Alexandre Lacazette netted the goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time to secure a 2-all draw.
The 2021-22 Premier League season has kicked off and there were plenty of surprises on the first matchday, with some teams looking closer to finished products than others.
There is still time left in the transfer window and every team could do with some tweaking, at a minimum. Here we look at what each team needs to add in the last two weeks of the window.
The Gunners suffered a demoralising 2-0 loss to promoted Brentford despite, as expected, having more possession and more shots.
Of their 22 shots only four were on target, with the inexperienced Folarin Balogan and inconsistent Nicolas Pepe only having one shot on target with seven shots between them.
Besides Piere-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, who were both missing through illness, they are lacking depth up front. They are short in the final third, lacking creativity and goals.
Martin Odegaard, who is back at Real Madrid after last year’s loan spell, appears to be their main target. Lautaro Martinez and Tammy Abraham have also been linked, however the latter looks set to be signed by Roma.
Aston Villa: Centre Back
It was a rough first matchday for The Villa at Vicarage Road, going down to Watford 3-2 only after late goals from John McGinn and Danny Ings.
Up front they lacked a little creativity, but their biggest problem was down back. They conceded 13 shots, seven of those on target against a half decent Watford attack.
Tyrone Mings is a good defender, but Ezri Konsa and Axel Tuanzebe, on loan from Manchester United, aren’t the best secondary CBs. If they want to be a surprise packet yet again in 2021-22, Dean Smith needs to solidify that defence.
Have been linked with Atletico Madrid centre back Mario Hermoso, as well as Norwich’s Todd Cantwell and Sampdoria midfielder Mikkel Damsgaard.
Brentford: Centre Back
The Bees were absolutely brilliant in their Premier League debut. There weren’t too many flaws in the Championship playoff winner.
But I still feel they need someone down back to strengthen a pretty solid defence. Yes their attack was aggressive and their defence was solid on Saturday morning, but it’s not going to be like that every week, especially in the Premier League.
If they want to survive in the top tier for this season and seasons to come, they’re going to need to strengthen up their defence. However they haven’t been linked with anyone in recent times. However they haven’t been linked with any player in recent times.
Brighton: Centre Back
It was a great come from behind victory from the Seagulls, but they still looked rather shaky down back, especially when they conceded the first goal in the opening two minutes.
Their defenders were great passing the ball, but they still won less aerial duels and duels than Burnley’s defence.
They gain a lot of cash from that £50 million deal for Ben White, and I feel they should spend a bit of it on signing a CB that has potential and can slot in seamlessly into the Graham Potter system at Brighton. They’ve not been linked to a centre back but have been linked with Getafe left back Marc Cucurella along with Burnley.
Burnley: Box-to-Box Midfielder
A tough loss for The Clarets who led for the majority against Brighton. They looked pretty solid everywhere, but still were dominated in midfield, with Brighton winning possession 64 per cent- 36 per cent on the day. They also had three shots on target from 14 shots.
Ashley Westwood and Jack Cork are good defensive midfielders, but other than Matej Vydra they lack creativity from midfield. If they wanna be a less defensive-minded side, then I say they gotta go out there and find a box-to-box midfielder.
Haven’t been linked with any midfielders, but were linked with Olympique Lyon left back Maxwel Cornet, with Sean Dyche shutting down those rumours after their loss to Brighton.
Chelsea: Creative Midfielder
It was a perfect start to a massive season for the Blues at Stamford Bridge, and they looked flawless in every facet of their game against Crystal Palace. However I feel they need to strengthen their midfield.
Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho are great midfielders, but if they want to match it with the top teams, I reckon they need to look for a creative midfielder like City and United have in Kevin De Bruyne and Bruno Fernandes.
They’re being linked with Metz wonderkid Pape Matar Sarr, who’s also being linked with Man City and Man United.
Crystal Palace: Forward
A rough first day at Stamford Bridge for the Eagles, going down 3-0 to title contenders Chelsea. There’s a few areas of concern, but I’m most concerned about their depth up front.
Wilfred Zaha is a terrific false 9, but Christian Benteke’s productivity has dropped in recent years and Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew didn’t show that much promise against a not full strength Chelsea defence.
If Crystal Palace want to solidify their spot in the Premier League they gotta get someone up front who can actually take advantage of most of their opportunities. Haven’t been linked with any out and out strikers, but David Brooks was being targeted, with Bournemouth knocking back their approach for the Welsh winger.
Everton: Box-to-Box Midfielder
Another come from behind win on opening day, this time by Everton. But there was some concern across the pitch, particularly in the engine room.
They still have James Rodriguez waiting in the wings, and yes Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan are solid midfielders, but I feel they need a box to box midfielder who can help James in attack and let Allan focus on his already great defensive game as well as helping him out.
There aren’t many reports for many midfielders, but have been linked to Brazilian and Manchester United Midfielder Andreas Pereira.
Leeds United: Creative Midfielder
An extraordinary first loss for Leeds, going down 5-1 at Old Trafford. Their defence wasn’t all that great, but they lacked creativity through midfield and up front.
The loss of Pablo Hernandez is pretty big. And despite Marcelo Bielsa potentially thinking that playing Rodrigo Moreno can play as an attacking midfielder, it hasn’t worked. He’s found it hard to adapt to this new role after so many years up front in Spain.
They need to find a creative midfielder, or else it could be a potentially what if season for the West Yorkshire club. Cagliari’s Nahitan Nandez and Huddersfield Town’s Lewis O’Brien have been linked.
Leicester City: Winger
A good first Premier League win for the Foxes, winning 1-0 against Midlands rivals Wolves and looking flawless nearly every on the field.
