Premier League transfer needs: Where does each club need to strengthen?

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Where does each club need to strengthen during the January transfer window?

[ RELATED: Latest transfer gossip ]

Here’s a quick look at all 20 Premier League teams and the business they should do, if possible, over the next few weeks before the window slams shut on February 2.

Let’s get to it, as PL managers and chairman will be scheming on how to shift players on and bring in reinforcements.

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Striker Manchester City: The Citizens have been hit with injuries up top and adding a new forward will bolster their charge in the UCL and the PL. Playing Milner in the false nine role should not be an option. Will Wilfried Bony arrive?
source:  Center Back Chelsea: An injury to John Terry or Gary Cahill would be pretty disastrous right now. Kurt Zouma & Ivanovic can step in, but Jose should look to bolster his slightly leaky backline. Maybe Micah Richards?
source:  Defenders   Manchester United: Well, United certainly do not need forwards. Reports continue to link the Red Devils with Mats Hummels. That would be a perfect buy.
source:   Center Back West Ham: The Hammers are going to lose Winston Reid on a freebie and although they’ve signed Doneil Henry, he’s one for the future. Big Sam has a little work to do.

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CB/Holding Mid ArsenalAh, the Gunners. Every transfer window they should sign a new center back or holding midfielder… then they go and buy another forward. Arsene, never change. Expect for this window, as Morgan Schneiderlin and Moussa Sissoko could arrive.
source:   Striker Stoke City: Mark Hughes’ men are pretty well stocked across the board but they could certainly do with some more goals. Peter Crouch has been linked with a move to QPR. Maybe Hughes can trade him in for a younger, more prolific model?
source:   CB/Striker/GK EvertonRoberto Martinez has spoken about getting a new ‘keeper in during Tim Howard’s injury as Joel Robles has struggled. The Toffees need a new CB and a striker too, as their PL woes continue. They are in the knockout stages of the Europa League, so need reinforcements.
source:   Defender/GK Newcastle UnitedWith Alan Pardew gone and no new manager in place, the Magpies need more than a few new faces. With Tim Krul out, an experienced ‘keeper on loan could do the business. But they must not let Sissoko and others leave.
source:  Striker BurnleyWe all know Burnley have the lowest budget in the PL and probably won’t do much business. If they are going to stay up, against all the odds, they need to score more. Getting a striker in on loan is a must.
source:   Striker Southampton: Saints are set, despite losing a few players to injury and the Asia Cup and African Cup of Nations. They have already signed Eljero Elia on loan and may need one more attacking option in case Graziano Pelle goes down.
source:   Winger Tottenham Hotspur: Spurs are looking decent, with DeAndre Yedlin arriving and Kyle Walker coming back from injury, they look okay across the board. Rumors of Pochettino buying Jay Rodriguez persisted in the summer. Can Spurs afford him? Maybe Delph will turn up?
source:   Striker/Attacking mid SunderlandWith Jozy Altidore likely to head out of the door in January, Sunderland will replace him and need goals. The third-lowest scoring team in the PL have been linked with Brown Ideye from West Brom.
source:   Striker/Winger Aston VillaTalking about low-scoring, Villa have scored 11 times in 20 games this season. Awful. The Villains need a new man to partner Benteke, but all the rumors are about Delph, Vlaar and others leaving.
source:  CB/Striker  West BromTony Pulis is now in charge at the Hawthorns so expect him to wheel and deal this January. Does he get the final say on deals? He should do, as the new guys brought in this summer are struggling. Crouch could arrive, but Berahino may leave.
source:   Center Back QPRGoing forward the R’s look dangerous every game. They just need to shore things up at the back. With Richard Dunne and Rio Ferdinand not getting any younger, is Virgil van Dijk the answer?
source:   CB/Striker LiverpoolThe Reds will need to get another forward in if their recent upsurge is to continue. Balotelli and Lambert just aren’t doing it and who knows how rusty Sturridge will be? Bony and Berahino should be their main targets. Also, another CB and more is needed badly. Work to do.
source:   Striker/CB Crystal PalaceWith Alan Pardew on board, he needs to strengthen his squad to sustain a battle against relegation. Arsenal striker Yaya Sanogo on loan has been rumored, another CB would be decent too.
source:   Striker/Center mid Swansea CityBony could leave so the Swans will need to line up another forward. They have Nelson Olivera arriving on loan from Benfica, but he’s young and unproven. With Jonjo Shelvey struggling, they need extra bodies in midfield too.
source:   Striker/CM/CB Hull City: Steve Bruce went for it on the summer window, but not all of those moves have panned out. The Tigers have been linked with Vedran Corluka but have been priced out of a move for Jermain Defoe.
source:   Striker/CB Leicester CityDefoe is the main man linked with Leicester as Nigel Pearson wants to add more goals to his front line (who doesn’t?). Some more experienced bodies here and there will help the Foxes, big time.

