Shinji Okazaki

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Comparing this Leicester City squad to the title-winning team

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Leicester City sits second place in the Premier League table in mid-November, eight points back of a historic Liverpool position.

Since winning the title, Leicester City has finished 12th, 9th, and 9th and suddenly are challenging for a Champions League place yet again. The simple fact that the Foxes have managed to sustain considerable top-flight success over the course of the last six seasons might be even more impressive than their lightning-in-a-bottle title run.

While there are a few holdovers from the title-winning campaign, like goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and striker Jamie Vardy who stand out among the crowd, there has understandably been considerable turnover from that title team. Midfielders N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater were sold for significant sums of money, as was winger Riyad Mahrez. Both members of the center-back partnership Wes Morgan and Robert Huth put together are 35 years old (Morgan is still with the club but has logged just 28 Premier League minutes thus far).

In now are rising stars like Wilfred Ndidi, Ricardo Pereira, Ben Chilwell, and Youri Tielemans, looking to write their own place into Foxes history.

So, naturally, we thought it fitting to compare the two sides. In another universe where Liverpool doesn’t dominate the Premier League landscape in record-breaking fashion, could this current Leicester challenge for a title? The only way to find out is to pit them against the squad that did. Here we go.


GOALKEEPER – Kasper Schmeichel (15/16) vs. Kasper Schmeichel (19/20)

Now 33 years old, Kasper Schmeichel has become one of the faces of Leicester City. Fans adore his leadership and calming presence, and respect his dedication to the club. But how does he stack up now against the likes of his younger self? With five clean sheets in 12 appearances under Brendan Rodgers this season, Schmeichel is up to his old tricks. Among qualifying goalkeepers, Schmeichel ranks second in the league in overall score according to SofaScore’s rating system, and has has managed to do so without facing a ton of shots – Leicester City has conceded the fourth-fewest xGA according to UnderStat.com.

So how does that stack up to the legendary title-winning season of 2015/16? That year, Schmeichel recorded 15 clean sheets in 38 league appearances, one behind Petr Cech‘s 16 for the league lead. He had the fourth-highest saves per goal conceded total in the league at 2.8, behind just Cech and a pair of goalkeepers with higher volume in Vito Mannone and Fraser Forster.

VERDICT: DRAW – Schmeichel is up to his old tricks, and has kept his level of play high through the years. Leicester City still has a rock between the sticks.

CENTER-BACK – Wes Morgan/Robert Huth (15/16) vs. Caglar Soyuncu/Jonny Evans (19/20)

Wes Morgan and Robert Huth built an unlikely center-back partnership at Leicester City. A former Chelsea youth product, Huth was on his fourth club after spending six years at Stoke City toiling in the middle of the Premier League table. Morgan, meanwhile, had been a career Championship player, with the previous campaign his first in the top flight. Together, they logged a massive 6,570 Premier League minutes en route to a defensive performance that saw them concede just 36 goals in 38 games, one off the league’s stingiest defensive output. By April, the two led the top-four defenders in blocks, and both appeared in the WhoScored’s top 15 for center-back ratings at season’s end.

Today, an equally unlikely circumstance has led Leicester City to the league’s best defense. 23-year-old Caglar Soyuncu has developed into one of the best young center-back prospects in the league next to experienced former Manchester United defender Jonny Evans. Thanks to that pair, Leicester City is one of just two teams to have conceded a single-digit goal total through 12 matches alongside Sheffield United. Soyuncu ranks 3rd in WhoScored rating among CB’s with at least 7 appearances, while Evans is 11th, and the former is a beast in the air and pressures with accuracy. Also, he can dribble?

VERDICT: SOYUNCU/EVANS – While Wes Morgan and Robert Huth will live in club lore, the longevity potential for Soyuncu/Evans and their underlying statistics prove they are far more than a one-hit-wonder and can be a massive asset for this club moving forward.

FULL-BACK – Christian Fuchs/Danny Simpson (15/16) vs. Ricardo Pereira/Ben Chilwell (19/20)

One of the more under-heralded fan favorites of the 2015/16 title team, Christian Fuchs is another that will live on in club lore. He was energetic and a lively presence in the dressing room. Along with his full-back partner Danny Simpson, both players were seemingly on the decline before coming to Leicester – Fuchs had made 16 and 25 league appearances in his final two season at Schalke before being shipped out, while Simpson had lost his starting place at Newcastle two years prior and spent a season in the Championship with QPR before Leicester City gave him another shot at the Premier League. Somehow, things clicked under Claudio Ranieri and the two took off, providing both defensive cover and overlapping contributions moving forward.

With Fuchs a bit-part player and Simpson off at Huddersfield Town, they have been replaced by two of the best full-backs in the Premier League. Ricardo Pereira was the second-best right-back in the league behind Trent Alexander-Arnold last season according to WhoScored, while Ben Chilwell has earned a regular spot on the England national team.

VERDICT: Pereira/Chilwell – Fuchs is an absolute fan-favorite and Simpson’s revival was stunning to behold, but like the current center-back pairing Pereira and Chilwell have the longevity to serve the club for years or become valuable assets, and the two have already earned personal accolades the previous duo would not have achieved.

DEFENSIVE MID – N’Golo Kante (15/16) vs. Wilfred Ndidi (19/20)

This is one of the most fascinating player comparisons in recent soccer memory. N’Golo Kante’s rise to become one of the best defensive midfielders in the world, earning PFA Player of the Year in 2016/17 and finishing 8th on the Ballon d’Or list for 2017. Kante was the most important player on the title-winning squad – quite simply, Leicester City doesn’t win the title without Kante leading the league in tackles per 90 (4.7) and interceptions per 90 (4.2). His ability to halt opponent counters in their tracks was mind-numbing.

And yet, Leicester City’s only gone and produced his clone.

Wilfred Ndidi leads the league in interceptions per 90 minutes and is second in tackles behind tackle machine Aaron Wan-Bissaka. At just 23 years old, the Foxes are staring another N’Golo Kante in the face, a player who many believed – rightly so – was a once-in-a-generation type midfield product.

VERDICT: N’Golo Kante – while Ndidi is a massively promising player who is producing another season like Kante’s in 15/16, it will be hard to top one of the most legendary performances of the past decade, one backed up by Kante’s rise to stardom over the past few years.

CENTER MID – Danny Drinkwater (15/16) vs. Youri Tielemans (19/20)

Danny Drinkwater has flopped since his move to Chelsea, but don’t let that cloud your memory of his performance as N’Golo Kante’s midfield partner. Drinkwater was massively important to Leicester City during the title run, scoring two goals in 35 league appearances and assisting seven more, providing a dynamic presence in midfield to both calmly hold possession and provide dangerous moves forward. Still, admittedly being next to Kante made Drinkwater look better, and that proved true through the rest of his career.

