With December creeping around the corner, each club will be Writing their letters to Father christmas outlining their targets for the January window. This is a list of all the clubs going from 1st to last* and what they need. *Table as of 7AM, 28/11/17.
1st. Manchester City: Pretty easy start as they have a class squad and despite suffering injuries in almost every position have still only dropped 2 points scoring over two a game. It’s hard to really find a position they don’t have strength in, seeing as their squad is one of the most adaptable the league has ever seen. However, they could really struggle if Leroy Sané, last month’s POTM. My suggestion would be a Walcott-esque player with pace in abundance, and a decent final product as well as the ability to play on both wings. Iñaki Williams from Bilbao could also provide this effect, even if he is a little too good to be backup however with 6 goal contributions in 11 league starts this campaign.
2nd. Manchester United: Another club who have had a fantastic start to this campaign, and another who have extremely good depth. It is hard to find spots they are really lacking in, but they have struggled due to injuries to several players, Pogba being the most influential miss. There unfortunately isn’t anyone good enough to replace him however though, although Herrera does a decent enough job of it when Mourinho plays him. Their centre backs however are extremely injury prone, with Rojo just returning and both Jones and Bailly missing significant periods of the season so far. Smalling is just not technically good enough and is losing pace fairly quickly and Lindelöf needs at least a season out on loan to really hone his skills, but last weekend’s game vs Brighton showed he has potential to perform. Ajax’s 18 year old De Ligt and OCG Nice’s Malang Sarr are very young options who look set to be top players and could really provide some needed cover. P.s Lingard is terrible. Jose, you need someone better. Zaha would be perfect as a back up right winger but I seriously doubt he would leave Palace again, let alone join United.
3rd. Chelsea: A very mixed start for the club, especially after last season but they are only struggling in the title race because of how good the Manchester clubs have started the season. Willian has fallen out of sorts with Conte recently, but 3 goals in his last two appearances including a late equaliser at Anfield might have put him back in his good books. The sale of Nemanja Matic was idiotic. They probably got 15 million more than they should have, but they have a serious lack of depth also shipping out Loftus-Cheek and Chalobah. If Bakayoko gets injured again or If Kante does, then they don’t have a back up ready and waiting natural defensive midfielder. Zappacosta has been ok when called up and Drinkwater isn’t close to full match fitness, not joining up with the England squad because of it. Leicester’s Ndidi has been a class act in Leicester’s midfield with a staggering 4.2 tackles and 46 passes per game. If Kante gets injured then that pivot role he is renown for playing could easily be filled by the Nigerian.
4th. Arsenal: classic. Their most well rounded squad in a number of years but still can’t find a Central midfielder who can really anchor the role. Coquelin, Elneny and Ramsey still look like they need a dominating player alongside them to control the opposition attack. Xhaka is still just too inconsistent to be that man for an entire season, especially considering he gets penalised for fun. Again, this is a role that Ndidi could carry out as well as Southampton’s Oriol Romeu and Mario Lemina. All three are dominating midfielders who really control a Midfield. A partnership between them and Xhaka could be what Arsenal need to really challenge for the title.
5th. Tottenham: Oh…. Lamela still is a spurs player. Ready to make his comeback very soon but him and Sissokho are just not good enough to handle that right wing. A side that has struggled for goals because of Sissokho being bang average and Kane being their only option as a natural striker who isn’t Llorente. It would be a dream return for Spurs fans if Bale did return to the club, but he has recently stated his intention to stay a galactico for the rest of his career. Other viable options would be Spartak Moscow’s Quincy Promes, being very similar to Son, Inaki Williams and Lazio’s Anderson all players who could fit very well into Pochettino’s system. Hoffenheim’s Kramarić and Jovetić underwent renaissance’s last season and could both do better than Llorente, with the added bonus of being able to play in multiple positions. And I’m sure they would rather intermittently play for Spurs than Hoffenheim or Monaco. Both have been courted by multiple premier league clubs so a deal would need to be done fast.
