A successful January signing can transform a season. With the January Transfer Window in full flow, clubs will look to improve their squads with an acquisition or two aimed at changing and improving their fortunes.
Not all clubs will choose to bring players in but those who do will rely on their new recruits to hit the ground running. Here’s a look at some players who could improve the clubs whom they’ve been linked with during this window.
Arsenal – Emi Buendia
Arsenal’s lack of creativity and flair under Mikel Arteta has been evident this season. Emile Smith-Rowe’s recent inclusion has added spark to the Gunners but recent links to Norwich’s Emi Buendia highlight a desire to strengthen in this area.
Buendia has seven goals and six assists for Norwich this campaign, while his underlying numbers during his solitary Premier League season with Norwich were impressive. The Argentine could provide invention to a side accused of looking robotic and toothless in attack.
Aston Villa – Christian Eriksen
The Midlands side have enjoyed an excellent season to date. Strengthening may wait until the summer for Dean Smith’s men, such is their safe position in the league. However, if a player such as Christian Eriksen is available, Villa would surely be interested.
The Danish star has been tenuously linked with a loan move to the Villans. The deal would surely be a loan if it were to happen. For Villa fans, the thought of Eriksen and Jack Grealish in the same side would be tantalising. This would be one of the shock moves of the window and the January signing of Eriksen by Villa appears unlikely.
Brighton – Moises Caicedo
Brighton appear close to the signing of Ecuadorian midfielder Moises Caicedo from Independiente del Valle.
The highly coveted box-to-box midfielder appears to be heading to the South Coast, fending off competition from Manchester United and West Ham.
Caicedo has six goals in 31 club games and has been capped four times by Ecuador, scoring once. Aged 19, Caicedo appears an outstanding prospect and could be one-to-watch if the Seagulls secure his signature.
Burnley – Bright Osayi-Samuel
QPR’s Bright Osayi-Samuel is a winger of much promise. He has been linked with a move to Sean Dyche’s Clarets with a view to challenging for a place in the first-team. Osayi-Samuel’s contract expires next summer and. therefore, he could be available at a cut-price.
The winger has three goals and two assists in the Championship this season. His 2.8 dribbles per game highlight his ability to dribble, something which could provide Burnley an extra attacking option. The Clarets are often reliant on Dwight McNeil for creativity. Any deal for Osayi-Samuel could take some of the burden away from McNeil and improve Burnley’s attacking power.
Chelsea – Declan Rice
There’s only one potential incoming at Stamford Bridge this window and that is Declan Rice. The midfielder has been linked with a move to Chelsea for months and Frank Lampard’s ongoing pursuit of the midfielder is not waning.
It would be a hugely aggressive move from Chelsea to secure a deal for Rice in January. However, with N’Golo Kante struggling and Jorginho’s position in doubt, Rice would present a midfield solution.
West Ham’s captain has played every minute this season and would need no transition, should Chelsea secure the deal. West Ham are, however, unlikely to sell their star asset mid-season.
Crystal Palace – Michael Olise
After signing Ebere Eze in the summer, Crystal Palace could dip back into the Championship to secure a deal for Michael Olise from Reading. The highly-rated youngster fits the recent recruitment drive for the Eagles, targeting talents players from the Championship.
An attacking midfield player, Olise has four goals and eight assists so far this season. With an ageing squad, Palace need to drive the average age down in their recruitment and Olise would be another step towards their rebuild. However, the youngster could contribute in the present as well, such is his quality.
Everton – Brandon Williams
Everton have been linked with a loan move for Manchester United’s Brandon Williams. With a lack of depth in the full-back areas, plus Williams’ lack of minutes, a deal appears like a good move for both parties.
Williams is below Luke Shaw, Alex Telles and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the pecking order at Manchester United. The youngster has played a solitary 66 minutes across Premier League and Champions League this season.
The January signing of Williams into Goodison Park could provide more first-team opportunities whilst providing Carlo Ancelotti with extra depth for Lucas Digne and Seamus Coleman.
Fulham – Siriki Dembele
Peterborough’s Siriki Dembele has caught the eye at Fulham following an excellent first half of the season. The 24-year-old speedster has five goals and four assists for The Posh so far this campaign.
While a 24-year-old out of League One may not be defining in terms of avoiding the drop, if the opportunity presents itself to sign a talented player in a lower division, clubs like Fulham should be willing to do so. Dembele would fit this bill and provide an extra option to Scott Parker as Fulham battle for Premier League survival.
Leeds – Erick Pulgar
Marcelo Bielsa is looking to bring in 26-year-old Chilean midfielder Erick Pulgar. The Fiorentina man could be sacrificed by La Viola to raise funds to strengthen elsewhere. Bielsa is aware of the player from his time as Chile Head Coach, although he never selected Pulgar himself.
The midfielder has featured fleetingly for Fiorentina this campaign, yet would add top-flight experience and an extra body to Leeds’ highly-worked squad. Pulgar wouldn’t be the most inspiring signing but another midfielder in the ranks would be of benefit to Bielsa.
Leicester – Amadou Diawara
Leicester are linked with Roma’s Amadou Diawara to bolster their midfield options. Following an injury to Dennis Praet in the FA Cup, Brendan Rodgers will be keen to ensure his squad isn’t weakened as the Foxes compete in three competitions.
