Arsenal: central midfielder
This is very much a quality over quantity issue for the Gunners, who count Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka, Jack Wilshere, Mohamed Elneny and Francis Coquelin among their midfield options. None of those convince as a successor to the perennially injured Santi Cazorla, though, which remains a problem for Arsene Wenger. Incredible as it may seem, quality midfield options would still be useful at the Emirates.
Bournemouth have three left-backs on the books in Charlie Daniels, Brad Smith and Tyrone Mings, but Adam Smith is the only natural option on the other side of the defence. Simon Francis, who turns 33 this season, can cover there, but the Cherries would be well advised to add another right-back to their squad before the end of the month.
At the time of writing, Brighton are still awaiting their first goal in the Premier League – a quest which would be aided by the acquisition of a new centre-forward. Glenn Murray turns 34 next month and has never been prolific in the top tier, while Tomer Hemed looks set for the exit door. A new frontman is a must for Chris Hughton, with Oumar Niasse the latest to be linked. We all saw what happened to Middlesbrough last season.
Boss Sean Dyche has secured a replacement for striker Andre Gray in Chris Wood, but Burnley haven’t yet signed a centre-back to fill the void left by Michael Keane. James Tarkowski performed well against Chelsea and West Brom, but whether he’s good enough to partner Ben Mee over a sustained period of time remains to be seen.
Chelsea: central midfielder
The sale of Nemanja Matic raised more than a few eyebrows, but Chelsea have also let Nathaniel Chalobah go and loaned out Ruben Loftus-Cheek this summer. Adding another option in the centre of the park is therefore a must, particularly as the Blues will also have Champions League football to contend with this term. Danny Drinkwater would fit the bill, although perhaps not at the price Leicester are demanding.
Crystal Palace: right-wing-back
A back-up striker and goalkeeping upgrade would also be welcome, but if Frank de Boer’s 3-4-3 system is to be successful, a right wing-back is desperately needed. The committed Joel Ward has assumed the role in Palace’s opening two games, but he simply doesn’t possess the attacking quality required to play in that position for an entire campaign.
Everton have been busy in the transfer market this summer, but Ronald Koeman insists their work isn’t done yet. With Romelu Lukuku, Arouna Kone and Enner Valencia having moved on, acquiring an out-and-out centre-forward will presumably be one of his objectives in the coming days.
Given that Huddersfield haven’t made a signing since July 7 but amassed six points from six in the Premier League so far, there’s a good chance David Wagner will leave the club chequebook in the drawer until January. If Town do re-enter the market, though, a centre-half to provide Christopher Schindler and Zanka with some stronger competition would be a smart investment.
Leicester have done some excellent business this window, but right now it's about getting through the rest of the window unscathed – the futures of Danny Drinkwater, Riyad Mahrez and Demarai Gray are all far from certain. Keeping all three would be success in itself – and securing another right-back would make it even better. Danny Simpson is arguably the most limited player in Craig Shakespeare’s first-choice XI, and there’s precious little in the way of back-up behind him. Someone more attack-minded to compete with him wouldn't go amiss.
The Virgil van Dijk saga has dragged on all summer, and Liverpool are taking a risk by letting their pursuit of the Dutchman drag on until the final week of the window. With Southampton continuing to dig their heels in, it could be time for Jurgen Klopp to turn his attention elsewhere.
Manchester City: centre-back
City showcased familiar failings in their 1-1 draw with Everton on Monday night, a game which featured wastefulness in front of goal and defensive shakiness at the other end of the field. Pep Guardiola has emphatically addressed the full-back issue, but another centre-half – Jonny Evans is a sensible target – is required.
Manchester United: left-back
Two thumping 4-0 wins suggest United are in a pretty good position, and Jose Mourinho has a balanced squad. A new left-back wouldn’t be grumbled at, though: Luke Shaw is out of favour and Daley Blind, while a fine footballer, doesn’t offer the attacking impetus that big clubs require from their full-backs. Danny Rose, seemingly unsettled at Spurs, would be the perfect fit.
Newcastle: central midfielder
Rafa Benitez has been left frustrated by Newcastle’s transfer activity in the last few months, but successive 2-0 losses in the league may help persuade Mike Ashley to loosen the purse strings. A creative midfielder capable of getting on the ball and dictating play – Sampdoria’s Dennis Praet has been mentioned – should be Benitez’s principal target.
Southampton: attacking midfielder
Wesley Hoedt’s imminent switch from Lazio is set to solve Saints’ centre-back issue, so attentions should turn to the attacking half of the pitch. Adding another support option to a pool which already contains Nathan Redmond, Sofiane Boufal and Dusan Tadic would be an astute move.
Mame Biram Diouf has been quietly impressive since being re-deployed at right-wing-back, but it’s still not clear whether he can be considered a long-term solution in that role. Signing a specialist in the position before the window closes would be wise.
Swansea: central midfielder
After the club’s coffers were boosted to the tune of £45m when Gylfi Sigurdsson joined Everton last week, Swansea could be one of the busiest sides in the final few days of the window. An injection of midfield steel to complement the tidy ball-playing of Tom Carroll, Roque Mesa and Leon Britton should be a priority.
Tottenham’s inactivity in the market has been well documented, but the pieces finally seem to be falling into place for Mauricio Pochettino: centre-back Davinson Sanchez has joined from Ajax, and right-back Serge Aurier is hot on his heels from PSG. A bit of pace higher up the pitch should be the next item on Spurs’ shopping list.
Watford appear pretty well set for the season ahead, but Marco Silva will surely be after a left-back to compete with Jose Holebas. Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs is a supposed target and would be a good addition, while Napoli’s Ivan Strinic is another worth considering.
West Brom: left-back
Left-back has been West Brom’s problem position for years; Chris Brunt has continued in the role for the Baggies’ opening two games of the season. Tony Pulis isn’t one for buccaneering full-backs but a natural, left-footed defender on that side of the pitch would be welcome.
West Ham: winger
West Ham shelled out a club-record fee for Marko Arnautovic this summer, but the Austrian is already in Slaven Bilic's bad books for a daft red card picked up in last weekend's heartbreaking defeat to Southampton. Bilic could really do without it – although the excellent Michail Antonio has returned, the Hammers are a little thin out wide: Robert Snodgrass is probably leaving, Manuel Lanzini is injured and would ideally be played centrally anyway, while Andre Ayew has been played as a supporting striker. There's certainly room for a fresh face on the wing.
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