World Soccer: One player your team needs to sign in January

Most winter transfer windows are dole, filled with endless transfer rumors that don’t have any substance. Last winter we saw a couple interesting transfers, like Julian Draxler to PSG and Dimitri Payet to Marseille, as well as a few players moving to China.

Winter transfer windows never have the same excitement that the summer transfer windows do. Usually, January transfers are just used for teams who are having injury problems and they need to bolster their depth.

You rarely see a world class player move in the Winter. Only a few world class players spring to mind who have moved in January, like Fernando Torres to Chelsea, Juan Mata to Manchester United, and Luis Suarez to Liverpool.

However, this upcoming transfer window should be filled with excitement, as multiple teams are looking to splash the cash in January. From unhappy players that want a move, and big clubs looking to bring in a superstar, this window will be one of the busiest winter windows in years.

Here are eight teams who will be looking to conduct some significant business this January.

1.Arsenal – Steven N’Zonzi

Arsenal are having a shaky start to the EPL season, as they sit in 5th, 17 points off first place Manchester City. They are struggling to pick up points away from home. They aren’t set up well defensively in these games and seem exposed and out of place in the midfield and defense.

A player who can help Arsenal in the midfield defensively and control the game well is former Stoke man Steven N’Zonzi. The Frenchman has fallen out of the Sevilla squad and is looking to make a move away from the Spanish side.

Last season N’Zonzi averaged 3 interceptions and tackles a game while still averaging a 90% passing completion. A midfield partnership of N’Zonzi and Ramsey would give Arsenal more strength in the middle and a calming presence in front of the back three.

Although N’Zonzi didn’t have the greatest times with Stoke in the Premier League, he has found great form with Sevilla and he can replicate his tremendous performances for the Gunners.

Stefan De Vrij

2.Liverpool- De Vrij

When will Liverpool fix their defensive woes? The Merseyside club can put up an astronomical amount of goals but can also concede the same amount. Lovren has a mistake in him and is not a consistent performer, Klavan is not of the quality that Liverpool demands, and Matip is a solid center back but does not have a good partner.

Step forth Stefan De Vrij of Lazio. De Vrij’s contract is expiring this summer, which means he will be available on a free. Liverpool could wait for De Vrij to arrive next summer, or they could just pay a fee for the Dutchman in January and receive him then.

Liverpool need a center back that can pass the ball well in their system, De Vrij is an excellent passer as he averages a 93% pass completion in Serie A, while Lovren is averaging 87%.

Liverpool can buy the Dutchman for a cut-price deal, as his contract is expiring. De Vrij and Matip could finally be the partnership the Merseyside club has been missing since Carragher and Hyypiä.

3.Manchester City-  Johnny Evans

With John Stones reportedly being out six weeks, City will need to bring in reinforcements in the back. They already have the likes of Vincent Kompany, Nicolás Otamendi, and Eliaquim Mangala as central defenders.

However, Kompany has not been able to go a stretch of 15 games without getting injured, and you need to have at least three healthy center backs at the club.

Former Manchester United defender, Johhny Evans, has been linked with a move to the blue side of Manchester since last season. Evans is currently playing for relegation candidates West Brom, and Evans would be delighted to switch from the struggling Baggies to the eventual Premier League champions.

4.Manchester United- Rose

Denis Irwin and Patrice Evra have come to define United left backs who are great defensively and offensively with their bursting pace. Currently United are lacking that type of player at left back.

Ashley Young has been deployed at left back recently and has performed better than a lot of people thought, but Young is 32 and he won’t be able to keep up his recent performances throughout the rest of the season.

Danny Rose has made his intentions to leave Tottenham quite clear ever since last summer. Rose isn’t the number one choice left back at Tottenham anymore due to him making his attentions public knowledge.

This transfer just makes sense, Rose wants to leave Tottenham for a bigger English side, Manchester United want an attacking left back, Rose will be available for a reasonable price, and Manchester United are willing to pay a generous amount for a decent left back.

5.Tottenham- Shaw

The curious case of Luke Shaw at Manchester United has been going on for a long time now. Shaw made the move to Manchester back in 2014 as United made him the most expensive teenager in football.

He made a total of 16 appearances in the League in his first Season with the Red Devils. He started out his second year strong but was horribly injured in September of 2015. He was out for the remainder of the season.

Once José Mourinho was hired as United boss, games were few and far between for Shaw as he fell out with the Portuguese manager. Shaw isn’t receiving any game time in Manchester and there is a club who will also be looking for a left back in January in Tottenham.

Tottenham will have sold Danny Rose, most likely to United, and will be looking for a left-back who can overtake Ben Davies position or become his backup. Shaw can fill that void.

He was once a youngster with so much promise for Southampton and with Pochettino having a track record of developing young players, Shaw’s future would be bright in North London.

6.PSG- Alex Sandro

The oil-rich money spending club that is PSG should be looking to upgrade their left back position in January. Layvin Kurzawa, the current left back, has not been excelling at the heights the Parisian club needs him to be at.

PSG has also drawn Real Madrid in their round of 16 matchup in the Champions League. The draw is a tad unfortunate for PSG and they need to upgrade their left back spot to produce more goals and contribute more on the defensive side to compete with the reigning champions.

Alex Sandro is one of the best attacking left backs in the world and is currently applying his trade for Juventus. There aren’t too many indications that show Sandro would want to leave the Turin club, except his numerous links with Chelsea.

However, Paris provides something that Juventus can’t for Sandro – there are five Brazilians at PSG and since Sandro is Brazilan he may feel inclined to play with some international teammates. Another positive to move to PSG is the money. PSG always splash the cash and give incredible wages to star players.

7.Barcelona- Coutinho

After numerous links in the summer, Coutinho may finally be on his way to the Catalonia club after all. There are many reports that say Coutinho will move in January and after being benched for the Merseyside rivalry, Coutinho may feel inclined to leave.

Barcelona are off to a flying start to the season, as they sit at the top of La Liga and finished top of their group in the Champions League. So why would they want to bring in the Brazilan, especially since he would cost well over £100m?

Well, Coutinho can fill two positions at Barcelona. He could play in the midfield alongside Rakitić or Iniesta and he could play at left wing in a front three trident of Suárez, Messi, and Coutinho.

Most likely Coutinho would replace Iniesta in the starting lineup as the legendary midfielder will retire within the next few seasons and his role at Barcelona is diminishing.

If this transfer were to happen, it would surely become the most expensive deal in January and probably the third most expensive transfer of all time.

8.Real Madrid- Aubameyang

Borussia Dortmund have been struggling this season, and have recently fired their manager Peter Bosz. Aubameyang has always said if he were to leave Dortmund it would be to Los Blancos.

This may be the perfect time for him to leave too since Dortmund are struggling and won’t be threatening for the Bundesliga title this season. Madrid need another option up top as both Ronaldo and Benzema are struggling for goals this season.

Aubameyang has never had trouble finding the back net and could provide a starting option with Ronaldo up top or a backup option to Benzema, similar to Álvaro Morata last season.

If Madrid want to capture a third Champions League title in a row and catch Barcelona in La Liga, then they need to add the goal scoring threat that is Aubameyang.

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