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Paul Merson evaluates the summer transfer window hauls of each of the Premier League's Top 6 sides

The Premier League season is only a few weeks away
The Premier League season is only a few weeks away
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Paul Merson

With the new Premier League season only a few weeks away, things are starting to heat up in the transfer market. The league's big names have already made their intentions clear this month and will need to move quickly to achieve their transfer objectives.

The likes of Liverpool, Arsenal, and Tottenham have already pulled off a few much-needed signings. Manchester United and Chelsea are yet to make their moves, however, and cannot afford to fall behind this summer.

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The season starts in less than a month, and these teams play four games in August. If you don’t win all of them you’re not winning the Premier League! That’s how quickly it happens. You have to remember that the season starts early - there isn't much time left in the transfer window.

Without further ado, here's my take on the Premier League big six and their progress in the transfer market this summer.


Manchester City

Manchester City v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: Leg One
Manchester City v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: Leg One

This is a hard one to predict. Manchester City bought Kalvin Phillips, but he's no Rodri. They've let go of Gabriel Jesus and they may lose Raheem Sterling as well. They're letting 40 goals go, and they'll need someone to shoulder that burden.

Erling Haaland has never played in the Premier League before. He's a certified goalscorer, but in what league? The Premier League is the hardest league in the world. He'll have to score goals that are different to the ones he has scored for Norway and Borussia Dortmund.

A 40-goal season from Erling Haaland is a massive ask. Sterling would be a great signing for Chelsea - he ticks the box that Pep Guardiola wants Jack Grealish to tick.

I don't think Manchester City will buy anybody else now. Pep doesn't mess about. He knows what he wants, and bang! It very rarely drags. Bernardo Silva remains the only doubt, and City's transfer plans depend on what happens there. I don't think there'll be any other transfer business with them this summer.


Liverpool

Liverpool FC v SL Benfica Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Champions League
Liverpool FC v SL Benfica Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Champions League

I think Liverpool are crying out for a midfield player. I don't think their midfield is strong enough. Jude Bellingham is a good player, and I think he would be a great signing.

Liverpool are currently relying solely on their full-backs for energy. Thiago's not a box-to-box midfielder, and Jordan Henderson is another year older. They need legs in midfield, and Jude Bellingham could be that box-to-box presence for the side.

I like Fabio Carvalho. I don’t know how many games he’ll play or whether he’ll start, but he's one for the future. He’ll have to be patient and take his chances in cup games for Liverpool this year.

.@FabrizioRomano on the signing of Darwin Nunez:“Jurgen Klopp was the key man. He makes the difference for Liverpool. He called Nunez directly and the player was really excited by the prospect of joining Liverpool. Then they were really fast.” #lfc [youtube] https://t.co/QmAro20jHJ

They're taking a big chance by letting Sadio Mane leave the club. He's scored big goals for Liverpool. If Darwin Nunez doesn't settle in quickly, Liverpool's title race could be over in a New York minute! They came back and closed the gap with City last season, but they still didn't win the Premier League, did they?

Both Liverpool and Nunez need to hit the ground running in August. The other teams didn't know Luis Diaz when he first joined Liverpool - they'll have plans in place to stop him now. I'm a bit worried for Liverpool at the moment.


Manchester United

Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - Premier League
Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - Premier League

Manchester United are in disarray and they need to sort this out. At the moment, it's a bit like a circus there. Erik ten Hag has come in, but they haven't got a centre-forward. They would've gone for Darwin Nunez if they knew Cristiano Ronaldo was going to leave.

Manchester United have known that they've failed to qualify for the Champions League for a long time now. They don't have a striker, and Marcus Rashford isn't a natural goalscorer. They haven't completed Frenkie de Jong's signing from Barcelona. United are going to Thailand and Australia, and they need to solve these problems before their tour.

At the moment, Man United are looking at just another season. I thought they'd have a shot at the top four - I just don't see that anymore. They've lost Cavani, Lingard, Matic, and Pogba, and they've got bundles of work to do.

I like Christian Eriksen, and I think he's a very good player. But if he does join Manchester United, who'll play - Eriksen or Bruno Fernandes? Man United aren't good enough to play both of them - where are they going to win the ball back?

