With the season fast approaching and the so-called Big so-called Six still on the hunt for players to bring in to improve their own roster, here is a player for each of them to consider that won’t break the bank…
Manchester City – Pedro Goncalves
It is more than likely that City will sign Jack Grealish for a £100m figure, perhaps more. But if they were in the mood to save some of that cash, then they could do well in choosing Pedro Goncalves. He’s stepped up for Sporting Lisbon since the departure of Bruno Fernandes, a key part in helping them lift their first league title since 2001/02. Last season he bagged 23 league goals (nobody else scored more than seven) and four assists all within 32 games.
He is an excellent finisher and does also offer a decent defensive contribution. We’ve seen in the red half of Manchester how a talent from Lisbon can transform a team; City don’t necessarily need such transformation, but any and all improvement is welcome.
Manchester United – Max Aarons
A good bulk of transfer business has been concluded with the likes of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane coming through the doors, yet they are still interested in fullback Kieran Trippier, an excellent player coming off a La Liga title win with Atletico Madrid. Now we know when it comes to Manchester United they may love to negotiate a good deal – sometimes going a bit too far in recent years – but they might wish to take a look at another English player in that position in Norwich City’s Max Aarons.
He is certainly a talent that could potentially make the step up into a side challenging for honours this season. There’s a reason Barcelona enquired about his services before choosing Sergino Dest instead and Atletico themselves have apparently been taking a look this summer over the player to potentially replace Trippier if he does depart.
Liverpool – Raphinha
This one might not be a bargain bin signing at all. In fact you could easily see Leeds United asking a premium fee for a player only one year into his four-year deal, however this could be a great signing for the long term with both Sadio Mane and Mo Salah turning 30 next season. While in the real world football does not operate like a FIFA video game and the players are not suddenly going to lose their pace, drop in rating and become worthless, it’s always worth keeping an eye on it. And with the talk of one of the two potentially being sold, to bring in Raphinha a player who showed last season under the Bielsa system how devastating he can be, being able to play on both wings and contributing nine assists – more than any Liverpool player.
Chelsea – Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa
With Chelsea targeting Declan Rice who will most likely command a fee well north of £60m, perhaps the Blues should cast their eye over to another London based midfielder in the shape of Zambo Anguissa, who may have been part of the relegated Fulham side but is not such an odd choice.
He offers press resistance and can help shield the defence behind him whilst striding forward and creating chances for his team mates. He has shown at not just Fulham but also at Villarreal and Marseille that he is a fantastic shield and can also drive forward, showcasing that he can thrive at the top level if given the chance.
Liverpool did well picking up Andrew Robertson and Georginio Wijnaldum from relegated sides so why not Chelsea?
Spurs – Odsonne Édouard
Spurs need a forward who can serve as a back up to Harry Kane, assuming for now that Harry Kane does remain at Tottenham this season of course, and not many forwards of a top calibre are happy to sit on the bench and play a bit part. However, Celtic’s Odsonne Édouard is one that might just be happy to do that for the time being especially with the obvious dangling carrot of the main forward spot if Kane was to leave in the future.
The 23-year-old forward has scored 83 times in 171 games for Celtic and is ready to take that next step up, he was a target of Leicester before that deal collapsed and with his current contract expiring in the summer of 2022 and no signs of him wishing to sign a renewal he could be a cheap and perfect pick up for the North London side.
Arsenal – Ruben Neves
The Gunners are on the hunt for player to replace Martin Odegaard in that central midfield. Manuel Locatelli is the name linked strongly with replacing the Norwegian, however it is unlikely the Italian will take the step down to a club not in the Champions League but one player that could be an ideal replacement is Wolves’ Ruben Neves, a player who was the youngest at the time to captain a side in the Champions League. He has been a consistent talent throughout his time in the Midlands, he is a natural leader on the pitch which is a quality this Arsenal side certainly do need under Mikel Arteta. On social media there has been some negativity surrounding Neves but pair him up with Thomas Partey and Arsenal could have a solid midfield spine.
By Mikey C (host of At The Bridge Pod: A Chelsea FC Podcast)