The Premier League big six are some of the most popular clubs on the planet. Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal are some of the most successful clubs around as well. Tottenham Hotspur have also been flexing their muscles of late and have been able to go toe-to-toe with the rest in recent times.
The Premier League big six are also some of the richest clubs in the world and enjoy an incredible amount of clout in the transfer market. Owing to this, they are able to rope in some of the finest footballers on the planet.
All of these teams have been quite active in the ongoing summer transfer window. But despite their recent transfer activities, they continue to be lacking in certain departments. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the Premier League big six and their weakest areas.
#6 Manchester United – Defensive midfield
Now that they’ve added Christian Eriksen to their midfield, there is no shortage of creativity in Manchester United’s midfield. Eriksen will fill the void left by Paul Pogba and the Red Devils already have the innovative Bruno Fernandes feeding the attackers.
What Manchester United continue to lack is a deep-lying playmaker. They have been without a holding midfielder who can dictate play from deep for a very long time now. That’s why Frenkie de Jong’s potential arrival could be a huge boost for Manchester United.
Now that Nemanja Matic has left the club, save for a green James Garner, there is no one at the club who can operate at the base of midfield and also play line-breaking passes. Unless they find a solution to this problem, the Manchester United midfield will continue to be mediocre.
#5 Arsenal – Wings
Arsenal have quite a few quality attacking midfielders in their ranks. Gabriel Jesus looks like a very good signing and is likely to put their goalscoring woes to bed. They also have a decent defensive department.
However, the Gunners are facing a shortage of quality wingers. Bukayo Saka is obviously an exception. They also have Nicolas Pepe but he has been in poor form in recent times.
Gabriel Martinelli, who is usually deployed down the left flank, is not a specialist winger. Arsenal could really use an out-and-out winger down the left who could match Saka’s level. As per Bild (via Mundo Deportivo) Arsenal have registered an interest in signing Bayern Munich winger Leroy Sane.
The Germany international would be a great addition to the Arsenal squad and could help them solve this specific problem as well.
#4 Tottenham Hotspur – Full-backs
Tottenham Hotspur have quite a few full-back options. At left-back, they have Sergio Reguilon. Ryan Sessegnon and Ben Davies. On the right side, they have Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty. The problem, though, is that none of these players are really world-class.
It will be interesting to see where Ivan Perisic plays this season, but he is most likely to take up the left wing-back position. Conte loves to use his wing-backs and that’s why he needs players of a higher quality as options on either flank.
Getting Perisic is a good start but they should ideally also invest in a good right-back or right wing-back.
#3 Chelsea – Striker
Chelsea signed former player Romelu Lukaku for a club-record sum of £101.7 million in the summer of 2021. However, the Belgium international struggled to settle down at the club and fit into Thomas Tuchel’s system. He has now been shipped out on loan to his former club Inter Milan for the 2022-23 season.
Timo Werner is another striker who has misfired since joining Chelsea. The German international offers a lot in build-up play thanks to his slick passing and excellent movement. However, his finishing has been awful and he is not a reliable goalscorer. The same can be said of Kai Havertz.
Chelsea have added Raheem Sterling to their attacking department and while he will bring goals, he cannot be looked at as their primary goalscorer. For Chelsea to maximize their potential, they need a proven goalscorer and for now, they don’t have one.
#2 Liverpool – Midfield
Liverpool have an extremely strong attacking department and a formidable defensive unit. Mohamed Salah, Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez and Roberto Firmino are all quality forwards. In Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson, they have two of the finest full-backs in the world as well.
Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez make for a strong defensive unit as well. However, their midfield is not exactly of the same quality. Thiago Alcantara, Fabinho, Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson, Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain make for an efficient midfield department but not necessarily an innovative one.
There is very little creativity there. They don’t have an attacking midfielder in the ilk of Kevin De Bruyne, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Mount or Martin Odegaard. Most of the service that the forwards receive are from the full-backs and Jurgen Klopp relies heavily on Alexander-Arnold and Robertson to provide a creative spark.
#1 Manchester City – Left-back
Yes, Manchester City do have Joao Cancelo at left back. He is doing great there despite it not being his primary position. However, it is important to note that Kyle Walker is 32 and it won’t be long before the Portuguese full-back gets deployed down the right side more.
With Oleksandr Zinchenko reportedly close to securing a switch to Arsenal, City will indeed be short on options at left-back. The reigning Premier League champions are looking at Brighton & Hove Albion’s Marc Cucurella as a potential replacement for Zinchenko.
Signing a specialist left-back is perhaps the only thing left for Pep Guardiola to do in his quest to assemble arguably the most star-studded side in Europe.