Premier League clubs are now actively seeking reinforcements in the January transfer window, as clubs scramble during the mid-season sales to bolster their squads ahead of the remainder of the season.
Whilst fans across the country eagerly anticipate their next exciting new arrival, several stars are currently at a crossroads in their careers and seemingly in desperate need of a new challenge. We’ve decided to look at some of the players currently on the periphery at the league’s leading sides, who may well decide a move is best during the winter window.
Here is a player at each top six club that really needs a move this January…
Arsenal – Shkodran Mustafi
Sometimes in football, it just really doesn’t work out.
That has certainly been the case for Shkodran Mustafi at Arsenal, the German having arrived as a big-money buy and World Cup winning defender before becoming arguably the most maligned figure in the Premier League.
The 27-year-old has failed horribly to justify his £35m price-rag, Mustafi having proven a calamitous presence in an Arsenal backline that has long lacked any sense of solidity or security.
Unpopular amongst the fanbase, short on confidence and seemingly and out of his depth at the highest level, a move would suit all parties this January for a player who has made just one Premier League start so far this season.
Speculation has emerged of interest in the player from across Europe, though the Gunners will likely have to take a significant hit on a player who remains the most expensive defender in the club’s history.
New manager Mikel Arteta needs to make his mark on an underperforming squad, and the sale of the club’s deadwood this winter is the right way to start.
Chelsea – Olivier Giroud
A player in desperate need of a move and seemingly set to get one, Olivier Giroud has remained patient on the sidelines at Stamford Bridge but has now decided he needs to quit the club to secure first-team football.
Despite being prolific in the Europa League last season he was rarely handed a chance in the Premier League under Maurizio Sarri, whilst fortunes under new boss Frank Lampard have worsened still.
The 33-year-old remains a useful player but has fallen behind both Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi in the pecking order at the west London side, making just two league starts and now needs a new challenge to maintain his place in the France squad ahead of next summer’s European Championships.
Unlikely to be short of suitors as he prepares for the next step in his career, Giroud would be wise to pick a side where he will be a guaranteed starter as the veteran enters the twilight years of his career.
Liverpool – Nathaniel Clyne
Yes, believe it not, Nathaniel Clyne is still a Liverpool player.
The full-back has suffered a horrific run with injuries in recent years, missing the entirety of this season so far after sustaining an ACL injury during a pre-season friendly last summer.
Once a key man in the early seasons of Klopp’s reign and regular England international, Clyne’s continued absence has coincided with the emergence of Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back and his prospects on Merseyside now look all but over.
Loaned out to Bournemouth for the second half of last season, he returned to the Reds this term but the knee injury suffered against Borussia Dortmund in Notre Dame ended any hopes of a move away.
The 28-year-old is now in the final months of his contract at Anfield and a parting of ways looks inevitable, with West Ham reportedly amongst the clubs considering an approach this month following the injury suffered to Ryan Fredericks.
If Clyne can get back to full fitness he would prove an invaluable addition to the majority of Premier League sides, though he must surely now seek regular opportunities following a lengthy period on the treatment table.
Manchester City – Phil Foden
Hear us out, whilst we are amongst the majority who believe Phil Foden will prove to be an important figure for Manchester City in years to come, there can be no denying that the teenager’s lack of minutes so far this season is a concern.
Pep Guardiola insists he wants to keep the Stockport-born midfielder amongst his first-team setup, but just two league starts is a frustrating figure for a player who possesses the talent to reach the very top.
Now we’re not advocating City part with the 19-year-old on a permanent basis, but could a loan for the second half of the season really be less productive for his development than training alongside City’s stars?
David Silva has announced he will bring his glittering career at the Etihad to a close this summer, with Foden likely to be given increased opportunities following the Spaniard’s departure, but why not give the midfielder the chance to test himself regularly during a loan spell for the remainder of the campaign.
Foden will surely be monitoring the success of potential international colleagues in Mason Mount and James Maddison thriving at Premier League level currently, believing he has the attributes to rival those players as England’s next creative talent.
Premier League clubs would likely be queuing to secure Foden on a temporary basis, a move we feel could prove beneficial to all parties.
Manchester United – Phil Jones
Like the aforementioned Mustafi, the bumbling Jones has become somewhat of a joke at Manchester United, a figure of ridicule whose name makes supporters wince when read out on any given team sheet.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s declaration that Jones could become the club’s greatest ever player seems more ludicrous with each passing performance, the 27-year-old more renowned as an internet meme then as a defender of the very highest quality.
Despite some rather calamitous displays in recent times, players tend not to remain at Old Trafford for almost a decade without some talent, whilst 27 caps for England also points to a capable defender. Jones, however, looks void of any confidence or self-belief in his abilities at present, and a change of scenery would surely benefit the centre-back moving forward.
Former defensive partner Chris Smalling has gone from a much-maligned teammate to one of Serie A’s outstanding defenders since a loan move to Roma last summer, and Jones must surely be considering moving away from the intensity of the Manchester United pressure cooker.
Moving outside the bubble of arguably the world’s biggest football club could help Jones concentrate on rediscovering his best form, his career seemingly heading nowhere at present.
Tottenham – Victor Wanyama
Once one of the Premier League’s most imposing midfield players, the Kenyan has struggled with injuries of late and saw a late move away from Tottenham collapse during the summer transfer window.
Speculation continues to mount that Wanyama’s injury problems have hampered his abilities, though he would surely still prove a smart pick up at a low cost for a side looking for a defensive midfield screen.
The 28-year-old has started just one fixture in all competitions so far for Spurs, featuring for just 24 minutes during two substitute appearances in the Premier League for the north London side.
A former fan’s favourite at Celtic, Wanyama has been linked with a return to the Scottish champions and a move away from the intensity of the Premier League may prove beneficial for a player whose physical prowess is believed to have diminished somewhat.
The growing injury list at Spurs, including Moussa Sissoko’s absence until April, may hinder his chances of a move but the midfielder will no doubt want to secure regular football after a frustrating time of late.
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