02 Jan 2022 17:30:01
Well the January transfer window is open and the player we are linked to most strongly is Julian Alvarez.

Who on the face of it doesn't seem to fit our most pressing need, yet maybe that is why he might be a good option.

The January transfer market is notoriously difficult to make good signings in. Clubs are not prepared to lose their best players mid-season while they will either be fighting it out for honours or battling relegation. While typically only the players either not playing well or not playing at all are keen to move, those doing well often don't want to disrupt themselves.

Look at our squad, its players like Martial and Donny who want to leave, players not getting much game time.

For us while CDM might be the most important position to address, it is because its such a key position which is why we might not see a signing there in January. It's not a position/ role where we can afford to sign our 4th or 5th choice, or worse just whoever is available.

It's a position where we absolutely need to sign our first choice, and only if they are available in January should we sign them.

I'd be more inclined to recall James Garner from his loan if we absolutely needed another midfielder in January (only if he is going to play) rather than sign anyone just to get a body in.

That is why a player like Julian Alvarez makes more sense, its not a key position we need for the first 11 immediately. While with Martial looking to leave, Cavani off in the summer and Ronaldo 37 by the start of next season it is an area we will need to address in the not too distant future.

Therefore signing a player who is happy to move in January while taking advantage of the clause in his contract that allows him to leave for the fairly "cheap" fee of 17m makes sense.

As for that midfield role the only signing for me that makes sense in January would be Boubacar Kamara IF he is the clubs first choice.

Paying a relatively small fee for a player in January who we could get in the summer for free isn't normally the best thing to do. Yet in this case for two reason's I think it might make sense. Firstly the fight for top 4 is real and a tough one this season. Spurs, Arsenal, Leicester and West Ham are in with a chance along with ourselves. So any signing we could get that helps would be greatly appreciated. Secondly, I think the situation with Marseille is such that if he left for free it would create "bad feeling" between the clubs. Which is always best avoided if possible.

1.) 03 Jan 2022
03 Jan 2022 00:32:23
Rangnick said himself midfield is the priority, and another player repeatedly linked is Haidara, maybe because yes he has played for Rangnick but also (supposedly) has a release clause. I agree we shouldn’t be going for players too far down the shopping list, but also hope we’re not just looking at the easier premium names like Rice when we’ve already proved the marquee signings aren’t always the wisest.

{Ed002's Note - Try searching - there is interest.}

2.) 03 Jan 2022
03 Jan 2022 06:53:26
Denis Zakaria will soon be out of contract.
I feel he is perfect for the EPL.

3.) 03 Jan 2022
03 Jan 2022 09:46:07
Id argue with our midfield options of Matic and McFred, even getting our 4th or 5th choice would be an upgrade in that position.

Even a loan deal stop gap signing would be worth pursuing in January to get someone with a half decent first touch and not scared of passing the ball. Even someone like jonjo shelvey would be an upgrade on our current midfield options in terms of passing certainly.

4.) 03 Jan 2022
03 Jan 2022 10:32:40
I’m Assuming that’s tongue in cheek DSG. Shelvey would look out if place in League One. Awful.

5.) 03 Jan 2022
03 Jan 2022 12:14:24
DSG, that's not true though. We didn't sign a midfielder in the summer because we still had Matic, Pogba and Donny on the books.

Therefore signing a sub-par player now just to get someone in could mean we are stuck with that player in the summer and they restrict our ability to sign a top class player then.

Spenno, sometimes the obvious choice (Rice) is obvious for a reason. He would instantly improve our side and is both a top player and someone with potential to get even better. That doesn't mean he should be the player we sign, but I wouldn't be against the club signing him just because he is an "obvious" choice.

TRD, Zakaria looks a bit of a beast. I doubt the physicality of the EPL would be too much for him, in fact I think he'd thrive in it. He reminds me a lot of Patrick Viera, tall, strong, strides forward with the ball but technical and a great passer as well.

Personally I think we need less of a box to box player and more of a holder. Matic is the only natural holding midfielder, McTominay and Fred work better when given the freedom to roam around a bit more.

That's why I feel someone like Rice or Kamara would work better than Zakaria or Haidara.

6.) 03 Jan 2022
03 Jan 2022 13:26:18
We actually can get Zakaria and Kamara combined for probably less than 20 million.
But need to move on Matic, Lingard, Martial, Mata and few others.

7.) 04 Jan 2022
03 Jan 2022 14:40:33
TRD, maybe so but do we NEED both?

Would both be able to settle at the same time?

Typically it's never a good idea to bring in two new players in the same position at the same time. Invariably one succeeds and the other struggles. Case in point when we signed RvN and Forlan at the same time. Both quality players, but it's difficult for two new players in the same position assimilate into the team at the same time.

Football is a team game and the team dynamic is important. Players knowing how the manager wants them to play and be used to those demands. Players knowing their colleagues and knowing when, where and how to pass to them, or where to move to receive the ball etc.

I'd imagine over the next couple of windows we'll see us sign a CDM, a CAM/ winger, a ST, then maybe a RB and maybe a CB depending on departures.

I think we might see a couple of youngsters be added to the first team on a more regular basis. Maybe someone like James Garner, which would give us potentially a second "new" body in midfield.