The Single Biggest Need Each EPL Club Failed to Address in January
The transfer window has closed once again after another January ending in hectic deadline action.
While there were no massive deals this transfer window, most clubs did something to get their issues sorted—but there were still many voids left unfilled.
Bleacher Report takes a look at the 20 clubs of the English Premier League and where they filled the gaps and missed the holes in January 2013.
The Gunners failed to pick up a player that can be both holding midfielder and midfield enforcer depending on the nature of the club's opponents.
Alex Song was this player before being sold to Barcelona, and the pickup of Nacho Monreal is not likely to see that void filled (h/t The Independent).
At least they can stop having to rely on Andre Santos.
The Darren Bent saga continues as the Villains kept their once-£20 million man, who now appears to only be a small piece of the club's future under Paul Lambert.
Many thought that the club could have at least earned back some of their colossal outlay for the player, but that failed to materialize with the club having stopped a proposed move to Reading in the middle of the window according to the Mirror.
The Blues still have an issue of depth in their back line. Adding Demba Ba truly has helped to give them more firepower; however, the middle of defense is still in much need of strengthening.
With David Luiz having been converted to a holding midfielder under Rafael Benitez, it left only Gary Cahill and John Terry as out-and-out center-halfs, while Branislav Ivanovic is being converted into a right-central defender.
The Toffees have been impressive all season, and while they failed to make any moves in January they did manage to hold onto both Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines.
However, the depth of Everton is always an issue if there are ever injuries to anyone, but especially Fellaini.
At a minimum, a loan move for a well-priced rising attacking midfield star could have served the club well.
Fulham manager Martin Jol did some great work in the last week of the transfer window. Bringing in loan signings Urby Emanuelson and Emmanuel Frimpong were both shrewd additions, as were those of Stanislav Manolev and Eyong Enoh.
The only real place not given a boost of support was the attacking line of Dimitar Berbatov and Hugo Rodallega. With the latter so far failing to impress since his move from Wigan, the club could have used some supporting staff for Berbatov.
Liverpool look to have made a great addition in Daniel Sturridge so far, but the addition of Coutinho is one that will take time to bear fruit.
The loss of both Nuri Sahin and Joe Cole leaves the Reds midfield even more devoid of depth than before, and Rodgers may regret not adding some veteran skill to the center of the park as the club look to make a push for the top four and the UEFA Champions League places.
Manchester City may not have brought in any major new names, but they did send one out with the sale of Mario Balotelli, bringing in £17 million (h/t the Guardian).
However, the Citizens are another club where central defense could become an issue, with Joleon Lescott not the preferred second choice and the youngster Matija Nastasic still with more time needed to fully adjust.
Although the team have been solid, they could do with another solid, mid-20s central defender with some experience but room to grow.
Manchester United are at the top of the table and continue to look like the most dominant club in the league with the help of Robin van Persie always being the man of the hour up front when called upon.
However, if you look to the defensive line of the Red Devils, you will see it is one of their worst seasons in memory as a defensive unit.
United continued the trend of looking at adding a new long-term option to their central defense as the aging duo of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand is nearing the end of its tenure, and Jonny Evans is still not being sold to the fans as the entire future of the United defense.
The Magpies exploded in the market during the last 10 days of the transfer period making multiple signings to add to their weaknesses and to repair the gulf in attack left by Demba Ba's departure to Chelsea.
Out of all the clubs in England, the Magpies seem to have done the best in adding to their weakest places. Without a massive amount of cash to blow, manager Alan Pardew did a fairly convincing job of signing players who fill the voids.
The last-minute move of Norwich City to swap single goalscoring forward Steve Morison to Leeds for one of the English Championship's leading scorers in 15-goal Luciano Becchio could prove a great move for manager Chris Houghton (h/t BBC Sport).
However, the Canaries have been poor in many places this season and despite looking to add goals which were desperately needed, they have no major creative influence in their central midfield which causes their attacking play to break down.
Harry Redknapp continued to try to wheel and deal his team to avoiding relegation as he is starting to get closer to moving from the bottom of the table.
Signing Loic Remy was a major boost to the offense, but failing to land (per Simon Rice of The Independent) his favored Peter Crouch will have stifled the offensive mindset that Redknapp is looking to build at QPR just as he did at Portsmouth and then Tottenham with the former Liverpool man before.
Former Everton youth Hope Akpan could be a solid long-term pickup for Reading as could several of their other additions.
However, the Royals, despite proving they can make a comeback with their recent 2-2 dying moments draw with Chelsea, still have been relatively week in creating their attacks.
A good link-up central midfielder could have potentially done them wonders.
Southampton only made one addition of the window with the mid-month move for defender Vegard Forren.
The Saints have been growing in performances for the last few months, but despite their rise out of the relegation zone, manager Nigel Adkins was still served the cold dish of the unemployment line.
An additional striker for Jason Puncheon and Adam Lallana to support alongside of Rickie Lambert would have been a big help. Another central defender also could have been a huge pickup with their horrid goals-against total on the season thus far.
However, the Potters truly needed to add another defensive body to their squad as only a total of six officially listed defenders leaves them a few shy of a complete stable of eight to call upon if they run into injury trouble down the stretch.
Sunderland made some smart moves in the market to add Danny Graham (per ESPN FC) from Swansea alongside of Steven Fletcher, as well as the addition of Alfred N'Diaye to their midfield to help add creativity to the attacking third.
The biggest weakness not addressed was the defense, as there are still issues with the club conceding too often—the club sit 11th in the table with a minus-four goal differential.
Only a point out from the top half, there is still plenty of time for Martin O'Neill to get his side closer to a chance at the Europa League next season.
Swansea City trimmed some fat in January as they did little to nothing in the market to add more to their side.
The loss of Danny Graham could come back to haunt them if something happens to Michu or if his goal rush dries up before the club has time to bring in additional support for their top scorer.
Tottenham were another club that spent the last week trimming out some excess players and either offloading or loaning them out.
However, Andre Villas-Boas continued to make solid additions with the completion of the Lewis Holtby move from Schalke 04 in what could be a steal.
The Ezekiel Fryers move from Standard Liege could equally be a solid move, but the club could still have used some defensive help in addition to the 20-year-old if you had to pick something that was failed to be added to thoroughly.
West Bromwich Albion
West Bromwich Albion did well to keep Peter Odemwingie from his wanted move to Queens Park Rangers (per Ian Edwards of ESPN SoccerNet).
The club are seven points back from the Europa League places, and while their attack is solid, the defense could still have used a little support off of the bench. But overall, the Baggies look set for a great second half even with more need in depth.
West Ham United
West Ham United have a great start to a team under Sam Allardyce that could be a permanent upper-mid-table team with its current stock of players.
Despite the addition of Emanuel Pogatetz on loan to the defense, the Hammers are still in need of a solid defensive unit to help their offense be more effective over time.
Wigan Athletic are the great escape artists of the last several seasons as Roberto Martinez continues to find a way to keep the club in the English Premier League.
However, he continues to need more tools to push his club up the table. Another striker that could add goals alongside of Arouna Kone and Franco Di Santo would have been huge.
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