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Premier League: Where all 20 teams have to strengthen in the transfer window

With the season over and attentions turning to the transfer market, we've taken a look at where all 20 Premier League clubs will need to strengthen over the summer.


Central midfielder

To have over-achieved like they have this season, it would be foolish for Mikel Arteta to ring wholesale changes, thus evolution not revolution must be the approach at the Emirates this summer.

Granit Xhaka is set to leave in the summer, and the centre of midfield was perhaps where the Gunners were weakest and most in need of strengthening already.

Declan Rice has been on the agenda for several months now, and the West Ham captain would be the perfect replacement for Xhaka should the Swiss international leave, with Moises Caicedo also a potential target once again.


Aston Villa

Centre forward

Preparing to compete in Europe for the first time in over a decade following a remarkable turnaround in fortunes under Unai Emery, Aston Villa will likely look for added competition for main striker Ollie Watkins in attack ahead of next term

Former Brentford man Watkins can be a streaky player in front of goal, following up a run of 11 goals in 12 games with a barren spell of six consecutive outings without finding the net, and Villa are currently light of options up front following the sale of Danny Ings to West Ham in January.

Well-backed by wealthy ownership, Villa have already been linked with ambitious moves for the likes of Manchester United’s Anthony Martial, Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic and Ferran Torres of Barcelona to fill this striking void.


Central midfielder

Bournemouth’s goal for next season will be to consolidate after they’ve exceeded all expectations in not just surviving but doing so with weeks of the season to spare. 

However their job might be a little harder with the loss of Jefferson Lerma, whose contract expired at the end of the season.

The Colombian has had an excellent season on the south coast, but it's understandable that the 28-year-old, in the peak of his career, has pursued a safer Premier League option, with Crystal Palace seemingly leading the race.



Centre forward

After an outstanding season which finished with the Bees sealing a top half finish, a number of Brentford players have been reported to be on the radar of bigger clubs, none more so than impressive goalkeeper David Raya.

With Spaniard Raya heavily linked with a move to clubs such as Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea, Thomas Frank has been forced to enter the market for a replacement between the sticks in Mark Flekken.

But Ivan Toney's ban has created a headache for Frank; does he stick with what he's got for six months of the season, or look for a short- or long-term replacement?

Brighton & Hove Albion

Central midfielder
Centre back

Following a remarkable season which was capped off by securing European qualification for the first time in the club’s history, it will come as little surprise if Brighton are to lose some of their star players this summer including central midfield duo Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo.

The influential Mac Allister will be a Liverpool player next season and should Caicedo depart too, it will leave a gaping hole in Brighton’s midfield ahead of their foray into the Europa League.

Moves for James Milner and Mahmoud Dahoud from Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund appear close, with Scotland international Billy Gilmour showing signs of being capable of making the step up into the first XI, but manager Roberto De Zerbi is still likely to be keen to strengthen his midfield options this summer.

Levi Colwill had a terrific season on loan at the back and will need to be replaced in the summer, assuming the Seagulls can't keep him for another season, or perhaps even permanently...


Central midfielder

After such an outstanding campaign to win the Championship, Vincent Kompany will likely have plenty of faith in his squad to keep them in the top division.

But Burnley can enhance their chances with additions to the middle of the park. Josh Cullen and Josh Brownhill will be looking to make their mark in the Premier League, though Jack Cork will be 34 at the start of the season.

If Kompany is looking to inject more youth, he could look towards Manchester City's James McAtee after his successful loan spell with Sheffield United or Arsenal's Albert Sambi Lokonga.


Centre forward
Central midfielder

Following the arrival of Todd Boehly, Chelsea spent so much money and signed so many players they seem to have endless depth all over the pitch, except in perhaps the most important position.

The Blues were after a striker in the summer, signing Raheem Sterling, who’s not a natural centre-forward, before eventually bringing in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in what looked like a panic buy, with the Gabon star starting just five games and failing to score since his debut back in October.

Kai Havertz has often been deployed up front, but Chelsea sorely need a proven goalscorer if they’re to get back into the top four.

Christopher Nkunku joins in the summer from RB Leipzig after 36 goals in his last two Bundesliga seasons, but don't be surprised to see the Blues go for a more recognised goalscorer, such as Victor Osimhen.

The loss of N'Golo Kante, as well as impending losses of Mason Mount, Mateo Kovacic and Conor Gallagher, mean Chelsea need midfield reinforcements, and having apparently missed out on Manuel Ugarte, they may go all-out for Brighton's Caicedo.


Crystal Palace


Although Crystal Palace have been much more free-scoring under Roy Hodgson, the Eagles sorely need another centre-forward to ensure they’re not dragged back into a relegation battle.

