As we move further into January, more and more clubs will start to make their moves – let’s take a look at what the next five clubs in the league need:
They certainly need something pretty sharp. One of last season’s success stories, Roberto Martinez’s side are languishing in 13th as I write – not exactly a satisfactory position considering the £30 million-plus outlay.
It’s obvious to point at the defence when things are going wrong, but in the case of the Toffees, it’s the right place to point. Goalkeeper Tim Howard hasn’t enjoyed a vintage season, while Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka have been on a long dose of rotten form. A new centre back would be ideal, but one suspects that Martinez spent all of his pocket money last summer on Romelu Lukaku.
Hull’s main problem is in the goals department. As you’d expect, Steve Bruce has built a strong side capable of competing with other Premier League teams, but he has so far failed to find the striker who can turn them from relegation fodder to Premier League mainstays.
Unfortunately for Hull fans, it seems unlikely that Bruce will be doing much, saying that exact thing in December. Unless the Hull boss can conjure up one of his inventive transfers, it seems certain that January will be a quiet month at KC Stadium.
What do they need? To be honest, a lot. Despite spending a truckload of money in the summer, Leicester are stuck to the bottom of the Premier League – and unless something changes soon, they could find themselves being cut adrift.
The issue for the Foxes is that there are no glaring issues in their first 11, but rather a sense of foreboding that none of the players are really capable of winning this fight. A talismanic centre back or central midfielder would help, while a striker guaranteed to score goals would make a significant difference – the trouble is, a whole lot of more attractive teams are currently looking for exactly the same thing.
A striker, a goalkeeper and a defender would all be welcome additions at Anfield, but there is a real sense that Rodgers has no real right to expect to have money available to spend on players this January.
Following a colossal outlay in the summer after the departure of Luis Suarez, Liverpool have been dreadful, and clearly Steven Gerrard has seen enough. Whether that will make a vast difference to Rodgers’ ability to recruit players remains to be seen. But what should and could well be an issue for the Northern Irishman is persuading the board to sanction transfers, given that roughly 80 per cent of Rodgers’ recruits have been poor.
Ordinarily you wouldn’t expect Man City to need much else, but with Aguero and Dzeko currently injured, Jovetic almost always injured and Negredo on loan in some far away land (okay, Spain), the likelihood is that City will dip their toe in the market this January and grab themselves a striker.
The chances of it being a readymade superstar are relatively slim – after all, Aguero and Dzeko are two of the best strikers in Europe and they own them both already – but a move for Wilfried Bony has been mooted and could well come to fruition.
In addition, if City feel like the title depends on it, there’s a good chance that Manuel Pellegrini may wish to strengthen in central defence with Demichelis getting on and Mangala failing to impress so far.