Transfer Talk: The wants and needs of every Premier League club in January

Matthew Storey
Antonio Conte's Tottenham will be looking to do plenty of January business
Antonio Conte's Tottenham will be looking to do plenty of January business

Every Premier League club has certain needs and wants in the January transfer window.

But getting deals over the line at this stage of the season is never easy to do.

So what are the positions each top-flight side should be prioritising this month? We take a look.

Arsenal — Striker

It is a tough choice between whether Arsenal need a central midfielder or a central striker in the transfer window.

They do overly rely on Thomas Partey in the middle and the departure of utility man Ainsley Maitland-Niles further heightens their need, but backup is required for Alexandre Lacazette.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Eddie Nketiah could both leave, which is why their hot pursuit of Dusan Vlahovic makes so much sense.

Aston Villa — Defensive midfielder

Aston Villa’s squad looks wonderfully balanced for a team with European ambitions but another holding midfielder would not go amiss.

Marvelous Nakamba is out for a few months and Douglas Luiz is at his best when he has a more defensively-minded player alongside him.

Villa have been linked with Brighton’s Yves Bissouma but they are far from the only Premier League club interested in him.

Yves Bissouma is on plenty of Premier League clubs' wanted list
Yves Bissouma is on plenty of Premier League clubs' wanted list

Brentford — Right-back

Brentford’s first season in the top flight in more than 60 years has been beset by injury problems.

Even without those issues, a new right-back is key to stop Sergi Canos filling in there and give Mads Roerslev some competition.

The Bees are masters in the transfer market and should be able to find the right fit for Thomas Frank’s squad.

Brighton — Striker

Under Graham Potter, Brighton continue to take giant steps forward as a Premier League side. 

But they are being held back in certain games by a lack of a clinical edge in front of goal.

Neal Maupay has seven league strikes this term but the Seagulls could do with more firepower if they are to break into European contention.

Burnley — Centre-back

There are plenty of positions Burnley could do with strengthening — but at the back has to be the first port of call.

James Tarkowksi’s deal runs out at the end of the season and he looks set to leave, while the club have the option to extend captain Ben Mee’s deal but there is no guarantee.

The Clarets are in a fierce relegation battle and bringing in another centre-half will help their chances of remaining in the top flight.

Chelsea — Left wing-back

Chelsea’s need is obvious but whether they can secure a left wing-back remains to be seen.

Ben Chilwell’s season-ending injury means Marcos Alonso is the only out-and-out left-sided defender in the squad and when challenging on four fronts, that is not enough.

The Blues’ main problem will be finding someone happy to join knowing they would end up as second choice at the start of next season.

Having missed out on Lucas Digne, who opted for a move to Aston Villa, the search continues.

Crystal Palace — Defensive midfielder

Patrick Vieira oversaw a busy transfer window prior to the season at Crystal Palace meaning reinforcements are not vital now.

Squads can always be improved though and adding a high-class holding midfielder would help the Eagles out.

Their current options are not getting any younger and if the right player comes along, they would be silly not to move.

Everton — Central midfielder

Now that Everton have sorted out full-back issues with the signings of Nathan Patterson and Vitaliy Mykolenko, attention turns to some creativity.

Players like Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan are not likely to unlock stubborn defences or provide the spark that only Demarai Gray has shown this campaign.

Adding a midfielder who can pick a pass, create and score goals will help Rafa Benitez turn the tide at Goodison Park.

Everton new-boy Nathan Patterson signs on the dotted line
Everton new-boy Nathan Patterson signs on the dotted line

Leeds — Centre-back

Marcelo Bielsa’s desire to work with a tiny squad at Leeds has left them short in nearly every area of the pitch this season.

Kalvin Phillips being out until March is a huge blow yet it is at the heart of defence where they have the most issues.

Liam Cooper and Pascal Struijk are both out for the coming weeks meaning a signing is vital.

Leicester — Centre-back

Continued injuries at the heart of Leicester’s defence mean a new centre-half remains at the top of Brendan Rodgers' wish list.

