Storylines That Will Dominate the January Transfer Window
It seems like another exhausting summer of transfer speculation only just finished, but there are now only two-and-a-half months before the January transfer window opens and clubs from across Europe can start to sign new players again.
Now that the Premier League is getting into its stride, clubs are beginning to see where their weaknesses are and where they might need to augment their squad in January.
Here are the four leading stories that are set to dominate the Premier League landscape in January.
Manchester United's Midfield
After only two months, David Moyes has had his worst fears confirmed about the midfield he inherited: It is simply not good enough.
Worse than that, it is beginning to make the Scot look bad—United have lost three of their first seven games in the Premier League.
Throughout the summer Moyes tried and failed to sign Cesc Fabregas, Ander Herrera and Daniele De Rossi—as reported by Mark Ogden of The Telegraph—before finally bringing in Marouane Fellaini from his former club, Everton, but this has still left him with an at-best mediocre set of midfielders.
In the centre, Anderson is embarrassingly bad, and no one is quite sure what Tom Cleverley does; on the flank, Ashley Young has never looked like he belongs at Old Trafford.
Moyes knows the United midfield needs urgent attention, and so this story will run throughout the January transfer window.
Even though the Colombian striker joined AS Monaco as recently as this summer, there continue to be reports that he could soon be on the move again.
Speaking on Spanish television on Monday night, Real Madrid's president, Florentino Perez, suggested that his club would be interested in making a bid for Falcao. According to the report from The Guardian Perez said:
He won't come in January but in June, who knows?…Nothing is impossible and there is a lot of time between now and then. Falcao is a great player and I am aware that he wants to play for Madrid. I am aware of that, but it's normal. They told me.
Ruling out a January bid is clearly a negotiating tactic, but if it does transpire that Falcao could be extracted from southern France so soon, Real Madrid could face competition from Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester United, according to a report by Charles Perrin of the Express.
Chelsea's Forward Line
It was the great fear of the rest of the Premier League: If Chelsea signed a prolific world-class striker to play in front of their incredibly strong midfield then they would be almost unstoppable this season.
The thought of seeing a smiling Radamel Falcao, Edinson Cavani or Robert Lewandowski holding aloft a Chelsea shirt at an unveiling press conference terrified their Premier League rivals.
But then to everyone’s great relief, they actually seemed to weaken their forward line by shipping out Romelu Lukaku on loan and instead signing 32-year-old Samuel Eto’o.
So far this season after seven games, Chelsea’s stable of strikers—Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba—have failed to score a single goal between them in the Premier League.
If such a poor strike rate continues, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will surely be tempted to ask Roman Abramovich to provide him with a new source of goals in the January sales.
You can understand Liverpool fans getting tired about stories linking Luis Suarez with a departure from Anfield.
But the problem is Suarez started them, and rather than hide away and rely on discreet briefings, he came out very publicly just two months ago and said he wanted to leave in Sid Lowe's report in The Guardian.
Since then he has completed his ban, started playing again and Liverpool sit a promising second in the Premier League, but that might not be enough to satisfy the Uruguayan.
Once again at the weekend another story surfaced in an article by Paul Smith of The Daily Mirror stating that Suarez had confided in friends that he still wanted to leave Liverpool.
And so it goes on and on, and this will continue throughout January, because Suarez in what is now the peak years of his career clearly wants to be playing at a club that guarantees him Champions League football every season.