The player Man United, Tottenham, Arsenal and West Ham need for final top four place and Champions League spot

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The top four race this season looks to be anyone’s game, with Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and West Ham United all vying for one position.

Each of the four teams are in need of some reinforcements if they are to beat the others to the final top four spot, and a lucrative spot in the Champions League.

While some may argue Chelsea and Liverpool are still within reach and have been dragged into the top four fight after Manchester City took an 11 point-lead in the title race, let’s be fair and say Liverpool and Chelsea remain significantly stronger than the four aforementioned sides and should have the top three cornered off.

So without further ado let’s analyse each team and what they need this window.

West Ham United

Starting off with the current incumbent of the final top four spot. West Ham United are massively overachieving based on their squad size, depth and money spent to assemble it.

David Moyes has done a stellar job with West Ham, creating a culture that champions hard work and team spirit. They are combative and abrasive and have the quality to match.

However, one critical weakness that West Ham need to address is squad depth. While they have managed to get by with minimal transfers so far, the return of European football next month is sure to take a toll on the squad unless they can make some additions.

While Moyes in notoriously particular about who he wants to bring in, and this is a good thing, it has limited the signings West Ham have made. So what position do they need to strengthen?

Despite injuries at centre-back West Ham are just about deep enough and are versatile enough to get buy without signing a new defender. But one position they suffer in is at striker whenever Michail Antonio doesn’t play.

This is why they need someone to play back up to him, and one such player could be Blackburn’s Ben Brereton Diaz. The Chile international has scored 20 times in the Championship this season, and should prove to be a cost effective back-up to Antonio for the rest of the season.

Brereton Diaz should prove to be a good understudy for Antonio at West Ham. 

The striker matches the profile Moyes would be after and is a more natural finisher than Antonio is, so West Ham should go for him in the closing days of the window if they are serious about the top four this season.

Tottenham Hotspur

At the time of writing, Spurs look all but certain to complete the signing of Adama Traore after being close to reportedly agreeing a fee for the versatile Wolves player.

And it would just so happen that this is the player Spurs needed in order to upgrade at right wing-back this window.

Emerson Royal has not had the best of times since joining Spurs in the summer, and while he could become a dependable player in the future, at present he simply isn’t good enough for the needs of Antonio Conte’s side.

Traore would add the best shot creating dribbler in the Premier League to Spur’s ranks and this creativity will give them even more thrust to score goals from.

Traore has the best shot creating dribbles per 90 out of player to play at least 200 minutes in the Premier League this season, with 1.03 per 90 (Via FB.ref).

Conte seems to have sorted out the Spurs defence to a level capable of a top four finish for the most part, and while there are still players to come back from injury and upgrades needed in the long term, this season the Conte effect could be enough to get them over the line, just as soon as they finalise the Traore signing and get him playing.


After a disappointing eighth place finish that left them with no European football this season, Arsenal decided it was time to spend big in the market in order to make some desperate changes to their squad.

These changes have paid dividends thus far, propelling the Premier League’s youngest squad towards the Champions League battle. Acquisitions of Ben White, Aaron Ramsdale and Takehiro Tomiyasu have proven to be inspired signings along with the continued development of Arsenal’s youngsters in attack.

However, the current player at the tip of the spear for The Gunners lacks sharpness.

Ex-captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has proven to be a shadow of his former self, and his banishment from the squad after a disciplinary breach means his Arsenal future looks bleak. Alexandre Lacazette helps the team play better with his hold-up play and selflessness in the final third, but he doesn’t score enough goals for Arsenal to have a competitive edge.

Every top team has one clear player they can rely upon to get them the vital goals in a season, and that is the case with each of the other candidates here. West Ham have Antonio, Spurs have Harry Kane and Man United have Cristiano Ronaldo.

Arsenal need to fill in this missing piece, and should therefore break the bank to sign Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic.

Vlahovic should prove to be worth all the money Arsenal throw at him.

The 21-year-old is one of Europe’s hottest properties at the moment, and has scored 17 goals in 21 Serie A games. He would perfectly fit the Arsenal striker mould as well, perfectly capable of holding up play with the added bonus of being a clinical goalscorer.

Going for him should be a no brainer.

Manchester United

The richest of the clubs in the list and also the biggest underachievers. Talk of a genuine Premier League title fight at the start of the season quickly fell off with embarrassing results against Liverpool at Old Trafford and away at Watford compounding a disastrous season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Ralf Rangnick has since taken charge at Old Trafford, but United’s defence has not greatly improved.

United arguably have the most talented squad out the bunch here, and back to back top three finishes in the last two seasons have shown that.

The Red Devils are stacked in central defence, even though many of these players have not been up to par this season. So instead they should look to recruit in a position they have failed to properly address since singing Nemanja Matic under Jose Mourinho, central defensive midfield.

There are a plethora of options for United to pick from, including West Ham’s Declan Rice. However, West Ham are unlikely to allow him to go for anything less than an extraordinary fee, so United should instead switch their sights to the less expensive Ruben Neves.

Neves ranks 12th in the Premier League for passes into the final third this season with 108, 36 more than Fred who is rank 31.

The 24-year-old is a fantastic passer of the ball and has the defensive toughness to justify United playing with one six in a 4-3-3. He is far better on the ball than Fred or Scott McTominay, and would therefore give United genuine quality in the middle of the park.

Neves, or at least a good player in his position should be United’s number one priority this window, as it will go a long way in helping them find the structure they need to overtake the teams around them. Because to be honest defensive structure is the one thing this team lacks like a fish needing water, and if they can find it they should have not problem clawing their way back into the top four by the season’s end.

Though it is a big if.

Each team wants to get top four for their own reasons, but how proactive each team is in strengthening their squads during this window might be pivotal in determining the final outcome.

More Stories Adama Traore Antonio Conte Ben Brereton Diaz David Moyes Dusan Vlahovic Ralf Rangnick Ruben Neves