Guide To The January Transfers: Part Four

Our guide to who needs what in the transfer window ends with action or lack thereof at Spurs, action and plenty of it at West Ham, plus Sunderland. Oh, Sunderland...

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SUNDERLAND

What they need
Well, what they really need is not to be quite so rubbish, but will a single transfer window solve that? If Wes Brown and Steven Fletcher can stay fit, then midfield looks to be the area most in need of improvement. Two plus two merchants might suggest a move for Gus Poyet's former Brighton charge Liam Bridcutt, who is conveniently returning to fitness in time for the transfer window. A proper goalkeeper might be handy too, rather than flitting between two average ones.

What they will probably get
Very much depends on whether Ellis Short wants to spend again, after financing Paolo Di Canio's wheeze of chucking the Sunderland squad into a big pile in the Stadium of Light car park, setting it on fire, then buying a whole new one. Might Poyet have to sell in order to buy? And if so, who on earth can he sell? Fletcher? Emanuele Giaccherini? Maybe dupe someone into taking Adam Johnson?

What's been said
"My aim all the time is to do things quickly in January. We're having meetings practically every day and we're getting close to January now. January 1st is a Wednesday, it's not on the weekend, so if there are not any problems with bringing them in from abroad, they could be signed that day" - Gus Poyet, December 20.


SWANSEA

What they need
As with many clubs in the Premier League, a striker will be top of the list. Wilfried Bony is just returning from injury, and £2million Michu has looked much more like a £2million player this season, scoring just twice in the league, the last one coming in September. Some defensive beefing could be in order too, what with Garry Monk's continuing absence leaving them with only Ashley Williams, Chico and Jordi Amat as central defensive options.

What they will probably get
If they listen to Michu, then Iago Aspas could arrive on loan, which might solve a couple of problems if he manages to play as he did with Celta Vigo, rather than as he has at Liverpool. There has been talk of a slightly bigger splash, possibly for someone like Tom Ince, as well.

What's been said
"It is always our aim to improve the squad, whether in January or next summer. We will always look to do that. There could be one or two coming in January. A few in January would help us and we will have funds ready to make sure we bring a few in. But we have to make sure they are the right players for our system" - Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins, December 4.


TOTTENHAM

What they need
Blimey. Well, I dunno, probably a striker? Maybe someone comfortable playing on the left wing who isn't Nacer Chadli? Assuming you rate Kyle Walker (argue among yourselves on that one), the only real, wide, gaping hole in their squad is at left-back, with Danny Rose their only specialist in that position, something that Franco Baldini/Andre Villas-Boas/Daniel Levy/whoever you're blaming this week should be given a smack with a wet slipper for allowing to happen.

What they will probably get
Well, probably not much. Tim Sherwood has the gig at least until the end of the season, and as part of this no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is, none of that fancy muck image that he seems to be trying to build for himself, he reckons they don't need any new signings. If Jermain Defoe leaves for Toronto then that may well change, of course.

What's been said
"I don't know how they fit all the players out there [on the training ground]. There are so many players. The injuries have helped with the numbers to be honest, even though you want them fit. It's fifteen a side games in training. What are you going to do with them all. I would to sign players who can have an affect on the first eleven. That's how I see it" - Tim Sherwood, December 20.


WEST BROM

What they need
Hey, join the queue for a striker, Baggies. There are some that have said Steve Clarke was essentially sacked because Victor Anichebe isn't as good as Romelu Lukaku, and while that's a little reductive, there is some truth to such talk. The thing is, aside from a lack of a top-class striker, the Baggies squad actually looks OK, for their mid-table ambitions, they've just been under-performing. Having said that, Liam Ridgwell and Goran Popov aren't particularly convincing left-backs, so a new one of those might be handy. However...

What they will probably get
It seems they won't be making an especially big splash, with sporting director Richard Garlick admitting that they basically blew their beans in the summer, and won't be making any significant moves this January. A loan or a free signing here and there, but nothing especially jazzy. A few fringe players - Markus Rosenberg and so forth - might leave, freeing up a little room for manoeuvre.

What's been said
"We exhausted all available resources during the summer window to ensure the squad is as competitive as possible for the season ahead. We've traditionally used the January window for topping up the squad due to injuries or unforeseen circumstances and we'll be looking to do that via the loan market or short-term deals. January will also be a time to reassess the positions of players who may not get regular game time and become surplus to requirements" - Garlick, December 17.


WEST HAM

What they need
Lord, take your pick. The obvious one is a striker, but there are problems throughout the West Ham side that could do with addressing. The absence of Winston Reid means that a central defender is probably a priority, while Jussi Jaaskelainen certainly has his moments. So, basically, if they buy anyone that isn't a winger (not that their wingers have been particuarly good - they've just got loads of them), then that would be smashing.

What they will probably get
That striker will surely arrive, with Rickie Lambert, Diego Forlan and Obafemi Martins (seriously) mentioned, while they're definitely on the look-out for a central defender, even if Johnny Heitinga doesn't fancy it. Plus, don't rule out a panic and a big splash on someone perhaps slightly ill-advised as the deadline approaches.

What's been said
"We are talking with a club and a player's agent to see whether they are going to join us or not. It's an attacking player. We're trying to do the deals as quick as we possibly can. David Sullivan is the quickest owner of a football club that I've ever had. He doesn't 'ooh, ahh and um', like most of the other owners I've been involved with" - Sam Allardyce, December 15.

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Come this way for Parts One, Two and Three...

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