Tielemans, on the other hand, is putting up numbers of his own that prove he’s his own player outside of any lift he gets from being slotted next to Ndidi and James Maddison. His passing percentage is way up from his days at Anderlecht and Monaco, and while he still struggles with turning the ball over on occasion, his heavy volume (55 passes per 90, 13th among non-defenders) and key passes (1.8 per 90, 17th in the league) suggest Tielemans has settled into an important role with the club.

VERDICT: Tielemans – While Danny Drinkwater was important to Leicester City’s run, his peripherals suggested Chelsea probably should have been more careful with its money. Tielemans has made significant strides since his disastrous time at Monaco and has become an important cog in midfield.

ATTACKING MID/WINGER – Riyad Mahrez/Marc Albrighton vs. James Maddison/Ayoze Perez (19/20)

Riyad Mahrez and Marc Albrighton offered vastly different skill sets that mixed well under Claudio Ranieri. (Getty Images)

Riyad Mahrez’s road to becoming Leicester City’s record sale was at times a bumpy tale, but there were no higher highs than he had in the 2015/16 title run. The Algerian international became a Premier League sensation with his 17 goals and 10 assists, doing it all for the Leicester City attack. He produced an xG of 11.88 for himself, with a silly goal conversion rate on top of that. In addition, he set his teammates up for a nearly equal 11.45 xA total, picking up 20 big chances created and dribbling successfully at a rate of 3.5 per 90 minutes. By contrast, Mahrez’s wing partner Marc Albrighton is a mostly forgettable player for casual fans, but he was massively important in other ways. Playing in every single Premier League match that season, Albrighton helped keep the shape and offered a more rigid foil to Mahrez’s marauding, with Fuchs overlapping on the left.

This season, James Maddison is the standout attacking player for the Foxes, with the 22-year-old developing into a key contributor up front. The youngster is eighth in the league in key passes per 90 minutes, and he himself is ripping off over three shots a game, with four league goals already to his name. Still, Maddison could be creating more – with 23 shot assists on the season so far, only two have qualified as “big chances” according to SofaScore. Ayoze Perez has not quite brought the explosiveness we saw in his Newcastle days over to the King Power Stadium, but his three-goal haul is also proving important early on.

VERDICT: Mahrez/Albrighton – while this duo was sorely one-sided, the season Riyad Mahrez had for Leicester City that title-winning campaign was an attacking display for the ages. Maddison is an extremely solid future asset contributing at a high level for such a young age, but he still has distance to cover to reach the heights of Mahrez that fateful year, who finished as the highest rated player in the entire league according to WhoScored.com.

STRIKER – Jamie Vardy (15/16) vs. Jamie Vardy (19/20)

Alongside Schmeichel, Jamie Vardy is the face of Leicester City. His out-of-nothing story makes him special to Leicester City fans, and his goalscoring prowess has been critical to the club ever since they were promoted to the Premier League. Vardy has made a career of scoring out of nothing – his top-flight career has seen him score 91 goals, a massive +11.5 differential over his 79.5 career xG.

Yet, a closer look provides a fascinating underscore of the evolution of the 32-year-old’s career. This season, in just 12 matches, Vardy has bagged 11 goals on an xG of just 5.19, meaning nearly 6 of that +11 career differential has come just this campaign. The Foxes striker is taking just two shots per 90 minutes, and yet has scored on nearly half of them – absolutely astronomical conversion numbers that are surely unsustainable, even if Vardy’s career has been built on exceptional finishing.

While those numbers are surely inflated by the relatively small sample size of 12 matches this year, they aren’t all that different from the title-winning season. That campaign, Vardy took 115 shots – 3.28 per game – and scored on 24 of them, and his 0.19 xG per shot is quite close to the 0.21 he is putting up this season. Most interesting, he scored 18 of those 24 goals with his right foot, a variance which has evened out this season as Vardy becomes more competent with his off side – four goals with his right, four with his left, and two with his head.

VERDICT: 15/16 Vardy – This season’s Jamie Vardy just isn’t shooting at the volume you’d expect from a striker of his finishing caliber, and he needs to find a higher volume if he wants to keep up the ridiculous goal conversion rate that will surely regress towards the mean.

BENCH – Leonard Ulloa/Shinji Okazaki/Andy King (15/16) vs. Demari Gray/Harvey Barnes/Hamza Choudhury (19/20)

It is impossible to discuss the epic season Leicester City had in 2015/16 without talking about Leonard Ulloa and Shinji Okazaki, who combined came off the bench 30 times in league play and were often called upon to rescue points. Andy King became a club icon as a Leicester City youth product who fans took a liking to, brought off the bench 16 times himself to close a game down.

Brendan Rodgers has Demari Gray and Harvey Barnes at his disposal to inject life into a game, while Hamza Choudhury is a talented young player who has shown flashes of being able to do the job himself should anything happen to Ndidi. Still, Grey – who was a member of that title-winning squad – has not become the star many thought he would a few years ago and Barnes is still showing his age at 21 years old. The group has yet to become true super-subs and Rodgers has been somewhat forced to run with his main group – five players have played every minute of this Premier League campaign so far (Schmeichel, Soyuncu, Evans, Vardy, Pereira) while another (Tielemans) is has seen just seven minutes of rest.

VERDICT: 2015/16 – It felt like every time Ranieri called upon the cavalry, they would deliver in the given situation. Gray has yet to develop into the player many believed he would years ago, and Barnes is still a raw product.

Complete list of Premier League summer transfers

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
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Here are all the names that have moved into, out of, and between the clubs of the Premier League this season.

[ MORE: PL transfer grades ]


Arsenal

In
Gabriel Martinelli (Ituano) Undisclosed
Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid) Loan
William Saliba (Saint-Etienne) Undisclosed
Nicolas Pepe (Lille) Undisclosed
Kieran Tierney (Celtic) Undisclosed
David Luiz (Chelsea) Undisclosed

Out
Aaron Ramsey (Juventus) Free
Petr Cech (Retired)
Danny Welbeck (Watford) Free
Cohen Bramall (Colchester) Free
Charlie Gilmour (Norwich) Free
Stephan Lichtsteiner (Released)
Julio Pleguezuelo (Released) 
Jordi Osei-Tutu (Bochum) Loan
Daniel Ballard (Swindon Town) Loan 
David Ospina (Napoli) Undisclosed 
Vontae Daley-Campbell (Leicester) Undisclosed 
Ben Sheaf (Doncaster Rovers) Loan
William Saliba (Saint-Etienne) Loan
Xavier Amaechi (Hamburg) Undisclosed
Krystian Bielik (Derby County) Undisclosed
Takuma Asano (Partizan Belgrade) 
Laurent Koscielny (Bordeaux)
Carl Jenkinson (Nottingham Forest) Undisclosed
Dominic Thompson (Brentford) Undisclosed
Eddie Nketiah (Leeds United) Loan
Alex Iwobi (Everton) Undisclosed

