Ilkay Gundogan to...Liverpool? Here's Who Every Premier League Team Should Sign This Summer!

Published on 24 May 2023 at 13:00

The 2022/23 Premier League season isn’t quite over just yet, and already teams are looking towards the Summer transfer window to bolster their squads and improve on this season’s performance. 


With nearly £2bn being spent by Premier League clubs last Summer, the emphasis on expensive, marquee signings has never been more prevalent. 


So join HL Division Sport at looking at each club in the 2022/23 Premier League (including those set to be relegated before the end of May) and identifying who should be their priority signing this Summer.  

Arsenal: Bottlejobs or brilliant title contenders? The jury’s still out on just how to rate this past year at Arsenal, as they once again finished trophyless, but won major plaudits for Mikel Arteta’s utilisation on younger talents and a creative style-of-play.  


There’s no arguing that the wheels did come off at the end of the campaign for the Gunners, as major injuries to William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko ruled both defenders out of crucial games against the likes of Manchester City and Brighton, forcing Arsenal to depend on squad player Rob Holding and the inexperienced Jakub Kiwior to anchor their defence, to little success. 


Hence, another reliable centre defender, similar to the versatile Takehiro Tomiyasu upon the Japanese International’s return, will give Mikel Arteta’s side the defensive depth to instigate another title challenge next season.  


Recent reports out of Spain are linking Real Madrid defender Ferland Mendy to North London, and given his past experience playing as both a LB and CB under Carlo Ancelotti, this seems like a no-brainer for Arsenal, particularly if they’re looking to raise funds and sell the injury-prone Kieran Tierney.  

Aston Villa: The turnaround in form and performances Aston Villa experienced since sacking Steven Gerrard and replacing him with Unai Emery is truly phenomenal. 


From the improvement in Ollie Watkins’s goalscoring ability, to the improved defensive rigour and capabilities of the entire side, the 51-year-old has worked magic in the Midlands, and should expect to be rewarded with heavy financial backing in the Summer as Aston Villa looks to cement their status as a European side. 


For new names to add to the squad, Emery has looked towards his old club Villarreal, and a Premier League return for Giovanni Lo Celso could revitalise some of the creativity aspects of the Aston Villa midfield that appear to be lost with the ageing Phillipe Coutinho. 


With Jacob Ramsay continuing to impress despite his youth, and Douglas Luiz being as robust and domineering as ever, the addition of Lo Celso would be a true statement of intent from the Villains. 

Bournemouth: Fresh off their miraculous survival this season, Gary O’Neil will still have a mammoth task in keeping his Bournemouth side in the Premier League.


Though he can rely on attacking talent like Dominic Solanke, a strong option within the defence should be priority, and is there a more perfect fit than Norwich’s Max Aarons?  


Already boasting Premier League experience during his time at football’s once-great yo-yo club Norwich, the 23-year-old is equally adept as both a central and wide defender: the potential partnership with Argentine Marco Senesi should safely see Bournemouth survive another season…

Brentford: Although they may have had their best Premier League season yet in terms of performances, the Bees could be in major trouble for the first half of next season following star man Ivan Toney’s suspension until January 2024.


Though goals won’t be hard to come by from the likes of Wissa, Mbuemo and Schade, another goalscorer is certainly the right direction to go. 


And this is where Harvey Barnes, perhaps the best player set to be relegated in the 2022/23 campaign, could be a fantastic side for Thomas Frank’s team: having hit double digits for the first time in the top flight this season, Barnes up top could be the catalyst for Brentford to continue their pursuit of European football. 

Brighton and Hove Albion: Easily the Premier League’s most-improved team this season, Brighton have excelled beyond expectations and have a seemingly endless supply of young talent ready to step up at any point and make a name for themselves on the South Coast.


But the weakest area of the team? The defence. Joel Steele is a perfectly serviceable option as a goalkeeper, but the likes of Van Hecke have not shone in their admittedly-limited opportunities.


Having already been confirmed to be relegated with Southampton, Armel Bella-Kotchap should be the defender at the top of many teams’ transfer lists, and Brighton may be the best fit for him to succeed following this frustrating season at the Saints. 

Strengthening this in-form German core at the Seagulls, Bella-Kotchap will also be a natural replacement for Levi Colwill, for whom it would be surprising to see line up for Brighton once this season ends and he soon returns to parent club Chelsea. Speaking of…

Chelsea: Where do Chelsea NOT need to make major improvements? After their worst season this side of the millennium, a huge rebuild will be needed to restore Stamford Bridge to even a fraction of the fortress it once was.  


Though you could say a Thiago Silva replacement is needed, as the veteran defender could be set to return to his native Brazil and retire at Fluminense, they already have the prodigal Levi Colwill ready to be a part of the Chelsea defence. 


