With the January transfer window in full swing, it is crunch time for clubs who need to strengthen their squad and set themselves up for the rest of the season. Here I will take a look at each of the 20 Premier League clubs and see who needs who.
Positions they need to improve: Arsenal have a few problem areas they need to address, particularly with the imminent losses of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. With the three at the back system they are criminally light defensively so one or even two centre backs wouldn’t go amiss. They could probably also do with a big midfield general and some more proven talent in wide areas.
Potential players they could sign: Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace), Danilo Pereira (Porto)
Positions they need to improve: Brighton have struggled to score goals consistently enough this season, despite Glenn Murray and Pascal Gross chipping in with big goals. I think the obvious way to improve this Brighton side is to add a proven goalscorer, a player who can lead from the front and keep you up with his goals.
Potential players they could sign: Matej Vydra (Derby), Alfred Finnbogason (Augsburg), Danny Ings (Liverpool)
Positions they need to improve: Bournemouth have plenty going forward and can cause teams all sorts of problems, but defensively they have been shambolic this campaign. They recruited well in the summer with Nathan Ake and Asmir Begovic filling gaps but there is still a lack of quality there. They could also do with an anchor in midfield to offer a bit more protection to that defence.
Potential players they could sign: Calum Chambers (Arsenal), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Pontus Jansson (Leeds)
Positions they need to improve: Burnley have been incredible this season, claiming scalps over big teams and sky rocketing into 7th place in the league; so surely there aren’t many ways they can improve? The strikers are playing well and they have plenty of depth going forward, while defensively they’ve been basically impeccable. Maybe some depth at the back would be helpful if Mee or Tarkowski got injured.
Potential players they could sign: Liam Moore (Reading), Lamine Kone (Sunderland), Albert Adomah (Aston Villa)
Positions they need to improve: Chelsea’s starting XI is as good as anyone’s in the league but once you scratch beneath the surface their squad does show signs of weakness. I think they need another creative player out wide with fears of Hazard departing in the summer, they also need a defender with David Luiz appearing out of favour.
Potential players they could sign: Dries Mertens (Napoli), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Kostas Manolas (Roma)
Positions they need to improve: Crystal Palace have improved drastically under Roy Hodgson but still lack goals when Christian Benteke isn’t firing. They need another striker to rely on but above all their biggest task will be to keep hold of prized asset Wilfried Zaha. They could maybe do with an upgrade of their goalkeeper and right back too.
Potential players they could sign: Oumar Niasse (Everton), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Richie De Laet (Aston Villa)
Positions they need to improve: They have a distinct lack of depth going forward but Sam Allardyce is addressing the issue with the signing of Cenk Tosun from Besiktas. They also have next to no pace in wide areas and need to improve there, they could maybe do with another defender too because Ashley Williams is rubbish.
Potential players they could sign: Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Miguel Layun (Porto), Scott Dann (Crystal Palace)
Positions they need to improve: I think Huddersfield need more players who can offer a goal threat from all over the pitch; Depoitre and Mounie have done okay but the likes of Tom Ince and Elias Kachunga haven’t helped the cause. Defensively they are solid but the lack of creativity is hurting their hopes of staying up so an attacking midfielder or a winger might be needed for David Wagner in January.
Potential players they could sign: Aaron Lennon (Everton), Marcel Sabitzer (RB Leipzig), Lewis Holtby (Hamburg)
Positions they need to improve: There is a major fear that Leicester will lose Riyad Mahrez this window so if that happens they will have to replace him. Leicester’s transfer policy has been okay the last few windows but it would look like the best case scenario this January for Leicester will be to keep hold of their star players. If they can keep Kasper Schmeichel, Harry Maguire, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy they will be fine, but there’s a chance they could lose 2-3 of them.
Potential players they could sign: Leon Bailey (Leverkusen), Winston Reid (West Ham), Lucas Ocampos (Marseille)
Positions they need to improve: Having already signed Virgil Van Dijk and addressed the major defensive issue at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp will now have to look to replace the club’s talisman Philippe Coutinho after his £146m move to Barcelona. The club have made certain targets clear but the direct replacement of Coutinho isn’t the be-all-and-end-all. They also have a goalkeeper issue that needs to be addressed.