Aston Villa

In
Jota (Birmingham) Undisclosed
Anwar El Ghazi (Lille) Undisclosed
Wesley (Club Brugge) Undisclosed
Kortney Hause (Wolves) Undisclosed
Matt Targett (Southampton) Undisclosed
Tyrone Mings (AFC Bournemouth) Undisclosed 
Ezri Konsa (Brentford) Undisclosed
Bjorn Engels (Stade Reims) Undisclosed
Trezeguet (Kasimpasa) Undisclosed
Douglas Luiz (Man City) Undisclosed
Tom Heaton (Burnley) Undisclosed 
Marvelous Nakamba (Club Brugge) Undisclosed 

Out
Albert Adomah (Released)
Mark Bunn (Released)
Ritchie De Laet (Released)
Tommy Elphick (Huddersfield Town)
Alan Hutton (Released)
Mile Jedinak (Released)
Ross McCormack
Micah Richards (Released)
Glenn Whelan (Released)
Gary Gardner (Birmingham) Undisclosed 
Matija Sarkic (Livingston) Loan 
Jake Doyle-Hayes (Cheltenham Town) Loan 
Andre Green (Preston North End) Loan
Rushian Hepburn-Murphy (Tranmere Rovers) Loan
Scott Hogan (Stoke City) Loan
Birkir Bjarnason (Released)
James Bree (Luton Town) Loan

AFC Bournemouth

In
Lloyd Kelly (Bristol City)
Jack Stacey (Luton Town) Undisclosed
Philip Billing (Huddersfield Town) Undisclosed 
Arnaut Danjuma (Club Brugge) Undisclosed 
Harry Wilson (Liverpool) Loan

Out
Marc Pugh (Released)
Mikael Ndjoli (Gillingham) Loan
Emerson Hyndman (Atlanta United) Loan
Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) Undisclosed
Connor Mahoney (Millwall) Undisclosed
Lys Mousset (Sheffield United) Undisclosed
Brad Smith (Seattle Sounders) Loan 
Sam Surridge (Swansea City) Loan 
Harry Arter (Fulham) Loan

Brighton & Hove Albion

In
Matt Clarke (Portsmouth) Undisclosed
Leandro Trossard (Genk) Undisclosed
Taylor Richards (Man City) Undisclosed
Lewis Freestone (Unattached) Free
Adam Webster (Bristol City) Undisclosed
Neal Maupay (Brentford) Undisclosed
Romaric Yapi (PSG) Undisclosed
Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town) Loan

Out
Bruno (Retired)
Will Collar (Hamilton Academical) Undisclosed
Alexis MacAllister (Boca Juniors) Loan
Ben White (Leeds United) Loan
Ales Mateju (Brescia Calcio) Undisclosed 
Leo Ostigard (FC St Pauli) Loan 
Anthony Knockaert (Fulham) Loan
Christian Walton (Blackburn) Loan
Jayson Molumby (Millwall) Loan
Robert Sanchez (Rochdale) Loan
Jan Mlakar (QPR) Loan
Viktor Gyokeres (St Pauli) Loan
Percy Tau (Club Brugge) Loan
Markus Suttner (Fortuna Dusseldorf) Undisclosed
Matt Clarke (Derby County) Loan

Burnley

In
Erik Pieters (Stoke City) Undisclosed
Joel Senior (Curzon Ashton) Undisclosed
Jay Rodriguez (West Bromwich Albion) Undisclosed 
Ryan Cooney (Bury) Undisclosed
Adan Phillips (Free)
Bailey Peacock-Farrell (Leeds United) Undisclosed
Danny Drinkwater (Chelsea) Loan

Out
Jon Walters (Retired)
Stephen Ward (Stoke) Free 
Anders Lindegaard (Released)
Peter Crouch (Released) Retired
Mark Howarth (Released)
Tom Heaton (Aston Villa) Undisclosed
Nahki Wells (QPR) Loan

Chelsea

In
Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid) Undisclosed

Out
Gary Cahill (Crystal Palace) Free
Fankaty Dabo (Coventry City) Free
Rob Green (Retired)
Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) Undisclosed
Todd Kane (Released)
Ola Aina (Torino) Undisclosed
Nathan Baxter (Ross County) Loan
Richard Nartey (Burton Albion) Loan
Jay Dasilva (Bristol City) Undisclosed
Eduardo (Released)
Kyle Scott (Released)
Tomas Kalas (Bristol City) Undisclosed 
Mario Pasalic (Atalanta) Loan 
Charly Musonda (Vitesse Arnhem) Loan 
Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid) Undisclosed
Nathan (Atletico Mineiro) Loan 
Daishawn Redan (Hertha Berlin) Loan
Ethan Ampadu (RB Leipzig) Loan
Jake Clarke-Salter (Birmingham City) Loan
Matt Miazga (Reading) Loan
Lewis Baker (Fortuna Dusseldorf) Loan
Kasey Palmer (Bristol City) Undisclosed
Dujon Sterling (Wigan Athletic) Loan
Conor Gallagher (Charlton Athletic) Loan 
Jacob Maddox (Tranmere Rovers) Loan
Trevoh Chalobah (Huddersfield Town) Loan
Danny Drinkwater (Burnley) Loan
Josh Grant (Plymouth) Loan
Izzy Brown (Luton Town) Loan

Crystal Palace

In
Stephen Henderson (Free) 
Jordan Ayew (Swansea City) Undisclosed
Gary Cahill (Unattached) Free 
Victor Camarasa (Real Betis) Loan 
James McCarthy (Everton) Undisclosed

Out
Jason Puncheon (Released)
Julian Speroni (Released) 
Bakary Sako (Denizlispor) Free
Ollie O’Dwyer (Aldershot) Free
Joseph Hungbo (Released)
Tyler Brown (Released)
Levi Lumeka (Varzim) Undisclosed
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Man Utd) Undisclosed
Alexander Sorloth (Trabzonspor) Loan 
Pape Souare (Troyes) Free

Everton

In 
Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield Town) Free
Andre Gomes (Barcelona) £22m 
Fabian Delph (Man City) Undisclosed
Jean-Philippe Gbamin (Mainz) Undisclosed 
Moise Kean (Juventus) Undisclosed
Djibril Sidibe (Monaco) Loan
Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) Undisclosed

