With the recent opening of the summer transfer window for English clubs, Wessex Scene provide you with a mini series of who we think will be coming and going for all the Premier League teams from A-Z. The first of this series covers Arsenal to Chelsea, with Sean O’Brien giving his thoughts on who will be in and out the door this summer.
Arsenal are currently putting the final touches on the big move that is on everyone’s lips: Petr Cech. At 33 years old, Cech is and will be a wonderful signing for the Gunners who have struggled to find a world class keeper since the days of Jens Lehmann. Cech has proved when called upon this season that he is still more than capable of performing at the highest level, and for me he is almost certainly in the top five goalkeepers in the league.
Another rumour is that Wenger is lining up a £13 million move for Argentinean defender Ezequiel Garay. The former Real Madrid man would be an ideal replacement for Per Mertesacker. The German’s experience has been crucial to Arsenal’s back line; stabilizing what became known as Arsenal’s main area of vulnerability. Garay’s pace and skill will allow him to merge into Arsenal’s traditionally silky style of play, whilst bringing the experience to guide young players such as Hector Bellerin.
Many pundits, like Thierry Henry, have discussed the Gunners’ need to bring in a top class striker. I would disagree. On his day, Olivier Giroud is up there with the top strikers in the Premier League. His goal scoring record despite missing a significant part of the season through injury is outstanding, and his hold up play works to bring Arsenal’s flair players into the game, thus making them all the more effective. If Wenger can keep him fit, he’s Arsenal’s man up top.
As far as Villa are concerned, it looks as though they might be staring a Southampton-style exodus in the face, as the entire spine of their starting eleven might be on the move. City look keen to activate a release clause in Fabian Delph’s contract which would see the England International leave Villa Park for only £10 million. Delph has arguably been Villa’s outstanding player this season and played a crucial role in keeping the Midlands club in the league, he would be a huge loss.
Christian Benteke, who couldn’t stop scoring towards the end of the campaign under Sherwood, also has a release clause in his contract. His goals were arguably the difference between Villa and the likes of Hull, and they would be incredibly difficult to replace. Liverpool are rumoured to be interested, however the asking price of £30 million might deter Rodgers. Personally I think £30 million for a proven Premier League goal scorer is good value in this day and age.
The end also appears to be nigh for Villa captain Ron Vlaar, with several clubs circling the Dutch International. Another huge loss, Villa’s defence looks shaky at the best of times and could become even more unstable with his departure. If Sherwood does let him go, bringing in two centre backs must be made his main priority.
Potentially coming into Villa Park is Spurs winger Andros Townsend, who appears to have played for almost everyone in his time at White Hart Lane. It was clear in the FA Cup final that Villa lacked flair on the wings, with Charles N’Zogbia having a particularly dreadful day.
Bournemouth have been doing some fantastic business recently, bringing in real talent and strengthening their starting eleven at relatively little cost. The loan signing of Christian Atsu will bring International class to the squad, only adding to their selection of exciting young players players that performed so glitteringly in the Championship last season.
The club also secured the £8 million signature of Ipswich defender Tyrone Mings, a club record transfer fee. At 22 years old and after a very impressive start to life in the football league, this could prove to potentially be one of the bargains of the summer. While it may have been wiser to splash the cash on a defender who has proven themselves in the Premier League, it is refreshing to see young players rewarded with big moves to Premier League clubs after performing so well in the lower leagues. All the best to him and Bournemouth in their first season at the top!
It appears as though even when your squad is youthful and title worthy, Mourinho still finds himself at the centre of transfer speculation. We have already discussed the potential departure of Petr Cech and it is rumoured that the Portuguese manager is looking into bringing in Rob Green to replace him.
Cech will be sorely missed, as both a first and second choice keeper. If Courtois was injured for a Champions League final, Chelsea fans could rest assured that Cech would almost certainly not put a glove wrong. I’m not sure how similar the feeling would be were Rob Green to go between the posts. He is a very talented keeper, but you do get the impression there is a mistake in him. QPR vs Chelsea last season for example, giving the ball away to Hazard in the dying minutes.
Radamel Falcao of course is the final topic of discussion. Spare a thought for Loic Remy. Absolutely outstanding when called upon, giving PFA Player of the Year nominee Diego Costa a run for his money at times, yet he faces being replaced as second choice by a striker who has had a truly woeful time over the past year. That being said, none of us need reminding of what Falcao can do, and few would argue with Mourinho’s tact in the transfer window.