6th. Liverpool: If it wasn’t for Salah then they would be dead in the water. The “we will beat you 6-5,” heavy metal Kloppite football just won’t win anything. He has best front 3 in the league and his philosophy of aggressive pressing, high up the pitch is truly revolutionary. However, with an average midfield and absolutely no defence they still need so spend big and not on more front 3’s, second choice defenders and average midfielders. They could do with spending some more of their loyalty points accumulated at Southampton and go for Romeu, Lemina, Bertrand and Hoedt but unfortunately all the eggs were placed in the Virgil Van Dijk basket last summer. Their tapping up, despite done by all teams in every transfer was good enough excuse for Southampton to keep hold of their ex-captain. I have a feeling their St.Marys card might have been declined. Keane might be looking to jump out of the burning building at Everton and would certainly be a great signing. Lazio’s Stefan De Vrij is a very accomplished Centre back and would also fit very well into their team, but still anyone they sign is a poor man’s Van Dijk. He is tailor-made for the Anfield team.
7th. Burnley……..BURNLEY! What a start at Turf Moor. They have taken points from almost everyone from the top ten and I don’t know if there really is anyone they need. Dyche is turning championship level players into a side pushing for Europe. Any striker who isn’t called Jonathan Walters is having a great season. What they need is depth and wide midfielders because their squad is absolutely tiny. If Brady and Gudmundsson get injured they have little beyond the two.
8th. Watford: They have it made in attack, especially with Richarlison, the golden boy who came out of nowhere. However their defence is a different story with only 4 teams in the league conceding more than them. They have the players but they haven’t performed as well as expected as of yet. Zeegelar has been a fantastic acquisition, and Kabasele is finding his feet very well but another Centre back would do them a world of good, especially one who can pass out from the back and play the ball out wide like Marco Silva likes. Several players spring to mind, Jack Stephens has not been given any time under Manuel Pellegrino after covering for Van Dijk exceptionally at the end of last season and deserves game time in the Premier league. Loaning out Lindelöf would be a fantastic move for all parties involved. He needs game time, United need to give him game time and he would be a perfect fit for Watford.
9th. Brighton: Another team who made fantastic business in the summer but are weak in several positions. They have two fantastic keepers and centre backs but have trouble with their wide players. Knockaert hasn’t had a season like last, earning two man of the match awards but being fairly poor in several games. Bong has been very good since getting slightly more regular game time but they are without a top left back. Hemed and Murray have earned important points inbetween injuries and suspensions but neither have really performed on a regular basis. Nicolai Jørgensen would a super find for them as he is still in the goals this season after really breaking out last term in the Eredivisie.
10th. Southampton: A squad with an abundance of players far too good to be in tenth. Before their rout of Everton on Sunday it would have been simply, get a striker and sell Shane Long. Get a right mid and sell Tadić. Get a goalkeeper and sell Fraser Forster but in the next month all of this could change. Pellegrino has made a huge change it looks like but only time can tell. A new keeper is still desperately needed with Forster out of confidence and the fans out of patience with him and his mistakes. This would be a huge step up for Jack Butland, who is sat behind the constantly underperforming Stoke defence and if he was behind the quality of Bertrand, Van Dijk, Hoedt and cedric week in week out, then saints would barely concede. Other options include Tolouse’s up and coming keeper Alban Lafont who looks the real deal and Gerónimo Rulli.
11th. Huddersfield: Their defence has not got the credit it deserves. Simply because they were expected to do so much better after their fantastic early start. They have a serious lack in quality wide players however and could easily improve on Kachunga, Ince and Van La Parra. It would definitely be better to go shopping abroad for more obscure players with pace and power. Ajax’s wonder kid, David Neres has 11 goal contributions in as many games, he would be perfect and cheap. Making huge waves in the Dutch league. Oleg Shatov would be a decent option on the cheap to play on the left side of that 4-2-3-1, along with Borussia Mönchengladback’s American Fabian Johnson.
