Guide To The January Transfer Window: What Does Arsenal, Manchester United And Other Clubs Need?

It’s cold, wet and there isn’t that much to look forward to. January’s pretty rubbish, isn’t it? The fantastic schedule of festive football is also behind us, but there is one thing to cheer us fans – the January Transfer Window.

The biggest deals in football may be done and dusted during the summer, but this mid-season cash splurge gives clubs the chance to potentially shape the rest of the campaign, rescuing plummets towards relegation or solidifying a title push.

With the help of UT Coin Traders, we’ve taken a look at all 20 Premier League clubs to work out what they need – and what they’ll probably end up with.

Arsenal

Oh Arsenal, how often we have been here before.

Winning the FA Cup last May and overcoming Manchester City in the Community Shield had suggested that Arsenal may finally be ready to become serious title contenders once again, while the marquee signing of Alexis Sanchez for around £35 million from Barcelona had appeared to be Arsene Wenger laying down a marker.

Four defeats and five draws from their opening 16 games however has put paid to any ideas of winning the title however, and the abuse Wenger suffered at a Stoke train station signalled a nadir for the Gunners’ beleaguered manager.

What they need:

Once again it is the midfield and defence that is pointed out as weak points in the Arsenal squad. Wenger’s decision to only bring in only two defenders (one of which was the inexperienced Calum Chambers) while Vermaelen, Djourou and Sagna went the other way appears to have been a mistake, and once again they failed to recruit a tough-tackling centre-midfielder.

Real Madrid playmaker Sami Khedira and Barcelona enforcer Sergio Busquets are two additions that would add a much needed element of steel into the Arsenal midfield, with the former possibly available at a cut price £11m with his contract expiring at the end of the season. The Gunners were linked strongly with the Madrid man last summer, however Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho – linked previously with Manchester United – would make a fine alternative, if a little more expensive.

F.C. Basel’s young defender Fabian Schar would be ideal for the centre of their defence, having shone for the Swiss champions this season as well as being Wenger’s kind of player.

Also linked with:

Andy Robertson (Hull City, £12m); Joao Moutinho (AS Monaco, £30m); Adrien Rabiot (Paris-Saint Germain, £9m); Sergio Busquets (Barcelona); Gabriel Barbosa (Santos, £24m); Julian Draxler (Schalke 04, £37m)

Possible Outgoings:

Tomas Rosicky -> Olympiakos


Aston Villa

 

Aston Villa

After a 1-0 win at Anfield left Aston Villa with 10 points from their opening 4 games, Paul Lambert and his new assistant Roy Keane had appeared to lead the West Midland’s club to significant improvement since last season’s relegation battle. Unfortunately the devilishly hard run of fixtures which saw them play Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton back-to-back – picking up 0 points on the way – derailed their form and left them once again scrapping in the wrong half of the table.

What they need:

They are somewhat short on out and out strikers with the continuing injury to Libor Kozak, with the Villains relying heavily on Christian Benteke. The Czech international should be back in the New Year however, and they’re unlikely to do much business unless they lose any key players, although Paul Lambert ruled out selling Benteke.

The permanent signing of Tom Cleverly from Manchester United has been suggested however.

Also linked with:

Giampaolo Pazzini (AC Milan)

Possible Outgoings:

Ron Vlaar -> Manchester United
Fabian Delph -> Liverpool


Burnley

burnley

Newly-promoted Burnley’s start to the season appeared to suggest that a long and difficult season was ahead for the Lancashire side, however 11 points from a possible 15 across November and December has given them a much needed boost, inside the bottom three but in touching distance of the teams above them.

The most important thing for Sean Dyche this January is holding onto 22-year old striker Danny Ings, however a number of clubs – including Sunderland, Newcastle United and Dutch champions Ajax – are all interested in the player whose contract expires at the end of the season.

 

What they need:

They would almost certainly need a striker if they were to lose Danny Ings, and they were rumoured to be interested in £5m-rated Crystal Palace striker Dwight Gayle who has become unsettled at the London club, but they are unlikely to conduct any business this winter.

Possible Outgoings:

Danny Ings -> Sunderland; Newcastle United; Ajax


Chelsea

Given the apparent completeness of the Chelsea squad, Jose Mourinho could be forgiven for sitting back and relaxing this January while his rivals squabble over average players with inflated price tags, and it has been pretty quiet in the rumour mill where the West London club are concerned.

