What Still Needs To Be Done? Part Four

Part four of our guide looks at Spurs' plans should Gareth Bale join Real Madrid. Plus, West Ham still need a striker and Paolo Di Canio isn't done yet...

Last Updated: 05/08/13 at 10:05 Post Comment

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SUNDERLAND

What's been done?
A lot. Sunderland have signed more players than anyone else this summer as Paolo Di Canio set about a necessary overhaul of the Black Cats' stagnant squad. While names such as Titus Bramble, Matt Kilgallon and Danny Graham have been pushed out the exit door, Di Canio has opted to bring in a mix of cheap gambles and proven talent. I say proven talent, but whether Jozy Altidore will be able to repeat his scoring feats in Holland is open to debate. The striker has come a long way since scoring just a single goal for Hull during a season-long loan in 2009/10 - "I think I just became a better player in Holland than the one when I was at Hull," he said last week - but Italy international Emanuele Giaccherini is likely to be the more reliable of Sunderland's big-money recruits. Cabral has looked pretty solid in pre-season, Modibo Diakité adds much-needed competition in defence and Vito Mannone is an unconvincing replacement for Simon Mignolet. As for the rest, we'll just have to see.

What still needs doing?
One of Di Canio's leading priorities is to ward off interest in Jack Colback by tying the midfielder to a new deal. As well as resolving Colback's future, the Italian still needs to find a new left-back to replace Danny Rose, who has returned to Spurs, and a right-back to erase the memories of Phil Bardsley. A move for Greek winger Charis Mavrias has also been mooted as Di Canio keeps himself busy in the transfer market.


SWANSEA

What's been done?
After Michael Laudrup had a bit of a strop about the club's transfer budget, Swansea quickly got their house in order and completed some excellent early business. Deals for Jordi Amat, Alejandro Pozuelo and Jose Canas highlight Laudrup's keen eye for value in La Liga, while another season-long loan for Jonathan de Guzman is one of the signings of the summer, especially when it was reported that Villarreal were demanding £8million for a permanent transfer. At £12million, big things are expected of Wilfried Bony and the striker got off to a flying start with a brace in the Swans' Europa League victory over Malmo. Jonjo Shelvey also impressed alongside Leon Britton at the base of midfield and brings European experience after his spell at Liverpool.

What still needs doing?
"We need one more, a different kind of striker," said Laudrup in July, when rejecting reported interest in Franco Di Santo. "We need one with different characteristics to Bony and Michu, but we can wait and we don't have to sign this player today or tomorrow or this week or in two weeks." Indeed, it looks like Swansea are raring to go ahead of their opening day clash against Man United, but after Luke Moore was left out of the club's pre-season plans it's clear that further back-up for Bony and Michu is required. Matej Vydra has been mentioned after his impresive season at Watford but any move for the Czech international will depend on whether Udinese are willing to entertain another loan.


TOTTENHAM

What's been done?
After recruiting three solid signings so far compared to Arsenal's solitary deal for Yaya Sanogo, Spurs look in a good position to bridge the one-point gap to fourth. A midfield three of Mousa Dembele, Sandro and Paulinho is arguably the strongest in the Premier League while Roberto Soldado should provide the finishing touch that evaded Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor for long periods last year. Nacer Chadli, another member of the current Belgium side everyone is drooling over, is a decent replacement/understudy for Gareth Bale (although clearly not at the same level) and bagged 18 goals in 26 matches for Twente last season. It's perhaps a surprise that Steven Caulker was allowed to leave for Cardiff but an £8million bid for a back-up centre-back is not to be sniffed at.

What still needs doing?
It goes without saying that this all depends on whether Bale leaves for Real Madrid. With £104.5m (or whatever amount we're currently up to) Spurs should be able to make themselves genuine title contenders but as I wrote here, and as Arsenal have found this summer, having money is one thing, spending it is another. If Bale leaves it wouldn't be a surprise to see Spurs enter the race for Luis Suarez, perhaps hoping to convince the striker that they're a better bet than Arsenal for fourth even without last season's star player. The speed at which a deal could be concluded - if Spurs are prepared to pay £50million - may work in their favour considering Suarez has spent most of the summer angling for an Anfield exit. Vlad Chiriches' proposed transfer from Steaua Bucharest has apparently fallen through so Spurs should still be in the market for another defender.


WEST BROM

What's been done?
After the initial excitement of Nicolas Anelka's arrival (there's a West Brom fan in the office who set the striker as his background on two PCs), things have fallen a bit flat at the Hawthorns. Phlegmy defender Goran Popov has returned for another loan spell while Diego Lugano, who has struggled for form in the last two years, signed on over the weekend. The departures of Romelu Lukaku, Jerome Thomas, Marc-Antoine Fortune and, eventually, Peter Odemwingie have left the squad looking a little thin up top.

What still needs doing?
There is plenty of room for more creativity and Steve Clarke is still searching for someone to share Anelka's desktop background burden. Matej Vydra and Scott Sinclair have been linked and both players would add much-needed mobility in the final third, while Junior Hoilett and Shaun Maloney are other affordable options. Clarke enjoyed an impressive first season at the Hawthorns but unless he can pad out his squad with several new faces before the window closes, West Brom could be looking at a backwards step this season.


WEST HAM

What's been done?
"This has been one of the quietest summers I've had," said Sam Allardyce in July. "We have done some good business. Andy Carroll has come in, we've got a new goalkeeper in Adrian from Real Betis, who seems to be settling in very well, and Razvan Rat will help strengthen the defence." After spunking most of his kitty on a £15.5m deal for Carroll, the Hammers boss hasn't had much room to manoeuvre but nor has he really needed to strengthen in depth after leading the team to tenth last year.

What still needs doing?
Allardyce is still hoping to find one more striker after Carlton Cole's departure but the manager's search has proved quite problematic. A move for Estudiantes forward Duvan Zapata was shelved after doubts over the Colombian's work permit application and it seems Salomon Kalou is holding out for better offers as he prepares to quit Lille. A move for Ilombe Mboyo carries enormous moral considerations, but Allardyce will find someone, he always does.

Matt Stanger - he's on the Twitter.

This way for Parts One, Two and Three...

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