January is always a tough transfer window for managers to get the players they need to strengthen their team, but it is also that window of opportunity to change a clubs fortunes if you get the right player in. Here’s a look at each club in the premier league and who is that one player or type of player that they need to help them out in the second half of the season…
Arsenal : Mikel Arteta in all fairness needs at least three players to transform his side. The Arsenal central defence has been below par for years now. If Arteta wants to be successful with the London club then that must be addressed. The Gunners centre midfield is nearly as bad.
Verdict – The one player who could solve both positions is Declan Rice (West Ham). Playing in midfield at the moment and does a good job at it too. But he is a better central defender. He is calm on the ball. He has a good left foot which can bring balance to a centre back partnership. He reads the game well and is aggressive when needed. And after Roy Keane took him down a peg his value may not be as inflated as it could have been.
Aston Villa : After a bright enough start to the season you can now sense the confidence slowly starting to drain from this Aston Villa squad. It’s a hard working team that needs goals. And with Wesley out injuried it actually may be a blessing in disguise.
Verdict : Oliver Giroud (Chelsea) will score goals and create goals and he could be available both on loan or to buy. Averaging just over 11 premier league goals a season he would be an upgrade.
Bournemouth : Eddie Howe needs anything to freshen up his team, to create a bit of excitement and build confidence. They were stale and flat against watford at the weekend and it’s becoming the norm. Worrying times!
Verdict – Dani Olmo (Dynamo Zagreb) is creating alot of interest but no-one as of yet have made a move for him. A very skillful player who both creates and scores goals and at 21 has the best to come. A chance to snatch and grab for the cherries.
Brighton : Defensively Brighton are sound enough. They all work hard as a unit and are hard to beat. They also play good football. But they need goals.
Verdict – Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) would solve that problem. 12 league and 4 european goals so far. He wont stay long in Scotland and Brighton should pounce now.
Burnley : Sean Dyche continues to do a brilliant job at turf moor. It’s a hard place to attract the top players to so scouting ‘his’ type of player has been impressive. But this team needs goals out of nothing. Someone to beat a player out wide and drag defenders out of position. Someone who knows how to chip in with goals and get bums off seats.
Verdict – Jared Bowen is that very man. The Arjen Robben of the championship has a sweet left foot and knows how to finish with 16 goals already this season. Hull City would be devastated to lose such an influential player but the cream always rises to the top.
Chelsea : Up front and in midfield Chelsea are fine. Centre back could be improved. Dane Andreas Christensen is steady without making much of an impact.
Verdict – Jose Maria Gimenez (Atletico Madrid) reads the game well. He is an all or nothing player who only dives in when 100% sure he can win the ball. Similarities to fellow countryman Diego Godin. A quality player.
Crystal Palace: The Eagles are a solid unit under Roy Hodgson. But their achilles heal has always been someone to put the ball in the back of the net. Ayew has 6 this season. Palace need a goalscorer.
Verdict – Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) has 18 goals in 26 games this season and is proven in the premier league.
Everton : The toffees are in need of a rebuild, especially in the midfield. Sigurdsson and Schneiderlin havent delivered what was expected of them, Gomes is out injuried and Ancelotti needs a dominant force in the middle of the park.
Verdict – All 6 foot 5 inches of Sander Berge (Genk) should do the trick. He is big, strong and very comfortable on the ball. A defensive midfielder that is a great link from defence to attack. Although many clubs around europe are showing interest the recent appointment of Carlo Ancelotti must give the blues a chance.
Leicester : Brendan Rodgers has Leicester in a good place with performance levels high and they are consistent. To win major trophies he will need to raise the quality of player.
Verdict – Jonny Evans is a player who wont get any better than he is. A good player. But Ruben Dias (Benfica) would replace him and make this Leicester defence even more solid and the team would be better for his signing.
Liverpool : Of all the clubs the reds are probably the ones who dont need to add. But if they want to develop their squad and build for the future then keeping an eye out for young talent is a must.
Verdict – Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz ticks the box. Technically excellent player who scored 17 goals in the Bundesliga last year. If Klopp was to coach this young man he could be world class!
Man City : City have always been shakey at the back. With the emphasis on ‘footballing’ centre backs they have been short of some defensive grit.
Verdict – Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli) is 28, at the peak of his powers and would make that city defence a bit more solid. And city can afford him….
Man Utd : United’s midfield was already a problem with Pogba out injuried this season but then consistent performer Scott Mctominay was ruled out for a couple of months leaving a glaring hole in the centre of the pitch. A Bruno Fernandes deal looks on the cards but the red devils centre has been soft and needs toughening up.
Verdict : Sandro Tonali (Brescia) fits the recruitment model at old trafford at 19 years of age and he can play. A mixture of Pirlo on the ball and Gattuso off the ball while being two footed makes for a fantastic player to work with.
Newcastle : Like so many near the bottom the formula to stay up is to be hard to break down while having players to score goals. Steve Bruce has tightened up this Newcastle team but the goals are harder to find.
Verdict – Winger Leon Bailey would not only chip in with goals he would create them too. The sight of Bailey slaloming through premier league defenders would send the toon army into a frenzy.
Norwich : 3 wins out of 22 games, 14 points, 8 points off 17th position and minus 23 goal difference means one signing wont be enough. But to have a chance the need a centre back who will sure things up at the back.
Verdict – Terrence Kongolo (Huddersfield) is a powerful and athletic centre back that loves the art of defending. One on one’s generally go his way. Attainable.
Sheffield United : 6th position and ahead of Spurs and Arsenal half way through the season. Last line up = 5 English, 3 Irish, 2 Scottish and 1 Northern Irish… who says you need to spend tens of millions . Fantastic! Chris Wilder played two up front in their last game. They could do with a goalscorer in beside Mcgoldrick.
Verdict – Ollie Watkins (Brentford) seems to be always in the right place at the right time. Loads of fox in the box type goals but there is so much more to his game. The championships joint top goalscorer with 18 goals.
Southampton : With 4 wins in the last 5 games and doubling their wins this season it’s hard to pinpoint a reason why, and it’s hard to pick a player to fit in with that good form. But of course they can strengthen, and full back is a good start.
Verdict – Jose Mourinho likes experience in his teams and Kyle Walker-Peters loses out to Serge Aurier. With some injury problems in full back positions a loan move for Walker-Peters is sensible.
Spurs : With Harry Kane out until at least April it’s highly apparent that Tottenham need a centre forward.
Verdict – Moussa Dembélé is the perfect fit. He is strong, athletic and with 15 league goals for Lyon last year and 11 already this year it makes him the sensible option.
Watford : A bit like Southampton, Watford look like world beaters with their recent form. But cracks will appear again and left full could do with strengthening.
Verdict – Joe Bryan (Fulham) is not only a really good defender but is excellent going forward. Similar to Leighton Baines.
West Ham : If the hammers want to stay up this year they need to stop leaking goals. One signing isn’t enough for this side so dont judge the selection.
Verdict – Premier League experience is needed at the back. John Stones needs game time. With a couple of other signings the Manchester City centre back could be a smart loan signing.
Wolves : Nuno Espirito Santo has done an amazing job at wolves. There are so many rights about this team but it’s known that they are looking for a left back.
Verdict – A loan move for Danny Rose could be an option. Get your left back, give him a chance to impress and if he doesn’t Nuno can look elsewhere.