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Where each PL club needs to improve in the summer transfer window

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All week at ProSoccerTalk we are reviewing the dramatic 2015-16 Premier League season. From dishing out awards to looking back at the highs and lows as 20 teams battled it out, we’ll have every angle covered.  

MORE: All 2015-16 PL season reviews ]

For the full archive of our review content, just hit the link above. Now, instead of looking back, we’re going to look ahead to the summer and break down what your club needs to improve in the transfer window.

TEAM MAIN NEED
source: CM Leicester City: After winning the PL title by ten points, it’s hard to find an area of weakness in Leicester’s side. With the chance of losing N'Golo Kante, depth at central midfield may be needed.
source: Striker Arsenal: Every offseason the same story arises: If Arsenal buy a top-quality striker, they can win the league. After failing to sign an outfield player last summer, Wenger needs to get a goalscorer in his side.
source: Striker Tottenham Hotspur: Harry Kane will continue to lead the line for Spurs, but he needs some backup. Should Kane go down injured or hit a bit of a slump, Tottenham will be in trouble as they are thin up-top.
source: CB Manchester City: Pep Guardiola will surely make loads of changes to this side when he takes over, but center-back will be his top priority. Vincent Kompany is aging and can’t stay healthy, while the partnership of Mangala and Otamendi is not up to Pep’s standards.
source:  CM/Striker Manchester United: Michael Carrick and Bastian Schweinsteiger are both past their prime and have seen their minutes in the midfield decrease, while another striker will be crucial to take some pressure off the young Martial and Rashford.
source: CAM Southampton: A central playmaker would be a nice addition to Koeman’s side, which already has strong midfield depth with the likes of Wanyama, Davis, Mane, and Tadic.
source: Striker West Ham United: Andy Carroll finished the year strong, but the Hammers are looking to spend big on a striker. With the move to the Olympic Stadium and the emergence of Dimitri Payet as one of the Premier League’s elite talents, a top striker could push West Ham into Europe.
source: CB Liverpool: Kolo Toure is out of contract, Martin Skrtel took a massive step backwards this season, and Mamadou Sakho faces a long ban after failing a drug test. Klopp loves to attack, but he must bolster his back-line first.
source: Striker Stoke City: Jon Walters is a Stoke legend, but he’s not going to score you 20 goals a season. With the attacking trio of Bojan, Arnautovic, and Shaqiri, the Britannia could be a surprisingly attractive destination for a quality goalscorer.
source: CM/Striker Chelsea: When Antonio Conte takes over this summer, he’ll immediately start making this Blues’ side his team. In Conte’s highly-organized system, the center of midfield if the most important position on the pitch, and he’ll also be keen to get some support for Diego Costa.
source: RB/CB Everton: There is going to be a lot of turnover at Goodison Park this summer, starting with the manager. Defense has a major problem for the Toffees, and with an aging Phil Jagielka and a young John Stones tipped to leave, the back-line needs reinforcements.
source: Winger Swansea City: Andre Ayew proved to be a legitimate Premier League striker, while Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jefferson Montero continued to impress in the midfield. With another clever winger on the outside, Swans could push up the table.
source: CAM/Winger Watford: Currently without a manager, Watford’s look next season is a bit unclear. However, an attack-minded midfielder or winger would help the Deeney-Ighalo partnership see more of the ball as the Hornets scored just 40 goals in 38 matches this year.
source:  Striker West Bromwich Albion: The only team to score fewer goals than West Brom was Aston Villa, as the Baggies averaged less than a goal per game. Tony Pulis‘ system isn’t the greatest for strikers, but they need some help nonetheless.
source: Striker Crystal Palace: Three players finished tied as the Eagles’ leading scorer last season, with Connor Wickham, Yohan Cabaye, and Scott Dann all tallying five times. Four of Cabaye’s five came from the penalty spot, and Dann is a central defender. Striker much needed.

source:
RB Bournemouth: The Cherries conceded 67 goals this season, the most by a PL club not named Aston Villa. With Tyrone Mings returning from injury on the left, Eddie Howe could add another young defender on the right.
source: Striker Sunderland: Jermain Defoe finished the year in fine form, but at 33-years-old, he’ll need some help carrying the load. Big Sam knows how to buy the right players, and he’ll surely be making moves come July.

