Buying And Selling Guide For Manchester United, Chelsea And Other Top EPL Clubs This January

The winter transfer window isn’t exactly the most attractive time period, as far as transfers are concerned. But teams use this period to tweak around minute things in their side, or in other cases make major changes by snapping up moderately priced players. Although, there’s no scarcity of world class players around us, but January isn’t usually the time for them to seek a change in their careers. And every Premier League club is in some need of recruits for enhancements in the quality of their sides, despite of January not being the favored period for players. As if the spendings during the summer weren’t enough, all top Premier League clubs are still in some requirement of strengthening their squads. Their signings haven’t clicked or have been plagued by injuries or simply, haven’t touched the level they were expected to. So, here’s a buying and selling January guide for the top Premier League clubs. And with the rumor mill always running on and on and showing no signs of stopping, a January where a good amount of money would be shelled out is quite inevitable.

Chelsea

Chelsea Fabregas Costa

The League season couldn’t have got any better for Mourinho’s men in blue.Without a loss until their unbeaten run was halted by Newcastle, Chelsea have been the team to beat so far. convincing wins against Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs and draws away to both the Manchester clubs have proved that the Blues are top notch candidates for claiming the titles. They seem to have a perfect match in every sector of the park and leader-like characters in the defense, midfield and up front. The all English centre back pairing of John Terry and Gary Cahill have refused to budge and have been instrumental in their bid to keep Thibaut Courtouis’ goal safe. Nemanja Matic has been a vital cog in the wheel for winning balls back in the heart of the park and supplying it to the forward accompanying players, who have been equally brilliant. Diego Costa, Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas, Oscar and to a lesser extent- Willian have been regular with the goals. And to make situations tougher for the opposition, Didier Drogba has turned out to be a revelation along with Frenchman Loic Remy. And these two have virtually ensured that Costa’s constantly niggling hamstring problems don’t worry Mourinho and the fans.

What were supposed to be problems up front have transformed into their strengths and as far as their January window goes, there’s very less to cover up. But considering the fact that Nemanja Matic’s absence in one game allowed Newcastle to beat them, they would need a player very unlike John Obi Mikel. Matic has the mobility and the ability to carry the ball out of defense and above all, supply and dictate possession. Obi Mikel has seen a very limited amount of game time and off loading him for someone like William Carvalho would make perfect sense. And they need at least one more addition in their defense, and need a player who can play at both right back and centre back. The signing of Torino defender Matteo Darmian would make sense to offer cover if a centre back gets sidelined.

Manchester City

Pellegrini, Mourinho

Although, there have been some glitches for Manuel Pellegrini’s Citizens but they’ve been equally good. Eliaquim Mangala did struggle to find his feet but is now slowly getting accustomed to playing in England. Sergio Aguero was phenomenal before he fell to a depressing knee injury and Yaya Toure is on the verge of being back to his buccaneering best. Pablo Zabaleta and James Milner arguably don’t get the credit they deserve but have played a crucial role in lifting City to 2nd and helping them advance into the Round of 16 of the Champions League. They did find it tough to balance both the domestic and European competitions but are settling back to their best again.

Edin Dzeko’s exclusion owing to an injury and Sergio Aguero’s knee injury would see him return only in January end has raised questions over whether teenager Jose Pozo would be able to carry their burden. They’d need a good striker to play in place of both Dzeko and Aguero. He isn’t supposed to be world class but good enough to play regularly and rightly so, Christian Benteke, Wilfried Bony and Jay Rodriguez have been linked with a move to the Etihad in the past. But snapping them up won’t be easy, Spurs and Liverpool are tugging at their heels already. But both Alex Lacazette and Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi could also be potential transfers.

Manchester United

Manchester united

Louis van Gaal and Man United are riding their luck in an exceptional fashion. Currently 3rd in the table, United are on a 6 game unbeaten streak which includes wins over Liverpool, Southampton and Arsenal. Although, they’ve been utterly fortunate not to have been beaten but after looking at the injury curse that’s hanging over the presences of theirs players, they do deserve a bit of luck. All of their new signings have endured an injury at least once despite doing quite well on the pitch and there’s an aura of optimism surrounding the club, once again. Marouane Fellaini’s renaissance has played a ever important role for van Gaal for getting to grips with the physicality of the Premier League and Angel di Maria’s signing has been a masterclass. Defensively, nothing can come close to being as poor and shambolic as their defense. There’s no evident organization and an absence of a leader is being felt strongly. If there’s someone without whom United would’ve been around Liverpool in the table, then it’s super stopper David De Gea.

