As we head inexorably towards January and the New Year there may be many things on the minds of football fans everywhere. For example, there’s the great VAR debate: has it resolved many of the issues that it was introduced to address or has it taken too much of the drama and excitement out of the game? Or how many lives does Mourinho really have manager-wise? But, most importantly for fans of clubs who may have been found wanting this season, is the January transfer window going to give them some chance of salvation?
Because, for some hoping to get out of a tight spot, the period between New Year’s Day and 11pm on January 31st could be very important indeed. Admittedly, the task will be made a little harder by the clubs in question hardly being very appealing prospects for players who might prefer to join one that is thriving. Nevertheless, offers will be made, some will come off and others will be rejected.
So here are three clubs that may well be vying for some fresh blood that they hope will be able to reinvigorate their performances for the rest of the season.
Many people are surprised that Unai Emery managed to hang on at the Emirates for quite as long as he did. But having lost the dressing room in no uncertain terms, culminating in his handling of the Granit Xhaca situation and a string of dismal results, he had to go.
The hopes are that his temporary replacement Freddie Ljungberg will be able to steady the ship, relying on his strong heritage with the team and more direct methods of communication.
There’s every reason to suppose that Emery’s transfer targets will remain for Ljungberg. The most likely of these is the Colombian James Rodriguez currently at Real Madrid whose attacking style could galvanise the rest of the team into action under the new manager.
Even the most loyal of fans would have to admit that there’s a temptation to visit betting sites like 888sport to put a few pounds on Southampton getting relegated at the end of the season. To still only have a points total in single figures at the end of November is never a good sign.
But never say never because if the Saints manage to pull off a couple of signings they may well see a reversal of fortune that could at the very least keep them in the top flight.
The first is the 20 year old Sassuolo left-back Alessandro Tripaldelli who has made two appearances for the Serie A club this season and impressed both times. The other is the Ghanaian Mohammed Salisu of Real Valladolid. Both players are said to be keen to move but there’s also thought to be interest being shown by a number of other clubs.
One of the clubs also said to also be circling Salisu, eager to add his defensive skills to the squad, is Everton. While not quite in the relegation zone, their frailty at the back means that it would only take a few bad results to put them there.
Another player rumoured to be in their sights for a proposed €15 million transfer fee is the River Plate striker Rafael Santos Borre. Although this has been denied by his agent this could be taken with a pinch of salt as Borre is definitely interested in a move to the Premiership.
The third player in the frame is Nottingham Forest’s defender Joe Worrell who has spent the season on loan to Rangers. That they’re interested in Championship players suggests a certain pragmatism from Everton in terms of both the amount they can afford to pay and the calibre of player that they are likely to be able to attract.
Naturally, all of these proposed moves are pure speculation at this point and until the bidding starts in January we won’t have the full picture. But we can be sure of one thing: all three teams will be keeping their fingers crossed that the moves they make will at least paper over some of the cracks that have become all too apparent so far this season.