A look at the January transfer window
The first half of the season is nearly complete and having navigated the tricky Christmas fixture logjam, Premier League managers will have the chance to bring fresh blood to their club in the January transfer window.
The ongoing impact of Covid-19 on Premier League squads and the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations adds a further dimension to the upcoming window, with many clubs desperate to strengthen in various positions.
We have taken a look at each Premier League club to analyse their needs and look at what they might do in the January transfer window.
Now could be the time for Arsenal to cut their losses with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang following his latest disciplinary indiscretion and it looks the perfect opportunity to get his huge pay packet off the wage bill.
If the former skipper does leave the Emirates, Mikel Arteta will be eager to ensure Arsenal’s proficiency in front of goal doesn’t suffer and a centre forward could be at the top of his January sales wish list.
Steven Gerrard has made a bright start to his career in the Villa Park dug-out and the January transfer window offers him the perfect opportunity to put his stamp on the Aston Villa squad.
The former Liverpool man appears to have plenty of reserves at the attacking end of the park so he may look to add to his defensive numbers, especially in the full-back position considering how essential they are to Gerrard’s preferred game plan.
It is also reported that the Villa gaffer may turn to his former club to try and acquire Joe Gomez, with the England international somewhat out of favour at Anfield.
Thomas Frank’s side have made a good fist of their first season in the top flight, but there will be a few worries at the Community Stadium that it could all end in tears.
The recent Omicron outbreak in their squad has highlighted they lack overall numbers and it would be no surprise if they slip into the relegation dogfight.
Braga full-back Francisco Moura is believed to be a target for the Bees, while 20-year-old Brazilian right-back Vanderson is thought to be keen on a switch to London in a £9.5million deal.
However, they may choose to cash in on Pontus Jansson, who is out of contract at the end of the season.
If Brighton want to meet their top-half ambition, for which they are a 5/4 chance in our Premier League odds, then they need to start turning draws into victories and that means finding some goals.
Despite a fine start to the season, they are amongst the lowest scoring teams in the division and need to source some crucial support for leading scorer Neal Maupay.
They have been linked with Blackburn forward Ben Brereton Diaz, who has hit 17 goals in the Championship so far this term, but an efficient business operation, they are unlikely to break the bank to get their man.
High wage earners Jurgen Locadia and Florin Andone are yet to cut the mustard at the Amex and could be set to depart the south coast to free up some funds, while the Seagulls could also do with strengthening at key areas including right-back and in the middle of the park.
Having broken their transfer record to sign Maxwel Cornet in the summer, it is unlikely those in charge of the Clarets’ purse strings will be keen to open their wallet again in the January transfer window.
Although a permanent fixture in the Premier League for some time, their stay in the top flight is hanging by a thread.
Manager Sean Dyche has already suggested new recruits will be few and far between and they may have to roll with the punches to try and stave off relegation, with the Lancashire outfit 10/11 for the drop.
The Blues looked to have found the right balance when looking the team to beat at the beginning of the season, but injuries to key personnel has made the last month tough for Thomas Tuchel.
Romelu Lukaku is yet to totally convince leading the forward line and Chelsea could choose to make a move for former talisman Eden Hazard.
Eden Hazard has had the same amount of injuries (14) as goals and assists (14) since leaving Chelsea for Real Madrid 🤕 pic.twitter.com/TNRvn4rTLH
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) December 10, 2021
However, to secure the Belgium international, who scored 85 goals in 245 appearances while at Stamford Bridge, they may have to withstand Real Madrid’s courtship of star centre-back Antonio Rudiger.
They will also be unable to recall Conor Gallagher from a season-long loan at Crystal Palace.
Gallagher has thrived for the Eagles this term earning international honours, but because he has played in over 50 per cent of Palace’s games he can’t return early to Stamford Bridge.
The Eagles have impressed in Patrick Vieira’s first season in a Premier League dugout and as mentioned above, they will be delighted to hang on to Gallagher until at least the end of the season.
