Premier League Big 6 shopping lists for the summer
The 2017/18 Premier League season is over. Manchester City are deserved champions. The season wasn't without its surprises and shocks. Arsenal were disappointing, Liverpool unexpectedly thrilling. In last summer's transfer window, many expectations were met but some needs went unaddressed. What must the top-six clubs do this summer to improve?
Pep Guardiola went all-in during last summer's transfer window. He bought Benjamin Mendy, Bernando Silva, Ederson, Kyle Walker, and Danilo. Save for Mendy's injury, all contributed to City's improbable title run. One can say Guardiola got it right.
The Citizens doesn't seem to need new acquisitions in the upcoming window Assuming Mendy is set to return to action, for the club and their defence look all set for a new challenge once more in the Premier League.
Its Jurgen Klopp's second full season in charge at Anfield and it appears to be its most successful so far. The Reds are third in the Premier League and also in the final of the Champions League here they face Real Madrid. Mohamed Salah, Dominic Solanke, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Andrew Robertson were signed last summer while Virgil Van Dijk joined in January.
Klopp has built the team in a way that the departure of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona to January of no effect on the team. While Salah is creating a scene in the attack with 43 goals in 48 games, van Dijk bringing his expertise to the Red's defence, Alex and Robertson have equally been outstanding in their respective positions. Their signings have in no measure contributed to their success this season and that makes it a hit for Liverpool.
Klopp's team look all set for a new challenge in the Premier League next season but they could consider signing an experienced right-back to serve as competition for Trent Alexander-Arnold whose in-experience almost cost the Reds the Champions League final to AS Roma.
Potential targets: Achraf Hakimi/Real Madrid
Antonio Conte will not only be thinking about his job but will also be wondering what could have been responsible for Chelsea's capitulation this season after winning the Premier League title last season, going many matches unbeaten in the process. Two players instrumental to that success were sold in the summer,
Nemanja Matic and Diego Costa's replacements failed to impress. Alvaro Morata and Tiemoue Bakayoko did not perform to expectations. Willy Caballero, Davide Zappacosta, Antonio Rudiger and Danny Drinkwater had their moments but were in no way consistent. January arrival Olivier Giroud was the only standout among new arrivals.
There will be no Champions League next season. Winning the FA Cup likely won't be a saving grace for Conte. The new man, whoever that may be, won't have a large budget. Still, there might be some talent available on the cheap to fill needs in midfield and as competition for Marcos Alonso.
Potential targets: Luke Shaw/Manchester United, Milan Badelj/Fiorentina, Jonathan Bamba/St Etienne
Romelu Lukaku was signed in the summer for £75 million. The Belgian performed well at the club before his recent injury. Nemanja Matic has also been good but Victor Lindelof is yet to find his feet. January signing Alexis Sanchez has begun to show glimpses of his talent but hasn't done enough. United were the most average second-place team in the Premier League in several years.
Football Weeks claims the Red Devils are interested in Celtic and Scotland international Kieran Tierney to replace Mourinho's favourite whipping boy, Luke Shaw. It's the only area United needs to strengthen in the closed season. Georgi Schennikov of CSKA Moscow would have been a better option for United but he's out of action due to a groin injury. He's due back in June but the club would be taking a chance by signing him.
Potential targets: Ivan Strinic/Sampdoria
Arsene Wenger signed quality players in attack. Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac arrived in the summer. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined in January. The foursome couldn't lift the Gunners above sixth.
It could be argued the Gunners have all they need to be title contenders. The new manager will only have a £50 million war chest if rumours are true. That's more like a fourth-form bag lunch in today's market. Hector Bellerin needs someone to push him to the next level. The midfield is light now but will be worse if Jack Wilshere leaves.
Potential targets: Max Meyer/Schalke, if we're going to spend the fitty all in one place.
Lucas Moura, Serge Aurier and Fernando Llorente were signed during the course of the season. Despite not spending as much as other clubs in the top six, Spurs managed a top-four finish. They could have done more with looser purse strings. A striker to back up Harry Kane, or replace him if he does end up joining Real Madrid this summer, is the tallest order for the North Londoners.
Potential targets: Abel Hernández/Hull, because you know Daniel Levy won't splurge.