By Tony Alvarez
In our final piece before our end of season close down Shouts From the Stands will look into who the Premier League clubs need to sign in the current transfer window in our opinion.
Our views on the teams who finished in positions 1-12 in the league in the season just finished can be found on the links below and today is the turn of the 5 remaining survivors and the three new boys.
Stoke have had a successful season finishing 13th thus not getting dragged into a relegation battle and reaching the cup final losing out toManchesterCity.
Although manager Tony Pulis generally sticks with the same type of players, big strong powerful or quick he often does add a touch of class to his side in every transfer window and I don’t expect this one to be any different.
Jon Walters has shocked everyone with his level of performance and goal return the level of Walters debut season will mean that it will be unlikely that Stoke enter the market for a striker although they may pick up John Carew who they had on loan from January on a free transfer.
I think they may add a body to the midfield to give the squad greater depth, someone in the ilk of Scott Parker would be perfect for Stoke although he is not big in stature he covers every blade of grass and gives his all, however if rumours are to be believed Parker has a host of bigger clubs queing up to sign him, Stoke could do a lot worse than looking at his team mate Mark Noble.
Pulis sofar hasn’t shown a good knowledge of the European market but has a great knowledge of the lower leagues and it wouldn’t surprise me if he finds another gem from there.
With the loss of Johan Elmander Bolton massively need a striker, they would love to be able to sign Daniel Sturridge after his hugely successful loan spell at the club, however due to this Chelsea are very unlikely to let the young Englishman go but there may be a possibility of another loan spell for the former City man.
Boltonmay have set their sights higher than picking up the best of the players from the relegated sides but I believe DJ Campbell would be worth a look at, he would be ideal to run onto Kevin Davies flick ons and knock downs and knows where the goal is. He also wouldn’t cost too much which is always an added bonus.
At the back it is strongly believed that Gary Cahill will not start the season in a Bolton shirt which means a replacement will be needed, it would be easy to link Bolton with someone like Matthew Upson who is available but with the season he has had a don’t think Owen Coyle will go near him unless it was for a real basement price, I believe Coyle will be tempted to enter the market for Roger Johnson as he is the type of no nonsense defender that would suit Bolton’s style of play.
It is my personal believe that Bolton also need a lefty back as for me Paul Robinson is worse than average however last time I said that Bolton fans were not best pleased so maybe there happy to stick with him.
I can see this being a difficult summer for Rovers, they have a manager that does not really inspire me or anyone else there owners seem to be out of control and the club only survived relegation on the final day of the season, on top of that it looks as though they will lose at least 2 big name players in captain Chris Samba and youngster Phil Jones.
Should these two leave as expected the club will need to spend heavily to fill the void left at centre back, Nelsen and Givet are not bad defenders but they are also not great and it would also leaveBlackburnwithout cover at centre back.
Depending on how much the new owners want to invest in the playing squad will define what type of player the club can try to attract.
In January it was rumoured that world wide super stars Ronaldinho and David Beckham were targets for theLancashireclub.
I wouldn’t like to put a name to that defender as I always seem to end up quoting places from the relegated sides.
Many fans forums link Rovers with moves for both Seb Larsson and Ruud Van Nistelroy I cannot see either coming off, would either really want to a move to a club that seems really unsteady and if they carry on in the same direction will be Championship sides this time next year
Wiganhave a big battle on their hands, it is expected that they will lose the services of star man Charles N’Zogbia as well as striker Hugo Rodellega and possible midfielder James McCarthy.
Although if these three go it will bring some much needed funds in the club will struggle to replace them as no disrespect to the club butWiganisn’t exactly an attractive proposition for players on the continent.
Manager Roberto Martinez will no doubt try and use his knowledge of the Spanish market as well as his knowledge of the lower leagues inEnglandto try and bolster his squad.
It was quoted during Mondays play off final thatMartinezwas inSpaintrying to tie up some potential deals so we could see some exciting European talent at the DW stadium come August.
I have a decent knowledge of the Spanish leagues but don’t know enough to put names to the playersMartinezis likely to target.
