January transfer window shopping

Bolton's Gary Cahill and Fulham's Andy Johnson
Bolton's Cahill and Fulham's Johnson are two players who could move on

Buying and selling in this year's January transfer window is not expected to reach the records of last season, but that has not stopped Chelsea and Arsenal sounding the starting gun before December is out.

Thierry Henry could join his former club Arsenal, while Bolton's Gary Cahill looks set to make Stamford Bridge his new home, but where else do the top-flight clubs need to improve?

Here, BBC Sport's football experts, local radio summarisers and commentators come together to analyse what each Premier League club can do to strengthen their squads as the second half of the season beckons.

ARSENAL - Former full-back Lee Dixon


"I think that we are still short up front even with Thierry Henry. He might be needed to start a game or two but he will be of best use as an impact substitute. So it still stands that if Robin van Persie gets injured it will all come tumbling down. A striker is still needed.

"Elsewhere, it depends on injuries. At full-back, Andre Santos might be back soon, and there are certainly enough at the club so it's a matter of trying to get them back, rather than making panic buys. The forward positions need strengthening before the full-back areas, although it is a problem."

Potential targets: With Thierry Henry set to join the Gunners, Borussia Dortmund playmaker Mario Gotze, Lille midfielder Eden Hazard and Cologne striker Lukas Podolski have been linked with the club. Manchester City's Wayne Bridge could also solve their full-back problems.

ASTON VILLA - Former manager Graham Taylor

Aston Villa

"I think manager Alex McLeish needs to get someone who can break out from central midfield, create goals, score a few goals themselves and in the process feed Charles N'Zogbia and Darren Bent.

"N'Zogbia has been a disappointment but we know that, if you get the ball into the area - or played into the right areas, Bent is a consistent goalscorer. I would say a central midfield player who can provide that service is what they need in January."

Potential targets: Villa are among several clubs aiming to bring in Chelsea midfielder Josh McEachran on loan. Bayer Leverkusen's Swiss international midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta and Nottingham Forest full-back Chris Gunter are other names in the frame.

BLACKBURN - Former striker Kevin Gallacher

Blackburn Rovers

"It might be a case of wheeling and dealing in January for Blackburn, with one player moving on to enable another to come in. I think Michel Salgado might be leaving the club, so they would need a full-back to replace him. They may also need a centre-half if somebody comes in for Christopher Samba.

"David Dunn is the creative player in Blackburn's midfield but, at 32, he is not getting any younger. They might try to sign a midfielder and, like a lot of clubs, they could try to sign a striker.

"The only problem is that, if there are 20 goal-a-season strikers with experience about, bigger clubs usually want them. The club does have a wage structure too and the manager will have to be wary of that when bringing in new players."

Potential targets: Fulham striker Andy Johnson is out of contract in the summer. Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha and Nottingham Forest full-back Chris Gunter have also been associated with the club.

BOLTON - Former striker Nathan Blake

Bolton Wanderers

"Now the decision seems to have been made to sell Gary Cahill, I think Bolton will be thinking they can use the transfer fee to bring in three or four new players who can freshen it up and bring some confidence to the squad.

"They might have a ready-made replacement for Cahill in David Wheater and now they can try to sign a goalscoring midfielder and a striker. The money they generate for Cahill may bring with it a better chance of survival.

"Bolton must replace Lee Chung-Yong and Stuart Holden - who are both injured - and Johan Elmander and Daniel Sturridge, who have left. They were the heartbeat of the team last season."

Potential targets: New York Red Bulls defender Tim Ream has been training with the club, while Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha has also been linked.

CHELSEA - Former winger Pat Nevin


"With Alex leaving and Gary Cahill set to join Chelsea, I expect a busy January at Stamford Bridge. I think they will go back to do their shopping in Portugal. Andre Villas-Boas knows the market well having coached Porto and there are a lot of Brazilian and Argentinian defenders there who are made for the Premier League.

"Nicolas Anelka is also off and it wouldn't surprise me if one or two of the other established players were to leave this year. Florent Malouda and John Obi Mikel are both out of favour but whether another club is prepared to cough up for the transfer fee and their wages is another issue.

"When it comes to budget with Chelsea, who knows? They spent £50m on Fernando Torres this time last year but they must have one eye on the financial fair play regulations."

Potential targets: With Didier Drogba linked with a move, Porto striker Hulk might be a replacement. Then there is the small target of Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric, but the Croat says he is staying put. Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell has also been mentioned.

EVERTON - Former midfielder Barry Horne


"I'm going to be very predictable and say Everton need two strikers - even more blindingly obviously, two strikers who can score goals.

"Boss David Moyes has sold Yakubu and Jermaine Beckford. Yakubu may have scored goals for Blackburn but he wasn't doing it for Everton, while Beckford had qualities that didn't work out. Tim Cahill, only temporarily we hope, has lost his magic touch while Steven Pienaar and Mikel Arteta have been sold.

