Thursday 28 November 2013

by Akhilan Manivannan, Sophomore 2 Cempaka, Class of 2015

The English Premier League is arguably the most competitive and compelling league in the footballing world, and teams will be looking to shake things up in the upcoming January Transfer Window; some more than others of course (nobody wants to see another gifted footballer warm the Manchester City bench). With that being said, here are 5 teams in my opinion that desperately need some quality signings.

1. Sunderland

Not many expected to see Sunderland at rock bottom in the table, with an abysmal tally of 7 points in 12 games. While they may not have a star studded squad, Sunderland players have showed us over the years that they are more than capable of grinding out results and out-manoeuvring opponents, especially in midfield. Midfield has undeniably been Sunderland’s forte, with talented central midfielders such as Craig Gardner and Sebastian Larsson doing a decisive job in previous seasons. 

That has definitely not been the case this season however, as Sunderland have been overrun in midfield, demolished in defence, given the ball away like candy in Halloween and have had utterly ghastly forwards. Sunderland need changes and they need them fast. A striker, a traditional number 10 and a centre back would go miles in getting Sunderland out of the danger zone and that is what they shall strive for in the upcoming transfer window.

2. Arsenal

It’s debatable to say that the league leaders at the moment need transfers, but please do hear me out. Like Sunderland, Arsenal have been gifted with brilliant midfield prowess, boasting a plethora of technically sound players in every position. Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Mathieu Flamini, Aaron Ramsey, and not to mention the spark of their season, star signing Mesut Ozil. 

However while being blessed with so many midfield options, Arsenal have had some dismal games up-front to say the least. While Olivier Giroud has already netted 7 goals this season, he has been largely inconsistent. Don’t get me wrong, he can be brilliant on his best day, but the next week he can be completely non-existent on the pitch. 

Lukas Podolski is admittedly another option for Arsenal, but he unfortunately has been out injured and even before the injury, looked more like an attacking midfielder than an all out striker. Arsenal have even had to rely on in-form midfielder Aaron Ramsey to win them games at times. Arsenal need someone who can take advantage of the truckload of chances created by their midfielders; a prolific striker whose sole purpose is to put the ball at the back of the net. Havier Hernandez perhaps?

3. Crystal Palace

After losing star winger Wilfred Zaha, Crystal Palace have been in complete shambles all over the pitch. They have lacked conviction in midfield, strength in defense, and are not to mention completely outclassed up front. Crystal Palace have no choice I’m afraid but to loosen their purse strings in January, because whoever they can add to their dismal squad will be a huge boost to their hopes of remaining in the Premier League.

4. Norwich City

While Norwich City’s home grown talent surprised many a team last season, they have truly been out of their league in the past few months. With one of the worst defensive records in the Premier League, Norwich City have had absolutely no confidence in their back-line and penetrating their defence has been no more complicated than slicing through butter with a knife. There is no doubt that Norwich City can score goals however. On the contrary, they have some rather admirable flair in the team going forward but with that bad a defence, no team can survive in the Premier League. Expect Norwich City to completely reconstruct their back-line with a hardy centre back, a right back, and a left back.

5. Manchester United

Perhaps it is the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson but Manchester United have had completely lacklustre displays and have not looked like the side other clubs have come to fear. Shocking defeats have clearly highlighted the major flaw in United’s squad, and that is central midfield. While Sir Alex Ferguson had managed to conceal the lack of midfield depth in United’s side, new manager David Moyes has been unable to do so and should not be expected to do so either. 

It is completely unacceptable for a club that once boasted Roy Keane and Paul Scholes in the middle of the pitch to now have to so heavily depend on one Michael Carrick. I mean Tom Cleverley is simply not good enough, Anderson has been inconsistent and unfit. New signing Marouane Fellaini has yet to fit into the side and Ryan Giggs will be 40 years old in two days. Manchester United are in dire need of a central midfielder; preferably a box to box type midfielder like Kevin Strootman, or a creative spark like Ilkay Gundongan. Whoever it is, David Moyes needs to act fast in the transfer window or his side could very well find themselves outside the top 4 when the season comes to a close.

The January Transfer Window of 2014 will definitely be one to remember, not just for these 5 clubs, but also for the entire Premier League roster. To all the excited fans out there who want that specific, amazing player at your club, cross your fingers and fret no longer, because it just might happen. 
by Anonymous 20:05 21 comments | in , , ,


  1. Head League rules express a club must enroll a player before early afternoon the working day before the match in which they wish him to play.

    Since there are Premier League coordinates on 31 January and 1 February, toward the finish of the window, clubs playing on 31 January have until early afternoon of the day preceding (30 January) to enroll a player to highlight in matches on the 31st.

    Clubs in real life on 1 February must enlist any new signings by early afternoon on 31 January for them to play.

    Likewise with past windows, while the due date to acquire players on 31 January is 11pm GMT, clubs can finish exchanges of players after 11pm, just on the off chance that they have presented an arrangement sheet before the due date.

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