January Transfer Scout: 5 Players Premier League Clubs Should Go for
Here are five European-based footballers English Premier League clubs should target during the January transfer window.
The point of this list isn’t to repeat the biggest transfer targets available, rather players who are Premier League-standard but aren’t superstars.
This enables the five players on my list to be realistic targets for the majority of Premier League clubs.
5. Nicolai Muller, Mainz RAM, Age: 25
Mainz's Nicolai Muller has scored more goals this Bundesliga season than Mario Mandzukic and Robert Lewandowski.
With five goals in four games, Muller only needs three more goals to reach his tally for last season.
It's not just the goals, it's the way he is playing: taking on opponents, being a lively threat, pressing with vigour and evading his marker to latch onto superbly lofted long-balls from Johannes Geis.
Muller has had a free role on the right and spends significant chunks of the game as a deep-lying forward.
Not since Halil Altintop's breakout season for Kaiserslautern has a modest footballer like Muller set the league alight.
4. Nosa, Real Betis DM, Age: 22
This April, Sid Lowe at The Guardian documented Nosa showing a lack of professionalism at Real Betis:
It took Nosa almost a month to return following Nigeria's success. He said he had passport problems at Frankfurt airport on the way back but they weren't buying it.
Betis handed him the biggest fine the club's regulations would allow, 15 percent of his wages, almost €30,000, but many fans thought it was not enough. Some turned their back, demanding the club got rid of him, and there were whistles and boos when he did play, which was not often
Six months later, Nosa averages 52.7 passes per game illustrating Betis' faith in him to be the link between the backline and Joan Verdu, the club's the No. 10.
Nosa hasn't just evolved into a trusted passing outlet for the club but he's been pressuring opposing players into turnovers and has shown the desire the Beticos have expected from him since day one.
3. Dusan Tadic, Twente LF, Age: 24
When you watch Dusan Tadic play, you can't help but wonder why he isn't at a major club yet.
He's created 32 goal-scoring opportunities in just four games due to him taking advantage of defenders backing off from him.
They're frightened of his acceleration, so they give him space and he's threaded key pass after key pass.
The only noticeable issue with Tadic is his finishing in open play because a portion of his goals come from penalties and free kicks.
2. Allan, Udinese CM, Age: 22
Allan is Udinese's answer to Ramires: combative, fast and loaded with energy.
Along with Andrea Lazzari, Allan made tackle after tackle (nine in total) to deny Parma from consistently providing clear-cut chances to Amauri and Antonio Cassano.
With the exception of one play where Amauri hit the woodwork, the main reason why Udinese were so proficient in defence was Allan's tackling.
1. Roberto Firmino, Hoffenheim DLF, Age: 21
Roberto Firmino is as complete as Mousa Dembele, can dribble like Djalminha and is the greatest player in the world who has yet to represent his national team.
Call it politics or an overload of offensive talent, it's stunning that Firmino, who has scored three goals and created another three, isn't even close to breaking into Luiz Felipe Scolari's starting XI.
Yet, Firmino has done this every season.
He teases you into thinking he'll breakout only to revert back to being inconsistent.