There was a suggestion that they may be interested in usurping Manchester United with a £30m bid for Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman, however it is more likely that the only transfer activity Chelsea see this winter is outgoings. On-loan striker Fernando Torres has been linked with his two former clubs Atletico Madrid and Liverpool, while the out-of-favour Petr Cech has also been linked with a move to the Anfield club.

What they need:

Err… trophy polish and some ribbons?

Also linked with:

Sergio Busquets (Barcelona); Miranda (Atletico Madrid)

Possible Outgoings:

Fernando Torres -> Atletico Madrid; Liverpool
Petr Cech -> Liverpool (loan)


Crystal Palace

If you told Palace fans at the end of last season that come the New Year they’d be 17th in the table with Neil Warnock in charge they’d probably laugh at you before breaking down in tears.

The departure of Tony Pulis left many doubting the London club’s ability to stay up this season, and despite standout victories against Liverpool (H) and Everton (A) they have struggled to build momentum, and are outside of the relegation zone on goal difference alone.

What they need:

A new striker would be ideal, and Jermain Defoe is one possibility, however someone like Watford’s Troy Deeney is probably more likely. They have also been linked with a loan deal for Arsenal’s 21-year old striker Yaya Sanogo.

Ashley Cole also emerged as a surprise January target after rumours of a departure from Roma emerged, however it is unlikely Palace would be able to afford his likely very high wages.

Also linked with:

Michu (Swansea City); John Ruddy (Norwich City); Bafetimbi Gomis (Swansea City); Scott Brown (Celtic, £5m)

Possible Outgoings:

Dwight Gayle -> Burnley; Leicester City


Everton

Roberto Martinez

 

While Manchester United struggled along with David Moyes at the helm last season, the Goodison Park faithful must have been feeling pretty smug. While United talked of struggling to adapt to life after the departure of a long-serving manager, Everton were doing just fine with their new manager, Roberto Martinez, finishing the season in 5th and unlucky to not claim a Champion’s League place.

This season has not been such plain sailing, and just one win in the last five games (with the last one a dreadful display in a 3-0 defeat at Southampton) has seen them drop into the bottom half of the table, 10 points behind West Ham United in fourth.

What they need:

Everton are unlikely to have any many to spend on permanent deals with winter, unless they borrow some from next Summer’s transfer kitty, so they will have to make do with loan signings to try and turn around a faltering season.

They could do with another centre-half, however all of the rumours have pointed to deals for midfields or strikers, such as Arsenal’s Joel Campbell or Chelsea’s Mohamed Salah – both 22.

Also linked with:

Marcelo Brozovic (Dinamo Zagreb); Ondrej Duda (Legia Warsaw); Selcuk Inan (Galatasaray); Shaun Maloney (Wigan Athletic); Breel Embolo (F.C. Basel)

Possible Outgoings:

James McCarthy -> Arsenal (£16m)


Hull City

An awful run of form that has seen them pick up just two points from the last eight games, Hull City have fallen a long way since their FA Cup heroics and currently find themselves 19th in the table.

Steve Bruce has previously taken advantage of the January transfer window to bolster his squads, with some success, although it is likely he will have to sell to buy. Loan deals may be an option, as well as a necessity for the continued Premier League survival of the Tigers – as well as his own sake.

What they need:

The signings of Tom Ince and Hatem Ben Arfa haven’t worked out, so Hull could do with some extra attacking flair, with Aaron Lennon linked heavily. The move would see him link back up with former Spurs’ players Jake Livermore, Michael Dawson and Tom Huddlestone.

Another possibility is Udinese’s Emmanuel Agyemang Badu, a pacey box-to-box midfielder.

Also linked with:

André Ayew (Marsaille); Lee Cattermole (Sunderland)

Possible Outgoings:

Curtis Davies -> Sunderland; Leicester City
Andy Robertson -> Manchester United; Arsenal (£12m)
Paul McShane -> unknown


Leicester City

Oh how the King Power Stadium rocked when they ran out 5-3 winners of Manchester United. An incredible performance that had been proceeded by impressive displays against Arsenal, Everton and Stoke. Unfortunately they haven’t won a game since, and picked up just two points from 12 games.

Rock bottom of the table with 10 points, the Foxes desperately need something to turn the tide back in their favour.

What they need:

Nigel Pearson is said to be looking out for a striker and a centre-back in January, with Jermain Defoe a possible candidate, even if Harry Redknapp’s QPR is the most likely destination for the former Spurs man. Celtic’s 31-year old striker Kris Commons could also be making a move to the Premier League, having rejected his latest contract offer, although they do face competition for his signature from West Brom.

