As the dust settles on the 2019/20 Premier League season, now is the time to take stock of what happened, especially with the Premier League big 6.
A season in which disappointment and adulation have been earned in equal measure, and with a new campaign lying just around the corner, there will be little time for mass overhaul or wholesale changes throughout this summer.
However, that is not to say that alterations will not be made and, whether the look of a squad is changed from a position of strength or weakness, the division’s biggest clubs will aim to ready themselves for a 2020/21 title tilt.
With that in mind, we are now going to look at each member of this select gang and see what will constitute good business during the re-opening of the transfer window.
Premier League big 6 review
For Jurgen Klopp it will be evolution rather than revolution. With reports that Thiago Alcantara is ready to swap Munich for Merseyside, the addition of the 29-year-old could be exactly what they need.
Now that they have broken their Premier League duck, Liverpool will have to deal with the mantra that the competition is hard to win, but even more difficult to defend. After two herculean seasons, questions will be asked regarding the overall fitness of the squad.
Furthermore, now could be the time to look at freshening up their attacking trio and, although direct replacements may not be needed just yet, forward planning for the loss of any of their front three may be required sooner rather than later.
A season that has highlighted Manchester City’s strengths and deficiencies. In terms of the latter, it has been no secret that defensively is where they have struggled and it is this area where Pep Guardiola will look to strengthen first.
If you were being hyper-critical of the former Barcelona boss, you could argue that his defensive recruitment has not quite hit the same heights as those further up the pitch. The failure to replace Vincent Kompany, in particular, is one that has proved costly.
With another club legend approaching his final years, the question regarding who will be the heir apparent to Sergio Aguero is becoming louder. On the evidence of Gabriel Jesus’ end of season performances, the Brazilian may not be the right man for the job so another forward could be required.
When you consider that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was a strong contender in the sack race at the turn of the year, 2020 has been quite the turnaround for the Norwegian. A return to the Champions League has been secured and exciting times lie ahead at Old Trafford.
With the arrival of Bruno Fernandes, the emergence of starlet Mason Greenwood and a move for Jadon Sancho looking likelier by the day, there is a sense that Solskjaer now has all his attacking ducks lined up in a row. Therefore, a look for more defensive minded personnel is required.
United may be exciting to watch, but they are still prone to the odd defensive lapse and, with a world-class centre back partnership still yet to be formed, this is arguably the one thing that will stop them launching a genuine title tilt next season.
United’s issues are effectively the same as Chelsea’s. Although Frank Lampard has wasted no time in signing both Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, more business will need to be concluded while the transfer window is open.
However, with Roman Abramovich seemingly back in love with the club, mass expenditure should not prove to be an issue and with Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz also on the club’s radar, the Blues could prove to be a very fearsome attacking unit next season.
With that said, for all their attacking prowess, it does seem that a goalkeeper is the main priority. The world’s most expensive goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga’s future is already up in the air and the former Athletic Bilbao shot stopper could prove to be Chelsea’s biggest transfer bust of all.
Whether Jose Mourinho’s touchline celebrations were necessary after securing a sixth-place finish can be argued. However, there was an obvious sense of relief and, although Europa League qualification was not his primary objective, there is still a feeling of job well done.
Now the job moves to the transfer market which is where things could get difficult for the former Real Madrid manager. It is obvious that a rebuild is required in the white half of North London but will the funds be there to carry it out?
If there is some form of budget, full-backs will have to be the main priority. When you consider that Tanguy Ndombele and even Dele Alli are seemingly out of favour, the midfield pair could end up being Tottenham’s financial sacrificial lambs.
A tumultuous season without a doubt and, with Mikel Arteta now set to embark on a first full season in charge, a lot will be resting on success in Saturday’s F.A. Cup final and the additional prize of European football that comes with it.
After finishing eighth in the Premier League, Arsenal are certainly a work in progress and, although there are signs of encouragement in terms of what is to follow, there are also obvious causes for concern.
Like so many others, it is the defence which is currently proving to be Arsenal’s undoing and with reportedly the smallest budget of the Premier League big 6, Arteta is going to have to workmiracles on the training pitch and in the transfer market for the Gunners to succeed next season.
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