With everything from relegation to European qualification to the title itself up for grabs, the 2021/22 Premier League season surely still has plenty of twists and turns ahead before the end of the campaign.
However, this doesn’t mean that clubs and fans alike haven’t got at least one eye on preparations for next season.
By this time next month, the book will be closed on the present season and, with that in mind, the Sky Sports Saturday Social team recently decided to sit down and discuss the one player that each Premier League side should be looking to sign before the start of the 2022/23 campaign.
Of course, we all know that three current Premier League teams won’t be a part of the English top-flight when the action kicks off again in August. Relegated clubs still have transfer business to attend to, though, so preferred signings are named for all 20 sides in the league.
Pundits Rory Jennings and Paul Machin were in charge of presenting one candidate for each team, although the final call lay in the hands of the presenters.
Every kind of deal was on the table. While some teams were backed to land blockbuster deals, others were simply advised to get current squad members tied down to new deals.
So, who should each Premier League club be looking to sign in the upcoming transfer window? We’ve taken a look at the Saturday Social’s conclusions below.
The one player for each Premier League team to sign this summer?
Arsenal – Darwin Nunez (Benfica)
In a showdown between Nunez and Roma’s Tammy Abraham, the Portuguese striker is selected as the man to lead the line for Mikel Arteta’s Gunners next term.
If the 22-year-old can replicate his sublime form for Benfica this season (33 goals in 39 appearances), then he would soon become a firm favourite at the Emirates.
Aston Villa – Phillipe Coutinho (Currently on loan from Barcelona)
Things might not have worked out for Coutinho at Camp Nou, but he’s more than shown proven his quality at Villa Park. The Midlands’ side is urged to seek an extension to the Brazilian’s current loan deal.
Brentford – Christian Eriksen (Current deal expires at the end of this season)
Eriksen’s comeback to the game after suffering a cardiac arrest while representing Denmark at Euro 2020 last summer has been truly wonderful to see. The former Tottenham and Inter Milan playmaker is still a top class operator and the panel unanimously agrees that Brentford should do all they can to retain his services.
Brighton – Divock Origi (Liverpool)
Origi might be set to depart Anfield, but it would still be a shock to see him join Brighton. If they can get a deal over the line, though, the Belgian powerhouse would be a monumental signing for Graham Potter’s side.
Burnley – Phil Jones (Manchester United)
Jones has been a Manchester United player for more than a decade. However, his time at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ is drawing to a close and Burnley are encouraged to look into bringing his wealth of experience to Turf Moor next season.
Chelsea – Declan Rice (West Ham)
Both Jennings and Machin are in complete agreement on this one. It won’t be an easy deal to get over the line, but both feel Chelsea should go all out to try and bring former youth player Rice back to Stamford Bridge.
Crystal Palace – Conor Gallagher (Currently on loan from Chelsea)
Speaking of Chelsea, Crystal Palace already fully appreciate the quality of on-loan Blues midfielder Gallagher – and are keen to extend his stay at Selhurst Park. The panel believe that this should be the Eagles’ top priority this summer.
Everton – James Tarkowski (Burnley)
Everton’s dismal performance this season has exposed their defensive frailties in a major way. Tarkowski – who is out of contract at Burnley at the end of the current campaign – is put forward as a solution for the Toffees’ backline troubles.
Leeds – Emmanuel Dennis (Watford)
Dennis’ impressive first season in the English top-flight suggests he won’t be calling Vicarage Road home for long – especially if Watford go down. According to the panel, the skillful Nigerian would be a fantastic addition at Elland Road.
Leicester – Romain Saiss (Wolves)
A proposition by Jennings that the Foxes should pursue a deal for Liverpool’s Naby Keita is shot down in favour of the (far more realistic) proposition of Brendon Rodgers’ side landing Morocco captain Saiss from Wolves.
Liverpool – Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund)
It seems inevitable that Bellingham will return to England with one of the country’s elite clubs sooner rather than later. As such, the panel back Liverpool to add the young Dortmund superstar to their already exceptional roster of midfield talent.
Manchester City – Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
Reports suggest this one is already well on the way to being done – and so the panel swiftly agrees that getting through the door should be City’s main objective this summer.
Manchester United – Christopher Nkuku (RB Leipzig)
Although Cristiano Ronaldo has done his best, he’s pretty much played a lone hand when it comes to finding the back of the net at Old Trafford this season.
With 30 goals in 46 games this season, Leipzig’s French forward Nkunku has shown the sort of form that could make him the perfect solution to United’s goalscoring woes.
Newcastle – Ivan Toney (Brentford)
It’s no secret that the Magpies have got plenty of money to spend this summer and both Jennings and Machin agree the club should look to bolster their attack.
Machin comes up with perhaps the most outlandish suggestion of the whole show, arguing that Newcastle should go all-out to land Brazilan superstar Neymar from PSG.
However, that shout is ultimately overruled and Brentford striker Ivan Toney is backed to make a return to the club he played for as a youngster.
Norwich – Harry Winks (Tottenham)
While it’s quickly accepted that the Canaries likely won’t be playing Premier League football next season, Spurs midfielder Winks is selected as an experienced operator who would be a massive asset to Norwich in the Championship.
Southampton – Joe Aribo (Rangers)
Versatile midfielder Aribo is out of contract at Ibrox at the end of the current campaign and has been tracked by the Saints for some time now. The panel back Ralph Hasenhuttl to land his man this summer.
Tottenham – Paulo Dybala (Juventus)
Dybala joining the top-tier trio of Kane, Son and Kulusevski in attack for Tottenham would be a mouthwatering prospect. The Argentinian forward gets the verdict over fellow nominee Tariq Lamptey.
Watford – Reiss Nelson (Arsenal)
Regardless of what level they are playing at next season, Watford look certain to lose a number of key players in the summer. Young Arsenal winger Nelson – currently on loan at Feyernood – could help to balance the outgoings, even if only on short-term basis.
West Ham – Nick Pope (Burnley)
Current Hammers first-choice shot-stopper Lukasz Fabianski will turn 38 years old next season and eight-cap England international Pope is backed as his replacement at the London Stadium.
Wolves – Edinson Cavani (Manchester United)
The veteran Uruguayan striker is set to depart Old Trafford in the summer and is touted as the ideal striker partner for Mexican international frontman Raul Jimenez. at Molineux.
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