December 3, 2021

Deadline Day: What does every PL club need?

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Arsenal eyeing midfield additions

Arsenal split image Aouar Partey

Arsenal are interested in both Lyon’s Houssem Aouar and Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey, but can the Gunners get deals done for one, or both, of the midfielders before the transfer deadline?

Before either deal can happen, Arsenal will need to offload players to generate funds. They also need to comply with a maximum of 17 non-homegrown players over the age of 21 in a 25-man squad. As it stands Arsenal have got 19 of those players, so they need to shift two, that’s without any more additions from abroad.

So, who could leave the Emirates Stadium? Lucas Torreira has been continually linked with a move away, with Atletico Madrid thought to be at the front of the queue, while Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi have not been part of Mikel Arteta’s plans so far this season. The club could also be open to offers for defenders Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Sead Kolasinac.

Aston Villa still need attacking depth

Ross Barkley has joined Aston Villa from Chelsea on a season-long loan deal 0:39
Ross Barkley talks about teaming up with Jack Grealish at Aston Villa

With Ally Samatta gone, Villa only have Keinan Davis as back-up for striker Ollie Watkins, with Wesley out indefinitely following his crucible injury in January.

Bertrand Traore has played as a striker in parts during his career, but Dean Smith and Villa will be in the market for a striker happy enough to play second fiddle to their record signing Watkins. Easier said than done.

Elsewhere, Villa have been linked Ruben Loftus-Cheek on loan, but Ross Barkley’s arrival on loan from Chelsea until the end of the season may have ended that interest.

In terms of exits, Anwar El Ghazi was in the stands in the win at Fulham, while Frederic Guilbert has been linked with a move back to France.

Brighton in need of striker and left wing-back

Neal Maupay celebrates putting Brighton in front
Image: Neal Maupay has started the season well but he needs attacking support

There have been some encouraging signs for Brighton this season – not least in their 3-0 win over Newcastle and unfortunate 3-2 loss to Manchester United – but there is a need for further incomings before the window closes.

The Seagulls have been relatively quiet so far, with Adam Lallana and Joel Veltman the only eye-catching arrivals to date. That duo have added depth in central defence and midfield, but Graham Potter’s side looks light on the striker front, with the onus currently on Neal Maupay and Aaron Connolly.

Solly March has filled in at left wing-back, but there is a need for another body in that area of the pitch – Tottenham’s Ryan Sessegnon is a potential option – while there may also be room for another central midfield following Dale Stephens’ departure to Burnley.

In terms of outgoings, Brighton will be desperate to keep Tariq Lamptey from joining suitors Bayern Munich, who have expressed an interest in the former Chelsea youngster in recent weeks.

Dyche wants late Burnley additions

preview image 3:22
After seeing his injury-hit side lose 1-0 to Southampton, Burnley manager Sean Dyche was unhappy with some of the refereeing decisions but also realises his team need new additions.

It has been a frustratingly quiet summer for Sean Dyche so far, with midfielder Dale Stephens and back-up goalkeeper Will Norris the only senior additions up until now.

The Clarets boss is eager to bring in cover at centre-back, and the need for defensive reinforcements will become even greater if one of James Tarkowski’s suitors come in with an offer too good to turn down.

Credit: Andy Ford/Burnley FC
Image: Burnley signed Dale Stephens from Brighton. Credit: Andy Ford/Burnley FC

The club are confident of keeping Tarkowski having already rejected a string of bids from West Ham, but they need additions elsewhere, too, regardless of what happens with the 27-year-old.

The club would like to sign a right midfielder having lost Jeff Hendrick to Newcastle during the summer, and they would also like a right-back to provide competition for Phil Bardsley and Matt Lowton.

Chelsea must trim bloated squad

Antonio Rudiger 0:54
Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth says Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has been given no indication from the club about whether he will be allowed to leave in this transfer window.

Chelsea have been the Premier League’s biggest spenders so far, with Roman Abramovich overseeing an extensive – and expensive – overhaul.

Frank Lampard’s attack has been transformed by the additions of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech, while the club have also brought in goalkeeper Edouard Mendy from Rennes, and strengthened their defence with the signings of Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell.

