The Premier League was the highest-spending league in European football in January 2019
The Premier League transfer deadline is approaching – so what sort of business do fans think their clubs should be doing?
English top-flight clubs have until 23:00 GMT on Friday to make any late additions, on a day known for drama and excitement.
BBC Sport has asked fans from every Premier League club to tell us where their teams need to strengthen, who they want to bring in and who they’d like to see head through the exit door before the month is out.
Gareth Davies writes the ‘Next Moves’ feature in Bournemouth’s matchday programme.
Bournemouth are in a relegation battle – so it might seem peculiar to say we don’t really need to do any business. But if we can start emptying out the treatment room of overworked club physio Steve Hard, then we should have just enough to stay up.
When your team are in a relegation battle, an influx of new players in January can go one of two ways. It will either galvanise the team or the new players will take too long to gel. You can then be saddled with those players in the Championship, which is why I can’t see Eddie Howe seriously pursuing anyone.
That said, a player who would improve Bournemouth is Liverpool’s Adam Lallana – the midfielder was on the Cherries’ books as a boy until he left for Southampton.
Given our current plight, it needs to be all hands on deck. However, Jordon Ibe, who has turned out for the Under-21 side in recent weeks, is out of contract during the summer. As one of the club’s most expensive ever misfits, it would surely be better for everyone if he moved on.
Akhil Vyas – Arsenal Supporters Trust
I think most people would say we have a need at centre-back and I wouldn’t disagree. Losing Calum Chambers to injury was a blow and with Shkodran Mustafi (whatever people think of him) now out, it leaves us short. Mikel Arteta has certainly got us organised, so having an additional option may help him in the three competitions we are still in.
Pablo Mari has obviously been talked about and he was in London over the weekend. I think it’s safe to say we’ll have a budget so I can’t give you names but someone who can play a bit – especially out from the back – is a must.
As I think we are a bit short, I wouldn’t like to see anyone leave. Even the young players such as Eddie Nketiah are getting chances, so I can’t see anyone leaving.
David Michael – My Old Man Said podcast
Aston Villa went into the window needing more attacking options, but long-term injuries over the winter to John McGinn, Wesley and Tom Heaton shifted the focus. They have all been covered, so now we are actively trying to get another forward option in, probably on loan.
Getting a striker in was always a priority and I hope Mbwana Samatta will prove a decent purchase. Villa won’t spend big to get another striker, so a ‘serious bid’ to prise Jarrod Bowen away from Hull feels unlikely. Christian Benteke’s wages may also rule him out, so I’d hope for a loan signing if possible.
We’ve done well to shift Jonathan Kodjia and Scott Hogan has gone to Birmingham on loan. The only other potential outgoings would be James Chester and Henri Lansbury, who surely both want to start games. However, having them around with a relegation battle ahead would not be a bad thing.
Brighton & Hove Albion
Scott McCarthy – WeAreBrighton.com
We desperately need a striker. In public, Graham Potter constantly praises Glenn Murray – but the fact the striker hasn’t started a game since September tells you everything you need to know. Neal Maupay starts every week; Aaron Connolly, another regular, hasn’t scored since the start of October.
We gave Potter a new six-year contract in November after he’d won just four Premier League games but unless we get a striker we could be bang in relegation trouble.
A loan move for somebody such as Olivier Giroud or another proven Premier League striker out-of-favour at a bigger club would be perfect, although in all honesty that’s probably pie-in-the-sky thinking.
More likely is that we pay Boca Juniors to cut short Alexis Mac Allister’s season-long loan now that he has been given a work permit, but pitching a 21-year-old who has never played in Europe into a relegation battle would be a big risk.
Before the end of 2019, Alireza Jahanbakhsh would have been first out the door but two goals in two games have earned him a reprieve. Leon Balogun, Gaetan Bong and Ezequiel Schelotto have all become surplus to requirements under Potter. Of those, Bong is the only one I’d be sad to see leave. He’s been a good servant to the club.
Tony Scholes – UpTheClarets.com
We don’t have the biggest squad and so there are a number of positions that could do with strengthening – but nowhere more than the centre of midfield, where we are very short on numbers following the departure of Danny Drinkwater. A midfielder and a striker coming in would mean a very good window.
