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A top 5 perspective on the January transfer window

CONTRIBUTOR
Top 5 / Top 10 13 Dec 2012, 14:20 IST
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In the grand old world of English football, January is migration season. Premier League buffs watch helplessly as their favourite players pack up, wave a brief goodbye and skip town, going away looking for greener pastures. And then we, the indefatigable devotees of the league, get to work, committing to heart the route that each displaced player has taken. Ours is the easy job of course.

The manager and administration have a more challenging task. They decide what the best way  for them to disturb their little sapling is, in order to prune its foliage cautiously, or make grafts in other cases. It’s a dicey tightrope act with talent acquisition necessities on one end and monetary considerations on the other. This dilemma is compounded in case of the top teams. The title is theirs to give away. A false move could mean a painful acceptance of a mediocre outcome. Decisions, decisions, decisions!

Here’s a consolidated version of the most compelling transfer rumours.

Tottenham Hotspur

The Spurs aren’t the most active team during this transfer window. They do most of their trading in the summer and are known to enlist seasoned campaigners on short deals, Gudjohnsen and Louis Saha being cases in point. What will be a shot in the arm for this injury plagued side is the fact that five of their previously unfit players are likely to make a return this month. This means fewer arrivals of course.

A very likely incomer is Joao Moutinho. The Porto midfielder narrowly missed a transfer to White Hart lane at the beginning of the season. If signed ,he would assume midfield responsibilities. The coming through of this move could spell the end of Tom Huddlestone’s run at the club. Long injury lay-offs and poor showings on return haven’t held the Englishman in good stead. Overtures from QPR and Sunderland suggest that Michael Dawson may also be on his way out.

Everton

Financial constraints have always been an issue for the club. David Moyes has gone so far as to say that he wouldn’t discuss his future until after the transfer period was complete. The hint is obviously that he wants to see if the board show support for his moves (primarily monetarily) before commenting on what was to come. Any hint of parsimony on the side of the owners may drive Moyes to hang up his boots.

The financial constraints mean the club has to keep loaning players in order to keep their funds alive. Johnny Heitinga may return to his first club Ajax as a result of this. One rumour that has certainly caught on is the club’s interest in Vegard Forren, a central defender at Molde FK in Norway. His addition would certainly do great good to the side’s lacklustre defence.

Chelsea

The most talked about prospect that Chelsea have thier eyes on is Colombian goal-scoring machine Radamel Falcao. But to be fair, with a goal scoring average of 1.3 goals per game, every club on this planet would be eager to have him in their arsenal. What makes Chelsea one of the frontrunners in this bidding war is the fact that they have a huge purse and are one of the few clubs that can afford to splurge.

And if Torres’ new found form under Rafa Benitez doesn’t last, he in all probability will be shown the door so as to make way for Falcao. Another possible arrival is Marouane Fellaini of Everton, whose dreams of contesting for glory in Europe may well be fulfilled by a stint with Chelsea.

Manchester City

Well, what can be said about Manchester City’s Christmas shopping list is that it is long and lofty. Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Falcao, Isco (Malaga), Fernandinho (Shakhtar), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace), Paulinho (Corinthians) are all currently riding in the shopping cart. Who’ll end up being billed at the counter will be interesting to see.


Mario Balotelli has been making fewer and fewer starts for the club and may be shown the door this time around. Additionally, Matija Nastasic’s solid performances mean that Joleon Lescott’s spot in the line-up may come under jeopardy.

Manchester United

Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen, who has been on the club’s radar for a while may finally get a chance to don a Reds jersey this season. Additionally, United’s much badgered defense and midfield is certain to be bolstered by the likely arrival of PSV’s Kevin Strootman.

The much discussed potential exit is that of Nani. Injury issues and a falling out with Sir Alex may be enough impetus for the club to bid farewell to the enigmatic Portugese winger. The window may also see Evra being replaced by Everton’s Leighton Baines. The Frenchman though managed to quieten the rumour mongers by joking that his primary suitor, PSG may have to kill Fergusson in order to be able to have the chance to draft him.

Hopefully, wise decisions are made and the new recruits add lustre to an already gleaming Premier League season

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