Analysis

How are the Premier League's top sides doing in the January transfer window?

Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham are all targeting big names this winter

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Arsenal

Arsenal’s need for defensive solidity has been obvious for a very long time. The signing of Pablo Mari at least provides cover until the summer in this regard.

ALSO READ: 5 players Arsenal could sign this January

Despite having issues at left-back with injuries, the club don't appear to be in a hurry to bring in another face. The success of Bukayo Saka in that position has no doubt helped, with Mikel Artieta apparently personally stepping in to veto a move for PSG's Layvan Kurzawa.

Instead of buying at left-back, Arsenal appear to be chasing Cedric Soares at right-back. The move makes sense, however - Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been deputising for Hector Bellerin at right-back but would rather be playing in midfield for the Gunners. 

Positions needed: CB, LB, CM

Players signed: Pablo Mari

Players linked with: Layvan Kurzawa, Mykola Matviyenko

Chelsea

Frank Lampard, Chelsea

A striker appears to be high on the priority list for Frank Lampard, with Chelsea’s transfer ban lifted for the window. The Blues have been heavily reliant on Tammy Abraham, with Michy Batshuayi providing cameos in the young England international’s absence. They could still sign one and are heavily linked with Napoli's Dries Mertens. Former Napoli man Edinson Cavani is just one of the names still in the frame, too.

ALSO READ: 5 players Chelsea could sign this January

Despite already having a plethora of options in wide areas, Chelsea are also chasing another winger. It doesn't look like the club are going to bring one in this January though - the club apparently want Hakem Ziyech and Ben Chilwell to bolster their left flank, but will wait until the summer to do so.

Positions needed: ST, LW, LB

Players signed: None

Players linked with: Moussa Dembele, Wilfried Zaha, Dries Mertens

Leicester

Leicester City are having a fantastic season - recruitment in January has been more about steadying the ship than improving on what they have. 

The Foxes have been in the market for someone who can share Jamie Vardy’s burden of providing goals. Leicester have relied mostly on Harvey Barnes and Ayoze Perez on the wings, with Kelechi Iheanacho making the odd appearance - sometimes in a front two - with Vardy. Leicester would have welcomed another goalscorer - and were apparently fighting Tottenham for Steven Bergwijn - but have opted to stick with their hand.

It looks like Leicester are going to keep Ben Chilwell, until the summer at least, so there's no need to re-structure the backline for now.  

Positions needed: CB, LW, LB

Players signed: None

Players linked with: Dwight McNeil, Steven Bergwijn, Ibrahima Diallo

Liverpool

With Liverpool’s first team firing on all cylinders at the top of the league and his youngsters looking promising in the cup, there isn’t a huge need for Jurgen Klopp to strengthen his squad - but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t.

The German has added Taumi Minamino to a team chasing Arsenal’s unbeaten streak in the league but aside from giving his squad more depth, it’s unlikely that Liverpool will sign anyone else this January. Despite this, the Reds may well welcome new recruits in the event of summer targets becoming available now.

Positions needed: LW

Players signed: Takumi Minamino

Players linked with: Kylian Mbappé, Sandro Tonali, Timo Werner

Manchester City

Manchester City have had an injury-stricken season, with stars Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sané sidelined for months on end. With Laporte back now though, the desperation for a new defender is not quite as urgent as it was.

ALSO READ: 5 players Man City could sign this January

It’s largely assumed that Sané will depart Manchester this summer anyway, but given that he still isn't match fit, he'll remain until the summer. About summer too - Guardiola is apparently planning a full-scale rebuild of the club with some big-name signings and high-profile departures. This January could well be the calm before the storm.

Positions needed: CB, LW, LB

Players signed: None

Players linked with: Lautaro Martinez, Caglar Soyuncu

Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manchester United

Manchester United’s lack of goals this season has been punctuated by the fact that they let Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez both leave Old Trafford last summer without signing replacements. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reinforced his desire for a new striker time and time again, but has also confirmed that Sanchez will return to Old Trafford when his loan with Inter Milan expires to fight for his place.  

At least Bruno Fernandes' transfer is finally done. At nearly £60m though, it's understandable that United's striking targets have been considerably more cut-price - Odion Ighalo and Islam Slimani have both been in the conversation.

ALSO READ: 5 players Manchester United could sign this January

Interest in Jude Bellingham is also still there. 

Positions needed: CM, ST

Players signed: Bruno Fernandes

Players linked with: Carlos Tevez, Jude Bellingham

Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur have been busy this winter, signing Benfica youngster Gedson Fernandes on a long-term loan and poaching Steven Bergwijn from PSV to replace the outgoing Christian Eriksen.

With the possibility that Spurs may miss the talismanic Harry Kane to injury for the rest of the campaign, there are persistent rumours linking strikers with the North Londoners. Mourinho’s penchant for a big man up top has led to Olivier Giroud and Sociedad striker Willian Jose becoming the frontrunners for the gig.

ALSO READ: 5 players Tottenham could sign this January

Danny Rose has left on loan, following the emergence of Ryan Sessegnon as an option at left-back and the use of Jan Vertonghan in that spot becoming a theme of Mourinho's tenure. Still no concrete links on Spurs signing a right-back or defensive midfielder though, much to fans' ire. 

Positions needed: CM, ST, RB

Players signed: Gedson Fernandes, Steven Bergwijn

Players linked with: Krzysztof Piatek, Ze Luis, Willian Jose

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