With the curtain about to close on the 2014/15 campaign, the rumour mill is already churning as each team looks to improve and reach their targets next season. A few clubs will be looking to overhaul their roster and spend big, whilst several will have a relatively quiet summer and make 1 or 2 changes to their squad.
In addition to bringing in exciting new talent, this will also mean showing the door to many players that are no longer needed. Their performances may not be to the required standard, they may have fallen out of favour with the boss and slipped in the pecking order, their wages may be costing the club a fortune, their attitude could be causing problems or they may be making way so that the money from the sale can be used to improve the squad.
From the top to the bottom, each team will have business to conduct this summer and some will waste no time at all getting to work. League champions Chelsea will be aware that the teams immediately below them will strengthen this summer, and therefore they must too if they are to defend their title. The clubs in the middle of the table will hope to press on and possibly qualify for Europe next year, as well as improve their points tally and perhaps win a trophy. Those that have avoided the drop this summer will have little time to celebrate, as it has been another fierce relegation scrap and a number of clubs have very narrowly avoided relegation. With one game to play at the time of writing, there is still one spot in the drop zone which will be occupied by either Hull, Newcastle or Sunderland. This list will also include the teams that will not be playing Premier League football next season, and we will take a look at who should depart so that they can return to the top flight the following campaign.
Sunday the 24th marks the final day of the campaign, and clubs will then embark on what could be a crucial summer of business to improve for next season.
Here are the 20 players that each Premier League club should dump this summer.
20 Arsenal – Mikel Arteta
It has been a season of mixed fortune for the Gunners, who have been in stunning form in 2015 but an early exit in the Champions League will leave a sour taste. In order to challenge for the title next year and improve in Europe, there are areas in which they must strengthen and this will see them ship out a few players. At the top of this list is midfielder Mikel Arteta, who has been anonymous this season and Wenger now has a solution in Francis Coquelin who has been excellent. Arteta is also 33 years old and has struggled with injuries this year, and this will see him be one of the first out the door this summer.
19 Aston Villa – Kieran Richardson
After a woeful start to the season, Aston Villa have been transformed under Tim Sherwood. It is thanks to him that they will live to see another campaign in the Premier League, and they also have a FA Cup final to look forward to. Despite this, they will look to improve their squad over the summer and this will include selling a few players that have failed to make an impact. At the top of this list is Kieran Richardson, who has struggled to slot into the team and been played at several positions. Whilst his ability to play in a few different areas can be useful, he does not offer solutions to Villa’s weak areas and at the age of 30 it is time to move him on for a more reliable player.
18 Burnley – Ben Mee
One of the three clubs which will not be playing Premier League football next season, Burnley will be eyeing a return the following campaign and showed glimpses of potential throughout the season. The main focus will be on whether or not they can retain key striker Danny Ings and a few other players, and who they can keep hold of will determine their success. One player that should be replaced is Ben Mee, with many Burnley fans feeling that Stephen Ward is a better option at full-back.
17 Chelsea – John Obi Mikel
Even the champions will have some work to do this summer, as the teams immediately below them will improve and so will have Chelsea if they are to repeat and advance further in Europe. One player that should be moved on is John Obi Mikel, who is no longer needed at Stamford Bridge and lost his defensive midfield position to stand out performer Matic, with young promising centre back Kurt Zouma offering backup this season. The 28-year-old Nigerian has been instrumental in Chelsea’s success since arriving in 2006, and he could be a terrific signing for any team looking to toughen up their midfield with an experienced, hard nosed defensive midfielder.
16 Crystal Palace – Fraizer Campbell
Much like Aston Villa, Crystal Palace’s season was transformed through a change in management. With Alan Pardew at the helm, Crystal Palace have emerged as a tough team in the Premier League and could finish in the top half if results go their way on Sunday. They will look to build on their success in the second half of the season through a few changes, and one player who is likely to be out the door is forward Fraizer Campbell. Palace need more goals from the man leading the line, and if they are to push on and become a regular mid-table club they will need to upgrade in this position.
15 Everton – Kevin Mirallas
It has been a bitterly disappointing campaign for the Toffees this year, who have gone from a team who qualified in Europe to a team that was at one point in threat of relegation. This will be a huge summer for the club and you can expect plenty of comings and goings. Kevin Mirallas is likely to be one player on the move, and this could turn out to be profitable for Everton. He has high value and a lot of big clubs would welcome the winger who scored 11 goals this season, but he has caused problems for Everton and frequently hinted at a move away. Everton will hope to sign Aaron Lennon who has been excellent on loan from Spurs, and they can then use the cash from a Mirallas sale to improve in other areas of the squad.
