The summer transfer window is open and Premier League teams are scouting players that will improve their sides. Today we look at the title contenders and the positions they need to strengthen in order to challenge for the Premier League Title.
The Premier League champions are involved in one of the major transfer sagas of the summer in Diego Costa.
Manager Antonio Conte has made his star striker from last season surplus to requirements.
Conte believes Costa is not part of his plans, even though the striker would like to stay at the club he has been shown the exit door.
This is a massive risk for Conte, especially as he looks to mount a title challenge to retain the title he won last season.
Costa has this sense of aura around him and although opposition fans hate the striker, you cannot deny he is good at what he does.
Costa brings goals and a sense of fear in defenders as they match up against him, which works in his favor and often, Costa’s foolish and annoying behaviour has benefited Chelsea in the match.
When defending against Costa, he bullies defenders and if he is touched hard he falls to the floor which not only often results in a free-kick but it plays on the defenders mind and thus are tentative to touch him in case a foul is given away.
There are very few players in the world that can provide this and should it be eradicated, Conte will have to find a player who fits his play-style but also to provide as many – if not more – goals than Costa.
Despite the Costa factor, Chelsea have other concerns in terms of their squad depth. Currently in attacking areas, Chelsea have just about enough quality players to fill gaps in the team should injuries occur, e.g Fabregas, Willian, Batshuayi all capable players.
However in defensive terms, Chelsea perhaps are a little light with John Terry/Nathan Ake leaving and Kurt Zouma perhaps out the door on loan.
Playing 3 at the back means that Conte will need around six centre backs and at the moment he has four first team defenders and should injuries occur that back three could come under serious threat.
Another issue is the wing-backs, Conte has been looking at wing-backs to cover or even play ahead of Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso as with Champions League football, they will not be able to play every single game.
Conte has looked at Real Madrid right-back Danilo and Juventus left-back Alex Sandro as potential additions to the squad with Champions League experience.
Should Chelsea add these players then they could be looking at a second successive Premier League Crown.
Last seasons runners-up are moving to Wembley for the forthcoming season as their new stadium is being built.
The prospect of playing a sum of 19 games at Wembley is a daunting statistic for Tottenham fans as their record at Wembley in recent years does not read well.
The move to Wembley could hinder Spurs’ title credentials this season should they not get used to playing there.
Spurs’ first match at Wembley will be the champions which may give an early indication to how Spurs will fair this season.
Alongside the Wembley factor is the Tottenham squad. The squad now is most probably its best in years; however they are a few additions away from being champions of England.
Kyle Walker has been a target of Manchester City and his pace down the right hand side to that of Kieran Trippier’s is a massive difference.
Trippier makes up for the lack of pace to Walker with his superb crossing delivery that is gold to striker Harry Kane. Spurs will have to address a replacement for Walker, should he leave, so that Trippier has back-up ahead of the new season.
Spurs also need squad depth, they currently have no decent back-up to that of Harry Kane who is now prone to an injury or two.
A prolific striker is need to fill that void should their be an injury to Kane and also provide another option should Kane not be on his top form.
Pep Guardiola enters his second season at Manchester City without a trophy to his name at the club. This is an unusual feeling for Pep but this season maybe a whole lot different.
Pep was left with a lot of so called ‘dead wood’ in his squad, players soon out of contract and ultimately players who were not good enough to play for his team.
Now that he has had a season to flush out these players, Pep is slowly but surely building his team to conquer the Premier League.
He has already signed to high profile players in former Benfica goalkeeper Ederson and former Monaco winger Bernardo Siva for high prices. Now Pep is looking for defensive cover, in particular full-backs.
Full-back such as Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy are high on Pep’s list as he looks to fill the void left by out of contract players, Pablo Zabeleta, Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy.
A few additions in defensive areas and City are going to look like a force this season and do not be surprised if Pep wins his first piece of silverware and Manchester City this season.
Jurgen Klopp enters his second full season as manager of Liverpool with Champions League football.
If they qualify of course, Klopp will have to juggle the league and Europe. This means that the squad they had towards the end of last season will need some more quality additions to it.
Liverpool’s squad was very thin last season, when injuries hit to Sadio Mane, Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana, they had to rely on youngsters just to complete the 18 man squad.
If Liverpool are to challenge for the League next season their squad needs a few more quality players.
So where do Liverpool need to improve? Defensively. It is the common image with Liverpool over the past few years – they can score but cannot defend.
Jurgen Klopp has looked to rectify this by trying to sign Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk but that move was blocked due to a ‘tapping up’ issue that meant Liverpool had to end their interest in the defender.
A centre-back partner and a left-back will be essential to Liverpool’s title credentials this season as that is where the defence is the weakest. James Milner is no left-back and Dejan Lovren is not the ideal partner for Joel Matip as he is prone to errors.
Liverpool also need more options as well as the signing of Mo Salah, the squad depth is still not enough to compete both domestically and in Europe.
A couple more wingers and perhaps another play-maker in midfield and Liverpool are looking like a side that can challenge for the league this season.
Jose Mourinho has pulled the biggest signing of the summer so far by recruiting the £75 million Belgian Romelu Lukaku.
This is the second year in a row Jose has signed a player for big money and the signing of Lukaku is a statement of intent from Manchester United.
Romelu replaces Zlatan Ibrahimovic and although it is a big void to fill, Mourinho is confident he will be able to provide the goals to lead United to the title this season.
Although, Mourinho has to cut out the amount of home draws this season, last season too many draws cost United a title challenge and the top four but that particular disappointment was eradicated with Europa League triumph.
United have also added defender Victor Lindelof to their squad and he looks like he is going to be Eric Bailly’s centre-back partner for the forthcoming season.
United have the manager and squad to win the league but ever since Alex Ferguson left, the fear factor of playing Manchester United has dwindled away and thus teams go to United looking for a positive result which also has become the case down the M62 at Anfield.
Youngsters such as Marcus Rashford will be vital to score key goals and make an impact when accounted for as with the signing of Lukaku, Rashford may not be getting much game time in the striker postion.
Arsene Wenger is still the Arsenal manager for another two years, fans question why but the decision is done and fans will now have to support the team under Wenger’s guidance.
Although signs towards the back end of the season imply that Wenger is changing his ways, changing formation to three at the back and now the signing of Lacazette for £52 million suggests that the tide maybe turning at Arsenal.
Despite this, the title credentials of Arsenal may hinder on the future of Alexis Sanchez. If Sanchez leaves then Arsenal have lost a massive element of their side that guarantees them crucial goals throughout the season.
If Sanchez leaves to another Premier League club then that could be a massive mistake as Sanchez is such a huge part and will punish teams like he has done at his time at Arsenal.
Wenger said this week however that Sanchez does not want to leave the club. If Wenger is telling the truth then Arsenal are looking towards the title as his and Lacazette’s partnership could be deadly.
The addition of a defensive midfielder may also be crucial as its the position that has not been rectified since Patrick Viera left the club all those years ago.
The Europa League is another factor that could hinder the chances of Arsenal winning the Premier League since 2004. Playing Thursday-Sunday will be hard and unusual for Arsenal but they must be able to deal with it in order to reach the summit of the Premier League.
This problem not only lies with the Europa League but with the fans, if Arsenal are not performing in the league then all of the blame will be but on Wenger himself as he is to blame in the fans eyes for being in the Europa League in the first place.
All six teams have title credentials and need additions to their squad, to win the Premier League is a massive achievement and a dream but only one can win it this season. Who will it be?