EPL Transfer Rumours: One Position Each Side Will Look to Improve in the Summer
You might think that your team doesn't need any new faces in the summer, but football is always evolving.
Strength in depth has become essential for any top club to maintain their league and cup hopes combined, and even goes a way into just keeping some sides in the league.
Whilst all teams have their weaknesses, here we'll look at where each Premier League side could look to improve in the summer.
Arsenal have a solid team when all of their players are fit, and whilst they have lacked defensive cover this season, they could probably put that down to being unfortunate rather than underprepared.
One position Arsene Wenger will likely look to strengthen is the attack.
Robin Van Persie has been phenomenal this season, but he needs help when it comes to weighing in with goals.
Gervinho and Walcott play as widemen rather than central strikers and Marouane Chamakh just isn't up to the task.
As I go to submit this article I have noticed that an agreement has been reached with Cologne for Lukas Podolski to sign next season.
Seems Arsene Wenger thought the same as I did.
Aston Villa's midfield really needs some upgrading if they are to return to the top seven team they used to be.
Having lost Stewart Downing and Ashley Young in the summer, quality midfielders need to be brought in to feed the goal hungry Darren Bent.
Charles N'Zogbia hasn't had the impact that Alex McCleish had hoped for.
Unfortunately Blackburn Rovers have issues all over the pitch but the losses of Ryan Nelson to Spurs and Christopher Samba to Anzhi Makhachkala means that the defence has to be given priority in the summer.
Blackburn have some money to spend but their problem is attracting a good enough standard of player.
On paper, Bolton Wanderers have a solid team, but their difficult opening fixtures this season have shattered their confidence and they've never shaken it off.
Bolton look devoid of quality in the midfield with loanee Ryo Miyaichi as their only bright spark.
Owen Coyle will likely look to Bolster across the middle come summer—assuming he still has a job.
This summer could see a Chelsea squad overhaul.
Ageing players such as Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda may seek football elsewhere, whilst the younger Daniel Sturridge and Fernando Torres should try to establish a long term partnership.
The key area likely to be strengthened for Chelsea is probably midfield—bearing in mind two central defenders have been purchased fairly recently in David Luiz and Gary Cahill.
Raul Meireles has looked too lightweight at times this season and Chelsea don't appear to have any cutting pace throughout their midfield anymore.
Everton have always been reasonably solid in defence and midfield, but they've lacked a top striker for a while now.
Louis Saha was too consistently injured for the Merseyside club to get the best out of him, and midfielder-cum-forward Tim Cahill has forgotten where the goal is.
It remains to be seen whether Nikica Jelavic will solve that problem, but I'm guessing he probably won't.
If new striker Pavel Pogrebnyak continues scoring goals like he has in his first three games for Fulham—five—then Martin Jol will surely be renewing the Russian's contract in the summer.
Scoring goals has often been Fulhams problem this season but perhaps that issue has already been resolved.
Carling Cup winners and serial Premier League misfits for another season.
Kenny Dalglish has to realise his squad lacks real firepower despite the emergence of the exciting forward Luis Suarez.
Andy Carroll is fine for a backup striker right now, but he's not going to get you 20 goals a season in his current form.
Fans may argue that an attacking midfielder or right winger should take priority, but they will likely be content with any of the above as long as they are of a great standard.
It's hard to see where Manchester City need strengthening with the current squad they can boast.
With four top strikers on their books it certainly isn't the attack.
If you can pick fault with an impressive team such as this, it may be the lack of defensive cover they have at right back.
If Michah Richards goes out injured, Pablo Zabaleta is their only realistic option.
The likely departure of Carlos Tevez in the summer may mean they also look for another forward.
Despite having a lack of depth in many positions this season, the re-signing of Paul Scholes has clearly highlighted the need for Manchester United to find a new central midfielder.
The fact that manager Alex Ferguson didn't have the faith in anyone else to fill the position speaks volumes.
