The domestic football season may be over, but the real battle for supremacy begins now.
Ah, the summer transfer window. To the cynical, an unnecessary chaotic scramble filled with inflated price tags, expensive flops, and a throwing about of sums of money as if they were wet paper towels. To the optimist, a time of excitement; one where talent can be discovered, mistakes can be rectified, and squads can be expertly built. Needless to say, this summer, like most over recent years, will be a time of colossal change and movement in the Premier League player market. Every team will no doubt be looking to strengthen, with some squads having far more glaring weaknesses than others. That being said, I have identified a small number of transfers that could be very logically considerable within the English top flight. Whilst we could be waiting a while to see what transfers could eventually materialise, which movements could prove most beneficial?
1. Jordan Pickford to Everton
We start with probably the most obvious of the lot. With Sunderland now on a long overdue fall from the top flight of English football, it is unlikely that players such as Jermaine Defoe and Jordan Pickford will want to stick around. Defoe seems to be on his way to Bournemouth and Pickford, the star man at the other end of the pitch, will be in high demand. However, with Manchester City close to signing Ederson and Liverpool dithering over the suitability of Simon Mignolet, Everton seem a strong candidate for securing Pickford’s signature. At just 23, Pickford has what it takes to become a great goalkeeper, and can fill the void left by Tim Howard in the process. With relegation no doubt weakening Sunderland’s financial position, don’t be surprised to see the Toffees get him for slightly cheaper than expected, if they do decide to move.
2: Theo Walcott to Southampton
It’s been another solid season for Southampton, although certain points saw a worrying lack of goals and a calling for the manager’s head. Charlie Austin was in and out of the side with injury, and Manolo Gabbiadini couldn’t build on his fast start after signing in January. When considering this, re-signing Theo Walcott could be an ideal move for Southampton. An eye for goal and ability to play either up top or out wide would certainly be a remedy for Southampton’s attacking profligacy, and the prospect of Nathan Redmond and Walcott on the wings would be a frightening thought for even the meanest of defences. It’s a fanciful thought, particularly with Arsenal already resigned to losing Alexis Sanchez this summer, but could Walcott return to rejuvenate the club he left as a teenager?
3: Wilfried Bony to Swansea
On the topic of exciting returns, there could be an ideal one on the cards at the Liberty Stadium. Wilfried Bony, once a hero at Premier League strugglers Swansea, has struggled massively since he left Wales, turning in poor performances at Manchester City and on loan at Stoke. There are one or two rumours floating around that the Swans want him back, and the move could be ideal for both parties. It is worth remembering that he was the Premier League’s top goalscorer in 2014, and the thought of him lining up alongside Fernando Llorente and Gylfi Sigurdsson must be massively encouraging for a team who will want to beat the drop again next season. Much like Sigurdsson, Bony simply hasn’t thrived in a bigger pond, but also like the Icelandic international, he is simply built for Swansea’s style of play and would surely receive warmth from the fans should he return.
4: Leroy Fer to Newcastle
Moving up north, and we find the returning Newcastle United in the hunt primarily for a centre back and another midfielder, amongst other areas. Whilst targets are being narrowed down in both areas, Leroy Fer could be a suitable candidate for the central midfield position. A physical enforcer with a box to box style of play and ability to pop up with the odd goal, Fer could be an ideal fit for the Magpies. Newcastle already boast a lot of Premier League quality in their squad, and a potential midfield trio of Fer, Shelvey, and Ritchie is impressive by any measure. Not a move likely to happen, but could certainly prove a good fit if Newcastle were to move for the Dutchman.
5: Adama Traore to Brighton
The final move on our list concerns both an exciting raw talent and Premier League newcomers. Adama Traore has certainly had a mixed season with now relegated Middlesbrough, but he is a player Brighton should be willing to take a chance on. Strong, fast, and a menace down the wing, he has all the prerequisites of a player who can both achieve great things and excite the fans. Whilst he has a lot of areas to improve on, most notably end product, a lot of fullbacks have looked absolutely terrified of him over the past season. Still only 21, the Spaniard deserves another chance in the Premier League and his flair could certainly be of use to a team like Brighton.
The summer transfer window for English clubs opened on Friday, June 9th and will close again at 23:00 on Thursday, August 31st, a little over two weeks into the new Premier League season.