Despite those defensive additions, Chelsea showed familiar frailties during their 3-3 draw with West Brom in the Premier League and could yet seek to bring in another body at centre-back and in defensive midfield. A late move for long-standing target Declan Rice should not be ruled out.

That, however, would depend on outgoings. Lampard has more than 30 first-team players at his disposal currently and he needs to trim that number. Antonio Rudiger could be on his way out, and is open to leaving the club on loan, while there are also doubts around the futures of Kepa Arrizabalaga, Emerson, Jorginho and Marcos Alonso, among others.

Quiet of late… but Zaha should stay

Wilfried Zaha celebrates after putting Crystal Palace ahead

It’s been quiet on the Palace front in recent weeks, with Roy Hodgson seemingly satisfied with his lot this summer. But don’t rule them out of some activity on Monday.

Reiss Nelson has been linked with a loan move, with Brighton and Burnley also reportedly interested, while moves for Odsonne Edouard and Rhian Brewster are not completely off the cards, though look unlikely. Christian Benteke seems to be surplus to requirements, but finding him a club may be difficult.

The real success of the window would be reaching 11pm with Wilfried Zaha still at the club, and barring some huge drama, that should be the case.

Everton in hunt for defensive help

Ben Godfrey has become a regular fixture in England's U21 side
Image: Ben Godfrey has become a regular fixture in England’s U21 side

Injuries to Jarrad Braithwaite and Mason Holgate have left Everton light on bodies in central defence.

Lucas Digne has been operating there to provide first-choice partnership Michael Keane and Yerry Mina minutes off the pitch in the Carabao Cup – a decision that has been made easier by the performances of Niels Nkounkou at left-back. But Everton are hopeful of signing Ben Godfrey from Norwich despite having an opening offer of £26m turned down.

Another possibility is Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma. The France international dropped out of the Chelsea team for the 3-3 draw with West Brom, a game which saw his stock rise, but there has been no secret made of Everton’s desire to sign Zouma on a permanent deal since his successful loan spell in 2018/19.

In terms of exits, squad players will be needed to put pressure on a starting XI that has quickly picked itself this term, but Ancelotti will be keen to offload those who don’t feature in his plans.

Yannick Bolasie has trained hard since returning from his loan spell at Sporting Lisbon but his failure to make a matchday squad in the early Carabao Cup rounds indicates his future lies elsewhere, and the same applies to midfielder Muhamed Besic.

Southampton have expressed an interest in signing Tom Davies on loan with an option to buy, but with Fabian Delph’s fitness needing to be constantly managed and Jean-Philippe Gbamin still on the road to recovery from a serious Achilles injury, Ancelotti will be mindful of leaving himself short of options.

One player who still has a future at Goodison Park is Theo Walcott. Ancelotti is confident the winger will not leave the club in the transfer window after omitting him from the squad for the 2-1 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Fulham squad requires urgent improvement

Fulham’s first season back in the Premier League is only three games old but there are already worrying signs from Craven Cottage. Scott Parker’s side have lost their first three games, and sporting director Tony Khan irritated the manager by apologising for the side’s performance against Aston Villa on Twitter immediately after the game on Monday.

Khan referenced Fulham’s struggle to sign centre-backs in his tweets, mentioning four deals which have collapsed over the course of the summer, the latest being for Sassuolo’s Marlon Santos, who failed a medical after an agreement had been reached with the Italian club.

But the need for defensive reinforcements is more obvious than ever after they shipped three goals against Villa to add to the tally of seven conceded against Arsenal and Leeds. The Cottagers retain an interest in Tottenham’s Juan Foyth and are expected to move for him in the coming days.

Their recent performances suggest there is a need for strengthening in all areas – not just defence. The final few days of the window could be pivotal to their survival hopes.

Leeds closing in on midfielder signing


Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds have already made their presence felt in the Premier League following a summer in which they have signed a string of players, including Spain international striker Rodrigo and highly-rated defenders Robin Koch and Diego Llorente.

But there are still areas in need of improvement. Bielsa has identified a lack of creativity from midfield as one issue, which is why the club are chasing Bayern Munich midfielder Michael Cuisance. The 21-year-old is expected to seal a move to Elland Road imminently.

