Priority Positions Your Side MUST Address this Summer
Last week, Discount Football Kits ran through the English Premier League clubs A-N, assessing their biggest needs in the transfer window and checking in on secondary concerns.
This week we’ll complete the set, and with the final promoted team now decided in Crystal Palace, we’ll add their targets to the mixer too.
The Saints are a few pieces away from a superb team, and providing Gaston Ramirez finds his feet next season they could be moving up the table very quickly.
There’s a dire need at centre-back as despite Jos Hooiveld’s improved play he can’t be relied upon for 38 games. With Artur Boruc signed as a long-term goalkeeper, finding a defender or two becomes the priority for Mauricio Pochettino.
The Mail have mentioned Davide Astori as a target, and that’d be a perfect acquisition.
Secondary Concerns: Full-back depth
With new manager Mark Hughes in place, Stoke will attempt to reinvent themselves in the new season.
Appointing Hughes wasn’t the greatest start—he’s hardly a breath of fresh air—but will favour the ball being on the ground far more than Tony Pulis did.
The consistent use of Ryan Shotton as a winger has irked the Potters’ fans all season long, and Hughes can win over a few floating voters by securing a true wide man early on.
Secondary Concerns: Central midfield, striker conundrum
Paolo Di Canio’s brief was simple: Keep Sunderland in the Premier League. Fans were confident he’d do that, but remain unsure as to how the club will look come August.
The Italian coach is a loose cannon, but his success at Swindon Town should not be forgotten. He’s hinted he wants to reshape the club after complaining he inherited an unmotivated, unfit side from Martin O’Neill.
That starts at full-back, with Danny Rose departing after a loan spell and Phil Bardsley declining. Jack Colback and Craig Gardner have played out of position over the past two years and it’s something Di Canio must fix.
Secondary Concerns: Central midfield
Michael Laudrup has continued the fantastic work Brendan Rodgers started, steering the Welsh club to a top-half finish and a domestic cup win in his first season.
He overcame injury crises by blooding youth products and bought cleverly in the market: The Swans are a canvas that require just one or two star signings that take them to the next level.
Who those signings are is difficult to ascertain, though, and securing Jonathan De Guzman on a permanent deal is a must.
Secondary Concerns: Depth in defence, attack, and on the wings
Spurs may well have finished in the top four had they fielded a top-class striker for 38 games this season.
Emmanuel Adebayor may have sprung to life in the final weeks of the season, but Andre Villas-Boas knows he’s unreliable and a new hitman must be found.
Leandro Damiao and Christian Benteke would both suit Spurs’ formation brilliantly.
Other Concerns: Depth on the wings
West Bromwich Albion
Romelu Lukaku departs the Midlands after a supersonic loan spell at West Brom, leaving Steve Clarke with a giant void to fill.
Whether starting or off the bench, the Belgian was the cataylst for many good moves. His influence now needs to be replaced by someone equally exciting, and that won’t come cheap.
Peter Odemwingie is off too, so striker is the clearest need for WBA.
Secondary Concerns: Midfield cover
West Ham United
Sam Allardyce has already moved to solve the problematic left-back position at the club, signing Shakhtar Donetsk man Razvan Rat in an excellent piece of summer business.
With a tough midfield and creativity on the wings, all that remains is the striking conundrum to be solved. Will it be Andy Carroll? Probably.
Secondary Concerns: Winger,right-back
Cardiff will carry a threat so long as Craig Bellamy is on the field, but the retirement of Heidar Helguson will give Malky Mackay a sizeable headache.
He needs a striker who can net 10+ goals in the Premier League if they have any hopes of staying up, and securing a prolific front man is top of the agenda. Darren Bent, anyone?
Secondary Concerns: General quality infusion across the squad, particularly left-back
Hull have tried to make David Stockdale’s move permanent, but it seems Fulham are pricing Steve Bruce’s side out of the deal.
A new goalkeeper is a must for the Premier League newcomers, and reports of their interest in Shay Given suit both parties very well.
Having secured George Boyd on a permanent deal, a man between the sticks is the clear biggest need.
Secondary Concerns: Striker, left-back
It’s difficult to know where to start with Palace.
Their squad truly isn’t equipped to survive in the Premier League and requires a serious injection of cash, as Wilfried Zaha carried them through the playoffs single-handedly.
He is now Manchester United-bound, and Ian Holloway’s first task will be to find another technical offensive talent his side can look to. The squad will be badly affected by the loss of him, and hopes of him returning on loan again will likely be dashed by David Moyes.
Secondary Concerns: Striker, defensive midfield, centre-back