Premier League Winter Window: Team by Team Guide

Written by Mitchell Sherrard

That time again, the January transfer window where the teams at the top scramble to
hold on to their in-form players while the teams that are struggling use it as an
opportunity to reassess the season and start fresh. The January transfer window is
almost a different game than the one in Summer, while in summer the manager has 2
months to work and train with his new players so that they suit his tactics but in winter,
the new signings are thrown in at the deep end with no experience in this new style of
play. Some managers like to gamble in the window with brand new signings while some
keep it safe and stay focused on their fixtures during this busy schedule. I’ll look at who I
think each team in the Premier League should be trying to get in the window. (as of 14th
of January)

Players to keep: Alexis Sanchez
Players to sign: Malcom, Lemar, Draxler or Mahrez
Arsenal have been average this season and at this rate will be missing out on top 4. Wenger
needs to act now in his last chance, bring in some quality to replace the probable departure of
Alexis Sanchez and they may be able to spark some light into a rather boring and disinterested
London outfit.

Players to keep: N/A
Players to sign: Elneny, Ings
Eddie Howe has failed to match the expectations that were set for him at the start of the season.
Sitting just one place above the relegation zone and no one in his team standing out, the only
positive for the Cherries is that they won’t have to worry about bigger teams lurking for any
stand-out performers. Instead they can focus on bringing in some higher profile players coming
from big teams seeking game time. Elneny and Ings could provide the depth and quality that
they’ve been lacking thus far.

Brighton and Hove Albion:
Players to keep: Gross
Players to sign: Dembele, Remy
Brighton got off to a good start in the Premier League but have failed to rise any further in the
table and instead could be facing a relegation battle towards May. Top scorer Murray (6) has
arguably not delivered the quality that Brighton would’ve hoped for up front but it’s hard to blame
him when there’s only one man behind him offering any talent, Gross. Perhaps with some
quality alongside him up front in either Loic Remy or Moussa Dembele, he’d be able to up his
goal scorer numbers and it would allow Brighton to have a variety of tactical changes available.

Players to keep: Gudmundsson
Players to sign: Grujic, Musonda, Holding, Wilshere
Relegation favourites have become Europa League spot challengers in a mere matter of
months. Sean Dyche has lead his team to an impressive 7th position so far this season and with
the addition of extra quality and some players to pick up the side when things aren’t going right
is exactly what Burnley are lacking. Too many low scoring draws can be prevented by midfield
signings that will add depth and a range of different styles that can be played under Dyche.
Premier League experience of a player like Wilshere could also come in handy towards the
latter part of the campaign.

Players to keep: Eden Hazard
Players to sign: Sandro, Zaha, Bailey, Thorgan Hazard
The reigning champions are by no means performing to the standard we expected them too and
with numerous disappointing results this season, Conte will be looking to add some quality to
the team in all departments. New defenders by the likes of Sandro could wake up the defence
and add some competition to a confident back 5. The addition of Barkley will already push
Pedro and Willian to try even harder to break back into the Chelsea first eleven, and possible
signings of Zaha and Bailey this summer would add to that.

Crystal Palace​:
Players to keep: Zaha
Players to sign: Sturridge, Diafra Sakho, Amadou, Guaita
Roy Hodgson is certain that clubs will be wasting their time if they try and get Zaha in this
transfer window perhaps hinting that he is available in the winter. However if a club like Chelsea
wants a player from a small team like Crystal Palace, they will usually find a way to tempt the
club into changing their stance on the player’s availability. If we see Zaha depart, as unlikely as
it is, Palace will need a new attacker to replace him and Sturridge may be a perfect fit. Palace
are struggling with forwards and bringing in Sakho and Sturridge could strengthened their goal
scoring capabilities. A new goalkeeper in Guaita could also help out a fragile defence that could
be partially repaired with Amadou from Lille.

Players to keep: Bolasie, Pickford
Players to sign: Walcott, N’Zonzi
Sam Allardyce has approached his most recent job differently that at past clubs. He is playing
more open and expansive football that we’re used to seeing in his fights for survival. He sees
potential in his Everton side and although it is refreshing to see youngsters coming through,
Everton need to build a foundation before throwing their youth stars into the deep end. Some
age and experience in N’Zonzi could bolster the midfield and alongside Gueye, Everton would
have a similar pairing to that of Kante and Matic at Chelsea, albeit, not nearly as good
quality-wise. Walcott could add to their attacking depth and at a rather reduced price thanks to
his limited game time at Arsenal, could be a cheap option and another player who brings
experience to the young Merseyside club. Bolasie’s return from injury has shown promising
signs and a fantastic debut season from Pickford so far will certainly see him become a
high-profile target in the coming transfer windows. Hanging on to those two is vital for Everton’s
Europa League ambitions.

