There is no better time of the year than the post Christmas transfer window. It is amazing for every football fan for two things, rumours and ridiculous transfer fees. The numbers touted around for transfers are horrendous, especially during the January window. The inflation in prices is due to clubs desperation to boost their squads for the second half of the season. This then leads to clubs getting in quick fixes and stockpiling squads leading the some players falling away into football infamy due to lack of game time.
So that leads me to what I have done here. I have looked at each Premier League team and came up with three things. 1) The ideal player the team needs, 2) a more realistic player (e.g. cheaper, easier to sign) and finally 3) the longshot. The longshot is a player who I would sign if I was that teams manager, so just to clarify this hasn’t been done to fuel the rumour mill or even regurgitate existing transfer rumours they are of my own opinion. So to start let us head to the Emirates.
Arsenal have always had the same problems in recent years. One area in which they have struggled to utilise is the centre of midfield, most notably the defensive midfielder role. Now in my mind it is as simple as you should have re-signed Alex Song. In my own opinion Jack Wilshere isn’t going to win Arsenal league titles. There is one player who would grab Arsenal by the scruff of the neck and drag them into the top 2 regularly. That man is Paul Pogba. One of the best young players in the world right he really would be ideal. A more realistic player is Moussa Sissoko though. The Newcastle midfielder (like Cabaye, Tiote and Ben Arfa before him) has been linked with Arsenal for the last year or so, and with a new manager yet to be named it is a very likely transfer. The longshot for Arsenal is Monaco midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia. He is a power house in the middle, a more than adequate player to harden up the at times flimsy Arsenal midfield.
Aston Villa now. Some would say they need a miracle, I don’t, they just need stability and consistency. One thing they need is width and supply. They need a wide man who will break with pace, who will get balls in the box because without supply how on earth is a man like Christian Benteke supposed to develop and meet his potential? Who is an ideal player? For me its Scott Sinclair. It will more than likely be on loan but for now its perfect timing. They need a winger who has something to prove. And he is a player with many things to prove, he receives so much stick for his move to Manchester City he needs a break and a change of scenery, so Villa Park would be a great place to be. Long term Villa should be looking at a player like Nathan Redmond. A real class act and potential England superstar Redmond is an eye catching talent the English game has right now. I claim he is a more realistic player to sign, this one would probably have to wait till the summer due to Villa’s poor form and Norwich’s resurgence. The longshot for me would be to terminate Tom Cleverley’s loan and replace him with the more versatile Jesse Lingard from Manchester United. He is an attacking midfielder who can play out wide (and apparently wing back) another great talent and one to look out for.
Premier League newboys Burnley have played well despite their league position so picking their player was hard. The realisation that they will more than likely go down hit me and you have to look at players either on loan or players who wouldn’t stay for the Championship, so I’ve picked Charlie Adam. A player with fight, with spirit, with ability to get the ball down and get the attack going for Burnley is something they need and would be something that can turn the season around. More realistically is Darron Gibson. A player who needs to prove his fitness has struggled at Everton and his missed the last year due to a knee injury. He could be a catalyst in a Burnley revival. He is the borderline longshot with Wigan’s Callum McManamann. A player who is destined for a move to the Premier League in the next few years could eye up the opportunity to help build a Burnley team that will be favourites for promotion should they get relegated.
Chelsea was straightforward. Gary Cahill isn’t good enough yet so they need a defender to support him once John Terry has retired. Money wise anyone is ideal. I’ve gone for Thiago Silva, the Brazilian captain who is up there with the best centre backs in the world. Because of the money factor he is also the realistic player too, as lets face it if Chelsea and Mourinho want someone then they will have them. The longshot is Mats Hummels but realistically his future lies elsewhere.
In Alan Pardew Crystal Palace have an absolutely cracking manager. One thing I like about him so much is the fact that he doesn’t care what people are saying about him or his team he just finds a way to get results. Like Burnley I put Charlie Adam as their ideal player. I say this because Palace need a tough man in the middle to support Mile Jedinak. Realistically I can see Pardew going to Newcastle and pinching a player or two. One could and probably should be Gael Bigirimana. He is a player I have seen play at under 21 level, he bosses games quite simply. He is forceful and imposes on his opponents, a handy attribute to have in the Premier League. The longshot would be the temptation of Darren Fletcher however wages would be a major issue.
