Google Trends ahead of Deadline Day
Top UK cities searching for transfer news
4. St Albans.
Most searched Premier League bosses. 1. Arsene Weng
2. Jurgen Klopp
3. Jose Mourinho
4. Antonio Conte
5. David Mo
With deadline day approaching, ESPN FC’s Premier League
correspondents assess their side’s business so far and
suggest what else needs to be done.
ARSENAL: A frustrating summer has turned out to be
successful in the end as Arsene Wenger is set to bring in all
the pieces he felt were needed to make Arsenal title
contenders. He entered the transfer window looking to make
three major signings, and is about to add centre-back
Shkodran Mustafi to midfielder Granit Xhaka and striker Lucas
Perez. In addition, he snapped up three promising talents in
defender Rob Holding, Japanese forward Takuma Asano and
Nigerian midfielder Kelechi Nwakali. Wenger is set to take his
summer spending to more than £90 million, by far the most of
Perez was hardly Wenger’s No. 1 target as a striker, but the
speedy forward could still prove to be the spark Arsenal’s
attack needs. If so, missing out on Jamie Vardy, Alvaro
Morata and Alexandre Lacazette could soon be forgotten.
Biggest need on deadline day: Deadline day will be all about
sorting out the outgoings. Jack Wilshere could be the biggest
name out the door as the midfielder is set to leave on a
season-long loan, as is defender Calum Chambers and
midfielder Serge Gnabry. There could also be more loan deals
in the works as Wenger tries to trim a first-team squad that
currently includes 30 names. Barring any surprise
opportunities, Wenger’s shopping spree should be over.
Best business: Xhaka is off to a promising start and could be
exactly the right blend of tough-tackling enforcer and deep-
lying playmaker that Wenger has been craving. When it comes
to value for money, though, getting the very promising Holding
for just £2m could prove to be a true masterstroke.
CHELSEA: The Blues have prioritised quality over quantity in the summer transfer window, always with an eye towards value. Michy Batshuayi was swiftly acquired from Marseille for £33 million at the start of July when it became clear that Morata and Romelu Lukaku would prove considerably more expensive.
N’Golo Kante was poached from Premier League champions Leicester City for around £30 million a fortnight later, and Portugal international goalkeeper Eduardo has also come in for a modest fee from Dinamo Zagreb to provide back up fo Thibaut Courtois and Asmir Begovic. Papy Djilobodji (Sunderland) and Marko Marin (Olympiakos) are the most
while there has also been the familiar exit of a legion of loanees including Loic Remy to Palace.
Biggest need on deadline day: A centre-back and a left-back. With Kurt Zouma not fit and Matt Miazga not trusted, Antonio Conte has just five fit senior defenders to pick from — a number that includes 19-year-old academy graduate Ola Aina.
Chelsea have coped relatively well so far this season and the absence of European football from Stamford Bridge will lighten the load, but Conte would like more quality defensive options to enable him to experiment with different formations, such as the 3-5-2 he deployed to such success with Juventus and Italy. Alessio Romagnoli, Marcos Alonso and Ricardo
Rodriguez, left-footed defenders with positional versatility, would all be welcome.
Best business: Batshuayi has impressed with almost every minute Conte has given him, but the arrival of Kante has been every bit as transformational as expected. The Frenchman has improved with each performance in the “Makelele role” at the base of Chelsea’s midfield, picking the right moments to dart out of position to disrupt opposition attacks. Courtois has made just three saves in three Premier League matches this season and Conte’s new midfield shield is the primary reason why.
Moreover, he’s lessened the destructive burden on Nemanja Matic and, quite possibly, further extended John Terry’s career at the heart of the Chelsea defence.– Liam Twomey.
LIVERPOOL: In his first summer in charge of Liverpool, Jurgen
Klopp has welcomed seven new faces to Anfield. Most of
Liverpool’s business this window has seen them improve in
positions which required strengthening from the previous
The signing of goalkeeper Loris Karius, who is currently out
injured with a broken hand, provides competition for the
unconvincing Simon Mignolet, much-needed pace has been
added to the team with the acquisition of Sadio Mane from
Southampton and Klopp has given Dejan Lovren some
adequate centre-half partners in Joel Matip and Ragnar
Klavan from the Bundesliga. The Merseyside outfit’s balance
sheet is looking healthy, too, after recouping hefty fees from
the sales of Christian Benteke, Jordon Ibe, Joe Allen, Martin
Skrtel and Brad Smith.
Biggest need on deadline day: It appears that Liverpool will
not be bringing in anyone else in, despite a need to add a left-
back. Midfielder James Milner has deputised there ahead of
the struggling Alberto Moreno, and Klopp recently admitted
the reason has hasn’t recruited in that position over the
summer is because he has been unable to find someone who
fit his bill.
