For the first time in the history of the Premier League, Liverpool won the Premier League. It seems absurd that it took Liverpool 27 years to win the league, with the likes of Leicester City and Blackburn beating them to it, but Liverpool did it in style. The title was clinched after Manchester City lost to Chelsea 2-1, securing the league title with seven match weeks remaining. Liverpool won it by 23 points, and with seven games remaining will try to beat Manchester City’s single-season point record of 100. It’s rare that the Premier League has a run-away winner, so it’s obvious a lot of improvement is needed. But who does each club need to sign?
When I say top six teams, I mean the traditional top six of Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City. If I meant the current top six, that would be much different, including Leicester and Wolverhampton. Obviously based on the title, I’ll be excluding Liverpool, who don’t need much (if any) improvement, which might be the first time anybody has said that about a team that lost 3-0 to Watford. The point totals and standings are as of June 26, 2020. These are also going to be realistic signings, not Messi and Ronaldo.
Arsenal (9th Place, 43 Points)
Issa Diop, Center Back, West Ham
Arsenal have been probably the most disappointing Premier League club. With young talents like Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli breaking into the first team along with proven forwards in Aubameyang and Lacazette, this team had a chance at a top four finish. However, it’s been a disgraceful season that included a Europa League exit to Olympiacos, and two managers in Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta.
The defense has been a major issue, and it’s no surprise given that the team decided to sign Cedric Soares on a permanent deal. This, despite the 28 year old playing no games since joining the club on loan from Southampton in January as well as re-signing David Luiz after one of the most disgraceful performances in Premier League history in a loss to Manchester City.
Obviously center back is the area that needs immediate attention, with barely any depth behind Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi. Issa Diop has been superb for a West Ham team fighting relegation, and they will most likely be looking to sell him if they go down or not. Arsenal ought to hope that West Ham go down as they might be able to buy Diop for cheap, but they’ll have to beat Chelsea to get him. Diop has played in 25 games for West Ham, scored three goals and has played in five games in which West Ham kept a clean sheet, including a 2-0 win over Manchester United. Diop is just 23 and is the signing Arsenal needs.
Tottenham (7th Place, 45 Points)
José Luis Gayà, Left Back, Valencia
It’s also been somewhat of a disappointing season for Tottenham, but this has been less their fault. Fans were optimistic after Tottenham finished the 2018/19 season in fourth in the Premier League as well as reaching the Champions League final. On top of that, they were unveiling a new stadium with a capacity of 62,000, but things did not go ideally.
Coach Mauricio Pochettino was sacked in November after Tottenham were in fourteenth place after twelve games, and had been embarrassed in the Champions League following a 7-2 loss to Bavarian giants Bayern Munich. Pochettino was replaced by “The Special One”, Jose Mourinho, but the fortunes have not changed much for Tottenham.
Star midfielder Christian Eriksen forced his way out of London for just twenty-two million USD, around twenty million euros, despite having a market value of around one hundred million USD at the time. Injuries to Harry Kane and Heung-min Son left Tottenham vulnerable at the front with just new striker Steven Bergwijn up top, but Tottenham still have a very good squad.
The defense needs all-round improvement including in goal, but left back ultimately is the main concern with just Ben Davies on the left. Enter José Luis Gayà, a talented twenty-five year old left back for Valencia who has played in twenty-five of Valencia’s thirty-one games and is a great player who is a wingback as well as a fullback.
Manchester United (5th Place, 49 Points)
Kalidou Koulibaly, Center Back, Napoli
Manchester United have finally started to recover for the first time in a post-Ferguson era, with the exception of the 2017/18 season, with a nice blend of young talents, experienced veterans, and David de Gea. However, center back remains a position with many issues, namely Phil Jones and an overrated Harry Maguire. There are some decent center backs like Victor Lindelöf and Eric Bailly as well some with good potential like Axel Tuanzebe, but they need a good center back to dominate the middle and Harry Maguire isn’t the one to do that.
Kalidou Koulibaly has played two hundred and thirty-six games for Napoli, but due to some disagreements between players and the top brass, Napoli look set for a roster overhaul and Koulibaly would be perfect for Manchester United. Koulibaly has made thirty-three appearances for the Senegalese national team and played in the World Cup and African Cup of Nations.
Manchester City (2nd Place, 63 Points)
Luka Jovic, Striker, Real Madrid
Manchester City have looked colossally behind Liverpool all season, and whilst this is a very strong team on paper they have many weaknesses. Forward is not one of them, with Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Agüero leading the lines, but Agüero is aging and constantly linked with a return to Atletico Madrid. Enter Luka Jovic, a striker who sealed a huge deal to Real Madrid after performing well with Eintracht Frankfurt but who has failed to deliver and been controversial off the pitch. Real Madrid are looking to get rid of Jovic and Manchester City would be a great place for the Serbian. You could also make a good case for goalkeeper behind Ederson but Arijanet Muric returns after his loan at Nottingham so he adds depth behind the Brazilian.
Chelsea (4th Place, 54 Points)
Alireza Beiranvand, Goalkeeper, Persepolis
Wait, what? Following up a sixty-six million USD signing with a twenty-seven year old goalkeeper from Iran? Whilst Alireza Beiranvand may look like the least prestigious name on this list, he isn’t. Beiranvand starred in the 2018 World Cup, allowing two goals in three games and saving a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty kick as Iran were inches away from advancing to the World Cup quarter finals. But that isn’t what makes Beiranvand the perfect player for Chelsea. Beiranvand has been known to throw the ball incredibly accurate at lengths up to eighty yards, and with Chelsea recently confirming the signing of speedster Timo Werner he would be perfect for the Blues.
Chelsea are looking to part with starting goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and have been linked to Roman Bürki, who isn’t even the best goalkeeper in Switzerland. Plus, the signing of Beiranvand would be cheap and allow Chelsea to finance Werner, Hakim Ziyech and maybe even some more signings like Kai Havertz.
So that is my opinion of a signing that could make each top six Premier League team a contender. If you have an opinion as to a player that would be better for a team, a recommendation for an article, or just any questions for me, please leave a comment. I hope you enjoyed, and as always, keep watching soccer!