Out
Phil Jagielka (Sheffield Utd) Free
Ashley Williams (Released)
Harry Charsley (Released)
Boris Mathis (Released)
Mateusz Hewelt (Released)
Shayne Lavery (Released)
Jack Kiersey (Released)
Danny Bramall (Released)
Joe Hilton (Released)
Chris Renshaw (Released)
Jonjoe Kenny (Schalke) Loan
Nikola Vlasic (CSKA Moscow) Undisclosed
Sandro Ramirez (Real Valladolid) Loan
Brendan Galloway (Luton Town) Free
Korede Adedoyin (Hamilton Academical) Loan
Kieran Dowell (Derby) Loan
Joao Virginia (Reading) Loan
Luke Garbutt (Ipswich) Loan 
Antonee Robinson (Wigan) Undisclosed 
Josh Bowler (Hull) Loan 
Ademola Lookman (RB Leipzig) Undisclosed 
Idrissa Gueye (Paris Saint-Germain) Undisclosed
Joe Williams (Wigan Athletic) Undisclosed
Nathan Broadhead (Burton Albion) Loan 
James McCarthy (Crystal Palace) Undisclosed
Matthew Pennington (Hull City) Loan

Leicester City

In 
James Justin (Luton Town) Undisclosed
Ayoze Perez (Newcastle United) Undisclosed 
Vontae Daley-Campbell (Arsenal) Undisclosed 
George Hirst (OH Leuvens) Undisclosed 
Ali Reghba (Bohemians) Undisclosed
Youri Tielemans (Monaco) Undisclosed
Mitchell Clark (Free)

Out
Shinji Okazaki (Malaga) Free
Danny Simpson (Released)
Daniel Iversen (Rotherham United) Loan
Elliot Moore (Oxford United) Undisclosed
Josh Knight (Peterborough United) Loan
Ryan Loft (Carlisle United) Loan
Harry Maguire (Man Utd) Undisclosed
Layton Ndukwu (Southend United) Loan
Callum Elder (Hull City) Undisclosed

Liverpool

In 
Sepp van den Berg (PEC Zwolle) Undisclosed
Harvey Elliott (Fulham) Undisclosed
Adrian (Unattached) Free

Out
Alberto Moreno (Villarreal) Free
Daniel Sturridge (Released)
Connor Randall (Released)
Adam Bogdan (Released)
Sheyi Ojo (Rangers) Loan
Rafael Camacho (Sporting)
Marko Grujic (Hertha BSC) Loan
Danny Ings (Southampton) Undisclosed
Allan Rodrigues de Souza (Fluminense) Loan 
Kamil Grabara (Huddersfield Town) Loan
Ben Woodburn (Oxford United) Loan
Rhys Williams (Kidderminster Harriers) Loan
Simon Mignolet (Club Brugge) Undisclosed 
Taiwo Awoniyi (Mainz) Loan
Liam Millar (Kilmarnock) Loan 
Harry Wilson (AFC Bournemouth) Loan
Nathaniel Phillips (Stuttgart) Loan 
George Johnston (Feyenoord) Undisclosed
Ovie Ejaria (Reading) Loan

Manchester City

In
Angelino (PSV Eindhoven) Undisclosed
Rodri (Atletico Madrid) Undisclosed 
Joao Cancelo (Juventus) Undisclosed 
Scott Carson (Derby County) Loan

Out
Vincent Kompany (Anderlecht) Free
Patrick Roberts (Norwich City) Loan
Tom Dele-Bashiru (Watford) Free
Aaron Nemane (Released)
Jack Harrison (Leeds United) Loan
Aro Muric (Nottingham Forest) Loan
Zack Steffen (Fortuna Dusseldorf) Loan 
Fabian Delph (Everton) Undisclosed 
Philippe Sandler (Anderlecht) Loan
Taylor Richards (Brighton) Undisclosed
Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa) Undisclosed
Yangel Herrera (Granada) Loan
Tosin Adarabioyo (Blackburn Rovers) Loan 
Danilo (Juventus) Undisclosed 

Manchester United

In
Daniel James (Swansea City) Undisclosed
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace) Undisclosed
Harry Maguire (Leicester City) Undisclosed

Out
Ander Herrera (PSG) Free 
Antonio Valencia (Released)
Matthew Olosunde (Released)
James Wilson (Released)
Regan Poole (Released)
Kieran O'Hara (Burton Albion) Loan
Dean Henderson (Sheffield United) Loan
Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan) Undisclosed 

Newcastle United

In
Joelinton (Hoffenheim) Undisclosed
Kyle Scott (Unattached) Free
Jake Turner (Bolton Wanderers) Undisclosed
Jetro Willems (Eintracht Frankfurt) Loan
Allan Saint-Maximin (Nice) Undisclosed
Emil Krafth (Amiens) Undisclosed
Andy Carroll (Free) 

Out
Mohamed Diame (Released) 
Cal Roberts (Released) 
Josef Yarney (Released)
Tyrique Bartlett (Released)
Dan Barlaser (Rotherham United) Loan
Ayoze Perez (Leicester City) Undisclosed
Joselu (Alaves) Undisclosed
Liam Gibson (Grimsby Town) Loan
Freddie Woodman (Swansea City) Loan
Nathan Harker (Blyth Spartans) Loan
Jacob Murphy (Sheffield Wednesday) Loan

Norwich City

In 
Patrick Roberts (Man City) Loan
Daniel Adshead (Rochdale) Undisclosed
Josip Drmic (Borussia Monchengladbach) Free 
Archie Mair (Aberdeen) Undisclosed
Rob Nizet (Anderlecht) Undisclosed
Rocky Bushiri (K.V. Oostende) Undisclosed 
Aidan Fitzpatrick (Partick Thistle) Undisclosed 
Ralf Fahrmann (Schalke) Undisclosed
Charlie Gilmour (Arsenal) Free
Sam Byram (West Ham) Undisclosed
Reece McAlear (Motherwell) Undisclosed
Ibrahim Amadou (Sevilla) Loan

Out 
Carlton Morris (Rotherham United) Loan
Mason Bloomfield (Crawley Town) Loan
Ciaren Jones (Eastbourne Borough) Loan
Josh Coley (Dunfermline Athletic) Loan
Marcel Franke (Hannover 96) Undisclosed
Sean Raggett (Portsmouth) Loan
Nelson Oliveira (AEK Athens)
Savvas Mourgos (Dordrecht) Loan
James Husband (Blackpool) Loan
Ben Marshall (Released) 
Rocky Bushiri (Blackpool) Loan
Diallang Jaiyesimi (Swindon Town) Loan
Aston Oxborough (Wealdstone) Loan

Sheffield United

In
Luke Freeman (QPR) Undisclosed
Phil Jagielka (Everton) Free
Callum Robinson (Preston) Undisclosed
Ravel Morrison Free
Lys Mousset (AFC Bournemouth) Undisclosed
Ben Osborn (Nottingham Forest) Undisclosed
Dean Henderson (Manchester United) Loan
Oli McBurnie (Swansea City) Undisclosed
Michael Verrips (Free)

