We are getting to that time of year once again when the busy Christmas period of fixtures rears it’s wonderful head. With so many games in a short space of time it only takes a couple of good or bad results for a club to completly change the complexion of the Premier League table.
But it’s January where these 20 top flight clubs will look the most as they look to delve into the transfer window and make the necessary additions to their squad. A couple of new faces could be the difference between European action or mid table mediocrity or survival instead of going down.
Therefore I’m now going to look at what all the Premier League clubs will be asking for over the holidays (in order of Premier League table at time of writing)
Chelsea – Quite simply how do you fix something that is not broken? The honest answer is simply just leave it alone. This unstoppable blue juggernaut doesn’t show any signs of slowing down anytime soon. If Antonio Conte needed one extra present it would perhaps an additional centre back but right now this is a squad firing on all cylinders.
Liverpool – The question now is whether or not Jurgen Klopp feels he needs to add to a squad in which to seriously challenge for the title or whether or not he is happy with what he has got. For all the issues in goal I don’t think any new keeper will be coming to Anfield next month.
Manchester City – Pep Guardiola could probably do with knowing the opening times of Sports Direct on Boxing Day and what their returns policy is. After John Stones move from Everton for £50m, Guardiola will be hoping that he has kept hold of the receipt.
Arsenal – Arsene Wenger would love a new contract for Christmas but whether that is a popular decision with the whole Arsenal fanbase remains to be seen. Once again it looks like the race for 4th place is now in full flow
Tottenham – They will hope that injuries to their star players are not a feature in the second half of the season like they were the first. If Mauricio Pochettino can keep this squad fit and healthy they will still have a big say on who finishes in those all important Top 4 places.
Manchester United – Jose Mourinho perhaps needs a manual on game management. Too many occasions have they dropped points when being in control. A situation that leaves them in 6th, the second half of the season has to be better than the first.
Southampton – Once again The Saints look capable of gaining a European place, they may need a helping hand when it comes to the domestic cup winners but 7th place could once again do they trick. To stay there though they are going to need some goals, if they don’t then keeping hold of Virgil Van Dijk at the other end is crucial.
West Brom – A remarkable first half of the season for The Baggies. Tony Pulis was one of the favourites to win (or lose) the sack race at the start of the campaign. The task now will be to make sure that form continues in the New Year
Everton – They have a fantastic striker in Romelu Lukaku and him possibly signing a new contract is great news but a lack of service is a huge issue right now for Everton. They need a couple of new additions in the wide areas to bring the best out of the Belgian.
Bournemouth – Eddie Howe will be happy with the mid table place they are in right now and a finish of 10th would be an improvement on last season. Many felt that Bournemouth would succumb to ‘Second Season Syndrome’ but they seem to have found the cure
Stoke – They need to sign Lee Grant on a permanent deal it’s as simple as that. The first half of the season has been night and day since the arrival of Grant from Derby County. Whatever the fee is required for the 33 year old then it will be one worth paying.
Watford – A goal from Troy Deeney would be nice. He hasn’t found the net in his last 10 Premier League outings. Thankfully there doesn’t seem to be an over reliance on their Captain but the goal drought is a concern right now.
West Ham – They’ve moved into their new house now they need to make it a home. Slaven Bilic needs at least 3 or 4 new faces to make sure the East London side aren’t involved in a relegation scrap in the final few months of the season.
Middlesbrough – Aitor Karanka needs a bit more from Alvaro Negredo. The Spainard is earning £100k a week and right now it’s probably the easiest money he will ever make. Just 4 goals this season from the former Man City striker. Not the best return on your investment.
Leicester – An A-Z Road Map of England would be a start. Then with that they may be able to work out how to win away from home. It’s all very turning it on in Europe but there is still a job to be done every weekend.
Burnley – The same applies to them as above. That is if you take away the European adventure. Sean Dyche’s men have turned Turf Moor into somewhat of a fortress, without that the picture could have been a lot more bleak.
Crystal Palace – Alan Pardew will be hoping that he doesn’t get Santa’s sack with Santa coming in the form of Chairman Steve Parrish. They had a terrible run of form post Christmas last season, if it looks like that will be the case again then Pardew will be getting his marching orders.
Sunderland – David Moyes is going to have to look down the back of the sofa for the money to get some new faces in next month. There season has finally started and there is more optimism on Wearside now but they still face an uphill struggle to stay up.
Swansea – Bob Bradley’s already much maligned tenure at The Liberty Stadium is in danger of being a very short one if results do not pick up. A squad which has been in managed decline for a couple of seasons needs some reinforcements to give them a chance of beating the drop.
Hull – They need a plumber for that leaky defence of theirs. 36 goals in just 17 matches sees them consigned to the bottom of the table and they need at least half a dozen new names to enter The KCom Stadium. The question is will Mike Phelan be given the funds in which to do so.