4 teams relying on the January window Pt.1
The winter period of the season is usually an indication that we are halfway through the campaign and it would then be the appropriate time to evaluate the progress or regression of some teams across Europe.
I think it would be good to evaluate some of the progress of some teams in some leagues and pay attention to what teams may need to do in in the upcoming winter January transfer window to push on and have a successful season, whatever success looks like to them individually.
I think it would be putting too much pressure on someone to say so and so will be the catalyst to solidly or change fortunes but as it would meet the demands of some team and put them in the best position possible do for a strong finish to the second half of the season.
The perspective on the season so far for Sevilla can be looked at in two ways. Since, im an optimist let’s start with the positives. Domestically they’ve had a great start to La Liga occupying a second position spot so far at the time of writing.
With FC Barcelona in freefall and current La Liga champions Atletico de Madrid struggling to pick up any sort of form it has allowed other teams to come in and make some of those sports towards the top of the table their own.
Sevilla the fourth best side in Spain last season are currently the second best behind runaway leaders Real Madrid. The Andalusians are as it stands the only real challengers for the La Liga crown as they stand only 5 points behind the league leaders.
It hasn’t gone completely swimmingly though. The UEFA Champions League draw gave them a group where many would’ve predicted them to top but instead the finished 3rdand therefore have to take on a play off to continue in their beloved UEFA Europa League.
The Copa Del Rey will start to pick up at the turn of the year and may be an opportunity to lift a domestic cup along with a potential Europa League.
At some point they will want to make some waves in any of their Champions League campaigns. Nevertheless, they will be looking to make a success of their circumstances and the January window offers an opportunity.
Transfers: Sevilla haven’t got a primary outright source of goals which is a problem when trying to contend in a title race. The window means they have to invest in a striker someone who has achieved double figures in all competitions before.
Manchester United and French forward Anthony Martial has been used less than sporadically so far for United. His agent has made it aware that Martial is looking for regular playing time and Sevilla have been linked with a loan move. The former Golden Boy certainly has the technical quality to help Sevilla push on for something this season.
West Ham United
It seems west ham have picked up on the tremendous campaign they had last year and look like a real outright contender to finish in the Champions League places as they set in fifth place at the time of writing.
They have continued their brave approach to big matches and have taken that momentum into European football topping their UEFA Europa League group with quite some ease making them one of the favourites for the tournament.
They seemed to have been able to juggle a European campaign and their domestic campaign so far but the depth of the playing squad in some positions could be harmful to a good season so far.
Playing knockout football means the schedule squad demands a squad to put out the strongest possible team on a Thursday then in quick succession for what is typically a Sunday.
In order to protect some key players or provide some quality depth the Hammers need to go shopping.
Transfers: A striker. Since last season there was a worry that having Michail Antonio as the only recognised striker would become a problem and with his injury record David Moyes may want to consider adding another attacking outlet like they did with Jesse Lingard in the 20/21 season. Belgian Divock Origi and Chilean Ben Brereton Diaz should be considered.
A centre back. The long-term injury to Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma on the road to recovery means that West Ham need to invest in defence. Nikola Milenkovic was a name they were strongly linked to in the summer and this coming window may present an opportunity. Liverpool’s Nat Phillips is a cheaper option who also fits the profile.
Sticking with Premier League Newcastle United have a big window coming up for the both short-term and long-term ambitions. The Saudi-Arabian takeover has brought along a lot of expectations with it.
Newcastle have only won one match all season and have a host of problems to fix as they look to finalise the football structure to exist between the new owners and the manager and playing staff.
This is the first transfer window under the new regime and it’s a window which needs to solve the short-term problems as well as send a message for the long-term with the quality of players they can attract to Tyneside.
For now, there needs to be players willing to come to a squad rock bottom in form and luck so you can imagine financial at the forefront of any motivation as well as offering some release clause to protect their own value.
Loans could be key for Newcastle in January and there have been a whole range of names that have been linked to Eddie Howe’s side. You can expect an expensive English core of some sort.
The world’s richest club has the worst defence in the Premier League and if they want to remain a Premier League side it’s clear where the work needs to be done.
Transfers: Defence reinforcements are key. Since Newcastle United returned to the Premier League following winning the Championship a large majority of that championship side remains especially the defence.
I think it’s fair to say they need multiple reinforcements in defence and the name reported to come in first is Kieran Trippier which is no doubt a coup for Newcastle. Loans for Premier League players who are surplus to requirement seem logical.
Names like Dean Henderson and Ross Barkley spring to mind to bring some quality. Newcastle should look at traditional selling clubs like LOSC Lille. Sven Botman could be the ideal profile; another one could be Bayer Leverkusen’s Edmond Tapsoba two young and highly sought-after defenders who will both no doubt be tempted by the Premier League.
The current French League champions are finding it difficult to at least challenge this season. To be honest it was always going to be difficult following the iconic summer transfer window that their rivals Paris Saint Germain had.
The champions have had a mixed campaign so far. They’ve struggled to keep pace with league leaders and have already conceded more goals this season than the entirety of last season.
Championship winning manager Christophe Galtier left for division rivals OGC Nice and has seemed to bring that momentum with him as he currently resides in second place behind runaway leaders PSG.
They can take positive from the fact that they’ve qualified top of their Champions’ League group is an achievement but they will have to work to do to be playing any sort of European football the following season.
The Lille production line and recruitment model are somethings that gives them a good reputation in European football but their willingness to sell could be a bane for them this season.
Jonathan Ikone set to leave, having sold talented goalkeeper Mike Maignan, Renato Sanches openly speaking about a move away, key players like Sven Botman and Jonathan David attracting interest means they may have to use that model to save their season.
LOSC are just about navigating their way out of financial troubles despite the change of ownership not too long ago. Which was probably the motivation behind the departures of Soumare, Maignan and soon to be Ikone.
They may have to do the same in January. With their recruitment teams doing what they do best once again and finding gems to supplement and reenergise the team. This doesn’t just mean young players it could be vets like Yilmaz who was the focal point to Lille’s success last year.
A midfielder or two will probably the main priority especially if Sanches leaves as well as Ikone. Perhaps a more defensive minded midfielder since their best one left for the King Power stadium in the summer. Loans could once again be key here.