The next cause of concern for Chelsea and future manager Mauricio Pochettino will be a striker: although Romelu Lukaku is set to return from Inter Milan, the Belgian clearly does not want to be plying his trade in West London, so what about another domineering European striker who currently does…


It would be a gamble, but Aleksandr Mitrovic could be the perfect fit for the Blues: capitalising on the opportunities and chances afforded to him, and a far more physical presence than Kai Havertz or Joao Felix. It would be a tough challenge to pry him away from his beloved Fulham, but the potential upside could catapult Chelsea back into top 4 contention. 

Everton: Jordan Pickford for England can be brilliant. Jordan Pickford for Everton can be calamitous. It should be time for Everton to capitalise on rising interest in the ex-Sunderland keeper, as the likes of Man Utd and Spurs are constantly linked with a move for the England No.1.


Like Fulham signing Bernd Leno last season proved to be a brilliant investment, an experienced Premier League keeper struggling for game time would be a more-than-capable replacement for the inconsistent Pickford. 


And this is where Robert Sanchez may be the answer to the leaky Everton defence: a fringe goalkeeper for the Spanish National Team, and unlikely to consistently be first choice under De Zerbi at Brighton, a move to Merseyside may be the best option for his career. 

Fulham: Fulham have, on paper, one of the most balanced sides in the Premier League: a fine goalkeeper in Bernd Leno, solid defenders, an excellent midfielder in Joao Palhinha, and aforementioned forward Mitrovic, there isn’t a tremendous amount Fulham can do to improve without spending extortionate amounts of money. 


So the smartest move Fulham can do this Summer? Make one of their loan signings permanent: although Dan James didn’t exactly set the world on fire at either Man Utd or Leeds, he has been a dependable option for Marco Silva this season, and with the ageing Willian also playing in his position, the young Welshman could find himself becoming a permanent starter in the very near future at Craven Cottage. 

Leeds: Another relegation battle was the very last thing Leeds United needed this season, and as things stand


Illan Meslier is a shadow of his former self, going from a once highly-touted young goalkeeper to the labelled-cause of many of Leeds’ defeats this season. Whether or not Leeds survive this season is one thing, they almost certainly won’t survive with the Frenchman or back-up Joel Robles in net.

One goalkeeper seeking consistent Premier League game time, having just been a dependable cup option for most of his career so far, is Caoimhin Kelleher. The young Irishman has been in the unfortunate position of being backup to arguably the best goalkeeper on the planet, and will be itching to prove his potential elsewhere.

Leicester: A mass exodus of talent is set to take place at the King Power, regardless of whether or not Leicester City actually get relegated this season.


James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, Youri Tielemans are just some of the names set to depart from the Foxes this Summer, but with


So what about a safe option to restore some solidity within the defence, and some goodwill with fans and in the squad itself? Amidst ongoing press reports in France, Kasper Schmeichel was a player Leicester should never have let go in the first place, and having already been through both Championship promotion/Premier League relegation battles with his old team, he’s debatably a far more reliable option than Danny Ward at the very least.

Liverpool: Signing midfielders has been the Liverpool mission statement when it comes to transfer for what seems like years at this point. 


With the confirmed departure of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Keita, Milner and Arthur (We hardly knew Ye), Liverpool’s paper-thin core is in danger of being majorly exposed. This is where they should take a leaf out of Arsenal’s transfer playbook, and look to the top 4 for their next transfer target…


Ilkay Gundogan is a player seeking stability in the later stages of his career, which is something he isn’t entirely guaranteed at current club Manchester City, despite the Cityzens offering him a one-year contract extension.


The prospect of a reunion with old manager Jurgen Klopp, and at a club whose dependency on older talent in midfield has become increasingly obvious over the past few years, seems like a true footballing match made in Heaven. 

Manchester City: How do you even begin to improve the best team in world football today? 


The only obvious conundrum Pep Guardiola will have to ponder this Summer will be how to deal with Joao Cancelo: with the Portuguese talent not having a home at either Man City or Bayern Munich, he’ll likely be on his way out on a permanent basis, and City will need someone just as fluid in defence to provide coverage. 


Kyle Walker-Peters seems like the most readily-available option to join the club: equally as proficient playing on either side of the defence, and having the passing and dribbling acumen suited to a classic Pep Guardiola side, it would be a simple addition to the squad that provides depth in one of City’s notorious problem areas. 

Manchester United: In the eyes of the fans, it’s imperative Man Utd spend big on bringing a talented striker to dazzle under the lights of Old Trafford. And to meet these high fan expectations, there’s perhaps only one player in world football who would do the job.