I’d like to see a strong, box to box, midfielder added to the squad. We thought we had strengthened well with the loan capture of Drinkwater but for one reason or another it didn’t quite work out as planned. As for names, is there a young Paul Scholes or Steven Gerrard available anywhere?
The squad is not the youngest and changes are going to have to be made sooner rather than later, but in this window I wouldn’t consider it a good idea for any of our players to leave. There are some not getting much football but they could be needed during the second half of the season.
Ross Mooring – Chelsea Fancast
Frank Lampard’s first year as Chelsea manager is still a work in progress and Champions League qualification is far from assured, but it is likely the club won’t be making any splash signings to end the transfer window.
This in spite of rumours linking strikers Edinson Cavani and Krzysztof Piatek to Stamford Bridge, with Tammy Abraham having recently taken a nasty knock and Olivier Giroud potentially Inter Milan-bound. Pedro could be drawn away before or after the European deadline.
One player who could be considered as a new signing is Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who continues to ramp up his recovery from a nasty Achilles injury.
Meanwhile, the most important signings might be the contract renewals of Willian and youth right-back Tariq Lamptey, who made an impressive debut recently at Arsenal. Both might be lured away for free in the summer.
Terence Ford – Back of the Nest Podcast
Palace have needed depth at full-back for several seasons now. The emergence of Aaron Wan-Bissaka eased the issues for 18 months, but with his move to Manchester United, we are left wondering why some of the £50m fee has not been reinvested yet.
Kyle Walker-Peters would have been a great signing, but he has gone to Southampton, and I would still like to see a full-back arrive before Friday’s deadline. But the dangling carrot that is Yannick Carrasco cannot be ignored. The Belgium winger is not what we absolutely need, but if he does end up in front of a camera holding the red and blue stripes, most in South London would rejoice.
Roy Hodgson has talked at length on how depleted the squad is, so departures seem unlikely. Connor Wickham would be the exception as the striker needs minutes after such a long time out injured.
David Downie – The Blue Room Podcast
Where to start? There are several key positions where Carlo Ancelotti surely feels he needs to make quality additions to an average squad. Midfield is the most urgent area to address; none of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Morgan Schneiderlin, Tom Davies and Fabian Delph have really made a case for a long-term future under the Italian.
There’s not one player that stands out, even as a short-term answer – and that is the problem with recruiting in January. It feels more sensible to wait until the summer and also gives Ancelotti time to properly assess who he wants to keep. That said, Abdoulaye Doucoure was a long-term target for Marco Silva and someone of his quality and stature would definitely improve midfield.
There are probably more players I would like to see depart than I would like to keep. I don’t think there are too many that most Evertonians would like to see remain at the club. I would have no problem if Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin, Theo Walcott and Delph found new clubs and that’s just for starters.
Chris Forryan – Leicestertillidie.com
Had Jamie Vardy’s injury happened at the start of the season, I would have said we needed to strengthen up front. That’s not such an urgent issue now, though, with Kelechi Iheanacho showing improved form and Ayoze Perez potentially someone we could utilise in the lone forward role.
Our main area of concern is the lack of cover in central defence with Wes Morgan only just returning from injury and, at 36, his age counting against him. Manager Brendan Rodgers also feels that Filip Benkovic is not yet ready for the step up and it appears that Southampton’s Jannik Vestergaard is now top of the manager’s wish list.
Luke Shaw, a peripheral player at Manchester United, has been linked with us. He could give us the cover we will need next season, with Christian Fuchs set to leave and a possible Ben Chilwell departure too.
Benkovic looks as if he might be leaving on loan once another defender is secured. And that would be a good move for the future, with Jonny Evans also the wrong side of 30. We still have a few of Claudio Ranieri’s signings that could leave and Islam Slimani could do with being moved out permanently, not just on loan, as he has no future at the club.
Josh Sexton – The Anfield Wrap
It’s hard to think of any area that needs strengthening as a matter of urgency. Some cover at full-back probably wouldn’t go amiss but it would mean fewer opportunities for the youngsters who have performed so well when called upon.
We’ve been linked with a number of really reputable players, which says a lot about our standing in world football at the moment. The name that has got so many talking is Kylian Mbappe, and of course nobody would turn that one down!
