This summer transfer window is a landmark one for the Premier League. It is the first since the new £5.14 billion TV deal, meaning the money in England's top flight will skyrocket once more. The managers have already been recruited; Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, Antonio Conte, Jurgen Klopp and more will all be standing on the touchlines next season, but little transfer activity has been completed as of yet.
That is largely a result of the Copa America and European Championships, as major international tournaments often halt transfer dealings. Once these two competitions are over though, we can expect the transfer market to explode into life. £59.7 million currently stands as the British record transfer fee, but don't be surprised to see that smashed this window, with even the leagues bottom sides potentially having in excess of £50 million allocated for transfers this summer.
As such, we have compiled a list of who would be the ideal signing for each Premier League club this summer. Some may be more ambitious than others, but all are intended to be realistic, otherwise the ideal signing for every club would most likely be one of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez. The article takes into account what type of player each club needs most, potential fees and wage demands.
20 AFC Bournemouth - Alexander Milosevic
Bournemouth may have survived relatively comfortably in their first season in the Premier League, but their defence was still one of the worst in the league. Only last placed Aston Villa conceded more goals than the Cherries last term. A defender then has to be the most pressing need for the south coast side. A number have been linked but Alexander Milosevic has been the best shout so far. A towering centre-back with excellent ability on the ball, he would fit seamlessly into Eddie Howe's Bournemouth side, and should cost no more than £2 million.
Reports have been piling up that Bournemouth is well on their way to signing Milosevic and that's because the signing makes perfect sense. Milosevic has a lot of potential to grow and a situation like Bournemouth is ideal for him.
19 Arsenal - Aymeric Laporte
Another club in need of a central defender are Arsenal. The Gunners have already made a wise acquisition in the form of Granit Xhaka to give their midfield some much-needed steel, but questions persist over whether Per Mertesacker has the ability (particularly in terms of pace) to be a starting defender for a title-chasing outfit. Aymeric Laporte would be an ideal partner for Laurent Koscielny.
The 22-year-old Bilbao defender would require a huge transfer fee and wages to be lured to the Emirates, but it could be money well spent if he propels Arsenal to a Premier League title. Earlier this year, he said that he would reject a move to a higher Spanish club like Barcelona, “FC Barcelona is one of the most important clubs in the world, but I would reject an offer from them. They have not talked to me to present an offer, not this season or last, but it wouldn't interest me. All the future is ahead, playing these years at Athletic.”
That could spell a move to the Premier League.
18 Burnley - Bradley Dack
There have been reports this month that Burnley, who have previously been reluctant to splash the cash, have a budget of £60 million this transfer window, in a bid to survive in next season's Premier League. As such, one might suggest the Clarets should set their sights higher than League One player Bradley Dack. However, Dele Alli is living proof of how a player can make the jump with ease. Burnley will pony up the cash to somebody and there's no reason to think it can't be Dack.
Dack has been superb for Gillingham over the last two seasons, both scoring and creating goals, and Burnley are in need of a central midfielder following the departure of Joey Barton to Rangers.
17 Chelsea - Mattia De Sciglio
Antonio Conte is likely to have a big budget and big expectations at Chelsea, but identifying targets for the Blues is not easy. Despite their awful performance last season, their squad is a strong one, with no outstanding weak areas. However, one man who has disappointed is Branislav Ivanovic at right-back. Having worked with De Sciglio at international level as Italy manager, Conte could bring the 23-year-old full-back to Stanford Bridge, especially with the defenders current club AC Milan having finished 7th in last seasons Serie A. Conte has shown so far that he likes to stick with what is familiar to him and if he has his own men in place, he can do wonders for Chelsea. De Sciglio makes sense here.
16 Crystal Palace - Moussa Dembele
Crystal Palace have been trying to find a recipe for success up front for some time now. They are coming off a 15th place finish in the premier league and weren't that far off in risking relegation. They'll want to improve on their finish and as the roster is looking, it's clear they need to make somewhat of a splash. Connor Wickham is likely to be the club's main striker next season, but it would appear Alan Pardew isn't particularly convinced by any of Fraizer Campbell or Dwight Gayle to partner or replace him. This, twinned with the departure of Emmanuel Adebayor, means a striker is likely to join Palace this summer. The Eagles are unlikely to do better than Moussa Dembele. The 19-year-old France U-20 international scored 17 goals for Fulham last season and looks every bit capable of making the step up to the Premier League.
15 Everton - Bernd Leno (mandanda)
New manager Ronald Koeman reportedly has a sizable war chest ahead of this summer's transfer window, and one can expect Everton to spend serious money in the coming months. They are coming off a season that saw them finish with 47 points, good enough for 11th in the Premier League. To climb into the top half of the league, they'll have to open up their checkbook.
