The title has been decided and Liverpool are finally Champions. Although the race for the Champions League is still going, the biggest clubs in the Premier League will already be turning their attention to the transfer window to try and improve their respective lots for next season. However, with the Coronavirus crisis causing a knock on financial crisis for football clubs, many will have to sell before they can buy. As such, here is our list of one player each Premier League big six club should sell.
One player each Premier League big six club should sell
Arsenal – Matteo Guendozi
You’d think for a Premier League big six club in complete disarray this might be a tough call, not so. 21-year-old Matteo Guendozi made headlines for all the wrong reasons against Brighton last week after grabbing Neal Maupay by the throat. He also reportedly bragged about earning more than Maupay during the game despite actually earning £10,000 a week less than him.
Mikel Arteta has harboured concerns about Guendozi’s attitude previously, with footage emerging of the Frenchman messing around behind his back in training. However, Guendozi’s apparent immaturity isn’t the only reason that Arsenal should cash in on him this summer.
The biggest reason that Arsenal should look for a buyer is that Guendozi simply isn’t that good.
Plucked from relative obscurity at Lorient in 2018, not many could legitimately claimed to have known who Guendozi was after Arsenal signed him. However, some promising early performances quickly evaporated and Guendozi is now symptomatic of Arsenal’s decline during their worst season for 25 years.
The Gunners are hardly flush with money but desperately need reinforcements in most positions this summer. The biggest drain on their cash is Mesut Ozil whose £350,000 a week wages would be a huge weight to lift from the wage bill. Unfortunately for Arsenal, not many other clubs would be silly enough to take them on.
Guendozi is a different story. Valued at £36m by Transfermarkt.com, his sale would represent a near £30m profit for Arsenal and, with Real Madrid and Barcelona among the interested parties, they should welcome any significant bids.
Chelsea – Tammy Abraham
It would be harsh given the season that Tammy Abraham has had, netting 13 Premier League goals. However, there is mounting evidence that the chances which Frank Lampard has given during this campaign might be greatly reduced next season.
For a while it looked as though Olivier Giroud would be the fall guy for Chelsea but he grasped an opportunity when Abraham was injured and now looks to end the season as Lampard’s first choice striker, with Abraham not scoring since the 11th January.
His fight to get back into Chelsea’s XI will be made infinitely harder in the summer when Timo Werner joins from RB Leipzig. There is no way the German has been bought to warm the subs’ bench and Abraham would be forgiven for wondering exactly how much game time he is likely to receive going forward.
Chelsea are in the process of renovating their squad and could decide to cash in on their £36m-rated striker to fund further big money moves. All they need is a bid from a club who might have money to spend and could use a proven Premier League scorer. Newcastle, anyone?
Liverpool – Naby Keita
Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool had high hopes for Naby Keita when they signed him for £48m from RB Leipzig but so far it’s probably fair to say that he hasn’t delivered on a regular basis for a side who are currently the best of the Premier League big six sides
Indeed, the Guinea international has only featured 11 times for The Reds this season, with just five of them coming as starts, owing to injury problems. It is incredibly hard to pick any flaws in this outstanding Liverpool team but if there is one area that they could possibly improve, it’s central midfield.
Unless Keita is able to show his best form for the remainder of this season, perhaps Liverpool should consider cutting their losses and taking the rumoured £30m on offer order to sign a replacement. Though not Danny Drinkwater, as John Barnes ludicrously suggested.
Tottenham – Eric Dier
An English graduate of the famed Sporting Lisbon academy who has amassed 40 caps for England and 126 appearances for Tottenham at the age of 26. Everything that Eric Dier should be on paper, he simply isn’t when you see him scything down Paul Pogba in the box, costing Spurs two points againt Manchester United.
In fairness to Dier, since Project Restart he has put in a couple of decent performances. Jose Mourinho, battling defensive issues all season, has moved him into the centre of defence from his former staple in defensive midfield. It feels like papering over the cracks rather than a legitimate solution and whether that is where Dier’s long term future lies is yet to be seen.
Spurs are in a similar boat to Arsenal in that they will probably need to sell before they can buy this summer and, with links to Freiburg defender Robin Koch persisting, cashing in on Dier could help them raise valuable funds to do just that.
Manchester City – Leroy Sane
Sane is a wonderful player and Pep Guardiola would clearly like to keep him. However, he has refused a new contract amid repeated interest from Bayern Munich and, with just a year left on his contract, it’s time for City to sell.
It feels like a summer of transition could be ahead at City with their potential European ban still hanging over their heads plus decisive action in the transfer market required if they are to bridge the huge points gap to newly-crowned Premier League champions Liverpool.
Sane, who missed the majority of the season through injury after rupturing his cruciate ligaments, has been a huge loss for The Citizens and nobody has felt his absence more than Raheem Sterling who looked increasingly burnt out as the pre-lockdown season progressed, with nobody to help shoulder his workload.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t change the fact that Sane simply doesn’t want to be there and, despite having just a year left on his contract, a transfer fee rumoured to be anywhere between £30m – £60m has been mooted. That isn’t to be sniffed at, even for a club of City’s wealth, in the current financial climate.
City need a squad overhaul and jettisoning a player who wants out can play a big part of facilitating that.
Manchester United – David De Gea
One of the most fascinating narratives to unfold this summer will be the goalkeeping situation at Manchester United. The Red Devils are undergoing something of a revolution at Manchester United under Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer, who is finally justifying the faith placed in him by the club’s hierarchy. However, the Norwegian could has a difficult decision ahead of him regarding who will be between the sticks next season.
In one corner you have David De Gea, the 29-year-old Spain international who has been the standout player for Manchester United during their bleak post-Ferguson years. De Gea has won more Player of the Year awards than any other player in Manchester United’s history, cementing his place as a club legend alongside the likes of Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar.
However, he has undeniably had a significant dip in form over the last couple of seasons and a previously daunting goalkeeper has become concerningly error-prone, with a catalogue of mistakes creeping into his game.
When United had few alternatives, his place in the side was barely in question. However, now they are in possession of Dean Henderson, a 23-year-old Englishman whose superb season on loan at Sheffield United has led for calls for him to be implemented as first choice for club and country.
Given de Gea’s service it’s an extremely difficult decision to make but it’s the kind of hard call that made Sir Alex Ferguson famous and the suspicion is that he would have taken the hard choice and gone with Henderson.
It would be extremely harsh on de Gea to be sold given his service to the club but he is too good to sit on the bench and, if United don’t give Henderson a chance, they risk losing a player who could be the club’s future.
With de Gea still apparently worth £36m, United should make the brave call by taking the money and looking to the future, rather than the past.
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