What are the odds that Wesley Sneijder gets a phone call this summer?
Newcastle have an interesting strike force going on right now, and their midfield isn't too shabby either.
Defensive frailties have meant their impressive early start has curtailed as the season has gone on.
Seven defenders—Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Steven Taylor, Simpson, Williamson, Santon and Perch—don't give enough depth to cover four positions throughout a season, particularly when a couple of them are relatively sub-standard for the Premier League.
As a newly promoted club this season, Norwich City are currently exceeding expectations.
The first thing they may look to do in the summer is to try and keep the players they have before the larger teams come poaching.
Clean sheets have been a struggle all season long for Paul Lamberts men, that has to be addressed.
Queens Park Rangers
Queens Park Rangers are currently in the midst of a relegation fight despite making strong moves to strengthen in the winter window.
Having signed strikers Djibril Cisse and Bobby Zamora in January, Mark Hughes will be trying to add some more steel to a seemingly lightweight midfield.
Stoke's top league goalscorer this season so far is Peter Crouch with seven goals.
That's not good enough for a team trying to push themselves up the table one place at a time.
Stoke's method of aerial balls to Crouch and Kenwyne Jones is very one dimensional, and manager Tony Pulis may look to find someone with better ball playing abilities on the ground come summer.
Cameron Jerome has proven to be an insignificant addition thus far.
Martin O'Neil has certainly got his Sunderland team playing better than Steve Bruce could, but they still lack a little something.
That little something is a striker.
When your top goalscorer is a midfielder playing as a striker there's something wrong.
Stephane Sessegnon has been a superb signing, but his six league goals aren't enough for the club to progress.
Nicholas Bendtner is yet to get firing for the Black Cats.
Swansea have had a thoroughly successful home campaign largely due to the tight defence they have been keeping.
Nathan Dyer and Scott Sinclair are perhaps their shining lights in midfield, but Danny Graham is the man whose goals they are depending on.
Swansea will be looking to find him a worthy strike partner.
Tottenham Hotspur may want to improve their midfield in the summer, but the strikeforce needs tending to first.
Emmanuel Adebayor is only at the club on loan and Louis Saha has always been injury prone.
If those two are taken out of the equation, it leaves want-away striker Jermain Defoe as their sole recognised striker.
I say want-away in reference to Defoe, but in fact all he wants is pitch time.
I think he may move on if Redknapp looks to improve his attacking options.
West Bromwich Albion
Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie have looked like a decent partnership when they have played together and West Brom fans will be hoping they will be seeing more of them next season.
Roy Hodgson has got his team playing well and if they could tighten up defensively they should garner more success.
Since the departure of Charles N'Zogbia and the fall from grace of Hugo Rodellega, Wigan have looked every bit the relegation candidate.
Roberto Martinez' defence lacks the real steel that was evident over the previous few season's and may find himself shopping for defenders in the summer.
Wigan also looked devoid of any attacking threat.
There's a lot of work to be done at Wigan and Martinez needs to address all the problems—if he still has a job.
Wolverhampton Wanderers first port of call in the summer is to find a new manager.
Mick McCarthy didn't do a bad job for the club, but his buys never seemed to gel.
Caretaker manager Terry Connor has been thrown in at the deep end and already looks to be sinking following a five-nil defeat to Fulham last time out.
Obviously, three of the clubs mentioned on this slideshow will be departing the England's top flight this season, but you only get what you deserve in the Premier League.
In reality, most clubs will be attempting to strengthen their squads in all positions as opposed to highlighting just one area.
Just when you think you've got your team set up how you want it, a rival team comes and poaches your star man so it's impossible to say who will be needing what at the end of the season.
In the meantime, I think my analysis of problem areas is pretty accurate, but I'd be interested in hearing from the relegation candidate's fans on their views.
Thanks for reading and be sure to check out 10 of the most hilarious names in football—you might just have a laugh!
On Twitter? Follow me @petercwebster where I post all my B/R content.
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