One area in which the club looks likely to strengthen is between the sticks. Tim Howard finally left Goodison Park this summer, and Joel Robles is unlikely to be judged good enough for a team with top four aspirations. Steve Mandanda has been heavily linked but the Toffees should aim higher, and they won't do better than Germany backup Bernd Leno. Currently under contract at Bayer Leverkusen, the 24-year-old has more than a decade left in him at the highest level and the potential to become a world class goalkeeper.
14 Hull City - Loic Remy
A little ambitious perhaps but for so long Steve Bruce's Hull City side has looked very strong with the exception of up front. They'll be looking to have a strong 2016-17 season in the Premier League to avoid once again being relegated.
There are two key areas in which the Tigers must strengthen this summer; one is an athletic creative midfielder and the other is an effective partner for Abel Hernandez up front. For the latter of these two, Loic Remy would be an ideal candidate. The 29-year-old looks certain to leave Chelsea this summer, and whilst his wage demands would be astronomical, it would be money well spent to keep the East Yorkshire club in the Premier League next season.
13 Liverpool - Mario Gotze
This one makes a lot of sense, as it would spark a resurgence of a young player with lots of promise and a manager would be able to work with someone with some familiarity. Liverpool will surely have higher aspirations than an eighth place finish, and Gotze could come in at a good bargain.
Ever since Jurgen Klopp took the realm at Anfield, the name Mario Gotze has been linked with Liverpool. Having looked one of the brightest prospects in the game under Klopp at Dortmund and scoring the winning goal for Germany in the World Cup final, the midfielder's career has stalled at Bayern Munich. He desperately needs a new lease of life, and Klopp could be the perfect fit once again. If the 24-year-old could get back on track under his former boss he would light up the Premier League.
12 Leicester City - Arkadiusz Milik
What can you add to a club that shocked the world this season, as the most improbable league winners in perhaps the history of the game? Well, if Leicester City look to repeat as champions or at least remain in contention, they can't sit on their laurels.
A man who is likely to be linked with a number of top clubs this window, Arkadiusz Milik is a high quality player. He has spent the last two seasons at Ajax, both scoring and creating goals for fun, 24 goals and 8 assists last season alone. At international level he has formed an excellent partnership with Robert Lewandowski. A hard working but skillful player, he would be a great fit at the King Power, although he wouldn't come cheap, with Europe's elite all now well-aware of the 22-year-old's talents.
11 Middlesbrough - Alex Pritchard
Middlesbrough have earned themselves promotion into the Premier League next season and they will have to add to their lineup if they intend to stay there.
Young and hungry domestic players with a point to prove often prove a recipe for success in the Premier League, and Tottenham midfielder Alex Pritchard certainly meets those criteria. The 23-year-old is unlikely to see much first team football at White Hart Lane, and Middlesbrough are crying out for a creative midfielder who can play either through the middle or in wide areas. The move would make sense for both Middlesbrough and Tottenham.
A price tag of £8 million may seem steep, but in the current market it is not wholly unfair, and Pritchard is a quality player.
10 Manchester United - Zlatan Ibrahimovic
A little predictable, perhaps, and while a 34-year-old may seem a little short-termist, there are a number of reasons why Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be the ideal signing for Manchester United. One is his sheer ability; 50 goals last season represented the Swedes best ever return, and evidence he is still a world class forward. Another is that he's a born winner and a talisman, his influence and appetite could be as important as his ability, and spur the Red Devils on to their first serious success since the departure of Alex Ferguson.
His agent, Mino Raiola has opened up a little on where he feels his star client should go:
I have already decided, now it is up to him. We will see. They are really busy with the Euro. Out of respect for the Euro, the country and the coach, he should concentrate on that.”
This would by far be the most intriguing signing of the summer.
9 Manchester City - John Stones
Everyone seems to have their own take on John Stones, with some considering him the brightest prospect in England and others feeling he lacks basic defensive qualities and is highly overrated. One thing is for sure, he is a ball-playing defender, and therefore would be highly suited to playing under Pep Guardiola. Everton are now very wealthy, and therefore are in no need to sell, but if Stones himself puts pressure on the club to let him move on, this deal could well have legs.
8 Southampton - Hakim Ziyech
For over six months now Hakim Ziyech has been talked about as a potential signing for Southampton. He has been described as the ideal replacement for Sadio Mane, but even if the Senegalese winger remains at Saint Mary's, Ziyech would be an excellent acquisition. Due to financial trouble, FC Twente were relegated last season, and Ziyech will almost certainly leave the club, and is their most valuable asset. He has scored 32 goals in 72 games over the last two seasons for Twente, and the Saints have had success buying from the Netherlands in recent years, making Ziyech look an even more likely recruit.
