But there are two words we should all be prepared to hear incessantly over the next week – DEAD WOOD.
We’re just coming out of the busiest time of the Premier League season and some players still couldn’t get a game.
No team wants to admit they have players in their ranks that, for whatever reason, no longer really belong there. Sometimes, they’re simply out of contract at the end of the season so they need to be sold to prevent them leaving on a free.
The window will officially close on February 1, but there is plenty of business to be done, so be prepared for plenty of deals throughout the next week, right up until the deadline on February 1.
Regardless of the reason, every side has at least one player who should be sold before the deadline.
Arsenal – Alexandre Lacazette
The French marksman earns a hefty paycheque and he is undoubtedly a talented footballer on his day.
However, Lacazette just hasn’t been the player he was when he first joined Arsenal. He is struggling for confidence and goals. His contract expires in June 2022 and Arsenal should look to cash in on him before it expires.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta does not appear to be a huge fan, and perhaps those wages could be better spent on a player who Arteta does want to play week in week out.
Aston Villa- Henri Lansbury
Lansbury gave up the captain’s armband to join Aston Villa in a £3 million deal back in 2017.
Four years later, while his bank balance has swelled considerably, there is a nagging feeling that he has wasted his peak years warming the Villa bench. Since the start of 2017/18, the now-30-year-old Lansbury has started a grand total of nine out of a possible 139 league matches.
With his £40,000-a-week contract due to expire next summer, January feels like the ideal time for both parties to part ways; especially with the highly gifted Jacob Ramsey threatening to push Villa’s forgotten man further down the pecking order.
Brighton – Florin Andone
Brighton only signed the forward in the summer of 2018, in a deal with Deportivo La Coruna worth around £5million, but has struggled in the Premier League.
He managed to score just 6 goals in 30 appearances for Graham Potter’s men and had been loaned out to Galatasaray the following season. He has since returned to the Amex Stadium and unsurprisingly, is yet to play a single minute for the Seagulls. Clearly, needs to be sold this January.
Burnley – Matej Vydra
Burnley need a goalscorer if they are to avoid another relegation fight this season. Matej Vydra sadly is not that man and has struggled with the step up to the Premier League each time he has tried.
The 27-year-old had been prolific in the Championship scoring 20 goals or more in two seasons but has failed to prove himself in the top flight.
The striker has been unable to force his way into the first team on a regular basis and is seemingly unsatisfied being fourth choice behind Chris Wood, Ashley Barnes and Jay Rodriguez.
His desire to ensure he secures a place in the Czech Republic squad for next summer’s European Championships is well known by now and it doesn’t look as though Vydra is going to get the football he wants at Turf Moor and should seek pastures new this January.
Chelsea – Marcos Alonso
Even with the sacking of Head Coach Frank Lampard, Marcos Alonso doesn’t seem he would play any part under new boss Tuchel.
Marcos Alonso had lost his place in the Chelsea starting line-up to Ben Chilwell, who signed for the club from Leicester City last summer. He has also been linked with a move to Serie A and more recently to, Spanish giants Barcelona, who are on the lookout for a cover for Jordi Alba.
Crystal Palace – Connor Wickham
Yep, that’s right, he’s still on the books! Many would have forgotten Connor Wickham even still played for Crystal Palace, with the striker only making six Premier League appearances in 2019/20.
He was subsequently sent out on loan in January to Sheffield Wednesday, where he made 13 appearances but scored just two goals in the process.
The 27-year-old will likely be sold this January, with Crystal Palace and Christian Benteke showing that others can do better in the team.
Everton – Bernard
Bernard was signed by Marco Silva in 2018 from Shakhtar Donetsk, on wages rumoured to be £120,000 a week. The financial incentive for transferring Bernard out in January will be to lower the wage bill whilst guaranteeing a profit on a player who was signed for free.
He has always been an inconsistent yet occasionally brilliant player for Everton, however this season Ancelotti has rarely even used him off the bench.
Rumours of a January exit for the winger started again after his agent recently said he could leave Everton.
Although, Bernard might be frustrated by his game time and moving the player on would make financial sense for the club.
Fulham – Maxime Le Marchand
Fulham were a mess defensively the season they were last relegated from the Premier League and conceded a staggering 81 goals.
They haven’t been that bad this season but they still need reinforcements and one player who they should think about letting go is Maxime Le Marchand to generate some transfer funds.
He has hardly made it into the matchday squads this season under Scott Parker and now might be the right time to move him on while he still has got some market value.
Leeds United- Kiko Casilla
The Whites goalkeeper lost his place to Illan Meslier last season and has played just a single Premier League match this season.
The future of Kiko Casilla has been a long-term discussion point for Leeds United fans ever since their play-off defeat to Derby County.
The former Real Madrid goalkeeper dropped a clanger against the Rams which turned the tie against Leeds 18 months ago and, in truth, Casilla has never really recovered.
After being found guilty of using racist language against Charlton Athletic loanee Jonathan Leko in February Casilla was suspended for eight matches.
Illan Meslier made his Leeds United debut at that point and has been Marco Bielsa’s first-choice goalkeeper ever since.
Leicester City – Daniel Amartey
Ever since breaking his ankle, Daniel Amartey has never been the same. The Ghanian international arrived at Leicester City during the Foxes’ Premier League-winning campaign. Despite breaking into the first team the following season, successive long term injuries deterred the versatile midfielder’s progress. A return of 64 appearances in four and a half seasons is not an ideal number for any player in a squad.
