The Transfer Window – The London Economic

By Billy Stephens [email protected] [email protected]_Sport

As the 2016 January transfer window enters its final week, let’s take a look at what new recruits the Premier League title challengers want, need and have secured.  But, firstly, who do I mean by title challengers?

Leicester City, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

There is now a five point gap between 4th place Spurs and 5th place Manchester United, the same points gap as between 4th and Leicester in 1st, and the lead pack are breaking away in more ways than just points.

Manchester United have frankly been lucky to be as high as they are.  The fans aren’t happy, the players looked bored at times and their dismal 1-0 home defeat to Southampton at the weekend pretty much summed up their season.  Meanwhile, Liverpool, despite having been under the leadership of popular manager Jurgen Klopp for more than half of their games, still have a goal difference of minus 2 – the same as when Klopp took over from Brendan Rodgers after nine games.

Despite their respective histories, both clubs have the same chance of winning the league as West Ham who sit between them in 6th; i.e slim.  So what about the main protagonists?

Leicester City

In:

The Foxes have already added depth out wide with the signing of highly-regarded youngster Demarai Gray.  The winger has bags of potential of which he’s already shown glimpses since his move and would soften the blow were Riyad Marhez to get injured.

What they need:

A striker to compliment the qualities of Jamie Vardy and take some of the load off the deadly frontman.  During Vardy’s recent spell on the sidelines, Leicester struggled to be as clinical and before Saturday’s 3-0 win over Stoke, have only won 1 in 5 league matches. Leicester are reportedly in talks with 28 year old Sampdoria striker Eder.  Ivorian Seydou Doumbia and Cameroon international Vincent Aboubaker have also been linked with the Foxes.

Manchester City

In:

Nobody

What they need:

For Vincent Kompany to have a clone.  They aren’t the same team without him and when he’s injured, opposition teams fancy their chances more, which is dangerous.  Otamendi, Demichelis and Mangala all look comfortable next to Kompany but all look clueless at times when he’s not there.  The Citizens have been linked with Everton’s in-demand centre back John Stones, but I personally think a defender with a bit more experience and a couple of consistent Premier League seasons under their belt would be more useful.  If I was Manuel Pellegrini, I’d be trying to sign Ashley Williams from Swansea or Jose Fonte from Southampton.

Arsenal

In:

Mohamed Elneny.  The Egyptian defensive midfielder was brought in from Basel after the long-term injury to Francis Coquelin exposed a weakness in a strong Arsenal team, although Elneny is yet to make an appearance in the Premier League.

What they need:

A top class striker.  Olivier Giroud has been in good form this season, scoring 12 Premier League goals, although a lot of credit has to go to Ozil who assisted half of those.  One Arsenal fan summed up Giroud thus: “I like him, but I don’t trust him.”

Borussia Dortmund’s in-form forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was thought to be a target but has since distanced himself from a move. Arsenal have also been linked with Juventus striker Alvaro Morata and Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette.

Tottenham Hotspur

In:

Nobody

What they need:

Continuing the theme, a striker, not just to ease the pressure on Harry Kane but to put some on him too.  At the moment he knows he is going to start every week, and competition is good for motivation.  Spurs are short of alternatives up front and have been lucky Harry Kane has remained injury-free so far this season. The Lilywhites have been linked with a return move for Saido Berahino after having bids rejected by West Brom in the summer, but with a reported asking price in the region of £25m and a loss of form to boot, Fulham’s promising forward Moussa Dembele might be a more tempting option.

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