Ranking the Transfer Priorities of Top 5 Premier League Clubs by Position
With the English Premier League season only just finished, clubs are already working hard to improve their squads using the summer transfer window.
Here, we assess the biggest needs of the clubs who finished in the top five spots in the table in 2012-13, detailing which positions need reinforcing or which areas need sorting out.
Who's got the most to do and who's facing the most pivotal summer? Join the debate!
5. Tottenham Hotspur
The glaring issue in Tottenham's squad is the lack of a reliable striker.
Jermain Defoe is hit-and-miss, Emmanuel Adebayor largely useless and Clint Dempsey is better in a deeper role.
The side relied on Gareth Bale's goals last season. If they had a prominent 20-goal striker, they'd likely be playing in the UEFA Champions League in 2013-14.
The lack of depth in the winger department at Spurs is astonishing, and Andre Villas-Boas must do something to sort it out.
Whether that's welcoming Andros Townsend back into a more regular role or signing a new player, it's unclear. Either way, Spurs looked painfully thin on the flanks last season when Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale were out.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto was a fine full-back three seasons ago, but he's no longer cutting it.
It's a notoriously difficult spot to fill in a roster with only a small percentage of players being naturally left-footed, but there are a few names that AVB could target.
1. Holding Midfield
Mikel Arteta has done an admirable job switching from a No. 10 to a No. 6, but he lacks the defensive instinct necessary to become an elite anchor midfielder.
Arsenal need to sign someone who's buttered their bread in that position, freeing Arteta to influence further up the field.
Arsene Wenger needs to find another player to compete with Olivier Giroud in the Arsenal pecking order, if not overtake him.
They lack a talismanic, reliable goal threat, and while they'll probably have to spend big to find another this summer, it's become a necessity considering the increased competition at the top of the table.
Finally, Wojciech Szczesny needs a true competitor that will push him and bring out his best.
An experienced 'keeper such as Julio Cesar, who can mind the sticks for two years or so while Szczesny polishes his game, would be absolutely perfect. No need to spend a tonne.
One and Only Need: Sort out the striking conundrum
Chelsea have the most talented squad in the English Premier League and now look primed for a title push under Jose Mourinho.
The only issue the Portuguese manager faces is working out who starts up front. Romelu Lukaku returns from a scintillating loan spell at West Brom, Fernando Torres continues his league drought and Demba Ba misses too many chances.
Do Chelsea sign a fourth striker, stick with Lukaku and sell Torres, or try to reinvigorate the Spaniard again?
2. Manchester City
1. Winger (solved!)
We here at B/R are celebrating the fact that Manchester City finally made a positive move to fix their biggest problem.
Jesus Navas is a true wide player who can offer the Citizens width, speed and stretch the pitch to help others find space. The chronic issue of City collapsing in on themselves should be cured now.
2. Defensive Midfield
Javi Garcia and Gareth Barry are slow holding players and their lack of lateral mobility hurts City on the counterattack.
They've lacked a true terrier since Nigel de Jong left 12 months ago, and they must make a move to find the next anchor to lock up their midfield.
3. Central defence
Every summer, it seems City are in need of a centre-back, and 2013 bodes nothing new.
Joleon Lescott's position in the squad is difficult to ascertain, while the club have foolishly allowed Kolo Toure to walk away on a free transfer.
Vincent Kompany and Matija Nastasic are mainstays, but Txiki Begiristain needs to find one or two new players to back them up.
1. Manchester United
1. Holding Midfield
Manchester United lack the hybrid, explosive player who can do it all in midfield.
Sir Alex Ferguson set a precedent in not recruiting a pure defensive midfielder—a la Claude Makelele—and instead favoured the dynamic, well-rounded player.
With Darren Fletcher ill and Anderson out of favour, this becomes the priority.
Nani looks set to leave Old Trafford this summer—The Sun are suggesting Juventus as a possible destination—while Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia have had poor seasons.
United need to invest in a new winger to keep the side fresh even if Nani ends up staying, and there's one man plying his trade in the Spanish capital in particular that all the fans crave.