18 Premier League players who should leave their current clubs in January
Georges-Kevin N’Koudou (Tottenham)
Tottenham have had to deal with numerous injury problems in the first half of the campaign, but N’Koudou has still failed to force his way into Mauricio Pochettino’s thinking. The pacey winger was signed in 2016 to give Spurs a different option in attack, but he’s failed to make an impact in north London and appears headed for the exit door.
A loan move to Burnley last January gave N’Koudou his first taste of Premier League football over an extended period; a similar switch this term would be beneficial to the 23-year-old, who may prefer a return to Ligue 1.
Stefano Okaka (Watford)
Watford manager Javi Gracia has used four different players up front this term – Troy Deeney, Gerard Deulofeu, Andre Gray and Isaac Success – but Okaka hasn’t yet been given a chance from the start of a Premier League game. The Italian targetman has played just 22 league minutes in 2018/19, and is generally lucky if he even makes a matchday squad these days.
The 29-year-old is under contract at Vicarage Road until 2021, but he would be advised to cut short his stay in January.
Tom Heaton (Burnley)
At the start of last season, Heaton was Burnley’s undisputed No.1. A shoulder injury forced him onto the treatment table early in the campaign, however, and Nick Pope excelled as the former Manchester United man’s replacement.
Joe Hart has since arrived at Turf Moor and is Sean Dyche’s first-choice shot-stopper at present, with Pope likely to serve as his understudy once he returns to full fitness. That would leave Heaton in reserve, a situation which is likely to be unpalatable to a 32-year-old with England caps to his name.
Danny Drinkwater (Chelsea)
Maurizio Sarri recently explained that his preference for a 4-3-3 formation means Drinkwater is unlikely to feature for Chelsea again this season, with the former Leicester man more comfortable in a two-man midfield.
With Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Ross Barkley, Cesc Fabregas and Ruben Loftus-Cheek all fighting for minutes in the engine room, Drinkwater should admit defeat in his bid to establish himself as a Stamford Bridge regular. Having starred in Leicester’s title triumph of 2015/16, the three-time England international would be an excellent addition for a handful of Premier League outfits.
Adrien Silva (Leicester)
Ever since he was forced to miss the first half of last season due to a registration error, things haven’t gone to plan for Silva at Leicester. The emergence of Hamza Choudhury and resurgence of Papy Mendy has seen the Portuguese fall out of favour under Claude Puel, who’s started him just once in the Premier League this term.
Silva turns 30 in March and will therefore be wary of spending too much time on the sidelines. The only potential obstacle blocking a January exit is Leicester’s desire to recoup the £22m they paid for his services in 2017.
Marcos Rojo (Man United)
Manchester United’s defensive issues this season have been well documented – only Bournemouth and the bottom five have conceded more goals – but Rojo has still been unable to force his way into the starting line-up on a regular basis.
The Argentine has appeared in just two Premier League games in 2018/19, and only been in four of 20 matchday squads altogether this term. With several players preferred at both left-back and centre-back, Rojo should leave United in January.
Collin Quaner (Huddersfield)
Huddersfield finished 2017/18 as the Premier League’s joint-lowest scorers, and goals have again proved hard to come by in their second season at this level. Quaner didn’t find the net in 25 games for Town last time out, and he’s yet to trouble opposition goalkeepers this year either – although in fairness, that’s because he’s only featured for 37 minutes.
The 6ft 3in German can’t be happy with such limited involvement, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he was no longer at the John Smith’s Stadium when the mid-season window closes at the end of next month.
Ezequiel Schelotto (Brighton)
Schelotto established himself as Brighton’s first-choice right-back in spring 2017, but he’s yet to add to the 20 Premier League appearances he racked up last season. Bruno and Martin Montoya have shared the duties between them in 2018/19, forcing Schelotto to watch on from the sidelines.
The attack-minded full-back hasn’t even made the bench in the league or cup this term, a situation which should prove untenable for the former Inter man. A January exit, either permanently or on loan, seems inevitable.
Matty James (Leicester)
James ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in a 2-0 defeat of Southampton in May 2015, an injury which ruled him out for the entirety of Leicester’s triumphant title-winning campaign. The former Manchester United midfielder played just one Premier League game in 2016/17, before making 14 appearances for the Foxes in all competitions last season.
James was a surprise inclusion in Leicester’s 25-man squad for the current campaign, but he’s yet to feature in a top-flight game. Dropping down to the Championship next month would surely serve the 27-year-old’s career well.