Manchester United are a million miles away from winning the Premier League. They're not winning the league even if Ronaldo stays. If he does, he isn't going to be there the following year. Where is the plan? Keep on picking the same players, and you'll get the same results! I wouldn't even fancy them getting into the top four.


Tottenham Hotspur

Norwich City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Norwich City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Tottenham have had a very good transfer window so far. I'm not too sure about Richarlison, and I'd play Kulusevski ahead of him. They're in the Champions League and have more games to play this season, so in that sense, Richarlison ticks a box.

Yves Bissouma is an unbelievable signing for them. I've seen him boss the midfield for Brighton, and they aren't nearly as consistent as Spurs. Djed Spence is a good signing, but the Championship is a completely different world to the Premier League.

I'm a massive fan of Ivan Perisic. He's a top-draw player, and he works his socks off. Antonio Conte knows him well, and the fans will love him because he's a hard-working player. I think Tottenham have done a great job so far, and I'm afraid they're in for a good season.


Arsenal

Arsenal v Manchester City - Premier League
Arsenal v Manchester City - Premier League

I think Arsenal have done very well this summer. Gabriel Jesus is a massive coup for them, but they do need a couple more signings. For the moment, they've ticked a few boxes in the transfer window.

Arsenal needed a striker with Alexandre Lacazette and Aubameyang gone at the start of the season. Eddie Nketiah isn't going to fire them to the Champions League - no disrespect to him, but he's just a youngster.

Gabriel Jesus misses chances, but he gets into great positions. Pep Guardiola has even played him out of position in a few games. Jesus has a winning mentality, and that's a massive factor. This is a great signing.

I think it's between Arsenal and Tottenham in the top-four race. With Spurs also playing in the Champions League, Arsenal might have an advantage. They're doing well in the transfer market and will need to pull off a few more signings this month.


Chelsea

Burnley v Chelsea - Premier League
Burnley v Chelsea - Premier League

Chelsea haven't had a summer yet, have they? They've made up their mind with Romelu Lukaku. They've expressed interest in Raheem Sterling, and he could make a mark under Thomas Tuchel.

If Cristiano Ronaldo does go to Chelsea, it would be an unbelievable signing. Chelsea are very different to Manchester United. They dominate football matches. Premier League teams that go to Stamford Bridge have a lot of respect for Chelsea and put ten men behind the ball.

At Man United, Ronaldo's on the halfway line playing on the counter. Those days are gone when Ronaldo beats four players and scores goals on his own. But if you put the ball in the box, Ronaldo will score.

Chelsea have Reece James and Chilwell on their flanks, and Mason Mount is the perfect provider. Ronaldo thrives as a striker at the edge of the box, and he'll get to play in that position at Chelsea.

The only problem for Chelsea is that United will not let Ronaldo leave to Stamford Bridge. Manchester United cannot afford to struggle with Ronaldo scoring bundles of goals for Chelsea. If he goes to Italy or France, he's out of sight, and out of mind.

I'm sure Ronaldo's agent has figured something out already. There is no way a player like Ronaldo tells his club that he won't play for them without having another club to go to. I'm sure a contract is already in place, and Ronaldo is making sure he leaves Manchester United.

According to reports, Chelsea are ready to make a £14m bid for Cristiano Ronaldo. ✅️#CristianoRonaldo #ManchesterUnited #Chelsea https://t.co/8UUakJZcGw

Chelsea need to sort out their back line. They've lost their best player for last season in Antonio Rudiger. Thiago Silva is a great player, but he needs young legs around. Chalobah has come in and done well, but I don't think he can do that consistently over 60 games through a season.

Matthijs de Ligt is an option for Chelsea, but he's going to cost a lot of money. Centre-backs these days cost as much as centre-forwards, and I don't think De Ligt warrants a €70 million fee. He reminds me of Harry Maguire. I don't mean that in a horrible way - he's a good footballer, but he'll need to learn how to play in a back three in the Premier League.

Nathan Ake is another excellent option for Chelsea. He's good on the ball and has pace. He's played in a back three as well. Chelsea play in a system where the wing-backs will push forward, and they cannot afford a poor choice in their defensive line.


Edited by Paul Merson
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