The transfer window is open for business with January providing Premier League clubs with a chance to regroup, evaluate and strengthen in the mid-season market.
Each of the division’s sides will be considering new signings during the winter window and January is set to be a month full of transfer rumours and speculation.
The right signing could prove the difference between silverware and falling short at the end of the season and we’ve decided to look at one ideal signing for each of the Premier League’s leading clubs.
Here is one ideal January signing for each of the Premier League’s ‘big six’.
Arsenal – Alexander Isak
Arsenal’s recent progress has justified the club’s summer spending, with the new additions having built an exciting core that has shown encouraging signs in recent months.
The Gunners are in contention to finish in the top four this season, but may need a new centre-forward to get themselves ahead of the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham and West Ham in the race for Champions League football.
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) December 8, 2021
Arsenal’s recruitment has been focused on younger players and Alexander Isak has been linked in recent weeks, the 22-year-old have impressed for Sweden at last summer’s European Championship.
Isak scored 17 league goals for Real Sociedad in La Liga last season and could prove the long-term solution to Arsenal’s forward issues, amid the uncertainty surrounding the futures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah.
Isak has failed to replicate last season’s goalscoring form this term but remains a player with huge potential, whilst his fondness for drifting wide and driving at defences could see him create space and link well with the likes of Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and former Sociedad teammate Martin Odegaard.
Midfield additions could also be targeted with Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny leaving for Africa Cup of Nations duty and Ainsley Maitland-Niles interesting Roma.
Chelsea – Lucas Digne
Chelsea’s squad is amongst the deepest in European football right now, but the loss of Ben Chilwell to injury has contributed to their stuttering recent form.
Chilwell and fellow wing-back Reece James have emerged as crucial figures in Thomas Tuchel’s system, bringing energy and creativity to the side from the flanks.
The England international is set for an extended period on the sidelines after undergoing surgery to repair the ACL injury sustained against Juventus in November, with replacement Marcos Alonso having failed to convince in his absence.
Lucas Digne has emerged as an attractive and attainable short-term solution to the Blues’ issues, having fallen out of favour under Rafael Benitez at Everton.
The France international has been viewed as one of the Premier League’s best left-backs in recent seasons and Everton’s signing of Vitaliy Mykolenko from Dynamo Kyiv has paved the way for his exit. A loan deal until the end of the season makes sense for all parties involved.
Liverpool – Raphinha
The Africa Cup of Nations will also prove problematic for Liverpool this month, with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita departing for a crucial period of the campaign.
That trio will miss a minimum of two league fixtures, an FA Cup third round tie with Shrewsbury, and both of the club’s Carabao Cup semi-final dates with Arsenal, the loss of Salah and Mane in particular difficult to deal with as Jurgen Klopp copes with the absence of his leading goal threats.
Diogo Jota will be expected to carry the goalscoring burden, but beyond the Portugal international the Reds’ options look stretched.
Roberto Firmino is currently recovering from Covid-19 and has had a disrupted season through injury, whilst neither Takumi Minamino or Divock Origi have started a Premier League fixture this season.
Adding an injection of quality into the club’s forward options could keep momentum in Liverpool’s pursuit of trophies, with Leeds’ winger Raphinha a name that has been mentioned as a potential transfer target.
Raphinha 🤝 Scoring against Everton pic.twitter.com/KlmHlz2f3y
— Leeds United (@LUFC) August 21, 2021
The Brazilian has impressed since his arrival at Elland Road and would provide an instant upgrade on Klopp’s back-up options, whilst at 25 he can challenge for a long-term place in the starting side.
Given the healthy contingent of Brazil internationals at Anfield and his familiarity with English football, he could hit the ground running as a mid-season arrival.
Manchester City – Harry Kane
Manchester City’s pursuit of Harry Kane was one of the stories of the summer, the Premier League champions failing in their bid to lure the England captain from Tottenham.
Pep Guardiola’s side are 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League and on course to secure a fourth league title in just five seasons, with it perhaps unlikely that we’ll see City delve into the January market.
The signing of a centre-forward appears to be the club’s next priority despite their successful season so far and a move for Kane – or another elite number nine – could improve their chances of Champions League success this season.
Kane has failed to fire this term and has just four league goals for the campaign, but City are believed to retain their interest in the 28-year-old after seeing two summer bids rejected.
Spurs could be tempted to cash-in on Kane as Antonio Conte looks to shape the squad in his own image, but his sale would represent a risk mid-season as the north Londoners chase Champions League football.
Manchester United – Frenkie de Jong
Midfield additions are on the agenda for Ralf Rangnick and Manchester United this winter, whose performances under the interim boss have been underwhelming.
The signing of a defence-minded midfielder has been cited as the key to turning around the Red Devils’ fortunes, but an engine room anchor will not necessarily improve the club’s lacklustre approach play.
Amadou Haidara – who has a £33m release clause in his contact at RB Leipzig – has been mentioned as a transfer target and would bring energy, drive and familiarity with Rangnick’s style to the side.
However, one appealing addition could be Frenkie de Jong, who has been linked with an exit from Barcelona as the club look to raise funds and reduce their wage bill.
The Netherlands international boasts a comfortability in possession that is currently lacking in the United midfield, his technical talents allowing him to flourish whilst under the pressure of a press.
De Jong’s 91.2% pass accuracy this season betters the totals of Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic, whilst he also leads that trio for chances created, take-ons completed and ground duels won in the league this season.
The 24-year-old’s ability to break up play at the base of the midfield and thread passes through opposition lines as a conduit between defence and attack is something that could transform this Red Devils side.
Tottenham – Dusan Vlahovic
Optimism is rising at Tottenham following an unbeaten league start under Antonio Conte, the north Londoners within two points of the top four with two games in hand over fourth-place Arsenal.
Conte’s methods are beginning to bear fruit and January provides the Italian with a chance to strengthen his side, with Spurs in need of reinforcements at both ends of the pitch.
Centre-back and right wing-back have been mentioned as areas of focus despite improvements from their current options under Conte, whilst Spurs have also been credited with interest in Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic.
Vlahovic enjoyed a sensational 2021 to equal Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of 33 Serie A goals in a calendar year, with Europe’s elite monitoring his situation after the Serbian turned down a new deal in Florence.
He has turned down the chance to become the highest-paid player in the club’s history and I Viola could cash-in with his current contract having just 18 months to run.
With Fabio Paratici and Conte possessing excellent contacts in Italian football, it is a deal that makes sense should Spurs be able to tempt the Serbia international to English football.
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