With so much to play for in the Premier League for and below the title race, you can guarantee that more clubs than not will loosen their pursestrings before February arrives.
Bearing that in mind, we have decided to assess which player each of the 20 Premier League teams should direct their resources towards signing this month.
Arsenal: Emiliano Buendia
Ever since Mikel Arteta has frozen out Mesut Ozil from his first-team, Arsenal have lacked that one final pass in the final-third that rips open the opponents defence.
With the imminent departure of the German playmaker and free summer signing Willian yet to prove himself in an Arsenal shirt, Arteta has a real problem in his hands. The recent emergence of Emile Smith-Rowe must have given the Spaniard a sigh of relief but he cannot go dependant on the youngster for the rest of the season, particularly after such a poor start.
— FootTheBall (@FootTheBall) January 12, 2021
Arsenal need that creative spark in midfield and Emi Buendia is the best man who fits the bill for The Gunners.
Emiliano Buendia had the second most key passes per minutes last season in the Premier League, only behind Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne. The 24-year old Argentine playmaker has all the attributes that Arteta needs for his system and would certainly solve half of Arsenal’s problems.
Aston Villa: Alejandro Gomez
Aston Villa under Dean Smith have made a terrific start to the season, especially considering the fact that they escaped relegation by a meagre point last season. The Villans like the top teams in the league, have a settled starting 11 and some would argue that they do not exactly need a new signing.
Although, with Ross Barkley currently struggling with an on-going injury and with his loan spell coming to an end in the summer, Dean Smith will need to address that position.
Avoiding relegation by a meager point,
Now exceeding all sorts of expectations
Here's a look at how the tables have turned in less than 6 months#AstonVilla #AVFC #PremierLeague @AVFCOfficial @astonvilla @AstonVilla_USA https://t.co/XfhbrJmotj
— FootTheBall (@FootTheBall) January 13, 2021
One player that would fit perfectly into that role is Alejandro Gomez of Atalanta, who has just 6 months left on his current contract. Gomez has embodied Atalanta during his six years at the club, taking them from relegation candidates to title contenders in half a decade.
Atalanta and Papu Gomez have undoubtedly been one of the greatest love stories in recent history. The unbreakable bond between the Argentine and the Italian club has somehow been penetrated, with rumours rife of a physical altercation between Gomez and coach Gian Piero Gasperini.
With Jack Grealish currently playing out wide for Dean Smith’s side, the idea of Gomez and Grealish interchanging positions for 90 minutes would be a dangerous proposition for opposition defences.
Brighton and Hove Albion: Ivan Toney
Brighton on paper might not seem a team who are struggling in attack. Graham Potter’s men have scored 21 goals from their 17 outings so far this season, averaging 1.2 goals per match which is the 13th best in the league.
Although, the underlying stats suggests a whole different dimension in that regard. Brighton this season have averaged just 3.6 shots on target per match, which is the fifth lowest in the league. Also, The Seagull’s have missed a mammoth 21 big chances in the league which is extremely painful for smaller teams.
Not the result we wanted yesterday but happy to get my 100th career goal. Actually proud of this achievement pic.twitter.com/Uv5V2aQT27
— Ivan Toney (@ivantoney24) October 28, 2020
Neal Maupay has been their highest goal scorer with 6 goals but it’s evident that they do need another top class centre-forward. One striker whom Brighton should consider is Ivan Toney.
Toney had netted 49 goals in two years for Peterborough and has hit the ground running at Brentford with 16 in 20 Championship matches for Brentford after replacing Ollie Watkins who signed for Aston Villa in a £33million deal.
Burnley: Joshua Dasilva
Ever since Burnley lost Jeff Hendricks on a free to Newcastle United, the Clarets have lacked steel in their midfield which used to be the epitome of this Sean Dyche’s Burnley.
This lack of steel has been evident since Burnley are just 5 points above relegation places, in contrast to last season where they finished in the top half. A perfect signing for the men in Turf Moor would be Joshua Dasilva from Brentford.
Great result and performance from the boys. First domestic semi-final in the clubs history.. Merry Christmas to you all pic.twitter.com/S3r778m12k
— Joshua Dasilva (@joshdasilva_) December 23, 2020
Dasilva is a rare breed of footballer who turned his back on a Premier League club to forge a career for himself in the Championship.
Dasilva scored 10 goals last season. And he already has four and three assists this term.
Dasilva is completing 2.3 successful dribbles per game, 2.3 key passes per game and 2.3 shots per game, showing just how adept he is at carrying the ball and then making decisions in the final third that lead to chances.
