One Position Every Premier League Club Needs to Strengthen in January
The January transfer window is right around the corner, and Premier League teams will all be working tirelessly to find the signing who can take their team to the next level.
Some teams are in desperate need of help in a specific area of the pitch, while others need about as much help as they can get to ensure this season doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
Let’s take a look at one position in which each team needs to strengthen this winter.
Arsenal – Central Midfield
Arsenal’s midfield has left a lot to be desired this season. They have lacked any real defensive steel, while they also haven’t offered much spark in attack either. The Gunners are crying out for a real box-to-box threat in January.
Granit Xhaka’s time at the Emirates Stadium could be up, and the same could be said for Mesut Özil, so there may be more than a few holes to fill for Arsenal.
Aston Villa – Striker
Wesley has struggled at times this season, but he has still been a permanent fixture in Aston Villa’s starting lineup because of the team’s lack of options in attack.
Dean Smith’s side are hovering perilously close to the relegation zone, so some more firepower in attack is certainly needed. Somebody to rotate with Wesley could be key to their chances of survival, because their current struggles in front of goal may prove to be their downfall.
AFC Bournemouth – Striker
Bournemouth are one of the most inconsistent sides around. Some days, they can be electric, but they can look completely out of their depth in the next game. They have looked poor in attack this season, so a fresh goal threat is needed.
Dominic Solanke is still yet to prove why Bournemouth spent a whopping £19m on him back in January 2019, so Joshua King and Callum Wilson need some more help. Eddie Howe’s side are crying out for a new dynamic.
Brighton – Central Midfield
Graham Potter strengthened his side with big money moves for Neal Maupay, Leandro Trossard and Adam Webster during the summer, but one area in which Brighton still look quite light is in central midfield.
Pascal Groß has not been at his best, while Yves Bissouma has struggled to impress. Dale Stephens and Davy Pröpper haven’t offered enough, while Aaron Mooy is also goalless since sealing his loan switch during the summer. Some excitement in the heart of the field is sorely needed.
Burnley – Right-Back
Burnley have some strong depth in defence, but their weakest position by far is at right-back. Matt Lowton looks past his best, while Phil Bardsley is 34 years old and approaching the end of his contract.
Defensive stability will be vital to Burnley’s push up the Premier League table, but that right side has looked exposed and vulnerable this year. A high-level replacement should be high on their wish list.
Chelsea – Left-Back
One of the biggest concerns for Frank Lampard has been his defence. Chelsea play some phenomenal attacking football, but they defend as though they have never even heard of the art.
Left-back has certainly been their weak spot. Neither Emerson nor Marcos Alonso have looked competent at the back, and opposition teams have just been picking them apart with terrifying ease. Some defensive reinforcements are vital, but the Blues’ efforts should be focused on left-back.
Crystal Palace – Striker
Have Crystal Palace’s strikers actually tried scoring goals? Christian Benteke and Connor Wickham have been about as unreliable as they come, and Jordan Ayew is hardly the most consistent forward around.
The Eagles’ resolute defence has helped them climb up the table, but that can’t last forever. They have one of the worst goal returns in the entire division, and that is not good enough for a team with slim hopes of Europa League qualification.
Everton – Centre-Back
Ever since Kurt Zouma returned to Chelsea during the summer, Everton have looked incredibly suspect at the back. Michael Keane and Yerry Mina have struggled to impress, and Mason Holgate perhaps hasn’t developed at the rate many would’ve hoped.
With no other options at their disposal, the Toffees desperately need some support at centre-back, whether that be on loan or on a permanent basis.
Leicester City – Centre-Back
So, we’re all in agreement that Leicester’s squad has been about as perfect as possible this year. However, if you had to pick one weakness in Brendan Rodgers’ squad, it would likely be their lack of depth at centre-back.
Çağlar Söyüncü has been brilliant, while 31-year-old Jonny Evans has still been impressive. However, behind them, you’ll find an ageing Wes Morgan and young Filip Benković – neither of whom really look capable of contributing to a title push this season.
Liverpool – Left-Back
Like Leicester, Liverpool have no need for any major additions in January. Having said that, a new left-back is a must, given Andy Robertson is their only senior player in the position.
The Scot has been forced to play through injuries as a result of their lack of depth, which is a recipe for disaster. Rotation is key to a side who are trying to compete on all fronts, but Jürgen Klopp is simply unable to do that right now.