Southampton had a very solid season this past year, finishing sixth in the league table and adding Ziyech could help them inch their way up the standings a little more in 2016-17.
7 Stoke City - Neven Subotic
Most Stoke City supporters would agree that the club is in need of a new central defender. While Ryan Shawcross is consistently superb, he had injury problems last season, and none of his partners or replacements have been entirely convincing. While Subotic himself has had injury problems in recent years, he is a top class defender with tremendous experience at the highest level. Stoke have made a habit of signing players with history at top clubs recently (Arnautovic, Afellay, Bojan, Imbula, Shaqiri), and on that front, Subotic would certainly fit the bill.
Stoke City is coming off a ninth place finish, but they were well behind 8th place Liverpool, as the gap in the Premier League really began to shot after Liverpool. Subotic would be a good first step in closing the gap.
6 Sunderland - Rachid Ghezzal
Sunderland made huge improvements under Sam Allardyce at the end of last season, who orchestrated yet another great escape for the black cats. The club from the north east were heavily reliant on the goals of Jermain Defoe though, and will need to recruit well this summer in order to have a more comfortable campaign next season. One of the areas in which Sunderland lack genuine quality is on the wings, and Rachid Ghezzal could certainly be an answer to those problems. An international teammate of Riyad Mahrez, Ghezzal currently plays for Lyon, where he scored 10 goals from wide areas last season.
5 Swansea - Wilfried Bony
Some say you should never go back, but in the case of Swansea City and Wilfried Bony, we politely disagree. The Ivorian's move to Manchester City has been, as many expected, a poor move for both the player and the club. Bony will almost certainly be moved on by Pep Guardiola this summer, and if any Premier League club needs a striker, it's Swansea. Their top striker Bafetimbi Gomis scored just 6 league goals last season, in stark comparison to Bony's 17 in his only full season at the Liberty. This move makes sense for both sides, as Swansea would get a player they know could help them, and Bony can revive his career if he recaptures the same magic he previously had at Swansea.
4 Tottenham - Vincent Janssen
The Dutch have always produced world class strikers, from Marco van Basten to Robin van Persie, and if Tottenham play their cards right this summer, they could well get their hands on the next in that long line. Vincent Janssen is only 22, but he was the top scorer in Holland last season, scoring 31 goals all told and has already scored 3 goals in 5 games for the Netherlands, including one against England. Whilst Spurs have Premier League top scorer Harry Kane in their ranks, they are struggling for genuine quality other than Kane up top, Janssen would be the perfect solution to that problem.
3 Watford - Juan Jesus
This one seems pretty unlikely given Chelsea's recent interest in Inter Milan defender Juan Jesus, but Watford's intent on signing the Brazilian has been strongly reported and stranger things have happened. A regular at Inter for three straight seasons, Jesus played only 14 league games last season. The Brazilian international can play either at left back or in central defence and would seriously bolster Watford's strength at the back.
The more likely scenario is Jesus going to Conte's Chelsea team, as Conte reportedly wanted him at Juventus. This list however, deals with what the ideal signing is for every PL team and there's no arguing that Watford could use someone like Juan Jesus.
2 West Brom - Nathan Redmond
Nathan Redmond is surely going to sign for a Premier League club this summer, but whoever does secure his signature is likely to have to spend some serious money. Norwich know better than anyone else the talents of the 22-year-old, but will struggle to hold on to a player who is so obviously good enough to play at Premier League level. West Brom is coming off a 14th place finish and only finished one point ahead of two teams below them. That's not much of a gap from relegation territory. Redmond would help them avoid that area.
West Brom are very solid under Tony Pulis but lack a bit of flair, particularly on the wings, Redmond would rectify that as well as representing a shrewd investment with a huge potential resale value.
1 West Ham - Batshuayi/Benteke
The only club with a dual entry, we couldn't pick between two Belgians as to who'd make the better signing at West Ham. The Hammers have cash to burn and will want a marquee signing as they move into the Olympic Stadium, with a striker almost certain to join the club. Batshuayi is the player in the better form, whilst Benteke has proven himself in the Premier League. Batshuayi is pacy with an eye for goal, whilst Benteke has great strength and can be unplayable at times. Either would represent excellent signings for West Ham.
West Ham wasn't far off of being in the top four of the Premier League and they could make that jump with a big signing like one of these two. We'll have to see if they'd be willing to pay that price.