Liverpool youngster Elliott scores bicycle kick goal in reserve match

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Harvey Elliott came to Liverpool via Fulham as highly rated as youngsters come. He’s got plenty of maturing still to do both on and off the field, but his talent is undoubtable.

That was on display as Liverpool’s reserve squad took on Wolverhampton Wanderers in a Premier League 2 fixture. Just after halftime, Elliott leveled the score at 2-2 with a stunning bicycle kick at the near post on a corner. The skill it took to essentially catch up to the ball as it floated parallel past him was fabulous, and his strike was true as it caught the Wolves goalkeeper off guard, unable to catch up to the pace of the shot.

The 16-year-old has been a regular for the Liverpool first-team squad in Cup matches but has then taken the field for the U-23 squad to get him some playing time, and clearly it’s done wonders.

Elliott came over from Fulham this past summer for an undisclosed fee given his age. He had already become the youngest player to appear in a Premier League game, coming on for the Whites in a game in May against Wolves with relegation looming.

Watch Live: West Ham United v. Liverpool

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After weeks of having a game in hand on Premier League title chasers Manchester City and Leicester City, the full extent of Liverpool’s lead will be revealed when the Reds visit West Ham United on Wednesday (Watch live, 2:45 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com).

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ]

Once the full-time whistle blows at the London Stadium, all 20 PL sides will have played 24 games. Ahead of kickoff, Jurgen Klopp‘s side leads second-place Man City by a whopping 16 points.

[ MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ] 

West Ham, meanwhile, sit 17th in the table and are only clear of the relegation zone by way of goal differential. That’s something that could very easily change between now and 5 p.m. ET.

LIVE, League Cup semifinal: Man City v. Man United

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It’s time for leg two of the Manchester derby in the semifinals of the EFL Cup (Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. ET) at the Etihad Stadium.

[ LIVE: Man City v. Man United ]

Manchester City lead 3-1 following their first-leg dismantling of Manchester United at Old Trafford. In theory, it’s a mere formality to reach the final at Wembley, where they would take on Aston Villa following their late dramatics on Tuesday.

Click on the link above to follow the action live, while we will have you covered here at Pro Soccer Talk with all of the reaction and analysis.

LINEUPS

Transfer rumor roundup: Richarlison to Barca for $110m? Spurs’ striker search

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Watch our transfer deadline day show from 6-8 p.m. ET on Jan. 31, live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com.


A roundup of all of the major transfer rumors, most notably those involving Premier League clubs, on Wednesday…

[ MORE: Spurs complete Bergwijn transfer from PSV ]

Barcelona have reportedly had a $110-million bid for Richarlison rejected by Everton. That’s a mind-blowing number for a club like Everton to receive, but the Toffees apparently didn’t have to think long before saying “thanks, but no thanks.” Luis Suarez is expected to miss four months due to a knee injury, leaving the Blaugrana somewhat for a replacement. Everton, however, have no desire to lose a key member of their squad with little to no time to sign a replacement.


After adding winger Steven Bergwijn on Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur are heavily linked with a number of strikers as options to replace the injured Harry Kane. AC Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek is the most frequently linked (and most expensive) player coming out of the rumor mill, while Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud has come up as an emergency option (he is reportedly open to the idea). However, Jose Mourinho has reportedly been told he has just $13 million to acquire a new forward after spending a combined $108 million on Bergwijn and Gedson Fernandes.


Elsewhere in Tottenham rumors, full back Kyle Walker-Peters is expected to complete a loan move (without an option to buy) to Southampton in the very near future. The 22-year-old has been on the fringe of the first-team squad for what feels like five years now, but has never quite broken through. This could be Spurs putting into the shop window a player who they don’t believe is in their long-term plans in order to drive up his price tag come this summer.


Sheffield United look set to make a big push for a top-six finish, as the Blades are linked with moves for a pair of highly rated young players: Richairo Zivkovic, from Chinese side Changchun Yatai, and Sander Berge, from Genk. Zivkovic was one of the most highly touted youngsters in Europe before moving to China on a big-money deal; Berge has been linked with some of the biggest clubs across Europe in recent years, all the while the 21-year-old has become a fixture for the Belgian side.