What player should your club sign in January?
Arsenal Bournemouth Burnley Chelsea Crystal Palace Everton Hull City Leicester Liverpool Manchester City Manchester United Middlesborough Southampton Stoke Sunderland Swansea Tottenham Watford West Brom West Ham
Posted by Luke McKenzie | Published on November 2, 2016
If you were to ask Arsenal fans last season what position they need to upgrade the most, nine times out of ten they would have said a striker. But this season I don’t think that’s the case, Monreal for me seems to be the weak link in this Arsenal side so evidently, So in my opinion, Arsenal should go after Benfica Left-Back Álex Grimaldo. Although he’s only played 19 first team games in his career, He’s rapidly shown why Barcelona were stupid to sell him for so little. Grimaldo is comfortable on the ball, very good going forward, but can also defend which is rare in full backs.
Bournemouth are a team that only buy players that are more or less know how to play Eddie Howe’s style. Going forward they’re excellent but I do worry for them in the centre-back area. Cook and Francis are forming a good partnership, However, Francis isn’t a natural centre-half. While It’s working now, In the long run, it could become problematic. This may seem a surprising choice, but I think Eddie Howe should look at Wolves captain Danny Batth. He’s a leader, no-nonsense, old school defender, will put it into row z if need be. It’s a risky transfer but I think it would be a clever buy.
If I was Sean Dyche, I’d be concerned with the full back area the most. You have to ask if Lowton and Ward are good enough to keep performing for 38 games which I don’t believe they are. Joe Bryan to me sticks out as a player Dyche would take a chance on. Primarily Bryan is a left wing back, but obviously, he’s adapted to more a left-back role. He may not be as good defensively as Ward, but Bryan is only 23 and that aspect of his game could be improved under Dyche.
Alessio Romagnoli was heavily linked with Chelsea in the summer and it’s clear to see that Conte isn’t 100% happy with his current squad. Although Chelsea have found their mojo and have kept four straight clean sheets but I’m still not convinced with Cahill at the back. Romagnoli would add a sense of assurance to Chelsea and is a big upgrade on Cahill and would set Chelsea up for this and next season very nicely. Christensen, Zouma, Romagnoli and Luiz sounds appealing doesn’t it?
Suggesting Left-Backs seems to be the common theme in this article but with Papa Souare suffering that awful injury after his car crash, Palace haven’t really got a stand out player In that position and seem quite vulnerable. Dalbert from Nice is a like for like replacement but an upgrade to Souare, slightly more physical and better defensively as well as going forward. Dalbert only joined Nice from Vitória de Guimarães in the summer so Pardew would have some convincing to do.
It’s not a secret that without Lukaku, Everton are not as good. Their style of play changes and the replacement in Kone isn’t good enough for a club with top four ambitions. Jonathas is a player who could have easily done better than going to the Russian league with Rubin Kazan and I believe that he would be great competition for Lukaku as well lets face it, Lukaku’s position in the team is not under threat by any means and good healthy competition from someone who is good enough is ideal. Jonathas is kind of like Lukaku in a sense he can finish, hold the ball up, quick and also good in the air. Would be shrewd business from Everton in my opinion.
You could pick any position in Hull’s team that needs strengthening, they just don’t have any standout quality other than Snodgrass and Robertson. In the middle of the park, they seem lackluster, no driving, powerhouse of a midfielder. Which is why I think Bradley Johnson would be a good fit for Mike Phelan. He’s an all round central midfielder, he can pass, shoot, tackle. It was a surprise to me in the first place that Norwich let him go and he’s one of those players that are too good for the Championship but didn’t quite set their mark in the Premier League.
Danny Simpson was phenomenal for Leicester last season, that’s not in question. But is he good enough for a club that seems to be prioritising the Champions League? I get Ranieri will feel a sense of entitlement towards Simpson but I think Zappacosta would be a huge upgrade on him. He’s one of Italy’s most underrated fullbacks who can also operate as a wingback. One of the standout players in Italy’s poor Under 21 euro’s campaign.
Going forward, Liverpool are unstoppable at times, but then defensively I just look at Lovren and think, He’s another Skrtel. What I mean by that is, yeah he’ll score the odd goal from a corner, but my god, when it comes to defending, he’s an accident waiting to happen. It’s almost as if he thinks too much and over complicates simple stuff. Anyway, as you can tell, Centre-half is a position Liverpool look vulnerable in and Niklas Süle is a name Klopp will know well from his time in Germany. He’s a bit like Robert Huth but more advanced with his passing but just blocks, clears everything. However, despite being 6ft3, his aerial ability needs to be worked on.