 

Finlay goal gives Minnesota win over former club Columbus (video)

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It had to be him.

As Columbus continues to search for itself under new management, it’s no surprise that one of its old heroes broke its heart on Saturday.

[ RECAP: Man City 6-0 Watford ]

Ethan Finlay, he of the 166 Crew appearances before being traded to Minnesota United, said earlier this week, “I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t want to beat up on them pretty bad.”

So of course Finlay scored a 70th minute tap-in to give his Loons a 1-0 win over Columbus on Saturday in St. Paul. It wasn’t “pretty bad,” but it probably felt pretty good.

The goal was Finlay’s first of the season for United, keeping the hosts unbeaten at home.

Columbus falls to 1-5 away from home under Caleb Porter, and has won just once in its last seven outings.

Brighton ready to pay release clause for Swans manager

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Brighton and Hove Albion is ready to bring one of England’s brightest managerial prospects into the Premier League.

The Seagulls are set to pay a $3 million release clause to lure Graham Potter away from Swansea City, one year after the manager left Swedish club Ostersunds FK.

[ RECAP: Man City 6-0 Watford ]

Potter was 35 when he was hired by the Swedish club in 2010, and helped Ostersunds to three promotions before moving to Wales in 2018.

Swans finished 10th this season, its first in the Championship after relegation from the Premier League.

Brighton regressed in a big way during the second half of this season, and remains in the top flight largely because Cardiff City was unable to take advantage of the Seagulls’ huge struggles.

The report says Swansea offered Potter a new deal to stay at the Liberty Stadium, but the manager wants to try the Premier League.

If he takes the job, Potter will manage against one of his former clubs; Potter played eight times for Southampton in the Premier League.

Pep: Domestic treble harder than winning Champions League

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Manchester City won its third tournament of the season on Saturday, battering Watford 6-0 at Wembley Stadium to add an FA Cup to its League Cup and Premier League titles.

[ RECAP: Man City 6-0 Watford ]

In doing so, City is the first club to win a domestic treble. Manager Pep Guardiola wants to win every competition he enters, but said winning all three is extra special.

“I love the Champions League but it is more difficult to do what we have done than to win the Champions League,” Guardiola said.

Wait, what?

From ManCity.com:

“It’s not easy being there every three days. We lacked a little bit of energy but it’s normal. It’s been so tough this week. We could not have had more energy but we kept it at the right time.”

Well, that makes sense. Whereas Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp risked less with his cup lineups, knowing his desire for the Premier League and Champions League, Guardiola’s lineups were aimed at winning everything.

And that’s largely why they’ve done it. City might’ve needed penalty kicks to beat Chelsea in the League Cup Final and a John Stones clearance to win the Premier League (or a Vincent Kompany thunderbolt), but the treble is impressive.

AC Milan boss Gattuso insists fifth “not a failure”

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For a solid four months, it appeared AC Milan was on track for a return to the Champions League for the first time in six years. Then, it all fell apart.

Still, manager Gennaro Gattuso is insisting their season is not a failure, adamant that a fifth-placed finish would not be considered a disappointment for the club. His reasoning will not be exactly endearing to fans.

“Fifth place absolutely wouldn’t be a failure, not because I want credit myself, plus what would Roma and Lazio say?” Gattuso said during his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s game against Frosinone. “There’s regret because for two months we’ve had our fate in our hands and we dropped so many points, but it’s not a failure.”

Milan was as high as third place in the Serie A table in mid-March and seemed close to wrapping up a return to Champions League play, but a stretch of one win in seven league matches saw them tumble down into the crowded battle below, with Atalanta, Roma, Torino, and Lazio all in a pack. AC Milan now sits sixth, and while they still remain in the mix for the fourth position, they would need to make up a three-point deficit in just two matches. Fifth-placed Roma drew today, so they can jump to fifth with a win against Frosinone.

Milan was a European powerhouse for decades until the club declined following its 2007 Champions League victory, ultimately falling out of the running for Europe’s top competition, with just a few Europa League appearances since 2014. Gattuso’s comparison to Lazio and Roma, two strong Italian clubs without Milan’s history, is bound to infuriate fans, along with his acceptance of the club’s shortcomings.

The late-season collapse has called Gattuso’s job security into question, but he said that will wait until the end of the season. “Both the club and I have put aside our small talk to reach our objective,” Gattuso said during the presser. “There will be time to talk about the future.”

“There are two games left and we’re still playing for our objective.”