Out 
Paul Coutts (Released)
Martin Cranie (Released)
Conor Washington (Released)
Daniel Lafferty (Released)
Caolan Lavery (Released)
Nathan Thomas (Gillingham) Loan
Rhys Norrington-Davies (Rochdale) Loan 
Jake Eastwood (Scunthorpe) Loan 
Oliver Greaves (Barrow AFC) Loan
Tyler Smith (Bristol Rovers) Loan
Nathan Thomas (Carlisle United) Loan
Regan Slater (Scunthorpe United) Loan
Ched Evans (Fleetwood Town) Undisclosed
Mark Duffy (Stoke City) Loan

Southampton

In
Moussa Djenepo (Standard Liege) Undisclosed
Che Adams (Birmingham City) Undisclosed
Danny Ings (Liverpool) Undisclosed
Tommy Scott (Yeovil Town) Undisclosed

Out
Steven Davis (Rangers) Free
Matt Targett (Aston Villa) Undisclosed
Alfie Jones (Gillingham) Loan
Jack Rose (Walsall) Loan
Kingsley Latham (Havant and Waterlooville) Loan
Alex Cull (Totton) Loan
Harry Hamblin (Bath City) Loan
Jordy Clasie (AZ Alkmaar) Undisclosed
Tyreke Johnson (Woking) Loan 
Josh Sims (New York Red Bulls) Loan 
Charlie Austin (West Brom) Undisclosed
Harrison Reed (Fulham) Loan

Tottenham Hotspur

In
Kion Etete (Notts County) Undisclosed
Jack Clarke (Leeds) Undisclosed
Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon) Undisclosed
Giovani Lo Celso (Real Betis) Loan 
Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham) Undisclosed 

Out 
Michel Vorm (Released)
Dylan Duncan (Released)
Charlie Freeman (Released)
Tom Glover (Released)
Connor Ogilvie (Released)
Jamie Reynolds (Released)
Luke Amos (QPR) Loan
Jack Clarke (Leeds) Loan 
Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid)
Vincent Janssen (Monterrey) Undisclosed 
Cameron Carter-Vickers (Stoke) Loan
Josh Onomah (Fulham) Undisclosed

Watford

In 
Bayli Spencer-Adams (Free)
Craig Dawson (West Brom) Undisclosed
Tom Dele-Bashiru (Free)
Mason Barrett (West Ham) Undisclosed
Callum Whelan (Free) 
Danny Welbeck (Free) 
Ismaila Sarr (Rennes) Undisclosed 

Out
Obbi Oulare (Standard Liege) Undisclosed
Miguel Britos (Released)
Tommie Hoban (Released)
Jerome Sinclair (Venlo) Loan 
Michael Folivi (AFC Wimbledon) Loan 
Marc Navarro (Leganes) Loan
Ben Wilmot (Swansea City) Loan
Alex Jakubiak (Gillingham) Loan
Dodi Lukebakio (Hertha BSC) Undisclosed

West Ham United

In
Roberto (Espanyol) Free
David Martin (Millwall) Free
Pablo Fornals (Villarreal) Undisclosed
Sebastien Haller (Eintracht Frankfurt) Undisclosed
Goncalo Cardoso (Boavista) Undisclosed 
Albian Ajeti (FC Basel) Undisclosed

Out 
Adrian (Liverpool) Free
Andy Carroll (Newcastle) Free
Samir Nasri (Released)
Toni Martinez (Released)
Moses Makasi (Released) 
Lucas Perez (Alaves) Undisclosed
Noha Sylvestre (Released)
Vashon Neufville (Released)
Josh Pask (Coventry City) Free
Edimilson Fernandes (Mainz) Undisclosed
Nathan Trott (AFC Wimbledon) Loan 
Martin Samuelsen (FK Haugesund) Loan
Marko Arnautovic (Shanghai SIPG) Undisclosed
Sam Byram (Norwich City) Undisclosed 
Pedro Obiang (Sassuolo) Undisclosed
Marcus Browne (Middlesbrough) Undisclosed
Jordan Hugill (QPR) Loan
Reece Oxford (Augsburg) Undisclosed
Mason Barrett (Watford) Undisclosed
Josh Cullen (Charlton Athletic) Loan
Grady Diangana (West Brom) Loan

Wolverhampton Wanderers

In
Raul Jimenez (Benfica) Undisclosed
Hong (Yeovil Town) Undisclosed
Raphael Nya (PSG) Undisclosed
Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht) Undisclosed
Tsun Dai (Oxford United) Undisclosed
Jesus Vallejo (Real Madrid) Loan
Patrick Cutrone (AC Milan) Undisclosed
Flavio Cristovao Free
Pedro Neto (Braga) Undisclosed
Bruno Jordao (Braga) Undisclosed
Renat Dadashov (Estoril) Undisclosed

Out 
Ethan Ebanks-Landell (Shrewsbury Town) Undisclosed
Michal Zyro (Released)
Carlos Heredia (Released)
Ben Goodliffe (Released)
Aaron Hayden (Released)
Diego Lattie (Released)
Enzo Sauvage (Released)
Christian Herc (Viktoria Plzen) Loan
Kortney Hause (Aston Villa) Undisclosed
Ryan Giles (Shrewsbury Town) Loan
Pedro Goncalves (FC Famalicao) Undisclosed
Joao Dias (FC Famalicao) Undisclosed
Helder Costa (Leeds) Loan
Ryan Leak (Burgos) Undisclosed
Ivan Cavaleiro (Fulham) Loan
Rafa Mir (Nottingham Forest) Loan
Will Norris (Ipswich Town) Loan
Niall Ennis (Doncaster Rovers) Loan
Cameron John (Doncaster Rovers) Loan
Renat Dadashov (Pacos de Ferreira) Loan
Bright Enobakhare (Wigan) Loan

Watch Live: Uruguay takes on Copa America visitors Japan

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Uruguay looks to continue its hot start to the 2019 Copa America when they take on tournament guests Japan in Porto Alegre.

A hot first half saw Uruguay down Ecuador 4-0 in its opener and positioned the South American giants well in Group C alongside fellow 4-0 winners Chile. A Uruguay win tonight and Chile win tomorrow against Ecuador would see both sides clinch spots in the knockout stage.

[ WATCH LIVE: Uruguay vs. Japan on Telemundo Deportes ]

Manager Oscar Tabarez has made one change to his starting lineup against Japan, installing Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira in place of Matias Vecino who will miss the rest of the Copa America with a thigh injury. Otherwise, the team is unchanged with Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez, and Nicolas Lodiero manning the front lines.