In terms of outgoings, it would be really good if we could keep this squad together at least until the end of the season. We’ve already seen ourselves stretched by injuries throughout December and everybody who stepped in positively contributed in some way. We may yet need more of that.
Nigel Rothband – The Man City Show Podcast
Manchester City need to strengthen in defence. John Stones seems to have lost a bit of confidence, there are questions about Nicolas Otamendi and Eric Garcia is still cutting his teeth at the top level. A back-up keeper is required and issues still persist at left-back. Benjamin Mendy has not had a decent run of games to establish himself and neither Angelino nor Oleksandr Zinchenko seem quite good enough.
Ben Chilwell is a player I’d love to see in a City shirt. He would fit into the system well, has pace and is a great crosser of the ball. Potentially Spurs may not qualify for the Champions League next season, so if they want to cash in on Harry Kane, he maybe the perfect replacement for Sergio Aguero.
Claudio Bravo has won some silverware during his time at Etihad Stadium but a more reliable replacement is now required. Joining him through the exit door could be Otamendi, Angelino and possibly Stones. I don’t want to see Leroy Sane leave once he returns to full fitness; we need his pace and competition for that position.
Barney Chilton – Red News fanzine
Where do we start with who to bring in? We need two top-quality midfielders and a striker who can fill the void left by Marcus Rashford’s injury. The former position should have been well scouted by our new-found ‘footballing experts’ but we appear to be flailing again, as we finalise a deal for a player the club briefed they had doubts about six months ago. But we need him as this squad is light and desperately needs numbers and quality,
With days to go, it seems we’re only in for Bruno Fernandes. I hope his arrival – that is, if we get the deal over the line – aids our lack of creativity and helps us break down dogged teams. My fear is we lack goals in the side again, and in the short term I’d take a punt on Edinson Cavani, to become – like Henrik Larsson – a mini-darling of the Stretford End.
We talk of needing two in – we’ll probably only get one – but we actually need five or six and you hope this isn’t how the summer window will go. I don’t actually think we can afford to see any departures with so many games still ahead – especially with the Europa League still to consider. However, United were keen to give Marcos Rojo a route out of the club.
Norman Riley – Deputy Editor of True Faith fanzine
We desperately need a centre-forward. We lost Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon at the end of last season and simply haven’t replaced them properly. Joelinton was brought in to be the number nine when he clearly isn’t a centre-forward. It speaks volumes that Andrew Carroll, Dwight Gayle and Joelinton have a total of one league goal between them.
The two loan signings have potential and obvious ability but it would be great (possibly beyond the realms of fantasy at Mike Ashley’s Newcastle) to see the permanent signing of a centre-forward who knows the division and could fit straight in. Both Divock Origi and Michy Batshuayi are underused and either would be fantastic for us.
Getting players that aren’t used shipped out to free spaces up would be good but there’s no guarantee they would be replaced. I’m referring to players who don’t seem to have a future at the club, such as Yoshinori Muto, Ki Sung-yueng, Jack Colback, Henri Saivet and Achraf Lazaar.
Gary Gowers – Norwichcity.myfootballwriter.com
Given that we are where we are because we’ve been too easy to score against, a defender would be the obvious target, but it’s not as much about who is defending but how we defend as unit. So, while a new dominant, ball-playing centre-back wouldn’t go amiss, a defensive-minded midfielder to take over from Alex Tettey when those knees can manage no more would be good.
I’d like to see us get Virgil van Dijk in to help out at the back and Sergio Aguero in to put some pressure on Teemu Pukki. Given that we tend to shop in the cheaper aisles than most, anyone we get in is usually unheard of, so it’d be daft for me to band around names. So, just Sergio and Virgil please, both on a free.
A successful window for us would be one where nobody leaves. Our bright young things such as Emi Buendia, Max Aarons. Todd Cantwell and Jamal Lewis will all head west at some point but if we have them here to the end of the season, that in itself would be a result. Maybe Adam Idah will depart but only on loan to gain first-team experience.
Sam Parry – Dem Blades Fanzine
My gut feeling is that we need to strengthen in the central midfield positions. Though he may have established himself as a fantasy football legend, John Lundstram needs some competition, and there are some signs that Chris Wilder is eyeing up a late move.
Some papers have linked us with Sander Berge, a midfielder for Genk about who I know very little. Two young, attacking players with plenty of game time behind them are Eberechi Eze at QPR and Jarrod Bowen at Hull City. They might be unrealistic, but they are the sorts of players that could help take us to the next level.
