With just over a week until the January transfer window closes, there is a strong underlying feeling that the fireworks are yet to come from Premier League teams looking to strengthen as 2015/2016 enters the business stage of the season.
Big-money deals are not uncommon in the last few days, and while fans will try to decipher fact from fiction in the latest news to come out of the rumour mill, there is a strong suggestion that the best is yet to come.
New signings can make the difference between success and failure, but managers also face the risk of panic buying and bringing in players that fail to have the required impact and fall short of their price tag. The element of risk is elevated within the modern day transfer market in which transfer valuations are often inflated in an effort to deter potential suitors, or secure funds that adequately allow a manager to find a suitable replacement before the window shuts.
Norwich’s recent outlay on Steven Naismith and Timm Klose for a reported combined total of £17 million may not improve their odds of surviving the drop on Coral, but also reflect the amount of money that teams are willing to spend in order to improve their squad. Klose is unlikely to be the last overseas player to arrive in England this month, with managers continuing to scour the market for shrewd signings that could make an instant impression.
Once regarded as one of the most promising strikers in world football, Alexandre Pato’s star has fallen in recent years. The 26-year-old made a huge impression during his five-year spell at AC Milan, until a series of injuries left a major dent in his progress and threatened to end a career that promised so much.
Pato has managed to rebuild his career in Brazil with Corinthians, but it appears that he could return to Europe sooner rather than later. Chelsea are believed to have agreed an £8 million fee to bring Pato to Stamford Bridge and add much-needed firepower to their squad, although Liverpool are also firmly in the race for his signature.
It appears that his near future lies in the Premier League, but it remains to be seen who is able to secure the services of a striker who may have lost his way, yet has lost none of his clinical instincts and finishing ability in front of goal.
Barcelona have a rich tradition of bringing a whole host of players through their infamous Le Masia academy, but although some go on to enjoy glittering careers at the Nou Camp, others struggle to make the grade and find success elsewhere.
The 20-year-old striker Sandro Ramirez could be the next to leave, with Tottenham remaining long term admirers of a player who has shown glimpses of what he can offer. It is highly unlikely that he, or anyone else for that matter, will get ahead of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, and there is always a danger that the striker could stagnate if he remains on the bench.
Barcelona may choose to enforce a buy-back clause in case Sandro Ramirez fulfils his potential, but with Mauricio Pocchetino putting his faith in young players, a move to White Hart Lane would make sense. He could be an ideal foil for Harry Kane who has hit supreme goal-scoring form ahead of Euro 2016 this summer.
Alexandre Pato may not be the only Brazilian to arrive in the Premier League this month, with Shakhtar Donetsk star Alex Teixeira heavily linked with a big-money move. The 26-year-old has blossomed into a top quality attacking-midfielder-come-striker, with his fantastic scoring record of 22 goals in just 15 league games making big clubs across Europe sit up and take notice.
It will take a considerable transfer fee to convince the Ukrainian league champions to sell one of their prized assets, with Chelsea and Liverpool in a real battle to secure his services. The presence of former team-mate Willian at Stamford Bridge may tip the balance in Chelsea’s favour, and while big signings may not see an immediate change in fortunes in what has been a season to forget for the defending champions, Teixeira certainly has the quality to light up the Premier League in the near and distant future.
Strikers are usually worth their weight in goals, and this certainly applies to Alvaro Morata who has become one of the most sought-after players in Europe.
The 23-year-old was instrumental in Juventus’ run to the Champions League final last season, and although he has formed a strong partnership with Paulo Dybala at the Juventus Stadium, it is believed that Massimo Allegri will let Morata go if the price is right.
Liverpool have reportedly had one big-money bid rejected, with Tottenham also eyeing a move for a player that would light up the Premier League with his movement and clinical eye for goal.
It is not the first time that Emmanuel Emenike has been linked with a move to England, with the powerful 28-year-old striker making a name for himself at Spartak Moscow and Fenerbahce.
He has surprisingly found himself out of favour this season, with a loan move to Al-Ain resulting in impressive figures of 7 goals in 11 games. West Ham have revealed their hand by admitting their interest in bringing the Nigerian international to the Premier League, with a loan deal until the end of the season at the Boleyn Ground said to be close to completion.
Adding more goals to their game would make Slaven Bilic’s side even stronger odds on any football bet site to compete for a Europa League spot, with another injury for Andy Carroll creating a space that Emenike could fill and have an instant impact.