Southampton 2018-2019 Transfer Review

Note: This is the latest breakdown of transfer moves leading up to the 2018-19 Premier League season. This post will be updated throughout the transfer window as appropriate. \
I tried really hard to find a scenario where I thought this would be a really good season for Southampton. But, despite my best efforts (and some good transfer moves) I’m just not convinced it’s enough. Let’s be honest, there’s not much worse they can get with goal concession, and I really think that Gunn will be a good addition to help mitigate this. On the goal scoring front, Tadic was a good creator for the club, but I also think that Elyounoussi will be able to provide at least that level of contribution. However, Southampton was 6th worst in the league at giving up goals last season, while also scoring the 6th fewest goals in the league.
Don’t get me wrong, I expect Southampton to get better, probably a 14-16th range, meaning that I think they will be able to avoid getting sucked into the relegation battle (mostly) with their signings. I think that given the stroke of luck they had managing to stay in the League with such a negative goal difference, only one other club had a worse goal differential (and they actually finished above Southampton). That being said, I see them finishing towards the bottom of the Premier League again with not much of a problem, they should be able to reinvest a substantial portion of their revenues from TV and league place. This gives them the opportunity to identify some good transfer targets and try to close deals early in the next windows for a cut-rate price.

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Newcastle 2018-2019 Transfer Review

Note: This is the latest breakdown of transfer moves leading up to the 2018-19 Premier League season. This post will be updated throughout the transfer window as appropriate. \
I am pleased to see that Newcastle United made some improvements to their defense. However, their defense wasn’t really their weakness last season — they were 7th-best in the league for fewest goals allowed. The much larger problem and the one addressed for 11 days until money called was goalscoring. There were only 6 teams that scored fewer goals, 3 of them were relegated.
Overall, I’m not really blown away by their transfer activity — I still think they have a huge hole in their side for goals. Their defense might improve, cool, but until their offense can catch up, any negative goal difference will hold them back from being competitive in the top half. Their defense will have to rival the top defenses in the world to be able to scrape by on the pitiful amount of goals scored. They need to improve here, immediately. The seasonal difference is astounding they went from 85 goals for and 40 conceded (+45 goal difference) from championship to the Premier League where they scored only 39 and conceded 47 (-8 goal difference).
(Update: I am revising my stance somewhat on their transfer activity after signing Muto, I think they’ve done a lot to fix their goal scoring problem. And in the end they’ve done it rather cheaply — after Merino in (and then out), and Muto into the club, their net expenditure on strikers is only $6.5M. Ultimately, I think that using the proceeds from Merino’s short, but highly profitable stay reduces the pressure on Muto somewhat. I think the side will be able to at the bare minimum bring their goal difference to even, with the possbility to far exceed that.)

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Crystal Palace 2018-2019 Transfer Review

Note: This is the latest breakdown of transfer moves leading up to the 2018-19 Premier League season. This post will be updated throughout the transfer window as appropriate.

I think that Crystal Palace have the quality to do better than they have done. The seven game stretch that started the 2017-2018 couldn’t possibly be regarded as anything other than abhorrent. However, after seven games which saw the team concede 17 of  their 55 goals, they sacked their then-manager and appointed Roy Hodgson. During the time prior to Roy Hodgson they also scored a total of zero goals. Considering the Hodgson-led side would finish 11th in the Premier League, even with that start — they’ve got to be given some credit.
In addition to the substantial improvement in form, they also made this finish without much contribution from their star striker, Christian Benteke. During his whole career with Crystal Palace, Benteke has averaged about 1 goal every 275′ and adding an assist every 690′. The fact that the entirety of last season he only scored 3 goals and 6 assists in 2,234′ has to be one of his worst (statistical) season outputs. Just to show how crazy these numbers are, his entire career he’s averaged a goal every 197′ and provided an assist every 480′. I don’t think this will continue for Palace next season, I anticipate him to return to goal scoring form and provide at least 10 goals (maybe more) next season as long as management continues to give him support and he can find the net (both of which have come true so far in preseason).

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Vecino (Chelsea Target)

Matías Vecino Vecino is a 26 year old Uruguayan midfielder coming off some good performances for them at the World Cup. The deal reported to be under discussion is for about $42M. Sarri is keen on adding Vecino, who he worked with at a prior club  (Empoli) to work alongside Jorginho in midfield. His favored … Read moreVecino (Chelsea Target)

Burnley 2018-2019 Transfer Review

Note: This is the latest breakdown of transfer moves leading up to the 2018-19 Premier League season. This post will be updated throughout the transfer window as appropriate. \
I think this Burnley side has the quality for a top half finish and I don’t think that repeating continental competition is out of the question. They have shown that they can spend wisely, I anticipate them to reassess their transfer needs in the Winter Transfer window which might cause them to pay a little more, but they’ve also stayed out of the major bidding wars that would cost them astronomical amounts.
I would like to see their goals scored increase, though I’m very pleased with their goals conceded. I do think that they have a sufficient quality in Vokes and Wood. I honestly think they were rather unfortunate to have scored as few goals as they did; I think they’ll have a bumper season. Their defense is stout enough that they don’t need to increase it substantially, they just need to move to a positive goal difference. I think that’s likely to keep them in continental competition.
(Update: This Burnley side has added a few major additions and brought in some additional quality at keeper; I definitely favor them for Europa Leage).

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Leicester City 2018-2019 Transfer Review

Note: This is the latest breakdown of transfer moves leading up to the 2018-19 Premier League season. This post will be updated throughout the transfer window as appropriate. 
I think that the Foxes are set to have another midtable position, though I think that if they can get some good performances from their centerbacks (and defense at large) they could vie for a continental position. Their biggest problem from last year was their inability to keep goals out (resulting in a -4 goal differential). The Foxes conceded the 5th most goals in all of the Premier League, and their defense is something the Foxes will need to address in the short-term, rather than the long-term. Their is a good reason that Claudio Puel has stated his desire to keep Maguire, as he’s the only centerback under 30, and the remaining centerbacks are 30, 31, and 34. This is definitely a concern — mostly to injury susceptibility, they have enough ability to hold the line if they are healthy.
I think that the addition of Maddison will allow for the Foxes to begin to address the other side of that equation. They need to score more goals, Jamie Vardy contributed 23 goals and the next highest was the now-departed Riyhad Mahrez, with the other 3 strikers not equalling Vardy’s contribution combined. I think that the addition of Maddison will increase the quality of the balls distributed to those strikers, though I expect Maddison will had a fair number of goals as well.

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