January transfer window - Robbie Savage on who needs what

Robbie Savage

This week in his regular BBC Sport column Robbie Savage explains what each Premier League club needs to do in the January transfer window, how struggling teams are gambling whether they buy or not, and why it is worth keeping hold of players who are out of contract in the summer.

January is the month where you pay over the odds for players who you need to make an instant impact.

So no wonder it is usually teams at the bottom of the table who take a chance on buying in this window, because they are so desperate.

The clubs who are having successful seasons will not do much at all.

Of the teams in the top nine of the Premier League on 1 January 2014, six of them - Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Newcastle and Southampton - did not sign a single player that month.

This time, Liverpool have got to get a centre-forward, at the very least, and City need a striker too. Other than that, I am not expecting a lot to happen with teams in the top half.

It is a different story at the bottom. Struggling clubs must decide to stick or twist - but they have to be careful.

Wilfried Bony, Ron Vlaar, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Mario Mandzukic
Wilfried Bony, Ron Vlaar, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Mario Mandzukic have all been linked with moves

I changed teams twice in January as a player. The first time, when I moved from Birmingham to Blackburn in 2005, was a big success.

Rovers were in big trouble when I joined, but I slotted in quickly with a couple of other new faces, Ryan Nelsen and Aaron Mokoena, and we ended up finishing 15th.

But when I left Ewood Park for Derby in 2008, I was one of six January signings that did not come off for the Rams. We went down without winning another game.

From strengthening their squads, to simply keeping hold of their best players, this is what I think each Premier League side needs to do in the next few weeks.

Arsenal

Arsenal

What they need in a nutshell: The same old story

Window shopping: Everyone knows what they need - a centre-half and a defensive midfielder - and Arsene Wenger said at the club's AGM in October that he would "try" to strengthen at the back in January.

But "trying" and "doing" are two different things. Arsenal were top of the table at the start of 2014 and crying out for a new striker, yet Wenger did not sign a single player to help their title bid.

If Wenger is not going to pay over the odds to buy anyone when he has a chance of winning the title, then why would he spend when his side are not contenders?

The truth is that his side can probably finish in the top four with what he has already got.

Linked with (Player, age, position and club): Iker Casillas 33, GK (Real Madrid), Petr Cech, 32, GK (Chelsea), Fabio Coentrao, 26, LB (Real Madrid), Tyrone Mings, 21, LB/CB (Ipswich), Loic Perrin, 29, CB (St Etienne), Ron Vlaar, 29, CB (Aston Villa), Sami Khedira, 27, DM (Real Madrid), William Carvalho, 22, DM (Sporting Lisbon), Yann M'Vila, 24, CM (Rubin Kazan), Christoph Kramer, 23, CM (Bayer Leverkusen), Moussa Sissoko, 25, CM (Newcastle), Morgan Schneiderlin, 25, CM (Southampton), Paul-Georges Ntep, 22, CF (Rennes), Edinson Cavani, 27, CF (Paris St-Germain)

Aston Villa

Aston Villa

What they need in a nutshell: To keep Vlaar and Delph, for now

Window shopping: Villa boss Paul Lambert has the option to turn Tom Cleverley's loan from Manchester United into a permanent deal for £7m in January, but I would not do that if I were him.

Aston Villa's on-loan midfielder Tom Cleverley
Cleverley has not scored a goal or made an assist in 16 Premier League games for Villa

Money is tight at Villa Park and I do not think Cleverley has done enough for them to justify that kind of fee. He is too much like Ashley Westwood and, at the minute, I would say that Westwood is better than Cleverley.

Villa should be more concerned about holding on to the players they have already got, with lots of clubs being linked with Ron Vlaar and Fabian Delph, who are both out of contract in the summer.

I would not sell either of them now. Yes, it could mean they leave for nothing at the end of the season but what is the alternative?

Whatever Villa get for them now, it will be nothing to the massive money they will get for being a Premier League team next season, and they need their best players to stay in the top flight.

