With the winter transfer window opening on January 1st, many Premier League clubs will be looking to add to their ranks over the course of the month.
Liverpool got the ball rolling in earnest on Wednesday by announcing £75m arrival of Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, while Merseyside rivals Everton look set to address a problem position of their own having reportedly agreed a £25m deal for Besiktas striker Cenk Tosun.
But with teams at both ends of the table strengthening, certain players will also be moved on – be it through their own volition of the club’s.
Some players, such as the ones listed below, would do well to find a new club for themselves in at the earliest opportunity.
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool). It’s become patently clear that, primarily due to Sturridge’s fitness issues, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is just not able to put his trust in the England international. Roberto Firmino took his place in the starting lineup, while the summer signing of Dominic Solanke and return to fitness of Danny Ings have pushed him further down the pecking order.
Ings is likely to be the subject of loan bids in the winter, and the chances of both strikers leaving is remote, but if Sturridge has any hope of booking a place in England’s World Cup squad, his five Premier League starts this season so far won’t exactly have put him in the frame.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United). The rise and decline in Mkhitaryan’s standing at Man United in the past few months has been staggering. From being talked about as a potential player of the season in August, the Armenian forward now considers himself lucky when he makes the matchday squad. Rumours of a fractious relationship with manager Jose Mourinho have been rife since the player lost his place after the November defeat at Chelsea.
Juventus and former side Borussia Dortmund have been credited with an interest in Mkhitaryan, and if an offer comes in that meets Man United’s valuation, then he may end up going the same way as last season’s winter departures Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin.
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal). The Gunners kept hold of Alexis on transfer deadline day in August when the Chilean international looked set for a £60m move to Manchester City. As it turns out, Pep Guardiola’s side were good enough not to need him, while the forward has been a shadow of last season’s player in this campaign.
The 29-year-old is highly unlikely to sign a new contract at the Emirates so it seems almost certain that he will not be an Arsenal player next season – whether that means losing an unhappy player on a free on a summer or cashing in next month if/when Man City come calling is up to Arsene Wenger.
David Luiz (Chelsea). A major falling-out with manager Antonio Conte has seen David Luiz drop out of the Chelsea starting lineup. Although he has been carrying an injury in recent weeks, that he has played only one game since October should be a major source of worry for the Brazilian centre-back.
After having a surprisingly strong season at Stamford Bridge in his return season last year it would leave a sour taste if his second spell in London was to end this way – but if rumoured suitors Real Madrid firm up their interest and come in with a decent offer, it may be hard for either Luiz or Chelsea to turn that down.
Renato Sanches (Swansea City). Technically creative players can look like unnecessary luxuries in struggling teams, and the 20-year-old more often than not looked lost even as Paul Clement, a man that would have worked with him at Bayern last season, tried to utilise him as best he could.
Clement (and Bayern manager Carlo Ancelotti) have since been removed from their respective roles, and although the German side insist that they will not be recalling him, leaving him at the Liberty Stadium for the rest of the campaign could do him more harm than good.
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