We take a look at one thing that Arsenal, Burnley, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton and Tottenham must do before the 23/24 Premier Leageu season gets underway.
Arsenal – secure a midfield colossus
As much as Arsenal fans are being teased for the way their club apparently choked and lost the title, the reality is that nobody expected them to be challenging for the top at the start of the season. Second was a fantastic result for a team that was young and relatively experienced.
As much as they appeared to have lost the league, they still had a stellar season. So, what do they need to do in the off-season? They need to add depth to their squad, most notably in midfield.
The Gunners have been linked with both Declan Rice and Mason Mount -although the latter looks fancied to move to Manchester United. They need to secure a big midfield player to bolster their presence in the middle of the park.
🔴⚪️ | TRANSFERS: Arsenal to offer £70m for Rice.— Punch Drunk Arsenal (@PunchDrunkAFC) June 5, 2023
📰: According to German journalist Florian Plettenberg, the Gunners are ready to offer £70m for Declan Rice.
🗣️ Plettenberg: “Bayern is aware that Arsenal should be willing to pay around £70m.”
Bayern Munich are also… pic.twitter.com/WFKFqiKugk
Burnley – keep hold of Kompany
Vincent Kompany is a man who commands authority and Burnley need to ensure that they hold on to their manager who is probably their biggest asset as they return to the topflight following a sojourn in the Championship.
Kompany has Burnley playing attractive football. He is tactically astute, and he is a good man-manager. As he showed as a player at Manchester City, he is a leader. He will almost certainly go on to manage some of the biggest teams before his career is over. But holding on to him for now is key to Burnley’s chances of Premier League survival.
Chelsea – trim (a ton of) the fat
Chelsea’s first task was to appoint a manager and they have a good man in charge with Argentine Mauricio Pocchetino. He is now tasked with the job of trimming the squad and getting it to gel.
Huge amounts of money were spent on players last season to no avail. Now Poch will have cull the deadwood, move out the discontented and form a unit that can challenge for Europe again. Make no mistake, this is a huge job.
Crystal Palace – lock Zaha down
Wilfried Zaha is a critical element of the magic that can be Crystal Palace on a good day. Pace and vision and an eye for goal, all mixed with his unique flair mean that since joining the club, initially on loan in 2014, he has been central to their sustained top-flight success.
Although it might feel like the Ivory Coast international has been around forever, he is still just 30 years old. Zaha’s contract with the Croydon club comes to an end at the end of June and although talks have been ongoing, nothing has yet been signed.
Palace must secure his signature again – he is so central to everything they do. The club have reportedly offered him a deal worth £150,000 a week, but rumours suggest that clubs in the middle east have offered him even more.
Everton – stop the rot
Here is a club that needs a complete reboot. The toffees have been in steady decline for many years and securing safety at the tail end of the season has become something of a recent norm for this once powerful side.
Everton might have benefitted more from relegation and the chance to regroup and restructure in the lower profile and less pressured atmosphere of the Championship, but they survived.
They don’t need players to paper over their cracks, they need change at the top. Be it a change of owners, fresh investment or some new bodies on the board this is a club that rapidly appears to be turning toxic and urgent action must be taken to turn the tide. The involvement of MSP Sports Capital could be the spark the Merseyside club needs.
MSP Sports Capital are set to invest £100m-£150m in loans in Everton to help fund the club’s new stadium. This investment would also give the firm a 25% stake in the club and they are also “on track” to take two positions on the club’s Board of Directors. (Source: The Athletic) pic.twitter.com/lWsOdpiarw— Everton Blue Army (@EvertonBlueArmy) June 5, 2023
Tottenham – a captain for the ship
Spurs have been linked with a host of players, but before they can do anything they need to appoint a manager. The modern reality is that players don’t play for clubs, they play for managers, and without a person of the right stature in place, Spurs are going to battle to sell their vision and attract the right players.
Leicester’s England stars James Maddison and Harvey Barnes have both been linked with moves to the club, but it seems unlikely that anybody will commit long-term until the managerial vacancy is filled. Celtic’s Australian boss Ange Postecoglou has been strongly linked to the position, but there have been no announcements yet.
Postecoglou has played for Australia, and he has coached the Socceroos and an assortment of teams in Asia and Australasia, but he has limited European experience. Whether or not he is the man with the right stature and credentials for Spurs remains to be seen.
🚨 Understand Tottenham have finally reached verbal agreement with Ange Postecoglou as next manager. #THFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 5, 2023
Been told it will be a two year-deal with an option included for further season, so potentially valid until June 2026.
Next step to get it done: find a way with Celtic. pic.twitter.com/QR4Lueuf0z