The one player your Premier League club SHOULD have signed this summer

Marco Verratti Manchester City

The transfer deadline has long passed, but there are some nagging regrets for fans of most top-flight clubs. Barnaby Lane looks at what you could have won...

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Arsenal: Gonçalo Guedes

Goncalo Guedes

Arsenal had a positive summer, but their need for an attacking wideman was evident during the weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester City. Unai Emery’s side offered little threat in the first half with an attacking triumvirate of Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Aaron Ramsey behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Only when Alexandre Lacazette entered the fray and Aubameyang moved out wide did the Gunners threaten.

Emery won’t be wanting to play his star striker out wide all season, but may have forced his own hand by failing to land an out-and-out winger during the transfer window.

Moves for Ousmane Dembele and Leon Bailey were mooted, but given the Gunners’ limited transfer budget, a more moderate target would have been PSG’s Guedes. The Parisians needed to offload players to keep in line with UEFA’s FFP rules, meaning Arsenal could have nabbed themselves the Portuguese forward at a cut price. Instead it looks like Valencia will tie him down.

Bournemouth: Danny Welbeck 

Danny Welbeck

Welbeck would have been a decent signing for Bournemouth this summer, and in turn got more of the first-team football he needs to reignite his career.  

While his finishing has often let him down at an elite level, the 27-year-old is an intelligent, unselfish and threatening player – all characteristics that would have helped him fit right in at Dean Court.  

Brighton: Jordan Ayew 

Jordan Ayew

Brighton’s goalscoring burden fell mostly on Glenn Murray’s creaking shoulders last season, and the 34-year-old responded with 14 goals in all competitions. 

But if the Seagulls are to beat the drop again this year, Murray will need some help. Jurgen Locadia (who joined in January) and summer signing Florin Andone are both likely to need more time adapting to the Premier League, so a multifunctional forward who could have hit the ground running would have been welcome.  

Ayew – who scored 11 times for Swansea last season – was available on loan, but has wound up at Crystal Palace instead.   

Burnley: Adama Traore 

Adama Traore

Built on the foundations of a solid back four – Sean Dyche’s side shut out opponents 12 times in the Premier League last season – Burnley were 2017/18’s surprise package, finishing seventh and qualifying for Europe for the first time in their history. 

But while the Clarets were imperious at the back, they weren’t so hot at the other end and scored just 36 goals. They’re actually reasonably well stocked for strikers in a one-man system – what with Chris Wood, Ashley Barnes and Sam Vokes – but could do with a bit more firepower out wide. Boro’s exciting Adama Traore didn’t come cheap at £18m, but Burnley could’ve beaten Wolves to the punch earlier this summer.   

Cardiff: Oguzhan Ozkayup  

Oguzhan Ozyakup

Missing out on re-signing Marko Grujic from Liverpool this summer was a bummer for Cardiff considering the prominent role that the 22-year-old played in their promotion last term. 

Before they landed Grujic back in January, however, the Welsh side made an ambitious move for Besiktas star Oguzhan Ozyakup. No deal happened while the Turkey international was unwilling to drop to the Championship, but the 25-year-old may have reconsidered this time around. 

Described by former West Ham and Croatia manager Slaven Bilic as the “most talented player in Turkey” and a “young Mesut Ozil”, Cardiff may have missed a trick in not trying again to sign him this summer.  

Chelsea: Kasper Schmeichel  

Kasper Schmeichel

Chelsea managed to rectify a near disaster following the departure of Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid by signing £71 million Athletic Bilbao shot-stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga on deadline day.  

Had the Blues been a little more proactive in their search for a new keeper, however – Courtois seemed Madrid-bound from very early in the transfer window – they may have found themselves a cheaper, less risky alternative. 

Having enjoyed a fine World Cup with Denmark, and a proven Premier League record of quality behind him, Leicester’s Schmeichel could have been the perfect solution to Chelsea’s problem. 

Crystal Palace: Thorgan Hazard 

Thorgan Hazard

Palace would have loved to land Ruben Loftus-Cheek on another loan or permanently, but Chelsea’s unwillingness to let him go put paid to that (“we did all we could do,” sobbed Roy Hodgson).  

Still, Palace got Chiekhou Kouyate and Max Meyer in the end, and they’re lighter on options out wide in their 4-4-2. Really, Andros Townsend and Jeff Schlupp are the only natural wingers they have (loanee Jordan Ayew is more of a forward; Patrick van Aanholt could play there if required) – so perhaps Borussia Monchengladbach’s Hazard may have been handy.  

The 25-year-old Belgium international managed 10 goals and six assists in the Bundesliga last season, and could have slotted seamlessly into the Eagles’ exciting counter-attacking unit.