One In, One Out: Who your Premier League club should buy and sell this summer
One out: Theo Walcott
It's time. The excuses are tired and Walcott's value to Arsenal is declining by the season. He's not a bad player and he never has been, but he's become indicative of the culture of underachievement that Arsene Wenger has allowed to fester.
No matter how many times Walcott's body fails him or how regularly he vanishes at critical moments, nothing seems to interrupt the supply of new and improved contracts awarded to him. He's a good professional and likeable person, but he's become a symbol of his club's tolerance for imperfection.
One in: Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon)
Lacazette would be expensive but certainly an improvement and, if the need arises, he could theoretically play alongside Olivier Giroud as well as instead of him
Granit Xhaka has arrived to stiffen a somewhat fragile midfield, but Wenger must also add a forward before the window closes. It's easier said than done, of course, because there aren't many available goalscorers who would actually improve Arsenal.
Lacazette would be expensive but certainly an improvement and, if the need arises, he could theoretically play alongside Olivier Giroud as well as instead of him. Still just 25, the Frenchman would represent far better value than the often-linked Gonzalo Higuain and, again unlike the Argentine, he could still improve as a player under the circumstances.
One out: Adam Federici
He was a standout goalkeeper in the Championship when he won promotion with Reading, but he's never looked comfortable in the Premier League
It's probably not going to happen, because he recently signed a new contract, but Federici should really be sacrificed for someone more reliable. He was a standout goalkeeper in the Championship when he won promotion with Reading, but he's never looked comfortable in the Premier League and seems to struggle with the demands of the game at that level. Artur Boruc is now in his late thirties and goalkeepers of that age need competent understudies.
One in: Rico Henry (Walsall)
There isn't a more coveted teenage full-back in the country than Walsall's Henry. Very quick, very ambitious on the ball and very modern, he is essentially the 2016 prototype for his position and though his inexperience is evidenced by the occasional hiccup (he didn’t have the best time in the League One play-off semi-final), he is heading right for the top of the game.
Almost every big club in the country has been linked but Bournemouth could lure him with the theoretical promise of first-team football sooner, and the opportunity to work with Eddie Howe. From a neutral's perspective, everyone should want emerging English players to be coached by Howe.
One out: Dean Marney
Sean Dyche has a small squad and surely won't be in a hurry to trim it, but Marney has limited value at Premier League level. At 32 and on the team's periphery, it would perhaps make more sense to allow him to drop back into the Championship. Burnley will, as they did in 2014, emphasise prudence over reckless spending and Marney's place on the wage bill is hard to justify.
One in: Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa)
He's exactly the sort of resilient component who would toughen up Dyche’s side and, happily, he’s rumoured to have a sub-£10m release clause in his contract
Joey Barton was a cornerstone of the side's promotion and so, with the sweet and tender hooligan now having left the club, that area needs strengthening. Twenty-year-old Jack Leitch has joined from Motherwell, but Burnley need someone capable of making an instant contribution.
Idrissa Gueye may be tainted by Aston Villa's limp relegation, but within different surroundings he would have proven to be an excellent signing – and he would be for Burnley. A solid performer in every aspect of the midfield game, he's exactly the sort of resilient component who would toughen up Dyche’s side and, happily, he’s rumoured to have a sub-£10m release clause in his contract. It might be ambitious, though – reports suggest he’s already turned down Marseille.
LOIC REMY IN PREMIER LEAGUE
- 12/13: 14 apps, 6 goals
- 13/14: 26 apps, 14 goals
- 14/15: 21 apps, 7 goals
- 15/16: 13 apps, 1 goal
One out: Loic Remy
Remy was once considered an excellent prospect, a tag he justified at Marseille and then Newcastle. At Chelsea, however, he serves no purpose – less so now that Michy Batshuayi has been signed. Whether it's the size of the club, the expectation level, or the brightness of the lights, he just doesn't have the self-belief to be a regular contributor at that level and, ultimately, he's now wasting his career at Stamford Bridge.
One in: N'Golo Kante (Leicester)
Just one? It's difficult because Chelsea have a range of areas to strengthen, and the appeal and resources to improve them all in the space of a single summer. Antonio Conte will likely be most troubled by the state of the midfield, though, with Nemanja Matic poor in 2015/16, Cesc Fabregas a disappointment, and Jon Obi Mikel limited.
Radja Nainggolan seemed close to a move earlier in the year, but he has drifted from Chelsea's radar since and, given the player's age, that might not be a bad thing. Instead, Conte would do well to toughen his soft middle with Kante - and no apologies for the lack of imagination. Everyone's favourite French midfielder is so much more than a destroyer: skilful, capable of providing counter-attacking support and, of course, the finest defensive shield in the country last season. Kante would help to protect the back four during what is likely to be a tricky transitional period – and reports suggest the deal's done.