On 1 January 2024, one of the most crucial times of the year will begin for Premier League clubs and end at 23:00 on 1 February 2024. That month-long period is the winter transfer window and gives clubs a chance to bring in new players in the middle of the season and for players to make an exit from their clubs either at their own behest or at the club’s.
The Premier League is the most competitive league in the world and teams should always be striving to improve. The January transfer window gives them the chance to find the footballer(s) who be the missing factor they need to lift the title, avoid relegation and, in general, have a better season. New players can enhance playing capacity and offer the manager more options and flexibility in terms of strategy and which players to field. Transfer windows, of course, always generate speculation and gossip about who is coming or going. Below is a look at some of the players who have been confirmed as signing in January or may be making a move in January.
In July 2023, Brighton and Hove Albion confirmed that Romanian winger Adrian Mazilu would be joining them in January 2024 from FCV Farul Constanta. The two clubs will complete the transfer, which will be subject to all the regulatory approvals, when the transfer window opens in January.
Mazilu will inject a lot of excitement into Brighton’s attacking play. He’s strong and has learned how to use his tall frame to stop opponents from knocking him off the ball. As you’d expect of a winger, he’s fast and has no problem running at opponents, especially at pace. He displays good close control and likes to cut inside so he can fire off a shot or create an opportunity for his teammates. He also has no problem dribbling in tight spaces.
There’s been a lot of speculation around whether Brentford striker Ivan Toney will stay at the West London club when he returns from his ban in January. There is talk of both Arsenal and Chelsea being interested in the striker. Currently, Manchester City are the early favourites but have drifted slightly, with Liverpool moving into second place as favourites following their away win over Crystal Palace and the Gunners’ loss at Aston Villa.
The Gunners’ betting odds could improve if they land Toney. He can score one on one against the keeper, he can chip, he can head the ball and he can score from close range or drive the ball into the net from distance. He also instinctively knows how to dart into space to receive the ball. On the defensive side, he blocks passing lanes, tackles hard, works hard and is good at defending against set pieces.
Paris St Germain forward and French national squad captain is a player every club would like to sign. Although there have been rumours Mbappe will sign for Real Madrid, Liverpool, Chelsea, Newcastle United and Man Utd could all be seeing if they can whet the striker’s appetite with a contract proposal in January.
Mbappe brings panic to opponents’ penalty areas because of his blistering pace and clinical finishing. Defenders are afraid to step up too high for fear of not being able to catch him, which is a very real prospect. They’re also scared to give him too much space since he’s a skilful dribbler. Not only is he physically fast though, but he thinks fast as well and will spot opportunities to get in behind defenders quickly.
Swedish forward Viktor Gyökeres, who puts the ball in the net for Portuguese Primeira Liga side Sporting CP, is another player who could tempt some Premier League clubs to make a contract proposal in January. Chelsea are one team thought to be inviting the Swede to join them. They may have to spend big to wrestle him away from his current employer, however.
Defensively, Gyökeres isn’t the one, but his hard work in the box and his stellar playmaking ability are difficult to resist. He shows great movement and positioning and almost always finds the ball. A lot of his shots come from inside the box, especially inside the six-yard box, but he has also proved he can hit the target from outside of the box and wide of the six-yard box. He also displays immense composure, is pacy and can hold up defenders.
The January transfer window is a tremendous opportunity for clubs to find the player(s) they need to enjoy a better season. Other players who could begin a transfer process, if not sign completely, include Napoli midfielder Piotr Zielinski, who may have caught the eye of Liverpool, and FC Copenhagen midfielder Roony Bardghji, who is believed to be on Chelsea’s January shopping list.
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