12th. Leicester: Defenders. They just need defenders. Their midfield and attack has been class this season but yet again their defence is absolutely awful. Schmeichel has been far too busy. He has been amazing but still conceding 19 goals. Maguire has been the only posotive and it is maybe the time that Morgan embraced more of a club captain role than an active captain because since they won the title, he hasn’t been right. Toulouse’s Christopher Jullien could be the answer, a fantastic stopper.
13th. Bournemouth: Always difficult to tell because of their fantastic team dynamic. As Jermain Defoe has found out. Apart from a left winger as cover for their injury prone team there isn’t much they can change without affecting the morale. They would be best off going for someone Engish young, and with huge potential. In that vein, Sullay Kaikai and Josh Murphy could work for the South Coast club.
14th. Newcastle: Easy one. They just need a striker and one who will score them goals. Cedric Bakambu, the Congolese striker currently at Villarreal is still scoring goals despite little interest from any top clubs. It would be a real coup and a signing who could adapt to Newcastle very quickly with the ability to fulfil any role of a modern striker.
15th. Stoke: Luke Shaw would certainly be a good buy because they need a better wingback then Pieters and he certainly needs a new club. Still a good player even if he has been discarded by Mourinho. They could do with another attacking mid with Bojan in Spain and Sobhi getting more game-time than his performances deserve. Praet would suit them to a tee, and is certainly better than Sampdoria. Three assists and no goals this season do not reflect how good he has been. This would be a massive coup.
16th. Everton: Where to start????! First of all they need a manager straight away. Big Sam is touted to be their first choice and he would easily be tempted to Merseyside. They need a striker because Niasse has proved again and again that he is not quite there even if his recent performances have been good. They are flooded with number tens. Bas Dost is ageing and technically an awful player. But he scores goals and that’s what they need. Sturridge would also be a good signing from across the city. He needs game-time badly if he wants to claim his spot in the world cup team and is desperate to get back in the goals.
17th. West Brom: Another club in need of goals. Maybe Rondon will perform in the second half of the season this time. A very purple patch player but Rodriguez is looking like a poor signing, especially for 12 million. They are set up like a Tony Pulis defence and once they recruit a new manager, their defence should hold up their attack. Jørgensen from Feyenoord would also fit in very well at West Brom, with the ability to do everything required in the Premier League with physicality for days. Bas Dost would also work very well as a target man to staple their attack together.
18th. West Ham: Another club absolutely screwed in need of a new team. If they could undo their transfer window, they would. Fonte and Ogbonna are looking past it and it’s another club that Jack Stephens could get game-time at. If it means taking on a youngster for just half the season, then West Ham should do it. They have bought short term solutions that, with the exclusion of Hernandez have had little positive impact or a deeply negative one. Fonte and Arnautovic really epitomise their poor policy. Kostić from Hamburg could really provide something as well as Daniel Sturridge who would slot in very well.
19th. Swansea: They are in big trouble with Palace gaining points so quickly on them. Another destination that Luke Shaw could go to with Olsson below par. Renato Sanches has been used completely wrong. They needed a starter player not an impact sub which is what Renato does best. A loan move for Jack Wilshere providing he stays fit could do a world of good for all parties involved as he is rediscovering the form that had him pegged as one of the world’s next best players all those years ago. Bringing Joe Allen back could be another fantastic move.
20th. Palace: They are dealing with Benteke’s injury better than anyone expected. Buying in another striker could really do them well. Townsend could move back to left wing and they wouldn’t be forced to play Schlupp on the left wing every week. Another club sturridge could do well at. Surprisingly I think Shane Long would be a really good buy as well. Southampton would ask for pretty much nothing for him and even if he doesn’t score too many, his presence is what does it for most teams. He hasn’t scored in the best part of a year for club or country but can score for relegation threatened teams. Niasse could do a similar job with his pace and strength.