1 – Will The Other Five Get Nearer To City Next Season? (Part One – Arsenal, Chelsea And Liverpool)

Posted: January 20, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur, Transfers
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There hasn’t been much movement yet by the top six clubs in this transfer window. Only Liverpool have strengthened significantly while, at the other end of the scale, Tottenham Hotspur don’t appear to think that buying anybody is necessary.

Over the next couple of days we take a look at whether the other five can get closer to City next season or even if any of them can overhaul Guardiola’s team.

602  Arsenal

As we have been saying for many a month now Arsenal, as long as Arséne Wenger insists that he is the right man for the job, are going backwards.

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Theo Walcott – Cleared off to Everton

In this current transfer window they have sold Theo Walcott and are in the process of swapping Alexis Sánchez for Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Manchester United.

They have already sold Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the future of Mesut Özil remains up in the air. Some people seem to think he will sign a new contract whilst others are convinced he will leave on a free in the summer.

It must be difficult for him to know what to do. What if he leaves then Wenger does the same and a dynamic new manager comes in? What if he stays and Wenger does the same? Arsenal players may not admit it but they are open to moving away because of Wenger and the stagnation going on at the club.

Our opinion is that Stubborn Old Man will fulfill his contractual obligations by continuing for the second year during which time the club will have slipped even further back. Catch Manchester City? No chance!

630  Chelsea

Another club who could be changing manager in the summer only in the case of Chelsea it is a virtual certainty to happen.

Antonio Conte may be liked by the fans but his popularity with the board and some of his players is at a low ebb.

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Peter Crouch – Tipped to be the next Chelsea superstar?!

His cause is not being helped by the club by being linked with players from Stoke City and West Ham United.

Peter Crouch and Andy Carroll are not the type of players we have come to associate with Chelsea over the years.

Targeting a “target man” is all well and good when looking for a back-up for Álvaro Morata but the Chelsea supporters aren’t used to their team, reportedly, looking at deals for players who aren’t even regulars at the two aforementioned clubs, particularly when one of them is 36 years old!

Neither of these players, if signed, would strengthen the team, or even the squad, and whether or not they can catch City next season will now depend, almost entirely, on who they bring in as manager in the summer.

676  Liverpool

Having sold Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, Liverpool were momentarily weakened as he was, arguably, their best player. However there are others who can now take on that mantle and they include Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah.

They then bought Virgil van Dijk who has strengthened them considerably. In fact, it is probably fair to say that Liverpool are stronger now, with van Dijk and without Coutinho, than they were when it was the other way round.

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Jan Oblak – Reported to be a target for Jürgen Klopp

They still, however, need a goalkeeper. We make no apologies for continually harping on about this because we are finding it increasingly hard to believe that Jürgen Klopp will countenance going into next season with the two clowns currently sharing the position.

Alisson of Roma, Jack Butland of Stoke or Jan Oblak of Atlético Madrid. Any of the three would be a massive upgrade on any of the two.

If Liverpool are to catch City, and they do have a decent chance. then they HAVE to buy a world-class goalkeeper. It is totally ridiculous that they are the only member of the top six who don’t currently have one.

And finally, for this part anyway, as we have discussed Arsenal already we will end by saying that next season we won’t be featuring them quite as often because their place in the top six will have gone to Everton.

Part two tomorrow, don’t miss it!

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