Manchester City – Centre-Back
The injury to Aymeric Laporte early in the season has completely derailed Manchester City. They look vulnerable at the back, with Nicolás Otamendi, John Stones and stand-in Fernandinho all struggling without the Frenchman.
If they are to have any hope of retaining the league title, a new centre-back must be found soon. Pep Guardiola’s side look vulnerable for the first time in years, and City need to put a stop to that as soon as possible.
Manchester United – Central Midfield
Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are undoubtedly Manchester United’s preferred attackers, and there’s been occasions this season where injuries or poor form has led to them failing to win matches.
A forward is perhaps needed, but most United fans would likely argue that creativity in the centre of midfield is actually their biggest issue.
So often this season have United failed to create that decisive moment against teams they’re expected to beat, so someone who could unlock the door with that bit of genius is perhaps needed a little bit more.
Newcastle United – Central Midfield
Steve Bruce has effectively banished the trio of Henri Saivet, Jack Colback and Ki Sung-yueng, meaning his Newcastle United side don’t have too many options in midfield. Isaac Hayden, Jonjo Shelvey and young Sean Longstaff are his only options, and that isn’t good enough.
The Magpies are still reeling from the loss of Mohamed Diamé during the summer. They need a box-to-box powerhouse who is capable of tacking control of a game, and they just don’t have that right now.
Norwich City – Centre-Back
For all of Norwich’s youthful exuberance, they have been truly awful in defence on a number of occasions this season, and that’s exactly why they find themselves locked in a relegation battle.
Christoph Zimmermann’s return has given Norwich some more experience, but they are still lacking some composed heads at the back. Their decision-making has cost them too many points this year, so a veteran leader should be high on their agenda.
Sheffield United – Left Wing-Back
Sheffield United have stunned everyone with just how well they have taken to life in the top flight, but their squad still has some weaknesses. One of the main concerns will be at left wing-back, where Enda Stevens is the only real option.
Stevens cannot be relied upon to start every game this season, but that is currently what Chris Wilder is asking him to do. He’s a fantastic option, but every player needs a break from time to time.
Southampton – Centre-Back
Even if you ignore Southampton’s 9-0 loss to Leicester, the Saints would still have one of the worst defensive records in the league. Their centre-backs have been nothing short of shambolic, and relegation is on the horizon right now.
Something needs to change immediately, and that means one or two fresh faces at the back. Jannik Vestergaard, Maya Yoshida and Jan Bednarek are not doing enough, and the Saints cannot afford to stand by them for much longer.
Tottenham Hotspur – Striker
There’s no doubting Harry Kane’s status as one of the world’s finest pure strikers. He will be Tottenham’s talisman for as long as he wants to be, but that’s partly because they don’t have any other options.
Young Troy Parrott is nowhere near ready to cover for Kane just yet, so a backup striker must be high on José Mourinho’s wish list. An injury or a loss of form for Kane could be fatal for Spurs, and that just won’t do.
Watford – Striker
Watford have an absolutely atrocious record in front of goal. They simply cannot get the ball in the back of the net which, unsurprisingly, has left them in a relegation battle. There are plenty of frailties in his current Watford squad, but the lack of goals is a major concern.
Troy Deeney is back from injury and 18-year-old João Pedro is set to arrive in January, but Watford need more. They need all the help they can get right now, or else they could find their Premier League status slipping away.
West Ham United – Goalkeeper
Łukasz Fabiański is injured, Roberto has been utterly atrocious and David Martin is a 33-year-old third-choice goalkeeper. If West Ham’s goalkeeping options stay like that for the remainder of the season, they will soon be stuck in a real relegation battle.
The Hammers need someone reliable and experienced if they are to get themselves out of this mess. They currently don’t have that someone, but January will give them a chance to find him.
A return for Darren Randolph, perhaps?
Wolverhampton Wanderers – Centre-Back
With Willy Boly still recovering from a fractured leg, Wolves don’t have too many options at the back. Real Madrid loanee Jesús Vallejo is yet to prove his worth, so midfielders Leander Dendoncker and Romain Saïss have had to fill in.
For a team looking to compete both domestically and in Europe, that’s not going to cut it. Wolves need some more centre-backs if this season is going to be a success.