Premier League: The Biggest Transfer Need of Every Top 6 Team
The transfer window is one of the strangest events in Sports. In three months, we get to see virtually every player linked to every team. Out of the approximately gazillion transfer rumours that take place, only a few actually take place.
Most of the discussion when it comes to transfers pertains to the most exciting players a team can bag. Considering the money in football and especially the Premier League these days, teams can afford to buy several attacking players that excite their fans.
Yet, what gets forgotten is what teams truly need and how potential transfer signings would fit into the starting XI (or as a backup). It is these need-based signings that are often more successful than flashy ones.
For example, Pep Guardiola’s signing of a sweeper keeper like Ederson and a dynamic right-back like Kyle Walker helped transform his team from a third-placed team to one of the best teams in Premier League History. So what are the biggest transfer needs of Every Premier League top six team?
Note: All Statistics (unless noted otherwise) are from WhoScored
#1 Manchester City: A Young Backup Defensive Midfielder
Manchester City’s world-beating side has basically everything. They have three excellent solid centre-backs that fit in with Guardiola’s system, a sweeper keeper, a multitude of marauding attacking full-backs, several creative attacking midfielders and a cornucopia of strikers and wingers.
Yet if City’s system hinges on one player then it is defensive midfielder Fernandinho.
Fernandinho is the perfect defensive midfielder for Guardiola’s system as his hard work and pace ensure that the Citizens aren’t vulnerable on the counter-attack despite dominating possession.
He averages 1.8 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per game, an excellent number considering that there were few times when City did not have possession. He is also a brilliant passer with 87.5 average passes per game with a success percentage of 90.1%.
Fernandinho’s importance is further exacerbated by the fact that Pep Guardiola likes to play David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne in central midfield, two primarily attacking players. Thus if Fernandinho were to be unavailable, City could be in trouble especially against fast counter-attacking teams.
This is especially pertinent considering Fernandinho’s age (he is 33). While Ilkay Gundogan filled in for the Brazilian when he was unavailable last season, the German midfielder doesn’t have the same defensive impact.
Thus, City need an additional defensive midfielder for when Fernandinho is unavailable. Guardiola recognized this when he pursued Fernandinho’s compatriot Fred, only for Jose Mourinho to swoop in and sign the Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder.
City need to sign a younger defensive midfielder who can backup Fernandinho for the next season before eventually taking over as a starter.