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Thursday, January 3, 2019

Now that we’ve passed most of the festive period, we’re now reaching the next most wonderful time of the year. The window opened on Tuesday and to prepare for the rumor mill opening, we’re going to take a look at the transfer needs for each team in the Premier League. They will move in order of where each team stands in the table at the moment.


Liverpool: Nothing, getting anything into this team would be unfair for the rest of the league


Liverpool has used the money from selling Philippe Coutinho in order to strengthen multiple areas of the team which has them sitting pretty starting the new year in first place in the league. While Naby Keita hasn’t hit the highs that were expected, Fabinho has started to pull his weight adding to Liverpool’s impressive depth. At each position, the Reds can go 2-3 deep and while an injury to one of the big three would hurt, the same can be said for most teams in the league. Liverpool controls their own destiny and if they’re able to dispatch Manchester City on Thursday it will take an epic collapse for them to not walk home with the Premier League Title.


Manchester City: Cover for Fernandinho and Benjamin Mendy


Danilo is proper depth at right back. Fabian Delph is serviceable depth at left back. John Stones cannot play CDM to save his life. Considering that we don’t know if Benjamin Mendy will ever return to his health pre-injury, it makes sense to bring in a top left back to push/ rotate with him when he's back. Fernandinho isn’t getting any younger so bringing in a future replacement for him (or even taking Danny Drinkwater off of Chelsea’s hands) would be a good stop-gap move to make an attempt at chasing Liverpool. City doesn’t have many chinks in their armor but the few that are there are quite well known.


Tottenham: Depth across the board


The difference between the two aforementioned teams and Tottenham is a simple one. Gamechangers off the bench. City is bringing on KDB off the bench. Liverpool has Shaqiri. Spurs have, Lucas Moura. This isn’t to say that Lucas is bad because he isn’t but Spurs need a game changer off the bench. They also need another midfielder with Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama injured and Moussa Dembele on his way out.


Chelsea: Christian Pulisic and a striker


Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata aren’t getting it done. While Eden Hazard as a false nine has gotten the job done, Chelsea needs a striker for when they face tougher opposition. Tammy Abraham is out on loan and recalling him would help this issue but it's not like Chelsea plays their youth. Chelsea has now signed Pulisic and the transfer makes sense with Pedro getting up there in age and Willian well… being Willian, adding another winger makes sense. Especially a winger as marketable as Pulisic.


Arsenal: Anyone who can play defense

With the injury to Rob Holding, Arsenal has done something that I didn’t think was possible, get worse on the defensive end. Arsenal needs a commanding center back to organize the troops to continue their top four challenge.


Manchester United: No one?


I would say that Manchester United needs defenders but that'd required Ole Gunnar Skolshar actually deploying his team defensively which won't happen. Attacking wise, United has everything that they could ever need so just using the players at their disposal will end up quite well for United.



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Wolverhampton: Wingers


Wolves have had a weird season to date. They've hung with and beaten the big teams but then folded under pressure versus teams that they should beat. Most of this is due to the inconsistency from their front three. Wolves have quite a few wingers on the roster but none of them have a consistent end product. It may be worthwhile for the team to bring in an experienced winger to help out.


Leicester: Striker depth


Leicester got most of their business done in the summer bringing in young center backs and a right back. The emergence of Nampalys Mendy and Hamza Choudhury has helped in midfield and a rotation of wingers and Ricardo Pereira have gotten the job done. But when Jamie Vardy misses time, there is no one to lead the line. Kelechi Iheanacho has been underwhelming and borderline destructive to the team when he steps on the field. Shinji Okazaki isn’t getting any younger and Demarai Gray hasn’t been allowed to play in his preferred position supporting a striker so Claude Puel would do well to bring in depth behind Vardy.


Watford: A strong center back


The Hornets have been up and down on the young season but their defense has hampered them time and time again. Whenever he’s healthy, Christian Kabasele is one tackle away from being suspended, Craig Cathcart is solid but not a world beater and Younes Kaboul should be on his way out. All things considered, Watford could use a defender to come in and man their lines. A dream get currently in the league would be James Tarkowski but what’s more likely is that they dip into Italy for a defensive target.