Wesley Fofana’s injury before the season saw them bring in Jannik Vestergaard, who has also suffered problems. Meanwhile, Jonny Evans is out until April and Daniel Amartey is at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Caglar Soyuncu is set to return and the Foxes desperately need to bring in somebody ready to hit the ground running.

Liverpool — Central midfielder

Liverpool will need a phenomenal second half of the season if they are to catch leaders Manchester City.

And to do that they need to add more stability to their midfield having never replaced Gini Wijnaldum.

Bringing in a player to fill his boots and rotate alongside the likes of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita is key.

Manchester City — Striker

City’s main requirement has been the same for the past four transfer windows — a striker.

Since Sergio Aguero’s departure in the summer, Gabriel Jesus has been the only recognised forward in the club.

With Ferran Torres now also exiting the Etihad, the arrival of a star forward would delight Pep Guardiola.

Manchester United — Defensive midfielder

Ralf Rangnick might have talked Scott McTominay up as a future Manchester United captain, but the Red Devils still need a quality holding midfielder.

It has been clear for numerous windows and yet United continue to rely on McTominay, Fred, Nemanja Matic and even Paul Pogba when fit.

Someone like Declan Rice would be ideal — but the chances of securing him in January are slim.

Declan Rice has developed into one of the Premier League's best midfielders
Declan Rice has developed into one of the Premier League's best midfielders

Newcastle — Centre-back

Newcastle are woefully short of Premier League quality at the back.

The Magpies reportedly made Sven Botman their No1 transfer target but Lille have refused to sell so far.

Eddie Howe has already got deals for Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood over the line, but their Premier League survival may rest on securing the heart of his defence.

Norwich — Central midfielder

Like many of their relegation rivals, there are plenty of positions that Norwich need to strengthen.

A striker to take the load off Teemu Pukki and a centre-back to try and keep clean sheets will be near the top of the list.

But with loanee Mathias Normann a long-term absentee and Billy Gilmour also struggling with injury, more bite in the middle of the park would be the right place to start.

Southampton — Goalkeeper

If Southampton were offered either a new No1 or a new No10 in January, it would be a coin toss to decide which way they would go.

But with Willy Caballero, 40, drafted in when Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster were both injured, a keeper looks the most necessary.

Bringing in a future first-choice stopper and giving him six months to settle with relegation highly unlikely would be a smart move by Ralph Hasenhuttl.

Tottenham — Midfielder

The likes of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Oliver Skipp and Harry Winks are more than capable central midfielders.

But when they have nobody creative alongside or ahead of them it causes issues and Antonio Conte will want that addressed this window.

Dele Alli and Tanguy Ndombele could both be on their way, leaving space in the Spurs squad for a dynamic, forward-thinking midfielder.

Watford — Centre-back

Watford have already secured the signing of Udinese’s Samir, yet more reinforcements at the back would not go amiss.

It is not an area they have great strength in depth after years of insufficient investment and reliance on Championship standard centre-halves.

With injuries and the Africa Cup of Nations causing problems, the Hornets must spend if they want to stay in the top flight.

West Ham — Centre-back

In the long-term, West Ham need to find someone to compete with Michail Antonio up front.

But injuries to Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna mean a centre-half is the most pressing issue if the Hammers want to continue their top-four assault.

With the Europa League knockouts around the corner, finding natural centre-backs to feature alongside Craig Dawson and Issa Diop is vital.

Wolves — Striker

Wolves have struggled for goals this season
Wolves have struggled for goals this season

Wolves sit comfortably in mid-table and have made good progress under Bruno Lage, yet finding the back of the net has been an ongoing issue.

Pedro Neto’s long-term absence and Hee Chan Hwang’s hamstring problem has put even more pressure on Raul Jimenez, who himself is returning to fitness after a long-term injury.

Lage would be keen to find a striker to complement Jimenez and make sure they keep up their impressive campaign.


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