Valencia arguably has the two best young wingbacks In world football right now in Gaya and Cancelo and I’m sure Pep is looking at both of these players as I believe City are lacking in quality in the full-back/wing-back area. I think the left side is weaker than the right side, Kolarov is a liability and isn’t what I would call a ‘Pep left back.’ Pep likes his full backs to stay high up the pitch and outnumber the other team’s defence. The reason he pushed Sagna and Kolarov into the middle is because they don’t have the pace to play wide and get up and down either flank. Unless your name is Lahm or Alaba, the pushing fullbacks into the middle won’t work. Gaya is a potential world-class player, he’s very similar to Bellerin as in he loves to attack and is extremely quick to he can nullify his mistakes via pace.
While United team wise are not the best in the world and aren’t in the top four best teams in England, their brand is still one of the, if not the biggest in the world. Bailly looks an absolute steal for them so far but his partners have been disappointing, Smalling isn’t good enough for Manchester United in my opinion and Blind isn’t a natural centre back so to me they’re light in that area. Mourinho could use his relationship with Varane to bring him to Old Trafford. Varane is tipped to be the best CB in world football but his time at Real Madrid has been odd, He’s not yet broken through to be first choice as everyone expected. His development has somewhat stalled in the last year or so. Maybe a change of scenery would get the best out of him?
On paper, Boro’s team should be doing slightly better than what it currently is. They’re not scoring enough goals, they have the creative players and the wingers to create chances but is Negredo the right type of striker for Karanka? In his 4231 system, it needs more of a poacher that will stay in the box and finish the chances off, which is why I have gone for Sergio León from Osasuna. He reminds me of Lucas Perez and Ruben Castro as he seems to improve dramatically late on in his career. It’s a name not many people will know, but it’s a name worth taking a risk on.
Southampton have very good squad depth and although this may seem controversial but I look at Steven Davis and think could he be improved? I thought Ward-Prowse would have cemented himself in the team by now but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Vincent Koziello would add real quality to this Southampton side. At the age of 21, he’s better than Davis, Ward-Prowse, and Clasie in my opinion. He also worked under Puel at Nice last season where he had his breakthrough season. Logically speaking, It really wouldn’t surprise me if this transfer happened.
Spurs don’t have any weak links In their side at all, probably the best squad in the league, so what player could they possibly target? an attacking midfielder must be the priority for Spurs. Eriksen doesn’t seem his usual self and without him who do they have to make them tick? Calhanoglu would be my choice. Undoubtedly the best free kick taker in the world and that right foot would be a deadly weapon for Harry Kane. maybe not as good as Eriksen but he’d push Eriksen that’s for sure.
Stoke have added some top quality into the midfield with the signings of Allen and Imbula, but they’re not forming a partnership as Allen is being used in a more advanced role, leaving Imbula to partner Whelan or Adam. Daniel Wass from Celta Vigo would be a smart move from Mark Hughes, He can play in numerous positions but has found his best position in the middle of the park. The Danish international has an absolute wand of a right foot, his short passing is meh but long passing is great, similar to Imbula in many ways.
A lot like Hull, Sunderland have many many areas in which needs upgrading, manager included. Anyway, Sunderland haven’t replaced M’Villa and he was a huge part to why they stayed up last season. The man Moyes should look at is David Zurutuza from his former club Sociedad. He would bring that sense of security to the back four by just sitting in front of them. Okay, he doesn’t bring style and classiness that M’Villa has but he’s a player that will roll his sleeves up and get stuck in and judging by Sunderland’s start to the season, they’re going to need nine of them.
When Swansea sold Ashley Williams to Everton in the summer, many feared for them going into the season, especially as they haven’t replaced him yet. Mawson looks a good buy, but the others, for example, Amat, Fernandez, and van der Hoorn don’t look convincing at all. Given that Swansea’s manager and owners are American, It would make sense for them to go after John Brooks. He’s young, commanding, surprisingly has a good long pass on him and more importantly, is a leader.
Watford have a decent squad with not any real stand out weak links, the only position Mazzarri would be worrying about is the central midfield role if Roberto Pereyra or Capoue gets injured. Riccardo Saponara of Empoli would be a very good signing for Watford, He’s a goal scoring, creative midfielder who I’m surprised didn’t leave in the summer after his season in Serie A. The Pozzo family has a good relationship with Empoli and we could see Saponara in the Premier League very soon. If they become desperate, Watford can just recall Sven Kums from his loan at Udinese.
It’s very evident that West Brom are lacking creativity in the middle of the park, They have a very defensive set-up and a team that doesn’t have that player who can unlock a defence with a pass or that can chip in with goals to help out Rondon. My Pick for Tony Pulis’ side is Ivelin Popov of Spartak Moscow, he’s quite well known around the world for being the guy that’s never really tested himself in the big leagues. He’s a player that likes to run at the defence, play through balls and looks for the killer pass.
West Ham are short on right backs and Sam Byram is the best in that position and he’s not a natural right back. Arbeloa can come in and do a job but he’s not good enough to start week in week out. Spurs’ Kieran Trippier would be a good addition to West Ham’s squad, he’s a bit time player at Spurs and I reckon would jump at the opportunity to join West Ham as their first choice right back.