The January transfer window is edging ever closer and across the division there are plenty of players who could benefit from a change of clubs next month.
From out of favour former favourites to forgotten figures, the opening months of the 2021/22 season has been a challenging period for this bunch and the winter window offers the opportunity for a fresh challenge and career reboot.
Here are eight Premier League players who need a January move.
Anthony Martial’s agent has revealed the forward’s desire to leave Manchester United next month, having fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford.
The France international has made just two league starts as a result of fitness issues and competition for places, having endured a disappointing season last term that delivered just four league goals.
It’s been a rapid fall from grace for the 26-year-old, who scored 23 goals in all competitions and was named as the Red Devils’ Player of the Year for 2019/20, with a new start perhaps best following five-and-a-half seasons of inconsistent performances.
Martial has two-and-a-half years remaining on his current contract and a loan move could suit all parties, allowing the forward increased minutes and a chance to inflate his valuation ahead of a potential summer move.
Sevilla have been credited as Martial’s preferred destination, whilst both Juventus and Barcelona are also rumoured to be interested in a loan deal.
Nat Phillips earned cult status at Liverpool following his role in the Reds’ Champions League qualification last season, the centre-back stepping in during the club’s injury crisis to help the side to a top-four finish.
The return of key figures and summer signing of Ibrahima Konate has pushed the 24-year-old back down the pecking order, however, with Phillips admitting recently that he is keen to explore his options in the winter window.
🚨 NEW: Liverpool have put a £15 million price tag on defender Nat Phillips. The 24-year-old centre-back is set to be sold during the January window after finding his opportunities limited so far this season. #awlive [@JamesPearceLFC] pic.twitter.com/Tevxx4z7c3
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) December 16, 2021
“I’m going to see what comes along [in January] and go from there,” Phillips said.
“I think at this moment in time it’s unlikely that I’ll be playing lots of games for Liverpool, so if an opportunity arises where I get the chance to do that somewhere else and it suits everyone then it’s certainly something I’d be interested in.”
West Ham have been linked as David Moyes seeks defensive cover, whilst Newcastle and Burnley have also been credited as admirers as the struggling sides seek centre-back reinforcements.
Chelsea could offload Ross Barkley during the winter window, the midfielder having featured sporadically since returning from a loan spell at Aston Villa last season.
It has failed to work out for Barkley since leaving boyhood side Everton for Chelsea in 2018, making just 29 league starts for the west Londoners and falling from a regular place in the England squad to forgotten figure at Stamford Bridge.
The 28-year-old needs a move and fresh start to revive his faltering fortunes and there will be sides willing to gamble on being able to coax the best from a talented but inconsistent performer.
Newcastle – who have been linked with almost everyone in recent months – have been mentioned as a potential destination, whilst Leeds and Everton are also said to have monitored his situation.
Eddie Nketiah’s future looks increasingly likely to be away from Arsenal, the forward out of contract at the end of the season and keen to secure regular first-team football.
Nketiah has featured for just 38 minutes in the Premier League so far this season, but has showcased his goalscoring threat with five goals in three Carabao Cup appearances, including a hat-trick against Sunderland to book Arsenal’s place in the semi-finals.
The 22-year-old also boasts an excellent record for England at youth level and is the U21’s all-time record goalscorer, having scored 16 goals in 17 caps for the Young Lions.
Nketiah on his Arsenal future:
"I'm just eager to play football. I'm here and under contract. As long as I play for Arsenal I'm going to give my all." pic.twitter.com/7iUKPxQwqh
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) December 21, 2021
Crystal Palace were interested last summer but refused to meet the Gunners’ £20m valuation. The Eagles look a fine fit for Nketiah after recently improving their ranks with emerging London-based talent in Eberechi Eze, Michael Olise and loanee Conor Gallagher.
Everton, Newcastle and West Ham are among the Premier League sides set to seek firepower this winter and Nketiah will be an appealing option given his promise and contract length.
“If we play with a 3-5-2, he’s a midfielder that is good physically, strong physically, good technique, good penetration because he has the right ability to attack. He had chances to score but it was a good performance.”
Antonio Conte praised the performance of Dele Alli during Tottenham’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool this month, the midfielder producing an encouraging showing after being recalled to the starting side.
Alli is a huge talent who has lost his way in recent seasons, a succession of managers having overlooked a player who starred as one of the division’s brightest talents under Mauricio Pochettino.
🗣 "We're probably at the last chance saloon with Dele Alli"@Carra23 and Jamie Redknapp reflect on the Tottenham midfielder's performance against Liverpool and talk about what he must do to fit into the #THFC side. pic.twitter.com/xZFoRCNRH2
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 20, 2021
Alli was dubbed ‘lazy’ by former manager Jose Mourinho and Conte will have no passengers in his squad, demanding nothing less than 100% from his players and the onus is now on Alli to either win his trust or start afresh elsewhere this January.
Jesse Lingard looked set to leave Manchester United last summer after returning from an impressive loan spell at West Ham, the midfielder scoring nine goals in 16 games to earn a recall to the England squad.
United’s valuation and assurances over playing time ultimately led to the 29-year-old remaining, but he has failed to regain his place in the side and is once again at a career crossroads.
Lingard has just six months remaining on his current contract and can negotiate with foreign sides over a pre-contract agreement next month, whilst both West Ham and Newcastle have been linked with a January move.
Lingard proved last season that he is too good a footballer to remain in a bit-part role at Old Trafford, having failed to start a Premier League fixture this season with his 88 minutes coming across eight substitute appearances.
Hamza Choudhury’s career has stalled in recent seasons after struggling to win favour at Leicester, the former England u21 international out of favour under Brendan Rodgers.
Choudhury has made just one Premier League appearance so far this season, whilst he has also found himself on the fringes of the Foxes’ team in cup competition with his action totalling just 151 minutes in 2021/22.
The 24-year-old needs a new start in order to revive his fortunes, having fallen behind summer signing Boubakary Soumaré in the pecking order.
Despite being linked with a loan move to Newcastle last summer a move failed to materialise, but the midfielder will no doubt seek an exit in search of much-needed game time when business in January begins.
It’s easy to forget that Cenk Tosun is still an Everton player, the forward having featured for just six minutes for the Toffees this season.
The 30-year-old has spent time on loan with Crystal Palace and Besiktas over the past two campaigns and needs a regular run of games if he is to regain his place in the Turkey squad.
Tosun’s future will almost certainly be away from Everton after a torrid time on Merseyside, where he has failed to earn a chance this season despite Salomon Rondon labouring ahead of him in the pecking order.
Everton look set to lose the large majority – if not all – of their £27m investment in Tosun as the forward’s contract reaches its expiry next summer.
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