Chelsea: Declan Rice
Very few would argue that Chelsea are just an injury away to N’Golo Kante from totally collapsing this season.
Frank Lampard does not have an out-and-out defensive midfielder who would do all the dirty work for him that the rest of his midfielders cannot.
Chelsea have been linked with Declan Rice ever since Lampard took charge of the blues and no doubt is still being heavily linked to Stamford Bridge.
The Daily Mirror suggests that he’d favour a move to Chelsea over Man United if the opportunity came along.
Chelsea are still considering Declan Rice as their main target – #CFC are now working to sell players then will try again to sign him.
West Ham insist they won’t sell Rice on next days and “he’s gonna stay”. Not easy deal – but still on. #Chelsea #WHUFC #transfers
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 28, 2020
Ferdinand also believes Rice’s “wish” would be to return to Stamford Bridge, having had a spell in the Blues’ academy earlier in his career.
“I don’t think he goes this window, I think he stays there for the remainder of the season. I don’t think he’s the kind of kid who is going to push to leave right now,” Ferdinand said on his YouTube channel.
He added: “Good luck to him. I think it’s inevitable he will go but I think – if I’m being realistic – he will go in the summer and I think it would be to Chelsea if he had his wish.”
Crystal Palace: Darnell Fisher
Roy Hodgson is somewhat in the middle of a crisis right now at Selhurst Park. The former England manager has been hit by a number of injuries, especially in defence.
To add to these current woes, as many as 14 players are out of contract for the Eagles in the summer, leading to a real dilemma here for Hodgson.
One place where he can start to plan for his rebuild is defence and who better to sign than the one grabbing all the headlines (right and wrong) in the Championship. Yes, it’s Darnell Fisher.
Preston North End defender Darnell Fisher is clearly Premier League material and Roy Hodgson must have surely taken notice of the fullback, who is also out of contract in the summer. Quite a DEAL!
Everton: Ismaila Sarr
The Toffees under Carlo Ancelotti have performed exceptionally this season. The only thing that would be worrying the fans at Goodison Park is the fact that Everton have clearly struggled without their talisman James Rodriguez.
The Colombian international was purchased this summer for a cut-price deal and has been a revelation ever since. But in the matches that he has been absent due to injuries, Everton have glaringly struggled.
— Everton (@Everton) January 12, 2021
Ancelotti surely must have taken notice about this and should be planning to bring in someone and perform in the Colombians absence. Ismaila Sarr of Watford seems like the perfect candidate who was linked all summer with Liverpool only to put stay at Vicerage Road.
Ismaila Sarr is your traditional winger with raw pace and decent crossing ability and that is what the Toffees need either from the start or from the bench, whenever Rodriguez is not available.
Fulham: Wout Weghorst
Fulham are struggling badly in the league right now and not much is going right for them currently, particularly in the strikers department.
Aleksandar Mitrovic has been frozen out by Scott Parker in recent matches due to the Serbians poor form and the Cottagers do not have another recognized centre-forward.
VfL Wolfsburg would be prepared to let Wout Weghorst go in January if a suitable offer comes along, according to Sport Bild.
Weghorst has previously admitted that Tottenham were interested in him in the summer, and the London side could reignite their interest in the striker when the transfer window opens in January.
A jam-packed #TOTFUL presser.
Scott's words are here:
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) January 12, 2021
“I can be honest and say I knew there was interest in me. With Tottenham, it was serious. I was a candidate. Of course, something like that occupies you. It’s also a confirmation that I’m on the right track,” Weghorst told Kicker in October and added:
“I’ve always said that in the end, it has to be right for all parties. That wasn’t the case. This is why I stayed in Wolfsburg with all my love. At the end of the transfer window, I was glad that it was over. My family is happy to stay in Wolfsburg as well.
“Nevertheless, the Premier League is still a dream for me. Two years ago, I decided to play for VfL instead of West Ham United.”
Leeds United: Christian Eriksen
Leeds United have been a joy to watch in the Premier League this season, just because of their sheer unpredictability in any matches against any kind of opposition. What Leeds have been lacking is a midfielder who can create chances for them out of nowhere.
In steps Christian Eriksen which might sound too ambitious at this point, but hey, they have got Marcelo Bielsa’s pull power so one can never completely throw away a possibility for this deal.
The midfielder appears to be on the chopping block at Inter Milan despite only arrival at the club a year ago on a £17million deal from Spurs.
