Date: 24th March 2009 at 2:49pm
Written by:

The season is about the come to an end and we still may win the Premiership and the Champions League. But I am sure many of you would agree with me that even if we win the double or even one of the trophies, we will still need to make some signings in the summer to bolster our squad. Where do we need to strengthen this summer and with which players?

SOCCER 2009 - Champions League Barcelona Tie OL 1-1

First thing is first, we need another striker (or two). All too often this season when Torres was out injured we lacked a genuine goal scoring threat. Yes, Robbie Keane was meant to be the solution but we all know how that went. So Rafa has to go out and find another striker. The trick here is that we need someone with quality but at the same time, someone who is willing to sit on the bench when Gerrard and Torres are both fit as they are our best two striking options. So I do not expect us to be getting a ‘big name’ striker as that big name would want to play week in and week out. Unless offcourse this big name is willing to be part of a squad. If Man Utd. can keep Rooney, Tevez and Berbatov happy then surely we can do the same.

As far as names go, my first choice striker would clearly be David Villa but I know I am wishing. He would probably cost a fortune and he has always insisted that he does not want to leave Spain. But a possible player who would do the job for us would be Thierry Henry. The Frenchman has always said he would love to play alongside Stevie G and Henry would be perfect for us. He could come in and play alone upfront when Torres is out or play upfront together with Torres if need be. With Henry, we would also not need to worry about him ‘settling into the pace of the Premiership’ as he has been there and done it before. Cost wise, Henry should not cost us more than 10 million pounds. For me, Henry is the answer for us upfront next season and the likes of Nemeth and Pacheco can be groomed into the first team.

Looking at our wingers; our left is okay if Riera maintains his good form and Babel can grow on the left of midfield as he matures. There is also Leto who could come back from loan if he is granted a work permit. But if cash is available then Rafa could go for Middlesbrough’s Stewart Downing down the left. Then we would be gifted with talent and options down the left.
On the right we have Kuyt who has grown into the right midfield position but we need a player with pace and trickery there who is able to unlock teams. Spurs’ Aaron Lennon would have been the perfect answer but he has since signed a new contract with Spurs and chances of him leaving now are very slim. This may shock a lot of you but I still believe David Bentley is one heck of a player. He may have had a nightmare at Spurs this season and gotten very little game time but I feel he could just be what we need down the right to unlock the opposition. My concern is that Rafa may not like Bentley. If Rafa really wanted him then he would have made a move for him when he left Blackburn to go to Spurs.

In the middle of the field we are pretty solid and I have already posted about the possibility of Gareth Barry joining us so I will not touch on that again, just that I feel Barry would be a great signing for us as long as Alonso and Mascherano stay.

In defence; we need a right back! Arbeloa is a decent right back but I feel his position would be to play second fiddle to a better right back than him. My dream right back signing would be Daniel Alves from Barcelona. I think he is one of the best right backs in the game today and I would not mind if we broke the bank for him. I am not to sure though if Barcelona would be willing to sell him. Besides Alves, I think Glen Johnson would also be a decent right back signing for us.
It is clear Rafa needs to buy some English players for the 6 + 5 rule.

In the middle of defence we are fine, that is if Agger decides to stay with us and at left back we okay with Aurelio, Dossena and Insua.

So for me if we could sign Henry, Downing, Bentley, Barry and Alves this summer we would certainly have a squad capable of challenging on all fronts next season.

What are your thoughts? Who should we sign in the summer?