Arsenal: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
And nothing else will do. Arsenal have spent so long on this deal that they really have to get it done. The arrival of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, a truly excellent forward, just about balances the negativity of losing Alexis Sanchez. The pairing of him and Aubameyang would be proof that Ivan Gazidis is prepared to back Sven Mislintat’s transfer targets, indicating that Arsene Wenger’s omnipotence is no more. These are positive steps given things like the wretched away form.
Bournemouth: Nothing will do
Bournemouth are one of three Premier League clubs who have not yet signed a player, and it seems unlikely that Eddie Howe will make any late moves. The manager spent his pre-match press conference on Tuesday rejecting the idea that Benik Afobe and Harry Arter could leave, and he must be proven correct. Bournemouth’s squad is thin already; they cannot afford to let any more out the door.
Brighton: Business done early
Brighton’s big problem was scoring goals, and Chris Hughton has recruited two strikers in the window already. Leonardo Ulloa went quiet at Leicester but could be revitalised by a move back to his former club, while Brighton have rolled the dice with the signing of Jurgen Locadia. Being prolific in the Eredivisie is no guarantee of success, but at £14m he is worth the risk.
Burnley: A central defender
Burnley’s season is quickly turning from great to good. Having kept six clean sheets in nine games, Sean Dyche’s side have kept only one in their last seven matches as teams realise that a back four of Phil Bardsley, Ben Mee, James Tarkowski and Charlie Taylor might not be all that. Dyche needs to give his team a freshen-up, and submitted a bid of £12m for Nottingham Forest’s Joe Worrall on Monday. That was rejected immediately, but Burnley might not take no for an answer. That will be their ‘will they won’t they’ for Deadline Day.
Chelsea: A new striker (to keep Conte happy)
I cannot fathom how or why Chelsea would pay £25m to sign Fernando Llorente and let Michy Batshuayi leave on loan, but then I am not a man obsessed with target men like Antonio Conte. Conte’s determination to have a second Plan A rather than Plan B striker is odd, but he will surely get his man. Llorente is the back-up option, but Olivier Giroud is the likeliest arrival. So he gets to be on the bench in a different part of London.
Crystal Palace: Goalkeeper
Wayne Hennessey struggles to focus on a fast-moving ball, which is consistently undermining his ability to thrive as a Premier League goalkeeper. Roy Hodgson would also like a striker to ease the pressure on struggling Christian Benteke, but a keeper remains the priority. Vicente Guaita has been linked with a move from Getafe since the first days of the window.
Everton: Getting rid of a No. 10
Sam Allardyce might be shedding goodwill amongst Everton supporters, but he has been backed by the board. Cenk Tosun and Theo Walcott mean the excuses about a dearth of strikers are no longer permissible. Now Allardyce must get rid of some of the bloated mess that is Everton’s collection of No. 10s. Don’t get offended, Wayne; it’s a metaphor.
Huddersfield Town: Central midfielder
David Wagner has signed Alex Pritchard as the No. 10 to replace the injured Kasey Palmer, but he must still want a central midfielder so that the absolute Mooy doesn’t have to do everything. The effort of Jonathan Hogg and Danny Williams cannot be doubted, but an upgrade could save Huddersfield’s Premier League status.
Leicester City: Stop Riyad Mahrez leaving
It was all going so swimmingly. Leicester were enjoying life under Claude ‘RIP British coaching’ Puel, Jamie Vardy was scoring goals, new signings looked wonderful, Harry Maguire was one of the success stories of the season and Riyad Mahrez had been re-motivated after Craig Shakespeare’s departure. And then Leroy Sane went and got injured and Manchester City started sniffing around Mahrez.
Liverpool: A back-up striker
I mean they obviously need a goalkeeper, but that isn’t going to happen because of those photos Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet share of Jurgen Klopp. But the departure of Daniel Sturridge means that Liverpool are potentially one injury away from starting Danny Ings or Dominic Solanke in the Champions League knock-out stages. Even if playing Oxlade-Chamberlain as an auxiliary wide forward could avoid that, a new signing wouldn’t go amiss.
Manchester City: A Riyad Mahrez?
Aymeric Laporte is already in the door, so you might think that City’s work for January is done. But Tuesday brought reports of serious interest in Mahrez, and even talk that a £60m bid had been submitted. The excellent John Percy says that Leicester would reject even that kind of money, so will City push to get a deal done ahead of the Champions League’s return?
Manchester United: Move Ibrahimovic on
The worst thing you can do after making a mistake is to dither over making amends. Manchester United are not a club that needs to worry about money, but spending £180,000 (at the lowest estimate) a week on Ibrahimovic is a nonsense when he’s never again likely to be a force. If LA Galaxy’s interest is serious, it’s time to say goodbye.
Newcastle United: A good news story
They went for Daniel Sturridge, and no. They went for Islam Slimani, and no. They went for Kevin Gameiro, and no. They went for a takeover, and no. Newcastle United fans are as sick of Mike Ashley as they have ever been, and the suspicion is that their club will sleepwalk their way to relegation, causing Rafael Benitez to pack his bags. They desperately need a Deadline Day good news story.
Southampton: A winger
Southampton’s efforts in turning Nathan Redmond, Sofiane Boufal and Dusan Tadic into entirely ineffective wingers must be applauded, so it’s only right they try and do the same to another new signing. If Guido Carillo is the striker Mauricio Pellegrino needed (albeit for an astonishing amount of money), Quincy Promes might be the creative spark that supplies him. Shame Spartak Moscow have rejected a £25m bid.
Stoke City: A central midfielder
‘A central midfield of Darren Fletcher and Geoff Cameron started against Huddersfield, but they can also be found pictured underneath the term ‘pedestrian’ in any respectable dictionary,’ we wrote at the start of January. Badou Ndiaye, come on down (and please be quicker than Cameron).
Swansea City: Wide forward
Swansea have started at least one (and sometimes two) of Oli McBurnie, Luciano Narsingh, Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer in eight of their last nine Premier League games. If they want to pull clear of relegation trouble then another option is a must. Andre Ayew joining from West Ham to play with his brother could enable them to forge an excellent winger-striker partnership. Ayews being served.
Tottenham: Lucas Moura
Fernando Llorente is struggling so much that he is no longer useful as a Plan B. Plan C might well be Moura, extraordinarily cheap in the current climate. He has 36 Brazil caps, has played 45 or more games for Pari Saint-Germain in each of the last four seasons, still has 18 months left on his contract and is only 25. Get it done, Daniel Levy.
Watford: A striker
Watford’s centre forward list in full: Troy Deeney, Andre Gray, Stefano Okaka, Isaac Success.
Watford’s centre forward league goals list in full: 2, 4, 1, 0
Stop relying on Abdoulaye Doucoure to score your bloody goals.
West Brom: Nothing at all
“We’ve been linked with a couple of defenders – there will be no defenders coming to this football club,” said Alan Pardew on January 15. “We’ve been linked with a couple of midfield players – there will be no midfield players coming to this club. But we are looking for an offensive player, a striker-type player.” They’ve since signed a centre-back and striker. Spend Deadline Day expressing surprise that Daniel Sturridge plays for them.
West Ham: A striker
West Ham have reportedly had multiple bids for Fulham’s Tom Cairney rejected, but surely they will try and sign a striker too? Andy Carroll is injured (again), Javier Hernandez is out of form and pushing for a move, Diafra Sakho has been sold, Andre Ayew is likely to follow him and Marko Arnautovic will also be out of action for several weeks. Joao Mario has joined, but what good is a collection of a chefs if there is nobody to finish the dinner.