Christmas time is a joyous time across the footballing world. Every fan of every club is hoping to look for new recruitments in the ensuing transfer window. In the spirit of Santa Claus giving out presents to everyone, FootTheBall explains one player every Premier League club should go for to bolster their season.
STRIKER- ANDREA BELOTTI
A capable and prolific goal scorer is a definite area of need for the Gunners. Eddie Nketiah has already said he will not renew his expiring contract. Alexandre Lacazette also looks to be on his way out, having seen his starting role diminish, before the big bombshell fell today.
🚨 Arsenal are considering a move for Andrea Belotti. The Torino striker only has 8 months left on his contract and is free to speak to clubs in January.
Inter and AC Milan are also interested.
(Source: Calciomercato) pic.twitter.com/ZjqUWM4zpP
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) November 2, 2021
Arsenal stripped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang off the captaincy after a disciplinary breach along with dropping him for two consecutive games. Belotti is a proven commodity, having spearheaded Torino’s attack for a long time. He has also rejected the club’s new contract proposal, paving the way for Arsenal to sign a pre-transfer agreement in January.
MIDFIELDER- WESTON MCKENNIE
With talks of John McGinn potentially leaving soon, the Villans could definitely do with added steel in the middle of the park. McKennie has not exactly established himself as a constant starter for Juventus, and his workate has been a source of question too.
Tottenham are competing with Aston Villa to sign Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie 🇺🇸 [Daily Mirror]
Would you take him in January? ✍️ #avfc pic.twitter.com/DSJxpQnRS2
— Total Villa (@Total_Villa) November 19, 2021
However, what he offers in quality cannot be doubted. McKennie has the skills to unlock opposing defences from deep and can work in tandem with Emi Buendia to supply the strikers. Villa also have the finances to complete the deal though it will not be easy.
RIGHT BACK- VANDERSON
Injuries and illnesses have hampered Brentford greatly in recent times, but they have made a great name for themselves at identifying exciting young talent. The latest in that line could be the 20-year-old fullback from Gremio. With three goals and two assists, Vanderson will be a solid option from off the bench and able to play the right wingback position under Thomas Frank.
Brentford are in talks with Gremio with a view to signing 20-year-old right-back Vanderson in a £9.5m deal in January. (Daily Mail) pic.twitter.com/g9XEsJNHNB
— Transfer News Central (@TransferNewsCen) December 13, 2021
The Bees pride themselves on developing talents so one will not expect them to go after already established names in the first place either.
BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION
MIDFIELDER- KACPER KOZLOWSKI
Another team that leans heavily on scouting and identifying young stars. Kozlowski recently became the youngest player to appear at the Euros, and has already appeared 16 times for current club Pogon Szczecin. An attacking midfielder by trade, he can be a longtime successor for Adam Lallana too.
Kacper Kozlowski to join Brighton in £8m transfer despite Liverpool and City interesthttps://t.co/vYNqzbJQAU
— The Sun Football ⚽ (@TheSunFootball) December 12, 2021
Graham Potter has been getting the most out of his young squad and Kozlowski can only benefit from learning with the likes of Leandro Trossard, Enock Mwepu and Lallana as he settles into the side.
CENTRE BACK- NATHANIEL PHILLIPS
A hard working defender who does what he is told and puts his body on the line. There are a lot of things to love about Phillips, more so after he put in a flawless performance against AC Milan in the Champions League recently. Burnley are one of the most physical sides in the Premier League but their backline could certainly do with some additional help.
"I’m looking forward to watching that back. If it is [a GIF] I’ll have to get hold of it so I can send it around!” 😁
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 8, 2021
James Tarkowski looks close to leaving in the summer and Ben Mee can be susceptible to pace. If the Clarets are to strengthen their chances of avoiding the drop, Phillips could be a major piece and given how he is not getting opportunities at Liverpool, represents a perfect bargain buy.
CENTRE BACK- JULES KOUNDE
One of the major transfer saga involving the Blues in recent times. In short, Chelsea refused to pay what Sevilla were demanding for Kounde. But times have changed a bit for the Blues since then. Four of their senior defenders are out of contract in 2022, with none of them having agreed to an extension yet. Among them, Antonio Rudiger looks like the likeliest to leave after an impasse over his wage demands.
🚨 Chelsea want to revive the transfer of Jules Koundé from Sevilla as they actively search for Antonio Rüdiger's replacement.
(Source: Mundo Deportivo) pic.twitter.com/jIRo8RnTnh
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) December 11, 2021
Even Andreas Christensen could be out the door, having fallen down the pecking order. Though Trevoh Chalobah has stepped up impressively, a defender will be needed and Kounde has already proven himself for Sevilla over the past few years as well as making his debut with France this year.
LEFT BACK- LAYVIN KURZAWA
The Eagles have only one outright option in Tyrick Mitchell so competition will certainly not harm the side. Kurzawa is a vastly experienced operator who has competed at the highest levels of football, but has fallen out of favour with PSG this season. Indeed, there’s a logjam of left backs in Paris which has meant Kurzawa is yet to make an appearance this season.
