While much has been said about the relative lack of a difference the January transfer window has on the way the Premier league title race eventually ends up, there have been a few notable success stories – and it’s true that a wise purchase at the this time of the season can change a side’s fortunes. But who really needs to strengthen their squad to push on for a chance of Europe?
Although the usual suspects are in the frame for a chance of glory (even Manchester United who, although going through a second season of crisis according to some sections of the media, are currently sitting pretty in a Champions League spot) there have been a few surprises. The biggest example is Southampton’s successful start to the season. With the exodus from St Marys in the summer many had expected the Saints to suffer this season. But Ronald Koeman has brought together a great club spirit – alongside some very good footballers – and they find themselves deservedly in the top three.
Manchester City don’t need to add to their bulging squad – especially now Wilfried Bony has made his move north. Although it is always possible that they could bring someone in it is more likely that Manuel Pellegrini is happy with his lot. He just has to get his team to stop dropping silly points and hope that Chelsea slip up. Chelsea themselves are always linked with a number of players – most recently Inter’s Icardi and Cuadrado at Fiorentina. But these additions, as excellent as they would be for the Blues, are not desperately needed.
Need to strengthen
The club that probably needs to do the most to strengthen their squad, for a variety of reasons, is Spurs. Without much fanfare or noise Tottenham have gone about their business and are currently lying sixth in the table. Many would say that is about as much as they could hope for, but fans and players alike want at least Europe – and Champions League if possible – to prove that they still belong at the higher end of the table.
Although Harry Kane has been a sensation this season – and really taken the pressure of the misfiring Soldado – Spurs could really do with another striker. Adebayor is the only other forward in the squad and more firepower could mean the difference between mid table and a European spot. Before he sealed a move back from MLS to Sunderland it could be argued that Jermaine Defoe would have been ideal. Someone who may not play every match but is a proven Premier League goal scorer and could be relied on when asked.
Spurs seem to be consistently linked with attacking players but apart from another striker it is probably the defence that could do with bolstering. The only transfer rumours in that part of the field tend to be players leaving the club however, with both Jan Vertonghen and keeper Hugo Lloris linked with exits either in January or the end of the season. Either of those two leaving would be a blow to the club when they should really be looking for someone to come in to stop the silly goals going in. American youngster DeAndre Yedlin has now arrived from Seattle after signing in the summer but as impressive as the right back looked last season he will take a while to bed in to the Premier League.
With West Ham, Liverpool and Arsenal all looking to make pushes for European qualification – and the clubs above probably being unreachable – Spurs will need a little bit more depth if they are to produce the end of season that their fans want so badly. Chairman Daniel Levy is a shrewd businessman and usually gets a good deal for players leaving White Hart Lane; it remains to be seen if he is able to work his magic to entice players to his club and take them to the next level.