By IAN WRIGHT
WITH just three days left before the transfer window closes, the Premier League’s big spenders are winding up for one last shopping spree. Arsenal and England legend IAN WRIGHT gives his verdict on the deals the big six should be looking to complete this week…
TWO games and no goals show where Arsenal’s problems lie and there are few better finishers around than Jermain Defoe.
I’m sure Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud will get goals for the Gunners once they have picked up the pace of the Premier League.
But Arsenal cannot afford another dodgy start to a campaign after playing catch-up for all of last season.
So if I was Arsene Wenger, I would make an audacious bid for Defoe, whose face doesn’t seem to fit at Spurs and who looks up for a move.
Defoe would be the perfect replacement for Robin van Persie, the penalty box predator to finish off all those half-chances which are currently going begging.
The good news is Arsenal seem a little more solid at the back since Steve Bould was promoted to Arsene’s No 2 and they should be OK once Laurent Koscielny is back alongside Thomas Vermaelen.
But they could do with another central midfielder after selling Alex Song to Barcelona and I could see Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye fitting in very nicely.
THE European champions have made a flying start and look pretty solid but they are short of options up front.
The problem facing boss Roberto Di Matteo is that he’s finally got Fernando Torres doing the business and he doesn’t want to ruin all that by bringing in someone who will undermine the Spaniard’s confidence.
But as long as Torres knows he is the main man, I don’t think it will be a problem.
Yes, they have Daniel Sturridge but Chelsea need a big attack leader in the Didier Drogba mould, so they can get the ball up to the top end quickly and know it will stay there.
Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente would fit the bill. He’s big, strong and knows where the goal is. OK, he could be moving to Juventus but Chelsea have the cash to hijack it.
I see John Terry is already picking up niggling injuries and maybe Chelsea need to start thinking about a new centre-back too.
BRENDAN RODGERS clearly doesn’t fancy Andy Carroll so he has to get in another striker to take some of the weight off Luis Suarez’s shoulders.
Suarez is a world-class forward who could one day be mentioned in the same breath as Zola, Bergkamp or even Cantona. But his great strength is his creative ability, he’s not an out-and-out goalscorer.
What Liverpool really need is a young Robbie Fowler to play alongside Suarez. Where they find someone like that is the real problem.
Because Liverpool are no longer in the Champions League and don’t have the financial resources of some of their top six rivals, they are always likely to lose out when the top strikers become available.
But with £14million buy Joe Allen, Steven Gerrard and Nuri Sahin in midfield, I fancy Liverpool to do better than a lot of people are predicting because they also have some good youngsters coming through.
I was really pleased to see Raheem Sterling getting his Premier League debut against Manchester City at the weekend but he’s still only 17 and can’t yet play every week. Liverpool need to sign another wide player to stretch opposing defences.
THEY say you can never stand still in football and that even the league champions need to keep building.
But I don’t know why Roberto Mancini is getting himself worked up about City’s lack of transfer activity because his squad is pretty impressive.
That was why I was so happy to see Van Persie signing for United rather than their neighbours.
If he was leaving Arsenal just for the money, surely the Dutchman would have gone to City.
But there was a ready-made gap for RVP at Old Trafford which doesn’t exist at City, where they already have an embarrassment of attacking riches.
It looks like City could be getting Scott Sinclair from Swansea this week and that’s a strange one for me. If England winger Adam Johnson couldn’t get in ahead of David Silva and Samir Nasri, what are the chances for Sinclair?
The one potential area for improvement in City’s squad looks to be at centre-half. Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott are as good as any defensive pairing in the country but Kolo Toure knows he’s not really a first choice any longer.
WHEN you’re having to play Michael Carrick at centre-back, it’s blindingly obvious where Alex Ferguson’s transfer priorities lie.
Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling have all been troubled by injuries and United need another central defender to help them out alongside Nemanja Vidic.
I have always liked the look of Portuguese international Bruno Alves, who is currently playing in Russia for Zenit St Petersburg.
He’s a big, strong, no-nonsense defender with loads of international experience who really impressed during the Euros this summer.
I’ve no idea if Zenit would be willing to sell Alves but that is the calibre of defender United should be looking for.
They also need to sign another central midfield player because veteran duo Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs can’t go on for ever.
Shinji Kagawa has made a good start since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund but he could do with some help in the middle.
United, though, have already spent more than £40m this summer and with so many questions still unanswered about their financial position I’m not sure if they have the cash to make many more signings this week.
I CAN’T understand what is going on at White Hart Lane right now and maybe we need to let the dust settle for a few weeks before coming to any conclusions about new boss Andre Villas-Boas.
The sale of Luka Modric to Real Madrid was inevitable and I don’t blame Spurs for cashing in on the wantaway Croatian.
But they have left it very late in the day to find a ready-made replacement in the playmaker role, which is so important to Tottenham’s style of football.
What I find even more baffling is their willingness to sell Defoe and centre-back Michael Dawson. What the hell is all that about?
A few weeks ago, Dawson was told he was going to become the club captain after the retirement of Ledley King.
Now, all of a sudden, he’s no longer wanted.
There is talk of Spurs signing Ricardo Carvalho as part of their cosy new arrangement with Real — but I would have Dawson over Carvalho every day of the week.
As for Defoe, I don’t know what more he has to do to prove himself at White Hart Lane. He has scored well over 100 Premier League goals and is the perfect man to play off Emmanuel Adebayor up front.
Villas-Boas clearly wants to sign Willian, Shakhtar Donetsk’s attacking midfielder, and his fellow Brazilian Leandro Damiao. But will either of them score more goals for Spurs than Defoe? I doubt it.