Everton will be looking for not just new players but for existing players like Mirallas and Lukaku to influence games more. Similar to Benteke at Villa I think Lukaku, Kone and Eto’o need balls in the box so the ideal player would be Ashley Young. I say this because he is a good winger who would be available for the right price. Definitely someone to consider. Realistic wise I’d like to reintroduce you to Callum McManamann. This is because of the Wigan link with Roberto Martinez. The longshot would be a player like Adam Johnson from Sunderland. He is a player too good for a team like that, he left City to prove himself (take note Scott Sinclair) but has now proved he should be playing for a better side.
Hull City. What do they need? Simply, someone to put that ball in the back of the net. Ideally they need Jordan Rhodes, or a player of that calibre. His ability and potential go hand in hand with City’s desperation to get back on track following some poor form. However I do feel that Blackburn are onto a good thing this year so it will be vital for them to hold onto him, till the summer at least. A more realistic player would be Steven Fletcher but then he won’t be sold to a rival in January like that, his team mate Danny Graham however could be let go out on loan. He is a player who knows Hull well and would have no issues settling in. Even if a loan till the end of the season Graham could be worth a look at. If I was Brucey though I would go to Manchester United and look at their youth prospects. Maybe not James Wilson after his recent appearances for the first team but the forgotten man Will Keane would be a cracking little signing.
Leicester City for me need to look ahead to the Championship next season. They aren’t good enough at the minute and just don’t know how to win games. They need a spark, they need a player who can help win them games. A player like Junior Hoilett from QPR. However, his wages would be the main issue. A realistic transfer would be Will Keane, if they can get him permanently from United. The longshot would be Blackburn’s Rudy Gestede. He is a player who would help fire Leicester back into the Premier League I’m sure, but again like Rhodes for Hull, Blackburn’s potential would be a stumbling block.
Liverpool need a striker. Done let’s go home. Which striker is the question. Ideally, Luis Suarez. Yes, seriously. Realistically they may be able to get a deal for a player like Gonzalo Higuain if Arsenal don’t get there first. The longshot is Christian Benteke, he has been linked to a major team for a few years, so he would have to settle for Liverpool.
The first of a Manchester double now. Manchester City need players that are different to what they have now but can compliment their current squad. Ideally they need a player like Luka Modric who can defend and attack well and knows the Premier League. A more realistic player would be Barcelona’s Pedro. A player more available than Modric and could be just as effective. The longshot is AC Milan’s Stephen El-Shaarawy. A player destined for a big move, just a matter of when. In regards to their City neighbours, Manchester United need defenders. Plural. Ideally Mats Hummels. In fact if I was Louis Van Gaal I would fly him in tomorrow and have him sign on the dotted line, let him settle between now and the end of the season then give him the captains armband and let him shape a new Manchester United. A more realistic transfer is the Dutch centre back Virgil Van Dijk. He is a player who I like, a player who would be very good in the Premier League at the right club, under the right manager. The longshot is Gerard Pique. The former Man Utd man has gone home to Barcelona and conquered all before him. But with Barcelona rebuilding a return to the second home of Old Trafford wouldn’t be too strange.
Newcastle need stability. Both with management and defensively. They need to build a solid team and a solid team starts with a solid defence. Ideally a player like Ron Vlaar. Vlaar would be a hell of a defensive partner for Steven Taylor. A more realistic player is like Man Utd, Virgil Van Dijk. Playing in Scotland means it wouldn’t be too much of a move for the big Dutchman and he could easily sign for the Toon. The longshot would be a move for Manchester United’s Jonny Evans. This would only happen once Man Utd have signed one let alone two defenders.
