The January transfer window is nearly upon us and there are a number of Premier League players who will be hoping to find a new club next month.
Out of favour across the season’s opening months, the transfer window provides the chance of a new start. Here are six Premier League players who badly need a January transfer.
“There is no number one – not in any position,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said back in August, as the Spaniard sought to explain his decision to sign David Raya from Brentford. Raya’s arrival came as a surprise to many, with Aaron Ramsdale having established himself as first-choice goalkeeper at the Emirates.
Arteta stressed the importance of competition for places, but it has become apparent that it is the summer signing that has his trust. Since starting the first four games of the Premier League season, Ramsdale has featured just once in the league, during the trip to Brentford where the on-loan Raya was ineligible to face his parent club.
It’s been a similar story in the Champions League. Ramsdale’s debut in the competition came against PSV Eindhoven this week, with Arsenal already assured of their place in the last 16 as group winners. The England goalkeeper has become the clear second choice of Arsenal’s ‘two number ones’, remaining out of favour despite Raya’s iffy start with the Gunners. Despite the Spaniard’s struggles, Ramsdale has watched on, and he needs a move to reignite his fortunes.
Chelsea, Wolves and Newcastle are among the Premier League clubs who could look to sign a goalkeeper in January, with the latter having seen Nick Pope ruled out for a lengthy period. With a place in England’s Euro 2024 squad at stake, Ramsdale could look to engineer an exit in search of a regular role.
Jadon Sancho’s career at Manchester United appears all but over, having been ostracised from the first-team squad this season. A public fallout with Erik ten Hag looks set to have one conclusion, unless the Dutchman is dismissed amid the mounting pressure on his own position.
Sancho has struggled to justify the £72.9m fee spent to sign him from Borussia Dortmund in 2021, looking a shadow of the talent who blitzed through Bundesliga defences.
🗣️ “It’s up to him, it’s about culture. Every player has to match certain standards”
Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag on Jadon Sancho’s exclusion from his squad 🔴 pic.twitter.com/Kqa6xqknV4
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) December 9, 2023
Ten Hag dropped Sancho from his squad to face Arsenal on September 3, criticising the player’s application in training. It was a claim Sancho refuted, branding his manager’s comments ‘completely untrue’. A standoff has ensued, with Sancho forced to train away from the main group.
Juventus have been linked with a loan move to sign the 23-year-old, who shone in German football but has flattered to deceive in the Premier League. Sancho recorded 114 goals and assists in 137 appearances for Borussia Dortmund in all competitions, the sort of return that makes him an enticing gamble for interested clubs.
Another England international who has spent much of the season watching on. Kalvin Phillips’ move to Manchester City has been a disaster for the midfielder, who has started just two Premier League games in 18 months at the Etihad.
The expectation is that Phillips will leave next month, as he looks to retain his place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for next summer’s European Championship. The 28-year-old has featured for just 89 minutes in the Premier League so far this season.
Pep Guardiola apologised for not selecting Phillips more often earlier this month but, damningly, said he does not envision the midfielder as part of his side.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Guardiola said ahead of facing Luton.
🗣 “I don’t give him minutes and I’m so sorry”
Pep Guardiola says Kalvin Phillips “doesn’t deserve” his lack of minutes at Man City. pic.twitter.com/Tf62FNwfsE
— Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) December 8, 2023
“I feel so sorry for my decision for him. I’ve said that many times. He doesn’t deserve what has happened to him and I’m so sorry. The only thing I can say about him is I am asking for good personalities and characters and he is a perfect example. And after that I have to give him something and I didn’t do that.
“It’s just because I visualise some things and visualise the team and things – and I struggle to see him.”
Phillips is unlikely to be short of suitors next month, with a whole host of Premier League rivals credited with long-term interest.
Noni Madueke has been a casualty of Chelsea’s haphazard spending, with the winger struggling to find minutes amid a bloated Blues squad.
Madueke signed from PSV Eindhoven during season’s January transfer window, but has fallen behind Mykhailo Mudryk, Raheem Sterling and Cole Palmer in the pecking order under new manager Mauricio Pochettino.
The 21-year-old has featured for just 121 minutes in the Premier League this season, starting only once, and has been linked with a January departure. Madueke’s sale would be a clear indictment of Chelsea’s recent recruitment and amortisation loophole. The England u-21 international signed a seven-year deal when arriving from PSV in a £28.5 million deal just 11 months ago.
Eric Dier’s tenth season at Tottenham looks set to be his last, with the centre-back out of favour and out of contract in North London. Dier has started just once in the Premier League under Ange Postecoglou, who opted for an unorthodox full-back pairing of Emerson Royal and Ben Davies in central defence earlier this season, in the absence of Cristian Romero and Micky van de Ven.
Postecoglou’s demand for proactive football from the back has seen Dier shunted out of the picture at Spurs. The 29-year-old, who has won 49 caps for England, is out of contract at the end of the season and will be free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with foreign sides in January. He has been tentatively linked with a return to former club Sporting Lisbon.
Even given West Ham’s lack of a recognised goalscorer, Danny Ings has found football difficult to come by at The London Stadium this season.
Eight of the forward’s nine Premier League appearances have come from the bench, totalling just 130 minutes of league action under David Moyes. Michail Antonio has been preferred at centre-forward, while Mohammed Kudus and Jarrod Bowen have also each spent time leading the line.
David Moyes initially tried to sign Danny Ings in the summer of 2022. He was delighted when the forward joined in January, but so far the move has not worked for either party. #WHUFC https://t.co/lJ38lwYA4W
— Roshane Thomas (@RoshaneSport) December 13, 2023
Ings has underwhelmed since arriving at West Ham from Aston Villa in January, scoring just three goals in 35 appearances in all competitions. Admittedly, just 11 of those appearances have come from the start.
At 31, Ings will want regular first-team football and January offers the opportunity for a fresh start.