Transfer news LIVE: Layvin Kurzawa 'offered' to Crystal Palace as full-back seeks #PSG exit #CPFC
— Daily Record Sport (@Record_Sport) August 25, 2021
Though manager Patrick Vieira is a big fan of developing young talent, the offer to sign Kurzawa should prove to be tempting in the long run.
MIDFIELDER- AARON RAMSEY
Financial regulations severely hampered the Toffees’ spending capabilities in the summer and it might prove to be the case once again. Juventus are willing to accept a small transfer fee for Ramsey in order to sell him which would free up wages by a considerable extent.
🚨 Everton are closing in on a deal to sign Aaron Ramsey in January. Juventus are willing to terminate his contract to free up wages.
(Source: Calciomercato) pic.twitter.com/7VewjQ1Hgo
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) December 8, 2021
In turn, the Welshman will return to a league he knows very well and into a side that needs creativity in midfield. The continued absence of Gylfi Sigurdsson and injury concerns surrounding Andre Gomes has meant he will slot right in the lineup. Everton have the means to pay his salary, though it will be reduced of course, but this could be a good move.
STRIKER- BEN BRERETON DIAZ
One of the sensations of last summer as the former England youth international switched allegiances to Chile. Brereton Diaz has been in fine form this season, already scoring 17 times in the Championship. Leeds, meanwhile, have had a torrid time with injuries which have severely depleted their resources.
🚨 Leeds United remain keen on a deal for Chile striker Ben Brereton Diaz despite Blackburn Rovers putting a £25m price on him. (Source: Sun Sport) pic.twitter.com/ILIFKpdi5p
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) December 13, 2021
Patrick Bamford recently returned and scored, but competition can only help in a season where they have to fight hard in order to avoid relegation. The price tag could be a bit steep, but if it does go through, the transfer will be one of the highlights of January.
CENTRE BACK- PONTUS JANSSON
The Foxes have had terrible luck with protecting their defenders this season. Wesley Fofana is out, Johnny Evans and Timothy Castagne have missed time due to injuries. Jannik Vestegaard has not shown himself to be an able starter. Keeping all that in mind, Leicester could once again target a central option in January.
The latest Leicester City news. https://t.co/x4Cc082coi
— LCFC Live (@LiveLCFC) December 14, 2021
Jansson’s contract expires in the summer next season and he will certainly add steel to the backline when he joins. If the team hopes to break into the top-six after a disappointing start to the season, they need all the help.
ATTACKER- JARROD BOWEN
It will be a straight toss-up between Bowen and Raphinha, as the Reds look to add reinforcements in January. Takumi Minamino could be set for another loan spell and with Roberto Firmino injured, the forward line may stretch a bit too thin during the time of AFCON.
Jarrod Bowen and Raphinha scouted as Liverpool allow free transfer: Reds January state of play | @ptgorst
Full piece: https://t.co/sKfqbZUGUf pic.twitter.com/SGUnaVdJ0i
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) December 10, 2021
Bowen has been in fine form for West Ham over the past two seasons and can step up further under Jurgen Klopp. The Hammers are in European contention themselves so any transfer could see a sizable amount of money involved in January.
MIDFIELDER- YOURI TIELEMANS
With Pep Guardiola doing pretty well without signing a central striker, it does look like he will look at other options in January too. Tielemans is a wonderful player who can weave his magic to create something out of nothing. He has been one of the best players at Leicester and was instrumental in them winning the FA Cup last season.
🚨 Manchester City have joined Real Madrid in the race for Youri Tielemans. The Leicester midfielder is expected to be the subject of big-money bids in the upcoming transfer windows.
(Source: Fichajes) pic.twitter.com/XvQ0IkPwW0
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) December 13, 2021
Kevin De Bruyne has not been up to his best self so far while Ilkay Gundogan has also looked lethargic. Tielemans will be a solid addition in the Cityzens’ bid to defend their league crown.
MIDFIELDER- AMADOU HAIDARA
One of Ralf Rangnick’s old protegees who has performed consistently for RB Leipzig. Haidara has been touted for some time as the first player to be signed by the interim manager in order to further implement his pressing style of play. Haidara is an offensive upgrade on the current options but it remains to be seen how much game time he will actually see.
🚨 Ralf Rangnick is targeting £33m midfielder Amadou Haidara to implement his pressing style at Manchester United.
(Source: The Times) pic.twitter.com/eaw01IqKbS
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) November 30, 2021
The options of the bench are not too great which will only enhance his chances however. Furthermore, his £33 million release clause is another incentive for the board.
CENTRE BACK- SVEN BOTMAN
The club everyone will be watching with keen interest having become the richest in the world. The Magpies will definitely be adding players to their squad, as they currently languish in the relegation zone with just one win so far. Jesse Lingard has emerged as a serious possibility but it is the approach for Botman that should excite fans more.
