Premier League: ‘Tis the Transfer Season

While teams are beginning to really jockey for position in the Premier League title race, the battles off the pitch ensue. Some managers will make moves that save their clubs from certain doom, while others will do nothing but disrupt team chemistry. Some players will be highly sought after, while others will be thrown to the curb in seemingly endless fashion. With the World Cup looming, players are doing whatever they can to put themselves in an  opportunity todisplay their worth. Overall, the January transfer window has always been an exciting time, and in the age of twitter and portable media it has become even crazier. The Premier League is known for luring the biggest players, and for allowing its major stars to dabble elsewhere in Europe. Each team certainly has needs at this point in the campaign; however, each club also has different budgets. Here’s my take on what each club needs to do before February 1st rolls around…

Arsenal: with long term injuries up front, Arsene Wenger must add a striker if he wants to remain in the title race. The Gunners are eyeing up African giant Lacina Traore as well as veteran options at midfield to help their young squad make their big title push.
Aston Villa: have scored just 4 goals in their last 5 league games, but have options at Forward. Villa’s problems stem from a shaky midfield, as well as an overall lack in squad depth. Look for Martin O’Neill to try and retain their highly sought after players like Milner, Young, and Heskey; although, he should consider adding players too.
Birmingham: have put together a wonderful unbeaten run, but still fail to score many goals. Another attacker is much needed (Charles N’Zogbia and Kenwyne Jones would be nice fits).
Blackburn: 4 goals from 8 games really showcases their need at the striker and midfield positions. Rovers fans should pray that Celtic doesnt swoop for both McCarthy and Gamst-Pedersen. Big Sam will need to open the wallet and sign some bargain players like Craig Gartner or Dean Marney.
Bolton: defense is a must, they’re the only Premier League team without a clean sheet this season. The Trotters will likely raid the lower divisions for help; also expect the departure of those who have failed to impress (i.e. Elmander)
Burnley: ridding themselves of the managerial questions was a good first step, but an attacking player would help as well. Not much specualtion on who they’ll bring in, so dont expect a whole lot of new faces.
Chelsea: with Drogba leaving for the Cup of Nations tournament, the Blues’ entire attack departs as well. This area should be addressed ASAP if they plan on holding off other title contenders, Ancellotti appears to have David Villa and Sergio Aguero in his sights.
Everton: Defending was a strength in seasons past, but has been a thorn in David Moyes’ side this year. The Toffees should look for versatile defenders as well as another forward to play behind their strikers.
Fulham: a few injuries at defense and midfield highlight the areas where Roy Hodgson will need some help. Paul Scharner and Craig Gardner may be on the radar, while Bobby Zamora may garner some attention going the other direction
Hull City: the squad that Phil Brown has comprised has floundered over the past year, Hull needs to bolster at defensive positions and leave the forwards and midfielders alone, giving them time to mesh. The eye of the Tigers (sorry terrible pun) are on more average players with higher price tags.
Liverpool: Reds fans should hope for a new manager come February 1st. The un-named boss should will then need to fight off the club’s money problems and bring in a solid midfielder to fill the crater sized hole left by Xabi Alonso, and additional help up front for Fernando Torres
Man City: the wave of new attackers at Eastlands is actually paying dividends. Despite also boasting the league’s best goalkeeper, City can’t keep other teams off the score sheet… there are definite needs at defense. Wouldn’t be shocked if they throw a bunch of cash at Leeds for Beckford though.

Man United: everybody and their mother knows that United is thin along the back line, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they are quiet in the transfer market and rely on their youth to come up and carry them through. Did the loss against Leeds solidify the team’s true needs? Rumor has it that they are keen on signing forwards David Villa and Hulk, I guess Fergie’s answer is “No… chew, chew, chew”.
Portsmouth: the team on the field finally seems to be gelling fairly well. What they really need is some sound ownership and management. Overall, the team has to try and hold onto some of their young guns such as Kaboul and Yebda.
Stoke City: Tony Pulis’ side has scored the fewest goals in the Premier League, logic would say the Potters need some help at Forward. Emile Heskey, Ryan Babel, and Kenwyne Jones are all big names on the radar.
Sunderland: have very few option at the forward position, with Darren Bent alone netting half of their goals. The Cats should explore options up front, especially if Kenwyne Jones leaves. I wouldn’t be surprised if Steve Bruce makes moves for former Wigan players such as Maynor Figueroa as well as a run at Jermaine Beckford.
Tottenham: Uncle Harry is sure to make some moves, but before focusing on who will fill roles left empty by possible Keane and Pavlyuchenko departures, fans should ask when support along the back line will be coming in. The Spurs have their eyes on Micah Richards, Ben Foster, Victor Moses, Craig Bellamy, and Dejan Lovren (yep, another Croatian)
West Ham: is the team that needs to most hold onto what they’ve got. With promising young players across the pitch, Zola should look to add depth, mainly in the form of veteran leadership (to protect those delicate halftime leads). They might also address needs at Forward after injuries have started to pile up.
Wigan: the Latics defense has looked fast asleep in a number of games this year, this is clearly the area Wigan needs to address. Martinez should eye up players like James Tomkins,  and Danny Collins
Wolves: with one of the more disappointing starts in the Premier League, Wolves have failed to do what got them up to top flight football… score goals, they could especially use some help at the midfield position. McCarthy will also likely seek help from players currently in the lower divisions.
All in all, it may be a less than stellar transfer window for Premier League clubs, with a number of players leaving for other European leagues, and several clubs facing financial troubles. However, the headlines will still steal the show, and no matter who moves and who doesn’t, it’s always fun to watch those rumors swirl, enjoy it!
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2 Responses to Premier League: ‘Tis the Transfer Season

  1. Pingback: Premier League: ‘Tis the Transfer Season (Whit’s Sport Weblog) « The Soccer Page

  2. Steve says:

    Nice article. I think there will be more wheeling and dealing rather than blockbuster sales. With managers needing a quick fix, prices shoot up, and apart from Man City I can’t see silly money flying around. I could be wrong though!

    The Viera and Campbell deals have been interesting…there seems to be a fair few short-term solutions being put in place.

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