Diawara is out-of-favour at Roma having made just one league start and this has alerted Leicester. The Guinean is a tidy passer at 91.3% pass completion for the season, a quality Rodgers is sure to appreciate. Diawara would only be signed as a squad player, however he does possess quality to ensure he could become an important player under the right tutelage.
Liverpool – Sven Botman
Liverpool’s defensive issues have been well-documented, particularly since the injury to Virgil van Dijk. Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are unreliable in terms of fitness, so Liverpool really need to strengthen in the centre of their defence. Sven Botman could be their man.
The 20-year-old Dutchman has been impressive for Lille after his signing from Ajax. With 1.9 interceptions and 1.2 tackles per 90, Botman is a combative defender with technical skills associated with Dutch players. A deal for Botman could be the difference between success and failure for Jurgen Klopp this campaign.
Manchester City – Lionel Messi
This would be the biggest story of the January window. Lionel Messi’s contract expires in the summer, so the January signing of Messi to Manchester City would be for next season.
Messi is arguably the greatest player to grace the beautiful game. It would be an extraordinary coup for Manchester City if they could attract Messi to leave Barcelona at the end of his contract. The Argentine has 14 goals this season, showing that even at 33, he is still a difference-maker at the elite level.
While fans of City’s rivals may not agree, Messi in England is something that the world would love to see. This is very much a “watch this space” type deal. It could rock the world of football if it actually happened.
Manchester United – Dayot Upamecano
Dayot Upamecano is on Manchester United’s radar. The young Frenchman has impressed for RB Leipzig and looks destined to move to an elite European club in the near future. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants the 22-year-old to partner club captain Harry Maguire.
Upamecano has impressed at Leipzig with his powerful frame and reading of the game. With 134 games for Leipzig, Upamecano has experience at the top level and would be an exciting signing for Manchester United’s fans. United fans would hope that any signing has the same success as Bruno Fernandes. Fernandes has transformed United’s fortunes since his £54m January signing in 2020.
Newcastle – Fikayo Tomori
Fikayo Tomori has fallen out of favour at Chelsea. The young defender impressed in the first-half of 2019/20, only to disappear into the Stamford Bridge abyss, particularly since Lockdown. Therefore, Newcastle could be able to pounce and are looking to secure a deal for Tomori on loan.
Frank Lampard admitted in his post-match press conference on Sunday that Chelsea were looking for potential suitors for his young defender. Tomori would be an instant improvement on the likes of Federico Fernandez and Isaac Hayden and Steve Bruce is keen on bringing Tomori in. This looks like a deal which suits all parties as a short-term, January signing.
Sheffield United – Marcos Rojo
Sheffield United’s struggles have been evident since the injury to left-sided centre-back, Jack O’Connell, who has missed 17 games since his knee surgery. As a result, links to out-of-favour Manchester United star Marcos Rojo appear to make sense to all parties.
Rojo hasn’t played a minute for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side this season and is pining for a move away. Blades boss Chris Wilder is interested in the Argentine and a deal is being worked on. His £80k p/w wage could be a stumbling point but all parties will want to come to an agreement to ensure this deal goes through.
Tottenham – Ivan Perisic
Jose Mourinho appears to be in for Ivan Perisic once again. Having wanted the Croatian winger in his time as Manchester United manager, Mourinho wants to secure the January signing of Perisic to Tottenham.
Out of favour at Inter Milan, Perisic would love to work for Mourinho. With Steven Bergwijn, Lucas Moura and Gareth Bale all struggling, the addition of Perisic would add incredible competition for places. With only two goals in 22 appearances this season, Perisic’s best days could be behind him.
However, Mourinho’s appreciation of the player means that this deal could prove a successful January signing for all parties.
West Brom – Phil Jones
West Brom’s defensive woes are well documented, with the league table highlighting their leaky defence. Sam Allardyce has highlighted Phil Jones as a man to help stabilise what looks to be a sinking ship.
Jones hasn’t played a minute for Manchester United this season and would be desperate to get some minutes on the pitch. The defender would need to make an instant impact but his experience at a big club could compliment a relatively inexperienced defence, particularly if Branislav Ivanovic doesn’t feature. This January signing could be the masterstroke Big Sam needs in his bid to keep the Baggies afloat in the Premier League.
West Ham – Josh King
Josh King should be on the radar of every club outside of the so-called big-six. Despite a difficult campaign for Bournemouth, King has Premier League credentials. He could provide pace and versatility to most Premier League attacks.
David Moyes is pushing for a move for the Norwegian star following the departure of Sebastien Haller to Ajax. King has nearly 50 Premier League goals to his name, highlighting his proven track record at this level. This could be the coup of the window for West Ham, should they find a way of securing the January signing of King.
Wolves – Diego Costa
Diego Costa returning to the Premier League would be an incredible story. The former Chelsea frontman is a free agent following his release from Atletico Madrid. With the injury to Raul Jimenez plus links of Jorge Mendes, Costa ending up at Molineux is not the most far-fetched transfer imaginable.
Costa would provide a short-term solution to Wolves’ striking conundrum. He has Premier League pedigree and a point to prove, following his unsuccessful return to Madrid. Nuno Espirito Santo would love to add the volatile hitman to his ranks. Costa would add experience, quality and star status to a club looking to break into the top six. If Wolves could get Costa fit, he would be a wonderful coup considering his free-agent status.