They have a solid defensive partnership in Joachim Anderson and Marc Guehi – assuming both are still there next season – with Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze strong in the middle of the park, but prior to Hodgson’s arrival, Palace were the league’s lowest scorers with just 22 goals from 28 games.

Wilfried Zaha looks like finally ending his association with Crystal Palace, and while it appears Hodgson will stay in South London for a little while longer, he'll be keen to add more firepower.



Centre forward

So poor has Everton's recruitment been in recent years it's hard to know what areas need prioritising first, though one area does seem more pressing than others.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin's fitness struggles and dip in form mean the Toffees lack goals, scoring just 34 in the league last season, better than only Wolverhampton Wanderers, and a centre-forward should be on the horizon. 

Chuba Akpom and Viktor Gyokeres are potential candidates, as is Udinese's Beto.


Central midfielder

Joao Palhinha has undoubtedly been one of the signings of the season, putting out fires at Craven Cottage all throughout the campaign.

He’s been so good it could leave boss Marco Silva with a headache. The defensive midfielder surpassed Christian Norgaard and Luke Ayling’s totals from the previous two seasons with games to spare as the Premier League’s top tackler.

As such, the Portuguese could be the latest off the Sporting CP conveyor belt to earn a move to a big club, even if there are question marks over his quality in possession.

Despite a season in which they proved their doubters wrong starting on the opening day of the season with their draw against Liverpool, Fulham could well be fighting relegation next term, and without strengthening an already-light midfield, the loss of Palhinha could be a catalyst for relegation.

Manchester United's Fred, who should be deemed surplus to requirements, could make a decent replacement.


Central midfielder

The days of Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho running Liverpool’s midfield are a distant memory. Henderson will be 33 in the summer, Fabinho will be 33 next season, and neither are operating at the same level as they once did.

Naby Keita was a big-money signing for Liverpool but hasn’t come close to replicating his RB Leipzig form, spending far too long out injured and will depart at the end of the season. 

Thiago’s fitness is also a constant question, while Arthur Melo is one of the most misguided signings in the club’s history. Even if it was a cheap loan deal, the injury-prone Juventus man has provided absolutely no depth to Liverpool’s midfield that has sorely needed it.

It means Liverpool need at least one and ideally two midfielders in the summer. They were forced out of the race to sign Jude Bellingham on account of the cost, while Declan Rice probably falls into the same category. 

Alexis Mac Allister of Brighton looks the most likely at the moment, but they'll likely be looking for more.

Luton Town


With next to no Premier League experience in Luton's squad, it could be a busy summer at Kenilworth Road, and not just in renovating the stadium.

They will need reinforcements all over the pitch, and if they are to survive, a strong rear-guard will be crucial, and bolstering the back-line may be Rob Edwards' biggest priority.

Manchester City

Central midfielder

It feels like a bit of a stretch to say a team chasing a treble needs to strengthen anywhere, but they say to build when you’re strong. 

There’s not just a powerful first XI, but depth in every position, though one area Manchester City are set to lose a key man is in the centre of midfield, with Ilkay Gundogan potentially leaving on a free transfer to Barcelona.

While Pep Guardiola has the likes of Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and even forgotten man Kalvin Phillips to call upon, replacing his skipper will be no easy task, especially as Jude Bellingham has opted for Real Madrid.

While no obvious alternatives have been put forward, Chelsea’s Mateo Kovacic could be an option, while Bayern’s Ryan Gravenberch has failed to make a real impact in his first season at Bayern Munich and will be of interest to a number of top European clubs.

Manchester United


Manchester United have had a number of holes in their squad for a number of years, but many of them were plugged following the arrival of Erik ten Hag.

The club now have top class central midfielders that were missing for years, as well as a solid centre-back pairing of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez. Mason Mount and Kim Min-jae may add even more depth in those areas.

However, their long-term search for a striker continues and will be the Dutchman's top priority in the summer following the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo and the ongoing fitness issues of Anthony Martial.

Harry Kane appears to be the number one target, but transfer fee may be an issue - as may the interest of Real Madrid.

David de Gea's shot-stopping hasn't been in question, but too many of his attributes are lacking for what is required of a modern-day goalkeeper, especially for a club wanting to challenge for trophies. Ten Hag has pledged his support to the Spaniard, but if the money was there, the club may look towards Porto's Diogo Costa.

Newcastle United

Central midfielder

Since the Saudi takeover, Newcastle have been one of the most fascinating teams to watch in the transfer market, with silverware suddenly feeling like a matter of when and not if.

To their credit, they’ve operated shrewdly so far, opting for smart signings rather than big names, and while big money has been spent, with an outlay of nearly £150m on Alexander Isak, Bruno Guimaraes and Sven Botman, the new arrivals have all contributed well. 