Linked with: Ivo Pinto 24, FB (Dinamo Zagreb), Lewis Macleod 20, CM (Rangers), Darren Fletcher 30, CM (Manchester United), Alex Mowatt 19, CM (Leeds United), Josip Ilicic 26, AM (Fiorentina), Ikechi Anya 26, AM (Watford), Jay Chapman, 20 AM (Michigan State), Bryan Ruiz 29, AM (Fulham), Matt Jarvis 28, FW (West Ham), Andros Townsend 23, FW (Tottenham), Giampaolo Pazzini 30, CF (AC Milan)

Burnley

Burnley

What they need in a nutshell: Forget about shopping, just keep Danny Ings

Window shopping: Just like the situation at Villa, Burnley need to keep hold of Ings even if it means he leaves for nothing at the end of the season.

He is out of contract in the summer but it will be worth it if his goals keep the Clarets up.

Linked with: Raul Albentosa 26, CB (Eibar), Nemanja Gudelj 23, CM (AZ), Kyle Dempsey 19, CM (Carlisle United), Henri Lansbury 24, CM (Nottingham Forest), Lewis Macleod 20, CM (Rangers), Ryan Christie 19, CM (Inverness), Junior Sornoza 20, CM (Independiente del Valle), Troy Deeney 26, CF (Watford), Dwight Gayle 25, CF (Crystal Palace), Jozy Altidore 25, CF (Sunderland)

Chelsea

Chelsea

What they need in a nutshell: Nothing at all

Window shopping: Their squad is so good, Jose Mourinho does not need to buy anybody else.

There would be lots of takers for goalkeeper Petr Cech, who wants first-team football, but it is hard to see Mourinho weakening his side by letting him leave at this stage.

Linked with: Raphael Varane 21, CB (Real Madrid), Malcom Silva 17, FW (Corinthians),Marco Reus 25, FW (Borussia Dortmund), Sami Khedira 27, DM (Real Madrid), Wesley Sneijder 30, AM (Galatasaray), Anderson Talisca 20, FW (Benfica), Andrej Kramaric 23, CF (Rijeka), Mauro Icardi 21, CF (Inter Milan), Mattia Destro 23, CF (Roma),

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace

What they need in a nutshell: A goalscorer

Window shopping: If Alan Pardew does take the manager's job, then his priority has to be a new centre-forward.

Their strikers have struggled this season and midfielder Mile Jedinak is their top scorer with five league goals, including three penalties.

They have a lot of creativity out wide through Yannick Bolasie and Jason Puncheon but need somebody to put the ball in the back of the net.

Linked with: John Ruddy 28, GK (Norwich), Stephen Hendrie 19, LB (Hamilton), Pape Souare 24, LB (Lille), Benoit Assou-Ekotto 30, LB (Tottenham), Achraf Lazaar 22, LB (Palermo), Stephane Badji 24, CM (SK Brann), Kris Commons, 31, FW (Celtic), Yaya Sanogo 21, CF (Arsenal), Bafetimbi Gomis 29, CF (Swansea), Peter Crouch 33, CF (Stoke), Troy Deeney 26, CF (Watford)

Everton

Everton

What they need in a nutshell: To fix a leaky defence

Window shopping: Are they turning into Wigan? Just like Roberto Martinez's former team, Everton play some good football but they have become very open.

In their first 19 games of 2013-14, they conceded 16 goals and kept eight clean sheets.

At the same stage of this season, they have conceded 31 goals with three clean sheets and only QPR have a worse defensive record in the top flight.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez
Martinez's Wigan side conceded 73 goals in 38 games when they were relegated from the Premier League in 2013

John Stones is fit at the moment but they need another centre-half. Last season, Stones was a great back-up to Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka - now, they miss Stones when he is out.

Linked with: Vedran Corluka, 28, CB (Lokomotiv Moscow), Curtis Davies 29, CB (Hull), Martin Montoya 23, RB (Barcelona), Tim Cahill, 35, CM (New York Red Bulls), Breel Embolo 17, CM (Basel), Veli Kavlak 26, CM (Besiktas), Alex Mowatt 19, CM (Leeds United), Memphis Depay 20, FW (PSV), Joel Campbell 22, FW (Arsenal), Adama Traore 18, FW (Barcelona), Adnan Januzaj 19, FW (Manchester United), Andre Ayew 25, FW (Marseille)

Hull City

Hull City

What they need in a nutshell: Some more new faces

Window shopping: Tigers boss Steve Bruce spent a lot of money in the summer but that has not been reflected in results.

