Football

What do Premier League teams need to do in January?

January might be the start of the new year but can prove highly decisive to hopes of European football or avoiding relegation.

 

Every team in the Premier League need something extra in January to help them survive or achieve their ambition.

 

Let take a look at what each team needs to help them improve come end of May.

 

Chelsea

 

Antonio Conte’s men might be six points out in front at the top but what would happen if Marcos Alonso or Victor Moses got injured?

 

The 3-5-3 formation has proven successful for Chelsea and helped them to 13 consecutive league wins on the trot. Alonso and Moses have been key to helping the Blues to those victories so how would the Blues cope if either player suffered a long term injury?

 

There are no players in the squad currently available to step in as shown against Stoke when Moses came off to be replaced by Branislav Ivanovic, resulting in a back four instead of three.

 

With Nathan Ake recalled from loan at Bournemouth, he should be impressive on the left wing.

 

Branislav Ivanovic’s departure to Zenit St Petersburg now opens up the possibility that Conte could be eying up a new player. The question is who will that player be?

 

Liverpool

 

Jurgen Klopp has got a great squad but it would be worth buying an extra left back. Joe Gomez is currently out injured meaning that James Milner is the only left back currently available at Liverpool.

 

If he were to get injured then the Reds would have a massive problem at left back, unless they switched formation to a back three. There are many decent left backs out there, who would be worth a risk.

 

Bournemouth’s Charlie Daniels has been outstanding this season at left back and certainly be a great signing to make and would add extra options to their problematic position.

 

Manchester City

 

This clubs could do with a defensive revamp because many of the defence are from the Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini days.

 

This is looking quite bad for the Citizens because they could do with moving some of the veterans on and freshening up an ageing defence.

 

Virgil Van Dijk will be high up on the shopping list but given that John Stones has underperformed, is Van Dijk worth the risk?

 

Midfield could do with a slight tidy up and another defensive midfielder would be a great option for the club with Yaya Toure approaching his twilight years.

 

Extra strong cover is needed to help cover the flaws in the current midfielders, if they are to achieve.

 

You could argue that Guardiola needs to look for a top goalkeeper who is young rather than rely on Claudio Bravo and Willy Caballero. Both keepers are in their twilight years and likely to put in poor showings due to slower reaction times.

 

Arsenal

 

Its tough to say where Arsenal need to invest but if the right striker becomes available, Wenger should dive right in with the cash to ease the pressure on Aleix Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.

 

Arsenal are ok in defence and its really just errors that can be ironed out through extra training if they are to challenge for the title.

 

Tottenham Hotspur

 

Mauricio Pochettino could do with strengthening the midfield and finding another high scoring striker to fill any gaps when Harry Kane gets injured.

 

Spurs have been linked with Ross Barkley, Isco and Wilfried Zaha so far this month. Out of those players, I would be tempted to buy Isco to provide competition for Harry Kane.

 

Zaha is settled at Crystal Palace where he is delivering week in week out, which is something he struggled with at Manchester United.

 

Jan Vertonghen is out injured but there are plenty of options available in the left back position. If necessary, Pochettino could give one of the left back players from their U21s squad a chance.

 

Manchester United

 

Jose Mourinho will be delighted with the squad currently available and should hang on before selling any players.

 

If United are fighting for the Europa League as well as League Cup and FA Cup, Mourinho would be better off keeping his current squad in case of any injuries and adding some fresh talent if available at right prices.

 

Only youngsters like Sam Johnstone and Marcus Rashford should be released on loan because these players will benefit from getting game time elsewhere.

 

Morgan Schneiderlin has left to join Everton which reduces the wage bill ahead of a potentially bumper summer.

 

Could letting him go prove costly if injuries pile up due to fixture congestion?

 

Everton

 

Ronald Koeman will be disappointed with how things have turned out so far and will be delighted to land Charlton sensation, Ademola Lookman early on in the transfer window.

 

Hopefully this English youngster will provide competition for an underperforming Romelu Lukaku and help freshen up an old looking Toffees side.

 

Koeman has been linked with many of Manchester United’s midfielders with Morgan Schneiderlin now jumping across the M62 to Goodison Park.

 

Moves for more big names could be funded by selling out of favour players like Gerard Deulofeu, Darren Gibson and Bryan Oviedo. Misfit, Oumar Niasse has joined Hull City on loan making room for another player to come in.