Harry Kane is a man shackled at Spurs: despite producing one of the best seasons of his career (and even one of the best goalscoring seasons we’ve ever seen from a Premier League striker), it’s looking increasingly likely the 29-year-old won’t be playing European football next season.


Is this the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back? Daniel Levy has remained adamant that he either won’t sell to a European football rival within the Premier League, or will instead charge a mammoth fee for the Englishman. 


Man Utd have shown they have the money, and if they’re looking to truly be title contenders in the foreseeable future, the acquisition of Kane is a good first step on that road to title contention.

Newcastle United: It’s confirmed: Champions League football will be returning to St James’ Park next season, and with it comes all the financial riches and appeal that could make Newcastle United a very appealing prospect for any wantaway player this Summer.  


Injuries have plagued the Magpies at times this season, and nowhere has it impacted them more than in the midfield: each of Joelinton, Bruno Guimaraes, Sean Longstaff and Joe Willock have been injured this season, so a highly-regarded defensive midfielder would be the perfect way to remedy these midfield woes.


Manuel Ugarte is attracting eyes from all over Europe for his ferocity and technical ability, and would be the perfect holding midfielder to free Joelinton and Bruno Guimaraes to progress further up the pitch. 


It would be a shame to see Sean Longstaff pushed into a rotation role after the fantastic season he’s had, but this is unfortunately the nature of top four football…

Nottingham Forest: The past Summer and Winter transfer window were ones for the ages for Nottingham Forest, as not a day went by where they either weren’t linked with a player, or had brought a new one in. 


Perhaps the biggest name to make their way to the City Ground was Keylor Navas, as the former multi-time Champions League winner casually made the move to join a relegation-battling Nottingham Forest: football’s a funny game sometimes. 


With the Costa Rican shotstopper’s future at the club uncertain, a goalkeeper is top priority for Steve Cooper and co., and although they may be looking at permanently signing Dean Henderson from Man Utd, they should be rivalling Leeds and other Premier League clubs for the aforementioned Caoimhin Kelleher. 


Calm and composed in even the most high-stakes of situations, if Nottingham Forest are looking to ascend the table in the coming seasons, this would be a fine way to start. 

Southampton: On the surface, Southampton have some brilliant players in their team…before you get to their attack. 


Any side expecting to field the likes of Theo Walcott and Che Adams in the Premier League in 2023 would have a difficult time finding the back of the net, and unfortunately for Southampton, that side happened to be them.


So where do the Saints go from here? Although the previously-listed forwards may have better luck in the second division, a better suited signing who’s begun attracting a lot of talk is Coventry’s Viktor Gyokeres, whose future at Coventry is uncertain depending on their ongoing promotion bid. 


Good enough to play in the Premier League right now, the talented Swedish attacker would be the ideal signing to show Southampton’s intent on bouncing straight back up to where they belong. 

Tottenham Hotspur: It’s been reported that Spurs are set to tear up many of their players’ contracts as part of plans to completely rebuild the club. Who these players are remains a mystery, but there’s no denying that a monumental re-arranging of the furniture is needed in North London. 


Incoming manager Arne Slot could hold the key to who Spurs should sign: after a very successful stint at Feyenoord, star midfielder Orkun Kökçü would be a fantastic option for a number of reasons.


A tremendous box-to-box midfielder, the 22-year-old Turk would be not only an upgrade on the likes of Winks and Hojberg, but a steady replacement until Bentancur can return to the squad following his season-ending injury earlier in the campaign.

West Ham: Declan Rice’s departure is inevitable, and with him, much of West Ham’s core strength and defensive capabilities go too.


So for David Moyes, who will likely find himself in another fight for survival next season, what options are available to him and his side that can boost their defensive prowess.


As maligned as he may be by certain fan bases and neutral fans within the country, Harry Maguire could find a new lease of life as part of the West Ham defence. 


With the weight of expectation that comes with being a Man Utd player lifted off his shoulders, and at a more robust side which does more to protect its defenders and their weaknesses, the 30-year-old and West Ham seem like a truly perfect fit. 

Wolves: Just earlier this week, this idea for who could be signed by Wolves looked a lot different as to what it will look like now.


With rumours circulating that Wolves don’t actually have the money to allow Julen Lopetegui to pursue the transfers he sees fit, the prospect of Wolves making more landmark signings like Pablo Sarabia seem unlikely to happen this Summer. 


But there is hope, and it once more comes in the way of an ageing midfielder from Europe: ​​Asier Illarramendi has recently confirmed his departure from Real Sociedad, and his metronomic style of play and dribbling ability would a fine, reliable option to fill the hole left by Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho, pending their departures from this Wolves side. 

Which players do you think each Premier League club should sign this season? Who do you think is going to be the most expensive transfer of the Summer window? Be sure to let us know online today and across all of our official channels. 


Jasper Shepherdson

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