With a limited transfer budget (expected to be around £6m) it may be that loan deals will be brought in to bolster both attack and defence.

Also linked with:

Kyle Naughton (Tottenham Hotspur); Steve Cook (Bournemouth); Curtis Davis (Hull City); Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace, £5m); Andrej Kramaric (HNK Rijeka, £7m); Luciano Vietto (Villarreal)


Liverpool

When Phillipe Coutinho’s strike gave Liverpool a 3-2 victory over title rivals Manchester City it appeared that, just maybe, the wait was finally over for the Anfield faithful. One slip from Steven Gerrard and a collapse against Crystal Palace in the penultimate game of the season however meant that they would once again be disappointed. It seems as though they haven’t recovered yet.

The loss of Luis Suarez to Barcelona and Daniel Sturridge to injury has left Liverpool toothless up front, with the incoming Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli having proven far from adequate replacements. Their defensive additions haven’t been able to fix the problems of last season either, and without the goals of SAS, these have been exposed more than ever.

What they need:

Undoubtedly, a striker. Rickie Lambert is a decent back-up and was relatively inexpensive at £4m, but he isn’t the 30-goal-a-season man you need if you want to make the top four, let alone challenge for the title. Balotelli has proven to be an ill-judged £16m gamble, and although Sturridge should come back sometime soon, they could really do with adding some proven quality up front this January.

They’ve been linked with AC Milan starlet Stephan El Shaarawy (unlikely, as it stands) and bringing back former striker Fernando Torres (perhaps even more questionable than signing Mario Balotelli).

They also have issues to address in defence, although that may be a coaching problem rather than necessarily personnel, however they are in desperate need of a world class goalkeeper. Chelsea’s Petr Cech would be their dream signing, and the blues have history of selling big players in January (Juan Mata last term).

Also linked with:

Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid); Fabian Delph (Aston Villa); Jackson Martinez (Porto); Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Possible Outgoings:

Lucas Leiva -> Inter Milan (loan)


Manchester City

The champions didn’t have an altogether convincing start to the season, falling behind Chelsea in the Premier League and struggling in the Champions’ League, however a fine run of form in recent weeks has seen them close the gap to 3 points and qualify for the Round of 16 in Europe’s premier club competition.

Sergio Aguero is out with knee ligament damage for the next few weeks, while they will lose Yaya Touré to the African Cup of Nations in Januray, however don’t expect City to splash the cash too much this winter. They’ve been linked with a few names, including young Newcastle United winger Rolando Aarons and former Chelsea midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, but the transfer activity at the Etihad is more likely to be outgoings and incomings.

What they need:

Not much, to be honest – at least not at this stage of the season.

They’ve been linked with a few names, including young Newcastle United winger Rolando Aarons and former Chelsea midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, but the transfer activity at the Etihad is more likely to be outgoings and incomings.

Also linked with:

Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona, £20m); Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund, £47m)

Possible Outgoings:

Matija Nastasic -> Schalke 04, AC Milan, Inter Milan (£10m)
James Milner -> Inter Milan
John Guidetti -> Celtic (£3m)


Manchester United

After spending £163m on new signings in the summer, including Angel Di Maria for a British record £59.7m and Luke Shaw for around £30m, Manchester United’s accountants may have been hoping to have a quieter Christmas and New Year.

Unfortunately for them, it appears the Red Devils would quite like to add some more players in the winter window, most notably a world class defender to bolster a back line beset with injuries and individual mistakes all season.

What they need:

United have been chasing Mats Hummels for months, and boy could they do with a defender of the quality of the Borussia Dortmund star, however it is unlikely the former German champions would be willing to partner with their best defender in January – especially as it appears they will have an unlikely relegation battle to contest.

Someone like Ron Vlaar is more likely, although again it would take an inflated bid to prise him away from Aston Villa mid-season. Manchester United were fortunate to pick up a player of Juan Mata’s quality last January (although they paid a high price), but they’ll do well this time to pick up a player for good value who is going to make a real difference to their season.

Also linked with:

Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid); Enzo Perez (Benfica); Nicolas Gaitan (Benfica); Kevin Strootman (Roma); Nicolas Otamendi (Valencia); Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona, £20m); Juan Cuadrado (Fiorentina)

Possible Outgoings:

Tom Cleverley -> Aston Villa
Adnan Januzaj -> Inter Milan, Ajax, Real Sociedad (loan)


Newcastle United

The frustration from the Newcastle fans over their transfer activity, which came to a head last January when they chose to sell Yohan Cabaye to PSG for a cut price fee, has been well documented for some time now. Seemingly uninterested in doing anything other than staying in the Premier League each season, much-maligned owner Mike Ashley is unlikely to want to spend anything significant in this window – and the St James’ Park crowd are more likely to be seeing fewer faces lining up for them in February rather than more.