Huddersfield Town​:
Players to keep: Mooy
Player to sign: Woodburn, Grujic
David Wagner’s start to Premier League life with Huddersfield has been above what was
expected of him but his side have ambition and with a confident fan base they will want to push
on into the top half of the table. Bringing in Kongolo on loan has been good for Huddersfield but
their loss of Palmer will hurt their creativity in midfield. Wagner’s relationship with Jurgen Klopp
could be very helpful in this window, two of Klopp’s unused youth stars, Woodburn and Grujic
will be looking for game time and Huddersfield would be a perfect opportunity for the pair. Grujic
could partner Mooy in midfield while Woodburn adds flair to the attack. Aaron Mooy’s fine form
will have certainly attracted attention and while there have been no clear signs of any transfer
interest from other teams, Huddersfield should do everything they can to hold on to the
Australian when the bids begin to arrive.

Leicester City:
Players to keep: Mahrez, Chilwell, Maguire
Players to sign: Ben Arfa, Almeida
Claude Puel will have his work cut out for him this window with Mahrez looking forward to the
next step in his career. The Leicester manager will obviously try to keep hold of the Algerian but
with bids in the region of £50-60 million, he may be tempted into letting him go in order to
reinvest into the squad. The comedic arrival of Adrien Silva should be a good midfield option
while the signing of Diabete may not be the right player for Leicester. We will wait and see but
Leicester’s lack of squad depth will cost them as the season progresses and injuries begin to
occur, they will need to strengthen their defense and a new right-back to replace Simpson who
has been poor since the title winning season could be found in Almeida from Benfica. If Mahrez
is to leave, a player of Ben Arfa’s quality could take strides towards a replacement. It will be a
tough window for Leicester and they will need to remove some of the out of favor players in
order to begin reinvesting.

Players to keep: Salah
Players to sign: Lemar, Fekir, Alisson
Jurgen Klopp has got a lot of money to spend after selling Coutinho for £145 million and having
already spent some of last season’s remaining budget on Van Dijk, Klopp is clearly interested in
big name signings and no longer the old Liverpool style signings of Stewart Downing, Christian
Benteke and Jay Spearing. Bringing in a replacement for Coutinho will certainly be Klopp’s
number one priority. Lemar will be his primary choice but for £60-90 million, Klopp may be more
likely to go for Fekir from Lyon. The goalkeeping issue remains to be solved and Alisson from
Roma for £30 million could be a cheap solution. Holding on to Salah will be a straightforward
task for Klopp, reject all offers.

Manchester City:
Players to keep: N/A
Players to sign: Sanchez, Evans, Martinez
Despite already having the league wrapped up since Matchday 1, Pep Guardiola is still on the
hunt for more success and most likely to bolster his chances in the Champions League. An
English team hasn’t won the elite competition for 6 years and Guardiola will be looking to break
that curse. Getting Alexis Sanchez’s signature will be a straightforward task once a deal is
agreed and with relations between Wenger and Mourinho being at an all-time low, Arsene will
be in no mood to accept any United bids. Guardiola is also likely to let Mangala leave to get
more playing time and to free up space for the signing of either Inigo Martinez from Real
Sociedad who has a release clause of about £28 million and if that fails he will challenge
Wenger and Mourinho for Jonny Evans. Fortunately for Pep, his players are loving life and he
won’t struggle to convince any of them to stay if big teams come hunting.

Manchester United:
Players to keep: De Gea, Lingard, Martial
Players to sign: Sanchez, Evans, Rose, Ozil, Malcom
Mourinho will be disappointed that his side haven’t won the league this season so he should
turn his attention to the cups. The FA Cup might be one for him to target but a man of his ego
will be looking for Champions League glory, most likely failing but his masterclass in
management and with world-class additions this window he may be in with the smallest of
chances. Alexis Sanchez is a clear target for Mourinho with possible defensive additions of
Evans and Rose helping to increase the capacity of his bus. Bringing in Ozil either now or in the
summer could finally be the playmaker that United have been looking for. The rise of Lingard
will attract attention but Mourinho will be sure to reject any bids that might come in while he will
be desperate to hold onto De Gea. Lukaku’s form might be revived with the arrival of attacking
competition in Malcom and/or Alexis with the latter likely to be difficult to acquire.

Newcastle United:
Players to keep: Atsu
Players to sign: Sturridge, Ings, Adama Traore, Kenedy, Shaw
Rafa Benitez currently sits in between his fellow promotees this season in 14th place and
Gayle’s failure to produce as he did in the Championship last season has cost the Magpies.
Atsu, Elliot and Clark have been the stand out players this season if you can call them that.
Their top scorer Joselu has just 4 goals this season so signing one of two Liverpool strikers that
are both on their way out looking for game time (Sturridge and Ings) would almost definitely
improve their attack. A pacey winger would also help and the Spanish manager may look to his
former side Chelsea in order to get Kenedy on loan or look down to the Championship for
Adama Traore. Luke Shaw could also be a potential signing adding a more solid defensive unit
to their back line.

