The recent talk about the restructuring of the summer transfer window period in the Premier League is refreshing. Managers seem to want to know their squads before the season starts, and players would also like to be settled down at their clubs.
As it stands, the transfer window still runs until the end of August, and clubs like Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Man United, and Tottenham are running out of time to finalize their squads for the season which has already started.
I’ll start with Chelsea, since they opened their campaign with a shocking 3-2 home loss to Burnley . Chelsea have a small squad and could use some strong players to help rotate the starting lineup as the season goes along. This year they will also have the Champions League to participate in, which was something they had the luxury of missing last year on the way to their title. I’d say they could do with two players. One defender, and one midfielder, or two midfielders with one being more defensive-minded and possibly able to cover at wingback. With Costa set to return to training, Morata and Costa up front along with Batshuayi seems like enough firepower.
Liverpool are on the verge of losing Coutinho, and are saving face by blaming the player for trying to force the move after seemingly going back on his word. Coutinho was always ultimately going to leave and now Liverpool find themselves in a position where they will need to find his replacement no matter if he stays or if he goes by the end of the month.
Defense is another glaring area that Liverpool will need to strengthen if they want a chance of pushing for trophies. There is more than enough strength in attack. The midfield is more or less solid, but defense needs reinforcements. I’d say they are a centreback and a fullback away from having a really complete squad and winning games consistently. Their key target was clearly Van Dijk. If it turns out that they cannot get him, is there a backup option? Another year of Dejan Lovren isn’t ideal.
Tottenham have been deathly quiet in this transfer window and it’s hard to see how they will challenge with the Champions League and the domestic cups along with the league with the very same squad as last season, minus Kyle Walker. I see many challenges for this team down the stretch, especially as they get to grips with Wembley, and they may have to bring in a player in January if they don’t do it now.
United looked pretty good in their opening day win, and Matic may end up being the signing of the summer, even trumping Lukaku. Mourinho would still say they’re one player away from having a full squad, and Lindelof seems unsettled in defense.
Arsenal will do their best not to buy, but might yet be forced to sell their most important star in Alexis Sanchez, even if Arsene maintains that the Chilean is staying. This is a fate that Arsenal fans have seen repeatedly, and it must be quite painful to experience each time. Wenger has had a lot of critics in recent seasons, and has faced a lot of talk about his future. Bringing in Lacazette was decent, but you get the feeling it isn’t nearly enough.
What is the goal? Arsenal are still in limbo as to whether they are a feeder club or a force. They need one or two more top quality players. How many times have we seen this team in the top 1 or 2 spots on Christmas Day, only to be fourth place by the end of the season? Finishing fifth and having the Europa League should have been a wake up call for strengthening. We’ll see what transpires by the end of August for Wenger and his men.