Premier League Transfer Window Guide, Part II: Mid-table

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 23: Steven Davis of Rangers in action during the Clydesdale Bank Premier League match between Rangers and Hearts at Ibrox Stadium on July 23, 2011 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

Part II of our club-by-club guide to the Premier League Transfer Window, this time looking at potential transfer targets for West Brom, Swansea, Stoke, and Norwich.

West Brom

Last season was a fine one for West Brom, achieving safe mid-table security without ever looking like getting relegated as soon as they'd gotten over their dodgy start. However, Roy Hodgon's departure to lead England's doomed Euro 2012 expedition has left them with a season of uncertainty ahead. Their squad is well-equipped and should survive, but they still have tinkering to do. Clearly, however, the signings will depend on the manager brought in to replace Hodgson.

What they need:

More creativity. With Odemwingie, Long and Cox, finishing chances shouldn't be a problem for West Brom, though their sources of creativity tended to be inconsistent throughout last season. Joe Cole will likely be available on loan once more, who may seem a more attractive prospect after a decent season with Lille, while out wide, Matt Jarvis, Junior Hoilett, and Matt Phillips would be good investments likely to be persuaded to return to the Premier League.

A defensive boost. Although West Brom stayed out of the relegation battle due to their apparent solidity, it was a team effort, and without Hodgson's trademark shape and positional drills, another season of tight and effective marking cannot be guaranteed. The club have been linked, among others, to Watford's young centre-back, Adrian Marippa, but at the opposite end of the age spectrum, they could also opt for the experience of Ryan Nelsen, who is unlikely to be kept on by Tottenham.

What they'll get:

Depends on who the new manager is. Chris Hughton has been heavily linked, who could choose to bring some of his players from Birmingham City with him - for the two categories above, Chris Burke and Curtis Davies would fit the bill.

Stoke

Another season of mid-table mediocrity for Stoke (though that in itself is commendable, given how far they've come in recent years) covered up some problems which will need to be addressed in the summer. The ageing Rory Delap is now well past the point where the power of his long throws is a worthwhile tradeoff for his inept ability in open play, and certain key players, primarily Matthew Etherington, have found their effectiveness on the wane. A shake-up is needed at Stoke, though Tony Pulis may find the right players are available to avoid having to change his infamous playing style too drastically.

What they need

Another winger. With Etherington not enjoying the best of seasons last term, Jermaine Pennant proving inconsistent, and a lack of effective backup, another man to supply the quality crosses for Pulis' powerful target men will be required. Fortunately, it's a good market for wingers - as mentioned above, Hoilett, Phillips, and Jarvis are all available. The latter is probably the least exciting of the three, but also the most conventional and therefore probably best-suited for Stoke's playing style. Rumours have it that Pulis agrees, though the deal will depend on whether he and Wolves can meet the gap in their respective £5m and £10m valuations.

A plan B. In common parlance, in the mould of ‘Barcelona should sign Llorente', and David James up front, "Plan B" actually describes Stoke's plans A, B, C, D, and so on until cyrillic characters start having to be introduced. In this case, then, they need an alternative method of scoring goals when hitting the target man early isn't working. That probably requires a midfielder, one who is proficient in either the scoring or creating of goals, but preferably both. Pulis' last attempt to rejig his midfield was the signing of Wilson Palacios, who has hardly been given a game. He may like to look for other options instead - Pulis is known to be an admirer of Joe Cole, likely available for loan, and he may wish to attempt to find another rough gem in the Championship as he did with Walters - Peter Whittingham would certainly fit the bill.

What they'll get

Likely a winger and a striker, as well as some additional backup if it's going. Jarvis looks likely, as Pulis hasn't shied away from paying over the odds in the past when he believes he has the right player. In addition, Jordan Rhodes has been linked, who would represent a step away from sheer target-man strikers, but also towards building a squad with future progress in mind.

Norwich

With Paul Lambert having resigned from his post to join Aston Villa, Norwich are another team that have had uncertainty cast upon them, with a stable squad possibly facing a shakeup, particularly if the board or new manager acquiesces to Grant Holt's transfer request. If that happens, combined with the difficulty of finding a manager to replicate the tremendous job Lambert did, Norwich will find themselves needing to invest just to tread water.

What they need

A replacement for Grant Holt, if he goes. And even if he doesn't, they probably need another striker to go along with Holt and Morison. Jordan Rhodes has been linked, but a good alternative to the physical stylings of their present pairing may be Blackburn's Ruben Rochina, who has an equal potential for great things.

What they'll get

Again, difficult to predict until a replacement has been found for Lambert. Rhodes is certainly on the cards, but with the considerable caveat of intense competition from other clubs around and above their level.

Swansea

Yet another managerless club, meaning yet another relatively unknown quantity, and yet another club interested in Jordan Rhodes. Swansea, like Norwich, took a settled squad into a comfortable mid-table position, but find themselves managerless as they prepare for the new season. Their one transfer so far, the permanent deal for Gylfi Sigurdsson, a revelation since signing on loan in January, has made progress but could yet be hijacked, by... well, Brendan Rogers, of course.

What they need

Gylfi Sigurdsson. Or, if the bid is hijacked, as close to that as they can get. Danny Graham has been a reliable provider of goals for Swansea, and although Dyer and Sinclair have continued to be effective, neither has been prolific in front of goal in the Premier League. They need goals from elsewhere, as well as a more dynamic presence in midfield to complement Leon Britton. If they can't get the former Reading midfielder, Steven Davis from Rangers would represent a fine alternative - a midfield schemer with goals, and available at just £1.65m due to Rangers' financial troubles, he could be the bargain of the season for any number of Premier League teams.

Support for Danny Graham. There was a sense that the Swans were too reliant on the former Watford striker for goals last season, and they could do with finding an alternative source to cope with potential injury or loss of form. Again, Rangers may be a good bet here - there are doubts over Steven Naismith's fitness, but as he'd be available for as little as £2m, it seems a no-brained for a pacy player who can score goals and also provides an option on either wing.

What they'll get

Once again, it'll depend on the manager that replaces the considerably-sized shoes of Brendan Rogers. The Sigurdsson deal has a good chance of being completed, but beyond that, it's difficult to imagine what some of the names suggested for the job - Graeme Jones, anyone? - will have in mind.

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