Players to keep: Redmond
Players to sign: Sturridge, Walcott, Benteke
Pellegrino hasn’t got Southampton where the fans were expecting. Southampton, like many
teams are struggling up front and Benteke is falling out of favor at Palace, the Belgian could
make a move to try to revive his form. As for the popular targets, Sturridge and Walcott will have
an abundance of clubs to choose from this window and Klopp may be keen to allow Sturridge to
go to Southampton to keep relationships with the Saints in a stable condition following the
signing of Virgil van Dijk. The 75 million from the Dutch centre half will certainly be re-investing
into attacking positions with strikers the number one priority. Redmond is struggling to do all the
work behind the forward however with Tadic and Boufal not hitting top form at all this season so
a new no. 10 could be a good move.

Players to keep: Choupo-Moting, Allen, Shaqiri
Players to sign: Ings, Opare, Debuchy, Darmian
Stoke should be looking to bring in a manager who is keen on spending, this Stoke side is
playing horrific football right now and will face a huge struggle for survival regardless of their
winter signings. That being said, some defensive signings and perhaps one or two additions up
front would make it easier. Under Hughes, Stoke played a 3-4-2-1 formation with strange
choices including Diouf at right back and occasionally Cameron in midfield. Unlike other teams,
Premier League quality is clearly not something that would help Stoke, the likes of Allen,
Shawcross, Fletcher, Adam, Ireland and Johnson who have been in the league for years have
failed to lead by example this season. A change tactically, could lead to a more stable 4 back
formation with the signing of Opare, Debuchy or Darmian at right back helping the cause. Ings
or other out of favor Premier League strikers can all help their goal scoring problems despite
their clear depth up front.

Players to keep: Ayew, Mawson
Players to sign: Fredericks, Aboubakar
Swansea will struggle to avoid the drop this season and their club’s inability to supply managers
with sufficient funds to revive the club’s form will most certainly cost them their Premier League
status and ultimately even more money down the drain. Unless of course, a miracle occurs and
some of the Swansea current players begin to perform even the somewhat minor signing of
Fredericks from Fulham to play right-back and the unlikely addition of Aboubakar up front, then
Swansea will be heading down to the Championship. Not much to say about Swansea in
general, a club in desperate need of new owners and passionate players.

Tottenham Hotspur​:
Players to keep: Kane, Alli, Rose
Players to sign: Sessegnon, Malcom
Despite their league position, Spurs haven’t really got too many problems besides the fact that
one of their best players that they’ve ever had at the club could be leaving. If Spurs can hold
onto Kane for a few more seasons they will be in a very good position, challenging Arsenal for
Malcom may simply be more of an interest in preventing Arsenal from getting him than them
actually needing him. That being said, Spurs do lack depth going forward and if they do sign
Malcom, it will certainly not be a problem. Danny Rose’s departure may be about to happen and
Ryan Sessegnon from Fulham seems to be the perfect replacement with Spurs as a fantastic
club for a player of his quality and potential to develop.

Players to keep: Doucoure
Players to sign: Guaita, Mawson
After starting the season brilliantly, Watford have perhaps taken their foot of the pedal are are
now just strolling along in 10th. They don’t seem to be pushing for European football nor are
they in any danger of relegation. Silva has insisted that no players will be departing which
Watford fans will be delighted to hear seen as Doucoure’s impressive form and 7 premier
league goals will be naturally attracting the interest of top teams. Perhaps another goalkeeper
could help Watford and the ideal player is Guaita although Palace will be arguably more
determined to sign him and may beat Watford to the signature. Mawson of Swansea could
tighten up defensive problems and possibly an additional striker to help Gray and Deeney who
have struggled to find the back of the net consistently.

West Bromwich Albion:
Players to keep: Evans
Players to sign: Afobe, Ings
Pardew will be preparing for a struggle to safety this season and losing Evans will make the task
even more difficult. Although I haven’t suggested any centre back signings, West Brom will no
doubt be in the market for one and extra firepower up front through Ings or Afobe could aid
West Brom’s survival. That being said, West Brom aren’t the most attractive side in England and
there would be very few managers that would be willing to trade with Pardew given the way he
has played tactically this season. West Brom’s relegation will be a breath of fresh air for the
Premier League.

West Ham:
Players to keep: Lanzini, Carroll, Oxford
Players to sign: Shelvey, Oxford, Elneny, Mbemba
David Moyes has done a good job at West Ham so far and with Liverpool easing up on their
interest in Lanzini, West Ham are in a good position for the remainder of the season. Despite his
reputation, Andy Carroll is a fantastic player to have on the bench and losing him would mean
losing a tactical advantage over most Premier League teams. Preventing Reece Oxford signing
with Monchengladbach permanently would be perfect for West Ham and even recalling him
from loan would add more stability to their defense. Alternatively, Mbemba could do that job
from Newcastle. Signing either Shelvey or Elneny would also be good for West Ham as they
need more quality in the centre of their midfield and an intelligent player like Shelvey could help
pick out the attacking threat of Arnautovic and remains more likely than Elneny with Arsenal
having already sold Coquelin in the same position.
Leave your thoughts about your team in the comments, who do you want to sign?
*Keep in mind that all these views my mine as of January 14th, all player clubs are subject to
change and I can only judge from where players currently reside.