For Japan, there is still plenty riding on this match as well despite their poor start. The Asian side can still qualify for the knockout stage in a number of ways, including one of two third-place slots. Still, they need points for that to happen and with each of the other two groups sporting third-place teams that have picked up points, Japan is behind the eight ball.

LINEUPS

Uruguay: Muslera; Caceres, Godin, Giminez, Laxalt; Nandez, Betancur, Torreira; Lodeiro, Cavani, Suarez.
Bench: Campana, Silva, Coates, G Gonzalez, Saracchi, Valverde, Arrascaeta, Pereiro, J Rodriguez, Stuani, M Gomez.

Japan: Kawashima, Sugioka, Itakura, Ueda, Tomiyasu, Shibasaki, Nakajima, Miyoshi, Shinji Okazaki, Iwata, Hiroki Abe.
Bench: Nakayama, Suga, Matsumoto, Tatsuta, Hara, Osako, Kubo, Kojima, Ito, Ueda, Watanabe, Maeda.

Premier League transfer needs: Final week of the window

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One week ladies and gents, that is all we have left.

Until the January transfer window slams shut in the Premier League, of course. Sorry for sparking any apocalyptic thoughts among you…

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Anyway, with the transfer window closing at 6 p.m. ET next Thursday, Jan. 31, there are still plenty of PL clubs who have yet to make a single signing and are coy on the possibility of adding to their squads. There are also plenty of players praying for a big move, or just a switch to somewhere they can lock down some guaranteed playing time.

You just know everyone loves a last-minute bargain.

With that in mind, here’s a look at the business each of the Premier League’s clubs should do if they dip into the market in the final seven days.

Tick-tock…


Arsenal
Key transfer needs: Center back, CM – Unai Emery has had so many injuries in defense that he needs to add cover, but he’s already said he can only bring players in on loan. With Aaron Ramsey agreeing his move to Juventus for the summer, Denis Suarez seems to be coming in on loan from Barcelona, but do Arsenal really need another central midfielder? Getting a new center back in should be the priority and although they’ve been linked with Eric Bailly, that seems like a long shot.


Bournemouth
Key transfer needs: None – They’ve done their business nice and early with Nathaniel Clyne and Dominic Solanke arriving from Liverpool, then promising young Welsh center back Chris Mepham arriving from Brentford for $15 million. With Jermain Defoe moving to Rangers, buying Solanke was a big risk at $24.1 million but he has bags of potential and Eddie Howe will think he can develop that talent a la David Brooks, Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson. Clyne is only on loan, but you can see a permanent deal happening this summer. Mepham could be a long-term replacement for Nathan Ake, who reportedly has a buy-back clause in his contract and his former club Chelsea are keen to exercise it.


Brighton & Hove Albion
Key transfer need: Central midfield – Some extra depth in central midfield is all that is needed, as Chris Hughton has a strong squad and the quality of his starting XI doesn’t drop significantly when a regular is replaced. Having some extra nous in central midfield would be a good move, but not essential. The Seagulls probably won’t sign anyone.


Burnley
Key transfer needs: Winger, attacking midfielder – Injuries to key players in attack have hampered Burnley for most of this season, and with their defense sorted out in recent weeks and Tom Heaton back in goal, they are shored up at the back. They could do with adding more creativity in the final third but Sean Dyche will be hesitant to spend big.


Cardiff City
Key transfer needs: Striker, defenders – There is real work to do for Cardiff to seal some signings, and with the tragic situation regarding their club-record signing Emiliano Sala they are likely without a new forward to push them away from the relegation zone. Cardiff do not have a big budget and will have to wait for the last minute. They will have to get creative and look at loan deals, as Neil Warnock was angry to lose out to Bournemouth for Nathaniel Clyne.


Chelsea
Key transfer needs: Central midfield – With Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud misfiring, Maurizio Sarri needed a new striker and he finally got one: Gonzalo Higuain arrived initially on loan from Juventus and will be tasked with putting away the copious chances Chelsea create. Cesc Fabregas left for Monaco and Sarri wants a new central midfielder, but a $55 million move for Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella seems unlikely, while Leandro Paredes seems to be heading to PSG instead. Maybe just play Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi or Ross Barkley more, Maurizio?


Crystal Palace
Key transfer needs: Striker, striker, striker… – Roy Hodgson needs one thing to turn this team into a midtable side: a striker. Michy Batshuayi has been mentioned on several occasions but Hodgson has had to rely on less than prolific Andros Townsend, Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew for goals. Palace are set elsewhere, but need a new targetman. If they don’t sign anyone, at least Christian Benteke is  now back from injury. Reports that Borussia Dortmund want to sign Wilfried Zaha in the summer are worrying for Palace, but the Ivory Coast winger would demand a huge transfer fee if he did leave Selhurst Park. All of the focus should be adding help for Wilf as the Eagles aim to push away from a relegation battle in the final months of the season.


Everton
Key transfer needs: Striker, center back – The Toffees need a new center forward too, as Cenk Tosun‘s move just hasn’t worked out and Dominic Calvert-Lewin may not cut the mustard at the top level. Richarlison has had to play through the middle a lot this season and he is clearly better coming off the left. Jean-Kevin Augustin has been linked with a move to the Toffees, as well as other PL clubs, but he may be too expensive after a big outlay on new players over the past 12 months. Perhaps getting Michy Batshuayi in on loan makes more sense? As for defense, Kurt Zouma, Michael Keane and Yerry Mina have had rollercoaster campaigns and getting them extra cover, especially in a 3-4-3 formation, is vital.


Fulham
Key transfer needs: Center back, full backs – Claudio Ranieri has improved this Fulham defense significantly but this may be all he can do with his group of players. Gary Cahill has been linked with a loan move from Chelsea and Ranieri could do with strengthening both full back positions and adding two new center backs. Going forward they look more than adequate, and added Ryan Babel on loan to help with that, but there’s no real balance in this team. Gary Cahill was linked with a move to Fulham on loan, and his experienced would be helpful for plenty of teams at the bottom of the table.


Huddersfield Town
Key transfer needs: Everywhere – It is quite simple, Huddersfield need to spend big in the transfer window or they are going to get relegated. It seems they’re already resigned to their fate. Jason Puncheon has arrived from Crystal Palace on loan and has made a difference, but top quality in midfield and attack is needed. Losing Aaron Mooy and Danny Williams for a key part of the season was a blow. The Terriers know they will have to add a few new players in the next week to give themselves a chance of staying up, but that likely depends on how they get on in their next game.


Leicester City
Key transfer needs: Striker, central midfield – With Vicente Iborra sold to Villarreal, there is a hole in central midfield for Claude Puel to plug. Up top the likes of Shinji Okazaki and Kelechi Iheanacho continue to deliver lackluster displays and Jamie Vardy really needs some support. Bringing in a strong center forward who can link up with Vardy would be ideal. But Leicester probably won’t spend anything.