What they need:

Moussa Sissoko has been linked with a move away to a Champions’ League club, with Arsenal leading the charge, so it may be that the Magpies need to recruit a replacement – something there is no guarantee of them doing.

Andy Carroll hasn’t enjoyed a huge degree of success since leaving Tyneside for £35m in January 2011, and the fans would surely love to see the local boy come home. Would West Ham be willing to sell with an improbable European push to mount in the second half of the season? Maybe not, although Aleksandar Mitrovic of Anderlecht could be available for as little as £5m.

Also linked with:

Danny Ings (Burnley); Ondrej Duda (Legia Warsaw, £5m); Mark Schwarzer (Chelsea, loan)

Possible Outgoings:

Moussa Sissoko -> Arsenal
Rolando Aarons -> Manchester City


Queens Park Rangers

This season has been a bit of a mixed bag for Harry Redknapp and QPR. Away from home they have been abject – losing all eight, conceding 20 goals and scoring just three. However at Loftus Road it has been a different story, winning five and losing just two of the nine games they have played, and it is this home form that has seen them stay outside of the relegation zone for now.

What they need:

QPR have conceded the most goals in the Premier League (32) which suggests that they could do with some freshness in a backline which includes the 36-year old Rio Ferdinand, 36-year old Clint Hill and 35-year old Richard Dunne.

However they are also missing some pace and invention going forward, and it is in this area that the London club are most likely to add players. Don’t be surprised to see Jermain Defoe or Peter Crouch linking back up with ‘Arry. He’s got a track record of signing veteran players and getting the most out of them, although Defoe is more likely to make the move than Crouch.

Also linked with:

Ravel Morrison (West Ham, loan); Ryan Manning (Galway); Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy, loan); Giampaolo Pazzini (AC Milan)

Possible Outgoings:

Adel Taarabt -> Atalanta
Rio Ferdinand -> Retirement


Southampton

Four straight defeats have taken a small amount of the gloss off Southampton’s incredible start to the season – made all the more incredible by the number of players they lost, as well as a manager – however they will still be delighted to find themselves in fifth place at Christmas.

The minimum aim after a turbulent pre-season would simply have been to survive in the Premier League, however with that top flight status seemingly achieved already, any expenditure now would be to bolster their European bid. Whether that lofty ambition is worth paying the typical inflated January prices is something the owners will have to ask themselves.

What they need:

An additional striker could come in useful as they have relied heavily on the goals of Graziano Pellé so far this season, while it is unclear what sort of form Jay Rodriguez will be in when he finally returns from his long injury lay off. Danny Ings, being courted by a number of clubs, could be the ideal option.

More importantly than bringing in anyone new could perhaps be to hang on to Morgan Scheiderlin – a player who wanted to leave in the summer and is currently the object of Arsene Wenger’s affections.

Also linked with:

Eljero Elia (Werder Bremen); Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur)

Possible Outgoings:

Morgan Schneiderlin -> Arsenal


Stoke City

It has been impossible to predict Stoke City’s results so far this season: beating the likes of Manchester City at the Etihad, Spurs at White Hart Lane and Arsenal at home; yet losing to Leicester City, Sunderland and Aston Villa.

The Potters are currently 13th in the table – just four points outside the bottom three – and although you’d expect them to survive come May, they may feel that a couple of new faces might be able to shore up their survival chances.

What they need:

Having lost Peter Odemwingie and Victor Moses to injury another striker – perhaps on a loan deal – could be needed, although a winger like Norwich City’s Nathan Redmond could be looked at. An alternative would be Aaron Lennon who has fallen out of favour at White Hart Lane this season, and would add some much needed attacking impetus and pace to the side.

Also linked with:

Mohamed Saleh (Chelsea, loan); Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese)

Possible Outgoings:

Asmir Begovic -> Liverpool (£10m)
Peter Crouch -> QPR


Sunderland

Being demolished 8-0 would have been the ruin of many teams – but not Gus Poyet’s Sunderland. Since that humbling at the hands of Southampton, the Black Cats have lost just two of the proceeding nine matches – and those came at the hands of Arsenal and Manchester City.

Elevated to 14th in the table for now, Sunderland will still no doubt feel a relegation battle is likely as the season draws on.

