We're getting there aren't we.
Priorities now (assuming Ramirez is announced today/tomorrow):
- Need a top quality centre back (e.g. Van Dijk, Koulibaly)
- If Jags goes to Sheff United then his replacement should be good enough to push Williams out of the starting XI (e.g. Keane)
- Need a new left back (a bit concerning we're not linked to any)
- Need to decide between Martina or Kenny as cover for Coleman
That leaves the two massive decisions:
If Barkley goes we need a replacement i.e. Sigurdsson
If Lukaku goes we need a replacement e.g. ???
I don't think Ramirez and Klaassen are those replacements. It looks to me as though we've bought them because we need them regardless, and the early business may entice Ross (but more importantly Rom) to sign new contracts. If not we can use new income to fund top quality replacements.
Key thing for me if we're intending on challenging top 6, rather than just cementing 7th is how many of that XI would get into the XI of any of the current top 6? We can't break through based on cast offs (Schneiderlin) or hoovering up the better players from teams below us (Bolasie, Williams) and hoping we'll be greater than the sum of our parts.
We need to over pay. We need signings like Pickford where people will say "he's good but not worth the money". Being prepared to pay more than Man United, Man City for players that they would like in their squad is exactly what we need to do.
For example, there's talk that Man City and Chelsea both want Van Dijk but aren't willing to pay more than £60m. If we think he'll improve our first XI, that's what we need to do.
The Aston Villa/O'Neill strategy is buying overpriced proven PL players. What we need to do is identify players that the top 6 want, and offer them a regular first team position, more money, and the chance to be part of something.