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This time of year, millions of kids across the globe are finalizing their Christmas wish lists. With the holiday and subsequently January quickly approaching, The Aftermath is creating a wish list for every Premier League team as the January transfer window gets set to open on New Year’s Day. To see Part 2, click here.
Arsenal: Midfield Maestro
The Gunners were my preseason pick to win the title and they are still right in the thick of the title chase. To make that final push, they need to find a second set up man in the midfield. Mesut Ozil has been incredible this year, setting up 15 goals, the best mark in the league by a significant margin. After that, there is a major drop off to Santi Carzola, who only has three assists on the year. Finding a second reliable set up man for when Ozil needs a rest should be the top of their to do list in January.
Aston Villa: Tall Forward
Through the first half of the season, Villa find themselves in the Premier League basement, 10 points away from clearing the relegation zone. Villa might decide to pack it in and get ready for the drop or they might make a push to climb out of the cellar. Assuming they will go for the latter, Aston Villa needs to find a new striker. They have plenty of players that can swing the ball into the middle and give them chances to score but now they need someone who can finish those headers. Rudy Gestede fits that role perfectly but with only three goals in 17 appearances, it looks like they need to find someone who is more reliable.
Bournemouth: First-Team Keeper
The Cherries have had a strong start to the season given that it is their first year in England’s top division. They have a number of areas where they could improve but the most glaring one comes at the back end. Bournemouth have used two keepers so far this season in Artur Boruc and Adam Federici. Federici has been far from relaible, allowing 12 goals in just 5 games. Bournemouth need to find a true first team keeper and push Boruc into a rotation role if they want to stay in the Premier League.
Chelsea: Clinical Finisher
Raise your hand if you predicted that through 17 games, Chelsea would only be three points clear of relegation. Put your hands down. The Blues are off to their worst start in the last decade and just fired Jose Mourinho. This is a time of change at the club and it should continue with the addition of a new forward. Diego Costa is the leading scorer at Stamford Bridge with just three goals to his name. Falcao once again failed to take hold, Pedro has not had much of an impact yet and Loic Remy has been relegated to a substitute role. Adding a top notch goal scorer, who can create his own chances and work the keeper from outside the box has to be high on Chelsea’s want list.
Crystal Palace: Young Defender
Crystal Palace has already shown they can find good deals in the transfer market after signing Yohan Cabaye for a good price. Cabaye has performed very well and leads the team in scoring. The only thing separating Palace from Champions League football right now is goal difference. If I am Alan Pardew, I want to find a young defender that can learn this year, serving more in a rotation role and develop into a major contributor by the next. The average age of Palace’s back line, is 29 years old. Infusing some youth might not be a bad idea.
Everton: Defensive-Minded Midfielder
It is hard to tell where exactly Everton need help. They have played well offensively. Defensively, they have been solid, yet they sit middle of the table. Looking at this team, Everton would do well signing a defensive midfielder. It would give Roberto Martinez another option alongside Gareth Barry and Tom Cleverley. The defensive has room for improvement as well and with plenty of attacking option already in place, bringing in a defensive-minded player should be the next move.
Leicester City: Not to lose anyone
This sounds kind of lame but with so many rumors linking Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez away from the club, that will be the key to Leicester succeeding. There are some concerns at the back end but with offers bound to come pouring in once the calendar hits January, hanging on to the two star attackers will be the best thing Leicester can wish for.
Liverpool: Wide Midfielder
Getting rid of Brendan Rodgers hasn’t helped anything so far. Liverpool needs more than a new manager to fix their shortcomings. Starting that repair process will be centered on finding a wide midfielder. It might seem like a slap in the face but having an attacking winger like Raheem Sterling would likely be a huge boost for the Reds right now, who have struggled to consistently create offense all year. Out of their 17 matches this year, Liverpool have been held to one goal or fewer 12 times.
Manchester City: Reserve Striker
It is hard to say that City needs a whole lot of improvement heading into the second half but they are six points back of the table leaders by six points. City has been great at scoring this season, but they have hurt whenever Sergio Aguero cannot go. Wilfred Bony has been solid but not consistent enough. Adding another goal scorer to take some spot starts and keep Aguero healthy down the stretch could be the difference for City in their title chase.
Manchester United: Forward
The defense for United has been impeccable. They have allowed only 14 goals in 17 games, tied for the second best average in the Premier League. However, the scoring from the Red Devils looks average this season. Juan Mata and Anthony Martial lead the team with four goals apiece. Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney is starting to show his age. Adding another player who can man the attacking spot alone up top is imperative for United.