The Magpies can look forward to a return to Europe’s elite sooner than expected, and with that will come the need to strengthen their squad. 

While the midfield trio of Guimaraes, Willock and Joelinton have operated superbly, Sean Longstaff is the only reliable rotation option, and Newcastle will need more numbers to be able to play in Europe whilst trying to ensure they’re back the following season. James Maddison has been linked once again after bids were knocked back last summer, and he’s 2/1 to be a Newcastle player on 3rd September, with James Ward-Prowse also linked.

Similarly in defence, while Fabian Schar and Sven Botman’s partnership has resulted in Newcastle having the meanest defence, there aren’t many rotation options available. Harry Maguire may leave Manchester United in the summer, and could be a useful addition, or if Howe is eyeing a potential starter to replace Schar, Nice’s Jean Clair Todibo could fit the bill.

They may also look for a more permanent left winger, with a number of players occupying the role throughout the season, with Harvey Barnes an option.


Nottingham Forest


After impressively preserving their Premier League status for another year following a relegation battle which lasted most of the season, Steve Cooper will be looking to strengthen his side to kick on next term.

Signing a staggering 30 players since returning to the top flight for the first time in 23 years, it’s fair to say Forest will require a smaller recruitment drive this summer.

Only Wolves, Everton and Southampton have scored fewer goals than the Tricky Trees this season, and it’s perhaps reinforcements in attacking areas which are in order this summer.

Forest look particularly light down their left flank, with Leeds duo Luis Sinisterra and Jack Harrison possible transfer targets with the Whites being relegated. 

Sheffield United


Earning automatic promotion in second place in the Championship behind Burnley, Paul Heckingbottom’s Sheffield United will simply be aiming to survive in their first season back in the top flight.

In order to do so, they will likely require a more reliable goalscorer than Oli McBurnie to lead the line in attack, with the 26-year-old having netted just seven goals in 59 appearances for the club.

With star player Iliman Ndiaye most effective when playing off a focal point up front, a new striker with bonafide Premier League quality could make United dangerous going forward. 

Potential new recruits to fill this void could include Coventry City’s Viktor Gyokeres, Middlesbrough’s Chuba Akpom or Che Adams of Southampton.

The Blades will also be hoping to convince Premier League champions Manchester City to allow England U21s duo James McAtee and Tommy Doyle to spend another year Bramall Lane having shone in the Championship last term.

Tottenham Hotspur

Central defender

Following a season to forget for Spurs, with the North London side missing out on Europe having finished 8th, it’s clear a significant squad overhaul is in order this summer if they are to enjoy improved fortunes next term.

Although talisman Harry Kane’s future continues to be shrouded in uncertainty, it is clear Spurs need to first prioritise additions at the back having conceded 66 goals during this campaign – highest total amongst the Premier League’s top half.

With increasingly error-prone skipper Hugo Lloris set to depart after 11 years at the club, Spurs will require a new dependable number one to inspire confidence in the defence, with Everton’s Jordan Pickford, Brentford’s David Raya and Valencia’s Giorgi Mamardashvili all possible replacements.

A new centre-back to partner the talented yet rash Cristian Romero could also go a long way, with Inter’s Alessandro Bastoni and Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi having both been previously linked with a switch to Spurs. 

West Ham United


West Ham may lose Declan Rice in the summer, but in crisis, comes opportunity. £100m would allow the Hammers to rebuild in other areas as they look to bounce back from a desperately disappointing domestic campaign that has seen them battling relegation.

One big reason for that has been their sheer lack of goals. Michail Antonio has been good for 10 league goals in each of his last three campaigns, but has scored only five this. The same with Jarrod Bowen, who’d also scored 20 goals in his last two seasons, only chipping in with five this term.

Gianluca Scamacca was the big-money signing last summer, but even he only scored three goals in 16 appearances. 

Coventry’s Viktor Gyokeres could be one target, especially if the Sky Blues fail to win promotion to the Premier League, after his 21-goal haul this term.

Wolverhampton Wanderers


Wolves’ problem position appears glaring, with the Black Country club finishing as the Premier League’s lowest scorers after another underwhelming campaign.

The Molineux club have struggled to find a consistent source of goals in recent seasons following a head injury suffered by Mexican striker Raul Jimenez, with Austria international Sasa Kalajdzic injuring his ACL shortly after arriving from Stuttgart last summer.

Wolves will likely dip back into the market for a new striker this summer, with Diego Costa and Matheus Cunha mustering only three goals between them this season, and reports have suggested they are already lining up a move for Coventry City’s 22-goal hitman Viktor Gyokeres.

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