Potential players they could sign: Jack Butland (Stoke), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid)
Positions they need to improve: Manchester City have been beyond brilliant this season and quite frankly they don’t need anything drastic to improve their side. They are playing some of the best football this league has ever seen and with Pep Guardiola at the helm, they look set to dominate English football for a few years. With that in mind, I think they should look to the future and sign some young talent to add to their already stellar squad depth. They might just add one more world class player to rub it in, however.
Potential players they could sign: Harry Maguire (Leicester), Jean Seri (Nice), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Positions they need to improve: Manchester United are playing catch-up to their city rivals and to really get closer to them, they need a couple more additions. The one position they are crying out for is an out-and-out winger, someone who can stick to the touchline and put in dangerous deliveries for the strikers. I think United could also do with a left back because Luke Shaw seems out of favour and Ashley Young isn’t a defender.
Potential players they could sign: Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan), Lucas Moura (PSG), Jose Gaya (Valencia)
Positions they need to improve: Newcastle need goals, they have a solid system in place with Rafael Benitez in charge but goals are few and far between. Dwight Gayle does a job but isn’t the answer to their prayers going forward as they look to progress up the league. They need a marquee name up front and with talks of a possible takeover on the horizon, Newcastle could be in for a spending spree either now or in the summer.
Potential players they could sign: Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Kevin Volland (Leverkusen), Andre Silva (AC Milan)
Positions they need to improve: To say there is a lack of goals in this side would be the biggest understatement of the season. They have Charlie Austin but he has struggled for consistency and Shane Long scores about once every year. They could also do with some creativity to help alongside Dusan Tadic and Nathan Redmond but I think problems within the club lie a bit deeper than the squad; the management choice just seems all wrong. They should probably look for a replacement for Van Dijk.
Potential players they could sign: Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Javier Hernandez (West Ham), Diego Reyes (Porto)
Positions they need to improve: Mark Hughes has had a nightmare start to the season and nobody really looks like they’re fit to play at this level. The fact is that they have talented players and a few promising signings might give the whole club a boost. Ideally they need a right back, a striker and a number 10 because as good as Xherdan Shaqiri is, he cannot do it alone.
Potential players they could sign: Mathieu Debuchy (Arsenal), Alassane Plea (Nice), Anderson Talisca (Besiktas)
Positions they need to improve: Swansea are in real trouble, they have a spineless defence, toothless attack and next to no creativity in their midfield. Renato Sanches hasn’t shown anything as of yet and the likes of Tammy Abraham and Wilfried Bony have struggled to score on a regular basis. With that being said both are good enough and I don’t think out and out strikers are the big problem area.
Potential players they could sign: Lazar Markovic (Liverpool), Fernando Foristieri (Sheffield Wednesday), Curtis Davies (Hull City)
Positions they need to improve: When Harry Kane is fit Spurs don’t need anything else going forward and I think Fernando Llorente is solid enough to be a backup. They’ve also got three very solid centre backs and good depth in the full back areas. One suggestion could possibly be to get more depth in wide areas because I don’t see the likes of Moussa Sissoko as adequate enough replacements if Son is out.
Potential players they could sign: Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid), Inaki Williams (Athletic Bilbao), Julian Brandt (Leverkusen)
Positions they need to improve: After such a bright start to the season under Marco Silva, Watford are starting to fall apart in recent months and the reason for this isn’t really clear, their defence isn’t awful, they have a solid midfield and a few goal threats including their star man Richarlison. I think they may want to look towards signing a new keeper because Gomes has many a mistake in him, they might also look at a new striker for if Deeney doesn’t fire regularly.
Potential players they could sign: Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus), Josip Ilicic (Fiorentina), Abel Hernandez (Hull City)
Positions they need to improve: Alan Pardew will have the obvious issue of a lack of goals, Salomon Rondon is a good player but he only has three goals this season so a new centre forward has to be a priority for the Baggies. Defensively they are almost there but I think they need to look at getting a new right back because Craig Dawson is ideally a centre half so he is being played out of position.
Potential players they could sign: Jurgen Locadia (PSV), Artem Dzyuba (Zenit), Moses Odubajo (Hull City)
Positions they could improve: With Javier Hernandez and Diafra Sakho likely to leave in this window, West Ham will surely be in the market for a striker yet again. They cannot rely on Andy Carroll over the course of a season and they have plenty of creativity behind. That is priority number one for David Moyes’ side but I think he may also look for some defensive depth.
Potential players they could sign: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea), Liam Moore (Reading), Moussa Dembele (Celtic)