Football fans across the world were sent into a tizzy as Barcelona announced the £142m signing of Philippe Coutinho this week. Normally one expects the majority of the transfer action take place in the summer window. However, this season is a bit different as some top players appear to be on the move, which could, in turn, lead to a domino effect in future transfer deals that go through the season.
With almost all top Premier League clubs looking to recruit players, we could be in for one of the biggest transfer tussles of the recent years.
Here we look at one player that Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham need to buy in January each, in order to finish strongly in the season:
Arsenal – Riyad Mahrez
The Leicester City winger has been part of massive speculation this month especially after the Coutinho departing Liverpool. However, Arsenal would seem to be the better choice for the Algerian, who has been courted by Arsene Wenger on numerous occasions since his title-winning performance with Leicester a couple of seasons ago.
If Alexis Sanchez does leave this month, the manager will be bound to bring in an able replacement, and Mahrez looks to be the perfect fit. He struggled last season to make an impact but has started this season with a bang and already has 7 goals and 8 assists bettering his tally from the whole of last season. The 26-year-old is exceptional with his dribbling skills and wriggling out of small spaces just like Sanchez.
Manchester United – Lucas Moura
Lucas Moura has struggled this season to find a place in the PSG starting this season and has played for just over an hour in his 6 substitute appearances. Manchester United are looking to bring in attacking players who can help them get closer to City in the league and go further in the Champions League.
One thing that should attract Mourinho to Moura is the fact that he has not played a single minute of Champions League football, which makes him eligible to play from other clubs as well. With the arrival of Neymar and Mbappe in the summer, PSG has a task of balancing their books, which is why the sale of Moura could be a necessity rather than a luxury.
Manchester City – Alexis Sanchez
Had it not been the final day of the transfer window, we would have definitely seen Sanchez playing for Manchester City this summer. The Chilean had agreed to all personal terms with the club and was ready for the move. However, he was soon informed that Arsenal had failed in their pursuit of Thomas Lemar on deadline day and he was not going to be allowed to leave the club.
Sanchez has been excellent for Arsenal over the past few seasons, however, the lack of challenge by Arsenal to win the League has convinced him that he needs to make a move soon in order to win trophies. Man City are also working towards making this deal happen and with quite a bit of time still to go, we wouldn’t be shocked to see Sanchez appearing in the blue jersey come February 1st.
Liverpool – Thomas Lemar
Thomas Lemar was on the verge of signing for Arsenal on the deadline in August. However, a late snag in the deal prevented the concerned from completing the deal within the stipulated time limit.
4 months on in January, we are hearing lots of rumours linking the PSG midfielder to Liverpool, who have had a huge influx in their bank accounts thanks to the Coutinho deal with Barcelona. Lemar was a vital cog in Monaco’s Ligue 1 winning team of last season as he scored 14 goals and created numerous chances. He is a versatile midfielder, who can provide an alternative to Sadio Mane. His work ethics would also attract a manager like Jurgen Klopp.
Chelsea – Alex Sandro
Defending Champions Chelsea have struggled hugely this season to build any sort of momentum. The Blues have a strong back-line consisting of some really solid players. However, the worry for Antonio Conte will be the absence of any able replacement or back-up for the likes of Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta, both of whom can play at left-back but need substitutions from time-to-time.
Alex Sandro was repeatedly linked with Chelsea in the summer as reports regarding his displeasure at Juventus started filtering in. The Brazilian left-back has been in tremendous form over the past two years and would be an excellent signing for any club that decides to go for him in January.
His only worry will be the amount of playing he will get in this Chelsea but with the Conte’s men going forward in the Champions League, we should except a good rotation between the squad in the coming weeks.
Tottenham – Wilfried Zaha
After two very good seasons, Tottenham are currently struggling to find a way into the top 4, and sit in 5th position 3 points adrift of Liverpool in 4th. It has been their lack of new signing that has been seen as the reason for this dip in form.
One feels that Pochettino might be inclined to go for a player like Wilfried Zaha, who has that x-factor in and around the box and can offer the team that extra boost of pace. The fact that Crystal Palace are in the thick of relegation battle this season might persuade them to not sell their best player. But if Tottenham can manage to get the deal through in January, it would be give the team a huge lift as they mount a serious challenge towards the Champions League qualification.