What they need:

Only Burnley have scored fewer goals than Sunderland so far this season (15) so it is likely Gus Poyet will look to secure a striker in January, either on a permanent basis or, more likely, on loan.

Fabio Borini turned them down in the summer however they still covet the Liverpool man, while Giampaolo Pazzini, linked with a number of Premier League clubs, is another possibility.

With only two of three million to spend in this window they are unlikely going to be able to attract any big names permanently.

Also linked with:

Yaya Sanogo (Arsenal, loan); Danny Ings (Burnley); Curtis Davies (Hull City); Mohamed Saleh (Chelsea, loan)

Possible Outgoings:

Jozy Altidore -> Lille


Swansea City

Tipped to struggle by many pundits at the start of the season, the Welsh side have surpassed expectations so far, racking up 25 points having beaten the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal already.

They should have no problem avoiding a relegation battle this season, and they may even have an outside chance of finishing in the European spots.

What they need:

Wilfried Bony has been key to the Swans’ success so far this term – but he will be leaving for the African Cup of Nations in January. A striker on loan therefore would be ideal.

Also linked with:

Virgil Van Dijk (Celtic)

Possible Outgoings:

Bafetimbi Gomis -> Arsenal, Newcastle United, Crystal Palace


Tottenham Hotspur

It feels like the same old story with Tottenham so far this season. A new manager, a bunch of signings, and the same inconsistent form. They’ve already got one new face coming in January – DeAndre Yedlin who was signed from Seattle Sounders back in August – but Spurs’ owner Daniel Levy likes to spend a bit in the mid-season window and they could have a £20m budget to draw on.

They will hope to do better than in recent windows if they are to genuinely challenge for the Champions’ League – already looking unlikely.

What they need:

You could make an argument for Spurs needing improvement all over the pitch, with less than convincing showings both in front of goal and at the back.

Top priority however is likely to be a striker, with Emmanuel Adebayor falling out of favour, Roberto Soldado struggling to find the net on a consistent basis and Harry Kane too young to take all of the responsibility quite yet. Saido Berahino, who is thought to want a move away from the Hawthorns in January, is a possibility, though it is questionable whether the England U21 striker would provide the guaranteed goal return they’d be looking for.

Also linked with:

Aly Cissokho (Aston Villa); Jackson Martinez (Porto); Jay Rodriguez (Southampton); Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton)

Possible Outgoings:

Aaron Lennon -> Inter Milan, Stoke City


West Bromwich Albion

If results don’t improve soon for the West Midland’s club it may be that the primary new addition in January may well be another manager, and the question of whether Alan Irvine will get to spend any money the board may be willing to part with is yet to be seen.

The Baggies are at home to champions Man City and away at Stoke before the New Year, and results from these two games may force the owners’ hands.

What they need:

If Saido Berahino is lured away by Tottenham in January then they may well be looking at needing another striker, and Celtic’s Kris Commons is one potential signing after he rejected a new contract from the Scottish champions.

Joel Campbell

 

West Brom are also thought to be interested in 22-year old Arsenal forward Joel Campbell, who Arsene Wenger may be looking to offload in January.

Regardless, a new face at the Hawthorns could be just the boost they need as a end of season relegation battle seems more and more likely.

Possible Outgoings:

Saido Berahino -> Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool


West Ham United

Winston Reid

 

It doesn’t seem so long ago that Big Sam was on his way out of the Boleyn Ground, with his West Ham side even booed in victory on one occasion.

Disliked by the fans and failing to get the best of his side, the writing appeared to be on the wall, which is why it seems entirely incredulous that come Christmas Day 2014 West Ham will be sitting pretty in fourth spot.

The Hammers did some fantastic business in the summer – in particular the signings of Diafra Sakho, Enner Valencia and Alex Song on loan from Barcelona – and it is this success in the previous transfer window that means it is unlikely they will bring in anyone new during this one.

What they need:

West Ham are strong all over the pitch, scoring goals and keeping them out, so it is hard to pin point an area that needs improvement. Bolstering the squad to cover any potential injuries could be an option, and they’ll be losing Cheikhou Kouyate, Diafra Sakho and Alex Song to the African Cup of Nations.

The most important thing as far as Sam Alladyce is concerned will be tying Winston Reid to a long-term contract, for fear of losing him for nothing in the summer.

Also linked with:

Nicolas N’Koulou (Marsaille)

Possible Outgoings:

Winston Reid -> Arsenal, Liverpool

 

 

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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