And last but not least, the final part of our guide to the transfer window – let’s see what the teams in the lower reaches of the Premier League alphabet need most…
While the Black Cats sit in a relatively comfortable 14th position in the Premier League, only two sides have scored less goals than Gus Poyet’s side, making a striker who can actually hit the back of the net a bit of a no-brainer for the January meat market. Sunderland might be comfortable now, but a few poor results could definitely change all that, and there’s no doubt that Poyet will be looking to prevent a tumble down the ladder from happening.
As with about half a dozen other clubs in the league, Sunderland’s main target is supposedly Burnley’s Danny Ings, but given that a number of rather more high-profile clubs are in for the forward, it seems a bit unlikely that he’ll make the move north-east.
What may make Sunderland’s transfer dealings a little spicier (read: interesting) is the fact that Poyet and the club’s director Lee Congerton supposedly do not get on. With Congerton in charge of transfers, it remains to be seen whether any players that Poyet wants will make their way to the Stadium of Light. Black Cats fans will be hoping the two of them patch things up fast.
With Wilfried Bony departing for the African Cup of Nations AND seemingly on the cusp of signing for Man City for the princely sum of £30 million, the Whites could definitely do with some strengthening up front. Thankfully, Garry Monk has already thought of that, bringing in Benfica striker Nelson Oliveira in on loan.
In other news, ever since Ben Davies left the Liberty, Monk has needed a new leftback and if a suitable one becomes available this window, don’t be surprised to see him snap one up.
Whether Tottenham spend this January very much depends on Daniel Levy. As I write, Spurs are two points off fourth, having garnered 13 points from their last 6 matches, and in a season as unpredictable as this, talk of the top four could soon be on the cards.
The question is whether Levy is prepared to spend the money to make the top four more than just a distant dream. The chairman has avoided spending significant money in the last few winter windows, and such reluctance has derailed the club’s chances. If Levy is serious about his club playing Champions League football, now is the time to push the boat out, invest heavily in a new striker and push hard for Europe’s premier cup competition.
Since Tony Pulis took over at the Hawthorns, a new wave of optimism has spread over the club. Given his heroics at Crystal Palace last season, the Welshman has potential to dramatically change the Baggies’ fortunes. But in order for that to happen, he will need to be given some resources to work with.
Talk of cashing in on Saido Berahino makes sense – the striker has played well this year but has been somewhat overrated – and the inevitably inflated fee that he would raise would allow Pulis to mould the team in his own image. Expect a few tough recruits ready for a real fight. If Pulis is allowed to work his magic, it seems unlikely that West Brom will go down this time around.
With the Hammers’ tilt for the top four starting to fade, Sam Allardyce now needs to decide what his team is capable of. Early indications from the manager suggest that he is not planning too much in January, but a cash injection could make his side a genuine bet for the Champions League places.
Should Allardyce choose to invest, it seems likely that he will be picky with who he buys, with his first 11 performing well above expectations so far this season. Will West Ham head into the Olympic Stadium on a real high after a fantastic finish to the season, or will they limp there after collapsing? Only time will tell.