There are plenty of Premier League clubs with holes to fill this summer, and many of the missing pieces could be found in Spain. Here, we look at ten La Liga players who could be available this summer, and which Premier League clubs they would be perfect for.
Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid)
Perfect for: Tottenham Hotspur
There were high hopes for Ceballos when he joined Real Madrid from Real Betis last summer, but his first season with the perennial European champions has been something of a disappointment. Despite his undoubted ability and Real Madrid’s domestic struggles, he was used sparingly by Zinedine Zidane in the manager’s final season, only starting four league games. He is reportedly unhappy about being overlooked, and a move may be the best solution for all parties. A return to Betis has been mooted, but the dynamic midfielder could be a great fit for Tottenham, particularly if reports that Christian Eriksen may be on the move turn out to be true.
Djené Dakonam (Getafe)
Perfect for: Leicester City
With 34-year-old captain Wes Morgan’s performances becoming less and less assured, Leicester should be looking to bring in a new centre-half to partner Harry Maguire. They could certainly do a lot worse than Getafe’s Djené, who has been one of the standout defenders in La Liga in his first season in Spain’s top flight. Getafe conceded fewer goals than everyone except Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, and that is due in no small part to Djené’s superb performances at the heart of defence. The Togo international has a €30m release clause, but could be available for even less this summer.
José Giménez (Atlético Madrid)
Perfect for: Arsenal
With their new management set-up now in place, Arsenal’s priority is to sort out their defence after conceding a whopping 51 goals last season. Per Mertesacker has retired, Laurent Koscielny was struggling well before succumbing to a long-term Achilles injury, and Shkodran Mustafi may well be shipped out after a poor season. They would be well advised to look to Atlético centre-back Giménez to be the linchpin of their new-look back line, as the Uruguayan has formed a key part of the meanest defence in the league over the past three seasons and would provide the Gunners with some much-needed solidity. The 23-year-old has a release clause of €60m, which could prove to be a bargain given his quality and relative youth.
Willian José (Real Sociedad)
Perfect for: Everton
2017-18 was a difficult season for Everton for a lot of reasons, not least the fact that they couldn’t find a reliable source of goals. Wayne Rooney top-scored with 11, while winter signings Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun hardly sent the net a-bulging with any real regularity. With Rooney on his way to the USA and a new manager on the horizon, Everton should be looking for a new striker too. Real Sociedad’s Willian José should be towards the top of that list. He picked up 20 goals for a very ordinary La Real side this season. His form was rewarded with a call-up to the Brazil squad back in March, and the big striker has all the skill and physicality to be a success in the English game.
Mateo Kovačić (Real Madrid)
Perfect for: Chelsea
Another whose future is uncertain following Zidane’s departure. Probably not the most likely transfer on this list, but one that would make a lot of sense all the same. Central midfield is a problem area for Chelsea, as Cesc Fàbregas is nothing like the player he once was, and Danny Drinkwater and Tiémoué Bakayoko have hardly set the world alight since joining. Mateo Kovačić has bundles of ability, but has struggled for game time since joining Real Madrid three years ago. He only started ten league games this season, and is struggling to compete with the likes of Toni Kroos and Luka Modrić for a starting position. With his release fee set at a very reasonable €50m, Kovačić and Chelsea look like a match made in heaven.
Clément Lenglet (Sevilla)
Perfect for: Tottenham Hotspur
It has been a superb debut season in La Liga for Lenglet, who joined the Andalusian side for just €5m last summer. Despite being a relative unknown, he has won plaudits for his largely consistent form for a wildly inconsistent Sevilla side this season, and his excellent performances against Manchester United and Bayern Munich in the Champions League gave him greater exposure. He is far better than his €35m release clause suggests, and he could represent good value for money for Tottenham, since the imminent departure of Toby Alderweireld may leave them rather light at the back.
Steven N’Zonzi (Sevilla)
Perfect for: Arsenal
Former Stoke City midfielder N’Zonzi has been linked with Arsenal a few times over the last couple of years, and with good reason. His energetic, combative style and accurate passing ability are exactly what has been missing from Arsenal’s midfield for a long time, and it is likely that new manager Unai Emery will look to toughen up that area of his squad. It was Emery that brought N’Zonzi to Sevilla in the first place, and if they end up working together again in north London it will set the Gunners back around €38m.
Jan Oblak (Atlético Madrid)
Perfect for: Liverpool
Liverpool’s goalkeeping issues, which have been well documented over the last couple of years, came to a head on the biggest stage of all last weekend with Loris Karius’ nightmare performance in the Champions League final. They need a better goalkeeper, and have been linked with a €60m move for Barcelona’s number two Jasper Cillessen in recent days. If they are willing to fork out that kind of money for Cillessen, they may as well go up one level and try and sign Atlético’s Jan Oblak. The Slovenian is undoubtedly among the very best keepers in the world, and will be available for a substantial but not unaffordable €100m.
Álvaro Odriozola (Real Sociedad)
Perfect for: Manchester United
With Antonio Valencia’s powers on the wane, United are in the market for a new right-back. They look set to tie up a deal for Porto’s Diogo Dalot, but given his lack of experience and Jose Mourinho’s famous reticence to place faith in young players, the 19-year-old Portuguese may not be ready to jump straight into first-team action. They may be better off looking at Odriozola, who at 22 still has youth on his side, but also has the experience of 140 career appearances. A member of Spain’s World Cup squad, the Basque has a release clause of €40m, which would be an absolute bargain for a player of his quality in the current climate.
Lucas Pérez (Deportivo de La Coruña)
Perfect for: Newcastle United
Although not technically an import from La Liga, as he has now returned to parent club Arsenal, 29-year-old striker Pérez would be a good fit for a Newcastle side who struggled for goals last season. He endured a difficult season on loan at hometown club Deportivo, whose disastrous campaign culminated in relegation to the Segunda División, but performed well in the limited time he was given at Arsenal the previous season. Working with a tactician like Rafa Benítez could help Pérez flourish, and he would no doubt benefit from playing week in, week out with superior players in a settled system suited to his playing style.
Dan Bridges – follow him on Twitter