Liverpool
Key transfer needs: Defenders – Injuries have hit Jurgen Klopp‘s side hard in this area of the pitch, but Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren and Trent Alexander-Arnold will be back fit soon. Maybe a young defender or right back who can be developed is the way to go. Either way, Liverpool don’t need to do anything in the final days of the window.


Manchester City
Key transfer needs: Left back, defensive midfielder – Benjamin Mendy‘s injury problems mean that left back is the main area needed to strengthen in. Pep Guardiola‘s plan to play Fabian Delph there worked last season, but not so much this season, while Oleksandr Zinchenko hasn’t settled in that role. Aymeric Laporte has plugged the gap for now, but a long-term left back to challenge Mendy is badly needed. A long-term replacement for Fernandinho is needed too, as the Brazilian is badly missed when he’s been out injured. A few names thrown around to come into central midfield include Declan Rice (despite his new contract at West Ham) and Everton Soares, while City were priced out of a deal for Frankie de Jong as he signed for Barcelona.


Manchester United
Key transfer needs: Center back, left back – Defensively United need some serious help, as their stable of center backs are getting by in games but David De Gea is usually bailing them out. Luke Shaw is their only real option at left back, with Matteo Darmian, Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young able to play there out of position in a pinch. But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer probably won’t be allowed to spend money as he isn’t the permanent boss.


Newcastle United
Key transfer needs: Striker, central midfielder, winger – Now, it is very unlikely Rafael Benitez will be given money to spend in January, but he does need to strengthen in a few areas. Defensively they are solid enough and they are all set. But going forward he is woefully short of quality options. Extra quality off the wing, a No. 10 and a striker to partner Salomon Rondon is needed. Miguel Almiron from Atlanta United has been linked with a move to St James’ Park but the Magpies are baulking at the $35 million transfer fee and Atlanta will let this run until the final hours of the window as they are in no rush. Benitez will be pulling his hair out right about now, as Newcastle just need a few reinforcements to push well clear of the relegation zone.  Another club which could use Batshuayi to strengthen their attack.


Southampton
Key transfer needs: Winger, striker, center back – Saints have yet to bring in a new signing, while Wesley Hoedt, Manolo Gabbiadini and Steven Davis have all been moved on and Cedric is on his way out. It seems like Ralph Hasenhuttl is keen to head to his former club RB Leipzig add the likes of Dayot Upamecano or Willi Orban to shore up his defensive unit, while adding Jean-Kevin Augustin, also from Leipzig, would be a major coup. Time is ticking for Saints, and their biggest need is for a new speedy striker to challenge Danny Ings, Michael Obefemi, Shane Long.


Tottenham Hotspur
Key transfer needs: Central midfield, striker – The latter has become essential given injuries to Harry Kane and Dele Alli, while Heung-Min Son‘s absence throughout January has also hurt Spurs. It is unlikely they will do any business in the final week of the window, even after selling Mousa Dembele to the Chinese Super League. Harry Winks and Oliver Skipp will be asked to step into prominent roles in midfield in the final months of the season and that’s the great thing about Mauricio Pochettino: he loves giving young players a chance to shine.


Watford
Key transfer need: Center back – It is unlikely Watford will do much business but if they do, a new center back should be a priority. The Hornets are going along nicely under Javi Gracia and their squad looks extremely strong. If Abdoulaye Doucoure forces a move then it will be tough, but it is likely he will leave in the summer.


West Ham United
Key transfer needs: Striker – The Hammers are pretty set and spent a lot of money in the summer but Marko Arnautovic‘s stance that he wants to leave for the Chinese Super League has complicated what should have been a quiet window. Javier Hernandez reportedly wants out, while Andy Carroll is struggling after his latest return from injury. If Arnie is allowed to leave, Celta Vigo’s Maxi Gomez is said to top their list of replacement strikers. Batshuayi could be a short-term fix until the summer.


Wolverhampton Wanderers
Key transfer need: Striker – Recent wins have shown the strength Nuno Espirito Santo already has in his squad. Having another option for Raul Jimenez up top would be handy if they are going to finish seventh and qualify for Europe. A move for Tammy Abraham fell through, and although they’ve been linked with Jean-Kevin Augustin too, they may not spend at all.

Transfer needs for Premier League clubs

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The transfer window is open and, so far, there hasn’t been that much business done by the 20 Premier League clubs.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

As we creep towards the deadline at 6 p.m. ET on Jan. 31, you just know so many deals will be done between now and then. But what are the key areas where each Premier League club should strengthen in, if they can, this month?

With that in mind, below is a look at the key transfer needs for each PL team in January.


Arsenal
Key transfer needs: Center back, CAM – Unai Emery has had so many injuries in this area, but aside from that fact, the quality needed to sustain a top four charge just isn’t there. Replacing Aaron Ramsey, long-term, would also be savvy and the arrival of Denis Suarez from Barcelona seems likely. The Spanish central midfielder play for Emery while he was on loan at Sevilla and he can add that extra bit of quality to supply the likes of Aubameyrang and Lacazette.


Bournemouth
Key transfer needs: None – They’ve done their business nice and early with Nathaniel Clyne and Dominic Solanke arriving from Liverpool. With Jermain Defoe moving to Rangers, buying Solanke was a big risk at $24.1 million. He has bags of potential and Eddie Howe will think he can develop that talent a la David Brooks, Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson. Clyne is only on loan, but you can see a permanent deal happening this summer.


Brighton & Hove Albion
Key transfer need: Central midfield – Some extra depth in central midfield is all that is needed, as Chris Hughton has a strong squad and the quality of his starting XI doesn’t drop significantly when a regular is replaced. Having some extra nous in central midfield would be a good move.


Burnley
Key transfer needs: Winger, attacking midfielder – Injuries to key players in attack have hampered Burnley for most of this season, and with their defense sorted out in recent weeks and Tom Heaton back in goal, they are shored up at the back. They could do with adding more creativity in the final third as the likes of Steven Defour just hasn’t recovered from his horrible injury.


Cardiff City
Key transfer needs: Striker, winger, right back – Neil Warnock is already miffed after missing out on signing Clyne, but the Bluebirds have long been linked with Emiliano Sala and Youseff Msakni. However, both attackers are said to not be keen on a move to the Welsh capital despite Cardiff currently sitting just outside of the relegation zone. Work to do for Cardiff to seal some signings, but they do not have a big budget and will have to wait for the last minute. Will it be too late by then?


Chelsea

(Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

Key transfer needs: Striker, central midfield – With Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud misfiring, Maurizio Sarri needs a new striker. Gonzalo Higuain has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, but it could be tough to sort out considering he is currently on loan from Juventus to AC Milan. With Cesc Fabregas on his way out, Sarri also wants a new central midfielder. Chelsea have been linked with a $55 million move for Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella, which would be another huge outlay after they bought Christian Pulisic for $73 million before loaning him back to Dortmund until the summer.


