F365's Guide To The January Transfer Window

Which Premier League clubs need to splash the cash in January? Part one of our transfer guide looks at Arsenal and Chelsea's search for a new striker and struggling Cardiff...

Last Updated: 29/12/13 at 21:10 Post Comment

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A nice boy. A really nice boy. A really, really nice boy. The nagging issue with Jake Humphrey is that he's a bit too vanilla, but it's a difficult to be too scathing about that...

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ARSENAL

What they need
The obvious one is a striker, as Gooners everywhere say their Hail Marys and hope splashing out on Mesut Ozil in the summer was the start of a new transfer policy, rather than a giddy exception. It's not even that they lack proper back-up should Olivier Giroud get injured, but they have no alternative, no serious Plan B beyond the Frenchman. They could also do with some more central defensive cover, given they're only a twanged Per Mertesacker hamstring or a clumsy Laurent Koscielny red card away from Thomas Vermaelen.

What they will probably get
Maybe the striker, but nobody big. Wenger's recent encouraging words about Nicklas Bendtner served to frighten nervous Gooners out there that he might be a serious option. And that's...that's not good.

What's been said
"It is always difficult in the middle of the season. If somebody is doing well somewhere the clubs do not necessarily want to sell him. They can wait until the end of the season. Most of the time it is because we didn't find the right player" - Wenger, November 22.


ASTON VILLA

What they need
A left-back would be handy, given Antonio Luna's, erm, form. A central defender so they don't rely quite so heavily on Ron Vlaar. A bit of help in midfield wouldn't go amiss. And their strikers haven't exactly been on fire either, with ten goals between Gaby Agbonlahor, Andreas Weimann, Christian Benteke, Nicklas Helenius and Libor Kozak. So, a fair bit then.

What they will probably get
Oh, maybe a defender or two, but ones that will comply with Villa's policy of buying young and under-priced players, a policy that has produced some - how to put this - mixed results. Still, bearing in mind Paul Lambert's recent comments, perhaps they won't bother buying anyone...

What's been said
"It doesn't matter if you go into the transfer market or not. The basics of the game are you've got to stop a cross or be better in possession. We were neither or today. If you do that, you lose goals. I thought we started really well, as well as we've started in a number of weeks. But we cannot defend that way, especially against them, they're a very good side. They're clinical. The second and third goal we're in possession of the ball, the first one, you've got to stop a cross" - Lambert, December 16.


CARDIFF

What they need
A striker might be handy to help out Fraizer Campbell, while a little more creatvi...oh, this is pointless. Because...

What they will probably get
Well, perhaps nothing, following recent developments in Vincent's Tan-fastic wonderland. When Malky Mackay quite reasonably commented that a couple of new players might be handy for a team only four points shy of the relegation zone, Tan responded by adjusting the (red) replica jersey sported over his shirt and tie, hitched his strides up even closer to his nipples and promised that "not a single penny" will be spent on the team this January. However, it's clear that whoever the Cardiff owner now appoints to replace Mackay will need a pot of cash to help them on their way. There has been talk of trying to tempt Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a £25million war chest, which would be interesting to say the least.

What's been said
"Tan Sri Vincent Tan was extremely upset to read quotes from the manager concerning the possibility of new recruits, before he had been informed whether funds would be made available. He believes that doing so unfairly raises supporter expectations, placing unnecessary pressure on the club. His view is that due to the funds already committed, including the originally authorised summer transfer budget of £35m that rose to £50m in total, including add-ons, the manager has been fully supported" - Simon Lim, Cardiff chief executive, December 16.


CHELSEA

What they need
Well, conventional wisdom states a new striker, but as detailed here, if their midfielders keep scoring then one of those will not be necessary. Ah, but the midfield - while the attacking trio just behind whichever placeholder is up front is clearly in solid shape, the pair behind that often isn't. While Ramires is usually a reliable sort, Frank Lampard is 35, John Obi Mikel hasn't been good enough for a long time, Michael Essien is a fraction of the player he once was and Marco van Ginkel is injured. Oh, and since Jose Mourinho clearly isn't convinced Ashley Cole can be relied upon, a proper left-back might be handy. A move for Luke Shaw would make sense.

What they will probably get
Well, erm, not a lot actually. A youngster or two might arrive, and a few of the billion players out on loan could return to beef up the squad, but Mourinho seems happy with his lot for now.

What's been said
"I'm not expecting moves. The market will be open for a month, so in the market you never know what can happen, but I don't think so" - Mourinho, December 3.


CRYSTAL PALACE

What they need
Priority number one should be the defence, so neglected by Ian Holloway in the summer window. As we have said on this website a number of times, the way to avoid relegation is to tighten up at the back, and while Tony Pulis has managed to organise Palace better than Holloway (not the proudest brag, admittedly), help from some better defenders certainly would not go amiss. Better than Damien Delaney, anyhow.

What they will probably get
Probably a few old reliables - 'Pulis players', if you will. Someone a little more robust than Palace's current options. Actually, this window might be quite instructive - is it Stoke and Tony Coates that likes to do all their business at 10.30pm on deadline day, or Pulis? Sky's reporter might want to find a pitch outside Palace's training ground.

What's been said
"We need to bring a few in because we're very very short on numbers that can affect changes. The window doesn't open for a couple of weeks and we'll have to see what's available. But if we hadn't picked up points it would have been difficult to convince the powers that be to spend a little money" - Pulis, December 15.

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