Harry Redknapp needs to build a team around Charlie Austin at QPR. He needs money to take a gamble. The ideal player would be the in form Andros Townsend. But I don’t think he will go now due to his instrumental run in the side for Spurs. A more realistic player would be there even if QPR go down, and that man is West Ham’s Matt Jarvis. A FIFA wing demon and a good player in real life who can provide stability and service along QPR’s left hand side. Their longshot is Nathan Redmond. A player who probably wouldn’t join QPR as the draw isn’t there. Why would he leave a promising rebuilding project in Norwich for a side like QPR?
This seasons surprise package Southampton don’t need much. Ideally they need to make the loan of Ryan Bertrand permanent as soon as possible. For that reason it is not only the ideal signing but the realistic signing. The longshot would be a replacement in case he doesn’t stay permanently. So the transfer wouldn’t happen till the summer but I would go for Newcastle’s Davide Santon. A player who fits into the continental style that Southampton play and is good going forwards and back.
Stoke are a team on the up. Under Mark Hughes they are showing glimpses of real quality, all they need is consistency and a real top top striker. That’s why I’m going to say their ideal player is Christian Benteke. A surprise I know but Benteke is starting to have question marks thrown around about him and would be a revelation at a team like Stoke. A more realistic signing would be Papiss Cisse. A target man who would fit into most Premier League teams and would make for an interesting addition to the Mark Hughes project.
Like many of the teams in the league, Sunderland would be better off looking at defenders. Ideally, they need players to take over from the ageing John O’Shea and Wes Brown. The ideal player would be someone like Robert Huth. A player with grand experience would be a great signing for the Black Cats. Once again Mr Realistic transfer Virgil Van Dijk appears again as he could fit the Sunderland mould and be an easy target for a quick and easy transfer. The long shot would be the dangling of the bait for a player like Steven Caulker, a move off the stuttering ship called QPR would intrigue the man who hasn’t been able to settle anywhere.
In the final straight (the last page of my notebook) and we head west, to Swansea. The loss of Wilfried Bony needs to be addressed. Ideally, with Charlie Austin. A man who has pace, power and the finishing instinct, something Swansea have lacked at time. However, due to QPR’s desperation to keep hold of their prize asset could lead to a need for a short term fix. A player like Bobby Zamora for his experience and goalscoring record would be a good shout. The longshot would be Crystal Palace’s Dwight Gayle. I would use the Bony money to tempt players into moving to Wales, Gayle could just be one of those players.
Tottenham still need a striker. A world class striker who can rival the top 4 or 5 teams strike forces. Ideally they want a player with the ability to score goals, prolifically. A player like Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette. He scores for fun in the French league (yeah yeah so did Chamakh) but he is showing so much quality at important times and is helping a sleeping giant in Lyon wake up and once again fight it with the big boys. A more realistic player is Christian Benteke. Like the other times he has appeared I will point out his need for a better quality of service. The longshot would be Jackson Martinez. Despite the fact he has been linked to Tottenham for a while I think they could miss out on him if a bigger or better team came in for him.
West Brom need some warriors. A leaky defence at times needs to be fixed. I would fix it with Steven Caulker. As mentioned before the dangling of the carrot of moving to a stable team could tempt him. He is also the realistic transfer as it could easily happen. The longshot would be Tony Pulis going back to his old club and trying to hitch a deal for Ryan Shawcross. Pulis made him captain for Stoke and could easily do the same at West Brom.
Finally, West Ham. A team who haven’t looked like needing much. Like Southampton they ideally need to make their loan star permanent. Alex Song is their ideal player, his effect on the team has been for all to see and just imagine if it was a permanent thing. West Ham would only get better. However, the transfer of Song isn’t realistic right now for me and a more realistic transfer would be Adam Johnson. Just imagine Downing on one wing, Johnson on the other with an on loan Alex Song in the middle and an all firing Andy Carroll up front. Quite frightening really. The longshot would take into account the likeliness of getting Song permanently, and an alternative would be Darren Fletcher. He would provide West Ham’s midfield with energy, drive and experience. All three are longed for attributes in Premier League players.
And there we go. A long old post for you to sink your teeth into. Do you agree? Who would you want your team to sign in the next 9 days or so? I know who I want my team to sign.
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