We’re not quite at the down-stage of the season yet because we’ve two European cup finals left to tackle, but the summer transfer window is around the corner and there’s certain signings that just make so much sense for each of the top six.
Can Liverpool honestly repeat their exploits of last season? Can Man City actually improve on theirs? Could your 34-year-old uncle who’s an interfirm standout in Bromley conceivably get a look in at Manchester United? These are all the big questions, and we’ve got the answers.
Manchester City: Casemiro (Real Madrid)
Manchester City do not need a striker – they’ve got one of the best forwards to ever play in the Premier League and an understudy who very rarely misses out on an opportunity to impress when he’s called upon.
They’ll rarely play two up front, and they have Sterling for that, so a striker might be a waste of money, if it’s at all possible to waste money at that club. Instead, we look to the future and ensure that City’s engine – Fernandinho – has the time to pick and choose his battles this season.
There aren’t too many players like him in the world, and that’s why nobody could ever really list him in the top talents on the planet over the last five years despite being exactly what every side truly needed. People simply don’t understand the skillset because he doesn’t fall into a prescribed notion of what a number six is.
But luckily for Pep, his compatriot Casemiro is a carbon copy. Granted he’s coming from Real Madrid, but his signing ensures they’re fine for another five years in the position that truly makes them tick.
Liverpool: Timo Werner (RB Leipzig)
Conversely, many will suggest that Liverpool need to upgrade in the middle of the park unlike City, and I’ve gone for a striker here.
If you look at last year, Liverpool, of the big sides, probably have midfielders in possession the least amount of time. They’re more direct than City, Spurs and Chelsea so a premium pick-up in a midfield unit that did its best gelling towards season’s end with players who need time to acclimatise is pointless. Fabinho still has to contribute, too.
No, their biggest strength to a fault was up front. You never had to guess where Liverpool were pulling their front three on a team sheet from. Occasionally, Shaqiri would chip in from a few different roles, but he generally didn’t operate centrally.
Liverpool need some rotation up top and Bobby Firmino can’t play as often as he did last year because he’ll be exhausted.
Instead, pick up a player who shares similar attributes, who’ll drop to link up play and has an array of finishes in his locker. This could potentially see the club make a massive profit too in the future should they need to move on from him.
Chelsea: Maurizio Sarri
So, they’re likely blocked from bringing in any players due to their transfer ban, but Maurizio Sarri has done nothing wrong. He finished third, albeit a distant third, and got Chelsea to a Europa League final in his first season in charge as well as the league cup final.
Don’t be daft, gents. If you’re going to ‘sign’ anyone, keep your gaffer for an extended period of time.
Tottenham: Youri Tielemans (Monaco)
Some signings are fail-safes. This is one of them. Not only has Tielemans been exposed to the Premier League, he’s excelled it.
He also plays for a club that scraped past the drop in Ligue 1 this season.
Spurs have a nice nucleus in midfield, and while people will get patriotic behind Eric Dier being the future of the Spurs midfield, if they want to push onto the next level, he won’t be the focal point of this side.
If Poch wants to continue his trend of spending smaller transfer fees for bigger return on the pitch, this one truly fits the mould.
Not only does he control games, but he also offers a goal threat, either directly or indirectly.
Kane and Son will be the centre of Tottenham’s title hopes for the foreseeable, but they can do both players a favour by bringing in the Belgian.
Arsenal: Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City)
Arsenal need energy in midfield. They need a bit of aggression that doesn’t come from Xhaka running around headless, but above all else, they need someone who gives genuine effort.
I was tempted to slot in a manager here because, in all honesty, Emery has been a relative flop. But if he wants to turn Arsenal from being a soft touch, particularly away from home, they need someone to break up play, track midfield runners and get the ball out of his feet quickly.
Ndidi is a similar type of player to N’golo Kante in the way they operate and he’s probably about £40 million cheaper.
Given Arsenal’s previous, there’s not a chance they fork out for a top-tier player, but Ndidi would be a welcome boost to a side who appear not to even care at times.
Manchester United: Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli)
Anything that gets Chris Smalling out of the Man United team is worth nine figures.
United have problems all over the pitch, but their biggest issue lies in the dugout with their manager issuing orders for his players to play in the fashion expected of them at a club like Manchester United.
Paul Pogba was six years old when you won the treble, Ole – nobody cares. His failure to accept any player for the human being they are is his downfall and the sooner he realises that football moved on beyond Alex Ferguson, the better.
In truth, it doesn’t matter who United sign here unless it’s Ronny Johnsen, because apparently, only players who played in United’s glory days can replicate them.
Bore off, Ole.