 

West Bromwich Albion

 

West Brom have been one of this season’s surprise packages and don’t really need any changes in January’s transfer window.

 

Given their strong league position, Tony Pulis should look for another goalkeeper to provide Ben Foster extra competition and to provide cover if Foster gets injured.

 

With Dimitri Konstantopolous’ future at Middlesbrough unclear, he would be a good cheap signing.

 

Now that Saido Berahino’s future has been finalised with his departure to join Stoke City, the Baggies should be content with their squad and Jake Livermore is a positive reinforcement in what is already a competitive midfield.

 

Southampton

 

Southampton haven’t really been on fire under Claude Puel and could do with a striker who can get goals and turn around their poor goal scoring record.

 

Their tight defence have reduced the damage but can’t see them improving unless get a proper hot scoring striker.

 

Under no circumstances, should Van Dijk be sold if the Saints are to grow into a big club and challenge the big guns.

 

If Liverpool come in for him then Puel should try and get a swap deal done for out of favour striker, Daniel Sturridge.

 

Bournemouth

 

Eddie Howe has done wonders on a modest budget and got outstanding performances from his squad.

 

There isn’t really any area that needs mid season investment except for set pieces, which can be done in training.

 

The Cherries should save their cash and use it in the summer to try and sign Jack Wilshire from Arsenal. He has added plenty of experience and boosted morale in the team.

 

Now that Nathan Ake has returned to Chelsea, they should target another left back on loan to replace him.

 

Burnley

 

Sean Dyche will be relieved with how the Clarets have performed so far this season. They might be sitting firmly in mid table but should focus on staying up this season, rather than a late Europa League charge or cup run.

 

In terms of players, Burnley could benefit from signing some players with impressive away records.

 

They are tough to beat at Turf Moor but when away, they struggle to get points hence why extra reinforcement is needed with a few away scoring specialist players.

 

Other than that, should Michael Keane depart, Dyche should try and get in a replacement before the window shuts.

 

Watford

 

Walter Mazzari should be delighted with his side’s performance so far but could do with an attacking midfielder to help create more chances.

 

Odion Ighalo might be the latest name heading to China so will we see a new striker heading into Vicarage Road by 11:00pm tomorrow night?

 

They might be struggling for form but rumours in the media points to tough training sessions. On that basis, the Hornets need to just focus on finding a balance between light and tough training rather than look to the transfer window.

 

West Ham

 

Slaven Bilic will be looking for new strikers in January to help them finish around the top ten.

 

Marcus Rashford has been strongly linked with the Hammers and would be a good loan signing. His quality and pace provides another tactical option up front alongside Andy Carroll.

 

Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri have both had no impact in the team meaning that quality strikers are needed, if Bilic is to rediscover the form of last season.

 

With Dimitri Payet sold, Bilic should focus on finding a player who can fill the hole left by Payet. That is going to be tricky as the deadline draws near so expect the Hammers to start scouting for the summer.

 

Stoke City

 

Stoke could do with adding some extra defenders in this transfer window given that the defending has let them down on numerous occasions so far this season.

 

Most of the Potters’ defence are approaching their twilight years and Mark Hughes could do with signing some young defenders to try and freshen the back line up.

 

Bruno Martins Indi has been a revelation and it would be worth trying to sign him permanently from Porto this month.

 

Other than that, Stoke are looking impressive in midfield and attack.

 

With Wilfried Bony and Mane Biram Diouf off on international duty at the African Cup of Nations, they have signed Berahino from West Brom which is a great decision.

 

Leicester City

 

From champions to relegation battlers, Claudio Ranieri will be wondering which areas could do with some investment this month.

 

Letting N’Golo Kante go with such ease has proved costly for the Foxes but a replacement has finally arrived.

 

Genk star, Wilfred Ndidi might be the answer to the midfield trouble but with Champions League being on the mind of many players, extra reinforcement is needed.

 

The defence have been shabby at best of times and a new defender will be welcome as Ranieri seeks to turn the season around. Sassuolo defender, Francesco Acerbi is high up on their shopping list.

 

With Leonardo Ulloa keen to depart the Foxes, Ranieri should either look for a new striker or alternatively, recall Tom Lawrence from his impressive loan spell at Ipswich Town.