Christian Eriksen: Inter have *not* received any official bid at the moment. Nothing serious or advanced from PSG, West Ham, Arsenal and more. Inter want to sell him immediatly and hope to receive some proposals in the next days. @SkySport #Inter #transfers
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 4, 2021
Eriksen has failed to fit in at San Siro, managing just four Serie A starts this season and yet to register a goal or assist in 13 appearances across all competitions.
It emerged last week that Inter are struggling with cash liquidity issues and they are hoping to raise money in what could be a very difficult situation for the Italian giants.
Leicester City: Andrea Belotti
The Foxes under Brendan Rodgers have been on a roll ever since the Irishman took charge at the King Power Stadium. Even after their poor end to last season’s campaign where they gave away their grip on a UCL spot, Rodgers and his men have once again began strong this term.
What has been scary is the fact that without their talisman Jamie Vardy, Leicester look like they have no identity on the pitch. With fixtures coming thick and fast and Vardy not getting any younger, the Foxes surely need a top class Striker.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 11, 2021
Andrea Belotti has long been linked with a move away from Torino, ever since he broke on to the scene with a 26-goal output in the 2016-17 Serie A season. Torino had said it would accept no less than $119 million for its star player that offseason, but in the end no move ever materialized with Belotti happy to remain at Torino.
According to Transfermarkt, his transfer value has fluctuated since that prolific campaign and some sides may have been put off by his follow-up showing of 10 league goals in 2017-18. Belotti has since finished the successive two seasons with 17 and 22 goals in all competitions, respectively, and once again finds himself linked with bigger Italian clubs as well as sides from across the continent.
Liverpool: Issa Diop
Even a 6-year old Liverpool fan at this moment would know what his team exactly needs this January transfer window. With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez out for the rest of the season, the reds have already been on the lookout for solutions.
Issa Diop of West Ham United is one name that Jurgen Klopp should consider. The centre-back hasn’t been himself for the past 12 months. So perhaps a loan move away from the London Stadium is just what he needs in order to reignite his career.
Liverpool David Alaba
— FootTheBall (@FootTheBall) January 13, 2021
The idea of loaning out the 23-year-old should not be dismissed so quickly, however. Issa Diop will struggle to get back into the West Ham starting XI if Fabian Balbuena continues his impressive form.
An entire season with limited action could cause the Frenchman a lot of problems regarding his development and he needs to be playing regularly.
Manchester City: Marten De Roon
Even after spending billions on his squad ever since his arrival, Pep Guardiola really cannot do without one player in his team: Fernandinho.
The Brazilian has been an ever present during Guardiola’s tenure and even at the ripe age of 34, he is performing at his very best; be it at central defence or central midfield.
Rodri was brought in as his long-term successor but is just not at the level of the Brazilian. Hence, the Sky Blues might just dip into the winter market for a solution for this long standing problem.
One cheaper option right now would be signing Marten De Roon from Atalanta who has just 6 months left on his current contract.
— Fernandinho (@fernandinho) January 7, 2021
De Roon rejoined Atalanta in 2017 following Middlesboroughs relegation and went on to play a key role as Gian Piero Gasperini’s side finished a record 3rd in the 2018-19 Serie A and secured qualification to the Champions League.
The defensive midfielder also proved his credentials in the Champions League last season, suggesting that he is ready to embrace a bigger challenge at a heavyweight club like Barcelona.
The imminent availability of Marten de Roon on a free transfer next summer presents an excellent market opportunity for City to strengthen their defensive midfield ranks without having to spend a fortune.
Manchester United- Teun Koopmeiners
Manchester United’s midfield options have improved of late following the emergence of Fred and the acquisition of Bruno Fernandes, but a deep-lying playmaker is something they are still without.
Michael Carrick was the last United player in that mould but retired in 2018. Nemanja Matic is probably the closest thing United have to what Carrick was, but he is not a long-term option, despite his recent renaissance.
With that in mind, who could United could sign in the mould of Carrick, a supreme ball-playing footballer, tackler, and master of transition from defence to attack?
Teun Koopmeiners could be the answer.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 13, 2021
He might not be a household name, but Koopmeiners is one of the best in that position in Europe right now.
The 22-year-old plays his football for AZ Alkmaar in the Eredivisie. Having worked his way up through the AZ academy and reserve side, Koopmeiners has played almost every match for the club across the last three seasons.
His strength in both areas makes him a rarity and a much-coveted player in a modern game based on possession and passing.
