Is this the way your team will line-up next season?
Rumour has it that Arsène Wenger is not only looking at another striker, he is going for someone as a direct replacement for the departing Robin van Persie. Knowing how much Wenger likes to keep his cards close to his chest, it is almost impossible to find out who he is targeting. Yet a name that’s being whispered around the Emirates Stadium is Fernando Llorente. The unused Spanish star made a real name for himself last season in La Liga by bagging seventeen goals in twenty-nine league appearances.
Not only was the 27-year-old Athletic Bilbao’s top scorer, he helped his side get into the final of the Europa League, only to be beaten 3-0 by rivals, Atlético Madrid. Now an established player, with enough height to aerially challenge in the Premier League, he could see himself at Arsenal. Joining him could be Rennes Yann M’Vila who has shown incredible potential in the past season. Even though Wenger has stated he doesn’t ‘need’ the 22-year-old, long-standing injuries to Abou Diaby and Jack Wilshere may sway his decision. Santi Cazorla is another name being mentioned in the Arsenal fray and with Malaga needing all the money they can get, the Spanish international could make his move soon.
Who else would you Arsenal fans love to see in your dream starting eleven?
With new signings Eden Hazard and Marko Marin already dressing in blue, new full-time boss Roberto Di Matteo has his eyes on another big-name target, Hulk. Whether or not the man who has got 52 goals in 96 league games since he moved to Portugal is moving to Stamford Bridge, Chelsea fans can certainly know Di Matteo has his sights set. Acquisitions in the striking department have been a bit of a hit and miss with Mateja Kezman, Hernan Crespo, Andriy Shevchenko, Romelu Lukaku and even Fernando Torres struggling to find top-form.
Yet with Hulk, he is a player who has the physicality and the technique to strive in the Premier League. Undoubtedly, he is one of Brazil’s top talents and more international caps under his belt will help him showcase his ability to the world. Being played either as a single striker or even as a partner to Torres, fans can expect Hulk to shine.
Who else would you Chelsea fans love to see in your dream starting eleven?
With the money to buy a country, Roberto Mancini has everything at his disposal. The only drawback for the mega-rich Manchester side is whether or not players are willing to come to a club where they cannot guarantee a position. It doesn’t stop everyone though, as even Nigel De Jong has admitted he is happy to sit on the bench at the Etihad. With the transfer window open for almost a month now, and with The Citizens not making any moves, you can only imagine Mancini has something big up his sleeve.
Daniele De Rossi, after having a stunning Euro 2012, is being backed to move to England to ensure a starting eleven spot, ahead of De Jong and Gareth Barry. The 29-year-old is well and truly at the peak of his career and one final move could be just what he’s been looking for, even though he signed a five-year contract with Roma in January this year. If Mancini can find the right wages, De Rossi could be just what is needed to retain the title. Alongside the Italian, another Serie A player edging away from his club is Edinson Cavani. The 6ft 2in striker is being touted as Uruguay’s “next Diego Forlan” and his incredible goal-scoring capability backs that statement all the way. Forty-nine goals in 68 league appearances and with forty caps to his name, Cavani could find himself going one better than Uruguay’s beloved star.
Finally, Martin Skrtel has found himself being included in a move this summer as Liverpool struggle to keep hold of a player who also did well in the European Championships. Skrtel has already proven himself in England and will fit in perfectly alongside the outstanding Vincent Kompany.
Who else would you Manchester City fans love to see in your dream starting eleven?
Sir Alex Ferguson has never been one to publicly state his transfer targets, but strangely every move he makes this summer seems to be in the papers before he’s even made them. An offer from Robin Van Persie was rejected but having only tempted Arsenal with a £10m bid, another proposition can not be too far away. If United do land the star, the strike partnership between him and Rooney could be devastating. Just how much playing time Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck and Dimitar Berbatov may get remains to be seen.
With Shinji Kagawa already at Old Trafford, the midfield is being completely overhauled. No longer will Ferguson rely on Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes but he will focus on the younger players in his side. Joining them could be 19-year-old Lucas Moura. The attacking midfielder has shined for club and country with his ball-playing style and blistering skills but at his tender age, he will cost the Red Devils a lot more than what they would be willing to pay. Axel Witsel could either become Lucas’ teammate or Ferguson’s second-choice as the young Belgian has been making waves with Benfica.
The midfielder recently signed for the Portuguese side but since his involvement in the Belgium side, his reputation has risen. Highly-skilled but unchallenged in a higher league and being twenty-three years of age, Witsel would be a risky move. This also goes for Lucas, but since he is nineteen, he has many years to fulfil his potential.
Who else would you Manchester United fans love to see in your dream starting eleven?
Finishing fourth in the league under Harry Redknapp, Tottenham had thought they all but qualified for next season’s Champions League only to have their hopes dashed by Chelsea’s win in Germany. Now with Andrés Villas-Boas at the helm, can he lead Spurs to a title-challenge? New signing Gylfi Sigurdsson has already shone at Swansea last season and will bolster the midfield. Starting next to him could be Portugal’s rising star, João Moutinho. The 25-year-old playmaker was in tremendous form for Portugal this summer and with Villas-Boas having managed the Porto midfielder a season ago, Moutinho could be tempted to re-unite with his former boss.
Jan Vertonghen is another who has made his way to White Hart Lane and the 2012 Dutch Footballer of the Year will be perfect in the heart of Spurs’ defence. Great defensive ability matched with a knack of scoring goals, Vertonghen will be looking to make the same impact compatriot Thomas Vermaelen made at rivals Arsenal. Emmanuel Adebayor’s great impression last season looks to have earned him a permanent move to London but his wage demands may prove to be a stumbling block. Having gotten 17 goals in 31 games as well as 11 assists for the Lilywhites, he would be sorely missed if he didn’t return.
Lastly, and most interestingly, speedy winger Loïc Rémy has been linked to the club after he stated there is time to discuss a move to the Premier League. The 25-year-old made a breakthrough for Marseille in the past two seasons by bagging himself twenty-seven league goals, often from the ‘winger’ position.
Who else would you Tottenham fans love to see in your dream starting eleven?
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