Error message

  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/
  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/


The Transfers These 5 Premier League Teams Need And What They'll Do Instead In January

Like the neon-lit doors of a two-bit Las Vegas casino, the January Transfer Window is about to open up to a long and desperate line of middle-aged men looking to throw good money after bad in the quest for that elusive jackpot: the player who can transform their team into a goal-scoring, game-winning, crowd-swelling and coffer-filling machine.

Come January 1st, clubs across Europe will have a solitary month to re-shape their squads, make amends for past transgressions and paper over the cracks of a poor first half of the season. But while the January Transfer Window is invariably quieter than its Summer cousin, that doesn’t stop newspaper editors up and down the land from readying their click-baiting, Search Engine Optimized headlines linking half-a-dozen global superstars with half-a-dozen of the best supported clubs in the country, all on the strength of an unhappy wife or a "For Sale" sign erected in a front lawn.

So, to guide you through the impending 31 days of transfer BS, The18 has compiled a not-so-serious look at the pressing requirements of five Premier League clubs this January, and what they’ll probably do instead. 

Manchester United

Photo: @EuropsportCom_EN | Twitter

What They Need: A Central Defender and a Right Back (Good Ones)

Who They’ll Buy: €150m Gareth Bale!

It’s no secret that Manchester United could really do with at least one good Centre Back to step in for the perpetually injured Phil Jones and the interminably average Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans. Man United have resorted to playing right backs, midfielders and teenagers to cover for their lack of depth and quality in the centre of defence, relying on the brilliance of David de Gea to drag them through games. They could also do with a Right Back whose name isn’t Rafael.

Which is why, under normal circumstances, The18 would dismiss out of hand the continuous rumours of a €150m MEGA SWOOP for Real Madrid’s flying simian Gareth Bale as nothing more than click bait. But this is Ed Woodward we’re talking about: a man who bases transfer decisions largely on shirt sales. Imagine the conversation:

Louis van Gaal: “Ed, I think we should buy a defender. Matts Hummels is good.”

Ed Woodward: “I hear you big fella, I really do. But I’ve decided to sign Gareth Bale for €150m instead.”

Louis van Gaal: “But we need a defender, Ed.”

Ed Woodward: “But Louis, at school Gareth used to play as a Left Back, so you see he really is a defender anyway. And if that doesn’t work, you could always play an Inverted Christmas Tree formation, no?”

Louis van Gaal: “Hmm. €150m really is a lot of money, Ed. Are you sure you want to spend that much on one player? We could buy a whole new defensive line for that.”

Ed Woodward: “I’ve thought about that too, which is why I’ve decided to throw David de Gea into the deal to lower the price. Wayne Rooney likes playing in goal; throw him the gloves.”

Louis van Gaal: “Ed, you’re a Klootzak. I resign.”

In reality, there is zero chance of United signing Bale this January (the summer is another matter), but it’s nevertheless indicative of the mindset currently prevalent at Old Trafford. We’ll be very impressed if they do something sensible like sign Everton’s Seamus Coleman.


Photo: @SamirSeconds | Twitter

What They Need: An experienced Central Defender (and a Tackling Midfielder)

What They’ll Buy: An inexperienced Full Back (for example, Tyrone Mings)

Arsene Wenger has promised to spend in January if the “right player” becomes available. Yet, while my long-deceased goldfish Jeffrey could tell the Arsenal manager he needs a seasoned Centre Back to cover Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, you just know that, for Wenger, the “right” player will be young, inexperienced and barely on first-name terms with the position he’ll be asked to fill. 

Step forward 21-year old Tyrone Mings, currently plying his trade at second tier side Ipswich Town. Mings has been hailed as “the next John Terry,” which we hope for Arsenal’s sake means he’ll one day become a very good Centre Back and not a cheap, odious philanderer who screws his teammate’s wife.

Mings is undoubtedly a talent, but he isn’t what Arsenal need right now: he has no experience at the top level and doesn’t even play in the centre of defence. Which is exactly why Wenger will sign him.


Photo: @SomosInvictos | Twitter

What They Need: A Goalkeeper (and a Goalscorer)

Who They’ll Buy: Probably no one

With Brad Jones injured and the once indefinitely dropped Simon Mignolet showing all the footballing skills of an elderly gentleman in Orthopaedic shoes upon his Boxing Day return, Brendan Rodgers is clearly in need of a goalkeeper both he and his defenders can trust. Petr Cech would be an ideal solution, and while unlikely, it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if Rodgers managed to pull off a loan deal for the Czech international: the Northern Irishman is close to Jose Mourinho, and the Portuguese has past form in releasing once vital players midway through a season (see: Mata, Juan).  

At the other end of the pitch, Liverpool desperately need someone who can take the pressure off Own Goal. It’s a newspaper editor’s dream scenario: widely supported club needs striker, so link said club with every sexy Continental name you can think of on a daily basis ad nauseam (Benzema, Higuain, Cavani etc). Based on the previous miss-and-miss track record of their much-vaunted transfer committee, however, re-signing Fernando Torres seems just as likely as any other scenario you’ll read about.


Photo: @theScore | Twitter

What They Need: A Goalscorer

Who They’ll Buy: Jermaine Defoe, Robbie Keane, Peter Crouch (or anyone else Harry Redknapp has previously signed in the last 10 years)

We all know the drill by now: Harry Redknapp drives out of whichever training complex he’s currently coaching at, rolls down the window of his Range Rover and tells the waiting throng of journalists that [INSERT AGING PLAYER FROM PREVIOUSLY MANAGED CLUB] is a ‘triffic player and he’d love to sign him if only the chairman would give him the money.

Redknapp is the perennial wheeler-dealer, however much he protests to the contrary. So it’s as certain as a New Year’s Day hangover that, with Charlie Austin carrying so much of QPR’s goal-scoring burden (Austin is responsible for 67% of The Rs’ Premier League goals), he’ll be on the lookout for another striker this January. The papers have linked Redknapp with moves for Robbie Keane (signed by Redknapp once before), Jermaine Defoe (three times before) and Peter Crouch (managed on five separate occasions). That’s not lazy journalism; it’s just what Redknapp does time and time and time again.


Photo: @cyrustemmy | Twitter

What They Need: Absolutely Nothing

Who They’ll Buy: Anyone They Fancy

Roman Abramovich has apparently lost over $450m following the collapse of the Russian Rouble, which sounds like a lot of money until you remember that it represents less than 5% of his total net wealth. 

Chelsea don’t need to do a great deal this January window, but they’ll nevertheless try to sign some players just for the hell of it. Everton Right Back Seamus Coleman could be the next promising youngster to go and rot in Chelsea’s reserves, with Mourinho readying a £25m bid to rival the supposed interest of Manchester United. Given Chelsea already have two very able Right Backs in the shape of Branislav Ivanovich and Cesar Azpilicueta, it looks rather like any move for Coleman is simply Mourinho looking to piss off his old boss Louis van Gaal.

If you liked this, you might also like…

Watch Every Goal From The Man Outscoring Messi 

5 Questions Every Premier League Fan Needs To Ask This Holiday Season 

100 Years Ago, Christmas And Soccer Stopped WWI 

Videos you might like