"Landon Donovan is a good loan signing but it is strikers Everton need. They are the men most in demand and who therefore cost the most. We do not know how much Moyes will have to spend in January, so Everton will have to look for the best available and work backwards in line with their budget."

Potential targets: With Landon Donovan secured on loan, Steven Pienaar could also re-join the club in the same manner. Bristol City forward Nicky Maynard has also been linked.

Fulham - Former defender Rufus Brevett


"Fulham need to find someone to score goals and they are not helped by Andy Johnson's contract coming to an end this summer and Bobby Zamora seeming unsettled. They're tight at the back so there's not a problem in that department.

"OK, so they signed forward Bryan Ruiz for more than £10m, but he's still trying to find his feet. Manager Martin Jol has used him sensibly and the Costa Rican has managed to chip in with a couple of goals. He'll be better in the second half of the season."

Potential targets: With Zamora tipped for a move out of Craven Cottage, a striker could be crucial. Bristol City winger Albert Adomah and Nottingham Forest full-back Chris Gunter are other names in the frame.

LIVERPOOL - Former defender Mark Lawrenson


"Liverpool need somebody else to play with, or instead of, Luis Suarez. I don't see any other area in which they look particularly short. We need to see what happens from his eight-game FA ban but they could do with an alternative for him.

"As far as the American owners are concerned, they have said the money is available, especially if there is a player that is going to massively improve the team. Also, if a young player becomes available who has the potential to get better, they are more likely to sign this type of player."

Potential targets: Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic has been written about, but Liverpool will once again keep their business under the radar.

Manchester City - BBC football expert Lee Dixon

Manchester City

"City's strength in depth was illustrated recently in the win over Arsenal where they had a problem at left-back and Pablo Zabaleta came in and was one of the game's best players.

"Up front they are fine and the midfield is arguably one of the best attacking outfits in the league. Defensively, maybe they need another centre-back, but you are struggling to find something that needs strengthening.

"I still think they can be got at as a back four in wide areas but I don't think boss Roberto Mancini is going to go out and buy two full-backs."

Potential targets: Athletic Bilbao midfielder Javi Martinez is one name that has been mentioned. Others like Roma's Daniele de Rossi appear tied to their clubs.

Manchester United - Former defender Gary Pallister

Manchester United

"I would not be surprised to see manager Sir Alex Ferguson go into the market in the transfer window, because Manchester United have injuries to lots of midfield players. Darren Fletcher is out for most of the season and Anderson and Tom Cleverley are yet to come back.

"It is also true that we haven't got a Paul Scholes-type player, someone who has the vision to unlock teams like David Silva. Wayne Rooney has played in midfield at times but you want him to be up front where he can cause most damage.

"With Javier Hernandez back from injury sooner than expected, we are well covered up front. One thing is for sure, Ferguson won't buy for the sake of it."

Potential targets: Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric would solve their creative midfield problems, but United may have to wait until the summer, so that could point to Lille midfielder Eden Hazard. Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote is another potential name in the reckoning.

Newcastle - Former striker Alan Shearer

Newcastle United

"In January, Demba Ba will be going to the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal and, apart from him, there have not been a lot of goals. That's where I think they might strengthen. Losing Steven Taylor to injury was massive blow, so I would assume that they would be looking for cover at centre-back.

"The good news for Newcastle fans is that the club seem to know the French market very well. Yohan Cabaye has been a great find and it wouldn't surprise me if they dipped into that again."

Potential targets: Montpellier striker Olivier Giroud could feature after Modibo Maiga's potential move feel through. Celtic midfielder Scott Brown has also been linked, but Blackburn's Chris Samba could prove the most tempting buy.

Norwich - Former striker Iwan Roberts

Norwich City

"I think Paul Lambert already has some good options in midfield. The club has been linked with Leeds winger Robert Snodgrass, who is a player he has watched a few times, and I wouldn't be surprised if he went in for him.

"Looking at the front men, James Vaughan has been out for the majority of the season, so Paul has been relying quite heavily on Grant Holt and Steve Morison. I think Paul will go for a new striker, although he probably needs a back-up goalkeeper too."

Potential targets: Any move for Leeds midfielder Robert Snodgrass might have been scuppered by an appendix problem, while Nottingham Forest full-back Chris Gunter is also in the frame.

QPR - Former striker Bradley Allen

Queens Park Rangers

"I think finding the net has been the problem for QPR this season. Forwards DJ Campbell and Jay Bothroyd have suffered from injuries and need to get games under their belts, so manager Neil Warnock has been reliant on Heidar Helguson.