Bruce needs to improve every area of his team but he has not got many sellable assets to raise money, so he is going to need more backing from his chairman.

Linked with: Robin Olsen, 24, GK (Malmo), Vedran Corluka, 28, CB (Lokomotiv Moscow), Emmanuel Agyemang Badu, 24, CM (Udinese), Lee Cattermole, 26, CM (Sunderland), Aaron Lennon, 27, RW (Tottenham), Andre Ayew, 25, FW (Marseille)

Leicester City

Leicester

What they need in a nutshell: Quality not quantity

Window shopping: The Foxes have got a Championship squad and one or two signings are not going to change that.

But the right couple of signings could still make a big difference defensively.

The Foxes need leaders at the back and some proven Premier League experience to cut down on the mistakes that have been so costly for them.

Linked with: Steve Cook, 23, CB (Bournemouth), Kyle Naughton, 26, RB (Tottenham), Curtis Davies, 29, CB (Hull), Selcuk Inan, 29, CM (Galatasaray), Kris Commons, 31, FW (Celtic), Danny Ings, 22, CF (Burnley), Dwight Gayle, 25, CF (Crystal Palace), Jermain Defoe, 32, CF (Toronto), Andrej Kramaric 23, CF (Rijeka), Luciano Vietto, 21, CF (Villarreal)

Liverpool

Liverpool

What they need in a nutshell: The spine of a team

Window shopping: I looked at Reds boss Brendan Rodgers' Anfield transfer record before Christmas. It is poor but, if he gets the right backing and gets the right men this time round, then his side can still make the top four.

Rodgers is all right in midfield but he needs a goalkeeper, a centre-half and a centre-forward. Up front, Wilfried Bony would be my choice - he has got power, he works hard and is mobile.

Linked with: Petr Cech, 32, GK (Chelsea), Sergio Romero, 27, GK (Sampdoria), Jack Butland, 21, GK (Stoke), Fabio Coentrao, 26, LB (Real Madrid), Ron Vlaar, 29, CB (Aston Villa), Virgil van Dijk, 23, CB (Celtic), Will Hughes, 19, CM (Derby County), Fabian Delph, 25, CM (Aston Villa), Ogneyi Onazi, 22, CM (Lazio), Xherdan Shaqiri, 23, FW (Bayern Munich), Ezequiel Lavezzi, 29, FW (Paris St-Germain), Alexandre Lacazette, 23, CF (Lyon), Danny Ings, 22, CF (Burnley), Saido Berahino, 21, CF (West Brom), Wilfried Bony, 26, CF (Swansea), Jackson Martinez, 28, CF (FC Porto)

Man City

Manchester City

What they need in a nutshell: Mario Mandzukic

Window shopping: If it is true that City have a policy not to spend big in January, then they need to change it this year and buy a new striker. Mandzukic from Atletico Madrid would be the perfect fit for them.

Atletico Madrid striker Mario Mandzukic
Mario Mandzukic has hit a total of 14 goals for Atletico Madrid this season

Apart from that, they need to tie up Frank Lampard on loan for the rest of the season, especially with Yaya Toure away for most of January at the African Cup of Nations.

Linked with: Jose Maria Gimenez, 19, CB (Atletico Madrid), Koke, 22, CM (Atletico Madrid), Paul Pogba, 21, CM (Juventus), Ivan Rakitic, 26, CM (Barcelona), Kevin de Bruyne, 23, CM (Wolfsburg), Ross Barkley, 21, AM (Everton), Mario Mandzukic, 28, CF (Atletico Madrid), Jay Rodriguez, 25, CF (Southampton), Papiss Cisse, 29, CF (Newcastle)

Man Utd

Manchester United

What they need in a nutshell: Patience to wait for the right man at the back

Window shopping: There has been talk all season about which centre-half United will sign in January - Ron Vlaar, Diego Godin, Mats Hummels to name but three.

But rather than spending big to get somebody now, they are better off waiting for the right player in the summer.

United are going to finish in the top four anyway. I think Louis van Gaal may as well carry on trying out his existing defenders this season and go for the man he really wants in the summer when he can tempt them with Champions League football.