 

Either way, this transfer window is going to be critical to Leicester’s survival and European hopes.

 

Middlesbrough

 

Middlesbrough know that they’re going to have to spend more if to stay up. They have been linked with some experienced players but will need to act within their budget to get some fresh players in, if to avoid the drop.

 

Their defence have been decent but would benefit from some reinforcement at this stage of season. Neven Subotic came close to signing for Boro in summer and would bring plenty of experience to what is already a fantastic defence.

 

Midfield have been solid if unspectacular. Extra options down the flanks would be welcome if they are to create more chances.

 

There are a lot of wing backs with expiring contracts available for a cheap price, with Atletico Madrid’s Alessio Cerci the best option at £6m.

 

Up front, Aitor Karanka needs to find a proven striker in case Alvaro Negredo picks up any injuries. Patrick Bamford, Rudy Gestede and Mikael Soisalo have signed but Boro could do with a proven top flight striker, who can get the goals.

 

Jordan Rhodes has been sold so could Steve Gibson launch a shock late bid for a proven striker?

 

Crystal Palace

 

With Sam Allardyce having just taken over, its difficult to say what is needed to improve things at Selhurst Park. Allardyce has a great squad to work with and especially in defence.

 

Injuries have been a major problem this season for the Eagles and reinforcements across the pitch could be useful along with a creative midfielder to help get the goals flowing.

 

Having finally signed Patrick Van Aanholt, Allardyce has it all to do if he wants to add more signings to his squad before the window slams shut.

 

Arouna Kone is set to sign from Everton so is there anything else to do before the window shuts?

 

Sunderland

 

Where do we start with Sunderland? Keeping hold of Lamine Kone and Jermain Defoe have to be their absolute priorities, if want to stay up.

 

Up front, Victor Anichebe has joined the injury list leaving David Moyes with Defoe, Fabio Borini and Joel Asoro as the only options available for the forward role.

 

The Black Cats are going to have to do some loan signings in the striker department if to get more goals.

 

Midfield is even worse with only Steven Pienaar available due to international duty and injuries. Moyes should prioritise this area as a matter of urgency unless can get Jermaine Lens and Will Buckley back from loan early.

 

Darren Gibson has signed, which is a positive because he will bring extra experience to a depleted midfield.

 

Defence is decent but will be missing just Kone to the African Cup of Nations. Now that Lescott has joined, its time to start focusing on the other areas.

 

With Patrick Van Aanholt joining Crystal Palace, Moyes needs to now look for a left back and Bryan Oviedo will fill the role perfectly once passes his medical.

 

With only two goalkeepers available now that Jordan Pickford is injured, a new keeper would be worth looking into but last of all.

 

Hull City

Hull will be happy to have most of their players back from injury but could do with extra defenders to help shore up a shaky defence. The capture of Omar Elabdellaoui is a positive step in that direction but more is required.

 

Up front, they’re pretty decent because the issues lie in performances, which can be cleaned up in training. Omar Niasse has joined on loan from Everton so expect not much business in the striker department.

 

With Livermore having already left and Robert Snodgrass off to West Ham, the Tigers need to knuckle down and rebuke any offers if are to realistically stay up but have added well in the final days of this window.

 

Swansea City

 

Swansea currently are under Paul Clement and need to spend more if want to stay in the Premier League.

 

For that reason, getting in proven strikers will be something worth looking into. Fernando Llorente has done a decent job but not enough to keep the Swans out of the relegation zone.

 

Marvin Emnes has been sent back to Blackburn Rovers so expect the Swans to be prowling around hunting for a striker as 11:00pm slowly draws near.

 

Alternatively, it would be worth plumping for Fulham’s Chris Martin. With Paul Clement  in as manager, bringing Martin in would be a good option.

 

Derby however want him back from his season long loan at Craven Cottage meaning that they would have to offer good wages and extra incentives to get him in the Premier League.

 

Would it be worth getting Bafetimbi Gomis back from his season long move to Marseille?

 

Time away from the club might of refreshed him and with Paul Clement now set to be in charge, it would be a new start for Gomis and he has been on fire for the French club.

 

Comment below on who you think your club should sign during January’s transfer window. Please feel free to share this post and thanks for reading this post.

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