Crystal Palace
Key transfer needs: Striker, striker, striker… – Roy Hodgson needs one thing to turn this team into a midtable side: a striker. Michy Batshuayi has been mentioned on several occasions, and given the poor form of Alexander Sorloth (who could be heading to Germany) and the untimely injury to Christian Benteke, relying on the less than prolific Andros Townsend, Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew for their goals has been far from ideal. Palace are set elsewhere, but need a targetman.


Everton
Key transfer needs: Striker, center back – The Toffees need a new center forward too, as Cenk Tosun‘s move just hasn’t worked out and Dominic Calvert-Lewin may not cut the mustard at the top level. Richarlison has had to play through the middle a lot this season and he is clearly better coming off the left. As for defense, Kurt Zouma, Michael Keane and Yerry Mina have had rollercoaster campaigns and getting them extra cover, especially in a 3-4-3 formation, is vital.


Fulham

(AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

Key transfer needs: Center back, full backs – Claudio Ranieri has improved this Fulham defense significantly but this may be all he can do with his group of players. Gary Cahill has been linked with a loan move from Chelsea, while full back Timothy Fosu-Mensah has been told he can head back to parent club Manchester United. That suggests a new right back is on the way, and Ranieri could do with strengthening both full back positions and adding two new center backs. Going forward they look more than adequate, but there’s no real balance in this team.


Huddersfield Town
Key transfer needs: Everywhere – It is quite simple, Huddersfield need to spend big in the transfer window or they are going to get relegated. After eight-straight defeats they are eight points from safety and scoring goals has been a huge problem all season. Jason Puncheon has arrived from Crystal Palace on loan and he is of course an experienced pro, but top quality in midfield and attack is needed. Losing Aaron Mooy and Danny Williams for a key part of the season was a blow, and the Terriers know they will have to act fast this month to give themselves a chance of staying up.


Leicester City
Key transfer needs: Striker, central midfield – With Vicente Iborra sold to Villarreal, there is a hole in central midfield for Claude Puel to plug. Up top the likes of Shinji Okazaki and Kelechi Iheanacho continue to deliver lackluster displays and Jamie Vardy really needs some support. Bringing in a strong center forward who can link up with Vardy would be ideal.


Liverpool

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Key transfer needs: Attacking midfielder, left back – Nabil Fekir has been linked with a move to Liverpool, again, as the Frenchman’s move to Anfield collapsed at the last minute this summer. In some of their big games they’ve lacked a calming presence in midfield, and Naby Keita just hasn’t settled down. Liverpool need a No.10 type who can slow the tempo down a little when they want to. Adam Lallana can be that man if he stays fit, but a new playmaker would give them a big push towards the title. Alberto Moreno is a decent back up option at left back to Andrew Robertson, but he is set to leave in the summer so adding a new left back would be ideal.


Manchester City
Key transfer needs: Left back, defensive midfielder – Benjamin Mendy‘s injury problems mean that left back is the main area needed to strengthen in. Pep Guardiola‘s plan to play Fabian Delph there worked last season, but not so much this season, while Oleksandr Zinchenko hasn’t settled in that role. Aymeric Laporte has plugged the gap for now, but a long-term left back to challenge Mendy is badly needed. A long-term replacement for Fernandinho is needed too, as the Brazilian is badly missed when he’s been out injured.


Manchester United
Key transfer needs: Center back, left back – Defensively United need some serious help, as their stable of center backs just isn’t good enough and are injured far too often. Luke Shaw is their only real option at left back, with Matteo Darmian, Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young able to play there out of position in a pinch.


Newcastle United
Key transfer needs: Striker, central midfielder, winger – Now, it is very unlikely Rafael Benitez will be given money to spend in January, but he does need to strengthen in a few areas. Defensively they are solid enough and are all set there. But going forward he is woefully short of quality options. Extra quality off the wing, a No. 10 and a striker to partner Salomon Rondon is needed. Miguel Almiron from Atlanta United has been linked with a move to St James’ Park but the Magpies are baulking at the $35 million transfer fee.


Southampton

(Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

Key transfer needs: Winger, striker, center back – Saints have a lot of center backs, but Ralph Hasenhuttl has pretty much hinted that Wesley Hoedt is available to leave and that will open a spot up for them to strengthen in. Bednarek, Yoshida and Vestergaard have played okay at times, but RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano has been linked with a move to St Mary’s. Up top there will be an almighty shake up as Manolo Gabbiadini is leaving, Shane Long is on his way out and with Danny Ings‘ injuries flaring up, Hasenhuttl needs reinforcements. His style of play is all about pace, so adding extra pace out wide and up top is the main aim this month. Saints have to sell before they buy, so that will be challenging. Roger Guedes, Yussuf Poulsen and Odio Ighalo have been a few names linked with Saints.


Tottenham Hotspur
Key transfer needs: Central midfield, striker – Although Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he will not be looking to buy anyone in January due to the lack of funds available with the new stadium move almost complete, Spurs are likely to promote youngsters into their squad. But if they are going to be serious about mounting a title bid or going far in the Champions League, more help for Harry Kane (Fernando Llorente is fine for FA Cup games) is needed. Oliver Skipp has stepped in admirably in midfield, and given the fact that Mousa Dembele seems destined to leave, they could have some money to spend on a new midfielder.


Watford
Key transfer need: Center back – It is one of the areas which Watford have ignored for some time, but they always seem to get by. The likes of Cathcart and Kabasele could be upgraded quite easily, and Watford should aim to add extra quality in central defense as they’ve thrown away plenty of points this season. Going forward and in midfield they are littered with options for Javi Gracia. Sort out their defense ahead of the brilliant Ben Foster and they will push hard for European qualification.


West Ham United
Key transfer needs: Nowhere – The Hammers are pretty set and spent a lot of money in the summer. They have a plethora of options up top, in defense and especially in midfield. Consiering Jack Wilshere has hardly kicked a ball this season, Andriy Yarmolenko is out of the rest of the season and Manuel Lanzini is on his way back after a lengthy injury, they have plenty of quality in reserve too. Maybe some extra cover defensively could help, but apart from that Manuel Pellegrini has a very strong squad to choose from.


Wolverhampton Wanderers

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Key transfer need: Striker – Linked with a move for Tammy Abraham, who has spent the first half of the season on loan at Aston Villa, Wolves need help for Raul Jimenez. The Mexican striker has been far from prolific, but he creates so many chances yet doesn’t have a lot of support in games. Nuno Espirito Santo is well stocked elsewhere, but adding a new center back to work into their three-man defense would do wonders for that rotation.