It’s that time of the year again folks- the time of the year football fans around the globe have learned to love and loathe, the January transfer window. The revelry has already begun, and from the initial few moves we have seen, we think it’s not going to be a silent one.
This season, none of the teams in the English Premier League seem to be totally balanced, with every team having some area needing improvement.
Attack is the best form of defense, as Sir Alex Ferguson has proved so far this season. Attacking options such as Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney, and Javier Hernandez have helped the red devils go seven points clear on top of the table. The form of Robin Van Persie in particular has really excited the fans, and he just keeps on scoring goals every week. There have been concerns over the lack of creativity in midfield, but Sir Alex has ruled out the prospect of any major transfers in this window. The inherent imbalance in the team has been corrected slightly with the return of Vidic, but for the most part the red devils seem to be content simply focusing on attack, tearing through opponent defenses like a battering ram.
For now, the fans can only speculate about Lewandowski and C. Ronaldo moving to old Trafford in the summer.
The citizens seem to be at the center of many a rumor this January – as Mancini seems desperate to inject some life into a very limp season so far. A team with a strike force consisting of Dzeko, Aguero, Tevez and Balotelli, strangely seem to be requiring some newness in their forward threat. Mancini’s change of tactics, which now involve a possession based play, along with frequent squad shuffling has had no effect on his team’s fortunes.
The club has been linked with Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente and Corinthians’ Paulinho, an attacking midfielder who is also on the radar of Chelsea. Mancini would also do well to deal with the Mario Balotelli situation- a frequent target for newspapers and internet memes alike.
Money is no object for Chelsea’s cavalier owner, Russian oil tycoon Roman Abramovic, and it has been proved time and time again in every transfer window. Columbian scoring sensation Falcao has been the center of every transfer rumor regarding Chelsea this season, but this speculation has been silenced till the summer.
The hunt for the perfect strike partner for Fernando Torres seems to have started, with Daniel Sturridge leaving for Liverpool, and Demba Ba who seems to be all set to sign for the blues. Another prospect seems to be a move for Torres’ Spanish strike partner David Villa. The hunt for Ashley Cole’s successor also seems to be on, with Leighton Baines as the prime transfer target.
Another disheartening piece of transfer news is the situation concerning the future of Chelsea legend Frank Lampard. He has apparently been shown the door, as at 35 years of age and having a quite a substantial salary, Chelsea seems to be eager to free up the wage bill.
The spurs have a history of activity in the transfer market as has been seen in the past few windows. This time around there seems to be intense speculation around Inter Milan reject Wesley Sneijder. The Dutchman will most probably have to accept a wage cut. Another report suggests Welsh speed demon Gareth Bale diving into a move to Real Madrid.
A side who have exceeded expectations every season, Everton seem to be set to lose their key players, Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines. The form of Nikica Jelavic will also be a major concern for David Moyes as he will look for a strike partner for the out of touch Croatian. Moyes is known for his scouting ability, and to find value for money on a tight budget.
Arsene Wenger seems to be in dire straits, as he tries to fill the tremendous void left by RvP. His is a side filled with deadwood like Chamakh and Arshavin, and the absurdity that is Gervinho. Olivier Goroud seems to be finding his feet, but he is nowhere close to the prolific scoring abilities of Robin Van Persie.
The Theo Walcott transfer saga rolls on, with contract negotiations apparently in the doldrums. Fans hope that he stays, as Walcott’s blistering pace is a major threat, but his inconsistency and stubborn desire to be played as a center forward make this a sticky situation for Wenger and the club in general.
Arsenal have been linked with moves for Fernando Llorente and David Villa, but the move for Villa seems unlikely taking into account his age.
Liverpool’s season seems to be in jeopardy, with an inury ravaged squad, and the tight budget set by the owners, Boston’s Fenway Sports Group. The team needs a help in all areas, most notably some support upfront for the talismanic Luis Suarez. The strategy of buying players from England has hit them hard- and they don’t seem to have learned from their mistakes, as they have just acquired the services of Chelsea outcast Daniel Sturridge.
Brendan Rodgers seems to be partial to players, who have played under him previously, as he is reportedly preparing a move for Wigan’s Franco Di Santo. Other news includes a move for Birmingham city’s Goalkeeper Jack Butland, and Blackpool’s Tom Ince who left Liverpool for $400,000 only 16 months ago.
Liverpool face a tough transfer window ahead, as they try to find the appropriate players for the right amount of money, while keeping hold of their prized asset Luis Suarez.
Reading seems to be turning into a world headquarters for Russian players, as they are linked with Roman Pavlyuchenko and Andrei Arshavin, as they try to hold their own in the relegation battle.
QPR manager Harry Redknapp faces his biggest challenge yet, as he tries to improve his unmotivated squad. Moves for Fulham’s Brede Hangeland and Sylvian Distin of Everton seem to be lined up in an attempt to bring solidity in defense. Unwanted players from other clubs such as Joe Cole, Frank Lampard and even Nicolas Anelka seem to be on the radar as well.