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Premier League deadline signings

The final week of the transfer window is usually a hectic period, but the vast majority of Premier League clubs have signed plenty of players already.

However, there’s always a handful of clubs who have waited until the last moment. Here are five who need more arrivals before the end of the month…

5 – Sunderland

Two draws represents a decent start for Sunderland, but the side still seems short of quality in attacking positions. Will Buckley looked dangerous against Manchester United from the right, but doesn’t guarantee good Premier League performances throughout the campaign, while Connor Wickham played on the left and looked less comfortable.

Sunderland need another dangerous wide player, with Gustavo Poyet still keen to bring in Liverpool’s Fabio Borini, which has become more likely after Mario Balotelli’s move to Anfield. Borini performed well last season and knows Poyet’s system, although he’s not a particularly creative player, and Sunderland could do with more invention from midfield.

Another option is Lille’s Salomon Kalou, also being chased by Arsenal – either way, Sunderland need one last signing.

4 – Crystal Palace

Of course, Crystal Palace have just appointed Neil Warnock as their new manager and can now get back to the business of bringing in new recruits – an issue that still seems the most likely reason why Tony Pulis departed on the eve of the new season.

Palace strengthened well in January, and Pulis proved the existing players were capable of playing top-level football. But this summer has been underwhelming, with Fraizer Campbell, Brede Hangeland and Martin Kelly no more than minor upgrades upon existing options.

A tricky winger would be ideal, even if simply a substitute who would provide a different option, while another central midfielder would be handy – Jack Cork has been linked and would be an excellent acquisition.

3 – Arsenal

Arsenal have signed four fine footballers, with Alexis Sanchez, Calum Chambers, Mathieu Debuchy and David Ospina all arriving, and Joel Campbell given a chance after three years away on loan.

But Arsene Wenger has lost Bacary Sagna, Thomas Vermaelen, Lukasz Fabianski, Carl Jenkinson and Nicklas Bendtner (who, despite being viewed as something of a joke, made a couple of useful substitute appearances last season).

That means Arsenal’s squad is weaker in terms of quantity – if not quality. Last season Arsenal were light at both ends of the pitch, with only three recognised centre-backs and no top-quality back-up for Giroud – they rather got away with their lack of depth.

Now Sagna – viewed as fourth-choice centre-back – has departed and Giroud might not play until the Christmas period. Further injuries could cause Arsene Wenger a real headache, so expect some action before the window closes.

2 – Leicester

It’s been a rather quiet summer for Leicester City – they’ve signed five relatively unexciting players on free transfers, and surprisingly shelled out £8m for Brighton’s Leonardo Ulloa, who got off to an excellent start with a goal against Everton, but probably won’t record particularly impressive numbers this season overall.

It means Leicester still look like a Championship team – albeit a very good Championship team – attempting to play Premier League football. Nigel Pearson has been careful not to disturb the good team spirit that was obvious throughout Leicester’s title-winning campaign, but he might need to be brave and sign a couple of Premier League quality players.

There’s no particular area of weakness, just a feeling that Leicester could do with strengthening across the board. Another option upfront would be nice, and a utility player capable of playing various positions would be helpful – see Crystal Palace’s Joel Ward for a good example.

1 – Burnley

Burnley have lost their first two matches of the campaign, but this isn’t a knee-jerk reaction to a couple of decent enough performances and fairly predictable results. Even before the season started, it seemed Burnley were completely unprepared for this campaign.

With Sam Vokes out injured for months and the mediocre Lukas Jutkiewicz brought in as his replacement, it’s arguable Burnley actually have a weaker starting XI than last season. Steven Reid and Matt Taylor are decent signings, bringing Premier League experience and versatility, but they’re not the type of players Sean Dyche can truly base his side around.

The most glaring hole is in the centre of midfield, with only Dean Marney and David Jones specialists in that position. Burnley’s 4-4-2 has looked rather basic in the first couple of games, especially against the technical midfields of Chelsea and Swansea – but it’s difficult to see what Dyche’s alternative is, without real options in the centre.

Deadline day should be crucial for Burnley – they might have to take a couple of gambles, preferably on loanees that won’t be a problem in terms of wages if the Clarets are relegated.

August 27th, 2014 by Michael Cox

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