But one area of concern is out on the wing. Now Harvey Barnes will come good, he is very talented on that left hand side, but on Sunday Barnes and Ayoze Perez only had one shot combined and created no big chances.
If Leicester want to challenge yet again for a place in Europe, they need a winger to support Jamie Vardy and give him easy chances more often. Haven’t really been linked with any wingers, but former Liverpool attacking midfielder/winger Philippe Coutinho has been linked to the Foxes.
It was a statement victory by Liverpool on opening day, with that super front three/four doing their job again. But on the day they still had slightly less possession.
Jordan Henderson, Thiago and Fabinho didn’t start and yes it was against Norwich, but this is still concerning when the likes of James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita conceded more possession to a young but talented Norwich midfield.
If they want to solidify their spot as a genuine contender and in the Champions League positions, they need just that little bit more depth in midfield.
Graham Souness and Gary Neville recently said that they need to sign a midfielder if they are to go all the way, and they have also been linked with Barcelona youngster Ilaix Moriba and Martin Odegaard
Manchester City: Striker
A rough opening day loss for the defending champions in North London despite dominating possession and shots yet again.
They had 17 shots, but only three were on target. There were plenty of big chances too, particularly for Riyad Mahrez. What they do need is someone like a Harry Kane or at least a clinical striker up front.
The loss of Sergio Aguero, the club’s greatest ever striker, is a massive loss. Gabriel Jesus has the potential to fill his shoes. But for now they just need someone who can finish off big chances with ease.
Harry Kane missed the game between the two sides and has been heavily linked with the defending champions
Manchester United: Defensive Midfielder
They looked nearly flawless everywhere in their massive 5-1 win against Leeds, but I feel the Red Devils just need to add a defensive midfielder to the mix.
Fred and Scott McTominay were super on the day, but they need a much more classier and composed midfielder if they want to challenge Man City or even win the EPL title this season.
They were previously linked with Declan Rice, but an express.co.uk article recently said that he was too expensive. It also mentioned that they wouldn’t be chasing another midfielder this window.
Newcastle United: Centre Back
A disappointing first loss for the Magpies at home who conceded four goals in the game and three in only 13 minutes.
Now that isn’t that good if you’re conceding goals that quickly, especially when you’re playing a five man defence. They do have Jamal Lascelles and Fabian Schar waiting in the wings, but they desperately need another CB.
West Ham’s attack is good, but Federico Fernandez, Ciaran Clark and Emil Krafth aren’t the best centre backs in the EPL. Krafth can play as a right back, but they need one more CB to strengthen their defence.
Rob Holding has been linked to the Magpies, but no contact has been made yet with the Gunners. No other CB has been linked with them.
Norwich City: Centre Back
It was a rough return to the EPL for the Canaries. There were a couple of positives from the match, but there were still plenty of negatives, particularly down back.
Liverpool’s attack is unstoppable at its best, and they did only concede eight shots on target, but 19 shots in all.
Ben Gibson and Grant Hanley are very solid defenders playing in the Championship, but the EPL is a whole different level.
If they want to survive and possibly be the best promoted team this season, they have to tighten down back, particularly in the centre.
Former Chelsea and Crystal Palace CB Gary Cahill is said to be on their radar.
It was a rough loss for the Saints who had led for a bit, but lost it due to very little creativity up front and across the pitch.
The loss of Danny Ings is a massive one, he eats goals for breakfast, scores them for fun and can at times create big chances. But they now only have Adam Armstrong and Che Adams up front, and they aren’t at the same level of quality as Ings.
They could do with a false nine who can create big chances as well as score big chances. No striker has been rumoured as of yet, but they’ve been linked to Gary Cahill and Duje Caleta-Car to replace CB Jannik Vestergaard.
Tottenham Hotspur: Midfielder
A great win by Spurs, with it being a near flawless game by the North London team in their first game under Nuno Espirito Santo.
It is a good side and they made some great transfers, but I feel they still need more midfield depth for them to challenge for the top four.
Yes, Giovani Lo Celso didn’t play and their midfield looked pretty good against a strong City midfield, but Dele Alli isn’t a midfielder, and Skipp is still raw. If they can find someone in midfield, then they’re a big threat. No midfielder has been linked, but they could sign Villarreal Centre Back Pau Torres.
It was a great win on their Premier League return against a pretty good Aston Villa side. But there was still concern for them, particularly in midfield.
They were dominated when it came to possession, only having 38 per cent to 62 per cent. Juraj Kucka can be a handy midfielder, but Tom Cleverley is getting older and Peter Etebo is still a very raw player.
They’ve got to find another solid box-to-box mid if they want to survive another year in the top tier of English football. And they have been linked with Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba.
West Ham United: Centre Back
Yet another brilliant victory by the Hammers, kicking off their massive 2021-22 campaign in style. Whilst their midfield and attack looked great yet again, they still had problems defensively, particularly at centre back and in the first half.
Angelo Ogbonna and Craig Dawson are solid defenders, but they’re both in their 30s and their form could drop. Issa Diop also didn’t play, but other than those three they don’t really have anyone else who can play at CB.
If they want to stick in the top half and challenge for Europe yet again, they need to solidify that defence. They were rumoured with a transfer for Fiorentina Centre Back Nikola Milenkovic, but that move has stalled.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Striker
it was a rough loss for Wolves on opening day at the King Power, mainly due to their forwards having a rough day.
They had 17 shots, but only three were on target. Adama Traore had six and only one was on target. You don’t win games when you have that shot to shot on target ration.
Raul Jimenez will eventually come good, but he’ll be still finding his feet these next couple of weeks following his gruesome head injury.
No striker has been linked with them, but they have been rumoured with signing Roma midfielder Amadou Diawara, Porto midfielder Sergio Olivera as well as Nikola Milenkovic.