The arrival of January means three things. Frozen pitches, Manchester United losing at home (three years and counting) and – of course – the transfer window being de-iced and reopened.
With six teams battling for the Champions League spots, a tense and tight relegation dogfight and plenty more clubs looking to boost their position in between, it’s sure to be a big-spending January.
Here are five of the stars that Premier League clubs need to snap up In Jan.
Everyone needs…James Rodriguez
He’s been linked with a move to just about every big club in English football at one time or another, but with the fiery Colombian having alienated Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, it seems he’s finally set to say bye-bye to the Bernabeu.
Chelsea are 11/10 favourites for his signature, but there’s little doubt he’d also walk straight into the first-team at the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal – both of whom have been heavily linked with the 25-year-old in previous transfer windows.
And with the firm grip of a seasoned boss like Antonio Conte or Jose Mourinho, the former Monaco maestro could rediscover his finest form.
Having already chalked up nine assists in 2016-17 despite being in and out of the team, just imagine what a settled and on-song Rodriguez could produce…
Liverpool need…Joe Hart
While the Reds have brought in top-quality talent like Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino up front, their transfer business hasn’t gone so smoothly at the other end of the field.
Simon Mignolet has never really impressed since his move from Sunderland in 2013, eventually forcing Jurgen Klopp to move for Mainz stopper Loris Karius last summer – but the German has endured a series of high-profile errors.
By contrast, Hart not only boasts a decade of Premier League experience – including a pair of winners’ medals – but he’s also been in sensational form on loan at Torino. But with the stopper reportedly keen for a return to these shores, Liverpool are just 7/4 to secure his signature in January.
Everton need…Memphis Depay
And Memphis Depay needs a fresh start!
Despite a frustrating time at Old Trafford, there’s no question the 22-year-old possesses bags of talent, as he showed by netting 28 times from the wing for PSV Eindhoven in the 2014-15 season, while he also produced 29 assists during his tenure with Rood-witten.
Physically robust, lightning-quick and with that amazing goal-scoring record, he could prove a fantastic buy in the January sales, and it’s Everton who are 2/1 favourites for his signature.
With current Toffees’ left-winger Yannick Bolasie likely to miss the rest of the campaign through injury, and fellow wide-men Aaron Lennon and Kevin Mirallas struggling to shine this year, the Dutchman could be just the tonic for Ronald Koeman’s side.
Manchester City need…Virgil van Dijk
The Citizens may have found their groove again with a trio of wins, but despite a mini-resurgence, they’ve still managed just three clean sheets in the last 20 games in all competitions – while the 20 league goals they’ve conceded is the same number as 15th-placed Middlesbrough.
With City’s ageing defence in need of a shake-up, Pep Guardiola is eyeing up – amongst others – the Southampton centre-back. And he’d be wise to move for the 25-year-old.
Skilful, tenacious and even useful in front of goal – with 28 career goals and counting – it’s hard to see a better acquisition for the Etihad outfit. And the Dutchman could be set to make the switch very soon, with 2/1 on offer for a January move to Manchester.
Swansea City need…John Terry
He may not be the first name on the Chelsea team sheet any more, but the 36-year-old is arguably the greatest centre-back in Prem history, and can still be a huge asset in the heart of the defence.
A move to the Liberty Stadium in January currently looks unlikely at 16/1, though reports are that the Swans are very interested in the four-time Premier League winner.
With the South Wales outfit possessing the league’s leakiest defence – shipping 41 times in 20 games – the experience, talent and steel of the veteran defender would make him a vital acquisition as the Swans battle the drop.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the Date of Publishing