Linked with: Ron Vlaar, 29, CB (Aston Villa), Virgil van Dijk, 23, CB (Celtic), Diego Godin, 28, CB (Atletico Madrid), Aymeric Laporte, 20, CB (Athletic Bilbao), Sami Khedira, 27, DM (Real Madrid), Kevin Strootman 24, DM (Roma), Juan Cuadrado, 26, RW (Fiorentina), Nicolas Gaitan, 26 FW (Benfica), Gareth Bale, 25, FW (Real Madrid)

Newcastle

Newcastle

What they need in a nutshell: To keep their best players this time

Window shopping: A new manager will not change the fact that, if a big offer comes in for a star player in January, you always have the feeling they will let him leave and not worry about signing a replacement.

Last year it was Yohan Cabaye, who joined Paris St-Germain. This season, it could be Moussa Sissoko, who is a very decent player.

Linked with: Aly Cissokho, 27, LB (Aston Villa), Virgil van Dijk, 23, CB (Celtic), Benjamin Angou, 28, DM (Guingamp), Dele Alli, 18, CM (MK Dons), Ondrej Duda, 21, AM (Legia Warsaw), Danny Ings, 22, CF (Burnley), Aleksandar Mitrovic, 20, CF (Anderlecht), Alexandre Lacazette, 23, CF (Lyon), Luciano Vietto, 21, CF (Villarreal)

QPR

QPR

What they need in a nutshell: More options up front

Window shopping: Keeping Charlie Austin has to be the priority and I can understand why QPR boss Harry Redknapp is in for West Ham's Mauro Zarate and says he needs more strikers - they need some back-up if Austin gets injured.

Linked with: Tomas Kalas, 21, CB (Chelsea),Andros Townsend, 23, RW (Tottenham), Cristian Rodriguez, 29, RW (Atletico Madrid), Scott Sinclair, 25, FW (Man City), Ravel Morrison, 21, FW (West Ham), Robbie Keane, 34, CF (LA Galaxy), Jermain Defoe, 32, CF (Toronto), Peter Crouch, 33, CF (Stoke), Yakubu, 32, CF (Al-Rayyan)

Southampton

Southampton

What they need in a nutshell: No more sales, and no superstars

Window shopping: Just like in the summer, there is plenty of interest in Southampton players but they need to keep hold of their players this time. Ronald Koeman needs to strengthen his squad, not weaken it.

Galatasaray forward Wesley Sneijder
30-year-old Galatasaray forward Wesley Sneijder has long been linked with a move to the Premier League, usually to Manchester United

It shows where Saints are at right now that they are being linked with Wesley Sneijder, but signing that sort of superstar would be a big change to their recent transfer strategy and wage structure, and I am not sure it would be a good idea.

Linked with: Javi Garcia, 27, CM (Zenit St Petersburg), Wesley Sneijder, 30, CM (Galatasaray), Dario Tanda, 19, CM (FC Twente), Andros Townsend, 23, RW (Tottenham), Danny Ings, 22, CF (Burnley), Jordan Rhodes, 24, CF (Blackburn), Luis Muriel, 23, CF (Udinese), Gianluca Scamacca, 15, CF (Roma)

Stoke

Stoke

What they need in a nutshell: A fast forward to boost their front line.

Window shopping: The Potters will lose Mame Diouf in January when he goes away to the African Cup of Nations with Senegal.

With Victor Moses and Peter Odemwingie out, they will be looking for a pacey forward because that is what makes them so good on the counter-attack away from home.

Linked with: Sergi Roberto, 22, CM (Barcelona), Aaron Lennon, 27, RW (Tottenham), Zakaria Bakkali, 18, RW (PSV), Junior Hoilett, 24, RW (QPR), Mohamed Salah, 22, LW (Chelsea), Joel Campbell, 22, CF (Arsenal), Paul-Georges Ntep, 22, CF (Rennes), Adama Traore 18, CF (Barcelona)

Sunderland

Sunderland

What they need in a nutshell: A striker is still the priority

Window shopping: They tried for Liverpool striker Fabio Borini in the summer and he did not want to go. The money that was ear-marked for him has to go on another striker.