"They need a couple of strikers in the transfer window and perhaps a midfielder who can unlock the door. Most promoted sides have been cautious with their money but not QPR and I think they'll spend again in January."

Potential targets: Warnock says he needs three or four players with two or three of those loan signings. Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha and Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic have been linked.

Stoke - Former goalkeeper Steve Simonsen

Stoke City

"Stoke have got a really good squad at the moment but the one area I think they will be looking to strengthen is on the right-hand side of midfield. Jermaine Pennant has been excellent there but seems to have fallen out of favour with manager Tony Pulis and there is not a lot of cover.

"Ryan Shotton has played there a few times and done well but it's not his natural position and Rory Delap is not going to play week in, week out any more - so they need to sign someone.

"Stoke tend to do their shopping late on and, if Tony Pulis identifies his man, he normally gets the backing from the chairman."

Potential targets: Not too much shopping is expected at the Britannia Stadium, and Stoke may just choose to trim their squad.

Sunderland - Former midfielder Gary Bennett


"Everyone at the club has been lifted by new manager Martin O'Neill but that doesn't change the fact that Sunderland definitely need a striker, maybe another creative midfield player and another left-back. Since forwards Darren Bent and Asamoah Gyan left, they have not been able to replace them.

"Kieran Richardson has had to fill in at left-back sometimes and, if they can bring another one in, it will release him to play in midfield or off the striker.

"O'Neill will have money to spend. I wouldn't say it's going to be millions - and he might wheel and deal a bit, but I think the priority will be a striker. If you have a winning team, no matter where you are geographically, players will want to play for you."

Potential targets: Fulham striker Bobby Zamora and Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic could help O'Neill's problems up front.

Swansea - Former Wales striker Iwan Roberts

Swansea City

"Swansea are a careful, well-run club who won't put themselves into debt. I think manager Brendan Rodgers will sit down with chairman Huw Jenkins and may bring in two or three players but no more than that.

"They will need to strengthen up front. Danny Graham has been superb and Leroy Lita has fits and starts.

"I would not be surprised if Brendan brought in an old head up front. I also think he will strengthen at the back too, bringing in a big dominant centre-half. However, any signings have got to be the right type of players to fit into the type of team Swansea are."

Potential targets: Cliftonville striker Rory Donnelly is set to join the Swans, while Chelsea midfielder Josh McEachran would suit their style of play.

Tottenham - former defender Gary Mabbutt

Tottenham Hotspur

"This is Tottenham's best opportunity to challenge for the title in recent years, so I guess it's gone very well, so far. Spurs managed to hold on to midfielder Luka Modric and brought in striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who has led the line, with experienced keeper Brad Friedel and Scott Parker joining them.

"If Harry sees someone he likes then he'll try to go out and get them, but at the moment we have a strong squad, and players like defenders Michael Dawson and midfielder Tom Huddlestone are waiting to come back from injury."

Potential targets: Blackburn defender Chris Samba and Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez would improve Harry Redknapp's squad. Whether they can afford the latter is another question.

West Brom - BBC WM football commentator Mark Regan

West Bromwich Albion

"Shane Long has been best player in west Midlands so far this season but he has been doing it on his own for most of the season. Despite signs of a return to form from Peter Odemwingie, he needs help.

"They also have players in the middle of the park who haven't quite produced like James Morrison, Chris Brunt and Paul Scharner - so that maybe needs to be looked at.

"Manager Roy Hodgson needs to go out and get some fresh faces and I'm not sure they currently have enough to see them through."

Potential targets: Dundee United's Scott Allan, Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha and Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic.

Wigan - BBC Radio Manchester commentator Paul Rowley

Wigan Athletic

"There are no obvious areas that Wigan need to strengthen but that could be taken out of their hands if they lose some players.

"Striker Hugo Rodellega and midfielder Mohamed Diame are out of contract at the end of the season, which means they could receive interest. If they go, manager Roberto Martinez could be forced to replace them, although that may come from the loan market because of the club's limited budget.

"One possible target is Manchester United's Federico Macheda but, with the champions in the Europa League, Sir Alex Ferguson may want to hang on to the 20-year-old Italian."

Potential targets: Manchester United striker Federico Macheda on loan.

Wolves - BBC WM football commentator Mark Regan

Wolverhampton Wanderers

"Manager Mick McCarthy probably needs one or two more options up front, while the midfield looks a little bit light too. Jamie O'Hara has not been not hitting the heights he did last year. I know the club kept some money back after the summer transfer window, so it will be interesting to see who they go for in January.

"They perhaps need a central defender as Jody Craddock has a hamstring problem but, to be honest, he is in the latter half of his career and he needs some help at the back anyway."

Potential targets: Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong is set to join Wolves on loan, while Celtic striker Daryl Murphy and Wigan midfielder Mohamed Diame have attracted interest.

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