Analysis

One ideal summer transfer that YOUR Premier League club could make this summer

Steven Nzonzi

Settle down at the back – we’re not about to say ‘Lionel Messi’ 20 times. Michael Jones has picked out a smart but realistic signing for each of England’s top-flight teams

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Arsenal: Steven Nzonzi (Sevilla)

Forgive Arsenal fans for sounding like a broken record: Nzonzi has long (seriously, since about 2011) been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium, but no transfer has ever materialised. Since then Gunners fans have watched Arsene Wenger try – and largely fail – to bolster the team's midfield with defensive steel... but now that could be about to change. 

If any manager is likely to make Nzonzi an Arsenal player, it's Unai Emery – the man who signed the Frenchman for Sevilla from Stoke in 2015 and helped make him a Europa League winner in his first season. He is 29 now, but Emery needs players for the here and now – and this deal makes as much sense as it ever has done. He'll be at the World Cup this summer.

Bournemouth: Patrick Roberts (Man City)

Buying players at a young age with the goal of developing their abilities is the modus operandi at Bournemouth, and Roberts presents another opportunity for the Cherries to follow this pattern. The winger has just finished a two-year loan spell at Celtic, where he impressed. Although his 2017/18 was disrupted by injuries, the 21-year-old's first season at Parkhead showed his quality in the form of nine goals and 14 assists in 32 league games.

Roberts has potential ready to be tapped into, and the Manchester City player’s future surely lies away from the Etihad given the Citizens’ firepower in forward positions.

Brighton: Nick Powell (Wigan)

It may seem odd for a Premier League side to target a player who has only recently gained Championship status, but Powell’s contribution to Wigan’s promotion from League One warrants attention. Tipped for the top after a move to Manchester United from Crewe in 2012, his progress was hamstrung by a litany of injuries and perceived poor attitude. Yet the 24-year-old had a superbly productive season for the Latics – scoring 15 times from central midfield – and has shrugged off lingering injury doubts.

Burnley: Tom Lawrence (Derby)

After a remarkable 2017/18 season, Turf Moor will be hosting European football next term. If there was one criticism to level at the Clarets, however, it was their shortage of threat in the final third. Burnley scored the fewest goals of the Premier League’s top 10 last season, and Sean Dyche will be looking to address this bluntness to make a repeat campaign more likely.

Derby's Tom Lawrence would provide invention and enterprise on the flanks, and the Manchester United academy graduate’s incisive dribbling could offer an extra facet to Burnley's often-one-dimensional attack.

Cardiff: Luke Freeman (QPR)

Neil Warnock’s Cardiff combined defensive steel with a direct approach to defy the odds and secure promotion. But a team usually needs more than this if they’re to survive in the Premier League – and former Arsenal academy star Freeman could add creativity and industry to help the Bluebirds survive. 

The 26-year-old midfielder managed 12 assists in a poor QPR team last season, and could be a target for a number of Premier League clubs looking for a relatively inexpensive option in attacking areas.