Everton: Midfield help


Everton is still a work in progress and they don’t have much in the bank after going on spending sprees in the past few years but most of their issues can be resolved internally. Dominic Calvert Lewin should get more of a run at striker and Ademola Lookman will eventually take over for Theo Walcott (hopefully). That leaves midfield where Andre Gomes and Idrissa Gueye deputize. The best move for the Toffees would be a reunion with Tom Cleverley or bringing in a Cleverly like midfielder.


West Ham United: More time


West Ham is another team where the sum of their parts is better than their results have been so far this season. While I’m not a fan of Samir Nasri, it does give them more winger depth which will only help moving forward. Their signings are settling in and the team is becoming a force moving forward. I can’t see a real need to make rash January additions at the moment even though the Hammers are off the pace of where they expected to be.


Bournemouth: A new keeper


Asmir Begovic is an FPL darling mainly due to hosting his own podcast but each time he pulls on the gloves he is directly hurting his team. Tied with Jordan Pickford and Bernd Leno in mistakes leading to goals, Begovic is a liability and plenty of teams have keepers who could be more useful to Bournemouth at the moment than Begovic. Hell, I’d rather take Michel Vorm in net than Begovic right now and that’s saying something.


Brighton: Health of their speed players


Brighton is built on route one play and set pieces but that kind of play isn’t sustainable over the course of a season. They have speedsters on the roster in Jose Izquierdo and Alireza Jahanbakhsh but both wingers are currently nursing injuries. Their returns will make the Seagulls more dangerous in open play.


Crystal Palace: Creativity


We thought this was going to come via Max Meyer but he has proven to be more of a recycler than a lane splitter for Palace. When the team isn’t going forward at full bore they struggle to create goals and getting a creative midfielder or winger in would help with that.


Newcastle: deep-lying creativity


Newcastle has one of the best defenses in the bottom half anchored by impressive center back depth. Salomon Rondon isn't flashy but he does a job. But the team hasn't replaced Mikel Merino who departed for Borussia Dortmund. Merino did a job similar to that of Jonjoe Shelvey, spraying passes from deep but with Shelvey injured/ rooted to the bench, there's no one who can take up that role. Picking up someone in the market (assuming that Newcastle actually spends money) would be the right move moving forward.


Cardiff City: A mobile finisher


I love Cardiff City. They're a team that produces results when everything makes it seem like they shouldn't. They have playmakers at multiple positions. They have father time as their manager. But Calum Paterson (bless his soul) is a tree trunk at forward. Originally signed as a right back, Paterson has played everywhere for the bluebirds. While he’s played an important role, for Cardiff to counter attack like they should be able to, they need a forward who can move on the break (paging Tammy Abraham).


Southampton: A clean bill of health


Southampton shouldn’t be this low in the table. This team has a deep roster that it more than capable of a mid standing finish and with Ralph Hasenhüttl at the helm, they have a manager with enough tactical know how to keep them above water. As they return to full fitness, they’ll have no issue staying up leaving the Saints with no need for transfers in January.


Burnley: Fullbacks


Slowly, Burnley’s form is picking up with the reintroduction of Tom Heaton and the form of Chris Wood. But their outside backs haven’t been good enough. Sean Dyche relies on players holding their positions and Charlie Taylor and Phil Bardsley/ Matt Lowton haven’t been good enough. If Burnley wants to stave off relegation, they need to shore up the defense asap.


Fulham: A redo


It looked like the addition of Claudio Ranieri would help pull Fulham out of the dumps but the defense is sinking them. The problem here is that after spending 100 million in the summer, is there really more money in the bank to make a move? Fulham will wish that they kept the gift receipts on a few transfers to turn them into serviceable assets moving forward.


Huddersfield: Goodness what don’t they need


Huddersfield is up the stream without a paddle. Outside of starting midfielders (which will take a hit when Aaron Mooy goes to the Asian Cup), there isn’t a single position on this team that doesn’t need improvement. Huddersfield are deservedly bottom of the table and there isn’t much that they can do to avoid relegation at this point in the season.

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