Arsene Wenger’s side have been performing below par this season and lie in only 6th place, not what they would have hoped for but fortunately for the Gunners the top4 is still well within their reach with Southampton only 3 points away. Regardless of where they are in the table, this Arsenal side needs strengthening, star man Alexis Sanchez has been the only reason they are still in contention for a top4 place and when he has been missing they look a very average side. It is clear that up front is the position that Arsenal need to recruit a new player or two, other than Sanchez who has 16 goals in all competitions their next highest scorer is Danny Welbeck on 7, the decision to leave Podolski leave is a baffling one but may pave the way for a new striker to come in. The strikers currently at Wenger’s disposal are adequate, Welbeck and Giroud are both proven Premier League players but they need a real top quality striker if they want to push on and try challenge for major honours.
Up front is not the only problem for the North London side, the back is also lacking that extra bit of quality, Mertesacker has been shown up time and time again and Chambers does not seem ready as of yet to step in as centre half on a weekly basis. It may be worthwhile for the Arsenal transfer committee to look for an experienced and talented man at the back.
Similar to Arsenal, Liverpool need that extra bit of quality in their team if they are to bridge the 7 point gap to the top4 and maybe win a domestic or European trophy. As with last season the main problem lies at the back and in particular with goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, he has been nothing short of terrible this season and after being dropped for Brad Jones who has since picked up an injury his confidence is at an all time low. Rodgers must look to buy a new keeper in the window or else the Liverpool faithful will have to live with the ever unreliable Mignolet.
The purchase of Dejan Lovren in the summer for £20 million has done nothing to sure up the defence and Rodgers once again must be looking into the possibility of a new defensive leader, with the amount of goals being conceded by Liverpool now a long running problem, Rodgers really needs to sort it out or he could be out of a job before the summer.
In the attacking department things are beginning to click as Adam Lallana has started to perform and with Sturridge due to return they look reasonably strong in that area of the pitch although an extra touch of class would be welcomed and that could come in the form of Swiss international Shaqiri whom Liverpool are reported to be interested in signing.
Sitting only one place above the relegation zone and struggling both up front and at the back, the Baggies are in dire need of some extra quality in the ranks. Saido Berahino was the shining light at the beginning of the season but since his luck has dried up so has the teams. This turn in luck has seen Alan Irvine lose his job and seen West Brom slide down the table rapidly. They sit only 1 point above the bottom three and need to add quality to the team in almost every position.
The main area they should look to strengthen is their attack, Berahino is currently under too much pressure for a young man to score all the goals and with rumours arising that he may be on his way to a bigger club they will definitely need to add a striker to their ranks, a good striker could make all the difference as well, we have seen in the past and are currently seeing at QPR with Charlie Austin that in the games at the bottom half of the table a clinical finisher is usually the difference between winning and losing.
The Bottom Three;
At this stage of the season if you’re in the bottom three you’re there for a reason. Leicester, Burnley and Crystal Palace have simply not been good enough in the opening half of the season and if they are to survive they will need to splash the cash and quickly.
Starting with the bottom side Leicester, Nigel Pearson’s side have shown in the game earlier on in the season when they beat Manchester United 5-3 that they are capable of beating a lot of teams if they can perform to their maximum, they look a little light in midfield with Cambiasso arguably being their best option in their despite the fact he is 34 years of age. Up front they look strong with David Nugent leading the line and Leonardo Ulloa also showing he can chip in with a few goals.
Burnley sit second bottom and are probably the team most in need of buying this January, the squad they have is very light and even with Danny Ings and Ashley Barnes in good form they could probably do with some cover in the attacking areas. Across all other areas of the pitch they just don’t seem to have the quality within the side to compete in the Premier League. Sean Dyche’s side need to spend big on improving the general quality of the team but even then they could struggle.
Alan Pardew has just taken over at Crystal Palace after Neil Warnock’s dismissal and is likely to want to make his mark on the side with a few signings, luckily for Pardew he has inherited a good side but may look to just add that bit more depth to the side that should be able to drag them out of the relegation zone.