What every Premier League club still needs with a week to go in the January transfer window…

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. Credit: Alamy
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. Credit: Alamy

Midfielders and right-backs are set to be in high demand as next week’s deadline creeps closer. Some of the big boys might hold fire until the summer; some of the strugglers simply can’t wait.

Here’s what still needs to be done at every club…

 

Arsenal – central midfielder
Arsenal wanted an attacker – they really wanted Mykhaylo Mudryk – but they weren’t going to have their pants pulled down. Instead, for around half a Mudruk, they’ve got Leandro Trossard and Poland defender Jajub Kiwior. If that’s all they do, it’s been a decent month. But another midfielder to bolster their engine room would be lovely too. They left it late in the summer to move for Douglas Luiz so don’t be surprised if they do something similar in the coming week.

READ: Four Arsenal players in need of an upgrade (because we couldn’t think of five)

 

Aston Villa – winger
Unai Emery was very clear at the start of the month: “We need a winger. A specialist winger. We are trying to find one.” So far, Villa have stumbled across a full-back who can play further forward and a forward who sometimes plays off the flank. And he’s not yet ready for regular action. They could also have done with reinforcements at centre-back even before Jan Bednarek was summoned back to Southampton.

 

Bournemouth – midfielder
New owner Bill Foley suggested Bournemouth could sign “four of five players” this month, which leaves them a week to add to £20million winger Dango Ouattara. The Cherries could certainly use another attacker, as well as a centre-back, but a central midfielder should be their priority in the coming week.

 

Brentford – no one
Look at Brentford there, all smug and sorted. They needed a forward to act as cover for Ivan Toney and they got one in Kevin Schade. Great for them but their continued competence is infuriating for features like this.

 

Brighton – hold what they have
The Seagulls saw the sense in allowing Trossard to leave but that should be all. And knowing Brighton, it will be, unless Chelsea lose their minds over Moises Caicedo in the next week. Which absolutely could happen.


Chelsea – midfielder
Speaking of whom, Chelsea might not see it as quite so daft to spend enormous money on Caicedo since they really do need a central midfielder. They have tested the water around the Brighton star as well as Enzo Fernandez and Franck Kessie. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see any of them – or literally anyone else – holding up a blue shirt for the camera with a contract until 2068 stuffed in their back pocket before 11pm next Tuesday.

 

Crystal Palace – central midfielder
“We have identified the names of those players that we wanted. Now everything is in the hands of the football club to try and make it happen,” said Patrick Vieira last week. Among those names must be a right-back and a forward. But a central midfielder is the priority, with Stuttgart’s Naouirou Ahamada apparently a target.

 

Everton – manager
What a mess. Going into the final week of a pivotal window, the Toffees need to find a manager before they worry about adding to a squad not fit for purpose. Everton’s targets will hinge on the identity of their new boss. It is unlikely that Marcelo Bielsa or Sean Dyche will be looking at the same profiles. Sort the manager first, then worry about players. Tick-tock.

 

Fulham – right-back
The Cottagers have been linked with a number of right-backs to provide some competition for Kenny Tete, with Cedric Soares among them. But Fulham will have to do some juggling since they already have two borrowed players – the maximum number of loans allowed at any one time – and the Arsenal defender’s salary s thought to be too rich for Fulham’s blood.

 

Leeds – central midfield
Leeds really needed a forward and a left-sided defender at the start of the month, and they got their business done decisively, with Georginio Rutter and Max Wober through the door. Now, ideally, Jese Marsch could use some reinforcements in central midfield. If they can follow through with their interest in Azzedine Ounahi, the Morocco international could be a star at Elland Road. Weston McKennie has also been mentioned.

 

Leicester – winger
Brendan Rodgers said he wants three players in this month, which leaves him with a week to find two more. They will need a central midfielder in the summer but Rodgers has waited too long for a winger, ideally a left-sided one to play off the right flank. Fiorentina’s Nico Gonzalez can do that, as well as play through the middle if Leicester’s strikers continue their current form.

 

Liverpool – midfielder. 
Lordy, Liverpool need a midfielder. Will they get one? Probably not. It seems Jurgen Klopp might mend and make do until the summer, when he hopes to get his hands on Jude Bellingham or maybe Declan Rice. Which might be trickier if they aren’t in the Champions League. Which they probably won’t be unless they sign a midfielder. You see the problem..

 

Manchester City – left-back
Sure, Pep Guardiola could use another left-back since City haven’t replaced Oleksandr Zinchenko. They left Marc Cucurella to Chelsea and signed Sergio Gomez instead, but the Spaniard isn’t ready yet to be a regular for City. Which is a problem for as along as Joao Cancelo performs like he has been. But with few ready-made options to come in, Guardiola will almost certainly leave it until the summer.

 

Manchester United – right-back
At the start of the month, United’s need was more obvious than anyone else’s. But they signed the centre-forward they lacked, even if they have papered over a massive crack. Erik ten Hag might like a right-back but Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s form has taken everyone by surprise and the Red Devils are forever telling us there’s no value in January. Given the success of their summer signings, the Glazers will see little point in spending any money while they’re looking to sell up. Let the next sucker worry about spending money that isn’t theirs anyway.

 

Newcastle – forward
Prior to Chris Wood being allowed to join Nottingham Forest, we would have suggested that Newcastle needed a midfielder most. But after waving off Wood, Eddie Howe said not replacing the striker “would leave us dangerously short of players”. Given the position they find themselves in, it would seem daft not to at least replace Wood so we have to assume they have big-ish plans for the coming week, perhaps involving a forward who can play across the front line. Anthony Gordon?

 

Nottingham Forest – goalkeeper
Despite signing 427 players in summer, they entered January short of a forward and a midfielder. Unsurprisingly, they addressed those problems in the transfer market but Dean Henderson’s injury has given Steve Cooper a headache. Wayne Hennessey has made a career of being a stand-in until he actually has to stand in. Forest have been linked with Keylor Navas, while another centre-back wouldn’t go amiss.

 

Southampton – striker
Saints sought young, hungry players in the summer, and while it may be a solid long-term strategy, in the short term, they are currently f***ed. So Nathan Jones, in his first transfer window at St Mary’s needs experience and proven quality. Especially in his attack, with Saints not named James Ward-Prowse struggling to score goals. Jones has spent £20million on a winger and a midfielder. Now he needs a forward for them to service.

 

Tottenham – wing-back
Tottenham are awash with right wing-backs, but none that Antonio Conte seems to fancy. They could also use a centre-back and another forward to bolster their squad but the manager needs a wideman he can hang his hat on. Sporting Lisbon’s Pedro Porro might be that man. Signing a goalkeeper to replace Hugo Lloris will probably have to wait until the summer.

 

West Ham – left-back
The Hammers spent a fortune in the summer and they’ve signed a couple more first-teamers this month. But still they need to source a replacement, or at least some top-class competition, for Aaron Cresswell. If that isn’t Emerson Palmieri, and the signs suggest it’s not, it has to be someone else.

 

Wolves – right-back
Wolves have addressed their greatest needs. Julen Lopetegui, in addition to bringing some tactical acumen, has added players at centre-forward and centre-back where they were most needed. He’s also set about revamping the midfield he inherited and the overall result is a Wolves side much more positive and better placed for the second half of the season. The only area they haven’t strengthened that they perhaps planned is at right-back, but Nelson Semedo’s improved form means that may be less of a necessity this month.

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