14 Hull City – Abel Hernandez
Steve Bruce has endured a nightmare end to the season, and they will face the drop unless they can pull off a victory over United on the last day of the season and hope Newcastle do not win. There has also been the recent saga with Jake Livermore, who tested positive for cocaine to make matters worse for the Tigers. Whether they stay up or go down, Steve Bruce needs to improve the squad this summer and ship off a few players. Should they go down, the players will have to take a huge pay cut which will deter some of the bigger names. Although he arrived less than a year ago, record signing Abel Hernandez has not lived up to expectations and Torino have shown plenty of interest in the striker. Hull could get a tidy sum for Hernandez, which could be used to strengthen the squad.
13 Leicester City – Zak Whitbread
It is time to celebrate in Leicester after the Foxes miraculously secured safety after being stuck to the bottom of the table just a few weeks earlier. Nigel Pearson’s men have been in terrific form in the final stretch of the season, but there is also plenty of work to do this summer if they are to become a constant in the Premier League. One player likely to be shown the door to the King Power stadium is Zak Whitbread, as the defender on loan at Derby County will not break into the 1st team as he has no Premier League experience and is behind Marcin Wasilewski, Wes Morgan and Liam Moore in the pecking order. He made just 16 appearances in his first season at Leicester, and they will now look to move him on as they establish themselves as a Premier League club.
12 Liverpool – Mario Balotelli
Brendan Rodgers is the last manager to try and fail to get the best out of Mario Balotelli, who has offered very little to Liverpool but at least managed to stay out of the headlines this season. The 24 year old only arrived at Anfield last summer for a fee of £16 million, but he has only made 10 league starts and has 4 goals in all competitions. Although a flop at Liverpool, Balotelli could still command a high transfer fee due to his age, name and the potential he has shown, with Sampdoria showing interest in the Italian. Liverpool desperately need goals next season, and it has become evident that Mario Balotelli is not the player that can provide them with this.
11 Manchester City – Stevan Jovetic
You can expect a busy summer at the Etihad after Man City failed to defend their title and again had a poor showing in Europe, and this could see Manuel Pellegrini head for the door as well as several players. Whether Yaya Toure will stay remains to be seen, but City have a host of surplus players that they should sell to strengthen the squad. Stevan Jovetic cost them £22 million and he has rarely played, and when he has he has not lived up to expectation. He was omitted from the Champions League squad, and this suggests that his career in Manchester is coming to an end. City also have Bony and Dzeko on their books in addition to Sergio Aguero, but if they sell Jovetic now they could sell him at a reasonable price and bring in new targets.
10 Manchester United – Robin Van Persie
The rumour mill has been churning for many months now at Old Trafford, and they look set for perhaps the busiest summer in the league. They have been linked with several big names, and have already made their first marquee signing in Memphis Depay. There will be a few names leaving to make way for these signings, and Robin Van Persie should be one of these players. After a stellar start to his career in Manchester, RVP has nosedived and has fallen out of favour under Van Gaal, despite being his captain at the World Cup. Injuries have once again been largely to blame, and at 31 years old it is time for United to cash in on the Dutch striker whilst he can still command a high transfer fee. United have been linked with the likes of Cavani and Ings, which leaves little room for the striker that fired them to their 20th league title but struggled to make an impact since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson.
9 Newcastle United – Mike Williamson
This season has been nothing short of disastrous for Newcastle, and they are not safe from relegation just yet. There is a myriad of issues with the Magpies, and there needs to be a serious shake up this summer if they are to improve their fortunes. Newcastle have a habit of selling their best players, but they will need to retain the likes of Coleback, Janmaat, Cabella and Sissokho this summer. Instead, Mike Ashley needs to ship out a few players that have let the team down this year. This includes Mike Williamson, who is 31 years old and not quite at the standard Newcastle need in their defence. In addition, his red card which John Carver felt was deliberate has paved his way out of the club.
8 Queens Park Rangers – Adel Taarabt
QPR will once again find themselves playing in the championship next season, and this means that star striker Charlie Austin will be eyeing a move to a top-flight club. QPR should also look to ship out a few other players, as it has been said that there are a few “bad eggs” in the ranks whose bad attitude has doomed the club. Chris Ramsey has admitted an overhaul is needed, and he will be glad to see that a few of these players will be returning to their parent clubs this summer. One “bad egg” on their books, and earning £50,000 a week, is Adel Taarabt, who has great talent but a notoriously bad attitude to go along with this. This was evident from the get-go this season, with his public feud with Harry Redknapp after turning up to training out of shape. Despite his wages and attitude, he could command a high transfer fee which would help the Hoops to strengthen their squad.
