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Ideal January transfer targets for each of the Premier League Top 6

  • The January transfer window is around the corner and we want to discuss the dream transfer targets for every Premier League top six club.
Mehul Gupta
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 12 Dec 2019, 19:26 IST

Sporting Lisbon v Viktoria Plzen - UEFA Europa League Round of 16: First Leg
Sporting Lisbon v Viktoria Plzen - UEFA Europa League Round of 16: First Leg

The January transfer window is just around the corner and the Premier League top six will be looking to add to their squads. Many high-profile transfer rumours have surfaced in recent reports, including Borussia Dortmund’s high-flying winger Jadon Sancho to Chelsea and Salzburg’s wonderkid Erling Braut Haaland to Manchester United among more. This article discusses the dream transfer targets for each of the Premier League’s top-six clubs come January. 

Manchester City - Kalidou Koulibaly

Kalidou Koulibaly in action for Napoli in the Serie A this season
Kalidou Koulibaly in action for Napoli in the Serie A this season

The Premier League hasn’t even hit the halfway mark and Manchester City already find themselves 14 points behind their title rivals Liverpool. The dream of a third successive English league title in-a-row is all but gone for Pep Guardiola, who has been found scratching his head, sinking in his seat and resorting to his water bottle too many times this season. 

The reason many have given for City’s fall from grace is none other than their centre-back failings. The domestic treble-holders lost their principle centre-back, Aymeric Laporte, to a long-term knee injury as early as August and have since then fell apart defensively. John Stones has also had his share of injury concerns in the past couple of seasons and hasn’t been able to replicate his incredible 2017/18 form. The club saw the tear-jerking departure of their beloved captain Vincent Kompany, who magnificently lead the side to four Premier League titles and several domestic cups in the past decade. Nicolas Otamendi has made many high-profile errors since the start of last season, most recently the howlers against Wolves at the Etihad. Guardiola, therefore, was forced to deploy City’s Mr Reliable Fernandinho at the heart of his defence with the Brazilian making incredible strides in his new role.

Fernandinho is the only Manchester City centre-back who has stepped up this season
Fernandinho is the only Manchester City centre-back who has stepped up this season

Youngster Eric Garcia is also a potent option for Guardiola, but the 18-year-old still has to adjust and adapt to the physicality of the Premier League. All this has indicated that Guardiola and the City hierarchy might be looking to bring in a central defender in the upcoming January transfer window. Perhaps, the Catalan manager’s go-to choice will be Napoli’s powerhouse defender Kalidou Koulibaly who has been linked with the English champions in the past. The Senegalese centre-back has been incredible for the Italian outfit, and at 28, he is in his prime. Koulibaly is a textbook Guardiola centre-half: strong-in-the-air, excellent on-the-ball and a commander of the game. 

Since moving from Genk in 2014, Koulibaly has established himself as one of the world’s best, and there’s no reason to doubt that he would not fancy playing for one of the world’s best in Pep Guardiola. Napoli are in a crisis of their own having only won one Serie A game since September. The Blues already find themselves 8 points off the Champions League places and 17 points behind leaders Inter Milan. Manager Carlo Ancelotti was, as a result, sacked on Wednesday despite their qualification to the Champions League knock-out stage. The Italian manager also developed a rift with club president Aurelio De Laurentiis after the former refused to let his Napoli players take part in an in-season training camp which was organised due to their poor run of form. As a result, the players were fined 50% of their October salaries. 

The crisis at Napoli has led to reports stating that there could be a huge exodus of players come summer, or even as early as January. Players like Lorenzo Insigne and Koulibaly reportedly want out of the club, and with Ancelotti gone, it looks like Manchester City could try and push the Italian side for their €90m centre-back’s signature. 

Also check out: Premier League  Premier League Table Champions League table

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Published 12 Dec 2019, 01:06 IST
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