Premier League Transfer Tracker – Part 2
With World Cup 2018 unsurprisingly dominating the headlines, it’s been a quiet summer so far in the Premier League, but how are teams shaping up ahead of the August start?
Here, we look at Everton through to Manchester City….
Main Ins: Richarlison, Watford
Main Outs: Joel Robles, Real Betis; Jose Baxter, free agent; Ramiro Funes Mori, Villarreal; Wayne Rooney, DC United; Davy Klaassen, Werder Bremen
Reasons to be cheerful? After how last summer’s extravagant spending spree panned out for the Toffees, perhaps it’s reassuring that Marco Silva and Marcel Brands, the new men at the Goodison Park helm, are biding their time before dipping a toe into the market. The capture of Richarlison this week suggests they are now ready to pounce for their key targets.
Offloading the media circus that surrounds Wayne Rooney should also help the new broom draw a line under an underwhelming 2017/18 campaign.
Reasons to be fearful? Everton have plenty of squad players to shift following that £150m binge in last summer’s transfer market, although they have freed up some wages by moving on Rooney and Davy Klaassen. With several big earners still on the payroll that probably need moving on, will Silva have enough room for manoeuvre to propel the Toffees closer to the Big Six?
Main Ins: Jean Michael Seri, Nice; Maxime Le Marchand, Nice; Fabricio Agosto Ramirez, Besiktas; Andre Schurrle, Borussia Dortmund (loan)
Main Outs: Ryan Fredericks, West Ham; David Button, Brighton
Reasons to be cheerful? Back in the Premier League after a four-year absence, Fulham have won plenty of admirers at Championship level for their attacking philosophy under the impressive Slavisa Jokanovic. They also have an ambitious owner in Shahid Khan, who has put out a massive statement of intent in sanctioning the £35m transfer of Jean-Michael Seri. Fulham’s likely relegation rivals have been warned.
Reasons to be fearful? The Premier League is a massive step-up for any newly promoted outfit – particularly for play-off winners who have the least amount of time to prepare for the leap. Fulham managed to recover from a sluggish start to win promotion in 2017/18 but can’t afford to get off to a slow start this time around. Keeping Tom Cairney and Ryan Sessegnon will be key to their survival hopes.
Main Ins: Ben Hamer, Leicester; Terence Kongolo, Monaco; Ramadan Sobhi, Stoke; Juninho Bacuna, Groningen; Jonas Lossi, Mainz; Erik Durm, Borussia Dortmund; Adama Diakhaby, Monaco
Main Outs: Dean Whitehead, retired; Robert Green, free agent
Reasons to be cheerful? They are still here – and few Terriers fans would have anticipated that back in the summer of 2017. With a manager in David Wagner who has proven he can work miracles, the Terriers will be more than happy to carry on where they left off and have already been busy in the marketplace as they look to add extra quality in their ranks. The signing of Kongolo on a permanent deal for a club record fee suggests the purse strings might be a little more relaxed this summer, too.
Reasons to be fearful? This is still a squad that looks some way of short of the genuine quality needed to avoid anything but a desperate survival scrap. With Wolves and Fulham spending big, and the likes of West Ham and Southampton unlikely to be as complacent in 2018/19, it could be a whole lot tougher second time around.
Main Ins – Ricardo Pereira, Porto; Jonny Evans, West Brom; James Maddison, Norwich; Danny Ward, Liverpool
Main Outs – Robert Huth, free agent; Ben Hamer, Huddersfield; Riyad Mahrez, Man City
Reasons to be cheerful? Some very canny acquisitions suggest the Foxes are one of the teams best placed to genuinely challenge the Big Six, even if the infamous title-winning season is slowly starting to fade from the memory. Evans is one of the value buys of the summer, whilst Maddison could well be the next name in the frame for Gareth Southgate’s young Lions squad if he can hit the ground running.
Reasons to be fearful? The disconnect between the fans and Claude Puel appeared terminal back in May, but despite intense media speculation to the contrary, it looks as if the Frenchman still retains the backing of the Foxes board. He surely merits a full pre-season to build a team in his image, but the uneasy truce between Puel and the Foxes fanbase is unlikely to hold for long if he fails to get a talented side firing on all cylinders. Finally losing Mahrez is also a major blow.
Main Ins: Fabinho, Monaco; Naby Keita, RB Leipzig; Xherdan Shaqiri, Stoke; Alisson, AS Roma
Main Outs: Emre Can, Juventus; Jon Flanagan, free agent; Danny Ward, Leicester
Reasons to be cheerful? Liverpool haven’t wasted any time in bringing in some much-needed extra midfield bite to Anfield, with Keita finally arriving from Leipzig and the signing of Fabinho wrapped up within days of the Reds’ crushing defeat in Kiev. Shaqiri’s arrival adds yet more firepower to an impressive front line.
Reasons to be fearful? Klopp’s stubbornness in addressing defensive issues could be the main stumbling block for a Liverpool team who can wipe the floor with any opponent in the right frame of mind. Laurus Karius’ hangover from the Champions League final has continued into pre-season, so news of the arrival of Alisson is a gamechanger as Klopp looks to address his side’s major weak spot.
Main Ins: Riyad Mahrez, Leicester City; Claudio Gomes, PSG
Main Outs: Yaya Toure, free agent; Angus Gunn, Southampton
Reasons to be cheerful? With a glut of talent at their disposal and confidence at an all-time high after reaching the unprecedented 100-point mark last season, City will surely be the team to beat once again this year. The addition of former PFA Players’ Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez adds even more firepower to their attacking options as they look to reign supreme on all fronts.
Reasons to be fearful? City will have to battle against history if they want to retain their crown – it’s been nine years since the Premier League trophy stayed in the same hands. They have the manager, squad and mentality to make it two in a row but will be wary of their closest contenders raising their game in 2018/19.
All image sources from PA Images.
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