Leeds completed permanent deals for Helder Costa and Jack Harrison earlier in the window, but there are still light on bodies in the wide areas. The club have asked about the availability of Manchester United’s Daniel James, although the Wales international is expected to snub a loan move to Leeds in order to fight for his place at Old Trafford.

Leicester business almost complete

Wesley Fofana 1:51
The Good Morning Transfers team analyse Leicester’s £30m deal for St Etienne defender Wesley Fofana.

Having already signed Timothy Castagna from Atalanta and Cengiz Under on loan from Roma, Leicester have now clinched a £30m deal for the Saint Etienne centre-back Wesley Fofana. The highly-rated 19-year-old, who was also wanted by West Ham, will provide competition for first-choice pairing Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu.

The deal for Fofana is likely to end their interest in Burnley’s James Tarkowski, and the Foxes are unlikely to bring in any more players before Deadline Day.

There could, however, be further departures. The club are in talks with Sampdoria over a deal to sell midfielder Adrien Silva. The Portugal international, a £22.5m signing from Sporting Lisbon in 2017, has spent the last two seasons on loan at Monaco and only has one year remaining on his contract at the King Power Stadium.

Leicester’s strong start to the season will encourage Brendan Rodgers that he already has a squad capable of challenging for another European finish in place.

Strength in central defence Liverpool’s only real need

Diogo Jota celebrates after scoring Liverpool's third goal of the game
Image: Diogo Jota celebrates after scoring Liverpool’s third goal against Arsenal

What do you get the team that seemingly has everything after Liverpool once again quietly went about their business this summer without attracting much attention?

In have come Kostas Tsimikas, to provide much-needed cover for Andy Robertson at left back, Thiago Alcantara to add a touch of stardust to a sometimes workman-like midfield and Diogo Jota for some serious competition in attack for the first time under Jurgen Klopp.

However, early-season injuries to both Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have exposed a lack of depth at the heart of the champions’ defence – especially with Dejan Lovren having left Anfield – forcing the Liverpool manager to again deploy the versatile Fabinho as a makeshift centre-back in their 2-0 win at Chelsea.

While the holding midfielder produced a masterclass in defence at Stamford Bridge, snuffing out the threat of the pacy Timo Werner, Klopp would much rather the Brazilian did what he does better than anyone in the Premier League in putting out fires in front of his back four.

Liverpool have reportedly been monitoring Sevilla’s Diego Carlos and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly this summer, although moves for either appear unlikely with Klopp recently confirming the club “will not even try if nothing more serious happens” to sign another centre-back before the transfer window closes.

In terms of outgoings, Rhian Brewster remains of interest to a string of Premier League clubs and could be set for a departure.

Manchester City could follow Dias deal with left-back signing

Pep Guardiola looks on with his side trailing Leicester City at the Etihad 1:43
Manchester City have signed two centre-backs and a winger, but the Good Morning Transfers team feel there are still areas Pep Guardiola may look to strengthen during this transfer window.

Another transfer window, another big-money centre-back signing for Manchester City. Pep Guardiola will be hoping Ruben Dias provides a solution to their long-standing defensive issues following his £65m arrival from Benfica.

The Portugal international follows Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres to the Etihad Stadium this summer, with Leroy Sane, David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi among those to have headed through the exit door.

Dias and Ake will have their work cut out to solve Manchester City’s defensive frailties, if the 5-2 loss to Leicester is anything to go by, but there may be another defensive recruit to come.

It will depend on Oleksandr Zinchenko, who is being linked with a move away from the club. If that move comes to fruition, then City will sign a new left-back. Ajax’s Nicolas Tagliafico is believed to be among their targets and would provide fresh competition for Benjamin Mendy and Joao Cancelo.

Hectic finale in store for Manchester United?

4-way Man Utd

With no apparent resolution in sight, the Jadon Sancho saga looks set to dominate two transfer windows for Manchester United without yielding a signing.

If successful, United’s pursuit of Sancho would fill a long-standing hole on the right side of the attack, but if the impasse continues, alternatives are being looked at in the form of Ousmane Dembele, Luka Jovic, Edinson Cavani and Ismaila Sarr.

Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele and Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho 4:33
The Transfer Talk panel discuss Manchester United’s search for a creative forward with them bidding for both Jadon Sancho and Ousmane Dembele in recent days.

Remarkably, securing an exciting attacking addition is now less of a priority following the club’s start to the 2020/21 season, which has drawn the need for defensive reinforcements into sharp focus.

It’s clear Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has limited faith in the defenders he has in reserve behind Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, and despite being in the early stages of the season, his preferred centre-back pairing are already crying out for cover.

Jadon Sancho 0:43
Borussia Dortmund are standing firm on their £108m valuation of Jadon Sancho with Manchester United considering a second bid for the winger, as Gary Cotterill reports.

Centre-back is not the only area of defence that needs bolstering, United’s reported pursuit of Alex Telles indicates Solskjaer wants to bring in competition at left-back as questions remain over Luke Shaw’s suitability into his seventh season at the club.

It’s the kind of recruitment project Manchester United need time to complete, but after a summer of indecision it’s a precious commodity they simply have not got.

Big Newcastle business unlikely

Newcastle beat Sheffield United at St James' Park on their return to Premier League action

In an ideal world, Newcastle would be looking at a goalscoring midfielder before the deadline shuts, or some centre-back cover for Jamaal Lascelles and Federico Fernandez.

Juventus’ Daniele Rugani and Rob Holding were linked, but in truth, it is unlikely Steve Bruce’s side will do big business before the clock hits 11pm on Monday evening.

If Callum Wilson gets injured, Bruce will also have to rely on Andy Carroll (no goal since January 2019), Dwight Gayle (out for 12 weeks) and Joelinton (£20m per Premier League goal so far).

It’s a long shot, but a quality striker would be ideal; Rhian Brewster and Arkadiusz Milik have been linked.

Sheffield United’s striker hunt continues

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder wants to make one more signing during the summer transfer window 0:46
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder says the club must sign its transfer targets if they are to improve their squad and compete in the Premier League.

Chris Wilder was after a new striker at the start of the summer transfer one and the Blades boss is still chasing one as the clock ticks towards the deadline.

Wilder frequently rotated his forwards in an otherwise settled side last season but Lys Mousset and Oli McBurnie were top scorers – with just six goals each. Mousset is likely to be sidelined for a while with a toe injury and while McBurnie’s link play, work rate and aerial presence are valued, Wilder wants a mobile finisher with the ability to craft opportunities for himself, as well as apply the final touch to the Blades’ low-quantity, high-quality chances.

Rhian Brewster fits the bill and after haggling over the terms of a deal for the England U21 international – one that could see the Blades cede to Liverpool’s wishes for a buy-back clause – there are heightened hopes of a breakthrough.

Wilder has already bolstered his defence with Ethan Ampadu, Jayden Bogle and Max Lowe but has been rocked by the news a knee injury looks to have ended Jack O’Connell’s season before it really started. Cover is needed for the left-sided centre-back who plays such a crucial role in attack as well as defence – Wilder is unlikely to want to rely on Jack Robinson’s form and fitness over a full season – but money and time are tight.

Southampton midfield still needs work

Ralph Hasenhuttl, Manager of Southampton looks on prior to the Premier League match between Everton FC and Southampton FC at Goodison Park on July 09, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. 0:22
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl is confident the club will do business before the transfer window closes and wants up to three new signings

Southampton have been one of the quietest Premier League sides in the transfer window so far, with Kyle Walker-Peters – who was on loan at St Mary’s last season – and Mohammed Salisu the only signings so far.

It leaves them with plenty to do ahead of the deadline, especially in midfield. The club sold Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to Tottenham earlier this summer, while Mario Lemina and Harrison Reed have also departed. Saints were eager to sign Ibrahim Sangare from Toulouse, but the 22-year-old opted for PSV Eindhoven instead. They have also been linked with a loan move for Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Their defensive capitulation against Tottenham was a reminder of their defensive frailties too. A new centre-back would not go amiss and Hasenhuttl may even be tempted to bring in another striker to provide support for first-choice pairing Danny Ings and Che Adams.