7 Southampton – Morgan Schneiderlin
After being ravaged last summer, Southampton will be hoping to keep hold of players instead of losing them after a fantastic campaign against the odds. Saints fans will want him to stay, and it would be fantastic for them if he did, but it seems inevitable that Morgan Schneiderlin is set to exit after such strong rumours all year long and the midfielder stating he wanted to depart. Selling him this summer could prove to be beneficial to Southampton, as his name is likely to drum up quite a bidding war between the likes of Spurs, Arsenal and a number of other top clubs. He is likely to be sold for £25 million or more, and this could be used to improve the Southampton squad which spent so well last summer. It may seem like a step back to lose Schneiderlin, but it seems inevitable that he will leave and it will pave the way to make 2 or possibly 3 new signings.
6 Stoke City – Asmir Begovic
Asmir Begovic is a terrific goalkeeper and it seems that plenty of clubs will be after the 27-year-old Bosnian’s signature this summer, who has made it clear that he is reluctant to sign a new deal. Stoke City fans will be sad to see a player of his talents leave the club, but he has just over a year left on his contract and they have the impressive young English keeper Jack Butland ready to step in. With such a talent waiting in the wings, now is the perfect time to sell Begovic and he is likely to earn Stoke a healthy sum which they can then reinvest in areas that need strengthening.
5 Sunderland – Liam Bridcutt
It seems that somehow Sunderland have once again managed to avoid the drop, but this is a team that has had a woeful season and is in disarray. Dick Advocaat has impressed at the helm since taking over in March, but it seems likely that he will leave this summer whether or not they face the drop. Central midfielder Liam Bridcutt needs to be replaced, as he has not looked convincing in the Premier League and if this is where Sunderland want to be playing then they need to improve in this area. Advocaat recently handed Bridcutt his first start against Leicester due to an injury to Jordi Gomez, and although he worked hard it was clear that he is not ready for top tier football.
4 Swansea City – Nathan Dyer
The Swans have been flying high this season despite losing star striker Bony in January, and they will now look to strengthen this summer and push for Europe next season. Gary Monk has done a fantastic job and will want to add quality without losing talent, which means that not too many players will be leaving this summer. Although he has been a key player for Swansea in the past and started the season well, it could be beneficial to move on Nathan Dyer. He has nosedived in form, and consequently has fallen behind Wayne Routledge and the impressive Jefferson Montero in the pecking order. Dyer is still a more than capable player and could be of value to another team, and the cash they receive could be used to strengthen in areas that need support such as left back and striker.
3 Tottenham Hotspur – Emmanuel Adebayor
It has been a season of mixed fortunes for Spurs in Pochettino’s debut campaign, and this will be a crucial summer as he continues to implement his system. Spurs are carrying a lot of dead weight and will look to clear the decks so that they can add depth and strengthen in certain areas. Many of these players are on high wages and feature very little, so Spurs will be desperate to move them on. The most obvious example is Emmanuel Adebayor, who earns a whopping £100,000 a week but has hardly played and had some off-field issues this season. Spurs will have to pay the difference on his contract which could cost them around £2.5 million, but Tottenham will be desperate to get him out the door and begin pursuing their targets so that they can push on for a top 4 finish next season.
2 West Bromwich Albion – Jonas Olsson
Tony Pulis has once again worked his magic and saved a team from relegation, and the Baggies are a tough team to beat under his guidance. The big story this summer will be what happens with Saido Berahino, who is likely to make a move away from the club. Jonas Olsson has fallen out of favour under Tony Pulis, who has sharpened up West Brom’s defence and he may now feel that he does not require the services of the Swedish defender. He may have played in the last few games, but with the Baggies' safety confirmed this is likely to be a matter of rotation. West Brom’s summer business will all depend on Berahino, but they will certainly look to improve and they should provide Pulis with whatever he needs to strengthen.
1 West Ham United – Carlton Cole
West Ham had a stunning first half of the season and played some exciting football, but they appear to have lost steam and fans will be disappointed with how they have finished the campaign. Regardless of what happens with Big Sam, they must improve their squad so that they can play at a high level from start to finish. He may have been with the club for many years, but with his contract expiring it is time for Carlton Cole to move on if the club are to improve. The 31-year-old nearly left in January, but the deal was pulled off the table due to an injury crisis with West Ham’s strikers. He is now behind Sakho, Valencia and Carroll in the pecking order. Fans may be sad to see him go, but he will be able to find more playing time at another club and West Ham can embark on a new chapter.