As the domestic seasons around Europe resume following the World Cup, it won’t be long before the 2023 January transfer window opens and clubs start looking for reinforcements.
We’ve analysed the squads and performances of every club in the big five European leagues to work out who needs what.
Brighton have overperformed this season despite losing their manager and several key players to bigger clubs, but they would be wise to reinvest some of their transfer income to bolster their ranks, as no club has relied more heavily on their most-used XI.
The Seagulls could see further departures in January as midfielder Mac Allister impressed in Argentina’s World Cup triumph, so they would be advised to start shopping around.
Leicester’s Youri Tielemans and Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace seem to be linked with big moves every season but, with their current deals expiring, this could be the year that their clubs decide to cash in.
Over in North London, Antonio Conte should consider stiffening up Tottenham’s back line, with Spurs having allowed the third-highest rate of passes into their third of the pitch this season.
With Atletico Madrid out of Europe and off the pace in the league, a winter refresh could be the answer. Diego Simeone’s side are one of the oldest in the top flight, with an average line-up age of just over 29, so some fresher legs may be needed for the run-in.
With Argentina duo Rodrigo de Paul and Nahuel Molina both featuring prominently in their nation’s World Cup triumph and Thomas Lemar out of contract, there are plenty of assets that Simeone can cash in on to fund an overhaul.
Napoli have set an impressive pace at the top of the Italian league this season but they – along with challengers Lazio and Roma – have been leaning heavily on a small core of players and could therefore benefit from a few extra bodies.
Inter have struggled at the back this season, with only six Serie A teams having conceded more goals, and a change of personnel may be in the offing. Both Milan Skriniar and Stefan de Vrij are out of contract this summer, so recouping a fee for the duo now could provide the cash necessary for some defensive re-tooling.
Freiburg have impressed this season, currently sitting second behind Bayern Munich, but no Bundesliga team has given a higher share of minutes to its most-used XI. We could therefore see them fall away unless they bring in a player or two to shoulder some of the load in the business end of the season.
Europa League champions Eintracht Frankfurt are one of the teams breathing down their necks but could find their own ranks depleted if the interest in out-of-contract duo Evan Ndicka and Daichi Kamada is followed up. Both have been attracting glances from Premier League clubs, who have the wherewithal to submit cash offers in January rather than risking a bidding war when the pair become free agents in the summer.
Lens are another underdog currently sitting second in the league table but having relied heavily on their core first-team players. The arrival of some reinforcements could therefore be on the cards if they have ambitions of qualifying for continental competition after back-to-back seventh-place finishes.
At the other end of the table, Angers’ Moroccan duo Azzedine Ounahi and Sofiane Boufal will surely be receiving offers after their impressive showing at the World Cup. We could also see some 2023 January transfer window exits at Lyon, where midfielder Houssem Aouar and striker Moussa Dembele are running down their contracts and generating significant interest from other clubs.
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