During this time, the Foxes have changed their playing style and coaching staff. With Rodgers choosing to pair Ndidi and Tielemans in the center, it’s unlikely that Amartey will get another run in the team.
Liverpool – Adrian
Adrian was signed as a backup player for Liverpool. However, in all the matches where he played, he did not give a good account of himself and made plenty of mistakes in goal which led to the opposition scoring.
Liverpool have found a new backup in their youngster Kelleher who has done brilliantly. With Adrian’s wages being high, Liverpool will want to sell him to make budgets available.
Manchester City – Eric Garcia
The 19-year-old has been a target for Barcelona since the summer, and the player has made no secret of his desire to complete the move and return to the club he left in 2017.
Garcia is out of contract at the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season and is free to negotiate pre-contract terms with European clubs this month.
But, according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, the teen has already agreed terms with Barca and could move in January.
A deal didn’t happen in the summer as City demanded around £20million for the youngster.
Eric Garcia will join Barça as a free agent, ‘here we go’ as said weeks ago. 🤝
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 15, 2021
Manchester United – Jesse Lingard
Jesse Lingard was a key player under the management of Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, but has barely featured for Ole Gunnar Solksjaer.
The England international, a product of the Manchester United academy, has always divided opinion. Lingard has scored 33 goals in his United career, but has barely featured for the club this season.
There have been some issues off-the-field for the player if rumours are to be believed, which could be a reason for his lack of appearances. This season, the 28-year old has only featured in cup competitions.
Inter Milan and Roma were linked back in the summer, while clubs like Sheffield United and Newcastle United are said to be interested in a deal to sign him.
Newcastle United – Javier Manquillo
The defender has not been a fan favourite at the club since joining from Atletico Madrid for £3million in the summer of 2017.
Even Rafa Benitez admitted he may not have signed him if he had more funds at his disposal.
He had never been anything more than a bit-part player at Newcastle, and that he has never secured a long-term starting place under both Rafa Benitez and Steve Bruce.
Sheffield United- John Lundstram
The midfielder has been at the centre of a contract stand-off with the club and Wilder revealed recently that it is now highly unlikely he will remain at Bramall Lane beyond the summer after turning down their latest offer.
The club will listen to offers for their midfielder and should a bid be received that matches Sheffield’s valuation of him, it will be accepted.
There was no interest in the 26-year-old in the summer and although fans will want to see him moved on when the window opens there are no guarantees that will happen.
Southampton – Shane Long
The 34-year-old’s previous deal had been due to expire at the end of last season, but he had agreed fresh terms to extend his stay at St Mary’s until the summer of 2022.
Long has made 205 appearances for the Saints since joining in 2014, scoring 35 goals and creating 26 more.
However, with Ings and Adams continuing to impress for The Saints and Long not fitting into the high pressing system of Hassenhutl, the timing is perfect for the club to cash in.
Tottenham Hotspur – Harry Winks
"Everyone knows what the FA Cup is about, that’s why it’s such a special trophy to be involved in. We’ve seen it so many times if you give a team half a chance, they can score. We kept going and it paid off for us."
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 26, 2021
Winks’ inability to master any particular job looks set to cost him a key role in the most fearsome Tottenham squad in living memory.
The long-serving academy graduate lacks the muscle-bound belligerence of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, the selfless energy of Moussa Sissoko or the match-winning potential of Tanguy Ndombele. As a result, Winks now appears to be Mourinho’s fourth-choice midfielder; not an ideal situation when the European Championships are looming on the horizon.
Winks needs to play regularly to force his way into Gareth Southgate’s squad again. Fortunately, a man linked with a £50 million move to Manchester United and Manchester City recently should not be short of offers.
West Brom- Kamil Grosicki
With interest rife in Lingard from the West Midlands club, that may well push Kamil Grosicki closer to the exit door as it’s not really a position that needs strengthening more than say upfront or in defence; which is the leakiest backline in the division.
The Polish winger had made zero starts and just 1 appearance in the league for the Baggies up until mid-January.
West Ham – Ryan Fredericks
The signing of Vladimir Coufal has shoved Fredericks down the pecking order at right back and with West Ham also having Ben Johnson on the books, Fredericks’ future could be up for debate in January.
The irony is that Fredericks started the season well as a right wing back before suffering another hamstring injury and he hasn’t been seen since. Coufal has nailed down the spot in the side and with the prospect of regular game time looking diminished for the Englishman, a move away might not be out of the question.
Fredericks has 18 months of his contract remaining, so if the Hammers do want to get something for him then they’d be wise to act fast.
Wolves – Adama Traore
They claim Adama Traore is eager to leave Molineux this month and that a deal could become possible should Wolves consider accepting staggered payments for the Spaniard.
We would have liked to have gotten our first win of the year, but we will learn from it and we will keep working hard. pic.twitter.com/HXAurhzZYF
— Adama Traoré Diarra (@AdamaTrd37) January 2, 2021
Indeed, while he has started in recent games, the apparent fall-out between Traore and the club in regards to not signing a contract extension looks to be dragging on.
While Traore has looked unplayable at times, others have impressed at Molineux during his spell on the sidelines. Pedro Neto and Daniel Podence have both emerged as palpable goal threats from wide positions.
If Traore isn’t going to sign a new deal, selling him while Wolves remain in a strong position to negotiate is surely the most prudent financial approach.