Posted by Sports Snob on January 6, 2007
No, this is not an article about Harry Redknapp and his South coast shenanigans, so keep reading (or stop reading, if that suits your fancy). The January transfer window is open, and many clubs are scrambling to sign players whom they think they might at need at some point of time during the rest of the season. We’ll take requests in a bit, but for now let’s have a look at the ‘Big Four’ plus Manchester City.
The club is looking pretty shaky at the back without Terry. Jose needs to shore up the defense in case of another injury. Boulahrouz does not make sense as a player, let alone an emergency centre half/full back (Face it, he’s only ever gonna be used in an emergency anyway). Tal Ben Haim has been mentioned as a potential target, but Bolton have tripled his wages and extended his contract, so it’s unlikely he’ll be moving any time soon. Micah Richards is another possibility – young, built like an ox, pace to burn, and what appears to be a very good footballing brain – but he’ll cost Chelsea at least 20 million pounds, which, while they can afford, may not be an amount they’re willing to shell out. I’d buy Matt Upson if I were him, to be honest with you – a solid defender with a fairly good track record. Or Anton Ferdinand. For a laugh. They’ll probably win the league anyway. Funny, with all the money they have spent and they have hidden in Roman’s couch- they are still short of players.
Fergie’s hunt for a defensive midfielder appears to be drawing to a close, with Bayern Munich announcing that they will consider bids for Canadian-Englishman Owen Hargreaves. But Munich want 20 million for it. Does Fergusson have so much cash? What about the money for the striker in the summer?
While United appear to be strong on both wings – indeed, with the form Cristiano Ronaldo has been in, they could ask him to play both wings simultaneously – they need a little more quality up front. Rooney, for all his talent, has performed sporadically at best for United. Solskjaer doesn’t have the same pace, even if he is an impact substitute of some pedigree. Saha has been in fine fettle, but is prone to injury, and SAF has done a wise thing by bringing Larsson to the club. Wonder, when the boy wonder Rooney is going to start scoring the goals.
Rafa Benitez has been fairly shrewd with his transfers so far, and it appears that the signings of Bellamy and Pennant are finally beginning to pay off. Liverpool have signed Javi Mascherano from West Ham on loan for the rest of the season, although it baffles me to think of what Benitez will do with 4 top class central midfielders. There is strength in depth for every position except the right hand side. I’m hoping a cheeky bid for Dani Alves from Sevilla will get that sorted, though. Finnan is incredibly consistent, but is also the only quality player in his position, and would relish some competition. Lucas Neill has been mentioned a few times, but Benitez should realistically be looking at some younger targets. Some would argue that Liverpool still need to buy a striker, but I reckon Dirk Kuyt has shut everyone up for now, with some outstanding displays. I wouldn’t say no to David Villa though, and I suspect Rafa might break the bank to get him. But not now.
Arsene Wenger’s young team have been bullied a little bit this season. Their (now insignificant) victory at Old Trafford apart, the Gunners have looked shaky all season long. Beating Liverpool 3-0 at home and losing 1-0 at Sheffield United is pretty much indicative of their inconsistency. Now, I’ll be frank here – I cannot stand Arsenal. For all their talent (Fabregas, Van Persie, Henry), they are incredibly arrogant and self-obsessed (sounds a bit like me, this lot). With youngsters all over the pitch, and the old heads of Henry and Gilberto, Arsene must be thinking “Well, these guys look pretty good right now, we’ll worry about next year when we come to it”. I don’t expect them to buy anyone. They already have? Sue me.
And I did mention Man City (I love this club, by the way), but I think they need to be bought before they do any serious buying.