Football365’s transfer guides: Part one

Date published: Tuesday 31st May 2016 8:12

Gonzalo Higuain

ARSENAL

What they need
The midfield conundrum appears to have been solved by the arrival of Granit Xhaka, but there remains plenty for Arsene Wenger to do to convince supporters that next time it will be different. Olivier Giroud is an excellent squad player but only that, while a wide forward is needed to cover for the absence of Danny Welbeck and possible departure of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Theo Walcott. Finally, Wenger must decide whether to buy another central defender or keep faith in Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista’s form and fitness to partner Laurent Koscielny.

What they’ll probably get
It’s easy to predict that the efficiency of Xhaka’s arrival may cause a lengthy bout of silence until supporters get twitchy in mid-July. The central striker issue could be solved by Alvaro Morata or Mauro Icardi (though nobody is sure either are quite good enough), but a bid for Gonzalo Higuain or Karim Benzema would show some serious intent. As for the wide forward, Sadio Mane’s name has been mentioned and seems logical.

What’s been said
“We want to keep the squad stable over the summer while strengthening where possible. You want the group to be stimulated and to believe that we have improved the quality. I must say, we want to combine technical stability with players that we know want to play and know our game. Maybe bring in three players for example. That’s the right level for me” – Arsene Wenger, May 15.

 

BOURNEMOUTH

What they need
Holding on to Callum Wilson (Matt Ritchie is surely a little more expendable) will be Eddie Howe’s first task of the summer, while the return of Tyrone Mings will be… wait for it… like a new signing. Wilson and Benik Afobe mean that Bournemouth probably won’t buy a striker, but a new central defender will be a priority with Sylvain Distin leaving; a central midfielder is also likely. Don’t be surprised by a new goalkeeper arriving either, providing better competition than Adam Federici for 36-year-old Artur Boruc.

What they’ll probably get
Ryan Mason has been reported to be close to a £2m move that makes complete sense for him and Bournemouth, while the central defender is likely to be a) ageing and b) someone with Premier League experience. Ciaran Clark would be an excellent choice. With Adam Smith and Steve Cook having already signed new deals, the other summer work is likely to be trimming the Football League fat off a Premier League squad. Don’t be surprised to see Howe making bids for the cream of the Championship crop, and Reading’s Oliver Norwood has already been scouted.

What’s been said
“We are mainly looking at the domestic market. That has always been our way of working. Since reaching the Premier League, we have broadened our horizons slightly and opened up to the foreign market to a degree. I think we will have to wait and see on that and make the appropriate changes should we need to” – Eddie Howe, April 29.

 

BURNLEY

What they need
With one of their best players from the promotion campaign (Joey Barton) already off, and plenty of the squad left over from 2014/15 – when Burnley won seven league games and were relegated by five points – there is plenty of work to do. Nobody wants to p*ss on people’s chips in May, but Scott Arfield, Stephen Ward, Rouwen Hennings, Matt Taylor, David Jones, Sam Vokes and Michael Duff each played 20 or more league games in 2015/16. Are any good enough to play a meaningful role in a survival campaign? Sorry.

What they’ll probably get
Last time Burnley were promoted they spent precious little money, with Michael Kightly, Marvin Sordell, Lukas Jutkiewicz and Ward the only players arriving for fees. All indications are that they will do the same, aiming to pick off a few notable Championship performers and Premier League freebies and loans. Nottingham Forest’s Henri Lansbury has been mentioned, as has Brentford’s Alan Judge. Predictable loanees from Manchester United would be Will Keane, Andreas Pereira or Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.

What’s been said
“It’s a similar pool of players whether we’re in the Championship or Premier League, but if we get promoted the pool does move up. It’s a higher level, it would move forward, but it’s not going to be a massive leap” – Sean Dyche, April 30.

 

CHELSEA

What they need
All depends on how many Antonio Conte chooses to get rid of, but it promises to be a busy summer at Stamford Bridge. Potentially, Chelsea could need a new goalkeeper, central defender, right-back, central midfielder and striker. So a new spine, then? As we said, it depends on which of Thibaut Courtois, Nemanja Matic, Branislav Ivanovic, Pedro, Loic Remy and Diego Costa leave. The striker and central midfielder are the obvious requirements, with Romelu Lukaku and Radja Nainggolan both filling the gossip columns.

What they’ll probably get
Nainggolan is as close to a certainty as we’re likely to get at this stage, while a move for at least one Serie A central defender is probable. Both Kalidou Koulibaly and Leonardo Bonucci have been mentioned. The Lukaku thing is all a bit weird given the likely fee, but with Conte usually preferring to play with two strikers, a big-money move for someone is likely. Can we say now that we’d kill to see Higuain in England?

What’s been said
“Anyone who knows me knows that I work on things one at a time, and I try to deal with them in the best way. The Euros is the end of a two-year journey. I want to tackle this tournament in the best way, knowing the difficulties which we didn’t expect to face” – Antonio Conte, May 18. Cheers for nothing, Antonio.

 

CRYSTAL PALACE

What they need
A striker. Definitely a striker. Emmanuel Adebayor is off, Connor Wickham is a decent squad striker, as is Dwight Gayle. Now for the first-choice forward to feed off the service from Yannick Bolasie, Wilfried Zaha and Yohan Cabaye. Elsewhere, a new central defender is a necessity if Palace are to consider themselves a top-half team – Adrian Mariappa played in the FA Cup final. An upgrade on Wayne Hennessey wouldn’t go amiss either.

What they’ll probably get
There have been whispers of serious interest in Saido Berahino and Khouma Babacar, which would be a bloody coup. I also read Victor Anichebe’s name, which would be a bloody disaster. Gent striker Laurent Depoitre is going to end up somewhere in the Premier League’s middle reaches, so why not Palace? In terms of central defenders, Shane Duffy of Blackburn is the only name recently mentioned, which is slightly underwhelming. The Sun linked Palace with a move for Alexandre Song, which is potentially quite exciting.

What’s been said
“I think we have got to get players who are better than this. There is no point in getting players who are not potentially better than the ones we have got. Well, then they have got to be good players. So will there be a big name in there? There’s going to need to be” – Alan Pardew, May 22.

 

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