With that in mind, surely Liverpool’s biggest desire before the
end of Wednesday is to get Mario Balotelli off the books. With
just one year remaining on his contract, even a season-long
loan for the misfiring Italian forward would signal the end of
his woeful Liverpool career. Nice and FC Sion have a
confirmed interest and Balotelli’s departure would leave Klopp
with one less problem to deal with for the rest of the season.
Best business: Eyebrows were raised when Liverpool decided
to spend £30m on Mane, but the signing of the rapid and
versatile forward looks fine business. Mane was the star of
the show on his Liverpool debut against Arsenal on the
opening weekend of the Premier League and was sorely
missed in the 2-0 defeat to Burnley the following week. He
impressed again in the 1-1 draw against Tottenham on the
weekend, with opposing defender Danny Rose admitting he
was “frightening.” With the eye-watering fees being paid this
transfer window in mind, an impact player like Mane for £30m
represents brilliant value for money.– Glenn Price.
MANCHESTER UNITED: Manchester United have already
broken the world-record transfer fee by spending £89.3 million
on Paul Pogba from Juventus. He makes up a core of four key
signings that manager Jose Mourinho had targeted, having
already brought in defender Eric Bailly from Villarreal,
playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Borussia Dortmund and
striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was a free agent. Young
players on the fringes of the first-team, such as Cameron
Borthwick-Jackson and Adnan Januzaj, have been loaned out.
Biggest need on deadline day: An experienced head in central
defence would be useful, considering Bailly is still adjusting to
the Premier League despite a highly encouraging start. With
so many games to play this season, including the Europa
League campaign, an extra option there would ease the
burden on the likes of Chris Smalling and Daley Blind, who
had huge workloads last season.
Best business: Ibrahimovic arrived with question marks over
whether he could make an impact in the Premier League,
especially at 34, and he has answered them emphatically so
far. A scissor kick on his debut in a friendly against
Galatasaray was a taster of what was to come, as he soon
headed in the winner in the Community Shield. In the league,
he has started with three goals in three games — and has
been rewarded with extra holiday time in this international
break.– Arindam Rej.
MANCHESTER CITY: Pep Guardiola has taken a long-term
view with some of their transfer targets this summer. John
Stones, Leroy Sane, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel Jesus and
Marlos Moreno are all 22 or under as City try to identify
young talent earlier in their development. The more
experienced Nolito, Claudio Bravo and Ilkay Gundogan have
been brought in to make an instant impact and represent
smarter and cheaper deals, with all three joining for a
combined £48 million.
Biggest need on deadline day: City’s squad is too bulky at
the moment. Guardiola likes to work with smaller numbers
and also needs to free up space to allow young academy
players the chance to break through. They may have to
subsidise some exit deals but Eliaquim Mangala, Wilfried Bony
and possibly Samir Nasri need to be shifted out before the
transfer window closes.
Best business: John Stones has settled in very quickly
following his £47.5 million move from Everton and looks likely
to become a central figure in Guardiola’s new-look City. His
ball-playing skills and ability to read the game are just what
the Spaniard wants from his senior centre-half. Gundogan and
Bravo are yet to make their debuts but are also likely to take
on important roles. Jonathan Smith.
TOTTENHAM: Spurs moved with uncharacteristic efficiency to
plug the two biggest holes in their squad with the signings of
Victor Wanyama and Vincent Janssen in July, and any
suggestions that the duo are merely cover for Eric Dier and
Harry Kane have been dispelled in the opening three matches.
Wanyama, an £11 million signing from Southampton, is no
Mousa Dembele but he scored in the 1-0 win over Crystal
Palace and impressed in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool.
Janssen, who joined from AZ Alkmaar, has similarly made an
impact, although he is yet to score. Spurs have also begun
clearing the decks, with Nabil Bentaleb and Federico Fazio
joining Schalke and Roma respectively on loan and DeAndre
Yedlin and Alex Pritchard moving to the Championship.
Biggest need on deadline day: Numbers. Spurs lacked
strength in depth last season and they still look short of
quality cover in a number of positions, an issue not helped by
the impending departures of Nacer Chadli and Ryan Mason,
and Mauricio Pochettino’s willingness to listen to offers for
Kevin Wimmer, Son Heung-Min and Tom Carroll. Ideally, the
manager needs a central midfielder, a centre back and a forward before Wednesday’s deadline.
Pochettino also highlighted the need for speed in Spurs’
attacking three last week, but Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, who is
expected to sign from Marseille for £11 million, will add pace.
Best business: Janssen may be a little rough around the
edges but last season’s Eredivisie top scorer looks more of a
Ruud van Nistelrooy than a Mateja Kezman. In today’s
market, £17 million for a 22-year-old goal scorer is good
business and the Dutch international gives Pochettino more
firepower and the opportunity to play direct, or change his
News source : soccernet.com