It would be no surprise to see Palace keep their powder relatively dry in the January transfer window, with Vieira choosing next summer to make his mark in the transfer market.
Injuries to key personnel has exposed the lack of depth available to Rafa Benitez in the Goodison Park squad.
In particular, the Spanish gaffer has missed the goals of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and with Richarlison also absent for periods of the season he has been relying on Salomon Rondon to lead the forward line.
They are also still to find a long-term successor to ageing skipper Seamus Coleman having missed out on a plethora of targets in pre-season.
Having only spent £1.75m in the summer, it is difficult to see the Toffees flashing the cash, but they really need to bolster their numbers and add some talent to their dwindling squad in all positions.
Second-season syndrome has taken full force at Elland Road and things are in danger of spiralling out of control in West Yorkshire.
Although Marcelo Bielsa is adamant he prefers to work with a small squad, he may have no choice but to head to the January transfer market for supplies as injuries have decimated his side and ruled out many of his key personnel.
Another side in the hunt for Blackburn’s Brereton Diaz, they are less likely to be put off by Rovers’ £25m valuation and could be the side that snare their man from under Brighton’s noses.
The return to form of James Maddison is a boost for the Foxes, but they remain an inconsistent entity and were unceremoniously dumped from the Europa League when losing to Napoli on matchday six.
Being repecharged to the Europa Conference League may prove an unwanted consolation for Brendan Rodgers’ side as the action hots up in the second half of the season.
Summer signing Patson Daka is yet to fully convince at the King Power and it is no surprise to see Leicester linked to Swansea striker Joel Piroe and Real Madrid man Rodrygo in the January transfer window as they look to provide reliable support for Jamie Vardy.
Injury concerns at the back could also see Rodgers on the hunt for a centre-back having watched Jonny Evans limp off with injury in the game with Newcastle recently and Brentford’s Jansson has been rumoured to be one option the Foxes are keen on.
Jurgen Klopp has seen his Liverpool side return to the form that saw them land the Premier League title in 2019/20 and it would be no surprise to see them in the hunt for trophies on multiple footings at the back end of the season.
It will be interesting to see how Klopp plays this transfer window, with both Mo Salah and Sadio Mane due to depart to take part in the Africa Cup of Nations.
A lack of numbers in midfield has also been noted in the opening half of the season and the German may decide he wants to boost their numbers in the centre of the park.
Porto winger Luis Diaz has been one man they have been linked to, but one thing is for sure, Klopp will be eager to not see any of his squad leave Anfield in the January transfer window.
City rarely make moves in the January transfer window and it could be a similar story this time around.
Despite the worries about missing out on a summer a replacement for Sergio Aguero, Pep Guardiola’s side have adapted perfectly and are favourites to both defend their Premier League crown and land a first Champions League trophy.
A striker would still be nice, especially to call upon when the games come thick and fast at the business end of the season, but with momentum and confidence high in Manchester there is unlikely to be any real urgency to pull out the credit card this January.
Bolstering their midfield options could be Ralf Rangnick’s main priority for the January transfer window, with Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard likely to be allowed to leave Old Trafford when their contracts expire in the summer.
Declan Rice has been a long-time target for the Red Devils, but whether United are able to land a player of that quality in this window is yet to be seen. Red Bull Leipzig’s Amadou Haidara could be a more attainable option.
Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani both appear to be surplus to requirements in Manchester and could be shown the door in the new year as the Rangnick revolution looks certain to be televised.
Eddie Howe will be relishing the chance to spend some of the Saudi Arabian millions and add some much-needed quality to his struggling Newcastle squad.
Dele Alli has been rumoured to be an early target for Howe, but with the threat of relegating lingering over Tyneside, it will be interesting to see who is willing to make a move to the north east.
