This time last year Carlo cheekily rebuffed any suggestions of personnel changes during the window by saying he would streak around Cobham if any business was done. Thankfully for any nearby onlookers the chequebook remained closed. This January is different though and if Carlo can nab a player to help cover the injuries to Alex, Zhirkov and Yossi then the powers that be have deemed money available. At nearly the half way mark through the window we’ve yet to see any wonga splashed although Everton have apparently accepted a £3m bid for tricky winger Steven Piennaar. Given that Benayoun has spent more time in the treatment room in his Chelsea career than the club doctor this would be a welcome thing. We all like a tricky winger after all. Speaking of which Chelsea legend Pat Nevin continued his always excellent blogs on the club site last week, if you didn’t see his article the link is here:
He was asking for a top ten transfer wish list from the fans with some great suggestions on possible targets. Seeing as how we’ve (so far) done zero business I thought I would scratch my brains for some further suggestions that were omitted. With so much riding on the second half of the season January is a notorious difficult time to do any transfer business, clubs are only keen to part with players for crazy money. It seems that Bolton’s hard-line stance on Gary Cahill for example is unlikely to budge anytime soon. So, giving the inane realities of contract wrangling a wide berth, here is my list of decent buys that have so far been under the radar and missed out on Pat’s top ten:
Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli)
I think we’ve missed having a classic number ten this season, a midfield dynamo who can dance past defenders or slide a pinpoint pass through the centre. We’ve missed that spark at various times, especially during Lampard’s spell on the sidelines. Lavezzi is superb in the deep lying forward position, stringing passes and linking up play like that other famous Napoli player. He’s robust enough on the ball not to go missing in the Premiership and would be clever enough to make the difference in tight games.
Sergio Canales (Real Madrid)
Last season the world was raving about the potential of this attacking midfielder, his form at Racing Santander was enough for many respected pundits to proclaim him as Spain’s new creative wonderkid. This season however he’s made a meagre three appearances for Real, he chances scuppered by the big (bigger?) money signing’s of Di Maria and Mesut Özil. Rather than sit on his arse for the rest of his career he could fulfil his potential in the cut and thrust of the Premier league. Go on Jose, you know it makes sense.
Juan Mata (Valencia)
Another excellent attacking player who is comfortable on either flank, Mata is undoubtedly one of the best players in La Liga outside the big two sides and is wily enough to be a great addition to the side. The form of David Silva this season has shown that the creative wingers can adapt well to the rigours of the English league and wouldn’t be a gamble despite the price tag.
Alexis Sánchez (Udinese)
The speedy Chilean is a bit of a cult hero at Udinese and his quick feet and turn of pace would be a welcome addition to our attacking play. He did well at the World Cup in the summer and has a decent goal scoring record from midfield, bagging four league in the miserly Serie A so far this term.
Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund)
Dortmund look like they’re cruising towards the Bundesliga title and playing a big part in that is their tough defence who have conceded only eleven goals so far. Serbian Neven Subotić is fuelling plenty of transfer talk but his partner in defence looks to be no mug either and might be easier to part with in the January window.
These are the suggestions I could think of that didn’t make Pat Nevin’s original list, let me know who else you think we should sign in the comments below …