To bring players in, we need a few to go out. So I would expect a few of our squad to move on, some of them being huge players in our recent history. Richard Stearman has already gone to Huddersfield – next in line could be Leon Clarke and Kieron Freeman.
Ben Stanfield – Total Saints Podcast
Saints have been actively looking for defensive reinforcements this January and that will remain the key focus. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad has looked light at the back and with Premier League survival within touching distance, it seems sensible to try to bring in players to see us through until the end of this season.
Kyle Walker-Peters from Spurs has arrived after being strongly linked with us. I’m slightly concerned that, given Spurs’ poor form over the past couple of months, he’s still not had much game time with them, but I hope he’ll be able to shine for us and I trust Ralph’s judgement.
Our squad is thin, so Che Adams – who has been heavily linked with Leeds – needs to stay and keep developing his game. Jannik Vestergaard has surprisingly been linked with a move to Leicester, so it’ll be interesting to see if anything happens there. To be honest, if we had no arrivals and no exits, I’d still be satisfied.
Nathan Clark – The Extra Inch Podcast
Having loaned in a short-term replacement for the injured Moussa Sissoko in Gedson Fernandes, the club appear to be hoping to do the same in order to cover for Harry Kane. But I would like to see a more permanent investment into defensive midfield.
For that purpose, I hope Tottenham look to Benfica again, this time for Florentino Luis: A phenomenal ball-winner who would give our more technical players a platform for control.
Tottenham have several players that need to be moved on. Victor Wanyama no longer appears to have the fitness for Premier League football. Christian Eriksen has gone, Danny Rose looks set to go, and Jan Vertonghen appears to be on the same path. Others such as Oliver Skipp need loans.
Matt Rowson B’Happy Blog
Quite what we need depends in part on the recovery of our walking wounded. We could do with a forward, but if we can rely on Danny Welbeck, this is a less acute need. A left-back may be a good idea but then Adam Masina and Kiko Femenia have both looked tremendous under the new manager.
On that note, there was a Ricardo Rodriguez rumour at the beginning of the window; that was exciting. An attacking left-back who can take a set piece, what’s not to like? But in truth, our best signings have often been guys we’d never heard of. We’re quite good at those.
Andre Gray has got a lot about him but his confidence looks shot and he needs a move, probably to a club who will play him as one of a pair up front. We need more cover up front, mind. Otherwise we have an army of decent kids who won’t get much of a look in before May – Domingos Quina and Tom Dele-Bashiru both need games.
West Ham United
David Blackmore – Blowing Bubbles Monthly
Where don’t West Ham need to strengthen? The general consensus is that the priority is to bring in a right-back, with Ryan Fredericks out injured and Pablo Zabaleta, as much as I like him, slowing.
Sebastien Haller cuts a lonely figure at times up front in a 4-5-1 formation; his performances this season have certainly divided opinion. I’d like to see another striker bought to play up alongside him. When Michail Antonio has partnered Haller in attack, we’ve looked more threatening. But with Antonio being injury prone, another forward would be a welcome addition. We are also in need of a box-to-box midfielder.
I just hope we sign someone I’ve actually heard of – not on loan – and someone who isn’t Joe Allen.
I don’t want to see any players leave given our injuries are mounting. A glance at our bench in recent games shows just how short of bodies we are but I was happy to see the back of goalkeeper Roberto, who was simply awful before heading to Alaves on loan.
David Evans – Wolves Football Fancast
Where’s ‘Gary Goals’ when you need him? Wolves need strikers to help take some of the burden off Raul Jimenez. Nuno Espirito Santo has signed Leonardo Campana, with Daniel Podence to follow, but he may be more of an attacking option than an out-and-out striker. Nuno wanted two forwards. Will he get his second?
Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare has already been linked with a move to the club and although Arsenal or Chelsea appear to also be in the frame, the midfielder could be the alternative option Nuno needs in the middle of the park.
With Wolves’ trim squad, we can’t really afford to let anyone go. Patrick Cutrone and Jesus Vallejo have both gone after failing to make an impact and Morgan Gibbs-White would probably benefit from a loan to a high-flying Championship side (though not West Brom of course).