🗣 “He needs to leave…”
Dele Alli must leave Tottenham to “resurrect” his career, says former Spurs midfielder Jamie O’Hara.pic.twitter.com/kYb0qbBEJf
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) December 15, 2021
Lingard and Lille defender Sven Botman are others linked with the Magpies, but Newcastle supporters will be hoping for one or two marquee signings to ease their relegation worries.
Favourites for the drop in the Premier League relegation odds, whatever Dean Smith tries in the January transfer window might not be enough for the Canaries.
Both the joint-worst defence and lowest scorers in the league, things are looking bleak at Carrow Road.
The Canaries have improved since Smith’s arrival and are playing with much more intensity. However, Smith will be keen to start creating chances and somehow bring in some support for Teemu Pukki, whose goals could be Norwich’s main hope of survival.
The best place to look for Smith maybe abroad and Norwich’s sporting director Stuart Webber will be busy scouring the continent for a bargain, but having spent plenty of capital in the summer, it is yet to be seen how much brass will be available in this mid-season window.
Goals have been hard to come by for Southampton this season, and that situation is worsened with the club now facing an injury crisis in attack.
Che Adams, Armando Broja and Adam Armstrong have all limped off in recent weeks and Ralph Hasenhuttl may be forced to delve in the market for a forward man this winter.
However, they are another side not blessed with unlimited reserves in the bank and it may be the case that Hasenhuttl will simply have to just shuffle his pack accordingly and struggle through to the summer and hope Premier League status is preserved.
Saints are currently 15/2 for the drop.
Antonio Conte has not been shy in saying he isn’t impressed with the quality he has at his disposal in north London and it would be no surprise to see some wheeling and dealing at Spurs in the January transfer window.
With Harry Kane struggling for form they have lacked goals, with only Wolves scoring less than Spurs of those teams currently in the top half.
Conte will be keen to add some firepower in the hope of securing a top-four finish and Spurs are currently 10/3 to meet that goal.
A bit of finesse on a finish goes a long way, and this Lorenzo Insigne is just magic🔵🇮🇹pic.twitter.com/pKPcG3JVvs
— COPA90 (@Copa90) December 15, 2021
Lorenzo Insigne, who is out of contract at Napoli at the end of the season, is one possible target for Conte, while Dusan Vlahovic has alerted the attention of many Premier League clubs having reportedly turned down the highest contract in Fiorentina history.
Spurs could battle it out with Arsenal and Manchester United for the signature of the 21-year-old Serbia international, who has scored 15 goals in 17 appearances in Serie A so far this season.
It is unlikely the Hornets will go out and panic buy in the January transfer window, but it will be interesting to see if the Watford board hold their nerve and resist the urge to reach for the cheque book.
Almost certain to find themselves in a relegation scrap, Claudio Ranieri will be delighted if key forward men Ismaila Sarr and Emmanuel Dennis miss out on selection for the Africa Cup of Nations.
However, William Troost-Ekong will almost certainly be heading to Cameroon for the tournament, with Adam Masina likely to join him, and Watford may have to take a glance into the market to stockpile a few defensive options.
David Moyes’ side will be happy with the place they find themselves in, but it won’t harm to add some talent to their roster in the January transfer window.
Last season the new year acquisition of Jesse Lingard helped propel the Hammers to a top-six finish, and Moyes will be eager to deal with shrewdness once again.
Liverpool defender Nathaniel Phillips has been earmarked as a potential loan signing to nullify the loss of both Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna to injury, while the Hammers look close to securing a deal for Fiorentina’s Serbian defender Nikola Milenkovic.
The Londoners are also believed to be tracking Argentine forward Valentin Castellanos, who has been catching the eye in the MLS for New York City and he will provide an extra option at the business end of the field.
Following a slow start, Wolves have been one of the form teams of the past few months and there is little fluke about their place in the top 10.
They are evens to still be there at the end of the season, but that may depend on whether Wolves start finding the net with more regularity.
They are currently the lowest scoring team in the top half and whether that means a new striker or some more creative talent in midfield, it is likely Bruno Lage will have to act in the January transfer window.
View the latest Premier League odds
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication