Transfers Every English Premier League Club MUST Make

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Arsenal

Last season was another trophy less failure for the gunners but they managed to retain their seemingly permanent place in the Champions League. Arsenal found themselves in a position to seriously challenge for the league but had a late season calamity and fell out of the top 3. The Carling Cup final was an embarrassment.

Wenger has promised signings but so far we have only seen 10.5 million pound Gervinho and 1 million pound Jenkinson come into the squad. Arsenal’s greatest issue is their defence and the fragility that has plagued this side over the past few seasons. Wenger must loosen the purse strings and spend the money to bring in Everton’s Phil Jagielka as well as Bolton’s Gary Cahill to partner Tomas Vermaelen in the centre of the defence and provide depth to a suspect position. Arsenal still need a true striker to partner Robin van Persie up front. Gervinho is a hybrid striker, more similar to Theo Walcott, and Arsenal should look to bring in either of Real Madrid’s out of favour strikers in Karim Benzema or Higuain. An experienced goal keeper and possibly a true winger are other positions Arsenal should look to strengthen, and an experienced midfielder like Scott Parker would do wonders for the psyche of the team. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Arsene Wenger is still in charge.

Aston Villa

Villa finished 9th last season, a relatively disappointing result for a fringe European club with aspirations to become a permanent feature in the big leagues. They made the record signing of Darren Bent which vastly helped the attack of the club but have lost long time starters Ashley Young and Stuart Downing to Manchester United and Liverpool respectively. Charles N’Zogbia has been rumoured to be a target and he is a must considering the loss of Downing. Young will be very difficult to replace but Scott Parker has been rumoured to be interested in joining the club and he would be a marvel in central midfield. They need a midfielder with some attacking flair who can create for others and someone along the lines of Chris Brunt would be a welcome addition. The most important thing for Villa is to sure up their defence. Scott Dann would be a strong signing and greatly help the middle of the defence.

Blackburn

Blackburn are a hard team to judge but have recently been taken over by Indian billionaires who immediately made a splash trying to sign Ronaldinho. It was never going to happen but made for a good story at the time. Blackburn finished in 15th, just safe from relegation Blackburn have lost talented young defender Phil Jones to Manchester United but for the time being have held onto Chris Samba. They have some intriguing young players in Martin Olsson and Steven N’Zonzi combined with some nice experience in Emerton, Pedersen and Nelsen but really can improve all over the park. If Samba leaves they must bring in a replacement and Scott Dann would be a good fit. If the money is available to be spent they should look to overhaul the defence and centre midfield.

Bolton

Bolton finished in 14th last season and really didn’t look anything better than that place. They boast some strong young talent in the likes of Holden and Muamba and some experience in Taylor, Petrov and Robinson. Gary Cahill looks set to leave and it is important they find an immediate replacement. Bolton really lack fire power and should be looking to strengthen their striking options. They are hoping to have Sturridge back on loan and should be looking for other young options up front similar to that of the Chelsea man. They need another creative midfielder who can help the front men and take pressure off Holden and Muamba in the midfield.

Chelsea

Last year’s runners up but coming off a rare barren season, Chelsea moved quickly to fire Ancelotti and pay a record fee to bring in Porto’s Andres Villas Boas, a former scout for the club. Just about every player in Europe has been linked with a move to Chelsea, but Villas Boas has promised not to overhaul the team, as there is simply no need. The only real need for Chelsea is to perhaps bring in a cover for Michael Essien. Luka Modric has been linked with the club all summer and would be a good addition but not for the prices that have been floating around. Lampard is getting older and more injury prone and they will need to consider bringing one someone who can play games both for Lampard and Essien. Obi Mikel is out of favour and it could mean Chelsea move for someone like Stephane Mbia would be a good one for the blues.

Everton

Ever on the cusp of European football, Everton finished last year in 7th, just outside of the big 6. Tim Cahill had a standout year and players such as Beckford and Bilyaletdinov made big contributions. Everton still lack a true goal scoring striker as Saha has failed to be a regular. Jermaine Defoe would be an interesting target for the club but they should also be targeting a bigger striker to get on the end of their constant long balls and crosses. If Jagielka does depart for Arsenal they should move quickly to ensure their defence is intact. It is essential they hold onto Leighton Baines.

Fulham

Fulham had a great year somewhat surprisingly finishing in 8th position. They boast some great experienced players such as Mark Schwarzer, Bobby Zamora and and Clint Dempsey. Fulham recently brought in Jon Arne Riise, a former Kop favourite, who will add depth to their left side. Murphy, Duff and Sidwell control the midfielder, but I think this is the position they need to strengthen the most. Fulham are craving some more creativity along the lines of Dempsey and Chris Brunt could be a target for them.

Liverpool

Liverpool had another disappointing season finishing sixth but have started their process back to the top by spending big. The only problem was they didn’t bring in great value for the money they spent. Jordan Henderson and Stuart Downing have joined for a combined 40 million pounds adding to the recent history of over paying for players. Cough cough Andy Carroll. Liverpool need to turn their attention to their biggest issue other than width and that is their poor defence. They must bring in a starting left fullback and also need to find another strong centre half to support Skyrtel and Carragher. Charlie Adam was a great signing at a bargain price and will greatly help Gerrard run the midfield. Expect to see a much freer and more effective Steven Gerrard, of course barring injury. There have been whispers of Liverpool’s interest in Athletico Madrid’s in demand striker Sergio Aguero as he is a self confessed childhood fan and would prefer a move there over Manchester City. Keep an eye on that. Aly Cissohko from Lyon would be a perfect buy at left fullback and someone like Sakho would help their defensive depth.

Manchester City

The easiest team in the world to talk about when debating transfers, not just because of their financial abilities but also because of their unwillingness to keep the same squad. City finished third last season but were probably over achieving in doing so. Tevez at times carried the team on his own and scored a great amount of their goals. Should the unsettled captain leave they will need to move swiftly to find a replacement and should look no further than the man rumoured to be already on his way to Eastlands, Sergio Aguero. Aguero would be an easy replacement, but if you are expecting the same production you will not find it. Tevez is a very unique player and suits the English game very well. Aguero will need to adjust to the differences of La Liga and the EPL and it will take some time to do so. I still see City as a team of individuals rather than a collective unit and that will not change until they keep some continuity in the squad. That may never happen with the resources and egos the club has but until that happens they will not challenge the best European teams. They need to add a centre half and a centre midfielder with some niggle, some heart and leadership. The team lacks a real gritty leader and someone that can challenge the team when they face adversity. Yaya Toure is a spectacular player but he does not have that edge to him to lead the team and they don’t have any other true central midfielders. Scott Parker will not be going to Manchester City, but a player of his style and attitude would be perfect for City. They need Kolo Toure back in defence to lead their line, but if he does not return they need to find someone of similar influence.

The second half of the league will be assessed tomorrow so check back in then.

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