One thing is for certain if the club don’t replace N’Zogbia they will be in trouble and to be honest it will be difficult to find some one with his creative talent with Wigans budget, however Connor Sammon appear to be a find.
Wolves are on odd one for me because I actually think there a really good side but the final league table doesn’t lie.
They clearly have a good bunch of players as they have taken points off Man United,Chelsea, Tottenham andLiverpool.
Mick McCarthy is a great man manager and gets his teams playing well as a unit so its hard to judge the individuals.
They have a couple of players who I feel are a bit out of there depth such as Ronald Zubar and George Elokobi, it appears all there fragilities are at the back as most of their attacking talent is more than good enough.
At the back the club have been linked with Roger Johnson who I have linked with many clubs during this article but also Matthew Mills who scored in yesterdays play off final and from what I’ve seen of him looks to be a very good defender whetherReadingwill let him go is a different matter.
QPR are another team with an odd situation, despite winning the Championship Neil Warnocks position as manager is apparently under threat, as well as this despite being owned by some of the World’s richest men the club appear reluctant to spend money.
This makes them impossibly hard to predict as you do not know what sort of markets theLondonclub will be shopping in.
They have been linked withWatford’s prolific marksman Danny Graham but he is not the type of player that is going to propel them up the Premier League.
Again QPR have been linked with a whole host of players from the sides that have been relegated, players such as Liam Ridgewell and Roger Johnson are believed to be target
In my opinion the main issue for QPR is keeping hold of the star men they already have, Taarabt has been linked with many clubs but there has been no formal offers for the Algerian, they will also hope to sign wide man Wayne Routledge on a permanent basis after he impressed in a loan spell in the second half of the season. Finally keeping goal keeper Pay Kenny Is a must, fortunately he has always been loyal to Neil Warnock and there are no signs of that changing.
Norwichas a whole do not appear to be ready for the Premiership and the promotion could of possibly came a year to earlier for the Canaries.
However they are I n the Premier League on merit and Blackpool were getting many of the same doubters this time last year and so wereHullbefore them.
I know I have linked a lot of clubs with the players from relegated teams but it appearsNorwichwill be wholy shopping in that market as well as fringe players form bigger teams and the better players from the lower leagues.
Manager Paul Lambert moved quickly to snap up Everton forward James Vaughan, the striker has always looked promising but has struggled with injury problems, I once remember an Everton fan telling me his talent was unrivalled but his time on the pitch was bettered by everyone.
In the middle they have battlers such as Croft but I feel to survive they will not some better Footballers along side the “engine room men” in a similar situation to what Blackpool had with Charlie Adam, a few clubs have tried to sign him in the past and personally I would try to prize away Darren Ambrose from Crystal Palace he has Premiership experience an eye for a goal and is an all round good footballer.
At the back you can get away without getting in big names as long as they all work well in a unit together, due to this it makes it anyone’s guess who Lambert is going to try and sign if he tires to sign anyone at all.
Swansea gained promotion thanks to a thrilling victory overReading at Wembley in the play off final.
Anyone who saw this game will recognise the danger of their wide men Scott Sinclair and Nathan Dyer.
Swansea manager Brendon Rodgers knows how to use the loan market a prove with the late addition ofChelseastarlet Fabio Borini to his squad I would not be surprised if he tries to acquire the young forward again.
In all honesty I don’t know much aboutSwansea’s financial position so I don’t know how likely they are to spend.
They have a decent spine however I fear with Darren Pratley no longer a started they lack size and physical presence in midfield.
At Championship level they were a better Footballing side than most of the teams they came up against I am afraid in the Premier League this will not be the case.
Due to this I think they should look to sign a midfield general a towering presence, givenRogersuse of the loan market I will not be surprised if he looks at Arsenal’s youth man Frimpong he may not give the added height but he is a tenacious tackler and then gives the ball simple to the passing machine.
Personally if I was Rodgers I would look for someone with more experience than young Frimpong but this is a notourisly hard position to fill the ideal candidate would be Owen Hargreaves but I very much doubt they can afford his wages and also doubt they would want a injury prone player when they need to dig deep and get stuck in.