Top 10 Gaps not filled in the Transfer Window
The January transfer window saw it's fair share of deals and drama although it was hardly the most exciting of all time it's fair to say. In comparison to years gone by the number of big money moves was at a premium. So with many club opting not to use the window to strengthen their ranks, which Premier League sides have left themselves short? We take a look at the 10 gaps not filled in the transfer window.
10. Tottenham - Winger/ Forward
It's perhaps a little strong to call it a gap but Spurs fans may have at least hoped for their side to do some business in the window. With summer additions Vincent Janssen and Georges-Kevin N'Koudou having struggled to make much of an impact, there is the feeling that Tottenham could have done with another attacking option. Should Harry Kane pick up an injury, they could struggle for a cutting edge and another forward of some description could have at least covered for that possibility.
9. Manchester City – Defence
Pep Guardiola was always unlikely to really spend big in January although City's defence have been far from impressive this season. City's full back options in Bacary Sagna, Pablo Zabaleta, Aleksander Kolarov and Gael Clichy are all over the age of 30 whilst doubts also remain over the centre backs. Nicolas Otamendi is rash and has never fully convinced in the Premier League whilst John Stones is far from the finished article and injury issues continue to plague Vincent Kompany. At their best, City don't need to worry about their defence given the way they dominate possession but too often this season they have been exposed.
8. Everton – Goalkeeper
Everton's options in between the sticks are hardly the most solid for a side with European ambitions. Maarten Stekelenburg started the season as their number one although he has since been displaced by Spaniard Joel Robles. The former Wigan keepers' displays have actually been pretty good but you still get the feeling that the Number One jersey is still up for grabs at Goodison. Ronald Koeman will surely look to address the situation in the summer.
7. Southampton - Centre back
Southampton addressed one of their major issues this season by the deadline day signing of Manolo Gabbiadini to hopefully bring in more goals up front. The Italian striker will hopefully fill the void left by Charlie Austin's injury but it is another injury that may now have them wishing they had done more in January. Jose Fonte's departure to West Ham meant they were already a central defender light but now they have been rocked by the news that Virgil van Dijk's injury will rule the Dutchman out for up to three months. This means that all of a sudden the Saints look short of options at the back with just Maya Yoshida and Jack Stephens as senior options.
6 . West Brom – Striker
Sides managed Tony Pulis are never going to be the most attacking or free flowing. That being said however, West Brom have actually found the back of the net fairly regularly this season. Salomon Rondon has carried the team's goalscoring burden this season but his form has dipped as of late and with the departure of Saido Berahino (at long last...) to Stoke, the Baggies are a little light in forward areas. A late move for Southampton's Jay Rodriguez failed meaning that Hal Robson-Kanu is now their only senior striker to provide competition for Rondon.
5. Liverpool – Winger
Sadio Mane's absence due to the African Cup of Nations proved just how much of a revelation the Senegalese forward has been in his first season at Anfield. January was an absolutely dismal month for Jurgen Klopp's side whilst he was away as they won just once in the whole month and that came against Plymouth in the FA Cup. The pace and spark he provides on the right was sorely missed and highlighted Liverpool's need for another player with such traits. Bundesliga stars Christian Pulisic and Julian Brandt have been touted as possible signings but Klopp will now have to wait until the summer.
5. Middlesbrough – Creative midfielder
Aitor Karanka has been vocally critical of his club's inability to further strengthen during the window, although he was able to recruit Patrick Bamford, Rudy Gestede and Adlene Guedioura. However Middlesbrough's troubles this seasons seem to stem from a lack of creativity. Defensively they have fared reasonably well, benefitting from a well drilled and organised unit. However they just seem to lack a bit of X-factor in midfield with many of the players they have in that position are currently more defensive minded.
3. Bournemouth – Defence
Bournemouth have enjoyed another good season in the top flight but Eddie Howe's men were hit by Chelsea's decision to recall on-loan defender Nathan Ake. The young Dutchman primarily featured for the Cherries at left back but could also deputise in central defence when needed. Bournemouth were so eager to keep hold of his services, they made a late club-record bid of around £18 million to bring him back to the Vitality Stadium. Bournemouth have options at left back in Charlie Daniels and Brad Smith but they do not have any cover for Steve Cook and Simon Francis at centre-back. Eddie Howe's men could yet get dragged in to a relegation dogfight and their failure to bring in further defensive cover could come back to haunt them.
2. Hull – Striker
When you're struggling down the bottom of the table, it can be quite handy to have an out and out goalscorer. Hull's decision to sell goalscoring midfielder Robert Snodgrass to West Ham was quite baffling but it was made even more so by their decision not to re-invest that money in a striker. The likes of Dieumerci Mbokani, Abel Hernandez and Adama Diomande have all failed to make the striker's spot their own. Oumar Niasse has arrived on-loan from Everton but you feel as though City needed another established striker in order to really boost their survival hopes. It's obviously easier said than done but recruiting quality up-front should have been the Tigers priority.
1. Swansea – Centre Back
The departure of Ashley Williams to Everton in the summer left a huge gap to fill in the heart of the Swans' defence. Not only had Williams been a mainstay in the club's backline ever since they won promotion to the Premier League but he was also the club's captain and inspirational leader. His departure was always going to hit the club hard but their decision to replace him with two players with no Premier League experience made matters even worse. That's no disrespect to Mike van der Hoorn and Alfie Mawson but they quite simply have not been able to fill the void. Recruiting an experienced central defender should have perhaps been Paul Clement's priority in the window but his failure to do so could be pivotal come the season's end.
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