10 Premier League transfers we think will happen this month
Gary Cahill (Chelsea to Arsenal)
Few Premier League players have suffered quite such a fall in status over the last 12 months. Cahill played 37 league games as Chelsea lifted the title in 2016/17 and played 27 more last season, but has featured just once in the league under Maurizio Sarri. The redemption of David Luiz has hit him hard.
Cahill turned 33 last month, but his game has never relied upon pace and Arsenal are desperate for a central defender so that Shkodran Mustafi can be bundled into a cupboard marked ‘do not open’. The only question is whether Chelsea consider it foolish to let a player join a top-four rival, or allow Cahill to join Arsenal as a mark of respect for his service a la Petr Cech.
Neal Maupay (Brentford to Huddersfield)
Included in our list of Championship surprise packages, and with good reason. At the age of 22, Maupay has already proved himself to be the complete Championship centre-forward. Given that Brentford will not be promoted this season, they must have expected significant top-flight interest.
And no team needs a goalscorer more than Huddersfield. Joe Lolley was their second-highest league goalscorer at home in 2018, and he signed for Nottingham Forest on a permanent deal in January.
Not only do David Wagner’s team have the lowest shot conversion rate in the Premier League at 5.2%, their top scorer this season is a central defender with fewer than 20 career league goals at the age of 28.
Tammy Abraham (Chelsea to Wolves)
Wolves are in the market for a striker to provide competition to Raul Jimenez, Chelsea will be happy for Abraham to score goals against their top-four rivals and Abraham gets the Premier League minutes he craves. Wolves getting to harm Aston Villa in the process is a happy little bonus.
The suspicion is that Abraham is another of those strikers who can be prolific in the second tier but will struggle to score goals regularly at Premier League level. But with 16 goals in 20 Championship matches in 2018/19 and two England caps by the age of 21, he surely deserves another chance.
There’s a caveat here, though: while FIFA rules allow a player to be registered to three clubs in a season, they only allow them to play for two of those. Hatem Ben Arfa was denied the chance to play for Nice this time in 2015, having already turned out for Hull and Newcastle’s U21s – considered an official match. Abraham has played for Villa and Chelsea’s U23s.
Brahim Diaz (Manchester City to Real Madrid)
The Premier League’s top clubs have a problem. The financial elite have spent some time hoovering up the best young talent at home and abroad, with the intention to integrate them into the first team and create home-grown superstars. But the pressure of maintaining results and ever-increasing transfer budgets makes it easier to sign players than develop them.
At Chelsea, Callum Hudson-Odoi may well push for a move to Bayern Munich. At Manchester City, Jadon Sancho left for Borussia Dortmund and Brahim Diaz may well choose to leave for Real Madrid. With 49 Premier League minutes at the age of 19, combined with a smattering of cup appearances, can you really blame him?
Adrien Silva (Leicester to Sporting CP)
In 10 years, the saga of Adrien Silva and Leicester will be the subject of a 1,000-word retrospective think piece about terrible football club administration. In August 2017, a £22m deal was agreed for him to move from Sporting to Leicester, but the documents were registered with FIFA 14 seconds after the deadline. Silva was forced to spend five months on the sidelines in footballing no man’s land.
Having finally become eligible for Leicester but seen the manager who signed him depart the club, Silva has failed to impress Claude Puel and is now left on a shelf at the King Power Stadium. Eighteen months after his initial signing he has played only 850 Premier League minutes, 88 of which have come this season.
Now a move back to Sporting to end this nightmare beckons.