The floundering defense is in need of a serious revamp. Although, many of their targets won’t prefer moving in January but United do need one or two quality centre halves, or even a right back. Ron Vlaar and Winston Reid have been touted to join United this January and they could well be the kind of players van Gaal needs, especially New Zealand International Winston Reid. A move for Kevin Strootman is also being reported in the media and it seems, Strootman could well be on his way to Old Trafford.

Arsenal

Arsenal

Such is the inconsistency in Arsenal’s performances that they win 2 games and lose the next. That’s how the season has been for them, and the league table reflects that. Arsene Wenger’s side have been good but only in patches and much like United, they are in need a defender but also of a physical holding midfielder who can dominate games at his will. The mental block against the big clubs still lingers around, despite of being a very good attacking side and draws against City and Spurs and losses to both United and Chelsea typify my point. Otherwise, the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Oxlade Chamberlain have been very good but Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere have been a tad here and there thus far. They’ve been fragile during set plays and the emphasis on attractive football is causing their defense to suffer.

Come January, if Wenger doesn’t fix his defensive and deeper lying midfield issues, he and Arsenal could be intent on missing out on making the Top 4. Thomas Vermaelen’s sale to Barcelona is still costing them dear and they’d need a centre back who is big, strong and powerful. Someone like Ron Vlaar or Winston Reid would make sense and Andrea Ranocchia or Hector Moreno would do as well. Coming to their problems in the defensive midfield zone, they must try snapping up Grzegorz Krychowiak from Sevilla or William Carvalho from Sporting.

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Mauricio Pochetinno’s side are still getting used to the playing style he preaches, although there have been signs of the fact that Spurs are slowly getting acclimatized to it. Their summer signings are gradually emerging from from the bench and making a case for themselves. Just like Arsenal, they’ve been inconsistent in their approach, majorly due to not being used to their new hard working playing style. Currently lying 7th in the table, Tottenham have drawn away to Arsenal but have been at the receiving end of routs at the hands of Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City. Christian Eriksen has been the stand out performer, alongside Belgian winger Nacer Chadli. But Harry Kane’s rise to prominence has been spectacular. But, in order to challenge strongly for the Top 4, they need to get rid of dead wood and establish midfield competent enough and not full of just tippy- tappy players. More so, what a manager professing the pressing game has to have in a side is a pure winger.

And when January knocks on the door, Spurs would’ve a wide variety of options for wide players. They’ve been linked with Red Bull Salzburg’s Kevin Kampl, who’s been a star turn for them and can be the winger they’d need. And just to make room for a winger, they’d be desperate to offload Aaron Lennon who has faded after a very good career so far. In the central midfield area, they ought to get rid of Moussa Dembele and bring in someone like Morgan Schneiderlin to add more quality, steel and creativity in their play. And it seems, Emmanuel Adebayor’s time is almost up and replacing him with Rijeka striker Andrej Kramaric would be good.

Liverpool

Liverpool Kolo Toure Mignolet

The start to the season has been in stark contrast to their form last season. Nothing has clicked and Brendan Rodgers finds him in a spot of bother. Currently languishing at 11th in the table, Liverpool have beaten only Spurs out of the big guns and have lost convincingly to City, United and Chelsea. The tempo and build up has been slow and they’ve fallen way short  of goals. Mario Balotelli doesn’t fit into the pressing system Rodgers uses and Rickie Lambert is too old to do the same. Their defense has been frail and the midfield a wee deficient in physicality but filled to the brim in terms of speed. The full back positions have been a worry and most of the goals that they’ve leaked have come from wide positions. Rodgers hasn’t got his first team right and is still jostling to get back on track. They’ve more depth than quality and the latter was what they needed after Suarez’s exit and more so, after Sturridge’s injury.

They spent a lot of the money they received from Suarez’s fee but it wasn’t used efficiently. They need a quick striker who can close defenses down and bring back the fear among the opposition defenses. Wilfried Bony, Saido Berahino or even Shane Long must be some of their targets. They’re young and match their style of play inch perfectly. Mario Balotelli, who isn’t quite what Liverpool need has to be sold, no doubt about that. Lazar Markovic has to be sent out on loan to earn more experience from outside or even inside the country. They need a centre back who’s young and upcoming and can act as a second or third choice to the others. Rodgers has to be given some time. It’s another one of those transition periods which would be tough to get over.

Thanks to our incredible friends from thefootymadworld.wordpress.com for the piece.