Newcastle are seriously interested in signing Sven Botman in January. He's top of the list – but still waiting to know Lille position/price tag. AC Milan are keeping tabs on Botman situation too 🇳🇱 #NUFC #Lille
Sevilla, Wolves & Atalanta were in talks to sign Botman last summer. pic.twitter.com/gB0ED8eGvN
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 13, 2021
League winner with Lille last season, the 21-year-old is an excellent reader of the game who excels in air and on ground. Stopping goals will be one of the major points if Newcastle do want to stay up and improving their backline is a no brainer
STRIKER- KEINAN DAVIES
Another team that needs goals in abundance to stay up for next year. Teemo Pukki has been a constant for the Canaries but the backups have not yet cemented themselves well. Anthony Idah and Joshua Sargent are still finding their feet which could see Dean Smith turn to one of his former players.
Norwich City have been linked with making a move for someone Dean Smith knows well and it appears he would be open to the switch #NCFC https://t.co/TWeYiHXJw6
— Danny Rust (@Danny_Rust10) December 12, 2021
Davies’ career with Aston Villa has stalled this season, and this move could see him get back to form well. Though he is not a big name signing that fans could love instantly, a strong run of showings will prove his worth and resurrect his career at the same time.
GOALKEEPER- SAM JOHNSTONE
It has been a tough few weeks for the Saints. After conceding a last-gasp leveler to Brighton, they were hammered 3-0 by Arsenal at the weekend. First choice custodian Alex McCarthy suffered a leg injury against the Seagulls and with Fraser Forster also out, they were forced to sign Willy Caballero on emergency basis.
Transfer news LIVE: Sam Johnstone in-demand as West Brom goalkeeper attracts Southampton and West Ham interest
— Daily Record Sport (@Record_Sport) December 8, 2021
With Forster set to leave next summer, it could be the perfect time to sign a solid goalkeeper. Johnstone has been a consistent performer for West Brom over the past two seasons and will instantly provide tough competition to McCarthy in the long run as well.
LEFT BACK- ANDREA CAMBIASO
The number of teams embroiled in a relegation fight this season is staggering. Watford, currently 17th, cannot let their guard down as the next few months will prove to be crucial. They will also be one of the teams most impacted by the AFCON in January. In that regard, going for a defensive option makes sense.
Genoa’s Andrea Cambiaso scored his first-ever Serie A goal this weekend against Napoli 👶🏻🇮🇹
He’s only ever scored 2 goals in his entire career prior to this, both being in Serie D. A beautiful rise to the top.
At just 21 years old, he’s someone to keep your eye on this season. pic.twitter.com/9G4N2cM1ia
— Italian Football TV (@IFTVofficial) August 30, 2021
Cambiaso has been a regular with Genoa this season, notching up one goal and two assists. His versatility allows him to play on either flank and even in midfield. Danny Rose has shown his age in some calamitous performances and Cambiaso can stake a claim for his spot quickly.
WEST HAM UNITED
MIDFIELDER- DELE ALLI
Can lightning strike twice? Last season it was the signing of Jesse Lingard that really reinvigorated the side for the last six months. Alli could have a similar impact and it could also see a revival for his career as well.
Newcastle ahead of West Ham & Everton in battle to clinch January deal for Dele Alli https://t.co/mnBsRRQUNM
— The Sun Football ⚽ (@TheSunFootball) December 14, 2021
Antonio Conte has certainly struggled to find a place for Alli, and with the Hammers in serious contention for a European place and into the Europa League knockouts, more firepower is a must. Alli is a silky player who can also score quite a few goals when the opportunities present themselves. A loan move could benefit all parties.
MIDFIELDER- JESSE LINGARD
Though the Magpies are favourites to land the Manchester United player, Wolves could also do with Lingard. His versatility will allow him to play just in behind the striker(s) or have a free roam and drop wide in order to pick up the ball.
🕵️Paul Merson believes Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli is the perfect solution for Wolves' midfield problems in the January transfer window:
🗣"They need a midfield player that is prepared to run off the ball, that might be Dele Alli!"#THFC #COYSpic.twitter.com/AKzGIS3ewL
— Last Word On Spurs 🇮🇹 (@LastWordOnSpurs) December 4, 2021
Bruno Lage has set his team up in a very fixed manner, but Daniel Podence and Lingard working together to supply up front can be key for a higher finish. Furthermore, he can also come in place of Joao Moutinho and impact games from a little deeper or use the runners around him to advance quickly.
STRIKER- LORENZO INSIGNE
Harry Kane stayed with Spurs but at what cost? He has only scored and assisted once in the Premier League, and clearly looks to be disinterested now. Spurs have coped given the quality they have in other players but a first-class striker is definitely a need. They are in the race for Dusan Vlahovic but his asking price could put Daniel Levy off.
Antonio Conte and Fabio Paratici will know all about the Napoli ace.https://t.co/GlTMBUeTf0
— football.london (@Football_LDN) December 14, 2021
Insigne seems to be a much more sensible option as he is in the final year of his contract and can sign a pre-transfer agreement in January. One of the most consistent scorers in European football, Insigne will certainly combine superbly with Heung-Min Son and Lucas Moura in charging up the attack.