Although Tony Pulis may argue otherwise, the current top half of the Premier League should all comfortably avoid a relegation battle next year. However, the same cannot be said of the seven teams from 11-17. If they fail to recruit astutely, any of these teams could find themselves facing a tough 2017-2018 season. In descending order of their current place in the table:
Bournemouth have continued to excel but can ill-afford to gamble their meagre resources, as they did last season, on another expensive and inconsistent performer. Jordan Ibe hasn’t so much flattered to deceive as just deceive. His Liverpool performances showed the talent is there, but Cherries fans are yet to see it on the pitch.
Leicester will surely face renewed bids for Riyad Mahrez and perhaps Wilfred Ndidi and Kasper Schmeichel too. The Foxes flirted with relegation for far too long this season and must ensure they don’t return to mediocrity when the bright lights of the Champions League become a distant memory.
West Ham will be keen to prove that they have finally settled in the London Stadium and Slaven Bilic desperately needs a striker to help bolster the team and keep disgruntled fans from calling for his head.
Crystal Palace will have confidence that under the guidance of Sam Allardyce they can improve on this season’s performance. However, Wilfried Zaha remains central to these aspirations and a big money move away from Selhurt Park could see goal-scoring opportunities for Christian Benteke dry up.
Stoke are a club in limbo – apparently too good to go down, but lacking the ambition required to attain anything more than Premier League survival. The club needs to spend in the summer to appease fans disillusioned with the fare under Mark Hughes’ tenure.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche is savvy enough to realise the club will not be able to replicate their impressive home form throughout the duration of next season. Star defender Michael Keane looks set to leave the Clarets and the club will need to spend any of the money raised from the transfer carefully.
Watford can be expected to sign several players from overseas, but just as importantly will be the board’s decision as to who should replace the outgoing Walter Mazzarri. For although the new manager may not have full control of player recruitment, it will be his job to ensure new arrivals bond with a presently disgruntled squad.
Swansea will know how close they came to the drop this season. The Swans are anticipating bids for players such as Gylfi Sigurdsson, and realise it will be difficult for the club to progress without their star performers. At the very least, some transfer market wizardry will be required if Swansea are to find someone willing to spend anywhere near the £15.5m they spent on this year’s worst signing of the season, Borja Gonzalez.