F365's Summer Transfer Guide (Part One)

Arsenal may be disappointed that Robin van Persie won't sign a new contract, but their preparation is going well. Chelsea need a new Drogba and Everton want sporks...

Last Updated: 05/07/12 at 11:19 Post Comment

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Here are the Premier League's first five clubs - we will do the rest, we promise you...

ARSENAL

What they need: Midfield steel, a right-back and, if Robin van Persie departs, another striker.

Alex Song's dismissal of defensive duties in favour of assisting the Arsenal attack has somewhat necessitated a move for Yann M'Vila, who has impressed for Rennes in Ligue 1 over the past two seasons. Bacary Sagna's struggles with injury continue to prove a problem, with neither Johan Djourou or Carl Jenkinson offering convincing back-up. The most important consideration, though, is to resolve Van Persie's future and avoid the final-day desperation of the 2011 summer transfer window.

What they're likely to get: Arsene Wenger has been surprisingly busy so far in the transfer market, finding plenty of value in the deals for Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud. Van Persie's admission that he won't be signing a new contract will lead to bids for the striker, but the Gunners will hold onto the 28-year-old rather than sell him for the laughable fee of £8million that Juventus have reportedly offered. It seems as though a deal for M'Vila should be completed in the near future, while a wildcard acquisition, such as Alan Dzagoev, could follow.

What's been said? Arsene Wenger: "We want to keep Robin van Persie at all costs, because we depend on him offensively. I have always supported him even in the hardest times, and I hope he will end his career at Arsenal."

Robin van Persie: "I've thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract."

ASTON VILLA

What they need: Joy and a little hope.

The 2011/12 campaign was truly rotten for Villa as they finished with only seven wins and a whopping 17 draws. Replacing Alex McLeish with Paul Lambert has brought some relief to supporters, but the squad still needs improving if they are to challenge for a top-half finish. Darren Bent is the club's only reliable goalscorer, while the midfield lacks creativity.

What they're likely to get: Lambert has already started the recruitment drive by securing Karim El Ahmadi from Feyenoord. The defensive midfielder joins Bosman signing Brett Holman at Villa Park for the new season, with a move for Rennes playmaker Yacine Brahimi also mooted. Lambert was linked with a move for Grant Holt before Norwich gave in to the forward's contract demands and a striker is still Villa's priority. Gabby Agbonlahor has scored just eight goals in his last 58 Premier League appearances and Emile Heskey's departure leaves the new manager short of options.

What's been said? Villa chief executive Paul Faulkner: "We've got to freshen up the squad. It's about making sure we are up there challenging in the top half of the table."

CHELSEA

What they need: A new Didier Drogba, a right-back and one or two players to leave.

The acquisitions of Eden Hazard, Marko Marin and Kevin de Bruyne provide Chelsea with yet more creative talent ahead of the new season, but they may need to trim their bursting squad to find the right balance. Completing a £32million deal for Hazard represented a signifcant coup, but arguably the Blues' most important deal of the summer - replacing Drogba - is yet to be achieved. Hulk and Stevan Jovetic are possible targets and, with more width in the team, signing another powerful centre-forward to convert crosses should be the club's priority. Jose Bosingwa's departure and Branislav Ivanovic's reluctance to play on the right has also made a new right-back a key requirement.

What they're likely to get: In short, everything they need. Winning the Champions League previously seemed to be the height of Roman Abramovich's ambitions, but Chelsea's transfer dealings this summer have hinted that it may just be the start. After beating Manchesters City and United to the Hazard signing, Chelsea are certain to further strengthen their squad with centre-forward targets currently being discussed. Gregory van der Wiel looked set to join the Blues from Ajax for £8million at the start of June, but the right-back's performances at Euro 2012 may have encouraged Roberto Di Matteo to look elsewhere - perhaps to Maicon.

What's been said? Hulk: "Chelsea are the current European champions and would please any player and I'm no exception. I'd be happy if the transfer happened."

EVERTON

What they need: Everton will look to hit the ground running for a change, and David Moyes will be praying that Nikica Jelavic can continue his form from the end of last season. Two or three new faces would encourage optimism, but it's doubtful whether the Toffees can afford to open the purse strings. Marouane Fellaini must be replaced if a rumoured exit transpires.

What they're likely to get: Everton's shoe-string summer spending is rather like a family camping trip at home in good ol' Blighty. David Moyes is a big fan of sporks - an ingenious utensil that acts as both a spoon and a fork - and Steven Naismith has sated his compatriot's desire for versatility. A move for Steven Pienaar was expected before Spurs sacked Harry Redknapp, but that will now depend on the outcome of talks between the South African and Andre Villas-Boas. It's a harsh dose of reality for Moyes, who was linked with the Spurs job following 'Arry's departure.

What's been said? David Moyes: "We brought in two or three players in January and you could see the difference it made to the club, so we want to try and do that again."

FULHAM

What they need: A new striker (two if Clint Dempsey leaves) and a central midfielder.

Martin Jol seemed to allow Pavel Pogrebnyak to join Reading without much of a fight, which suggests the Fulham manager wasn't entirely convinced by the big Russian. Indeed, a deal for Mladen Petric was completed just a few days later and we expect Jol has a number of other forwards on his shortlist. A replacement for Danny Murphy is also a priority and a move for Spurs' Tom Huddlestone has been mooted.

What they're likely to get: At least one more striker should arrive at Craven Cottage, with Jol splitting his budget between that acquisition and a new central midfielder. If Andre Villas-Boas recruits Joao Moutinho for Tottenham, a deal for Tom Huddlestone could arise. Otherwise, Jol will probably pluck someone from obscurity - pray it's not Hossam Ghaly.

What's been said? New signing Mladen Petric: "I know the manager well and I know that he is always looking to strengthen his attacking options and I hope that we can do even better next season."

Matt Stanger - now available on Twitter.

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