Football

One signing each top-half Premier League team should make in January

Premier League clubs

With the January transfer window fast approaching, here’s one player each of the current top-half Premier League clubs should sign

Arsenal – Adrien Rabiot

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Arsenal have proven they will once again be title challenges this season and sit top of the table following their narrow win over Brentford. But the Gunners are looking light in midfield with Thomas Partey and Fabio Vieira out injured and could certainly use greater depth in the middle of the pitch. Rabiot has been in fine form for Juventus this season and with his contract up at the end of the season, could be available for a decent fee in January which would suit Arsenal given their summer expenditure. His all-round game and versatility would provide an excellent squad option for Arteta.

Manchester City – Savio

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In truth, Manchester City don’t really need to strengthen anywhere in January but Savio would provide further depth to an attack which is already stacked with talent. The winger has been excellent for Girona this season, who are part of the City Football Group meaning a transfer would be pretty straightforward. He can play on either flank and his pace and directness would be a good option for Guardiola, especially in the latter stages of the season when tiredness begins to become more of a factor.

Liverpool – Joao Palhinha

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Liverpool’s pursuit of a defensive midfielder was unsuccessful in the summer window, missing out on both Romeo Lavia and Moises Caicedo to Chelsea. Wataru Endo joined but has played a bit part role for the Reds so far and an elite defensive midfield player would provide a boost to Jurgen Klopp’s title hopes. Joao Palhinha was close to joining Bayern Munich on the final day of the summer window but has since signed a new deal with Fulham and would require Liverpool to part with a big sum to get him. But there’s no disputing that he is one of the best in his position in the world and his tackling ability would present Liverpool with more chances to break quickly on the transition through the abundance of pace they possess.

Aston Villa – Jonathan Rowe

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Villa have been terrific so far this season and are firmly in the mix for a Champions League spot come the end of the season. For Unai Emery, January is about reinforcing his squad with more good options in case of injury or loss of form, and Norwich City’s Jonathan Rowe would be a sensible addition. The 20-year-old winger has scored seven times in the Championship this season and would provide Villa with another dangerous attacking option.

Tottenham – Fikayo Tomori

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Injuries and suspensions have left Spurs depleted in the middle of defence in recent games. Bad luck has played a big part but Ange Postecoglou is lacking enough good options in his squad when it comes to central defence given Eric Dier is seemingly not in his plans. Former Chelsea man Tomori has had a successful spell at AC Milan and has improved considerably since he signed. His athleticism means he could fit into Tottenham’s high line system and with Milan faltering, he may be interested in a move back home.

Man Utd- Florian Wirtz

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Goals have been a big problem for Manchester United this season, scoring just 16 times in 13 Premier League games. An improved run of form has late has calmed the noise around the club slightly but big problems still exist on the pitch. Signing a creator like Wirtz would address the lack of creativity in the squad and his versatility would allow him to fit in anywhere across midfield and attack. Technically brilliant, Wirtz’s excellent close control and dribbling ability would provide something United are lacking at present and he also has the end product to back it up, ranking among the best in his position for shot creating actions among players in Europe’s top five leagues.

Newcastle – Aleix Garcia

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Injuries have battered Newcastle this season while the long-term suspension of summer signing Sandro Tonali was a huge blow. The Magpies need reinforcements in central midfield and Girona’s Garcia would be a fine addition. He has perhaps been the biggest factor in his side’s surprise title challenge and ranks among the best central midfielders in Europe for categories including progressive passes, shot creating actions and assists too. He is also adept at the defensive side of the game and while he would require a hefty transfer fee, would be an excellent signing for Eddie Howe.

Brighton – Kalvin Phillips

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Brighton are well known for their savvy recruitment which often makes it difficult to know who they are going to sign given they have grown a reputation for turning unheard of players into superstars. But an interesting addition who is well known to English football fans would be Kalvin Phillips. The midfielder desperately needs game time ahead of the Euros next summer and would also help to address some of Brighton’s defensive frailties. It would be a good move for the 27-year-old to get back to his best in an excellently coached team.

West Ham – Jonas Wind

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West Ham badly need a striker, even more so following an injury to Michail Antonio. Youngster Divin Mubama and veteran Danny Ings are the only recognised fit and available strikers for manager David Moyes at present so Wolfsburg’s Wind would make a lot of sense for the Hammers. At 6’3 he has the size, strength and physicality which suits the team’s more direct style of play and is a threat at set pieces, which would come in handy given James Ward-Prowse is perhaps the best set-piece taker in the Premier League. Most importantly, though, Wind has proven he can score goals at a good level.

Chelsea – Victor Osimhen

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It’s been another disappointing season so far for Chelsea. After finishing 12th last season, the Blues sit 10th under Mauricio Pochettino and were thumped 4-1 by Newcastle last time out. Scoring enough goals has again been a problem with Nicolas Jackson blowing hot and cold and the team failing to convert enough good opportunities. An obvious fix would be Napoli striker Osimhen, who scored 26 goals in 32 Serie A games last season. His combination of pace, clever movement and aerial strength would go some way to addressing Chelsea’s long-standing problems in front of goal.

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