We are now only 8 games away from the Premier League season coming to an end, minus the games in hand. With one eye being on the delayed European Championships, managers will be looking to scout players who have a decent showing in the tournament. However, some of the biggest transfers that could take place will include players that don’t even make their countries 23 man squad for the competition.
Players who play in lower domestic leagues or are on the fringes of their respective national squads will have the summer off, to train, gain fitness and relax ahead of next season. Although I expect the summer transfer window to rather quiet due to gruelling nature of the current season, there will still be some big signings that take place in the Premier League. Whether they are out goings or new signings replacing injuries/retirement, teams will be looking to strengthen where they have been weak this season.
That being said here are 5 Premier League transfers I think teams should look to make to improve their squad ahead of the 2021/22 season.
Number 5 – Leeds United, Tim Leibold
A name popular amongst the Fifa community and someone who has attracted a lot of attention Germany, Leibold currently plays in the second tier of German football. Having played 21 games this season and playing predominantly as a left back, he could be the perfect replacement for the outgoing Alioski, who looks set to join Turkish club Galatasaray.
Although replacing Alioski, who has been a fan favourite for many years due to his passion shown on and off the field, won’t be the easiest task Leibold is arguably a better defensive player. Still not afraid of joining in on the attacking side of things, Leibold has all the traits of a Bielsa type of player.
With high work rate in both defence and attack, an eye for a pass and isn’t often caught out at the back, the German left back could be a suitable replacement for the West Yorkshire club. At 27 years old, Leibold is entering his so call ‘prime years’, he could be the first choice left back at the club for the next 4-5 seasons. With the current transfer market valuing him at £3.6 million, I would say that he is definitely worth the risk.
Number 4 – Spurs, Nick Pope
Spurs, at the time of writing this, have just collapsed and been knocked out of the Europa League by Dinamo Zagreb. Rumours began to circulate that the current number one and French international, Hugo Lloris is severely unhappy with the way the club is being run and is looking for an escape back to France in the summer.
The Frenchman has been linked with old club Lyon, Nice and PSG but no offer has been placed. But with these stories beginning to emerge, Spurs have already began looking for their replacement and they haven’t had to look too far. Burnley’s current number one has been hot property since his remarkable season last year, becoming England’s number one in the process.
Spurs will look to take Pope in the summer whether Lloris decides to leave the club or not. Having the experienced Joe Hart as the current back up doesn’t fill yo with hope if an injury does occur to the current number one. Pope will cost a lot, being English and also being a player touted by many clubs however, they will use the money from a Lloris deal to cushion the blow.
Number 3 – Everton, Kalidou Koulibaly
A man who has been linked with a move to the Premier League for the past 3-4 years is Kalidou Koulibaly. The Napoli defender has been outstanding servant to the club who have chased for trophies but have just fallen short season after season. The major reason why this link holds so much weight however is the connection between current Toffee’s boss Carlo Ancelotti and the defender.
Having been at the club when Koulibaly really began to burst onto the scene, Ancelotti knows all about how the big Senegalese centre back plays. With Everton beginning to play free flowing football higher up the pitch, the major issue now is with the defence. Michael Keane has been in outstanding form this season and looks to be back to his high standards that he set whilst at Burnley.
His defensive partnerships however have been rather hit and miss. Mina has been good in short bursts but has also been injury prone for most of his time at Goodison, Ben Godfrey has played as both centre back and right back looking comfortable but not to the standard needed to challenge the top 4. Koulibaly might be on the older side but bringing him in for a few seasons to play and to teach the young defenders at the club could be an incredible bit of business.
Number 2 – Liverpool, Denis Zakaria
A player who will be in the news today due to his current club lowering their asking price is Denis Zakaria. The Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder has been out for most of this season with a knee injury and hasn’t looked the same player that he was before. Now this could be down to a lack of playing time or that the injury has dampened the career of the Swiss international.
Liverpool however may still be willing to take a chance on the defensive midfielder due to the exit of Wijnaldum. The Dutch international will be leaving on free at the end of the season and after agreeing personal terms with Inter Milan, Liverpool will need to look for a replacement.
Zakaria is only 24, so the signs of the knee injury ruining his career could be over stated, he has plenty of time to recover and show that he can still be the player that he once showed. The asking price for Zakaria is £20 million and with the club looking to enter a transition period after a disappointing season due to injures, it would make sense to take a leap of faith on the young midfielder.
Number 1 – Manchester City, Ivan Toney
Now this is out there. I know many will read that name and think I am going mad. Man City have all the money in the world and could pick and striker they wanted in world football to take over from Sergio Aguero. Why would the look into the Championship for their next striker. Well, one clear reason, goals.
Toney was rejected by Newcastle and sent to Peterborough where he became the leagues top scorer in his first season at the club. He then leaves Peterborough to join Brentford who have just sold two of their best players in Watkins and Benrhama, then scores 28 goals in 36 games in the Championship.
Toney just knows where the net is and if there is anything that Man City is missing at the minute it’s a striker who constantly scores goals. Now I don’t think Toney would become first choice straight away, Jesus would still be their first choice striker, but with the injuries that the Brazilian picks up it wouldn’t be long until Toney got a chance in the Premier League. The players around him will create the chances all he has to do is finish them, and he can do that.
That’s my list, let me know if you agree or disagree and if you are a fan of these clubs would you be happy to see these signings? Be sure to tune into Stand Your Ground on Sundays at 7pm GMT/2pm EST for more football talk live on The Buzz’s Facebook and YouTube and @Mightywhitespod on Twitter.