Linked with: Ezequiel Munoz, 24, CB (Palermo), Curtis Davies, 29, CB (Hull), Mohamed Salah, 22, LW (Chelsea), Jay Chapman, 20 AM (Michigan State), Yaya Sanogo, 21, CF (Arsenal) Danny Ings, 22, CF, (Burnley), Fabio Borini, 23, CF (Liverpool), Giampaolo Pazzini 30, CF (AC Milan)

Swansea

Swansea

What they need in a nutshell: To keep hold of Wilfried Bony

Window shopping: They have already signed Nelson Oliveira on loan from Benfica as cover for Bony when he goes away on African Cup of Nations duty, but it is Bafetimbi Gomis who should get a chance while Bony is away.

The most important thing is that they do not let Bony leave on a permanent basis.

Linked with: Kyle Naughton, 26, RB (Tottenham), Ezequiel Munoz, 24, CB (Palermo), Matt Grimes, 19, CM (Exeter), Jay Chapman, 20, AM (Michigan State), Joel Campbell, 22, CF (Arsenal), Giampaolo Pazzini 30, CF (AC Milan), Munir El-Haddadi, 19, CF (Barcelona), Leo Baptistao, 23, (Atletico Madrid - on-loan at Rayo Vallecano)

Tottenham

Tottenham

What they need in a nutshell: To sign the right striker

Window shopping: They tried to sign Morgan Schneiderlin in the summer but I am not sure they need him in midfield - Ryan Mason and Benjamin Stambouli have both done well, and their results have improved recently.

So the focus now should be strengthening up front and signing someone to help out Harry Kane.

Linked with: Virgil van Dijk, 23, CB (Celtic), Nicolas Moisander, 29, CB (Ajax), Morgan Schneiderlin, 25, CM (Southampton), Bernard, 22, FW (Shakhtar Donetsk), Jay Rodriguez, 25, FW (Southampton), Ezequiel Lavezzi, 29, FW (Paris St-Germain), Saido Berahino, 21, CF (West Brom), Jackson Martinez, 28, CF (FC Porto)

West Brom

West Brom

What they need in a nutshell: To keep Saido Berahino

Window shopping: One of the first decisions for whoever takes over from Alan Irvine could be whether to sell Saido Berahino.

Liverpool and Spurs are two of the sides supposedly interested.

West Brom striker Saido Berahino
Berahino has scored eight times this season, but has not found the net since 25 October

But, as with the other struggling clubs who have strikers that are attracting interest, I would have to say that the Baggies should try to keep him, no matter what sort of bids come in.

Nobody else in their team is scoring goals and they will need Berahino if they are going to stay up.

Linked with: Steve Cook, 23, CB (Bournemouth), Filip Tasic, 16, CM, (Djurgardens), Stuart Armstrong, 22, CM (Dundee United), Sullay Kaikai, RW, 19 (Crystal Palace), Matt Jarvis, 28, RW (West Ham), Matt Richie, 25, RW (Bournemouth), Pedro Leon, 28, FW (Athletic Bilbao), Kris Commons, 31, FW (Celtic), Joel Campbell, 22, CF (Arsenal)

West Ham

West Ham

What they need in a nutshell: To keep their squad together

Window shopping: The Hammers have a strong squad and they do not need to sign anybody else - they just need Winston Reid to sign a new contract.

Even if he doesn't, I would still keep him for the rest of the season rather than look to sell him now.

In past seasons, I might have been saying that it could make the difference between them staying up or not. This time, it could mean they make it into Europe.

Linked with: Aleksandar Dragovic, 23, CM (Dynamo Kiev), Vedran Corluka, 28, CB (Lokomotiv Moscow), Nicolas N'Koulou, 24, CB (Marseille), Doneil Henry, 21, CB (Apollon Limassol - on loan at Toronto FC), Javi Fuego, 30, DM (Valencia), Jean Makoun, 31, CM (Rennes), Stephane Badji 24, CM (SK Brann), Pedro Leon, 28, FW (Athletic Bilbao), Demba Ba, 29, CF (Besiktas)

* Ages correct as of 1 January 2015.

Robbie Savage was speaking to BBC Sport's Chris Bevan.

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