With the January transfer window approaching, we’ve decided to take a look at which Premier League players could be on the move. Clubs are often more reticent to engage in mid-season transfers as it can be difficult replacing players in between games.
Making squad changes during the campaign can also be disrupting, but we’ve picked one or two players from each of the big-six Premier League clubs who look the most likely to be granted a permanent mid-season move.
1. Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal)
Carl Jenkinson is frequently linked with a move away from Arsenal, but he appears content to see out his contract (2020). Whether Mohamed Elneny is happy to be on the periphery at the Emirates remains to be seen, however.
The 26-year-old has amassed just 59 minutes of Premier League football and has spent most of the campaign as an unused substitute. With Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi for competition, Elneny may struggle to feature.
The Egyptian international was linked with Olympique Marseille and Leicester City over the summer and might feel his chances of getting first-team football are better off away from Arsenal.
2. Gary Cahill (Chelsea)
Gary Cahill has played just 21 minutes of Premier League football for Chelsea this season and looks destined to leave the club in January. The 33-year-old is out of contract next summer but is reportedly keen to exit Stamford Bridge as soon as possible after being frozen out of the side under Maurizio Sarri.
Cahill’s only league appearance this season came against West Ham United on September 23. He won’t be short of offers and Chelsea aren’t going to stand in his way given they have David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christiansen and hot prospect Ethan Ampadu.
3. Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea)
Cahill’s teammate Cesc Fabregas is in the same boat. The Spanish international has managed only 153 minutes of Premier League football and is keen to leave Chelsea to get first-team action elsewhere. With Ross Barkley, Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Ruben Loftus-Cheek for competition, Fabregas isn’t getting a look-in.
Danny Drinkwater has also been frozen out this season, with Sarri playing down the prospect of him featuring at Chelsea, but he appears content to fight for his place. Fabregas, however, isn’t getting any younger and will want to end his career on a higher note than this.
4. Alberto Moreno (Liverpool)
Alberto Moreno recently spoke out about his frustration with a lack of playing time at Liverpool, criticising Jurgen Klopp in the process. He’ll likely be sold a soon as possible as it’s clear he’s not content with playing backup to Andrew Robertson.
The 26-year-old has made just two league appearances this season, racking up a total of 156 minutes on the pitch. He’s only made the match day squad once in more than three weeks and appears desperate to end his Anfield hell in January.
Divock Origi’s future is also uncertain with Klopp handing him just two league appearances this season, but he’s been on the bench in recent weeks and might be used as an impact substitute for the remainder of the campaign. He and Daniel Sturridge will fight for minutes from the bench.
5. Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City)
With Mangala not making a single appearance this season and spending half the campaign with the reserve side, he doesn’t appear to have future at the Etihad Stadium. The 27-year-old is out of contract next summer, so City only have the January transfer window to cash in on Mangala before he can leave for free.
He hasn’t played for the Sky Blues since January and will go down as one of their worst and most expensive ever flops (£42m from FC Porto in 2014). With Pep Guardiola having Vincent Kompany, Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi, they won’t miss Mangala.
6. Marcos Rojo (Manchester United)
Despite signing a new deal in March, Marcos Rojo could be moved on in January after struggling for form and playing time at Manchester United this season. The Red Devils could look to clear out some deadwood in January that isn’t making the matchday squad and Rojo would be a prime candidate.
The 28-year-old has made just two Premier League appearances this season, amassing just over 100 minutes of playing time. Rojo has been linked with a return to Argentina and might be sanctioned a departure as United already have Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof for competition.
7. Fernando Llorente (Tottenham Hotspur)
Tottenham may not bring any players in next month, but they might look to cash in on some of their underperforming stars. Fernando Llorente has played just 23 minutes of Premier League football this season and is out of contract next summer. He set Tottenham back around £12m in 2017 so the Londoners will be desperate to get some value out of an early departure.
Spurs might be content to have Erik Lamela, Heung-min Son and Lucas Moura as potential backup to Harry Kane up front. Llorente can’t get a game either way so Tottenham will hardly miss him if he’s sold. It makes sense to try and get some money back rather than losing him for free next summer.
There will be talk of Mousa Dembele potentially leaving in January, but while he’s currently sidelined with injury, a move will be hard to come by. Tottenham have coped well in his absence, but Mauricio Pochettino might feel he could still be useful for another six months.