clement can provide some stability, and a new right back would certainly help.
Spurs seem to be just one slice of the pie away from that title. They are quality from top to bottom and one more attacking player could put them over the edge. A winger of the quality of Douglas Costa or Lorenzo Insigne is what they should be looking for.
Technichally speaking Penaranda is already Watford’s player. He was on loan at Málaga in La Liga. But the fear is that he will want to leave due to being loaned out on a consistent basis so much but never actually getting in a game for Watford.
He had limited playing time for Málaga in the league but he is only 19 and passes every scouts eye test. He can play all along the front line and has a real knack for making things happen. Catch him at the u20 World Cup for Venezuela this month.
When Nacer Chadli joined West Brom they instantly started playing more attractive football. The club had a great season but adding another creative player could make them an even bigger threat and get potent striker Solomon Rondon in on the goals.
West Ham did not live up to expectations this season but they have a chance to start over and build around Manuel Lanzini and a solid defence. Carroll, Calleri, and the Hammers’ other forwards showed virtually no consistency so a reliable source of goals would go an especially long way in London next year.