The 2013 January transfer window has opened and closes on January 31 in England, while the window stays open through Febuary 2 in Spain, France, Germany and Italy.
With this season being one of the tightest Premier League races in years — for the clubs near the top of the table, and the bottom half of the table, expect there to be a lot of activity in this transfer window as clubs aim to improve or solidify their positions.
We’ve taken a look at each of the 20 Premier League teams to determine what positions need strengthening in this window.
Needs: Striker cover
League leaders Arsenal are simply lacking depth. The squad from a first XI standpoint is nearly impossible to upgrade without significantly disrupting the positive spirit within the club.
Needs: Virtually everything other than central midfield
The Villans could upgrade just about anywhere on the pitch with battle tested experience. The kids are only getting Aston Villa so far and the side could use a veteran presence just about anywhere on the pitch.
Needs: Central midfield, wingers, strikers
Having outlaid nearly £25 million in the summer, eccentric owner Vincent Tan may not want to spend much more money. New manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær does have lots of holes to fill if he is given the opportunity to do so.
Needs: Striker, central defense cover
Chelsea has needs but Jose Mourinho seems to have finally figured out his best side and playing style so he may hesitate to make any moves this January.
Needs: Everything but central midfield
Tony Pulis will begin the overhaul of this bloated squad in January. He’ll sign the best players available regardless of position as Palace can use an upgrade just about everywhere on the pitch. Celtic’s Joe Ledley is a certain target.
Needs: Attacking midfield, wingers, striker
Considering Everton has been so heavily reliant on loan players this season, wide players and striker are listed among the needs though they could easily be addressed this summer.
Needs: Younger hungrier players, central defense
Martin Jol left the new coaching and technical staff a team full of once great but often volatile players. Centre back is of particular concern.
The Tigers are a striker signing away from being safe this season. Shane Long was fancied in the summer but given the issues at West Brom it is unlikely he is for sale. The club has been linked with Celtic’s Georgios Samaras as well.
Needs: Wide players, midfield depth
Brendan Rodgers very badly needs an impact winger and some more depth in midfield. While many other top sides don’t spend in January, the Reds have been active the past several secondary windows, so we should expect some sort of move this January as well.
Needs: Central defense cover
The Blues defensive woes have been well documented. Manuel Pellegrini will want real cover in the center of defense rather than the continued need to plug in defensive midfielders as cover.
Needs: Central midfield
As the 2-1 loss at Old Trafford New Year’s Day showed once again, United can be easily bossed in central midfield these days. This is a glaring need that was not properly addressed in the summer transfer window.
Needs: Attacking midfield and striker, central defender
The Magpies are more likely to sell than to buy this January. Meanwhile, due to the injury to Fabricio Coloccini and 3-game suspension for Mathieu Debuchy, United may need another defender as cover.
Needs: On paper, minimal
The Canaries spent in the summer on upgrading the squad at just about every attacking position. It is time for those recruits, with the exception of Gary Hooper who has been quite good, to finally come through.
Needs: Central midfield cover
The Saints need cover for Victor Wanyama whose injury has derailed the season. This having been said, it is unlikely any buys are made this January.
Needs: Striker, central defense
Sparky gets who he wants in the transfer window even if he overpays. This is something Potters supporters need to be weary of. Hughes does have some targets in mind, most notably Mame Biram Diouf — the former Manchester United and Blackburn attacking player — who now plays in the Bundesliga.
Needs: Central midfield, leftback, central defense
Gus Poyet has inherited a squad that is a hodgepodge of players left over from other managers. He’ll begin to overhaul the squad to try and steer the Black Cats to safety in this window. This won’t be easy as it may be more pressing to dump underachieving players first to fix the cohesion and dressing room before pushing for more new signings.
Needs: Defense, attacking midfield, striker
The Swans are struggling but that is down more to injury than anything else. Chairman Huw Jenkins has already told Michael Laudrup that money is available. However, loan signings may be more likely, as the Swans look to add depth to a tired squad that has been stretched thin due to injuries and Europa League play.
After a wild spending spree in the summer, Spurs are deeper at most positions than anyone in the league. The team is still largely unsettled and time and care needs to be taken to coalesce this side before more signings are made.
West Bromwich Albion
Needs: Striker, defense, wide players
The Baggies need an upgrade in many areas but don’t have a permanent manager in place. Rumors are that the transfer kitty is minimal.
West Ham United
Needs: Central defense, striker
Everton’s John Heitinga has rejected a move to West Ham, so the Hammers will go back to the well to try to find central defensive cover. A striker would be good given Andy Carroll’s continued injury problems. The Hammers have no shortage of wingers and midfielders yet still could use an upgrade. That’s an indictment of recent buying.
Now that we’ve defined what holes each Premier League side has, which players specifically do you think your club should buy? Give us your opinion in the comments section below.