A look at what the big clubs need during the final days of the January window

By on January 26, 2024

Mikel Arteta Arsenal

We’re in the final week of the January transfer window and it’s been an unusually quiet month so far. Big guns such as Arsenal, Man Utd, Liverpool and even Chelsea have done virtually no business over the past few weeks.

There is still time for that to change. But with just days remaining until the window closes, let’s take a look at what the traditional big clubs need and what signings could be made before the end of the month.


The Gunners ended 2023 on a disappointing note having lost to West Ham and Fulham just before the turn of the year. They dropped from being top on Christmas Day to sitting fourth in the table within a week. With their title charge floundering, it was no surprise to see Arsenal fans hoping Stan Kroenke was going to open his chequebook this month to strengthen the squad.

However, so far, Arsenal haven’t brought in a single player. Reports suggest that finances are stretched following their £200m+ splurge in the summer to sign Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber and David Raya. Arsenal are concerned about Financial Fair Play guidelines so they simply don’t have the money to bring in anymore big name signings this month.

Mikel Arteta could still decide to sell one of his current squad to generate some funds. Cashing in on academy graduates like Eddie Nketiah or Emile Smith Rowe would allow Arsenal to bank pure profit on the books and free up substantial funds. There is a lot of interest in both players so if Arteta decides to sell one over the coming days, we could see the Gunners bringing in new blood.

They desperately need a top goalscorer to fire them into title contention. Ivan Toney appears to be the main target but a move would cost £80m+ so that’s is highly unlikely this month. Victor Osimhen is another big name linked with Arsenal, but again he’ll cost over £100m. Therefore, realistically, Arsenal are going to have to wait until the summer to sign a marquee striker.

Thomas Partey has returned to full training after recovering from a thigh injury, so Arteta isn’t going to buy another midfielder this month. The one position where Arsenal could strengthen before the window closes is in defence as the Gunners are extremely light at the back. Takehiro Tomiyasu is away at the Asian Cup and he’s struggled to stay fit over the past two seasons. Oleksandr Zinchenko has a niggling calf injury that’s hampered him this year while Timber is still weeks away from being available for selection.

The Dutchman could return to training late next month, but there is no guarantee he won’t suffer setbacks along the way during his rehabilitation from a serious ACL injury. So Arteta cannot rely on Timber playing a significant part of Arsenal’s campaign during the second half of the season. Therefore, the Spanish coach could look to bring in another versatile defender before the end of the month.

Man Utd

Manchester United are another club crying out for a regular goalscorer. Match going fans who own Manchester United tickets have been saying for years that the club needs to invest in a world class No.9, but United bosses have gone for short term solutions such as Wout Weghorst or Odion Ighalo.

They did splash £72m to sign Rasmus Hojlund last summer but there is a huge pressure on the 20-year-old’s shoulders. He’s still a kid and isn’t ready to be Man Utd’s first choice striker, expected to score 20+ a season. Erik ten Hag desperately needs another option up front after Anthony Martial was ruled out for several weeks following groin surgery.

Man Utd have been linked with the likes of Donyell Malen, Victor Osimhen, Callum Wilson and Joshua Zirkzee but they simply don’t have the money available to buy a big money hitman this month. Finances are extremely tight at Old Trafford so the best ten Hag can hope for is another short term loan signing before the window closes.

There has been talk about Karim Benzema arriving on loan as he wants out of Saudi Arabia, but his astronomical wages will likely prevent any move from happening. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has also been strongly linked with a loan move and that could be one to keep an eye on over the coming days. The 34-year-old isn’t getting regular game-time at Bayern Munich, and he would be a cheap short term solution.


Another Premier League team who are in need of a striker is Chelsea. The Blues have spent over £1 billion on transfers in the last few windows, so it’s been a shock to see them be so reserved this month. There is still time for Chelsea to launch a late splurge and Mauricio Pochettino has made no secret of his desire to bring in a new No.9.

Nicolas Jackson has been hit and miss since arriving last summer while Armando Broja is tipped to leave this month after struggling up front. If the Blues can find a buyer for Broja, then we should expect them to bring in a replacement.

Marquee names such as Osimhen and Toney aren’t realistic this month, so Chelsea could opt for a cheaper solution. Callum Wilson is reportedly available for £18m this month as Newcastle need to raise some money, and Chelsea are seemingly considering a late move for the England man. That could be a deal that works out for all parties.


Jurgen Klopp overhauled Liverpool’s midfield last summer and he has done a terrific job as the Reds are sitting top of the table and are through to the League Cup final. Many fans still feel the club needs more depth in the middle of the park and Liverpool have been linked with a move for Joshua Kimmich in recent days. However, he’s highly unlikely to leave Bayern Munich this month so any move will have to wait until the summer.

Mo Salah’s situation is also a big talking point at Anfield. His contract will have just one year left in the summer and Saudi Arabian clubs are expected to make another big play for his signature at the end of the season. If Salah leaves, Klopp will need to bring in a replacement with Leroy Sane reportedly his main target. Again, this will all be resolved in the summer so don’t expect any movement in the attacking department over the coming days.

The one area Klopp could strengthen this month is in defence. Joel Matip has been ruled out for the rest of the season which has left Liverpool short at centre-back. They’ve been linked with several defenders in recent weeks and Klopp could still make a late swoop for another centre-back before the window closes. However, youngster Jarell Quansah has been hugely impressive since being given his chance in the first team. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Klopp stick with the 20-year-old as an option alongside Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez.

So many of the top clubs could do with strengthening their ranks before the window closes, however, with big money moves waiting until the summer, we’re not expecting a lot of business to be done before the end of the month.