AZ could provide United with a consistent, high-performing man in the middle with exceptional passing and skill on the ball. Yes, very much a player in the mould of Carrick.
Koopmeiners will not come cheap but at the time of his arrival in 2006, neither did Carrick – and he proved to be worth every penny
Newcastle United: Fikayo Tomori
Steve Bruce and the Magpies have all of a sudden become a bit light in the central defence area and the former Hull City manager would be eager to make additions to that department, especially considering the injury struggles of club captain Jamaal Lascelles.
Fikayo Tomori of Chelsea has been given the green light to find a temporary club in January.
Several Premier League sides have been linked with the defender. One of those is Newcastle United, who have previously scouted the Blues academy graduate.
What the 23-year-old requires is a head coach who will put him straight into the side and trust him to prove his quality on the pitch which would be a win-win situation for all parties involved.
Sheffield United: John Swift
Sheffield United enjoyed a superb season in the top flight last year, finishing the campaign in ninth position.
They have found life difficult this time around, though, and are currently bottom of the standings.
Wilder says there are several positions he would like to improve in his squad and despite the club’s perilous position in the league, the Blades remain an attractive proposition for new recruits.
“There are a couple of positions we need to improve on, one that we all know,” added Wilder said. “We need to be as strong as we possibly can, to get the results that we want to.
“I still think people will look at us as a good pace to come, even with the situation we are in at the moment.
A crucial goal from the skip.
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) January 12, 2021
Royals’ playmaker John Swift came very close to signing for the Blades last summer and he exactly what Chris Wilder needs in his team right now.
The 25-year-old, who is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury, came extremely close to joining Sheffield United over the summer, only for Royals’ owner Dai Yongge to step in at the last minute and block the deal.
Blades boss Chris Wilder has spoken of his admiration in the past for former England U21 international Swift and had been tipped to reignite his interest and make another move for the player this month.
Southampton: Brandon Williams
The Saints failed in an attempt to bring the England U21s star to St Mary’s during the summer window.
They wanted him to provide competition for both Kyle Walker-Peters and Ryan Bertrand, with the 20-year-old’s versatility enabling to play both right and left-back.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer blocked that move several months ago – but that has not put off the South Coast outfit.
Southampton would potentially be keen on a permanent deal for Williams because of Ryan Bertrand stalling on a new contract and they view the starlet as a potential replacement.
Tottenham Hotspur: Sergio Ramos
Jose Mourinho and Spurs have probably the most complete squad in the league right now. One thing the Portuguese can look to add to his current roster a world-class centre back; and who better to snap than the soon to be free-agent Sergio Ramos who played under The Special one while at Real Madrid.
Mourinho's new interest Real Madrid outcast Eder Militao
— FootTheBall (@FootTheBall) January 12, 2021
The Spaniard is out of contract at the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer and Spurs are reportedly keen on signing the experienced central defender who could be the missing piece for the North London outfit to put up a title charge
West Bromwich Albion: Cenk Tosun
West Brom are 19th in the Premier League, six points from safety and have scored just 11 goals in 17 top-flight games this season.
Allardyce, who replaced Slaven Bilic as the Baggies’ manager last month, bought Tosun from Besiktas for £27m when he was Everton boss in January 2018.
The Turkey international is out of favour under current Toffees coach Carlo Ancelotti, however, and Allardyce wants to take him to The Hawthorns to bolster his strike force.
West Brom are eyeing a loan move with an option to make the deal permanent if they avoid relegation
West Ham United: Joshua King
With David Moyes having sold Sebastien Haller to Ajax, signing a new striker is now a matter of urgency for the Hammers.
Michail Antonio is an option but is not an out-and-out centre forward which Moyes would prefer.
West Ham Olivier Giroud
— FootTheBall (@FootTheBall) January 9, 2021
The Hammers should be looking to sign Bournemouth attacker Joshua King who is available for just at a bargain price of 10m.
The east London outfit have been linked with a move to sign the 28-year-old since the summer.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Divock Origi
The West Midlands outfit are expected to be without star striker Raul Jimenez for a number of months following his skull fracture, and 18-year-old Fabio Silva has struggled to find his shooting boots.
With that in mind, Nuno Santo must look no further than Liverpool’s cult hero; Divock Origi.
The Belgian is on the lookout for regular game time and Wolves is the perfect place for him to get that.
The Portuguese player destination was previously linked to the big Belgian forward way back in the summer of 2018, and are currently in need of cover at striker, hence a temporary move makes sense for all parties involved.