Spurs seeking further additions with Alli future in doubt

Carlos Vinicius 1:52
The Good Morning Transfers team discuss why signing a striker could be key for Tottenham, who are in talks with Benfica over a loan deal for Carlos Vinicius.

Gareth Bale, Sergio Reguilon, Matt Doherty, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Joe Hart have all arrived at the Tottenham so far in this transfer window, but there’s still work to be done.

Spurs still want to sign Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar but at the moment the two clubs are still a long way apart in terms of their valuation. Whatever happens with Spurs’ bid to sign Skriniar, Jose Mourinho wants to bring in a central defender before the transfer window closes.

Spurs head coach Jose Mourinho has accused Dele Alli of being 'lazy' in training 0:40
Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol says Dele Alli could be in Tottenham’s starting line-up for Thursday’s Europa League play-off after boss Jose Mourinho praised the player.

Mourinho has also made it very clear that he wants a new striker to provide competition for Harry Kane. Bournemouth’s Josh King, Southampton’s Danny Ings, Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Bas Dost have all been linked but it’s Carlos Vinicius, the Brazilian striker from Benfica, who they’ve settled on.

Meanwhile, Dele Alli’s future is still up in air with the midfielder seemingly not in Mourinho’s plans, while Serge Aurier and Danny Rose has also been linked with moves away from north London.

Striker on the agenda for West Brom

West Brom ended their losing start to the Premier League season with their 3-3 draw against Chelsea, but surrendering a three-goal lead to Frank Lampard’s side underlined the need for further strengthening before the deadline.

The Baggies have already recruited a string of players, completing permanent deals for former loanees Matheus Pereira, Grady Diangana and Callum Robinson, but there is likely to be more movement in the coming days.

A striker addition could be key. Robinson scored twice against Chelsea, but Charlie Austin is yet to feature and West Brom’s other options do not inspire great confidence.

A loan deal could be the likeliest outcome, but a permanent signing should not be ruled out. West Brom have held talks with Leicester over Islam Slimani and they have also been linked with a move for Huddersfield’s Karlan Grant. Loan moves for Watford’s Andre Gray and Troy Deeney have also been mooted.

West Ham still searching for reinforcements

Burnley defender James Tarkowski in action
Image: Could West Ham go back in for Burnley defender James Tarkowski?

A central defender is what West Ham want but so far, they have been frustrated in their efforts.

James Tarkowski looks out of reach for the Hammers after having had three bids turned down by Burnley, who are not willing to budge from their current valuation of the England defender. West Ham also had a £33m bid rejected by Saint Etienne for Wesley Fofana.


The Hammers will now divert their focus to other centre-back targets with Juventus’ Daniele Rugani the latest defender to be linked with a move to the London Stadium.

West Ham have at least agreed a deal for a right-back Vladimir Coufal from Slavia Prague, but they remain eager to bring in a striker before the deadline as well as a centre-back.

In terms of departures, they will be hoping they can keep hold of Declan Rice with Chelsea reportedly interested in the midfielder.

Wolves could add depth before deadline

Raul Jimenez celebrates after his brilliant strike to give Wolves a second-half lead

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo had suggested that the club would always be willing to react if the right opportunity presented itself in the market but the feeling was that the signing of Nelson Semedo would prove to be their final bit of business in this window.

However, the 4-0 defeat to West Ham – not just their third in a row in all competitions but surely the worst result that Wolves have endured since Nuno arrived in the summer of 2017 – might yet change the thinking. Ambitions are high but there are weaknesses in this squad.

A strong defender would improve Wolves but they are not alone in that respect. More strength in midfield would be welcome too if Leander Dendoncker is required at the back. Could Nuno also be tempted by another forward to relieve the burden on Raul Jimenez?

Crucially for Wolves, Jimenez does look set to stay barring any late drama, while reports of a transfer away for Adama Traore do not appear to be coming to fruition. Expect outgoings but it is more likely to be the low-key exit of Ryan Bennett than a bigger name.

The summer transfer window may have closed across Europe, but that’s not the end of this year’s transfer business. A domestic-only window for trades between the Premier League and EFL then runs from October 5 and closes on Friday October 16 at 5pm. Follow all the news and analysis on Sky Sports News and across Sky Sports’ digital platforms.