Like the local grocer whose doors close early before a holiday, the Premier League’s summer transfer window slams shut on Thursday, even if sides from England’s top flight haven’t picked up stuff for dinner.
But while hungry customers who miss out have to survive on tea and digestives for just one day until the shop opens its doors again, clubs in England have no choice but to wait until the January window to address squad shortages through a transfer.
Related: Premier League transfer tracker – Summer window
The clock is ticking for the Premier League’s 20 sides, and with that in mind, here’s a glance at what each club needs before the summer shopping deadline:
Winger: Incoming manager Unai Emery said that Arsenal is done acquiring players, and now all that remains is to sell a handful of redundant parts. There’s a dearth of wingers on the squad, however, with just teen talent Reiss Nelson fitting the profile of a wide player ahead of Sunday’s opener.
Center-back: Credit to Eddie Howe for having faith in a slew of players on the Cherries squad since the League One days, but save for Nathan Ake, the center of Bournemouth’s defense is worrisome. Steve Cook and Simon Francis have been loyal servants, but Premier League survival is on the line.
Brighton & Hove Albion
Right-back: Decent window for the Seagulls with a slew of positive additions, though there are rumblings a right-back could be added to help “Jesus Christ Superstar” cosplayer Ezequiel Schelotto, 29, and Bruno, 37. Left-back is sorted with Bernardo’s move from RB Leipzig to Brighton.
Attacking midfielder: Are Burnley aware of the perils of a club punching above its weight domestically while competing in Europe? It doesn’t look that way, as Ben Gibson remains Burnley’s only signing prompted by Kevin Long’s exit, and there’s close to zero creativity or attacking impetus in the midfield.
Striker: While fellow promoted sides Wolves and Fulham stock up with known commodities, Cardiff City has been more resourceful, scouring the lower leagues for talent. Despite some shrewd buys, there’s a lack of punch up top, with Kenneth Zohore’s nine goals leading the Bluebirds last season.
Playmaker: Maurizio Sarri’s three-man midfield could use a No. 10, even with concerns that Alvaro Morata, Olivier Giroud, and Michy Batshuayi are not the players to lead Chelsea’s frontline. There are more questions than answers at Stamford Bridge. There’s also the Thibaut Courtois issue that looms large.
Left-winger: If Crystal Palace keeps Wilfried Zaha in Roy Hodgson’s ranks, the right side of their attack will look decent with the Ivorian and Andros Townsend. However, the left side is far more sparse, with Sullay Kaikai and an empty Tesco’s bag blowing in the wind playing the role.
Center-back: Ashley Williams is off to the Potters on loan, Phil Jagielka turns 36 years old in mid-August, and the Mason Holgate move from full-back to central defender hasn’t exactly been smooth. Michael Keane should be desperate for a first-choice partner, hence the countless Yerry Mina to Everton rumors.
Left-back: Ryan Sessegnon may have been the Championships’ darling last season, but the teen is probably better suited to dip his toes in the Premier League waters at a more advanced position on the left wing, signaling the need for a traditional full-back for Slavisa Jokanovic’s Fulham squad.
Striker: Permanent deals for Terence Kongolo and Jonas Lossl were massive early-summer moves. But Huddersfield Town needs goals to avoid a brush with relegation, newcomer Adama Diakhaby has to adapt to the rigors of Premier League play, and Laurent Depoitre is still Laurent Depoitre.
Centre-back: Even if Claude Puel and Co. can hold onto Manchester United target Harry Maguire, Leicester City have just him and summer recruit Jonny Evans in central defense, with Wes Morgan a last resort. Some depth couldn’t hurt, and apologies to Yohan Benalouane, but he’s not that guy.
Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk’s world-record move to Anfield contributed to an uptick in form for Dejan Lovren, though the Croatian international, oft-injured Joel Matip, and Ragnar Klavan are all too error prone for a side with serious league ambitions.
Holding midfielder: Fernandinho, 33, has been brilliant for Manchester City. But if Pep Guardiola fancies avoiding the use of John Stones in a more advanced role, some depth in a deep-lying midfield role couldn’t hurt a side with nary the glaring weakness.
Left-back: For all of Jose Mourinho’s complaints that his first team is not up to snuff, the club has plenty of versatile pieces, chief among them Ashley Young. Now 33 years old, Young faces an uncertain future at Manchester United, just like Luke Shaw, and a bonafide left-back could help alleviate those concerns
Striker: With Sporting CP reportedly eyeing an Islam Slimani return, Monday’s move for Salomon Rondon still leaves the Magpies thin up top, with Dwight Gayle gone and Joselu leaving his goal-scoring boots at home. It would help if Mike Ashley wasn’t such a miser. It’s hard not to feel for Rafa Benitez.
Right-winger: Southampton sold Dusan Tadic to Ajax, opening a creative chasm in attack, especially out wide right. Josh Sims and Stuart Armstrong aren’t the kind of players who can save the Saints from a season-long battle with the bottom three. At least Jannik Vestergaard’s singing improves the backline.
Center-back: A left-sided attacker who can also deputize for Harry Kane just like Anthony Martial couldn’t hurt. But with Toby Alderweireld nearing an exit and Eric Dier incapable of playing above-average in defense, Tottenham is left with just Davinson Sanchez and Jan Vertonghen up the middle.
Striker: Troy Deeney, Andre Gray, and Stefano Okaka combined for 11 goals in 75 total league affairs, and while former Watford mate Richarlison wasn’t exactly clinical in front of the goal, Javi Gracia’s side is at a loss for goals heading into a campaign that could test the Hornets’ sting.
Striker: Andy Carroll’s return from ankle surgery has been delayed, Chicharito scored just eight league goals last season – his lowest haul since being a bit player at Real Madrid – and Jordan Hugill has played only 22 minutes of first-team football. The versatile Michail Antonio has a worrying injury record as well.
Center-back: Wolves gaffer Nuno Espirito Santo favors a three-man central defense ahead of the Molineux residents’ Premier League return, and the addition of another centre-back couldn’t hurt. Cue reports of the Wolves being linked to every Portuguese defender ever. Fernando Couto, don’t answer your phone.
(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)