5 Players Who Could Move to the Premier League in January?

Paulo Dybala Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus

Hulk: Free Agent

Brazilian star Hulk has recently announced that he has a “very big offer from England”, following the expiry of the 34-year-old’s contract at Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG. Hulk, who made his name at FC Porto when the Portuguese club were managed by former Chelsea and Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas, lining up alongside the likes of Joao Moutinho, James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao as they won the Primeira Liga, Taca de Portugal, Supertaca Candido de Oliveira and the UEFA Europa League in 2011 has decided to end his stay in China after four years, making 145 appearances, scoring 76 and making 54 assists.

Clubs that could be interested in the Brazil international who has made 48 international appearances for his country, scoring 11 times are the likes of West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers. David Moyes’ side are a club that could significantly benefit from signing Hulk, as due to persistent injury problems for Ukraine international Andriy Yarmolenko which has seen the former Borussia Dortmund winger play just 41 times in nearly two and a half seasons in London, the Hammers lack options out wide.

West Ham's nature to sign players past the peak of their powers has also been extremely common since moving to the London Stadium, with players like Jack Wilshere, Patrice Evra, Pablo Zabaleta and Javier Hernandez failing to reach the heights seen elsewhere, to name a few. Having recently sold Albian Ajeti to Celtic, and with Michael Antonio struggling for fitness of late due to a hamstring injury, Hulk could also provide some cover in the striker role.

Wolves are also a side that could be interested, following the bad news that Mexican striker Raul Jimenez has fractured his skull. The 29-year-old has been an integral part of Wolves’ success since being promoted to the Premier League back in 2018, especially last season, where Jimenez had 23 goal contributions in 38 league games, proving what a big void Nuno Espirito Santo has to fill up front without his star striker.

The Portuguese manager has been known for signing players from Portugal or those that have previously played in the Primeira Liga. Hulk was Nuno’s teammate for two seasons at FC Porto between 2008 and 2010, which will give the Wolves man a good indication as to what sort of personality and capability the Brazilian has.

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Jack Wilshere: Free Agent

Jack Wilshere has been without a club since West Ham United terminated his contract in October, as the Hammers looked to shred their wage bill, by releasing the former Arsenal midfielder who was rumoured to be on £100,000 per week.

Since coming through the ranks at Arsenal, the Stevenage born midfielder has only played 182 league games in 12 years, which averages at just over 15 matches per season. Wilshere has only managed to make 25 or more league appearances in a season three times in his career, the last time he achieved this was in 2016/17 whilst on loan at Bournemouth. The 28-year-old managed just 16 Premier League appearances for West Ham in little over two years at the club, averaging 37 minutes per appearance, hence why the Hammers cut their ties.

Arsenal are the favourites to sign Wilshere, which would come as a shock, as Mikel Arteta looks to be trying to strengthen the attacking combinations between the midfield and attack in his side’s gameplay. Although Wilshere himself is more of a box to box styled midfielder, he wouldn’t particularly suit Arsenal’s game plan, as they’re looking to add a number eight to play just in behind their strikers, as they currently field the base of Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka in their central midfield roles when the pair are both fit.

A club which Wilshere could particularly benefit are Fulham, as the Cottagers lack the creativity to break teams down and having scored just 11 goals in 11 Premier League games. Scott Parker could potentially get the best out of the former Arsenal man, however, the 28-year-old would probably have to take a big wage cut, although Fulham have previously signed players of Wilshere’s ilk, with the likes of Andre Schurrle joining the Craven Cottage based club on loan from Borussia Dortmund in 2018.

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Dominik Szoboszlai: Red Bull Salzburg

20-year-old Hungary midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai is one of the hottest prospects in world football, and following some impressive displays on the international stage for the Magyars and with Red Bull Salzburg in the UEFA Champions League, it looks as though Szoboszlai’s name will be firmly in the rumour mill.

The Hungarian is rumoured to have a £22.6m release clause in his contract, which could form a queue of suitors for the Salzburg man with Arsenal being priced at 4/1 to get the 20-year-old to the Emirates Stadium by 2nd February. Arsenal have scored the fourth-fewest goals in the Premier League and are desperately lacking a number eight as stated above to link up their midfield to attack, and Szoboszlai could be a long-term option to fix the Gunner’s problems for a prudent fee.

Szoboszlai has contributed to 17 goals in 18 games so far this season and would be of great benefit to Arteta’s side, following the omission of Mesut Ozil from the Arsenal’s squad. However, the Gunners will face heavy competition from RB Leipzig, who will have the first option on the young Hungarian, due to their partnership with Salzburg.

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Kieran Trippier: Atletico Madrid

Kieran Tripper is a name that has surprised a few, not due to his quality as that is unquestionable, more due to the recent links that the England international has had of late, with Manchester United being the rumoured suitors.

Trippier, who left Tottenham Hotspur back in the summer of 2019 to join current leaders of La Liga Atletico Madrid, has become a reliable first-team regular under Argentine manager Diego Simeone, playing every minute for Atleti in both the league and Champions League this season. It would be a shock to see the Bury born right back return to Manchester due to the support he has in the Spanish capital, but there could potentially be a cheaper fee involved than expected due to him being 30-years-old, as well as the fact United want to give Aaron Wan Bissaka competition. Trippier is excellent at attacking down the wing, which is one of Wan Bissaka’s weaknesses, so this isn’t a deal to rule United out from. Trippier has made three assists in ten La Liga matches this season, which is only two shy of Wan Bissaka’s overall record so far at United of five assists in 52 matches.

Paulo Dybala/Paul Pogba Swap Deal: Juventus/Manchester United

In the summer of 2019, it looked as though Paulo Dybala was going to leave Juventus for one of Manchester United or Tottenham Hotspur, but, the 27-year-old’s media rights turned out to be a huge issue for each club to get around in the transfer deal.

Dybala has fallen out of favour at Juve with former club legend Andrea Pirlo at the helm, as he has played just 360 minutes of the nine league games Juventus have finished this season, sparking speculation that the Argentinian could be set for a move away from the Italian side with United reigniting their interest.

On the other side of the Dybala deal, Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola said to Italian sports newspaper Tuttosport “I can say it’s over for Paul Pogba at Manchester United” and that “Maybe Juventus could be Pogba's next club... why not? The relationship between Paul, Juventus and former teammates is excellent”. These comments were made just prior to United’s Champions League exit away at RB Leipzig, which was incredibly bad timing for the club, this also saw manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer bench Pogba for “tactical reasons” despite starting him in the 5-0 hammering of the German side at Old Trafford.

It is believed that Juventus are in the midst of a player turnover, as they are looking to offload midfielders such as Sami Khedira and Aaron Ramsey to free up the wage bill at the Juventus Stadium. This could see United and Juve perform a swap deal with Pogba and Dybala heading opposite ways, with the latter to Old Trafford, as the Argentine is a fringe player at present and it would take his wages off the books for a potential key player in Pogba to join and help start a new era with the Bianconeri. Dybala got 22 goal contributions in 33 Serie A games for Juventus last season and according to the likes of The Athletic, is on United’s transfer target shortlist. Pogba is priced at 6/1 to go to Juventus in the January transfer window, whilst Dybala is yet to be priced on a move to Old Trafford.

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