What Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool, City & Arsenal need before deadline

Nicholas Hughes
Chelsea transfer target Jules Kounde playing for Sevilla in La Liga

The summer transfer window is approaching its final 48 hours, and Europe’s top clubs will be scrambling to finalise any last-minute deals.

As has become the norm in recent years, Premier League clubs have spent big money throughout the summer but there is still room left for a number of the top teams.

With three games played in the Premier League campaign thus far, managers have been able to get a sense of what their sides might need as the final piece of their puzzle before mounting a title challenge this season.

So, with two days remaining, what do the Premier League’s top clubs still need to take care of before the transfer window slams shut?

Man United: A central midfielder

Manchester United’s transfer window has been arguably the best in the league so far. Jadon Sancho arrived for big money from Borussia Dortmund, Raphael Varane finally ends the club’s search for Harry Maguire’s centre-back partner and Cristiano Ronaldo’s return rather speaks for itself.

But the one thing missing from the United team is a top-class defensive midfielder. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has come under fire in the past for persisting with a double pivot of Scott McTominay and Fred, a pairing that often lacks adventure.

Outgoings might be crucial to any further additions before the end of the window, with the likes of Phil Jones and Jesse Lingard potentially set to leave ahead of the deadline.

The Red Devils are believed to hold an interest in Atletico Madrid’s Saul and Eduardo Camavinga of Stade Rennais, but they will have to move quickly if they are interested in a move this summer.

Chelsea: A central defender

Chelsea have already added Romelu Lukaku to their side this summer, a move that makes them terrifying to come up against as an opposition defence.

The Blues have an embarrassment of riches in attacking areas, with the one obvious position that could do with some strengthening being centre-back.

While Chelsea have begun the season incredibly well defensively, quality of depth is a potential issue for Thomas Tuchel at the back.

They allowed Kurt Zouma to move to London rivals West Ham and have been looking at Sevilla’s Jules Kounde as their final signing of the summer, although that deal appears to be on the rocks.

Trevoh Chalobah has impressed in pre-season, but if Chelsea are to mount a consistent title challenge, they may need another option at centre half to call upon when needed.

Liverpool: An attacker

Liverpool’s only signing ahead of the 2021/22 season remains Ibrahima Konate, a deal they organised with RB Leipzig very early on in the transfer window.

The Frenchman filled a necessary hole at centre-back, but the Reds still have other areas of the pitch where they can strengthen if they are to return to the top of the league.

Georginio Wijnaldum left for PSG at the end of last season, though Harvey Elliott’s early performances seem to have him stamped as the replacement in that department.

Another quality option up front wouldn’t go amiss for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Diogo Jota has done superbly since joining last season, but as Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane still labour in shaking off difficult 2020/21 seasons, the Reds could do with another option.

Donyell Malen and Patson Daka were both believed to be targets of the Merseysiders but landed elsewhere, while the likes of Jeremy Doku and Mikkel Damsgaard have been linked recently.

Man City: A centre forward

Jack Grealish became the most expensive Englishman of all time when he moved to Manchester City for nine figures earlier in the summer, but it is the Englishman that City couldn’t get over the line that has left the club in limbo.

City were unable to bring in Harry Kane from Tottenham and pulled out of a deal to sign Ronaldo as the Portuguese was persuaded to join United instead.

Despite City’s consecutive 5-0 wins perhaps pointing towards the contrary, the Sky Blues still need a consistent goal-scorer up front to really take charge of the title race.

Erling Haaland continues to be linked, while Robert Lewandowski could be an option. The Pole has worked with Pep Guardiola before and reportedly wants a new challenge away from Bayern Munich, and would be an ideal signing at the Etihad.

Arsenal: A striker

Arsenal’s transfer window has been incredibly disappointing. Despite being the highest spenders in the league, the squad does not look significantly stronger on paper, and it has shown on the pitch with three losses to start the season and no goals scored.

On that front, a new striker could be a boost to the entire team. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette have grappled with inconsistency in previous seasons and another option could freshen things up in attack, with Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard linked.

Martin Odegaard joined permanently in midfield, meaning that the creative midfield options are more than good enough for Arsenal to start finding the back of the net, but the player to apply the finish seems to be missing.

Arsenal need to turn their terrible start to the season around, and the arrival of a quality forward on deadline day could be what they need to do so.