• Top Tens

Walcott an option for Liverpool

ESPN staff
August 17, 2012
Adam Johnson is 25, and needs regular first-team football to progress © PA Photos
Enlarge

With two weeks remaining until the end of the transfer window, we thought we'd take a look at a few deals we reckon could be done - some more likely than others - before the clock ticks down to zero...

Adam Johnson: Manchester City to Everton
The City winger again showed his promise with a lively performance in England's friendly victory over Italy on Wednesday. However, at 25 years of age, there must be concerns that his progress will stall - or he will never fully kick on - unless he can play a full season of first-team football as a first-choice pick. He's not going to get that at City - and quite rightly, as the likes of Samir Nasri and Mario Balotelli are unquestionably more effective players - so a move to Everton, who can surely afford him and who have earned some goodwill at City after selling Jack Rodwell, seems to suit all parties, whether on loan or permanently. Expect Liverpool to also be sniffing around.

Andrey Arshavin: Arsenal to Fulham
Arshavin's big-money transfer to the Gunners, which started so promisingly, has snowballed into something of a nightmare - and he looks to have no future at the Emirates following the arrivals of Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski this summer. It's hard to see anyone taking a permanent punt on his attitude and fitness without having a little loan look first - as Zenit St Petersburg did last season - and that being so, Fulham seem like a good fit, with Martin Jol a known fan of technically-gifted attacking players. They might not be able to afford the Russia international's wages, but Arsenal would surely happy to share some of the burden. His arrival would pave the way for Moussa Dembele to join Real Madrid, or for another deal…

Clint Dempsey: Fulham to Liverpool
…Yes, the suspicion remains that Liverpool are a little light on the flanks - and besides, it's hard to see how anyone can argue, looking at the bald statistics from last season, that Stewart Downing should be a presence in the starting XI. In contrast, Dempsey had something of a breakout campaign for the Cottagers, hitting the back of the net an impressive 17 times in the Premier League. At 29, the United States international is running out of time to secure a big-money move, and the Reds have been reported admirers for a long time. Dempsey also seems to have the technical gifts to fit into Brendan Rodgers' style of play.

Clint Dempsey scored 17 league goals last season © PA Photos
Enlarge

Joao Moutinho: Porto to Tottenham
There have been plenty of reports linking Spurs with a bid for France international Yann M'Vila, with the exit of Luka Modric now looking inevitable. However, that doesn't appear to be a like-for-like replacement: the bustling M'Vila's gifts are weighted evenly between finesse and destruction. A better fit for Spurs would be Moutinho, who impressed for Portugal during Euro 2012 and has been repeatedly linked with a move away from Porto. He won't be cheap, but he is the playmaker Spurs are going to need, and they won't be short of cash given how much Real are likely to have to fork out for Modric. Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas also managed Moutinho during a hugely successful 2010/11 season at Porto, which must help the club's chances of luring the player to the Lane.

Victor Moses: Wigan to Chelsea
Wigan have bought shrewdly in recent days, drafting in Arouna Kone from Levante and Ryo Miyaichi on loan from Arsenal - but, as much as anything else, those signings screamed that Moses, their prized asset, is on his way out, probably for a fee of around £9 million. Where Moses fits in at Chelsea is quite another matter: it seems that the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Marko Marin, who on paper have both achieved a lot more, are going to have to settle for a place on the bench - and it's far from certain that Moses will even get a regular seat alongside them, rather than in the stands.

Cesar Azpilicueta: Marseille to Chelsea
Chelsea may have spent plenty during the summer on attacking players such as Eden Hazard and Oscar - and maybe Moses too - but there remains a hole in their squad at right-back following the departure of Jose Bosingwa at the end of his contract in July. Azpilicueta, a member of Spain's squad at the Olympic Games, is a more natural fit at right-back than Branislav Ivanovic, who came to the club as a centre-half, and would offer more attacking thrust from that flank, providing the Blues with a little more natural width.

Emmanuel Adebayor: Manchester City to Tottenham
One of the absolute certainties in the window is that Tottenham are going to sign a striker sooner rather than later, with Jermain Defoe the only senior hitman currently on the club's books. They agreed a fee with City for Adebayor, but personal terms proved a stumbling block - however, since the deadlock, he has been told in no uncertain terms he is very much surplus to requirements at City. That state of affairs, plus Spurs' desperation for a striker, is likely to force some sort of compromise in the near future.

Will Theo Walcott sign a new contract at Arsenal? How desperate are they to keep him? © PA Photos
Enlarge

Theo Walcott: Arsenal to Liverpool
Maybe a little far-fetched this one, but Walcott has less than one year left on his contract, and reports suggest that no talks have been planned over a new deal. The emergence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the presence of Gervinho, among others, have left Walcott with only a limp grip on a first-team place, and as Arsene Wenger said regarding Robin van Persie, it's a good idea to sell now rather than risk losing him for free next summer. Liverpool, for reasons already outlined, could do with a wide player, and they're lacking a bit of pace too, so don't rule this one out.

Ryan Shawcross: Stoke to Manchester City
So we know that City boss Roberto Mancini would like another centre-back in order to persist with the 3-4-1-2 formation that looked so deadly both during pre-season and in the Community Shield victory over Chelsea. The reported main target is Liverpool's Daniel Agger, but the fee appears to be a significant hurdle - and the player is content to stay where he is. With City evidently wary of the Financial Fair Play regulations, a more cost-effective option may be Stoke's Shawcross, who has proved himself over the course of a few years to be a more than reliable performer.

Leighton Baines: Everton to Manchester United
Although United may have just spent a significant amount on Van Persie, they are still without serious competition for Patrice Evra at left-back. Baines has given a series of assured performances for England, to add to his excellent form in an Everton shirt over a number of years, and it would be no surprise if he held his own at a club competing for the Premier League crown. Despite their traditional stubbornness, it is hard to believe Everton's hand wouldn't be forced by a substantial offer - if United still have the cash to splash.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Close