Plenty of clubs need a goalscorer as the deadline approaches and some of the big boys have a few days to do what they should have done weeks ago and sign a holding midfielder.
Here’s what every club should be prioritising this week before Friday night’s deadline…
Arsenal – defender
The Gunners were pretty much set and ready to go by the opening weekend of the season, but whatever smugness they might have felt disappeared with Jurrien Timber down the tunnel just after half-time in their first game. With the new boy sidelined long-term, Mikel Arteta could certainly use another defender, especially in the knowledge of just how much William Saliba’s injury derailed their title push last term.
Aston Villa – left-back
Unai Emery said before the the weekend that he was ‘happy’ with the squad depth now at his disposal but, unless Lucas Digne has sufficiently impressed the Villa boss in the early weeks of the season – three assists at Hibs will help – then Villa will continue to look for a deal on a left-back before the deadline. The Villans have been chasing Sevilla’s Marcos Acuna but their talks with Sevilla seem to have hit a brick wall.
Bournemouth – replace any departures
“We have the players, we have the numbers, now it will depend on departures” said Andoni Iraola after signing Alex Scott and Tyler Adams to strengthen his midfield. So Iraola would be content for the window to close now, but he’s not naive: “Probably will be some signing because there is always movement last days of the market in every club.”
Brentford – forward
The Bees have been sniffing intently around Brennan Johnson and Fiorentina’s Nico Gonzalez, which is most likely with the long-term in mind as they anticipate serious interest in Ivan Toney in January, once his ban is served and he enters the last season and a half of his contract. But if Bryan Mbeumo or Yoane Wissa pick up an injury in the meantime, Thomas Frank will be light on strikers. Signing one this week would certainly bolster his options in the short-term while future-proofing his forward line.
Brighton – replacement for Caicedo
The Seagulls have millions burning a hole in their pocket after allowing Moises Caicedo to join Chelsea, so sourcing a replacement for the Ecuadorian is Roberto De Zerbi’s priority before Friday night. No doubt they will, and it may well be Lille’s Carlos Baleba. And no doubt the 19-year-old will be worth thrice the price this time next year.
Burnley – left-back
The Clarets had to be busy this summer given the loan players they lost, and if it were up to Vincent Kompany, they would be signing further reinforcements this week. Josh Brownhill will need replacing if he departs – Kompany insisted that wasn’t likely – and there is perhaps work to be done at left-back, though new defender Hannes Delcroix can fill in there if need be.
Chelsea – goalscorer
How can you spend a billion quid without bothering to source a goalscorer? Mauricio Pochettino has plenty of fast, technical forwards, and perhaps Nicolas Jackson will pull his goalscoring weight. But for that spend, they really ought to have a big ruthless b*stard through the middle to put the ball in the net.
Crystal Palace – forward
Jean-Philippe Mateta and Odsonne Edouard just won’t cut it – a fact that hasn’t escaped Roy Hodgson. Dougie Freedman has a few days to find a goalscorer and bring him back to Selhurst Park.
Everton – centre-forward
Oh boy. Everton are short of all sorts and the only thing we know for sure is that they won’t get everything they need. Sean Dyche’s greatest priority must be a centre-forward, one who can offer more adequate cover than Neal Maupay while Dominic Calvert-Lewin continues to collect injuries. Lucky then that goalscorers are cheap and easy to find…
Fulham – striker
Fulham will struggle to find another Mitrovic but Marco Silva needs a striker who can replicate his physical presence. Silva also wants the Mitro money invested in a couple of full-backs but a centre-forward remains the priority among “at least five” signings the manager wants.
Liverpool – defensive midfielder
Jurgen Klopp knows what needs to be done. Liverpool tried hard to do the necessary by making a weirdly-obscene offer for Moises Caicedo, but Chelsea had already snaffled the Ecuardorian. The Blues did likewise to Romeo Lavia, who would surely have been wearing red this season had Liverpool not faffed about over a few million quid. Wataru Endo might bolster his numbers, but Klopp knows he is still short of a holding midfielder around whom to continue his rebuild.
Luton – midfielder
“We’re going to try and do a little bit more business in the last few days,” said Rob Edwards after the defeat at Chelsea. The Hatters look set to sign Axel Tuanzebe and following the ex-Man Utd defender will likely be a midfielder, possibly Newcastle’s Isaac Hayden.
Manchester City – midfielder
City needed a winger so they went and got one. And since Pep Guardiola seems to feel he could use one more midfielder, being the decisive sort they are, they will almost certainly go and get one of those too. Probably Matheus Nunes.
Manchester United – defensive midfielder
Erik ten Hag really needs another top-class centre-forward but given he’s got brass buttons left to spend, the United boss has to focus on the chasm next to Casemiro. United have been weirdly easy to run through so far this season, and even when they have taken a lead, they have subsequently displayed all the control of a pack of sugared-up toddlers. Sofyan Amrabat has sat patiently – just go and sign him.
Newcastle – one more signing
“I’d love one more player, that’s what I’d love personally, and I think then we’d have the ideal depth,” said Eddie Howe last week. The Toon boss could take his pick of positions to strengthen. Howe could use another forward, ideally one who could play through the middle or from the right, and injuries at centre-back could leave the Magpies in a spot of bother.
Nottingham Forest – keep Brennan Johnson
Forest’s biggest job this week is not to end the week weaker than they started it, which would be the consequence of selling Johnson to any of his suitors. Steve Cooper’s task might have been made a little easier by Johnson’s hamstring twang at Old Trafford.
Sheffield United – forward
“If we stop here, I would not be happy,” Paul Heckingbottom told Sky Sports before facing Man City. And he’d be right to be p*ssed off. The Blades have lost big characters and, so far, replaced them with players woefully short on Premier League experience. Ex-Liverpool striker Divock Origi is said to be a target.
Tottenham – centre-back
Brilliant though they seem to have become, Spurs can’t go through the season with Richarlison as their leading No.9 but goals can come from elsewhere. Ange Postecoglou would find it considerably more difficult to spread the load if either Cristian Romero or Micky van de Ven get crocked.
West Ham – centre-back
The Hammers need a centre-back and they want Harry Maguire. It needs to happen for everyone’s sake, especially Maguire’s.
Wolves – sell Matheus Nunes for big money and reinvest
Wolves fans will be delighted to see the back of this summer but they desperately need reinforcements before the window closes. The only way they might get them is if City go back with a bigger offer for Nunes. Then, Gary O’Neil needs cover at centre-back; some midfield creativity; width in attack; and a goalscorer. Good luck with all that.